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How to monitor an Apache web server with Pandora FMS

July 13, 2018 — by Alberto Dominguez0

Monitoring-web-server-Apache-featured.png

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Monitoring Web Server Apache with Pandora FMS

What is an Apache Web server?

In today’s article, you will learn how to monitor in depth an Apache web server with Pandora FMS. But first, let’s find out what Apache is.

It is the most widely used open source HTTP web server on the market, as it is multiplatform, free, high performance, and one of the most secure and powerful.

It was founded in 1999, in the United States, by a group of eight developers who initially formed the Apache Group, which would lead to the Apache Software Foundation.

Among its many advantages are its free and open source cost, its compatibility with Linux, MacOs and Windows, its SSL and TLS security support, its global and functional support team and its performance (one million visits per day).

The Apache Software Foundation logo

Monitoring web server Apache is not as simple as monitoring the status of the process or making a web request to see if it returns anything. This would be a basic monitoring that anyone could do with Pandora FMS, since there are some examples in the documentation.

Performance Monitoring web server Apache

There is a plugin in the Pandora FMS library that allows us, along with the Apache server status module, to obtain detailed information about the server performance.

In addition, we can configure the server to obtain detailed information about each instance or web domain that we are serving on the server.

The first step is, obviously, to have Pandora FMS installed. Then, we will install a Pandora FMS agent in the Linux server where the Apache is located.

Once the agent is installed, we will install the Apache plugin from the module library:

https://pandorafms.com/library/apache-performance-plugin/

We will download it and copy it to the plugins directory of the linux agent, which is in /etc/pandora/plugins

In order to use the plugin we need to configure the Apache server (Monitoring web server Apache) to use the server-status module, which gives detailed server information. In order to do this, edit the file /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and add the following configuration:


ExtendedStatus on

<Location /server-status>
SetHandler server-status
Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from XX.XX.XX.XX
</Location>

Where it says XX.XX.XX.XX.XX we will put the main IP of our WEB server. So that it will only accept requests from itself, for safety.

Once these changes are made, we will restart the web server and launch the plugin manually to verify that it returns any data:

/etc/pandora/plugins/apache_plugin http://46.105.97.91/server-status

It has to return an XML with data, since it is an agent plugin that returns several modules. This is an extract of the entire XML:

<module>
<name><![CDATA[Apache: Uptime]]&gt;</name>
<description><![CDATA[Uptime since reboot (sec)]]&gt;</description>
type generic_data/type

<min>0</min>
<disabled>0</disabled>
<data><![CDATA[248008]]&gt;</data>
</module>

Once we have verified that it works, we will add the plugin to the Pandora FMS agent with the following line:

module_plugin apache_plugin http://XX.XX.XX.XX/server-status

Once again, we are trying to replace XX.XX.XX.XX with the Apache server IP, the same machine where the Pandora FMS agent is executed.

Once this is done and the agent is restarted to get the new configuration, it should have a view similar to this one:

screenshot of the Pandora FMS agent

Server status monitoring

In addition to performance monitoring, we should do a basic monitoring web server Apache process; a module would be enough to verify that the daemon is working:

module_begin
module_name Apache Status
module_type generic_proc
module_exec ps aux | grep httpd | grep -v grep | wc -l
module_end

Being a Boolean module, it would only be set to CRITICAL when its value is 0, but it will also help us to know how many HTTPD threads are active on the server.

Load monitoring of a specific instance

In Apache we can configure an instance -which in its terminology is a virtual host- to use a specific log, only for itself, in this way:


<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin [email protected]
DocumentRoot /var/www/mydomain
ServerName mydomain.com
CustomLog logs/access_log_mydomain common

</VirtualHost>

Now we only have to monitor the number of entries of this file to find out how many requests per second we have in our server, through an incremental module:


module_begin
module_name MyDomain Request/sec
module_type generic_data_inc
module_exec wc -l /var/log/httpd/access_log_mydomain | awk '{ print $1 }'
module_end

You can watch the tutorial on how to monitor an Apache web server here:

FeaturesRelease

Improved Visual Console

July 11, 2014 — by steve0

In the huge technological world monitoring your systems has gone a long way. No longer we should wounder about how to sleep calmely not knowing if our servers, and network devices are working properly.

This is where the capability to make a proper report, to see specific information in realtime takes a step forward. No longer we must look throught a terminal desperately trying to make the most of the gathered information. Pandora FMS allows you to create visual maps in which each user is able to create his own monitoring map.

Within the new visual console, we’ve been successful in imitating the sensation and touch of a drawing application. We’ve also simplified the editor by dividing it into several subject-matter tabs named ‘Data’, ‘Preview’, ‘Wizard’, ‘List of Elements’ and ‘Editor’.

Data

Within the data tab, you may edit and create the visual console’s basic data. There is only one visible for a new map until you save it. The essential values within this particular tab are the visual console’s name, the group for the ACL management and the background image. By creating it, the size of the visual console is determined by the background’s image size. If you change the background, the last user-defined size or the previous background will be stored.

The background images are stored within the Pandora Console directory under ‘var/www/pandora_console’ in the ‘/images/backgrounds/’ directory.

Preview

The visual console view is a static view, so if the state of the elements contained in there changes, they’re not going to be drawn again. Same as the visual console’s view which is contained in Visual Console’s menu.

In here is a small questionnaire to create several elements of the static-image type simultaneously within the visual console by only two clicks.

As you can see in the picture below, the form consists of the following:

  • The image which will be the same for all the elements created in the batch.
  • The distance between the elements, that will be one after another in a horizontal line from position ‘0,0’.
  • The agent’s selection box to select one or several agents. Whether you select one or several agents, the batch elements will be created for the visual console.
  • The module’s selection box, which is a dynamically designed control which is filled by the agent’s modules you’ve picked within the agent’s selection box. You’re able to pick the modules for which you intend the static image elements in the visual console to be drawn in it.

750px-Pandora_new_visual_console,_tab_wizard

List of Elements
This tab provides a questionnaire for the visual console which you’re presently editing. It’s tabulated in files of the elements and a quick way of editing the different elements. It’s also a useful tool for users which require to adjust certain element’s values.

The supported actions within this questionnaire are editing and the deletion of elements. Creating elements and changing the element’s type is not supported here. These actions are required to be carried out under the ‘Editor’ and ‘Create’ tabs.

The first line is the background image’s configuration.

The rest of the lines are going to be map elements, associated in lines of two elements each and separated by a horizontal black line as shown on the picture below.

600px-Pandora_new_visual_console,_tab_list_elements

This tab contains the most of the visual console editor’s functionalities, because this is the menu in which you’re able to create, edit and position the elements. It’s a dynamically designed page, so your browser is required to appropriately support the JavaScript language. As you can see on the picture below, the window is divided into two well defined areas: The button box, the work area (within which the visual console is going to be drawn) and the options palette (which isn’t visible on the picture).

editor

From version 5.1, thanks to improvements in the visual console, each user will have the possibility to include complex graphics (multi-string), add custom html code, and also you could share public url’s via QR codes.

Custom graphs background

 

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