NetCrunch Platform - Foundation for your Monitoring Strategy
Background

NetCrunch Foundation Module

NetCrunch Platform

Regardless of what you need to monitor, you need a solid foundation such as event processing, data logic, storage and the presentation.

All NetCrunch Platform product builds upon this robust feature set.

@NetCrunch Overview

We have designed NetCrunch to be an integrated system from the beginning. It delivers many features out-of-the-box while allowing a high level of customization.

  • Data Collection An actual monitoring layer (polling engines and receivers)
  • Central Logic and Data Processing It processes all collected data, decides upon alerting conditions, applies monitoring policies, checks thresholds and executes alerting actions
  • Storage It consists of several databases tailored accordingly to the given purpose. It uses an internal SQL database for events, so no additional server is required. It also uses separate file based stores for trends and the whole program state
  • Presentation Desktop and mobile console, graphical maps, dynamic views, dashboards, scheduling reports, and GrafCrunch. Everything you need to access the data and get a glimpse at the current state of the monitored system.

No matter which NetCrunch version you use, and what is your monitoring scope, all these elements deliver the features you need.

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  • TOP BENEFITS

    1. High performance - if you need to monitor only 50 or 100 devices, NetCrunch works well on low-end hardware (even Intel NUC or Compute Stick can do it), it works well on VM, and you can smoothly scale up to 10,000 devices
    2. Universal, feature rich platform regardless of monitoring scope
    3. No need for additional software and licenses such as web server or database servers
    4. NetCrunch is customizable and lets you access its data in various ways (ODBC, data export, integrations). It's hard to list all things that can be customized in NetCrunch. For example, the console supports docking, multiple screen management, and automatic full-screen display mode.
    5. An advanced live presentation including dashboards and graphical maps with widgets. Also, support for Grafana (and GrafCrunch)
    6. Central logic makes writing plugins and custom scripts easy - they focus only on delivering state and metrics of monitored objects
    7. NetCrunch is watching itself - the key to NetCrunch reliability and scalability is the extensive monitoring of NetCrunch internal processes. Wouldn't you like to know first that monitoring system is overloaded?
  • The Atlas

    The Atlas is a central database containing all your monitoring data. The hierarchy of the Atlas views organizes your data into a manageable database.


    In other words, Atlas is all about data organizing. NetCrunch allows creating custom views based on filters and also, in a more dynamic way, using dynamic folders. Dynamic Folder groups nodes by specific criteria. Then each group can be placed on a separate view or put on a single one, depending on the number of elements.

    Each view represents a group of nodes, and it can be presented in various ways such as a map, dashboard or a table specific to the monitoring data. It's customizable, and the program chooses the best tab for the given view.

    Atlas View Tabs

    Customizable

    NetCrunch allows you to extend node properties by adding multiple custom fields, for example related to its location details or the maintenance service provider. In this way, you can add any information to the nodes, and you can define reports, policies or filtered views based on custom fields.

  • Monitoring Dependencies

    @Monitoring Dependencies

    When you monitor devices behind a router, switch, or bridge, you do not want to see the alert storm when the intermediate connection is broken.

    Thanks to the dependencies, NetCrunch can disable monitoring of nodes behind the failed device, and can also reduce false alerts caused by the link failure.

    The top dependency is the NetCrunch machine - if it loses connection, NetCrunch stops monitoring everything. Additionally, NetCrunch monitors its internal processes to make sure everything is working fine.

  • Graphical Maps with Widgets

    We have built maps for presenting network topology and dependencies. After we added live data widgets, they became another type of dashboard where you can present even weather data.

    @@img:map-dashboard-weather.png Map with Weather Info

    Here is another example of the map created from various widgets, representing an ESX cluster.

    @@img:map-dashboard.png Map Dashboard

    NetCrunch also creates automatically laid out maps for views that can dynamically change (nodes appear or disappear). This especially applies to Layer 2 segment maps.

  • Overview Dashboards

    NetCrunch offers two views for a status overview. The first one is more detailed, the second one is aggregated.

    Nodes Overview

    For a smaller number of nodes, it shows nodes' detailed view of each service status per node. @Node Status Overview Dashboard

    Summary Overview

    For a larger number of nodes, summary view aggregates statuses in a more concise, per service view. @Overview Summary

  • Top Charts

    Another easy to configure dashboard showing top statistics for the Atlas view.

    @@img:top-charts.png Top Charts

    There are many pre-defined charts included, such as

    • Top Problem Nodes
    • Processor Utilization
    • Free Disk Space
    • Memory Usage
    • Slow Responding Nodes (by PING)
    • Network Traffic (Switches and Routers)
    • Network Traffic (Servers)
    • Top Interfaces by Traffic
    • Most loaded nodes by disk read/write
    • Network Traffic Summary
    • Processes by CPU load
    • Processes by Memory
    • Top Interfaces % Utilization

    You can create a top chart based on any monitoring performance counter.

  • Performance Views

    @@img:performance-view.png Performance View

    NetCrunch provides a particular type of Atlas view called Performance view. It can present charts, gauges and bar charts with live data. You can create a view for a group of nodes by defining a filter for nodes and then adding counters to be displayed (i.e., "% Processor Utilization" for servers), or you can add each chart manually. Additionally, you can group multiple trends into a single chart.

    @@img:performance-view-group-chart.png Performance View - Grouped Charts

  • Performance Monitoring

    Monitoring performance metrics is a core of every monitoring system. NetCrunch stores every collected metric in the Performance Trend database - fast, compressed, file-based NoSQL database.

    In any place where performance metrics are accessible, you can always look into the historical data of the particular counter, and compare multiple counters' values over time.

    @@img:trend-viewer.png NetCrunch Trend Viewer

    Calculated Performance Counters

    Sometimes we need to monitor the calculated metric based upon other counters presented by the device. The example can be Windows "Normalized Processor Usage" which requires system processor utilization to be divided by the number of processors.

    @@img:calculated-counter.png Calculated Counter

  • GrafCrunch

    @@img:grafcrunch-dashboard.png GrafCrunch Dashboard

    NetCrunch comes with a fork of the open source project Grafana - one of the top open source performance visualization projects,

    it greatly increases the possibilities of creating live performance dashboards and allows you to present data from various sources. You can also put data from multiple NetCrunch servers on a single dashboard.

    GrafCrunch has been created for easy installation and integration with NetCrunch.

  • Event Log

    NetCrunch acts as a central log server for various event sources. It stores events in the NetCrunch Event Log (SQL) database and performs defined alert actions.

    Pending Alerts

    In NetCrunch, all internal alerts are automatically correlated, so the program knows when an alert begins (and is pending for resolution) and when it is finished (closed or resolved). NetCrunch allows to easily correlate even external alerts such as traps or syslog messages to provide an accurate state of the system. @Pending Alerts

    Event Details

    For every event stored in the event log, NetCrunch offers a detailed view. Beside showing parameters of the event, the window allows you to manage alert settings, and to find where the alert has been defined (in which policy), You can see useful frequency analysis which tells you how often given type of event would happen on given node. Additionally, administrators can add many comments to it. @Event Details

  • Alerting Actions

    As a response to an alert, NetCrunch can execute a sequence of actions, and they can escalate over time. Operations can also be executed when the alert ends (on alert close).

    @@img:alerting-actions.png Alerting Actions

    A typical action is a notification, but NetCrunch also allows (remote) executing of corrective actions like commands (i.e. restarting) or scripts.

    Common action groups:

    • Basic Actions: Such as playing sound, sending desktop notification
    • Control Actions: Such as running a program or script
    • Logging Actions: You can write events to a text file or to Windows Event Log, send SNMP trap, send syslog message or trigger WebHook
    • Scripts: Run remote scripts on Windows or Linux family systems

    Read more about Alerting Actions

  • Reporting

    NetCrunch includes comprehensive viewer allowing generating reports on demand and accessing stored reports that can be generated automatically.

    All reports can be scheduled and sent as email attachments to administrators. Reports are in PDF format.

    @@img:report-viewer.png Report Viewer

    Predefined Reports

    NetCrunch contains about 50 pre-defined reports. The reports are divided into two categories for Node and for Map as they target detailed information about the node or about the map.

    Basic node reports include

    • Node Availability Report
    • Node Summary Report
    • TCP/IP Report
    • Node Performance Counters View
    • Network Traffic on Node Interfaces
    • Node Interfaces Availability
    • Node Network Services and Interfaces

    Basic map reports

    • Detailed Report of SNMP Enabled Nodes
    • Details of Node Monitoring Report
    • Nodes Properties Report
    • Nodes Summary Map Report
    • Physical Segments Report
    • Top 10 Nodes Availability Report
    • Interfaces Traffic Report
    • Basic Inventory Report

    Custom Reports

    Defining Reports for Atlas Views

    You can easily define a report based on the table view of any of the Atlas View. It can be created from Nodes view or any monitor view such as SNMP or Windows.

    This feature can be particularly useful if you define your own custom fields, add them to nodes, and you wish to schedule a report related to these columns.

    @@img:report-from-view.png Report From the View Wizard

    Defining Reports on Performance Metrics

    It's very easy. You can define Data Collector and add it to Monitoring Pack or to the node.

    @@img:data-collectors.png Data Collector Settings

  • NetCrunch Self Monitor

    @NetCrunch Server Status

    NetCrunch is a scalable, multi-process and multi-threaded asynchronous system.


    It processes millions of operations 24x7, and you can rely on it. It consists of many internal processing elements, tasks, and queues. No wonder we have to measure hundreds of parameters inside of NetCrunch to know when and why it might be overloaded.

    There is no such thing like infinite scalability (the same as no clean diesel engines) claimed by some German software vendors. The system can always run out of resources.

    NetCrunch internal architecture looks more like it is a child of the application server and database server with some genes of the operating system.

    We strive to improve NetCrunch performance and reliability with every new version, as we always want it to be the best NetCrunch release ever.

Fastest Configuration

NetCrunch is designed to manage thousands of components. NetCrunch does many things automatically so that you can configure hundreds of nodes in just a couple of minutes.

NetCrunch Server

NetCrunch Server runs on x64 Windows Server systems (Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012 R2). It comes with its web server and an embedded SQL database for storing monitoring events data. You can install NetCrunch on a virtual machine, provided you assign at least 2 processors and 3.5GB RAM to it.

Remote Administration Console

The NetCrunch remote administration console can be installed on any Windows machine with Windows 7 or later (32 bit or 64 bit systems). A large HD screen with 32-bit color support is required. For the best experience, we recommend multiple monitors. Additionally, 50-inch monitors will allow you to see more aspects of the monitored network. However, a Surface Pro type device with a 13-inch screen and Windows 10 will run the console smoothly.
The console always displays real-time information and requires minimal bandwidth to operate as it only transmits data instead of full HTML pages, unlike many other monitoring solutions. It runs smoothly even when the network delay is more than 200 ms. The console can be automated, and it can switch between defined screens automatically, based on the switching scenario.

Web Console

You can browse your network status from any location using the NetCrunch Web Console via HTTP/S, which allows for restricting rights to particular views and operations. You can integrate console user accounts with Active Directory.

NetCrunch Platform Modules

  • NetCrunch Platform Explore core features making NetCrunch productive monitoring platform Read more
  • SNMP & Core Monitoring Monitor devices and services availability using 70+ built-in protocol monitors and SNMPv1,v2c,v3 equipped with dozens Monitoring Packs and 8500+ Read more
  • Layer 2 Topology Mapping Visualize `layer-2` connections, VLANs and traffic on switch ports Read more
  • Flow Analyzer Analyze network traffic with flows and Cisco NBAR2 for application monitoring Read more
  • Logs, Servers, Virtualization and ApplicationsMonitor servers, operating systems, virtualization host, SQL, web, cloud, and more...Read more
  • Integration Services Integrate NetCrunch with Service Desk and productivity applications. Let NetCrunch forward data to an external system Read more
  • Advanced Monitoring and AlertingUse business status to reflect critical path and service dependencies, use advance condition to react to heartbeat or missing events. Set advanced threshold conditions on metrics to detect rapid changes or abnormal behavior. Read more
  • Advanced Configuration Manage multiple NetCrunch users, organizational groups, monitoring templates and create dynamic Atlas folders Read more

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