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Harnessing The Power Of Plugins
What are Monitoring Plugins?
The format of Monitoring Plugins were originally inspired by the Nagios project, but are now used in many monitoring tools. They use a pre-defined format for program responses, meaning that you can easily create monitoring plugins in almost any programming or scripting language for almost any platform. As a monitoring standard, there are thousands of plugins available publically covering a massive range of technologies. If a plugin is not already available for a technology, creating plugins does not require an in-depth knowledge of programming, you will just need some basic coding skills in whatever language you are comfortable with.
Responses of A Monitoring Plugin
No matter what you are monitoring, the return for a monitoring plugin will always be made up of just a few things; a return code, some text and, if required, some performance data. Monitoring plugin return codes are just the integer response of the plugin that correspond to the status, they can be; 0 for “OK”, 1 for “WARNING”, 2 for “CRITICAL” and 3 for “UNKNOWN”. The return code tells Opsview Monitor the status of the check so if required, it can show alerts on the dashboards or send out notifications. The text output is shown within the Opsview Monitor user interface, this makes it easy for you to understand the current plugin status. Performance data is returned after the “pipe” symbol (|) this output is normally hidden from the user, but this is what ends up as the data in the graphs and is stored in the ODW for reporting. The performance data is returned in a special format that allows you to define the units and value, and multiple performance metrics can be returned by a single plugin.
Opsview Monitor Service Checks
Within Opsview Monitor, you can create service checks that are essentially links to plugins with a set of configuration data, making the plugin easy to use and deploy to multiple Hosts. Service checks include macros and variables which get replaced for each host so the correct items are queried. Variables can be stored securely, this ensures your system login information or other private information is never exposed. Using variables you can even easily create multiple services from a single service check!
If you want a visual guide to help you learn how to harness the power of plugins within Opsview Monitor, watch a video on the topic at the top of the page and head over to our webinar page that provides a summary of what you can expect from it.
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