Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Open Source Tools in Data Centers 97

An anonymous reader writes "There is a nice presentation on the L.A.S. Linux site entitled "Managing Data Center Functions with Open Source Tools" which was presented at Comdex 2003. It covers everything from IPtables to OpenNMS. As well as covering some less known but nice tools like NeDi, which lets you easily manage Cisco routers and swiches from a web browser."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Open Source Tools in Data Centers

Comments Filter:
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @01:49PM (#7542627)
    in the enterprise datacenter has to be Cisco Enterprise Printing System of CEPS for short. With CEPS Cisco has over 10K printers in thousands of sites around the world with only 2 print admin's!! CEPS is based around SAMBA and CUPS and allows windows, linux, and unix clients to print to printers in a way that is unmatched for redundancy in any other product commercial or otherwise. Remote print servers can take over controll of print queues quickly in the event of a print server failure and queues can be rerouted to a new print device should a physical printer fail all without client reconfiguration! Cisco was nice enough to give the system back to the world. They have a sourceforge [] project available for anyone interested.
    • I wonder what the TCO figures look like :-) I'd love to see a comparison done with a Windows administration system for 10,000 printers :-)

    • 10K printers in thousands of sites around the world with only 2 print admin's

      They must be awfully busy putting paper in the printers! :^P (Yeah, you'd think most people should be smart enough to figure that out, but you'd be wrong.)

      It does sound like a cool setup.

    • Here is the closed source competition: Microsoft OTG Reduces Print Servers--From 30 Down to 4--By Consolidating with Windows Server 2003 [].

      Quote: "Here's the story of how they consolidated print servers from 30 servers running Windows NT Server to only four servers running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition."
      • Looks good but it's 1/10th the size and not nearly as flexible. For instance when we shut down one facility we just moved the physical printers into the area the employees would be occupying in the new building and transfered the queue's and DNS assignment to the new locations existing print server, almost no client side changes and very little muss on the printer side, I know the MS solution wouldn't be that easy =) But really going from 6 admins for one campus to one and all for only 1K printers isn't tha
    • Remote print servers can take over controll of print queues quickly in the event of a print server failure and queues can be rerouted to a new print device should a physical printer fail all without client reconfiguration!

      I can see it now...

      Boss: Hey Lloyd! Where's that document I printed twenty minutes ago?
      Lloyd: Umm, its not here--ah. the printer was broken and sent off for servicing
      Boss: FIND IT!
      Lloyd: Well, boss, I found the document--
      Boss: Great! Where is it?
      Lloyd: Well, that's the thing,

  • by the man with the pla ( 710711 ) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @01:53PM (#7542646)
    Admit it. With the exception of Apache, Samba is the number one reason that Linux (and BSD, too!) has been able to invade the datacenters of companies the world over.

    Without Samba, Linux et al would be in a much less pretty position.

    Perhaps we should call it Samba/GNU/Linux? :)

    Kudos to the Samba Team, Tridge, and all Samba developers/testers/users!
  • Missing software (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @02:04PM (#7542697)
    I would include Zabbix [] to the Monitoring and Administration section. This is out-of-the-box application that takes care of monitoring of our network consisting of more than 400 nodes. It is not as mature as Nagios or MRTG, but its stability and feature set makes it extremely useful. Native high-performance agents cover most of platforms: Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, MS WIN, Linux, *BSD, OS X. Could be installed in a 5 minutes, this is big advantage over Nagios or OpenNMS.
    • Re:Missing software (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      He states in the article on the website 'Fear and Loathing at comdex 2003' [] that, "Being that there are so many tools that can fit into that catagory which are Open Source. I did my best to give a high level overview of what there is available and to mention the less known, but equally good tools available. So please don't send me hate mail as to why X, Y, or Z was not mentioned."

      So with limited time he was only trying to give people unfamiliar with Open Source tools a tasting of what there is to offer. . .
  • by zulux ( 112259 )

    OpenBSD has PF - a really cool packet/nat/authentication/bandwidth limiter/port forwarding system that is really, really, cool

    You can do clever things, like allow a certain amount of bandwith for sombody, but if they log in, the bandwith limit disappears.

    Or parse the spam blackout litsts and block all incoming packets from them (spam trype networks have more that their fair share of crackers)

    All withouht crypic config files.

    I *REALLY* hope, for Linux's sake, that after FreeBSD ports PF (to replace thei
  • JFFNMS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by szysz ( 214137 ) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @02:16PM (#7542748) Homepage
    Another tool to monitor a Cisco-based or other networks is JFFNMS []

    It can monitor TCP Ports, Network cards, CPU, Memory, Disks, all using standard SNMP, with no client side scripts.

    You can integrate it with your OSS using various RPC methods, everything is stored in MySQL or PostgreSQL.

    Its very extensible too...

    It's my own project. :)

  • HP OpenView (Score:4, Informative)

    by topside420 ( 530370 ) <(topside) (at) (> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @02:23PM (#7542778) Homepage
    HP OpenView is what we use to manage thousands of network nodes/hubs. Everything is displayed in a hub/spoke fashion and it easily intigrates with all your equiptment using the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). Not open source, however this tool would be easily adopted by any *nix lover. Everything is easily scriptable, and the GUI is based 100% off command-line apps. So, anything you can do in the GUI can be scripted and alarms can be HIGHLY customized, reports generated on site statistic, you can even view real-time graphs of performance, packet-rate, utilization, etc of any single interface, or multiple interfaces on the same graph.

    Another tool of use is the Cisco Transport Controller...we use this to monitor a fiber network up in MA.

    • Re:HP OpenView (Score:3, Informative)

      by RicoX9 ( 558353 )
      I have run both. I like NOT having to mortgage everything to buy the software, then finding out that to run it right, you need to sell your firstborn for the hardware to run it on. For the price of the Sun hardware you need to run OV, you could buy the x86 hardware to monitor and manage a LARGE network.

      I used to work as an SE for Cisco, ran a mid-sized ISP's network, owned a computer store, and have run a couple of corporate networks(not bragging, just qualifying my experience, Cisco SE's are highly techni
    • by delong ( 125205 )
      But OV costs an arm and a leg. And paying people with experience in OV costs and arm and a leg.

      Even WorldCom (formerly UUNET) doesn't use OV for its hosting datacenters. Too expensive. They use open source tools on linux.
  • NMIS (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikus ( 222126 )
    I've been using NMIS ( for about 2 years and it's better than any commercial NMS I've seen and used. Even our management turned down the likes of OpenView and Patrol in favor of it (of course cost helped that as well :). It's got it quirks, and isn't very modular unless you know perl reasonable well, but oob in a cisco network it's great with support for other vendors slowly growing. The developers are supportive via their email list as well. If you're in the need of an monitorin

  • Did anybody else find that?
    (Was Ok with IE, but rather ironic finding a site on open source tools displays correctly only for a closed source browser.
  • I'd be curious to hear peoples experiences with OpenNMS compared to Nagios.
    • Greetings...

      We started using Nagios just over a year ago as something quick and simple while we were building our infrastructure (was still beta in those days). It does the job if you have a small site, but does not scale well. We've just switched over to OpenNMS. It does take a lot more effort to configure and get up and running (especially as we're not running it on Linux), but it's worth it for the additional flexibility and features you get. It helps if you have someone who understands Java for the imp
  • And openNMS does what exactly? There's a vague description on the website, but its not terribly helpful. Screenshots anybody?
    • it's like hp openview, it tries to provide a nice looking interface for managing your network, both monitoring and configuring.
  • I've been reading the Open Source Network Administration book by James Kretchmar (review here in fact) and its been a really good read. Really applicable to the subject in my opinion.

    Just my $.02 on the subject.

    amavis -
    qmail-scanner -
    dspam -

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The authors of the LAS should have mentioned Cricket.
    Which is a much evolved performance trending system. For those looking to trend data from routers, switches, firewalls, servers, sensors, files. Cricket offers a very flexible configuration method. It is all in perl, so very easy to support, extend and integrate. It includes a grapher, a collector and a configuration system.

    It does what it does well.

    The system also offers easy integration with event management systems open-source or not. It scales well
  • my company uses netbackup for all out backup needs we have evaluated many options, but find due to lack of support from other vendors when used with non supported solutions, OSS is not a feasible solution. Our company is a 99.9% solution provider and if something breaks there must be a chain of monetary responsibility. Veritas gives us the support we need and all of our other vendors support netbackup. we do have a couple linux servers but for the most part we are a sun environment, which takes us full circ

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling