Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Navigating the Monitoring Node Options

One of the biggest improvements to ISA Server has been the addition of multiple robust and capable logging and monitoring options. The key to troubleshooting an ISA server is understanding what type of activity is currently occurring, whether packets are being denied or granted, or whether the firewall is being attacked. The Monitoring node, illustrated in Figure 3.18, is the portal toward accessing the logging and monitoring capabilities of ISA Server, and is one of the most valuable tools in the ISA Server Console.

Figure 3.18

FIGURE 3.18 Examining the Dashboard tab of the Monitoring node.

Within the Monitoring node of the ISA Server Console, there are seven tabs in the Central Details pane that link to different monitoring and reporting functions that the ISA Server provides. These tabs are ordered as follows:

  • Dashboard
  • Alerts
  • Sessions
  • Services
  • Reports
  • Connectivity
  • Logging

When selecting an individual tab, the Tasks and Help tabs in the Tasks pane change their content to reflect the type of functions and common help questions specific to the tab chosen.

This section on the monitoring node covers the high-level detail present in the node. For additional reading on the topic, including best practices, step-by-step descriptions, and examples, see Chapter 19, "Monitoring, Troubleshooting, and Intrusion Detection with ISA Server 2004."

Configuring the Dashboard

The Dashboard is a monitoring function of ISA that allows for multiple monitoring indicators and other real-time information to be displayed in a centralized console, such as the Dashboard shown in Figure 3.18. The Dashboard contains individual monitoring components that track activity on the ISA server, such as alerts, sessions, reports, and overall system performance. The information presented in the Dashboard is generated from the settings configured in the various other tabs of the Monitoring node.

The Dashboard is a good place to "park" the ISA Server Console when it is not actively being used, as it can be used to quickly determine the status of the ISA Server at a glance.

Viewing Alerts

Alerts are a useful mechanism for ISA Server to communicate information, warning, and error messages to administrators through the Monitoring console. The Alerts tab, shown in Figure 3.19, links to information about individual alerts. Clicking on each alert displays information specific to that that alert on the bottom of the Central Details pane.

Figure 3.19

FIGURE 3.19 Viewing alerts.

The Alert mechanism in ISA Server 2004 is a simple yet powerful tool to give advance warning to administrators of attacks on the firewall, misconfigurations, or other errors.

Alerts can be customized by clicking on the Configure Alert Definitions link in the Tasks Pane. This link summons the Alert Definitions dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.20. This dialog box allows for specific alerts to be configured and customized when existing alerts are double-clicked. This allows for specific actions to be taken in the event of problems, such as email warnings to be sent to administrators, services to be stopped, or programs to be run.

Figure 3.20

FIGURE 3.20 Setting alert definitions.

Monitoring Sessions and Services

Every time a device such as a computer or server communicates with the ISA Server, that particular session is logged and displayed in the Sessions tab of the Monitoring Node. This tab enables individual client sessions to be listed and monitored. Individual sessions can also be disconnected from this tab, via the Disconnect Session link in the Tasks Pane.

In addition to the Sessions tab, the server can be monitored via the Services tab, shown in Figure 3.21, which shows the current status of each of the critical ISA Services. Each service can be stopped from this console, and the length of time that the service has been running is also displayed.

Figure 3.21

FIGURE 3.21 Viewing the Services node.

Generating Reports

ISA’s reporting mechanism is one of the best features of the application. It enables administrators to quickly create useful, accurate reports pulled from data in the ISA logs, such as the one shown in Figure 3.22.

Figure 3.22

FIGURE 3.22 Looking at a sample ISA Server report.

ISA Reports analyze activity that occurs on the ISA server over a period of time, and can include the following fields of information:

  • Summary  The report summary includes the most commonly utilized report findings, such as the most utilized protocols, the top users and websites, cache performance, and traffic patterns.
  • Web Usage  The Web Usage field generated by ISA includes specifics on how the web is being used by ISA clients, such as the types of objects requested, the most commonly accessed web sites, and other facts.
  • Application Usage  Application usage analyzes the types of applications that are accessed through ISA, including the protocols and operating systems used to access them.
  • Traffic and Utilization  Traffic and utilization refer to the types of network data traffic that flows through ISA, any errors encountered, and the performance of the content cache.
  • Security  The Security field focuses on identifying authorization failures, which can indicate hacking attempts, and a dropped packet analysis, which together enable ISA Administrators to perform intrusion detection.

Each of the report fields specified can be customized further to include additional information. In addition, ISA reports can be automatically generated on a defined basis and saved to a remote network location for viewing by other administrators and for archive purposes.

Verifying Connectivity

Connectivity verifiers in the Monitoring node of the ISA Console are mechanisms that allow administrators to perform simple monitoring on network services and functionality. They make it possible to monitor certain servers and sites via an up/down services analysis. For example, a DNS Verifier might send DNS queries to the local DNS server to ensure that it is operational. If the verifier fails to contact the service, an Alert is generated.

ISA Server 2004 organizes various connectivity verifiers into different group types, which can be chosen when running the New Connectivity Verifier Wizard, as shown in Figure 3.23. These Group Types are then displayed on the Dashboard, which allows for quick up/down status on services within the network. The default Group types are listed as follows:

Figure 3.23

FIGURE 3.23 Choosing connectivity verifier group types.

  • Active Directory  This type of connectivity verifier attempts to establish a Light Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) connection to an Active Directory Domain Controller.
  • DHCP  A DHCP verifier simply sends Ping requests to a local DHCP server to verify that the DHCP server is responding.
  • DNS  A DNS connectivity verifier is configured by default to also Ping DNS servers to validate functionality. It can be customized to send requests to the DNS service as well, however.
  • Others  By default, this group type is used to organize any custom connectivity verifiers created by the administrator. It uses Ping by default, but can also be modified to attempt to connect to any number of ports.
  • Published Servers  The Published Servers Group type is used to organize verifiers to servers for which ISA has publishing rules set up.
  • Web (Internet)  The Web (Internet) group is used for verifying outbound Internet connectivity by performing occasional HTTP "GET" requests to web servers on the Internet.

Logging ISA Access

The Logging tab in the Monitoring node gives administrators an extremely useful tool for troubleshooting connection failures and monitoring content flow. The Logging tab allows the ISA activity to be displayed in real time, with each and every network packet sent and processed by the ISA server displayed in the Central Details pane, such as the logs shown in Figure 3.24.

Figure 3.24

FIGURE 3.24 Viewing ISA Server logs.

The logging tab is a great troubleshooting tool for ISA Server. For example, if a new server publishing rule has been established, but it doesn’t allow traffic the way the administrator intended, the ISA logging tab can be referenced to view the real-time communications to the server and determine whether the packets are being dropped, and which rule is dropping them. This function alone makes the logging component of ISA Server one of the most commonly accessed modules in the Console.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020