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Monitoring at Thales Hengelo using Nagios NSClient++: Whats new? And Whats coming!


Monitoring at Thales Hengelo using Nagios

Thales is the largest defense company in the Netherlands. The IT department has 60 employees and takes care of more than 750 applications hosted on more than 400 servers. To be allowed to work on defense contracts, that may include working on classified material, we need an IT Facility Security Clearance, which is issued and audited by the MIVD (Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Department). That means security is really important. When talking about security most people mostly think about confidentiality, which is indeed important, but is only part of the story.


The fundamental principles of security are availability, integrity and confidentiality. To safeguard the availability and integrity of our information it is very important to have a monitoring system so we know something is wrong before our IT users call us. Or better still that we can prevent problems before they can happen. Nagios and MRTG are the tools that help us do that. We monitor our IT infrastructure using Nagios and MRTG now for a number of years. Basic monitoring is part of the standard setup of our servers, so this is now more or less an automated process.


After that we started to implement monitoring of our critical applications, which is more complex. No two applications are the same. However they often share a number of common components like a web interface (Apache Tomcat), a database (MySql, Oracle), a License server (FLEXlm). Most of these can be monitored using common available Nagios plug-ins. In case a plug-in is not available it is very easy to write your own because Nagios has a very simple and well documented plug-in interface.


This talk will introduce some basics of Nagios and I will tell how the tool is currently used by the IT department of Thales Hengelo.

Pieter van Emmerik

Born on 1958 in Bendigo -Australia, but grew up in the Netherlands. Studied Mechanical Engineering at Twente University from 1977. Graduated 1986 with a Master of Science degree in engineering (the old Dutch Ir title). From 1986 to 1994 I worked on developing Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing systems for Signaal, a Dutch Defense Contractor. After that I have worked for a Project company creating technical automation solutions among which systems to monitor and secure the perimeter of sites owned by the Dutch Gasunie.


In 1998 I started working for Thales Netherlands to manage the Configuration Management and Product Data Management applications they use, including the security around them. CAcert assurer since 2008 and CAcert association member since 2009.

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