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Open Source Monitoring and Overlapping IP Space
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Thread: Open Source Monitoring and Overlapping IP Space

  1. #1
    Advisor Outlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Clifton Park, NY

    Open Source Monitoring and Overlapping IP Space

    I'm faced with standing up an open source NMS and am deep into Zenoss Core. I'm evaluating distributed collectors that will be deployed behind a customer NAT/Firewall. Cool, this works. What if the customer IP space overlaps with an existing customer IP space? From a management perspective Zenoss distinguishes devices by IP. So it will refuse to add duplicate addresses. To get multi-realm IP functionality, It would require purchasing a subscription to enterprise license.

    So my pickle, do I spend weeks or months hacking the Zenoss sub structure to duplicate that? Do I somehow remap the IPs through site to site VPN at the router? Or do I look for a different open source solution?

    Does anyone know of an open source NMS solution that addresses overlapping IP space and can do distributed collectors? I have posted a question on Zabbix forums asking if the distributed monitoring they have will do this. But I hope that someone else has tackled this and succeeded.

  2. #2
    Administrator Advisor peter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Nagios and Hyperic are two others you could look at.

  3. #3
    Mentor jro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Hey Outlaw, good to hear from you.

    I have used a number of open source monitoring packages in the past few years and I can only recommend Nagios. I tried Zabbix and was disgusted at how hard it is to use and configure. I pride myself on being able to pick up software and have a basic understanding of how to use to quicly, but Zabbix confused me every step of the way.

    I do have to say that I have never encountered the situation you are describing with overlapping IP space. In my mind, this isn't even possible at the hardware level, but I am sure that I am just missing something from your description. At the network level, how are the user IP spaces distinguished from one another if you have identical addresses?

    I have learned how to make Nagios dance a jig, but I need to understand your setup a bit better before I can begin describing how you would implement Nagios to do what you need.

    BTW, in case you were wondering, implementing Nagios as an SNMP trap is very difficult, so I can't recommend Nagios if you need that functionality.
    jro - http://jeff.robbins.ws
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  4. #4
    Advisor Outlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Clifton Park, NY
    Thx for the welcome JRO.

    So, my proof-of-concept setup is this, distributed collectors behind a customer firewall. These customers' internal private address LANs are NAT'ed out to the internet. The collector and the main server share an OpenVPN tunnel on a The collector has a non tun interface in the customer private lan and discovers those addresses and pumps that information including alerts etc back to the main server.

    The main server does not have connectivity to this private net, but it distinguishes between monitored networks and IP addresses in its interface. It will conflict if multiple customers have a for example. Zenoss will refuse to add a duplicate device, unless it has the multi-realm IP zenpack $$.

    So I'm left with finding another project that has that functionality in a non paid version, establishing a site-to-site VPN and remapping the duplicate address space from the perspective of the main server and do without the collector, or make modify Zenoss core.

    Problem with VPN and NAT, is that it may break SNMP (UDP 161). Problem with modifying Zenoss core, is that it would require serious effort without a real guarantee that it can be done in reasonable time, and done well enough to be stable.

    And like you said, Nagios can be a bear. I had setup trap handling with it a couple years ago with snmptt and sec. Error prone and kludgy.

    The reason I like Zenoss is that its interface is clean and usable. It has a good geographical map, and it is easy to navigate. This will be a must, because any solution will need to be used by NOC operators and support people.

    Sorry for the huge image

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