Installing Plixer’s “Scrutinizer” NPMD

Plixer makes a good “Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics” (NPMD) application called “Scrutinizer“. NPMD, as Gartner calls it, mostly omeans, collecting, aggregating, and reporting on Netflow data.

Plixer provides a VMware OVF for installation of a virtual appliance. I, however, ran into a few issues with the installation:

  • I couldn’t get the install to work OVF through vCenter successfully, or at least vCenter 6.5. It would install, but when I booted it would come up to a PXE boot, rather than CentOS which the appliance runs on. The answer was to install it through the Windows vSphere ESXi client or through the web vSphere ESXi client.
  • Setting up SSL (HTTPS) during the initial install prompts wouldn’t work. Everything seemed fine, but on final boot of the Scrutinizer appliance, the HTTP/HTTPS wouldn’t come up at all. It turned out it hadn’t actually generated the certificates and files were missing. The answer is to select “no” to SSL in the initial dialog, then when fully up, log in using the “plixer” login and use the “set ssl on” option after the fact. SSL then works correctly afterwards.
  • By default it will bind to IPv6 ports and not to IPv4 ports (!) to listen for Netflow data. The solution is to log into the Scrutinizer server/guest as root and disable IPv6 per this document. Specifically, I recommend the “/etc/sysctl.conf” change as it is relatively simple to execute.
  • When logged in as “root”, doing a “yum update” is useful, though I would do the following bullet after.
  • When logged in as “plixer”, it’s useful to run the “set tuning” as well as “update packages”, though oddly it seems to run back one of the kernel updates from the last bullet.

Now I just need to figure why I’m still not seeing the packets from the ASA…

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