Network monitoring using VMWare Server on Ubuntu
VMWare server is an excellent way to optimize your hardware usage. One powerful server can replace several others, and provides a very flexible test environment. VMWare server is free, and runs very well on Ubuntu. You do need more horsepower this way than you would to do the same thing natively, but not as much more as I expected. The ability to save snapshots as backups is wonderful, and making servers as portable as files requires a new way of thinking about upgrades. If you pair it with a good SAN, it takes you up even another notch.
Here is a good procedure for installing it at howto forge. It’s pretty easy to do, but it helps you answer some of the questions that pop up during the install properly.
I am going to use it for network monitoring, asterisk testing and eventually to replace most of the other servers.
VMWare has a nice directory of submitted “appliances” as they call them. Unfortunately it relies on bit torrent for most of them, which alienates a lot of firewalled potential users. I did find an excellent VMWare network monitoring appliance hosted via http that I am already using. Thanks to Rich Trezza for that. It is a fully functioning nagios installation that works as soon as you turn it on. Nagios is more than a little difficult to set up from scratch.