Network monitoring for 21st century agriculture

To increase yields and adapt to the changing climate, agricultural companies need to be tech-savvy. The equipment they employ needs to be constantly monitored to ensure steady performance, yet their equipment networks are usually both diverse and dispersed. NetXMS is uniquely fitted to meet the needs of businesses working in agriculture.

Let’s start with a particular case — our customer, a large agricultural holding company, is operating on the African continent. They have a particularly large and diverse family of equipment that needs monitoring. Besides the usual IT targets, they need to monitor fridges, power generators, solar panels and other kinds of hardware. All of it is dispersed through a wide region, where power outages and network failures are typical.

They principally choose NetXMS as their network monitoring solution for two vital features:

Feature 1 — Proxy Functionality

Proxies are essential for monitoring distributed networks with connectivity issues that otherwise would cause data losses. NetXMS divides the monitored network into zones and designates an agent for each of them. This agent is then used to collect data according to the designated schedule instead of polling devices and servers in each location directly from the central server. In the case of a power outage or other connectivity interruption, the proxy agent stores the collected data locally, to be later resynchronized with the central server as soon as the connection is restored. Find out more about this functionality in one of our previous blog posts.

Feature 2 — Flexibility with Operating Systems and Hardware Platforms

The second important feature is NetXMS’s lightweight and modular agent that can run on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware platforms. It is crucial in cases when a network consists of very different types of equipment, so that it is possible to monitor them all with just one solution.

In this particular case, Raspberry Pi devices running the NetXMS agent were deployed for monitoring tasks. NetXMS offers special support that allows access to GPIO pins. Access to GRIO pins is needed to either get or set a pin status: turn a particular piece of equipment on or off, know its current status, read temperature and humidity from sensors, etc. Power generator controls were connected to these Raspberry Pis to allow a reading of current generator status as well as controlling them remotely, while temperature readings from sensors were used for fridges. NetXMS’s built-in support for MQTT allowed us to also connect solar panels and various LoraWAN sensors for a complete network monitoring solution.

This way, all the crucial information was available to our customer in one place, creating a clear picture for everyday decision-making. Once again, NetXMS proved to be a reliable solution, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

We’d like to keep in touch!

Allow us to check in with the most relevant information — the latest announcements, release notes, and news.

It’s all done! Subscription confirmation email is sent to [email protected]. Thank you!
We've failed to submit your subscription. Please try again later.