SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance

By IPVM Team, Published Aug 21, 2018, 12:51pm EDT

Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or detailed information.

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Network monitoring systems can give users more insight into their network, from the camera to the switch to the VMS server, but are seen as too complex or expensive to be used in simple surveillance systems.

However, significant practical benefits can be gained by understanding these monitoring platforms, with free software available, and minimal setup time.

In this guide, we take a look at network monitoring specific to surveillance, explain the basics and software available, and give real practical examples of its use.

Topics Covered

In this guide, we cover these topics:

  • What Is SNMP?
  • What Are Traps And Requests?
  • Network Monitoring Software Basics
  • SNMP Integration Challenges
  • Using Network Monitoring Systems Demonstration
  • SNMP Traps Basics
  • Using SNMP Traps
  • Device SNMP Support
  • MIB File Overview
  • Manufacturer MIB Support
  • Default Sensor Support Rare
  • Surveillance Applications
  • Camera Monitoring
  • Server/VMS Monitoring
  • Switch/Router Monitoring
  • Other Related Systems

What ** ****?

****** ******* ********** ******** (SNMP) ** **** ** monitor ****** *** *********** information ** ********* *******. This *********** ** ****** requested ** ** "*******", such ** ** **** monitoring ******, ** **** as * ******* (****** a "****") ** * device.

  • ******** ********* ******* ******** information, **** ** *** usage, *********, **** ***** speed, ***. **** ** these ********** ********* ******** a "******" ******* ** an **** ********** ********, discussed *****.
  • ***** *** **** ** notify *** ******* ** significant ******, **** ** temperature ******, ***** ****** failures, ****** *********, ***., which ** *** **** a ******** ******.

Network ********** ********

******* *** ********* ***** a *********** ********** ******** which ********** **** ******** and ***** (** **** as ***** *********) *** presents ****** ***********, **** often ***********. ******* **** as *******, *******, ********, etc., *** ***** (**** like ****** ******* ** a ***) *** *** or **** "*******" ********** with ****. * ****** includes ******** ***** *** be *********, **** ** pings, ******, *********, ** throughput.

***** *** **** ******* monitoring ********* *********, *** with******* *********** *** ******** support, **** **** *** free. **** ******* ********* include:

** *** ************** *** this *****, ** **** PRTG ******* ** ** one ** *** **** popular ********* *********. ************, it ****** * **** variety ** ****** ***** (SNMP, ******* ********** ***************, SSH *** *****/***, ****, Ping, *** ****), *** free ********* *** ** to *** *******.

SNMP *********** **********

******** *** **** ******* to ********* **** *****, since *** ******* **** know ***** ******** **** parameters ** ******* *** how ** ********* *** response (******* ** * camera/VMS ***********), ***** ***** are ********* **** ** a *** *****.

************, ***** ** ** standard *** ***** ******** a ******** ****** ********, so *** ******* ***** some ************* *** ******* SNMP ******* ** *** devices, ****** ** ***. Worse, **** ** ****** documented ** ******/******** *************, leaving ***** ** ********** for ********** ** **** out ******* **** ******* are *********.

Using ******* ********** *******

**** ***** ************ *** basics ** ****** ******* as **** ** *********** and ********** ******* ** network ********** ********:

SNMP *****

***** *** ********* ***** a ******* **** ** sensor, ****** ****** * receiver, ***** ** **** to ******* *** ********* trap **** **** ****** information. ** ***** *** form, ***** ******* ******* syntax **** ********* *********** sometimes ********* ** **** or *** ** ***** text. *** ******* *** manufacturer's ***** **** **** this:

******-***-**::***********.****.*.*.*.*.*.* = *

******-***-**::***********.****.*.*.*.*.*.* = *

******* **************, **** ******* is ******* ** *** user. *******, **** *** trap ** ********** **** usable ***********, ** *** be **** ** ****** alerts ** ******** **** specific ******.

** ****** ***** ** this *****:

Device **** *******

**** ******** ****** ** device, **** ******* ********* providing *** ***** ***********, while ******* *** ******** provide **** ******.

  • *******:**** ** ******* ** not ******* *** *********** requests, ** *** ******* to ****** **** *** HTTP *******. * *** manufacturers (**** ** ******, discussed *****) ******* **** detailed *******, ***** ******, including ** ********, ****, and *********, ******* **** detail *** *** ***** (explained *****), **** ** Ethernet **********, ***********, *** local ********* ******, *** this ** ****. **** cameras **** ******* ******* for ***** **** *****, though *** ***** ****** and *** ******** ****** widely.
  • ******* (*******/*****):******* ******* **** ******** information, ********* ******** *********** metrics, **** ** *** load, ********** ** *** out, ****** *****, **** I/O, *** ****. *******, server **** ************* ** more ******* *** ** the ****** ** ******* supported *** *** ******* trial *** ***** ** see ******* ***** ********** do *** ** *** work.
  • ******** ****:****** *** *******, ******** NVRs ****** ******* **** sensors, ** ***** *** of *** ***. **** may ** ********** *** manufacturer *** ***** **** cameras, *** **** ** uncommon.
  • ******* ********:*******, **** ******* ******** deliver ******** ***********, ********* on * **** ** port *****. ********** ** and *** *** **** port *** ** ******, along **** ******,**** *******, *** ****. *******, note **** ********** ***** port ** * ****** may ** ******, ** each **** ** ********* seen ** * ******** sensor ** ********** *********, and **** ******* *******. Because ** ****, *** ports **** ** ****** uplinks ** ******** *********** may ** ********* *******.

Dealing **** ****

**** ** **** ****** device ************* **** ********* SNMP ***************, ******* ********** developers ****** ** ******** to ********* **** *** interpret *** ** ****. Because ** ****, ************* may ******* *** ***** (Management *********** ****) ***** contain ******* ** ***** requests *** ***** **** support. ***** ***** *** then************ *** ******* ********** application ***** **** **** to ********* **** ****.

**** ***** ***** *** contents ******' *** ***** (******** available *** ********), ***** *** ****** to ****:

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MIBs ********

**** **** *** ***** are **** ** ************ and *** ********* *** all *************. ***** ****** not ****** **** **** may ****** ******** * MIB ** ******* ***** cameras ** ********* ** detail. **** ***** ***** manufacturers ***** ***** ****, exactly **** ******* *** supported ******, ** *** application ** **** ***** and ***** *** *************** than **** *** **** expected ***********.

******* ************* ******** ***** MIBs, *********:

**** **** **** *** also ** ******** ********* using******* *****. *******, **** ** a **** ********* ******* and ****** *** ***** of **** *****.

Default ****** ******* ****

** *** *****, ***** are *** ************* ***** include **** ******** ******* out ** *** ***, without ********* *** *****. For *******, ****** ******** Ethernet *******, *** ****, and ** **** **** space ***** ******** **** sensors, *** ****. *******, this ******* ** **** rare.

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Surveillance ************

***** *** ******* *** cases ***** ******* ********** may ** ** *********, including:

  • ****** **********
  • ******/*** **********
  • *******/********
  • ***** ******* (***, ********)

Camera **********

***** *** ******* ******* basic *********** ** *******, including **/**** ****** *** throughput, **** *** ********** monitoring ******* *** ******* more ******.

  • ********** ********** **** ** a ******, ***** *** be ******* ** *** camera ****** ***** ***** extreme ******, ***** *** indicate ***** ****, **** if *** ****** ** still ***** ** ** and ********** ** *****. This ********** *** ** performed ****** ** *** camera (********* ***) ** at *** ****** **** (bandwidth **). *** *******, "Traffic **" ** *** switchport ***** ***** * camera ****** **** ** ~3.4 **/* (*,*** **/*).

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  • ************, ***** * ****** to ***** **** *** page ****** ** *** camera's *** ********* ***** whether *** ****** ** responsive, ********** ** ******* it ** ********** ** ping ** ***. **** is *** ********* ********** that * ****** *** failed, ** ***** ******** on *** ****** *** stop (*** ******, *********, etc.) ***** ** ***** responds ** *****.
  • *******, **** ** **** pings *** ** *********, users *** *** *** only ** *** ****** is ** ** ****, but ********* ** *******, as ****. **** ***** indicate *** ****** ******** overtaxed, **** ** ******* of **** ******, ** trying ** **** ** with ******* *** *** compression/high *********/**** ********* *********.

** ******** ** ************, users *** **** **** graphs ** ******** ****, which *** ** **** to **** *** **** disk ********, ****** ******* are ********* ** ******** bitrates, ***. *** *******, the ***** ***** ***** information *** ******* ** volume *** ***** **** a ** *** ******, with *** ****** ********* ~665 ** ** ******* space, *** ********* ***** 6.2 ** *** ******.

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Server/Recording **********

******* ********** ******* *** be **** ** ******* basic ****** ***********, **** as *** *** ****** load, **********, *** ****. While ***** ********** *** available ***** *********** ******* or ***** *****, ***** a ********** ****** *********** this *********** *** ******** servers, *** ****** *** better ******* *** ***** alerts **** * *********** location.

**** **** ****** ******** Windows ******** ** ** monitored. **** ****** ***** better ********** ** ******** system ****** *** **** troubleshooting ***********, ***** ******* stops/starts *** ****** *** may ** ********** ** other ******, **** ** high **********, **** *** usage, ***.

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*******, ****** ***** *** be ********* ** **** at * **** ***** whether ***** ** ***** recorded ** ***. ** monitoring **** ****** ********* per ******, ***** *** be ******* ** **** traffic ***** ***** ** expected *****. *** *******, if ******* *** ***** written ** **** ** a ******* ** ** Mb/s, *** **** ****** drop ** *** **/*, but ******* *** ***** up *** *********, ***** is ****** * ****** recording ***** ***** ***** should ***********.

********/*******

** **** *****, ****** ports *** ** *** only *** ** ********** camera ********** ** *** camera **** *** ******* the **** ******* ****** or ******* ********** *** MIB *****. *******, **** that ********** ****** ***** requires ******** *******, ***** typically **** ******* * license. *** *******, ******* at * ** **** switch *****, ** *** see **** **** ** displayed ********** (****************, ****************, etc.). ********** *** ***** of **** ****** ***** require ** ******** ******* (48 *** ***** **** 4 *******), ****** ** more ****** **** **** key ***** (******** *******, servers, *******) ***** ** monitored.

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******* **** *** * sensor ******* **** ****, but *** ********* ***** port ***** **** ********. Routers **** ********** ******* additional *********** ** ***** services, **** ** ******** traffic ** *** *******, which *** ** ****** in *****-**** *******. *** instance, *** ******* ***** shows * ********* ****** in ****, ********** ******** VPNs:

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Other *******

** ******** ** **** surveillance **********, ***** *** be ********** ** ********** related ******* ** ****, such ***** (*************** ***** ******), ******** ******, ** access ******* *******. *** specific ******* ********* *** each **** ******, **** UPSes ***** **** ********* with ******** *********** ***** access ******* *** **** support **/**** ****** ** devices.

Example ******* *** ******

*******, ** **** ***** we ****** ****** ******* and ****** ***** *** be **** *** **** in ************ **********:

Test **** *********

***** ****** **** * * question ****.

[[****: **** ***** *** originally ******* ** **** but ************* ******* ** 2018 ** ******* ******** device ************, *** ************, and ******** ******** ** monitoring *** ******* *******]]

Comments (15)

The Milestone XProtect Corporate and Expert platforms have MIB files available.  They are not available from our website but they can be retrieved from the two locations below after the software is installed:

On the Management Server:
C:\Program Files\Milestone\XProtect Management Server\SERVER-MIB.mib

On the Recording Server:
C:\Program Files\Milestone\XProtect Recording Server\RECORDER-MIB.mib

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Hanwha Techwin MIBs:

Hanwha SNMP MIB

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Added those, thanks!

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Nice overview! Some additional comments:

1. I think it would be good to address the various versions (v1/v2/v3) of SNMP, with v3 the only secure version. Using v1 for example might allow an attacker to find out which switches and firmware you are running and thus which attacks will be successful (if you are not up to date with updates). Most if not all major camera brands support v3.

2. We have been using Zabbix for a few years now which works fine, and is open source and therefore free.

3. Some caution when using SNMP: depending on number of devices, number of sensors, uodate frequency, you might generate a lot of network traffic.

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Nagios use to be free and open source, not sure what it is today

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It still is, however Icinga2 is a fork of Nagios which has now been completely re-written and is a more modern choice.

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Are you aware of a simple/free app for Linux that allows SNMP monitoring of IP cameras and can send reports to the outside world (ie email etc) 

We've searched for years for something like this and it doesn't seem to exist.  

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I have used Cacti (https://www.cacti.net/) for years and found it a stable, versatile and reliable tool for SNMP, notifications and graphing.

Note that the rrd graphs are a bit ugly compared to Solar Winds. The data that Cacti collects can be sent to syslogs and NoSQL databases like Elasticsearch.

Elasticsearch(ELK),will afford you the ability to make easy and arbitrary queries on your SNMP and other data that the "PAID" closed source platforms may not provide or provide as a paid feature.

Took some screen shots showing temperature data being collected through SNMP requests and sent to syslogs and recorded / visualized in Kibana (the "K" in ELK, Elasticsearch-Logstash-Kibana).

snmp in ELK

In a nut shell Cacti for SNMP/alerting and ELK for Data analytics and pretty graphs/dashboards.

Both Cacti and ELK are Free and Open source.

 

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PRTG is definitely the best. If you consider the TCO, it's the cheapest NMS as well. Don't waste time on Nagios or similar systems unless you have highly knowledged system administrators on salary and not loaded with the tasks.

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Timely article. As a traditional MSP, network design, installation, and monitoring is the heart of our expertise, and they're a set of skills we're looking to bring to the IP camera realm.  Earlier this year we decided to enter the space, and also partnered up with an existing installer who like us, sees the value of monitoring and maintenance services.

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SNMP is great for system level metrics but it has limited use understanding traffic or quality statistics for video flowing over a network.  Of course a vendor could build this in but I havent seen it yet.

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what's wrong with traffic? Just collect the stat data from the switch port

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That only tells you data is flowing.  Not if is out of order or if 10% got lost along the way, etc.  That is why an understanding of what the traffic is so important.

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I still didn't get what you want to see. If by lost video data you mean dropped frames, then you need VMS or client to monitor that (and reply to NMS via SNMP as an option). But if you're talking about regular IP packet loss, that is easily monitored using SNMP.

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Zabbix should be in the above list as well. They have really useful subscriptions as well above the free license.

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