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Configuration - more

I proceeded to change the host type to Router and clicked apply. This reduced the available configurations for this device to General, Internet, SNMP, and Other, eliminating the Windows monitoring option.

In the Internet option, there are three areas to configure: Common, Email, and WWW. Under Common, I could select whether I wanted to ping my device, perform DNS host name resolution, check FTP, Telnet, or SSH. I stayed with ping. 

A useful feature is the buttons to the right that allow for further Settings and Test (Figure 6). The Settings button lets you choose how many pings to send, defaulting to 10. I left that alone, but ran the ping test to verify the Pulse could successfully reach 192.168.3.1. I liked the check mark returned on the Pulse Dashboard display, confirming success.

Ping configuration
Click to enlarge image

Figure 6: The ping configuration option

With this piece verified, I went to the Email tab. This is where you can configure monitoring of IMAP, POP, and SMTP. Since my router wasn't doing any of these things, I left them blank. 

The next tab is WWW, which is for monitoring web servers. This is useful on a simple router, as it can be used to verify that the device's CPU is functioning. I've seen devices reply to a ping, yet be in a hung state and not respond to input, so logging in to a device can be a useful means of checking status.

This showed the value of customizing the configuration. Had I left this alarm on, I would have received notifications of problems, as the web page for my router requires authentication. The Pulse allows you to configure the user name and password of your device, which will enable the Pulse to log on and check it is functioning.

After clicking Apply, I was ready to move to the SNMP customization options (Figure 7). Running an SNMP test returned verification that SNMP was working between the Pulse and my router. Within this configuration screen are options for monitoring disk, memory, network, and custom. Of primary concern on this router is its connection to the Internet, so I left the disk and memory scans alone.

SNMP configuration
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Figure 7: Configuring SNMP

Running the scan tool under the network SNMP page showed many things that could be monitored, including the internal and external IP addresses, as well as the two WAN interfaces (ixp0 and ixp1), a loop back interface (lo), and a point-to-point protocol interface (ppp1). 

I was already pinging the internal interface, so additionally monitoring the internal interface via SNMP would be redundant. Monitoring the external IP address would create unnecessary alarms, as I have a dynamic WAN IP, so I'd get meaningless alarms when my IP address changes. However, polling the WAN interface connected to my ISP will enable monitoring connectivity to the Internet.

With the internal IP address being pinged, the web page of the router being regularly checked, and the external interface being monitored via SNMP, I deleted the RIS Data monitoring, leaving me with the three functions on my main router alarmed.

Next up is the Windows machine. The amount of services the Pulse can monitor on a Windows server is impressive. Belkin has a small application (agent) you can download from their website that will enable detailed communication between Windows and the Pulse. The software agent is available via a link found in the Windows configuration section of the Host Setup section of the Pulse Dashboard.

Leveraging this software and the Pulse configurations, I was able to alarm this Windows machine’s IP address, FTP service, Web server, CPU, memory, uptime, and Remote Desktop access. In addition, Directory Services, NetBIOS, HTTP and SMB were all auto enabled. I deleted the monitoring of the Directory Services, NetBIOS and SMB, but tested and left all the others. 

The end result for my Windows box is that the Pulse is monitoring FTP and Web Services, pinging it, checking CPU, memory, and uptime, and watching Remote access. Further, within each service, a network administrator can set up different notifications to keep on top of the system.

For my Linux box, I asked Belkin if they had a Linux version that would provide monitoring as detailed as their Windows application. As the folks at Belkin explained, most Linux admins use SNMP, so there is nothing additional to install other than ensuring that SNMP is properly configured on your server.

I went through and optimized the alarming and monitoring for the remaining devices on my LAN (NAS, Printer, ATA, Wi-Fi Router), choosing and testing options appropriate to each device, and using the included test functionality to ensure they were properly configured.

For each device, I typically had the Pulse ping its IP address and check its Web utility. If SNMP was available, I selected monitoring of the services I thought would be useful and informative.

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