Unigroup's September 2003 Meeting Announcement

NOTICE: All attendees who have successfully RSVP'd by 22-SEP-2003 16:00 should have already received an "RSVP-ACK" EMail. If you did NOT receive this email, you are probably NOT registered and you may not be able to get past security.

Remote Monitoring with SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

Jozef Skvarcek (main presentation), and
Mark Spitzer (panel discussion).

TUESDAY, September 23, 2003   (** NOTE: SPECIAL DAY **)

The Chase Manhattan Bank
One Chase Manhattan Plaza (1CMP)
Conference Center, 28th Floor
Downtown, NYC

6:15 - 6:30 PM Registration
6:30 - 6:40 PM Ask the Wizard - Questions, Answers and Current Events
6:40 - 6:50 PM Unigroup Business
6:50 - 9:00 PM Main Presentation


Note: Since the TECHXNY/PCEXPO Show is being held at the Javits Center on September 16th through 18th, we moved the Unigroup meeting a couple days forward to Tuesday, September 23rd in order to avoid the conflict.

Pre-Meeting Presentation Introduction:

One of our Unigroup members, Josh Birnbaum of Noorg, Inc., has developed an Open Source Project called "ifchk", which is a tool which provides Host Based Promiscuous Mode Detection. Josh will give us a mini-presentation on "ifchk" at our November 2003 meeting, prior to the main presentation which is scheduled to be IPv6 and IP Management. At our September meeting, Josh will briefly describe his project and give us a brief introduction to "ifchk" and his upcoming talk.

Main Presentation Introduction:

It is possible to monitor and administer a small number of computers individually, for example, by running an interactive session on each one. We could also create various smart scripts performing the monitoring functions automatically locally and notifying the administrator about the exceptions by, say, e-mail. However, this approach has obvious limitations as the number of servers increases for it demands a manual modification of the local scripts should the threshold values or the e-mail address change. In general, we want to have available one centralized point (management station) where we could set up the thresholds and process the notifications about the exceptions. We prefer to have a unified, simple installation and configuration of the part of the monitoring software which runs on the managed nodes since that would allow for more robust and automated installation procedures for a large number of the systems. Also, we prefer such a monitoring method which would work for different platforms that can be found in the data-centers nowadays.

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) fits the task well despite some limitations. It takes care of the network communication between the management station and the managed nodes. Also, it organizes the management information on the client side so that it can be retrieved and modified by the management station via a small number of SNMP operations. It does not process, filter or correlate the management information retrieved from the clients. It passes the information to other application programs, or put differently, the management applications take advantage of SNMP in order to communicate with their clients. One of the compelling reasons for using SNMP is the fact that the SNMP daemon or service is a part of the standard installation of all major modern operating systems. The enterprise-grade database systems, firewalls and other applications often contain an SNMP module which can communicate the application specific management information. The components of the network infrastructure such as routers or switches support SNMP, also many other devices such as the un-interruptible power supplies allow for the installation of a card with an embedded SNMP daemon. Therefore, with a relatively little extra burden caused by the planning and the configuration we can have a multi-platform, network monitoring capability based on open standards.



   -- RSVP DEADLINE IS 22-SEP-2003 16:00 --

   Please RSVP if you know you are attending or if you think you may
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   amount of food and refreshments.

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   Please continue to check the Unigroup web site:
   for any last minute updates concerning this meeting.  Please
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The 1CMP building is situated: South of Liberty Street, North of Pine Street, East of Broad/Nassau Street and West of William Street. The building is one block east of Broadway, right behind 140 Broadway.

The closest entrance to the conference center is from Nassau Street, first elevator bank from the Nassau Street entrance.

The building is on a raised platform. Walk up the outside stairs at Nassau Street and head for the guard's station at the south-west corner of the building. Tell the guards you are heading for Unigroup. They will inspect your ID and carry-ins and direct you to the meeting facility, assuming you are on the Unigroup RSVP list.

Once you get upstairs, enter the conference facility through its main doors. There is a bank of large monitors to the left of the entrance which should direct you to the Unigroup meeting room (the room may vary from month to month). To the right of the main entrance is the concierge's desk, ask for help there if you need anything. The conference facility has two levels, keep in mind that the Unigroup meeting may be up the staircase on its upper level.

As always, also look out for Unigroup signs marking the path to the meeting room. Also note, if you come early, we may not have our own signs in place yet (we have to commute there too).

Transit By Train: Take the J/M/Z to Broad Street and walk 1 block North to Pine St. Take the 4/5 to Wall Street and walk North to Pine St., then East to Broad St. Take the 2/3 to Wall Street, the North West exit is inside the Chase complex, else you will need to walk a block North and West. See MTA Downtown NYC Map (pdf) for detailed mass transit information.

Outline of the Talk

Outline of Followup Presentation:

Web Resources:

The script: http://www.photonfield.net/snmp-monitor.html
Articles: 1. Remote Monitoring with SNMP by J. Skvarcek
             ;login;, October 2002
	  2. Remote Monitoring with SNMP: A Practical Example by
	     J. Skvarcek, ;login:, February 2003

Books:   Essential SNMP by D.R. Mauro and K.J. Schmidt
         O'Reilly 2001

         Understanding SNMP MIBs by D. Perkins and E. McGinnis
         Prentice Hall 1997

         SNMP Network Management by P. Simoneau
         McGraw-Hill 1999

         Practical Guide to SNMP v3 and Network Management
         by D. Zeltserman
         Prentice Hall 1999


         HP OpenView

         IBM Tivoli Netview



         SNMP v3

         The details of the standardization of SNMP v3


O'Reilly has been kind enough to provide us with some of their books, which we will continue to raffle off as giveaways at our meetings. O'Reilly has also provided us with a Discount Code for purchases made on their web site.

Addison-Wesley Professional/Prentice Hall PTR has been kind enough to provide us with some of their books, which we will raffle off as giveaways at our meetings.

Unigroup would like to thank both companies for the support provided by their User Group programs.

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: All attendees will receive Discount Coupons at Barnes & Noble Bookstores... 20% off the purchase of the following AW/PTR books: The Art of Unix Programming, Linux on the Mainframe, Linux Administration Handbook.

Speaker Biographies

Jozef Skvarcek programmed high performance parallel numerical simulations during his post-graduate studies at the City University of New York. Since January 2000 he has been working for Datek Online and Ameritrade as a System Engineer. The Unix System Administration is not only his job but also his hobby. Jozef is a long time Unigroup member and currently also serves on the Unigroup Board of Directors. Jozef was also our speaker for our Beuwolf Cluster meeting.

Marc Spitzer has been working with computers since 1991, when he started out as a VAX/VMS operator. Since then he has worked as a System Administrator, Programmer and Security Analyst. Currently he is a independent consultant working in NYC. Marc has been a regular attendee at Unigroup meetings during the past year.

Company Biography

Both speakers are representing themselves.

Fee Schedule

         Yearly Membership (includes all meetings):      $ 50.00
       * Non-Member Single Meeting:                      $ 20.00
         Student Yearly Membership:                      $ 20.00
         Non-Member Student Single Meeting (with ID):    $  5.00
         Cash, Check, American Express.

       * Employees of JPM/Chase (with ID) can attend general meetings
         at NO CHARGE.

    ==>  Unigroup is the Greater NYC Regional Area Affiliate
         of UniForum - an International Unix Users Group.
         Our Joint Membership Program with UniForum is currently
         on hold due to circumstances at UniForum.
         For information about UniForum visit http://www.uniforum.org.

Food and Refreshments

Complimentary Food and Refreshments will be served. This includes sandwiches such as turkey, roast beef, chicken, tuna and grilled eggplant, brownies, cookies, bottled water and assorted beverages.

Please join us for this meeting, you won't want to miss it!

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