Making Sense of Security

Securing your Digital World.

Making Sense of Security

How to add a host to Observium

Now that you have the Observium network monitoring platform installed, it’s time to add a host.

Observium is a powerful monitoring tool that allows you to keep tabs on all of the desktops and servers on your network. With this information, you are better capable of ensuring your servers are up and running, as well as check logs and view alerts for the system.

Of course this information also empowers you to better deduce if there’s a security issue on any particular machine.

However, adding a new host to Observium isn’t exactly the easiest task you will undertake. Why? Because of SNMP. In order to add a device to Observium, you must have SNMP correctly configured on the host to be added.

I’m going to walk you through the process of adding a host to Observium. To keep things simple, I’ll demonstrate adding localhost, as it is not added by default. Naturally, you’ll want to be apprised of the status of your Observium host, so let’s make that happen.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

The only things you’ll need to successfully add a host to Observium are:

  • An instance of Observium up and running

  • A user with sudo privileges

I’ll be demonstrating on a Ubuntu Server 18.04 instance hosting Observium (see: How to install the Observium network discovery tool on Ubuntu Server 18.10). 

How to install SNMP

As I mentioned, it is required that every host you want to add to Observium have a properly configured SNMP daemon running. First make sure SNMP is installed with the command:

sudo apt-get install snmpd -y

Once SNMP is installed, open the configuration file with the command:

sudo nano /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf

Within that file, you need to make the following configuration changes.

Uncomment out (remove the leading # character) the line:

agentAddress udp:161,udp6:[::1]:161

In the rocommunity section, add the line:

rocommunity public

Save and close the file. Restart the SNMP daemon with the command:

sudo systemctl restart snmpd

How to add the host

Log in to your Observium instance and click Devices | Add Device. In the resulting window (Figure A), you’ll need to fill out the necessary information.

Figure A

observiumhostg.jpg

The necessary configuration options are as follows:

Click Add Device and wait a bit. Observium can take a little time before the host will be added. Once it has been added, it’ll show up under Devices | All Devices (Figure B).

Figure B

observiumhosti.jpg

And that’s all there is to adding a host to the Observium network monitoring platform. Yes, you do have to go through the process of configuring SNMP on all of the hosts you want to monitor, but the effort most certainly pays off.

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