Configure SNMP monitoring with network devices in SCOM 2007 R2

System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 can discover and provide operational monitoring of network infrastructure, such as routers and switches. Learn how to set up a network device monitor.

For Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 R2, managing Windows systems is nice, but the typical IT environment needs more than that. SCOM's network device support includes systems that are capable of communicating via simple network management protocol (SNMP), which is a required step to fully support the enterprise. Windows systems can be managed directly with the SCOM agent or through agentless exception monitoring (AEM).

In the Administration section of SCOM, the network device section is where we would start pulling in network devices. If a number of network devices are on a subnet, we can use a discovery scan to pull them all in at once in the Computer And Device Management Wizard. In my lab configuration, I have an Untangle firewall and Internet appliance that I would like to pull into SCOM. The Untangle appliance is Linux-based, so I could use the Linux support for SCOM, but since it functions as my firewall, I'll treat it as a network device. I will only scan a range of one IP address (Figure A). Figure A

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In this situation, the Untangle device does not support SNMP by default. I have enabled and configured it on the appliance (Figure B) to allow it to be discovered with SCOM. Figure B

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Each network appliance configuration will differ, but you'll frequently see an SNMP community name of "public" for the device; it is a good idea to change it to another SNMP community. SCOM can discover across a number of SMNP communities, so keep that in mind in any design work. (Be sure to read Mark Underwood's post SNMP security: Maligned or ignored, but useful for risk management.) Once the discovery has completed, any devices that respond to the IP range and configuration will be presented in the results.

The final step is to configure a proxy agent; this is an intermediary configuration that has a system managed with a SCOM agent relay the data from the network device to the SCOM management server (Figure C). Figure C

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At that point, the network device is ready to be monitored and alerted upon within SCOM like any other system. The amount of information passed through SNMP will not be as rich as that of the native client. The designated computer to function as a proxy agent may need to have the option to allow proxy functions configured (Figure D). The device will then perform a state change event as it goes to a healthy state, and can then be placed into monitoring pools within the SCOM console. Figure D

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Have you added network devices into the SCOM console? If so, what kinds of alerts have you put in with them? Share your comments in the discussion.

By Rick Vanover

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.