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SNMP threshold polling how-to (was: Re: snmp setup)

To: nv-l@lists.tivoli.com
Subject: SNMP threshold polling how-to (was: Re: snmp setup)
From: netview@toddh.net (Todd H.)
Date: 08 Oct 2001 19:16:24 -0500
Kevin Smith <c-kevin.smith1@wcom.com> writes:
> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
> --Boundary_(ID_DIUefCbciTB0V3180PNDdw)
> Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
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Hrmmm.  Seeing a lot of this multipart html stuff.  Does this list
like many others have a defacto standard for plain text?  

> If I may piggyback on this issue,
>                                                  I am running Netview 6.01
> on Aix 4.3 I too am interesting in generating a trap from a mib
> vairiable.

For what it's worth, folks round the list get routinely chastised for
not running the latest stable version (6.02) due to the myriad of
known-bugs that have been fixed in 6.02.  I'm among those who've been
duly chastised.  :-)

> The mib is a cisco mib that monitor cpu activity on a router.  My wish is to
> create a threshold using this mib and when the threshold is met generate a
> trap to the MLM wich then will forward the events to my Netview servers.  My
> experience is similar to the author of this note.  Is there documentation
> that explains step by step how to load and then get trap-events for mibs
> that arent defined to your platform?

I've recently been through this learning curve myself and didn't have
a particularly pleasant experience--so I'm happy to explain a newbie
view of it to help you avoid such unpleasantness!

Background info
As another poster mentioned, the chapter in the Netview administrator's
guide is required reading.  You'll also want to read the man page on
snmpCol.conf -- the configuration for the snmpCollect daemon that does
all the work of the "Data Collection and Thresholds" tool within

First, I'll mention that NetView maintains two separate views of the
SNMP mibs-- a legacy SNMPv1-only view of the hierarchy (labeled simply
"SNMP" in Netview menus) and a view that has snmpv1 and v2 together
(labeled SNMPv1/SNMPv2 on the menus).  This is why there are two
options for browsing and loading MIBs in Netview.  As I just learned
in class today--the "SNMP" hierarchy is kept in
/usr/OV/conf/snmpmib.txt human readable, but do not edit) and
/usr/OV/conf/snmpmib.bin (what the daemon actually uses).  The v1/v2
hierarchy is stored in snmpmib2.txt/.bin files.  These filenames are
approximate--I don't have a netview server is in front me right now).

MIB files and stuff
If your MIB variable of interest (CPU% in the Cisco private mibs for
you) is accessible via SNMPv1 AND you have SMIv1 MIB files you
should load those into the SNMP MIB hieracrhy in netview.  This will
allow you to use the Netview gui to select the variable once you load
the MIB files into the netview SNMPv1 mib tree.  This process of
loading MIBS is discussed in another chapter of hte admin guide.
Common pitfalls include not loading the files in the appropriate
order.  Due to the tree structure of mibs, the files usually depend on
a package from another file--so the loading is order dependent.
To get through this, scrutinize any errors you get and  learn a little
about MIB file structure basics to figure out which files have to be
loaded first. 

Pitfalls that will prevent you from using NetView's Thresholds tool
If the MIB variable is snmpv2-only I think you're sunk.  The
snmpCollect daemon--to the best of my knowledge--uses SNMPv1 GET
requests.  Most likely, This doesn't apply to you since Cisco doesn't
put CPU% in snmpv2 mibs I don't think.   

Annoyances you can work around and still use the tool
A more likely case is when the variable can be queries via SNMPv1, but
you only has SMIv2 versions of the MIB files (there's a Finnish
firewall vendor that does this to you that rhymes with Croakia)...then
you won't be able to load your MIBs in the SNMP(v1) MIB hierarchy, and
therefore won't be able to use the NetView GUI to select MIB variable
in the Data Collections and Thresholds tool. 

For some reason, the data collection and threshold tool doesn't
have the option to use the snmpv1/v2 mib hierarchy for this selection.
Again, though--your case is likely easier since Cisco tends to be good
about providing SMIv1 versions of all their files.

However, if you can't get your MIBs into the SNMP(v1) Netview
hierarchy for any reason, you'll simply edit /usr/OV/conf/snmpCol.conf
directly and specify the OID numerically.  Read the man page on
snmpCol.conf and the header of the file for details.  If you haven't
worked with MIB files before, you'll have the fun of learning how to
build up the OID by grepping through the mib files, or by loading the
MIB files you have into Netview's snmpv1/v2 MIB browser, and
navigating down to get this numerical value to hand-place into

Moving on....
Once you've either loaded the MIB file into the SNMP hierarchy, or
specified the OID correctly in snmpCol.conf.  Then, you can use the
Tools>Data Collections and thresholds tool to customize that monitor
for which hosts to query, setting a polling frequency, threshold at
which to send an alert, and rearm value.  When netview polls the mib
variable and it exceeds the threshold, it sends a specific netview
internal trap that includes varbinds describing the threshold that was
exceeded and its value.  You can use the Netview ruleset editor to
take the action you wish when this trap is encountered (using a Trap
settings node followed by a forward node, for instance).

The NetView administrator's guide steps you through an example and
includes a description and the specific trap number that is thrown for
a threshold being exceeded.  

Hope this helps get you started faster than I did!  Good luck. 

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