TCG SNMP Connector

GroundWork Monitor supports monitoring with SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). This older method of gathering metrics from network devices and hosts of various types is widely used, and isn't going to vanish any time soon. Primarily, GroundWork uses SNMP for getting information about network devices, both from an inventory perspective using NeDi (Network Discovery) and from a monitoring perspective using TCG-SNMP and Nagios Plugins. There is also support for processing SNMP Traps, however this is a solution currently only supported through GroundWork  implementation Partners or GroundWork Professional Services. 

In this section, we guide you in selecting and setting up automatic SNMP interface monitoring on network devices with the Network Discovery and TCG-SNMP connector. This can be done very quickly and is an effective way to get full coverage of your devices with minimal configuration.

SNMP Monitoring of Network Devices

Inventory First

GroundWork monitors network device inventory and updates with NeDi, so the first thing to do in setting up your SNMP monitoring is to get the devices into NeDi. Note that simply adding these devices doesn't affect your licensed host count in GroundWork. You can decide which devices you want to monitor in a later step.

To do this step, you will need:

  • The IP address of at least one device (more if you don't have a discovery protocol such as CDP or LLDP enabled)
  • The SNMP Read String (for SNMP v1 or v2c, or the password and encryption protocol for v3)

Once you have this information, you can proceed with adding the devices to monitoring with the following the procedure: 

  1. Log in to GroundWork Monitor with an account that has administrative access, and go to Configuration > Network Discovery.
  2. In NeDi, select System > Setup.
  3. In the Setup screen under SNMP, enter the SNMP read string (for v1 or v2) in the Name field and click Add. If you are using multiple strings, add them all. If you are using SNMP v3 you can set the version to v3 and add the Authentication password and Privacy type and password.  

    You can also optionally add other authentication methods if you want to use GroundWork to manage Router configurations, Assets, etc. These are not needed for discovery, however. 

  4. GroundWork will automatically try to discover your network once an hour with these settings using the systems default router as the starting point, but you can start it off now. Next select System > NeDi from the menu.
  5. Under Discovery, select Devices, and set the Source to Address. Type or paste in the IP address of at least one device in your network. You can use a range (e.g.  If you use CDP or LLDP on your routers, also select Protocol. Then click Execute:

    The results should show in the window underneath, listing the devices added. You can re-run this until the system finds all the devices. you want to monitor.
  6. Then you can click on the Devices menu and select List. Clicking on the number next to the type of devices will get you a list something like this:

    • You can use the filters to get the devices you want, and click Monitor
    • There's a lot more you can do with NeDi in GroundWork, for now we have the devices in monitoring we want, so let's move on to getting interface stats into the Status dashboard.

Connecting TCG-SNMP

  1. If you installed GroundWork with the TCG-SNMP option, you can skip to step 4 below. Otherwise, log in to the GroundWork server CLI and change to the gw8 directory:

    cd gw8
  2. Edit the docker-compose.override.yml file and either add or un-comment the following lines: 

        image: groundworkdevelopment/tcg:${TAG}
        entrypoint: ["/app/", "snmp-connector"]
          - NEDI_CONF_PATH=/usr/local/groundwork/config/nedi
          - tcg-var:/tcg
          - ulg:/usr/local/groundwork/config/

    Also make sure the volumes section near the bottom of the file includes the tcg-var volume, like this: 

  3. Restart GroundWork to enable the connector: 

    docker-compose down
    docker-compose up -d
  4. From the main menu, go to Configuration > Connectors and click the plus sign to add a connector. Choose SNMP from the list:
  5. On the resulting screen, fill in the form:

    That is, the Connector Name can be anything unique (no spaces), the Server Name is tcg-snmp:8099, and the NeDi Server is nedi:8092. You can adjust the interval, timeout and retries as you can do with any TCG connector. 
  6. Click Create and then Start. Your devices will appear in Status dashboard under the NEDI-M hostgroup. All the active interfaces in the device's index will appear as services, and all the traffic data will appear as metrics on these services. 

Monitoring and Alerting

Now that you have completed the monitoring of your network devices with GroundWork, you will have the opportunity to observe traffic and error statistics on all your network interfaces. You can maintain this monitoring automatically using the regular discovery and monitoring features of the NeDi system in GroundWork. For more information about using NeDi, setting up regular discovery scans, and using NetFlow, packet capture and other device monitoring features, see the document Network Monitoring in GroundWork Support.

With the Interface monitoring you are now doing, you can set thresholds on any of the metrics you are collecting, and also control exactly which metrics you need. To do so across all interfaces, you can use the Metrics tab of the TCG-SNMP connector. Here's how:

  1. Go to Configuration > Connectors and click on the SNMP connector.
  2. Select the Metrics tab. Here you can select which metrics to monitor and/or graph, and which to set global thresholds on. The set of metrics is fixed in this version of the TCG-SNMP connector, so you can't add any that are not here, however you can add synthetic metrics using equations and transformations on them.
  3. Once you have the thresholds set and the metrics you want selected, click on the Update Metrics icon.
  4. Back in the Status dashboard, you will now see a list of metrics that includes just the ones you selected. 

    If you change the display name of a metric, the metric is shown with the old metric name and the new metric name in the Status dashboard for up to several hours. This is normal and will resolve itself.

    You can override the global threshold on any metric using the Status dashboard More Actions option if you need to customize it further. Any interface service that includes a value that crosses a threshold will change state, so you can get alerts for this event if you like by configuring Notifications for these services. 

    When configuring GroundWork Messenger for notifications of SNMP Connector hosts, it is recommended that a notification delay that matches or exceeds the interval at which metrics are gathered for the hosts or host groups using the SNMP connector. This is to avoid potential false positive UNKNOWN alarms on GroundWork Monitor startup. Alternatively, you may also choose not to receive unknown alerts for these hosts.

SNMP Monitoring with Nagios Plugins

If you need to, you can check any OID value in any SNMP MIB on any device or host. This capability is extremely flexible, but it is relatively slow due to the inherent overhead of Nagios active checks. For this reason we recommend using it only for special cases. See Nagios Monitoring for more information.  

SNMP Trap Monitoring

GroundWork currently supports SNMP trap monitoring in GroundWork 8 through a customized partner solution, only. If you need this capability, please contact GroundWork Support

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