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Saturday, August 02, 2014


Apakah NRDS (Nagios Remote Data Sender) ?

Nagios Remote Data Sender (NRDS)

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Current Version
Compatible With
  • Nagios XI
NRDS is a component installed on a Nagios XI server that allows the administrator to create and manage configurations and plugins to be deployed with a passive agent that can be installed on a variety of operating systems. The passive agents downloads the current configuration and the required plugin from the Nagios XI server and run the checks and posting the results to the XI server.
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Memonitor Windows Machine melalui NRDS di NAGIOS XI

How to Passively Monitor Windows Machines with NRDS & Nagios XI

In my previous article, I demonstrated how easy it is to passively monitor Linux machines withNagios Remote Data Sender (NRDS) and Nagios XI. In today’s article, I will cover passive monitoring of Windows machines via NRDS.
Monitoring Windows machines via NRDS is no different than monitoring Linux boxes. You need to follow the same three steps:
  1. Adding Configuration
  2. Client Installation
  3. Configuring the host and its services

Step 1 – Adding Configuration

Go to Admin -> Monitoring Config -> NRDS Config Manager, click on Create Config, select Windows (32- or 64-bit) from the Operating System drop-down menu, and click on the Next button. You will see the Edit NRDS Config page. Most of the config options will already be populated for you with the default options. All you will need to do is type a config name, select a token from the drop-down menu, and click on the Apply button. For this example, we will be creating a config called “Win7x64”.
Edit NRDS Config
For more information on editing configuration files in NRDS, please watch the video below:

Step 2 – Client Installation

Now we must install the client. Go back to the NRDS Config Manager (Admin -> Monitoring Config -> NRDS Config Manager). You will see the new configuration file that you just created (in this case it is called “Win7x64″).
NRDS Config Manager
Click on the Client Install Instructions button (the “Notepad” icon). You will be presented with a download link to the executable, that you need to run on the Windows client.
Save the executable on the client and double-click on it to run the installer.
NRDS Client Installation
A new scheduled task will be created if you selected the “Create Scheduled Task” checkbox during the client installation. The task will run on a time interval that you specified. As you can see above, I selected a time interval of 5 minutes. You can view the tasks in the Windows Task Scheduler:
Windows Task Scheduler

Step 3 – Configure The Host And Its Services

The last step is to configure the host and its services. From the Nagios XI web interface, click on Admin -> Monitoring Config -> Unconfigured Objects.
Select the checkbox next to the host, and click on the Configure button (the blue triangle).
Unconfigured Objects
Click on the Next button to proceed and complete the Unconfigured Passive Object Monitoring Wizard.
You have now successfully configured a Windows host for passive monitoring with NRDS in Nagios XI.  The checks can now be viewed in the Service Status Dashboard.
Service Status Dashboard
For more information about passive monitoring with Nagios XI and NRDS view this document:
Passive Monitoring with NRDS and Nagios XI
You may also watch the NRDS video tutorial here:
Nagios Remote Data Sender Tutorial
If you’re new to Nagios XI, download the fully functional Free 60 Day Trial to get started!

Apakah Internet of Things ?

What is the Internet of Things?

In my recent blogs, I have spoken deeply at a high level about what’s to come for both M2M and IoT. Many of my readers have asked for a better definition of how it can be used in the new world of wireless and cases which will improve Quality of Service (QoS), Quality of Life (QoL) and Quality of Experience (QoE). I refer to this as the QoSLE model of the 21 century.
So, let me begin with, what is Internet of Things (IoE)?
As simply as possible, this is bi-directional information flow for both messaging and control. It goes across sensors and devices, data and connectivity and finally people and processes. The combination of all these components into one ecosystem is called IoT, and it can be applied to many vertical industries such as energy, smart cities, financials, nuclear power plants, oil and gas exploration and many others in coming years.
In fact, this topic is so complicated with its massive implications on network and devices that people in the industry have tried to find different definitions for IoT. For example, some people confuse it with M2M since they are pretty much saying same thing -- it's a collection of sensors and devices along with data transport on wireless and wired networks that needs to be delivered to servers, databases and processes so we can move from analog processes to digital ones. But generally, it is nothing but the use of data by businesses, systems and people to make informed decisions in real time (knowledge mining) and that can be accomplished with M2M based technologies. That is pretty much encompass the full definition of IoT/M2M.
M2M/IoT consists of a world of connected devices. I can reference many cases but will pinpoint just a handful being considered for M2M/IoT. Below, I break it down to 4 quadrants:
  • Devices
  • Locations
  • Applications Group
  • Service Sectors
For example, at the first layer, I consider sensors built into devices as part of the M2M connected model along with GPS for Location Aware Services. The Application group can be categorized into public, private and hybrid and service sectors encompass IT and networks. For each layer of above 4 quadrants, I could write a book with hundreds of used cases which I explained above. In future blogs, I will try to break down each quadrant and discuss in more detail tens of used cases which can generate major RoI (Return on Investment) across the globe for each company, thus providing better service capability to ultimate consumers worldwide.
The main question for CXOs is why deploy an M2M Application? What is the RoI and how can it impact my bottom line in revenue, expense, margin, earning per share and finally free cash flow? First and foremost is the competitive nature of the wireless world; not only are MNOs in the driver's seat to deliver these services, but other companies such as Google and many others, including start-ups, want to increase revenue per user given the saturation of smart and normal cell phones across the globe.
Today, we have more cell-based phone devices than toothbrushes worldwide. The penetration may be reaching an asymptote but growth is stronger than ever for applications of any IP-based device. In addition, businesses want to reduce costs and complexity in order to optimize better profit. There is nothing else I can think to drive better use of deploying M2M-based applications across corporate enterprise and service provider markets worldwide.
So, what does it make to make this massive eco system to work flawlessly? I believe it will be 5-10 years before that ecosystem is fully established, but I can break it down to four categories that needs to work together like a harmony symphony in order to make this dream realized at its maximum potential.
  • Government Regulations
    • Laws driving implementation
    • Industry requirements
  • Greater Efficiency
    • Reduced Operational Costs
    • Increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
    • Best in Class in Cost, Capability and Cycle Time
    • Optimize Revenue and Costs Per Employee
    • Deliver Best in Class Cycle time for Service Delivery
    • Reduced Complexity of Operations and Networks
    • Consistent Control
  • Predictive Visibility
    • Early Insight into any Problems – in essence, real time predictive network dashboard
    • See Patterns and Opportunities
  • Competitive Features
    • Meet Customer Requirements
    • Avoid Losing Market Share
    • Manage Churn Rate Efficiently
I believe developing and deploying an application using M2M model requires massive effort and needs the total weight of industry, from government to private to service providers and vendors supporting and selling these solutions in the future.
In addition, we are moving toward a world of sensors in the coming years at an aggressive pace. Although there are many sensors available to gather information as basic parameters, one can categorize this into the following categories:
  • Alarms
  • Automobiles
  • Human Body - Proactive
  • Human Body - Preventative
  • Human Body - Predictive
  • Flow
  • Temperature
  • Gas and Electric Meters
  • Humidity
  • Motion Position
These sensors are the foundation of devices which need to be mapped into digital processes and, ultimately, used as the magnificent structure and strategy driving M2M worldwide.
In M2M application categories, it is all about devices installed on moving objects, physically move during operation and easily traverse multiple devices across multiple boundaries. For fixed location applications, it includes devices installed at a single location and often driven in a single service boundary.
For Physically Mobile Applications, it includes:
  • Natural for Wireless Networks
  • Common Cellular and Satellite Solutions
  • WAN and Mobility Management Solutions
For Fixed Location Applications, it includes:
  • Wired Networks in most cases, though wireless can also be used
  • Hybrid: WiFi, LTE, LTE-A, 5G, etc., with WANs
For Connectivity, it includes:
  • Wired (Ethernet, Cable, IP Circuits)
  • Short Range (Bluetooth, WIFI, ZIGBEE, 6LoWPAN, Free Space Optics)
  • Medium Range (Cellular, Unlicensed, White Space, Line of Sight Microwave Technologies)
  • Long Range (Satellite and LoS Communications)
If one looks at total cellular M2M connections, it is indeed faster paced than cellular phones and is projected to grow at least 8X in the next 6 years, driven mainly by North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of World (RoW), in sequential order. Another interesting statistic is LTE will finally ramp up in 2017, with an estimated 2B devices alone by year's end 2017. By the end of this year, we are expected to reach 2% of connections, 4 percent by 2015 and nearly 10% by then end of 2018.
I truly see exciting times ahead and best is yet to come for:
  • IoT Experiencing Tremendous Growth
  • Business Reasons Drive IoT Transformation
  • Innovation of Technologies Transporting M2M Data
  • Technology Choice Depends on Application
  • LTE Acceleration Worldwide by 2017
  • 5G wireless in 2020 with 50B devices connected to the internet, accounting for 25% of M2M penetration
I personally predict by the end of 2025, we will have 250B devices (50% of M2M connected), 1T devices by 2030 (75% of M2M connection) and finally 10T devices connected by the 2040 timeframe (100% M2M connection). Clearly, this is just a rough estimate based on current projections yet dependent upon many factors, but setting a goal and striving to achieve it can be accomplished by bringing even more focus from every segment of industry, from both government to private markets, is key.
Dr. Eslambolchi
Photo: Eugenio Marongiu / shutterstock

Mari membangun War Room (2)

Berikutnya selain system IT (dashboard), maka kita harus memperhatikan faktor ruangan dan furniture.

Kemudahan akses informasi dan melihat dashboard dapat dilihat di layar-layar yang ditempatkan di sekitar meja dan furniture yang ada.

Ini war room Presiden Obama:

Perhatikan komponennya:
1. Meja bundar / persegi panjang
2. Bangku Ergonomis (nyaman adalah keharusan)
3. Layar-layar LED / LCD yang memuat informasi penting dari Dashboard ada di sekitar ruangan

Mari membangun War Room (1)

A geo-marketing performance management process fostering collaboration

Like many fast growing and complex businesses, MNO’s across emerging markets suffer from 2 key management challenges:
  • Little performance visibility at a granular level: performance is managed at a national or regional level around a small number of KPIs, but there is little visibility and strategy differentiation at the local level
  • Insufficient communication and collaboration across departments: companies are managed in silos with each functional department working individually, irrespective of the priorities of other departments or often, the business as a whole.  This situation generates large inefficiencies and poor returns on investment (e.g. network teams open new sites without sales and distribution’s knowledge. Thus, despite great network coverage, there are few points of sales to capture the potential market)

Our War Room solution

To rectify this situation we have developed a War Room geo-marketing solution that aligns guided Analytic tools to a management process, automatically recommending actions based on potential return.
How does the War Room work?
  • Enhanced visibility and decision-making
    Use up-to-date detailed data, visually attractive dashboards, and methodologies to manage your performance, run remote diagnostics and capture the value from high potential towns. The tool includes an exercise of splitting the national business plan targets per town
  • Identification of the most profitable and fastest growing geographies
    The Engine Room dashboards use the latest mapping tools to show your performance compared to targets. You can quickly identify high potential areas accordingly
  • Collaboration across departments
    The Engine Room tools are part of a larger Engine Room process. To interpret the dashboards, we bring together members from different departments (e.g. network, marketing, sales & distibution) thus creating a cross-functional analysis and action plan.

The typical impact of a War Room

Through the use of adapted local strategies (e.g. reducing network congestion, increasing point of sale density, etc.), War Room priority areas outperform control areas by 50%, generating an EBITDA uplift of 5-10%.

How does the War Room work?

We can implement the process within 6 weeks:  
  • 2 weeks to help your team to collect the data
  • 2 weeks to build and set-up the tool
  • 2 weeks to test and build your staff’s capabilities.
From a technical point of view, we use Tableau reports as dashboards. We rely on your IT to deliver the right data requests that feed the tools.
Each dashboard can be customized to your country’s specificities.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review ServiceDesk Plus oleh ITSMDaily

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

Before I start with review I have to disclose that I really like Manageengine as a company and it’s portfolio of product. We use many of their products in our company and I have to say that I am satisfied with the quality. Now, let’s start.
It all started several years ago when current helpdesk solution has over grown IT needs. Yes it was free and it was time for us to invest some money in solution that would make us more productive. We (IT Team) have looked on the internet for right solution, during evaluation we faced the same problems with most of the companies during evaluation. Either Screenshots were not available, pricing was not available or there were no description at all, only summary that product by name X exist and has function Y. Then we stumbled on ManageEngine, we were surprised that they provided all information, pricing, demo, screenshots… all. By looking at screenshot I fell in love in ServiceDesk Plus. Best of all, it’s so easy to customise, you don’t need expensive consultants, you can be up and running in 15 minutes, fully operational with your requirements in 1 day.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Editions

ServiceDesk Plus is available in 3 editions: Standard, Professional, Enterprise
In short:
Standard is free for 5 technicians, has help desk module and you are able to buy add ons.
Professional edition has standard functionality plus Asset scanning, Purchase and Contracts management
Enterprise edition has all the Professional edition  has, is ITIL compliant (Problem Management,  Service Catalog, Change Management, CMDB) and has Asset management and Project management modules included.
If you have ManageEngine Desktop Central installed, you can integrate it with ServiceDesk Plus, that means that you can deploy software, patches, chat… from within ServiceDesk Plus and that is a great plus. I have only noticed that feature when configuring ServiceDesk Plus and I got really excited as this saved a lot of our work.
We have started with Professional edition. There are “packages” you can choose from, it starts with 2 Technicians (250 nodes) - $395 per year, We went with 5 Technicians (500 nodes) - $995. Choosing Professional edition was a no brainer, mainly because of Purchase and Contract management. It’s really convenient to do purchases from within the ServiceDesk Plus, you have all documentation centralised and Contract Management is also a great benefit, all contracts in one place. Agent based asset scanning is included. We got 500 nodes with 5 technicians.
Here we stumbled on first issue. We are using Desktop Central as well. With DesktopCentral you deploy agents on computers that you manage. By having agents installed you get all information there is about computers. So you get all information in Desktop Central and you get the same information in ServiceDesk Plus. Even though there is product that has database with information’s about your computers you have to re license the same amount of computers if you want them included in ServiceDesk Plus. I consider this a big minus. If there is integration with products from the same vendor there should be integration of database as well, or at least an option. Why should I pay for the same information twice?
After a while we have upgraded to Enterprise edition. Mainly because of CMDB, Problem Management and Change Management.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Features


Dashboard My view and Scheduler

Helpdesk module has a nice Dashboard where all the relevant information is presented in graphical view, there is dashboard for help desk, dashboard for problems, changes and assets. Benefit of dashboard is that you get the most important information’s in one view.
My view is basically personal view where you get info on your tickets, how many were resolved, how many are open over due….
Scheduler is a calendar where you are able to see technicians availability. Is there a public holiday? You are able to see technicians that will be available, want to see which of technicians in online? Great asset for companies that have a lot of technicians and have a need for managing them.

Helpdesk in use

I love Helpdesk module. It’s easy to understand, everything is well organised and most importantly, you can customise it to your needs. One of the goodies is that you can easily do customised view of ticket list (showing you only tickets that are from department X and have status on hold), you can create multiple private views or you can choose to make them public for other to use. Do you require additional fields in incident view? No problem. Do you require survey for every ticket closed? No problem. You can create templates for resolution so that once you fix the problem, instead of manually changing all the required fields, just select a template and all fields will auto complete. Helpdesk Module is really the strongest asset of ServiceDesk Plus. But, it does show it’s age. What I don’t like is that you are not able to assign a ticket to technician from the all tickets list. Example, you run a team of 5, there are tickets that were not yet assigned to technicians. You go through ticket list twice per day and if you would like to assign a ticket to a technician you have to open ticket first then assign ticket to technician, then go back to all ticket view. What else, If you reply to a ticket, you will know that you replied as status will turn green, if ticket receives reply, status will turn red. How cool is that. You really can’t miss ticket that requires your attention. But what is not cool is that if you forward ticket, status won’t change. And if your work flow requires forwarding incidents, you are out of luck as you will not know if ticket was all ready forwarded and you will have to review tickets with blank status all the time, there is a trick you can use though, you can add a comment to a ticket and new yellow status will appear. Third and last gripe I have is that when you are in the ticket view, once you close the ticket you are not transferred to all tickets view. I would say that this are 3 biggest gripes I have with ServiceDesk plus help desk module. The rest is perfection.

Purchase and Contract management

A fact is that IT does a lot of purchases, clients need new monitors, computers, computer accessories, software…. Why not integrate it in Service Desk? Do you need to send computer to repair? Is it still in warranty? You need proof of purchase? It’s all there just waiting to be printed or sent via email.
With purchases there is one caveat, by default fields in PO are ordered as following: S. No., Items, Part No., Price, Tax rate, Quantity, amount. There is no way to swap items. Example if you want to add Part No. before items field you can not.
Managing contracts in general in is now much easier thanks to ServiceDesk plus. You can have sub contracts and the system can notify you if contract is about to expire.


CMDB is one of the projects that every IT would like to implement, but CMDB can fail, and most often it does. Search for CMDB fail in google and you will find huge amount of failed CMDB projects. But why is that? CMDB, if executed right, requires insane amount of resources and not only that, people doing CMDB really have to be there with their heart, if they forget to document a change in CMDB all is for nothing. What software can do is to automate what can be automated. ServiceDesk Plus has CMDB module but this module does not have maturity of Helpdesk module. It does enable you to document everything but that is it. Let’s take a look at couple of examples. Switch ports enables you to document (connect) ports of network devices, that feature is available but you are supposed to link every port manually. Imagine technicians changing ports of computers and imagine they forget to notify person in charge of CMDB. Imagine doing that for every object that is on the network. Ideally, since there is network scanning present, all of the objects that are scanned should be classified and shown in CMDB, what’s more, switch ports should automatically recognise relations between devices. ME has technology to do that and from what I heard automation is on to do list. When it will be integrated I don’t know. Another quirk is Location view which is missing. Example: You have 20 locations, every location has at least 30 of items per CI. You need info about a switch that is located in location 3. Location 3 has Several buildings, several server rooms. When you go to find one switch, you are presented with a mess of 600+ devices, now, find the one that you require information of. Ideally there should be an option to either sort items per CI or per Location. By having sort/location, you could go in to Boston, building 3, server room 3, cabinet 3, viola there is the switch.

Project Management

Project module is the youngest module that was introduced in SDP. It does work, and it does so without any problems. It has Milestones, Tasks, Timesheet, Gant View. There are comments and History view. It’s a good addition to IT needs. Especially if IT team is bigger.

Problem and Change Mangement

I am really grateful for this two modules in enterprise edition. Let’s say you apply a patch for Microsoft Exchange, you receive a first call, Merry reports she has a problem with Outlook not connecting to exchange server, you receive another call from John, his Outlook has red cross just above the clock in Windows task bar, he didn’t receive  his emails for an hour, then Melissa calls in, again problem with Outlook, cant receive email, then you hear this voice Huston we have a problem, you assign a problem to an incident, once problem is picked up by the right person who troubleshoots the problem he assigns a change – we have to revert the patch for MS Exchange. You are able to configure CAB members who assist change manager. This is ITIL, and the way it’s presented in SDP is great. What I really love with SDP is that It’s simple to use and it’s great to see ITIL work to your advantage with a tool that is so simple yet so effective.

Knowledge base

You can’t run IT efficiently without a knowledge base. You know, you receive thousands of requests that start the same, how do I? Here comes the knowledge base to the rescue, when ever you receive a request that was answered millions of times you just reply with a link pointing to the KB with resolution. What’s even better, you can educate you clients to report a problem via web interface. There they are able to browse KB’s, open a new ticket, or order new equipment from Service catalogue (or any other service). What could be improved is that when client opens a new ticket via Web UI, SDP should automatically present possible solutions as client would type their problem.
I think that ME could improve solutions module (solutions is a module where you publish you KB articles). Why would someone want to bold Topic instead of name of the post is beyond me, imagine you have 30+ KB articles and you want to review them from time to time, instead of finding them by the topic easily you are presented with bold view of topic. Now, if they do bold topic, why is there not an option to click on a topic (for example Troubleshooting) and see only articles with topic troubleshooting?

Service Catalogue

Is hidden in Admin section. You are able to customise view, create workflows and select the approver. All in all process is straight forward, all works like it should and it’s a nice solution. It would be good if look and feel of end user side was customisable. But in general, it’s there, it works and it’s solid.

Multi language

Multilingual is a payed add on. If you have a multi language environment your users can really benefit from Multi language add on. If end user opens SDP, GUI is presented in their language. Translations are good from my experiences. Where it lacks though, is the multi currency and presentation of it on other modules for example Purchase module. One example is the difference in . and , in numbering. In USA value is presented in: 1000.00 but in Europe the same value is: 1000,00 – Euro type is not working in SDP and it’s been on the bug list for more than a year. Without this quirk, Multi language  module is working well.


SDP comes with loads of predefined reports. There you will find most of general reports like SLA, software by workstation, Purchased vs Installed, Prohibited software installations, Request status by category, Request status by priority, Completed requests by due date….. Think of a report and you will most likely find it. But if you have special requirements you can build your own report. Report builder is easy to understand and I have yet to find a report I can not build. What’s more, you can set schedule for automatic mail out of reports. Just select recipients and mail with report will get delivered on a set day.

AD, SSO and customizing look and feel of portal

SDP can be configured to integrate to AD and use Single sign on. Once configured SSO works without problems. Look and feel of the portal is another matter. You are able to modify look and feel, you can add logo, change colours and remove ME footnotes portal may look great, but only until next update. What you can change from the Admin sections of look and feel (your company logo) will remain, but what you will change in html you will have to take care with every update to SDP. Unfortunately there is no functionality that would preserve your customisation to theme settings (think wordpress).


Support is a hit and miss with SDP. What I learned so far with ManageEngine is that support varies from product to product. With SDP support is great and responsive for issues you have with configuring SDP. You don’t know how to set feature X? Support will respond soon. You would like to add another field in custom ticket view? Max 2 day response time with a solution. Where support could be improved is little improvements that could make your day better. I had several cases where I reported a feature request and it was not added, even after a year. Response is usually thank you for reporting feature request, it’s already on our to do list or has been added to our modifications list, you are given the link to features request website and there it ends. My take on this situation is that they should do more to include little improvements, faster. Colour for Forward status is inline with theme of SDP would not require big change and it could be implemented quickly, whats more, nature of this fix would not break other things. Values , and . is another feature that should be implement ASAP, if there is add on module that you have to pay additional money, that money should take care of support of that module as well.


Future is bright with SDP, proposal with new GUI is already out and it looks nice.
When it will get implemented I don’t know. I know that if they will wait with fixing small issues until they implement new GUI, they will make a lot of people nervous. From time to time I get this urge to test another Service Desk product. The thing is I can’t find one that would compare in Price, Features and Usability to SDP.
If I had to rate SDP it would receive 8.5/10. Why rating is not higher is because they are slow to implement small fixes, lack of CMDB automation and location view, Numbering issue in purchase module and computer licensing if you already own Desktop Central.