How To setup Windows centralized Monitoring

Article created 2005-04-05 by Hamid Ali Raja.

Monitoring Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 is important even for small environments. This article is strictly task focused. It does not describe why the systems should be monitored nor does it provide any further background. Please see the respective backgrounders or product documentation on this. This article is a step-by-step description of what you need to do in order to centrally monitor your Windows NT/2000/XP and 2003 systems.

This article has been extracted from the MonitorWare Agent documentation. Please be sure to check the MonitorWare Agent online help if a newer version is available.

Centralized Event Reports

In this step-by-step guide, MonitorWare Agent is configured to work together with Adiscon’s MonitorWare Console to automatically generate event summaries for the monitored servers and other devices.

This guide focuses on a typical small to medium business topography with a single geographical location and 5 Windows clients and a central hub server. All systems are well connected via a local Ethernet. Event reports from all machines should be stored in a database. The administrator shall receive daily consolidated event reports.

What you need

In this guide, I am focusing on building a solution with Adiscon’s MonitorWare Agent and MonitorWare Console. This combination allows you to centralize all your event logs and report events from them. Free 30 day trial versions are available at the respective product sites (links below), so you can try the system without the need to buy anything.

You need to run the following products:

  • 1 MonitorWare Agent for each system that is to be monitored. In our scenario, this means 6 copies, one for each client and one for the central hub server to be monitored.
  • 1 MonitorWare Console to generate consolidated reports based on the gathered log data.
  • To deliver MonitorWare Console’s reports, you need a local web server (for example Microsoft’s IIS or Apache) and a mail server capable of talking SMTP (most modern servers support this)

You need administrative privileges on each of the machines. This is required both for installation and configuration. Make sure you log on with a sufficiently privileged user account.

Step 1 – Download Software

As you read the MonitorWare Agent manual, you most probably downloaded the MonitorWare Agent. If you haven’t, please visit www.mwagent.com/en/download to do so. In addition to the agent, you also need MonitorWare Console. A free, full-featured 30 day trial is available at http://www.mwconsole.com/en/download/.

Step 2 – Install MonitorWare Agent

Run the MonitorWare Agent setup program on all systems that should be monitored. This means you need to run it on all 5 clients and the central hub server. Take a note of the central hub server IP address or host name. You’ll need this value when configuring the agents on the client machine. For our example, we assume this system has an IP address of 192.168.0.1.

For larger installations (with many more servers) there are ways to set it up in a simpler fashion, but in a scenario like ours, it is faster to install it on each machine manually. You can install it with the default settings. When setup has finished, the program automatically is configured to operate as a simple syslog server. However, it does not yet create the log in our database we need. So we will go ahead and change this on each of the machines or by launching it on one machine and remotely connecting to the others. It is your choice. In this sample, I use the MonitorWare Agent on each machine (it is easier to follow).

Step 3 – Create a RuleSet for Forward by SETP

The steps to configure the agents are as follows (repeat this on each of the 5 client machines). This step needs not to be done on the central hub server!:

Forward via SETP Steps

Step 4 – Create a RuleSet for database logging

This step needs only to be done on the central hub server!

Database Logging Steps

Step 5 – Create an Event Log Monitor Service

The steps to configure the MonitorWare Agents are as follows (repeat this step on each of the 5 client machines and the central hub server!):

Event Log Monitor Service Steps

Step 6 – Create a SETP Server Service

The steps to configure the agents are as follows (only central hub server!):

SETP Server Service Steps

Step 7 – Preparing Web Server for MonitorWare Console

MonitorWare Console publishes its reports through the local web server (central hub server).

To avoid confusion, we recommend creating a separate directory on the web server for MonitorWare Console. Let us assume you use Microsoft Internet Information Server and run it in the default configuration. Then, you web pages are stored in the c:\inetpub\wwwroot directory. Create a subdirectory "MonitorWareConsole" directly beneath this directory.

Step 8 – Installing and Configuring MonitorWare Console

MWConsole- Installation and Configuration Steps (1.1)
MWConsole- Installation and Configuration Steps (2.0)
MWConsole- Installation and Configuration Steps (3.0)

Step 9 – Generating Reports with MonitorWare Console Manually

This section explains how the reports can be generated with MonitorWare Console manually. Since "System Status" Report is most comprehensive report that tells a detailed description about the network, in this section I will explain this report only. Please note that, the procedure for generating any report is almost the same.

Generating Windows Reports with Console 1.1 Manually
Generating Windows Reports with Console 2.0 Manually
Generating Windows Reports with Console 3.0 Manually

Step 10 – Scheduling the Generation of Reports with MonitorWare Console

This section explains how the reports can be generated with MonitorWare Console automatically using Job Manager. With Job Manager, you can generate all the reports based on a pre-defined schedule and ask it to either store it in some location on the hard disk or send it to specified recipient via email. Once again, I will explain the scheduling of System Status Report in this section. Please note that, the procedure for scheduling any report is the same.

Scheduling Reports with Console 1.1
Scheduling Reports with Console 2.0
Scheduling Reports with Console 3.0

You are done!

Well, this is all you need to do to configure the basic operations. Once you are comfortable with the basic setup, you can enhance the system with local pre-filtering of event, enhanced logging and alerting (with MonitorWare Agent) and changing report options (with MonitorWare Console).

We hope this article is helpful. If you have any questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@adiscon.com

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