SUMMARY: Early Warning Systems

From: Stuart Myles (
Date: Thu May 12 1994 - 14:15:53 CDT

Dear Sys Mgrs,

In brief, I requested information on systems to monitor for significant failures
which could alert me via a pager (original message at the end). In the end, we
opted for the NetWORKS system from Caravelle 613-596 2802. This allows us to
query SNMP agents and to dial our paging service (or send email or pop up a
window, etc) when it detects a condition which we define. (We use SNMP rather
than just "ping" because we need to know if a machine is fully functional
whereas it can be crippled but still respond to pings).

Other systems which were recommended or that we considered were:

1) Network Managment Systems. Tivoli, HP OpenView, Sun's SunNet Manager,
Cabletron's Spectrum. These allow you to query SNMP agents and do up/down
tests. With add-on packages, they can do paging as well. However, they do a
lot more than simply detect problems; thus they require a lot of configuration
and are a lot more expensive. However, ultimately, this is the direction that
we will go. It is simply overkill right now.

2) Public Domain Software. Many people suggested that I wrote my own program.
Others suggested that I check out "watcher" ftp from or your favourite archive site.

3) Non-standard systems. These are systems which don't support SNMP such as
Control Tower from MSI NetSys Inc (810) 333 8090 or Patrol from BMC 800-841-2031
but do give you lots of other goodies instead.

I'd like to thank the following for responding:

mattb@BCAA.BC.CA (Matt Binnie)
x092306@hyperion.LANL.GOV (Jerry Weber C-8/IS-5) (Keith McCloskey x8110)
Gene Rackow <>
"Jan C. Boyer - Boston" <> (Andy Feldt) (Jay Schlegel x6878) (Brant Henderson)
Dan Stromberg - OAC-DCS <> (John Justin Hough)
Carlos Ojeda <>

Stuart Myles (

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Dear Systems Managers,

I'd like to find out about event-monitoring systems. Ideally, I'd like to have
a system which would detect significant systems events (e.g. a leased line or
server going down) and notify me (perhaps via pager). And I'm interested in the
cost, flexibility, reliability of these types of things.

The names of systems which spring to mind include Sun's SunNet Manager, Tivoli's
Tivoli Management System, HP's OpenView. I'd be interested in opinions on these
and any other possible systems. (My network is a mixture of Suns, HP's and

If any of you have any experience or even just hints of where to look, please
let me know, and I will summarise to the list.


Stuart Myles
Systems Administrator Phone: 215 995 1457
Cooper Neff Technologies, LP Fax: 215 995 1451
3 Radnor Corporate Centre,
Radnor, PA 19087 Internet:

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