Best Server Monitoring Software Products - Advantages and Disadvantages

This article covers the Best Server Monitoring Software. Basically, Server management software takes the burden of managing servers and other critical applications.

Reporting and monitoring is critical in business, especially when it comes to IT infrastructure such as network connectivity and server monitoring.

Being able to look back at historical trends and faults is especially useful when troubleshooting an issue on a critical server or service, so if you don’t already have a solution in place, then it might be time to seriously consider it.


Server Monitoring Software is able to check everything about your system, such as:

1. CPU usage

2. RAM utilization

3. Hard Disk Space

4. System Temperatures

5. Server Alerts (Hardware status warnings)

6. RAID Array health checks

7. Virtual Machine Alerts

8. You can also monitor user logins, suspicious activity on your server, and the status of your services and daemons


Best server monitoring software and tools includes:

1. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor - Tracks the statuses of key server components and also watches the performance of applications running on each server. The tool runs on Windows Server but can also monitor Linux servers across a network.

2. Atera - A remote monitoring and management system that includes server monitoring features. Ideal for managed service providers.

3. Site24x7 Server Monitoring - A cloud-based monitoring system that can track the statuses of Windows and Linux servers as part of a company’s infrastructure.

4. ManageEngine Applications Manager - A server and applications monitoring system that includes extra capabilities such as VM monitoring. Runs on Windows Server and Linux.

5. Paessler PRTG - A package of monitors that includes a range of server status trackers. Installs on Windows Server.

6. Nagios XI - A comprehensive infrastructure monitoring system that includes live server monitoring services. Installs on Linux.

7. Opsview - A system monitoring tool that includes sever monitoring and is billed as an alternative to Nagios XI. Runs on Linux.

8. Zenoss - A system monitoring tool that includes a server monitoring module and is also available in a free version. Installs on Linux.

9. OP5 - Monitor Server monitoring as part of a system-wide monitor tool that accepts Nagios plug-ins. Install on Linux.

10. AppOptics - A cloud-based server and applications monitoring system that will track the performance of Windows and Linux servers.

11. Monitis - A cloud-based monitoring system that specializes in tracking the performance of Web servers and Web applications.

12. ManageEngine Free Windows Admin Tools - A collection of 15 free tools that cover different aspects of server monitoring including disk space, software inventory, and user lists.


What is server maintenance?

Server maintenance is process of keeping a server software updated and running so that a computer network can operate smoothly and avoid downtime or loss of data. Regular maintenance will keep the server running as expected and will help avoid a total or partial network failure.

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The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed error - Fix it now

This article covers methods to resolve the Windows #Installer Service could not be accessed #error which occurs while we try to install a program in Windows or when you are running Windows in safe mode.

Windows Installer popups may be caused by Windows configuration issues, by Windows Update prompting you to install updates or by malware.


To fix #Windows installer error:

1. Click Start. , type services.

2. Right-click Windows Installer, and then click Properties.

3. If the Startup type box is set to Disabled, change it to Manual.

4. Click OK to close the Properties window.

5. Right-click the Windows Installer service, and then click Start.

6. Try to install or to uninstall again.


To fix error 1719 windows installer service could not be accessed:

1. Start the Windows Installer Service.

2. Stop and then Restart Windows Installer Service.

3. Reset the settings of Windows Installer Service in the registry.


To to Disable Windows Installer:

1. Log into Windows. Click the "Start" button.

2. Double-Click "Group Policy" in the left pane.

3. Expand the tree in the left side of the pane, "Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Window Installer".

4. Double click "Disable Windows Installer.


To enable Windows Installer in Safe Mode:

1. Press Windows + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run CMD as administrator. 

2. Type the command net start msiserver in Command Prompt window, and press Enter to enable Windows Installer in Safe Mode in Windows 10.

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Configure Varnish with Apache - How to do it

This article covers how to configure Varnish #cache on the #Apache server. Varnish is an HTTP accelerator and a useful tool for speeding up a server, especially during a times when there is high traffic to a site. 

It works by redirecting visitors to static pages whenever possible and only drawing on the virtual private server itself if there is a need for an active process.

#Varnish is a caching HTTP reverse proxy. It receives requests from clients and tries to answer them from the cache.


Where is varnish configuration file?

The Varnish configuration file will be located in the /etc/varnish directory in CentOS 7. 

To make Varnish work in front of Apache, you will need to set up some basic configurations. 

By default Varnish listens on port 6081 . 

You will need to change port 6081 to 80 so that website requests access the Varnish cache first.


What is varnish WordPress?

Varnish is a full-page cache and HTTP preprocessor which can be used to speed up requests for a WordPress site. 

Setting up Varnish is a technical task, as it requires installing and configuring a system package on a web server, rather than just installing a plugin.

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ModSecurity File Upload Error With SecRequestBodyNoFilesLimit

This article covers ModSecurity File Upload Error With SecRequestBodyNoFilesLimit error which happens when the ModSecurity parameter SecRequestBodyNoFilesLimit has reached the limit.

When this issue occurs, you will be Unable to upload file to the website: Request body no files data length is larger than the configured limit.

This error can occur when WAF_SECREQUESTBODYNOFILESLIMIT parameter value reached its limit.


Symptoms of ModSecurity File Upload Error:

1. Unable to upload a file to the website hosted in Plesk with the error:

413 Request entity too large

Request Entity Too Large

The requested resource

/upload-a-file/

does not allow request data with POST requests, or the amount of data provided in the request exceeds the capacity limit.

2. ModSecurity component is installed on the server.

3. The following error can be found in /var/www/vhosts/example.com/logs/error_log file:

[:error] [pid 21701] [client 203.0.112.2] ModSecurity: Request body no files data length is larger than the configured limit (1048576).. 

Deny with code (413) [hostname "www.example.com"] [uri "/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php"] [unique_id "Wakfj-fvNMmcLKLp-n8PjQAAAAE"]


Steps to resolve ModSecurity File Upload Error:

1. Log into the server via SSH.

2. Open /etc/asl/config file using the vi text editor.

3. Increase the value for the WAF_SECREQUESTBODYNOFILESLIMIT directive, for example to the value as below:

WAF_SECREQUESTBODYNOFILESLIMIT "10000000"

Note: it is specified in Bytes.

4. Execute the command below to update the rulesets:

for i in daily weekly monthly; do /usr/local/psa/bin/sw-engine-pleskrun /usr/local/psa/admin/plib/DailyMaintainance/script.php -f UpdateModSecurityRuleSet --period "${i}"; done

This way the change will remain persistent after any updates/rulesets changes.

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Install Drupal with Docker Compose

This article covers how to install Drupal with Docker Compose. Basically, installation process of Drupal can be simplified with the use of tools like Docker and Docker Compose. Docker Compose can be used to create a Drupal installation with an Nginx web server. 


Drupal and Docker needs the following to work:

1. HTTP Server with PHP: We can either use Apache with PHP or Nginx with PHP. I'm going to demonstrate building the Docker using Apache with PHP. A Drupal docker can also have services like SSH (for drush alias to work) and some important utilities like vim

2. SQL Server: Choose your favourite SQL Service (MySQL or PostGRESQL or SQLite). I'm going to be using a MySQL docker. The idea behind using a separate docker for SQL is so that you have a freedom to choose an internal SQL service or an external SQL Services like Amazon RDS without affecting your Drupal environment.


The need to Use Docker to Run Drupal:

Using the Drupal and PostgreSQL images from Docker Hub offers the following benefits:

1. The configuration of the software has been done for you, which means that you don’t need to follow a step-by-step process for each application to get them running on your system.

2. Updating your software is as simple as downloading the latest images from Docker Hub.

3. Images and containers are self-contained, which means that they are easy to clean up if you decide to remove them.


How to Set Up Drupal ?

1. Create a new directory in your home folder called my_drupal and cd into it:

mkdir ~/my_drupal/

cd ~/my_drupal/

2. Create a file named docker-compose.yml in this folder and add the following contents. Set your own password for the POSTGRES_PASSWORD option.

3. From the my_drupal directory, start your Docker containers:

docker-compose up -d

4. The Docker containers will take a minute or two to start up Drupal and PostgreSQL. Afterwards, you can visit your Linode’s IP address in your web browser .

5. On the Set up database page, select PostgreSQL as the Database type and enter the following values:

Database name: postgres

Database username: postgres

Database password: The password you set in the docker-compose.yml file

Host (under Advanced Options): postgres

6. When creating your Drupal user, be sure to enter a password that is different from your PostgreSQL password.

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Add Remote Linux Host to Cacti for Monitoring - Do it now

This article covers how to add a #Linux host to #Cacti.

Basically, Cacti is a network #monitoring device that creates personalized graphs of server efficiency.

SNMP, short for Simple Network Management Protocol is a protocol used for gathering information about devices in a network. Using SNMP, you can poll metrics such as CPU utilization, memory usage, disk utilization, network bandwidth, and so on. 


To install snmp agent on Ubuntu, run the command:

$ sudo apt install snmp snmpd -y


To install #snmp agent On CentOS 8, run the command:

$ sudo dnf install net-snmp net-snmp-utils -y


SNMP starts automatically upon installation.

To confirm this, confirm the status by running:

$ sudo systemctl status snmpd

If the service is not running yet, start and enable it on boot as shown:

$ sudo systemctl start snmpd


To Add Remote Linux Host to Cacti for Monitoring:

1. Install SNMP service on Linux hosts. SNMP, short for Simple Network Management Protocol is a protocol used for gathering information about devices in a network.

2. Configuring SNMP service.

3. Configure the firewall rules for snmp.

4. Adding remote Linux host to Cacti.


To Install and Configure Cacti:

1. Cacti require few more dependencies, run the following command to install them:

yum -y install net-snmp rrdtool net-snmp-utils

2. As we have all the dependencies ready, we can now download the install package from Cacti website.

cd /var/www/html

wget http://www.cacti.net/downloads/cacti-1.1.10.tar.gz

3. You can always find the link to the latest version of the application on Cacti download page. Extract the archive using the following command.

tar xzvf cacti*.tar.gz

4. Rename your Cacti folder using:

mv cacti-1*/ cacti/

5. Now import the Cacti database by running the following command.

cd /var/www/html/cacti

mysql cacti_data < cacti.sql -u root -p

6. The above command will import the cacti.sql database into cacti_data using the user root. 

It will also ask you the password of root user before importing the database.

7. Now edit Cacti configuration by running the following command.

nano /var/www/html/cacti/include/config.php

8. Now find the following lines and edit them according to your MySQL database credentials.

/* make sure these values reflect your actual database/host/user/password */

$database_type     = 'mysql';

$database_default  = 'cacti_data';

$database_hostname = 'localhost';

$database_username = 'cacti_user';

$database_password = 'StrongPassword';

$database_port     = '3306';

$database_ssl      = false;

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