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1.1 Zenoss High-Level View

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Created on: Sep 14, 2009 11:39 AM by Zenoss API - Last Modified:  Sep 14, 2009 5:48 PM by John Hamilton

#1. Zenoss High-Level View

Using agent-less technology, Zenoss monitors your entire IT infrastructure stack, including network, servers, HVAC and power, and even applications. At its highest level, Zenoss comprises these major areas:

  • Discovery and configuration

  • Performance and availability

  • Fault and event management

  • Alerting and remediation

  • Reporting

Zenoss unifies these areas into a single system with a modern, interactive Web user interface.


Figure 1.1. Zenoss High-Level View


#1.1. Key Tenets

Zenoss was designed with these important ideas at its core:

  • Modeling

    Zenoss' model enables it to understand the environment in which it operates. Through sophisticated and detailed analysis, Zenoss determines how to monitor and manage complex IT environments. The core of the Zenoss standard model describes basic information about each device's operating system and hardware. The model is object-based, and is easily extended through object inheritance.

  • Discovery

    With a sophisticated model, manual input and maintenance of data is challenging. To address this challenge, Zenoss uses discovery to populate the model. During discovery, Zenoss accesses each monitored device in your infrastructure and interrogates it in detail, acquiring information about its components, network integration, and dependencies.

  • Normalization

    Because Zenoss collects information from different platforms and through different protocols, the amount and format of available information varies. For example, file system information gathered from a Linux server differs from similar information gathered from a Windows server. Zenoss standardizes the data gathered so that you can perform valid comparisons of metrics gathered by different methods and for different systems.

  • Agentless Data Collection

    To gather information, Zenoss relies on agent-less data collection. By communicating with a device through one of several protocols (including SNMP, SSH, Telnet, and WMI), it minimizes the impact on monitored systems.

  • Full IT Infrastructure

    Unlike other tools, Zenoss' inclusive approach unifies all areas of the IT infrastructure--network, servers, and applications--to eliminate your need to access multiple tools.

  • Configuration Inheritance

    Zenoss extends the concept of inheritance in object-oriented languages to configuration. All core configuration parameters (known as zProperties) and monitoring directions (monitoring templates) use inheritance to describe how a device should be monitored. Inheritance allows you to describe, at a high level, how devices should be monitored. It also supports ongoing refinements to the configuration. (For detailed information on inheritance and templates, refer to the chapter titled "Properties and Templates.")

  • Cross-Platform Monitoring

    Zenoss monitors the performance and availability of heterogeneous operating systems (including Windows, Linux, and Unix), SNMP-enabled network devices (such as Cisco), and a variety of software applications (such as WebLogic and VMware).

  • Scale

    You can deploy Zenoss on a single server to manage hundreds of devices. Zenoss Enterprise allows you to manage large, distributed systems by using horizontal scaling of its collectors.

  • Extensibility

    Zenoss' extension mechanism, ZenPacks, allow for rapid addition and modification to customize your environment.

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