Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing SNMP Monitoring Service (beta)

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPis an Internet-standard protocol for managing and monitoring devices on IP networks.  SNMP is supported by lots of routers, switches, servers.

Currently we support bandwidth monitoring of devices that are directly connected to the internet.

Why is it useful?

In a hotspot environment bandwidth has a very important role. It defines the speed which your hotspot users can use the internet thus it defines their satisfaction of the service that hotspot operator provides.

If you could monitor the global bandwidth of your internet line, you would know when it reaches the maximum capacity so you can expand or limit the access of the hotspot.
An example of a 24 hour period based on 5-minute average bandwidth

What devices can you monitor?

Currently you can monitor a device or router which is directly connected to the internet and have SNMP support. It doesn't needs to be a hotspot router, however you need to have a working hotspot router at the location which is sending life signals properly. This is required so we know the actual WAN IP address of the router which you want to monitor.

TIP: If your router is not sending life signals, it means that something is blocking the call from the router to our servers. Be sure to turn off firewalls on your network, especially any SPI firewalls you may have.

How does it work?

Once set up properly, our system is querying your device in every minute to check how much traffic went through in the past minute. From this data, 4 chart is created, a daily chart calculated from 1 minute average date, a weekly from 30 min averages, a monthly from 2 hours averages and a yearly chart from 12 hour averages.

How to setup?

1. First you need to enable SNMP on your device. For example if you are using dd-wrt, this can be found under Services menu.
    DD-WRT SNMP Service

2. You need to set a secure Community String for both RO (Read-Only) and RW (Read-Write). Recommended string is minimum 15 characters, combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. 

3. Be sure that UDP Port 161 is enabled in your firewall.

4. You need to create a new monitor in the Control Center. First you need to select your device and add the network interface you would like to monitor under Reports > SNMP Monitor menu. The IP addresses and locations are collected from the database which stores life signal data from your hotspot routers.

5. Once you select the location (IP), click on "List Interfaces". For the first time, you need to enter the same RO Community String which you set in Step 2.

6. Our system tries to communicate to your device through SNMP to list the available network interfaces. Once you get the list you need to choose the interface you would like to monitor. You should choose the interface which has the highest Total traffic (this is measured from the moment you plug in the device).

You are done. You need to wait approx. 10 minutes for the first data to come in. Under SNMP Monitors you can see the daily chart, if you click on the chart you can see all the 4 charts. You can also find a list of monitored devices on the bottom of the page where you can edit the interface name to a friendly name and you can also remove the monitor. 

How much does this service cost?

Currently the service is free during the beta phase (1st of October, 2012). You need to have a PRO or Hotspot FREE Vouchers / SMS / Social or Basic PLUS subscription for the location you want to monitor. We will announce the pricing later.