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GFI EventsManager 7 Review

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Review by Alan Drury.

Overall Score: 90%


Imagine having to trawl dutifully through the event logs of twenty or thirty servers every morning, trying to spot those few significant events that could mean real trouble among that avalanche of operational trivia. Now imagine being able to call up all those events from all your servers in a single browser window and, with one click, open an event category to display just those events you are interested in…

Sounds good? Install this product, and you’ve got it.

A product of the well-known GFI stables, EventsManager 7 replaces their earlier LANguard Security Event Log Monitor (S.E.L.M.) which is no longer available. There’s also a Reporting Suite to go with it; but we haven’t reviewed that here.

In a nutshell the product enables you to collect and archive event logs across your organisation, but there’s so much more to it than that. It’s hard to condense the possibilities into a review of this size, but what you actually get is:

  • Automatic, scheduled collection of event logs across the network; not only from Windows machines but from Linux/Unix servers too, and even from any network kit that can generate syslog output;
  • The ability to group your monitored machines into categories and to apply different logging criteria to each group;
  • One tool for looking at event logs everywhere. No more switching the event log viewer between servers and messing around with custom MMCs;
  • The ability to display events by category or interest type regardless of where they occurred (for example just the Active Directory replication events, just the system health events, just the successful log-on events outside normal working hours);
  • Automated response actions for particular events or types of events including alerting staff by email or pager or running an external script to deal with the problem;
  • A back-end database into which you can archive raw or filtered events and which you can search or analyse against – great for legal compliance and for forensic investigation.

Configuring NAT Overload On A Cisco Router

Posted in Cisco Routers - Configuring Cisco Routers

NAT (Network Address Translation) is a method that allows the translation (modification) of IP addresses while packets/datagrams are traversing the network. NAT Overload, also known as PAT (Port Address Translation) is essentially NAT with the added feature of TCP/UDP ports translation.

The main purpose of NAT is to hide the IP address (usually private) of a client in order to reserve the public address space. For example a complete network with 100 hosts can have 100 private IP addresses and still be visible to the outside world (internet) as a single IP address. Other benefits of NAT include security and economical usage of the IP address ranges at hand.

The following steps explain basic Cisco router NAT Overload configuration. NAT overload is the most common operation in most businesses around the world, as it enables the whole network to access the Internet using one single real IP address. If you would like to know more about the NAT theory, be sure to read our popular NAT articles, which explain in great depth the NAT functions and applications in today's networks.


How To Configure DNS Server On A Cisco Router

Posted in Cisco Routers - Configuring Cisco Routers

The DNS protocol is used to resolve FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Names) to IP addresses around the world. This allows us to successfully find and connect to Internet websites and services no matter where they are. Its usefulness, however, doesn't stop there: local company and private networks also rely on DNS to operate efficiently and correctly.

In many cases, where a local DNS server is not available, we are forced to either use our ISP's DNS servers or some public DNS server, however, this can sometimes prove troublesome. Today, small low-end routers have the ability to integrate DNS functionality, making life easier, but so do Cisco routers - they simply have to be setup and you're done.

This article will show you how to configure your Cisco router to provide DNS services to your network, and make all clients use it as a DNS server. Our easy to follow step-by-step process ensures you'll understand the process and have it running within minutes.

Installing Security Device Manager (SDM) on a Cisco Router

Posted in Cisco Routers - Configuring Cisco Routers

For years now, Cisco has been developing its Security Device Manager (SDM) software. This web-based software is designed to help the less experienced users and administrators to work and configure various services and functions of a Cisco router.

There are two different editions of SDM, the full SDM package and the SDM Express package.

The full SDM package contains a number of modules and options for your router's configuration, while the Express package is essentially a cut-down version containing the core modules. You should note that you'll need Java Runtime 1.5 installed on your workstation in order for SDM to function. To obtain the necessary Java Runtime click here.

The full SDM can be found on the CD that came with your router but is also downloadable via Cisco's website. The SDM Express package usually comes preinstalled on your router's flash memory.

Cisco Router 'Privileged' Mode

Posted in Cisco Routers - Configuring Cisco Routers


To get into Privileged Mode we enter the "Enable" command from User Exec Mode. If set, the router will prompt you for a password. Once in Privileged Mode, you will notice the prompt changes from ">" to a "#" to indicate that we are now in Privileged Mode.

The Privileged Mode (Global Configuration Mode) is used mainly to configure the router, enable interfaces, setup security, define dialup interfaces etc.

We've included a screenshot of the router to give an idea of the commands available in Privileged Mode in comparison to the User Exec Mode. Remember that these commands have sub-commands and can get quite complicated:


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