SNMP In A Windows Environment

The dif­fi­cult part with man­ag­ing SNMP via Group Pol­i­cy is that SNMP is not installed by default. The first step is to install SNMP on all the machines you want to mon­i­tor via SNMP. This can be man­aged a cou­ple ways. The sim­plest method that I have used is the one Zenoss rec­om­mends. If you only have a cou­ple of machines to install SNMP on, it may be eas­i­er just to go into the Add/Remove Pro­grams --> Add/Remove Win­dows Com­po­nents --> Man­age­ment and Mon­i­tor­ing Tools --> Sim­ple Net­work Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­to­col.

Once SNMP is set­up, you need to cre­ate a cus­tom ADM tem­plate to man­age the SNMP set­tings via Group Pol­i­cy. This sounds more dif­fi­cult that it real­ly is. The bonus is that once you see it done a time or two, you real­ly start to under­stand the pow­er in home made ADM tem­plates. I would check­out the mail­ing list at ActiveDir.org and the infor­ma­tion avail­able on petri.co.il. Both of these resources are invalu­able for get­ting things done in Win­dows and Active Direc­to­ry.

If you just want to man­u­al­ly con­trol the SNMP set­tings, just go: Start --> Run --> Services.msc. Select the SNMP ser­vice, right click and select Prop­er­ties and click on the secu­ri­ty tab. All your com­mu­ni­ties can be man­aged through that tab.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, MS didn’t make SNMP as easy to imple­ment in Win­dows as *nix envi­ron­ments have. How­ev­er, set­ting it up on Win­dows is a good expe­ri­ence and all the work will pay off in spades once it is com­plete.

As for mon­i­tor­ing pack­ages, check out Zenoss and Zab­bix. I’m all for the open source, ser­vice sup­port mod­el of soft­ware devel­op­ment and these two have proven it is a viable means of run­ning a pro­duc­tive and prof­itable soft­ware devel­op­ment busi­ness.