Ep. 43: Arbeiten mit der Hardware-/Software-Inventur von Checkmk

[0:00:00] Keep track of all the components in your systems with the Checkmk Hardware/Software inventory.
[0:00:14] Welcome to the Checkmk Channel. Today, we are taking a look at the hardware and software components of our systems.
[0:00:22] The Checkmk Hardware/Software inventory enables you to take a closer look at what hardware components are built into your servers or switches, for example, and what software packages are installed on your typical operating systems like Windows or Linux.
[0:00:38] The configuration is quite simple. We have a agent plugin that we can roll out to our classical operating systems.
[0:00:45] And we have a second rule that enables the Hardware/Software inventory in general, and enables you to set certain thresholds in which case the service would go to warning state to make you aware of certain changes in your inventory.
[0:01:00] So, let's take a look at how we can configure this.
[0:01:03] So, as a first step let's roll out the plugin to the agent, because that can take a few moments.
[0:01:10] Here we have the agent rules, and we have the Hardware/Software-Inventory, and there you can see it's for all the classical operating systems.
[0:01:19] So, let's create a rule here. We can run with the defaults, which means we will deploy the plugin. The inventory data will be collected every four hours, which makes sense, because most of the time the hardware components of your devices will change rather seldomly. And on the other hand, even software packages shouldn't change too often, so this is kind of a same default. 
[0:01:39] But of course, you can change that if you want to. You could search for additional executable files on Windows. For example, if there is software that is not properly installed but rather just a an executable, you could do that here. And we provide the option to add additional registry keys for Windows hosts where to look for software if there are some custom locations that you need to add.
[0:02:03] Other than that, we have the two default locations built into the rule. So, we can save the rule as it is right here.
[0:02:12] I'm going to activate the change. And then we bake the agent, so that in the background the plug-in can already be rolled out while we take a look at the next rule. There's the baking process.
[0:02:28] It should just last for a few seconds.There we are. Okay, while that is running in the background or while the update is taking place, we will take a look at the second rule that we need.
[0:02:43] And there we have the category Hardware / Software inventory rules. And there we have the rule Do hardware/software inventory. So, let's take a quick look here. There are some default rules that apply to only certain specific objects within Checkmk.
[0:02:58] So, let's add a global rule that enables this hardware/software inventory for all our hosts and all the hosts to come. So, here we only need to do, say, Do status data inventory. That's the option that enables the inventory function. 
[0:03:18] And here is the possibility, as I already mentioned, that we can decide which state these hardware/software inventory service has if there are certain changes.
[0:03:26] You can see like software changes, no matter whether it's a new piece of software or some piece of software is missing. We have a dedicated section for missing software here. And the same goes for hardware.
[0:03:40] And of course, if the inventory fails, we might want to be aware. But we can change the state here. Because by default, it goes into warning state and tells us something is wrong here. But of course, you could say, hey I don't care about that, I'm going to set this to an okay state. 
[0:03:54] Or maybe this is even critical to me and my use case, so I want to be aware instantly. But I'm just going to go with the defaults here without changing anything. So, I'm going to say save, activate those changes. And then we can take a look at our host in this site.
[0:04:14] And we will see that there's a new service which is called Check_MK HW/SW Inventory. And we can see the plugin has already been rolled out because we can find nearly 5000 entries.
[0:04:28] If the plugin wasn't there, we would be talking about maybe a hundred entries. Because that's what we can estimate from the output that we have from the agent. But with a plugin which goes very deep into the system collecting information, you can see there is a lot of information that we can fetch from there.
[0:04:47] So, let's take a quick look at what the Hardware/Software Inventory actually contains. We're looking at the Linux host here, so we have information typical to a Linux host. But this works for many devices, like with Hardware devices, we can see we get the Chassis we get information about the Processor here, what it is what we're talking about. 
[0:05:11] So, this works for classical operating systems but this will also work for SNMP, for example. There's, of course, no installed agent but still SNMP data contains information about this, so we would get quite some of the information we can see here also from an SNMP device.
[0:05:28] We get networking information like a quick overview in this case with a Linux system, it's not that much information. But we also see the interfaces and their states. And this is definitely a very powerful feature if we are talking about switches with possibly thousands of interfaces where you have this nice table view in here with all the information relevant to this interfaces.
[0:05:51] So, that's really something that a lot of network administrators appreciate. And while we are at a typical operating system, we get, for example, information about the operating system and we get information about the installed packages. And you can see this is really the full list of everything that the Linux system contains of. 
[0:06:12] So, a lot of information for you to query, to use within Checkmk or within other systems, that really depends on the use case. But you get a really good look at what's going on inside your system, what components are built into it.
[0:06:26] And it's a good overview without changing any statuses here, so this is nothing that you have in alerting or in status monitoring in that matter. It's more like an add-on that gives you a lot of insight from your monitoring system into the components within your systems.
[0:06:44] And that concludes the video for today. You had a quick overview of what the Hardware/Software inventory can do, you learned how easily it is to enable, and you saw all the information that you can gather from it, and maybe you already have some ideas in mind on how to use this information.
[0:07:01] So, with that, have a good day everyone. See you next time. Be sure to subscribe and I will see you around.

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