Pandora FMS features
Performance and availability monitoring
Pandora FMS provides a complete solution for performance and availability, monitoring the key resources across the infrastructure, to ensure that all devices are ready to respond to end-user requests. It is possible to run these tests in the software agent or from a Pandora FMS Server, which eliminates the risk associated with running monitoring software on target systems. Pandora FMS specific tests and features include:
Samples of network monitoring checks:
- ICMP response and delay
- SNMP Polling (v1, v2c, v3)
- Standard TCP/IP services (HTTP, SMTP, etc)
- Specified TCP/IP ports with regular expression matching
- URL availability
- CPU, Disk and Memory Usage
- System overload
- Nagios Plug-in Support (for both, availability and performance)
Samples of agent based monitoring:
- Linux/Unix process availability (via SNMP)
- Network traffic in a device
- Network latency time
- Obtention of WMI or Performance
- Counters values in Windows
- Number of occurrences in a logfile per second
- Temperature on a system
- Output of a system command
- Service availability or running processes
- Oracle DB status, as well as its tablespaces and other values
SLA and reporting
Pandora FMS can create HTML, PDF and XML reports for any monitored element. Data, such as graphs, SLAs, metrics, events, etc., can be added to these reports. Reports are created for a configurable time frame which can go from an hour up to six months. Pandora FMS SLA reports allow us to define (as a percentage) the level of agreement existing per parameter, defining valid operational ranges. This allows us to define combined metrics with a vast amount of values, in order to determine the level of agreement within a set of parameters, all measured by a user-determined time range.
Remote server management
Using the integration with eHorus it’s possible to control devices remotely. This can be done either through a remote desktop or via the command line (Linux, Mac and Windows). It also allows bidirectional file copies, and process and service management. All of this integrated into the Pandora FMS console.
Headless remote monitoring: Satellite Server and proxy agents
Allows you to do headless, distributed monitoring for WMI, ICMP, SNMP v1/2 and execute plugins.
- Integrates a discovery mechanism if a SNMP/WMI device is discovered during a network sweep
- Thousands of checks per second. Runs on Windows and Linux
- Sends the information back to the data server and doesn’t require a database or permanent connection to Pandora FMS
Customizable visual console
Pandora FMS allows each user to personalize how they want to set up their dashboard. The graph below shows a customized view, based on a spatial representation of selected items, status representations, data, which can include graphs or other visual console status data, and always highlighting any critical event.
This feature, combined with the weight-based service monitoring, is a more flexible way to monitor activities which includes user-defined margins. This differs from “specific” single-target monitoring because it allows users to manage entire “groups” – within a certain margin of error – allowing an acceptable number of alerts to accrue until an established threshold is reached.
The need to monitor services as something “abstract” appears when we ask ourselves the following question: what happens when an element is initially not critical on its own? For example, if one of the twenty Apache servers that are set up fails we may not want Pandora to warn us, because out of 20 servers, one or two are likely to fail. A service with redundancy should give us peace-of-mind, not more work. It should only warn us if a more critical element has failed, such as a router, or if several (four or five) WEB servers are down.
It shouldn’t warn us because one or two nodes fail (in fact, just imagine having to get someone out of bed whenever one Apache server is down). It’s assumable that the service is made to control redundancy, so we should have some margin, and have less troubles. The system should be smart enough to know that a single server down is not a problem, but when it goes to 5 or more, it should start worrying, and certainly 10 or more servers falling down will get anyone out of bed.
Fault and event management
The Pandora FMS event system keeps a log of everything that has happened. When a service or a host goes down – or comes up again – , when an alert is fired, when new hosts in the network are discovered, etc.
It’s possible to search for single events, filtering them out by group, type, severity, or event status. All this is done from the Web Console. Events can be exported to a CSV file, or be linked to feed readers, thanks to its RSS feed.
Operating mechanics on these events allows them to be validated or marked as “in process” by an operator. Any task marked as such can be seen, leaving a trace of comments on the matter which indicate that it’s being worked on. Furthermore, events are related to a group of tags or categories, allowing Pandora FMS to perform searches and create semantic groups.
Pandora FMS has a multi-server based structure (Data Server, Plugin Server, Network Server, etc), a Web console, and a Database. It has redundancy over all its systems. Any amount of servers or consoles can be created, as well as MySQL clusters for the Database. This is included among the features of the OpenSource version. Agents also have failover mechanisms available in order to allow posting to multiple servers, in case any of them should fail.
Recommended capacity limit per server
Pandora FMS has been designed to work in company environments: this means groups of systems which can continue to grow progressively. Our engineers have estimated an average of 2000 agents per server (in the case of the Open Source version, we estimate around 1000 agents per server), with 25 modules per agent, executing tasks every five minutes. Using the Metaconsole and the Export Server, these numbers can be enlarged using more servers, or assigning more agents to a single server (although this option needs very specific customizing). We have customers with huge environments, where Pandora FMS is used in many different ways. For example, one client has 6000 agents, a four server setup, and a Metaconsole, while another has a single server and 160.000 modules.
This feature is aimed at companies that have a large number of agents. The policies system allows the user to massively distribute modules and alerts to groups of agents. Combined with the metaconsole, it allows fast and efficient operation over thousands of agents simultaneously.
Policies allow you to define exceptions, alerts or distribute file collections that contain plugins for agents, so that everything can be managed centrally and globally.
The update manager allows the administrator to download updates from the console easily and automatically. These patches can be created “on demand” by the support team, in such a way that the client will have a customized solution to a problem in a matter of hours. The Open Source version has an equivalent system, but with non-revised updates.
Pandora FMS can provide different information on locations, and interactive maps that show the real time position of agents. It can also generate movement tracking for each agent throughout time using reverse geo-localization and “translating” the coordinates into standard addresses.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a UDP-based network protocol. It is used mostly in network management systems to monitor network-attached devices for conditions that warrant administrators’ attention. Pandora FMS can monitor any device using SNMP protocol directly from the Pandora FMS Network Server.
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) (or Windows Management Interface) is a set of extensions for the Windows Driver Model that provides an operating system interface through which the instrumented components provide information and notification. Pandora FMS can monitor any Windows System SNMP protocol directly from the Pandora FMS WMI Server or using the WMI module available in the Windows Agent.
High speed ICMP and SNMP exploration
Starting at version 4.0, Pandora FMS includes a new “Enterprise Network Server” which performs the same tasks as the Open Source version, but up to 50 times faster. Using faster, more specific tools for each test, and by organizing the checks in multi-thread blocks, it provides efficient management in systems that go through thousands of ICMP and/or SNMP checks.
Network topology detection and auto-discovery
Pandora FMS is capable of recognizing and detecting new systems periodically, detecting their operating system, and their relations with other nodes in the network at both a network and a link level (using ARP table exploration through SNMP). This means that Pandora can explore a network of 1000 nodes and map it, connecting the interfaces of your routers with your switches, in less than an hour.
Pandora FMS is able to monitor IP traffic using the NetFlow protocol. It displays general patterns and traffic data that are useful for generating real-time reports on network usage, generating charts, statistics, and graphs.
SNMP Trap Monitoring
Pandora FMS has a Trap console that shows SNMP events that have been received by Pandora FMS’s server, displaying information on the event: status, source OID, associated agent, date and time, alerts associated, etc. Alerts can be configured for every trap, simply or using regular expressions over the traps. These features are all available in the OpenSource version, but the Enterprise version comes with some extras:
- MIB loader for trap definition
- Possibility to define an alias of the trap created by the user
- Forwarding traps to an agent (to a module) to visualize it as a text type module
- SNMP filters before processing the traps
There are software Agents for Windows, Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, BSD and Mac OS: small size agents that provide information about the system in which they are installed (CPU, memory usage, disc usage, the output of any command, etc.). There are also hardware agents to monitor temperature, humidity, smoke, gas, floods and any device that sends dry contact.
Conditioned module execution
This functionality allows agents to take immediate action without waiting to manage the problem from the console. It also avoids certain check-ins when executing specific situations such as backups, HA systems, etc.
Embedded agents and Android agents
Pandora FMS has developed a specific agent for embedded devices using Posix C, aimed at devices with very little RAM, but that can work with all types of processors (ARM, VIA …) and runs on almost any device. Pandora FMS also has a specific agent for Android phones: Pandroid. This agent reports GPS information to the GIS system on Pandora FMS, and also shows battery levels, device orientation, and other sensor information, like proximity.
3rd Party Product Integration API Library
Pandora FMS’s external API is used through remote HTTP calls to the /include/ API.php file. This method has been defined by Pandora FMS to integrate with 3rd party applications. This is an HTTP request with parameters formatted to receive a value or a list of values. The API also allows you to set operations on the server (like the possibility to apply a policy or insert a value). The API is also used to retrieve event information from an external event manager.
Pandora FMS can be managed via command line. The CLI (Command-Line Interface) is used to make command-line calls (pandora_manage). This method is especially useful to integrate 3rd party applications with Pandora FMS via automated tasks. Basically, it consists of a call with parsed parameters to fulfill actions such as creating or deleting an agent, a module or a user, among many others.
Light web console for mobiles
Pandora FMS provides a specific, lighter interface for mobile devices (such as cell phones) where essential system data can be viewed on the go and is adapted to the terminal used at that moment. This interface can show charts, status, events and other relevant data managed by Pandora FMS.
100% web, multi-client ready for SaaS
Pandora FMS’s architecture and its design have been made specifically to serve different clients while using the same infrastructure. It is multi-client (each user sees only his or her available elements). Since it is 100% Web-based, it allows any remote client to access its views and to manage reports.
Role-based Access control levels
Pandora FMS has user roles and a permission system, that allow you to define new users with different permissions over different monitoring groups. This way, a user could be the administrator for the Accounting System, while only having permission to see the events happening in the Human Resources group. This OpenSource system is complemented with ACL Enterprise system.