Network Monitoring

Network and associated systems monitoring seems to have gripped me just lately I’m not a sysadmin or anything but I do manage our Sales Web Server at work and I think thats where the interest stems from.

I ran a sales campaign a couple of weeks ago based on the Azeti-A  which is a Nagios based network and systems monitoring solution which comes pre-installed on a cool looking piece of, um, hardware, basically its a network controlled PC. Contrary to popular believe I don’t have bucket loads of money so cant afford to buy one out of my own pocket just so that I can play with it and my sales skills left me when I tried to persuade my employers to buy it for me instead.

I looked around at some alternatives both software and hardware, I had Cacti suggested to me which is pretty cool too but I think I may have whittled it down to Zenoss monitoring software and the Network-7500D from  This box is brilliant you can stick pretty much any Linux release on it and then use it for whatever you want, Web Server, File Server or, as in this case, Network monitoring plus its only around £270.00.

Now I know what you’re going to say “Why not just use a PC or Laptop?” well because these units are fairly small, have no keyboard or mouse so have a very small footprint on valuable space plus theres nothing like the feeling you get when controlling another machine from your PC. I suppose sysadmins are now looking at me with furrowed brows and thinking “Muppet” but End Users like me don’t get to do stuff like that much so the fact that I can ssh into our webserver from my home and tell it to reboot or something for me, even now, is pretty impressive.

Zenoss has a VM Appliance which I’ve downloaded and played with so at least you can have a look before doing a proper installation (Wouldn’t it be cool if every application came on a VM appliance? then you could see if you liked it or not before doing and install, just a thought) so now I’m looking for some kind sole to donate me a Network-7500D (or similar) thats surplus to their needs or better still buy it for me out of the goodness of their heart so I can set it up and pretend to be a proper sysadmin.

Sparkes! Is that you?

My mate Sparkes AKA Stephen Parkes hasn’t really been heard of for far too long now, some may remember his strong West Midlands accent from his days as a co presenter of LugRadio. Most of the web links and contact details I had for him are either dead or seem to be taken over by obscure finance outlets so I set about today to try and track him down via the Internet.

I stumbled across this site now I seem to remember him owning this domain name, or at least a similar sounding one for which he just used to use for mucking around. For me personally the site is a little confusing and navigation seems very poor for such a talented guy. On the other hand if it is in fact the man I know then its hardly surprising. Sparkes always struck me as one of those disorganised geniuses, you know the type books and papers strewn everywhere, utter chaos yet they can put their hands immediately on whatever you want.

Because the site is so rambling, disjointed and swirls about you like a fog I reckon it is him, I’m slowly reading through his rants which for me was always the most enjoyable side of his personality on more than one occasion I was subjected to one of his tirades which at the time was upsetting but later on you realised it wasn’t personal it was just Sparkes being Sparkes.

Hop over to his site and take a look you’ll be rewarded this man knows how to moan!

Sparkes! is that you? Get in touch you old tart Tongue outTongue out