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Nagios is capable of monitoring hosts and services in two ways: actively and passively. In most cases you'll use regularly scheduled active checks.
Active checks are initiated by the check logic in the Nagios daemon. When Nagios needs to check the status of a host or service it will execute a plugin and pass it information about what needs to be checked, the plugin will then check the operational state of the host or service and report the results back to the Nagios daemon. Nagios will process the results of the host or service check and take appropriate action as necessary (e.g. send notifications, run event handlers, etc). Active checks are executed at regular intervals, as defined by the check_interval and retry_interval options in your host and service definitions and also on-demand as needed.
Passive checks are initiated and performed by external applications/processes and results are submitted to Nagios for processing, where active checks are initiated and performed by Nagios. Passive checks are useful for monitoring services that are asynchronous in nature and cannot be monitored effectively by polling their status on a regularly scheduled basis and are located behind a firewall and cannot be checked actively from the monitoring host.
- In Status, to enable or disable active checks for all host group or service group services, first select the host group or service group from the Tree View navigation.
- Within the Actions portlet, click the Settings drop-down and select Enable active checks for all services or Disable active checks for all services.
- A popup screen will be displayed, this command is used to enable active checks of all services in the specified host group. This does not enable active checks of the hosts in the host group unless you check the Enable for hosts too option.
- Select Submit. The Nagios Monitoring Statistics table at the Entire Network, Host Group, and Service Group level views will be updated with the current active checks status. Similarly, you can enable and disable active/passive checks for a host or service or all host services by selecting the monitor from the navigation and then selecting the setting. See last images below.
Figure: Enabling active checks for all host group services
Figure: Submit command options
Figure: Nagios Monitoring Statistics - Active Checks
Figure: Enable and disable active/passive checks for a host
Figure: Enable and disable active/passive checks for a service