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How to alert when the number of Sniffer (Inspection-core) restarts is high on a Guardium Collector

Technote (FAQ)


How to alert when the number of Sniffer (Inspection-core) restarts is high on a Guardium Collector.
What checks can be done when I get the alert ?


The Guardium Sniffer (Inspection-core) can restart for many reasons.
It is the responsibility of the Guardium administrator to react when a large number of Sniffer (Inspection-core) restarts occurs within a certain period - eg 3 or more in an hour
Common reasons for a large number of sniffer restarts are :-

  • Crash of the sniffer process
  • Engine Buffers become full
  • Logger queues filling up - system out of memory - can be caused by any of
      • Too much traffic coming in from the STAPs
      • High Level of traffic being captured by Policy rules eg Log Full details


Below are some Alerts that you can import for either a Collector or a Central Manager as indicated.

Pre made alert definitions

    Definitions are available to import into your v9 (p300 and above) and v10 appliances. The definition is different for Collectors and Central Managers. There will be a compatibility warning when importing into v10 but it will import successfully.

    The alerts and queries behind the alerts are configurable as per normal.

    Alert to download

    Unit Type Alert will run on

    Alert Name /

    Query Name Alert is based on

    Alert will fire

    Potential delay in receiving data / alerts ?
    MyCollectorSnifferRestart_alert.sqlMyCollectorSnifferRestart_alert.sql Collector -MySnifferRestart_alert -MySnifferRestart if >=3 restarts occur in an hour

    * Can be reconfigured by you of needed
    Maximum of 30 minute delay
    MyCMSnifferRestart_alert.sqlMyCMSnifferRestart_alert.sql Central Manager -MyCMSnifferRestart_alert

    Needs CM Buffer Usage Monitor scheduled for upload regularly :-

    v9 Tools ->Report Building - Custom Table Builder-> upload data. v10 Comply -> Custom Reporting -> Custom Table Builder -> upload data. Simply set the schedule - eg restart every hour, do not repeat

    *NB schedule at 5 minutes past the hour so as to include the full previous hour data.
    -MyCMBufferUsage if any unit(s) have >=4 restarts in a two hour period

    * Can be reconfigured by you of needed
    Based on the schedule - if as per the NB* - a maximum of 1.5 hour delay before notification
    MyEnterpriseSniffRestart_alert.sqlMyEnterpriseSniffRestart_alert.sql Central Manager -MyEntpriseSniffRestart_alert

    Make sure Unit Utilisation is enabled -

    Then schedule on the Central Manager ( v9 System View-> Unit Utilization. v10 Manage -> Unit Utilization ) eg restart every hour, do not repeat

    *NB schedule at 10 minutes past the hour so as to include the full previous hour period of data obtained from the above
    -MyEntpriseSnifferRestart if any unit(s) have >=3 restarts in any of the two previous 1 hour periods

    * Can be reconfigured by you of needed
    Based on the schedule - if as per the NB* - a maximum of 1 hour 40 min delay before notification

    1. Import the .sql files above from GUI v9->Administration Console->Guardium Definitions->Import. v10 Manage -> Data Management ->Definitions Import. This must be done on the Central Manager if one exists in the environment.
    2. Activate the appropriate alert for the unit type from GUI v9 Administration Console->Anomaly detection. v10 Setup -> Tools and Views -> Anomaly Detection

      Note - The default polling interval is 30 minutes. If you wish to alert more frequently to allow for faster detection this can be modified

      The alert definitions supplied here will alert to the syslog only at this point - they do not contain any specific email receivers. You must add any receivers who will receive an alert email as appropriate by amending the Alert Definition
      • v9 Tools - Config & Control -> Alert Builder. v10 Protect -> Database Intrusion Detection -> Alert Builder
      • Find the Alert and click Modify
      • And add receiver(s) at the bottom
      • Apply

Other Appliances

    For appliances that the imports do not work for (maybe v8.2) there is an example of how to create the collector alert in the deployment guide section 3.9.8 under " Sniffer restarts alert"

Check the underlying data (optional)

    You can check the underlying data by running the report that the alert is based on . For example for the Collector ...

      v9 Tools -> Report Building -> Sniffer Buffer Usage Tracking

      v10 Investigate -> Query Builder -> Sniffer buffer usage monitor domain

      pick the "-MySnifferRestart" Query - and in v9 "Add to Pane" - eg Daily Monitor. In v10 add to My Custom Reports, or add to a dashboard in My Dashboards.

      Then find the -MySnifferRestart report in the location you added it to and check the data at any time

        Note - you can control the date range that the report is based on by customising the parameters
        ( in v9 click the pencil to the right hand side or in v10 the "wrench" icon) - You can change this to range for the last hour of data.

          For the example below - for the past hour of data - there has only been 1 sniffer process ID running during that hour - hence no sniffer restarts have occurred . If that figure reaches 3 or more an alert is fired.

What checks can be done when I get the alert.

    The following cli commands will provide analysis to help troubleshoot and resolve sniffer problems.

        support analyze sniffer will put an analysis on the screen if any problems have been detected in a recent time period - nothing will return to the screen if a problem is not noticed
        support must_gather sniffer_issues produces a set of files including /must_gather/sniffer_logs/ANALYZE_RESULTS.txt that can be read via fileserver
    Refer to deployment guide section 7.1.2 for inspection engine performance tips - Inspection Core performance and unit usage

    For 64 bit version v9.1 and higher there is an option to specify more sniffer threads depending on available memory.
    What are the major improvements of 64bit Guardium

    IBM Guardium Technical Support can also help analyse the must_gather sniffer_issues output file if needed - Please be sure to have a PMR and attach the must_gather sniffer_issues output file.

Related information

Guardium sniffer restarts with error
What are the major improvements of 64bit Guardium?
Enabling Unit Utilization Report
Unit Utiization
Guardium Deployment Guide
Take Control of Your InfoSphere Guardium Appliance

Document information

More support for: IBM Security Guardium

Software version: 8.2, 9.0, 9.1, 10.0

Operating system(s): Linux

Reference #: 1698726

Modified date: 07 March 2018

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