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Nagios, 2nd Edition by Wolfgang Barth

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Chapter 4. Nagios Basics

The fact that a host can be reached, in itself, has little meaning if no service is running on it on which somebody or something relies. Accordingly, everything in Nagios revolves around service checks. After all, no service can run without a host. If the host computer fails, it cannot provide the desired service. Things get slightly more complicated if, for example, a router that lies between users and the system providing services is brought into play. If this fails, the desired service may still be running on the target host, but it is nevertheless no longer reachable for the user.

Nagios is in a position to reproduce such dependencies and to precisely inform the administrator of the failure of an important network component, ...

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