Checkmk Hardware/Software-Inventory

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1. Introduction

The new Checkmk HW/SW-Inventory System, which is available since version 1.2.5i1 of Checkmk, collects information about hardware and installed software of your hosts. What does this have to do with monitoring? - you might ask. Well: from a technical point of view a lot, as we will show!

If you monitor your Linux and Windows (and possibly other) hosts with Checkmk then you've deployed the Checkmk Agent on these. The agent provides easy access to status data of the hosts. It does this by collecting all of this into one large dump that is fetched every monitoring cycle by the Checkmk server. It turns out that the special nature of this agent perfectly fits the requirements of an inventory system: just replace this status with inventory. So using the existing Checkmk Agent for hardware/software inventory is a quite obvious idea.

The Checkmk Inventory can answer questions like:

  • Which of my servers have installed the software Foo in versions between 1.2.3 and 1.2.5?
  • Which exact type of RAM module is installed in server ABC?
  • Do we have any ORACLE server running on SLES?

If you are already using Checkmk then this approach has some great advantages as opposed to a stand-alone inventory system:

  • You can use your existing agents, no further deployment, maintainance and ressources needed
  • You can use your existing configuration of hosts with names, IP addresses, permissions etc.
  • You can use your existing user interface with it's user management etc.
  • You can Combine information from monitoring and inventory

All you need to do is to deploy the new agent plugin mk_inventory on your existing Checkmk agents and enable the inventory via a new rule set in WATO.

2. How It Works

  1. Install the mk_inventory agent plugin on your target systems. This will add a couple of new sections to your agent's output.
  2. You enable the Inventory via WATO. This will create a new active check Checkmk HW/SW Inventory for each selected host.
  3. This active check will extract the new and also several classical agent sections about hardware and software and constructs a structured tree of hardware and software for each host.
  4. The Multisite GUI has a couple of new views for browsing through the inventory data, searching for certain software packages, etc. You also can add inventory data to your custom views.
  5. Via custom export hooks you can have the data exported to third party systems like licence managements or CMDBs
  6. The data is also exposed via HTTP in JSON and Python format.

3. Windows 2003

A note for users of Windows 2003: In Windows 2003 Server, Win32_Product is not enabled by default, and must be enabled as follows:

  1. In Add or Remove Programs, click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  2. In the Windows Components Wizard, select Management and Monitoring Tools and then click Details.
  3. In the Management and Monitoring Tools dialog box, select WMI Windows Installer Provider and then click OK.
  4. Click Next