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Monitoring Veritas Backup Exec with Pandora FMS

July 11, 2017

Monitoring Veritas Backup Exec with Pandora FMS

This post is also available in: Spanish

We recently published an article about general backup monitoring with Pandora FMS, and a more specific one about monitoring Bacula, one of the most well-known Opensource backup administration platforms on the market.

There are, of course, other commercial alternatives, and this time we’re going to look at Veritas monitoring. Veritas Backup Exec is another well-known commercial software that can be used in conjunction with Pandora FMS to increase its potential and your options.

As with Bacula, Veritas Backup Exec is designed for Enterprise, and is made up of various components, the key ones of which are:

  • Server: in charge of executing backup tasks.
  • Remote admin console: enables management tasks to be performed by connecting various servers.
  • Agents: on which backup tasks are performed.
  • DataBase: SQL Server instance where data is saved and Backup Exec activity is registered.

In the Bacula article we spoke about different ways to approach monitoring this kind of backup tool. Possibilities range from monitoring services separately using software agents or network checks, to executing specific database queries to get more detailed information.

With Veritas we are taking another approach, proof again of Pandora FMS’s flexibility and the free hand it gives its users to customize the tool for exactly the kind of monitoring required in each case. This time it’s monitoring updates or notifications automatically generated by Veritas Backup Exec, sent to provide feedback on tasks that have been successfully completed, error warnings, and so on.

Pandora FMS has a plugin designed to check email contents, according to certain parameters, which can be found at the official library:

To use it correctly you have to configure the Backup Exec email notifications, firstly by configuring an SMTP server and a sender’s address from which the notifications will be sent automatically. This field is going to be useful to set the email monitoring filters:

veritas monitoring

In this case let’s use Sender name.

Next, configure the email addresses or contacts as targets of the Backup Exec notifications you want to deliver. Monitor this inbox to control the status of the backup functions:

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Once you’ve set this up, activate the email notifications for the required tasks:

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It’s also worth mentioning that Backup Exec can be configured, as we’ve seen, to send notifications on the basis of internal alerts. These alerts vary according to priority: Attention required, Error, Warning or Informative.

With this in mind you can focus your monitoring on any of the notifications you like.

Let’s look at how to use the email inbox monitoring plugin pandora_imap.

In this case we’re talking about a server plugin that checks the information from the Pandora server remotely and without the need to install software agents.

Once it’s downloaded and transferred to the Pandora FMS server, enable the plugin from the web console. The following screenshots show how to correctly load the plugin using minimal parameters:

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Once you’ve registered the plugin on the console you can start to use it as a module to perform the checks you like.

In the example we’re monitoring an inbox to search for emails that contain the text chain “Backup error” and the plugin will inform us every time it locates a match.

Configure the module like this:

veritas monitoring

Our example inbox has received two emails matching the parameters (“Backup error”) and the module has executed, displaying the corresponding value:

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It is worth configuring the module so that its execution is adapted as closely as possible to the characteristics of your environment. So, for example, if you carry out backup tasks at night and it’s then when the notification emails with the results are sent out, then it doesn’t make much sense to have the module executing every five minutes. In this hypothesis, a single notification each day at 06:00 hours is a good solution.

Pandora FMS has the Cron functionality for module execution, determining its execution only in the following situations:

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