It's a great application for finding out system components and their status, so for example if you have SNMP service running on your laptop, point Techtalk to your public IP address, and click discover! You'll see in few seconds the complete status of your laptop - what connections you have and which of them is active, what is the status if your disk and memory, what other equipment you may have in your PC or connected to it, such as printers etc.
In a professional environment, SNMP System Manager is a great tool to discover and monitor equipment such as hosts, switches and routers via SNMP, providing that the target device has a public IP address, and the owner's policies do allow for external SNMP probing. Select the device IP address, community string, SNMP port and disk alarm threshold. In this case, you may want also to poll (monitor) the health of the target device over time, check the box saying "check for polling", select the polling interval (one minute by default), hit discover and Voila! your target device is now being monitored! If a problem will be found, for example a connection gets disconnected or your disk is running out of space - the appropriate Techtalk tab will be marked, you can open it and click on the component in red text to figure out what is the problem!!
Anyone interested in keeping an eye on their system! Weather you want to verify what is configured on your system, or you want to continuously monitor the health of your system because you are running important applications on it, Techtalk is for you.
SNMP System Manager (SSM for short) allows you to discover and monitor any system via SNMP, providing that it has publicly available IP address, and it has SNMP agent up and running with known SNMP port and community string (aka SNMP password). Once the IP address, SNMP community string and port are configured correctly, you may click "discover". SSM will attempt to connect to the target SNMP agent using the provided information, and collect complete inventory of the system (aka "discovery"). Once completed, the appropriate information collected will show up in the different SSM tabs.
The discovery phase consists of extensive SNMP queries to collect the requested information, it may take some time, depending on your Internet connection and how quick the SNMP agent on your system responds.
Once discovered, the system can be continuously monitored, to make sure it stays healthy. Any problems encountered, such as connection getting disconnected or disk running out of space, will trigger "alarm" in SSM - that would show up by highlighting the tab associated with the problem, and highlighting in red text the specific components with problem. For example, in the picture above, a wireless connection got disconnected - the connection tab is highlighted. When you select this tab, you'll see this connection in red text. Click on this connection, you'll see the details of the problem.
The "monitoring" phase consists of lightweight SNMP queries and runs in he background, without interfering with the other operations of SSM or your phone.
Start Techtalk, enter target system IP address, SNMP community string and port, click discover - that's it! Note that all your settings are saved, so no need to re-type next time you start SSM:
SSM will discover the target system (i.e. collect inventory information), providing that you are connected to the Internet, and the entered details are correct - i.e. the IP address is a publicly available IP for the system you are trying to monitor, the SNNP community string and port number are accurate. In few seconds you'll see the appropriate information populated on each SSM tab - System tab will display a single line for the system discovered:
Next, click on this line, you'll see detailed information about the system:
Now let's close the above dialog and select the connection tab, to see what connections have been found. Notice also that the connections tab is highlighted - that means a problem was found with one or more connections in the target device! Let's see which one it is:
We can see that one of the Ethernet connections, number 3, has a problem - let's click on this line now to figure out the details of the alarm:
Its a disconnected wireless connection, ok that makes sense I guess. Note that you can get rid of this alarm, if you want - un-check the box saying "check to show alarms", and alarms for this components will be ignored forever, unless you check this box again. You can select to ignore alarms on any of the components that SSM discovers! this way you'll be alerted only when one the components you deem important will happen.
Let's move on to the next tab, the Mem/Disk tab. This tab displays the disks (or more accurately "file systems") and memories that where found in the target system. The reason that file systems and memories are grouped together in SSM is because both of these components are really "storage" components, measured with similar units, such as kilobytes, megabytes etc, Notice that this tab is highlighted as well - yes there are alarms here as well. Alarm within this tab means that the used storage size for one ore more components in the target device has exceeded the alarm threshold - recall the 55% alarm threshold shown in the first picture of this blog! Of course you can set this up to any value that makes sense to you:
So, first disk in this device is running out of space ... let's click on it to see the details:
Last but not least! Let's look at the "other" tab ... this one contains all sort of goodies such as printers and drivers, basically any physical or logical component that is exposed by the SNMP agent, in addition to those we have seen above:
Like the other tabs, clicking on a components will open a dialog window and display some relevant information regarding this component.
Note that in this example, the "check to poll" box is actually checked.. which means that our target system is not only discovered, but also monitored continuously! or more accurately every minute or so. Thus, if for example yet another connection will get disconnected, the connection tab will be highlighted again, you can select it and you'll see another connection in red text, click on it for details. Or maybe some space was cleaned on our C:\ disk... on which case the alarm for this disk will be cleared, thus the Disk/Mem tab will not be highlighted anymore. If you change the disk alarm threshold, even as the system is being monitored, the alarm will get set or cleared appropriately,
Now, what happens when the discovery fails? Or maybe discovery is ok, but the polling (monitoring) fails at some point .. e.g. when you lose your Internet connection to your phone? Ahaa good questions, thanks for asking! SSM happen to have complete understanding and sympathy for these evens; it will alert you appropriately, and will try to recover and continue with the task at hand:
In this case, the system tab will be highlighted, and the offending system line will be highlighted in red:
Clicking on the system line will display the following:
When the target device is discovered correctly, but sometime laer the polling fails, a different, "soft" error will be generated, showing up as highlighted system tab. When you select the system tab, you'll see the offending device highlighted in yellow text:
Clicking on the system line will display now:
As you can see, the alarm not only displays the details of the problem but also what is the latest date/time when this issue was encountered. Note that SSM will constantly try to recover from these errors and continue polling, so if for example the Internet connectivity is refreshed, the polling will continue with no father impact.
FINALLY: In case you still have questions while running the app, you can always select menu->Help, and then click on "SSM website" - that will open the phone web browser to this site, where I keep updates about the latest status of the app:
Get in touch
We'd love to hear from you! As we are working on the next stepping stones in this fascinating journey, we are happy to get feedback and incorporate in our next version, help you out with technical issues, or just share experience. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org