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A core functionality of NMIS8 and NMIS9 is the modelling system, this is an abstraction of how NMIS communicates with devices and allows a great deal of flexibility and control over how NMIS works.

There are several use tools and functions available with NMIS to help troubleshoot what is happening with device communication as well as when you are developing new models.  This WIKI provides details about what those tools are and how to use them.

NMIS to Device Communications

The NMIS CLI allows you to see what NMIS is doing when it communicates with a node, this output will tell you what data NMIS is requesting, which SNMP OID or WMI query is being used and what the device responds with.

Once you have added the node to NMIS8 you can run an update or collect and see what data is being requested:

Model Debug for an Update

NMIS 9: 

/usr/local/nmis9/bin/nmis-cli act=schedule job.type=update job.node=NMIS_NODE_NAME 

NMIS 8: 

/usr/local/nmis8/bin/ type=update node=NMIS_NODE_NAME model=true force=true

Model Debug for a Collect

NMIS 9: 

/usr/local/nmis9/bin/nmis-cli act=schedule job.type=collect job.node=NMIS_NODE_NAME 

NMIS 8: 

/usr/local/nmis8/bin/ type=collect node=NMIS_NODE_NAME model=true force=true

Example Model Debug Output

You will see below oid=biglongnumber, e.g. oid= and you will see oid=name, e.g. oid=processorRam, what is important to note is that SNMP ONLY uses OID's in dotted decimal notation form e.g, when NMIS sends

keiths@lodur:/usr/local/nmis8$ /usr/local/nmis8/bin/ type=collect node=asgard model=true force=true
MODEL loadInfo asgard class=system:
  :  oid= name=configLastChanged value=2046
  :  oid= name=bootConfigLastChanged value=0
  :  oid= name=configLastSaved value=38597471
MODEL loadInfo asgard class=system:
  :  oid= name=softwareVersion value=12.4(25f)
  :  oid=processorRam name=processorRam value=99.61 Mb
  :  oid=chassisVersion name=chassisVer value=7.0
  :  oid= name=rttMonApplVersion value=2.2.0 Round Trip Time MIB
  :  oid=chassisId name=serialNum value=FHK11472788
  :  oid= name=softwareImage value=C1841-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M
  :  oid= name=rttMonApplResponder value=enabled
MODEL loadInfo asgard class=system:
  :  oid=sysContact name=sysContact value=default
  :  oid=sysDescr name=sysDescr value=Cisco IOS Software, 1841 Software (C1841-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Version 12.4(25f), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)
Technical Support:
Copyright (c) 1986-2011 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Tue 16-Aug-11 06:21 by prod_rel_team
  :  oid=cmSystemInstalledModem name=InstalledModems value=0
  :  oid=snmpEngineTime name=sysUpTime value=44764700
  :  oid=sysObjectID name=sysObjectID value=
  :  oid=ifNumber name=ifNumber value=10
  :  oid=sysName name=sysName value=asgard.localdomain
  :  oid=sysLocation name=sysLocation value=default

Model Development Tool

The model discovery tool is new and is there to make things easier.  It supports several useful functions when development new models or working with existing ones. was released in NMIS8.7.0G and NMIS 9.2.2 but was an early version, check with Opmantek Support or grab a more recent version from

Automated Base Model Detection and Creation

This tool started a little more generically but it can now generate a base model automatically. Based on what it discovers, when starting with a new device type to become and NMIS node this is where you should start, it will take a default model and add all the things it can find which are already modelled, this would include things from the standard MIBs.  First add your new thing into NMIS and get SNMP working, NMIS will use the Default model for this node which means SNMP is working and you can get more! 

For example where ASGARD is the name of your node in NMIS.

/usr/local/nmis8/admin/ node=ASGARD model=CiscoRouter-auto common_exclude="Windows|^tcp"

A file called /usr/local/nmis8/models/Model-CiscoRouter-auto.nmis would be created, you can now edit the node in Nodes.nmis and change model from auto to be CiscoRouter-auto and use this model.

You probably want to add some additional graphs to the nodegraph element but that can come later.

Discover What Existing Models Work on an NMIS Node

What existing modelling is there which could be useful. For example where ASGARD is the name of your node in NMIS.

/usr/local/nmis8/admin/ node=ASGARD file=/tmp/ASGARD.txt errors=false

The resulting file is a TAB delimited CSV and looks like below, it will help you understand which other existing modelling might work on this node :

ASGARDCiscoRoutersystemModel-ACME-Packet.nmisModel/system/sys/standard/snmp/sysDescrYESsysDescr1. IOS Software, 1841 Software (C1841-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Version 12.4(25f), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)\nTechnical Support:\nCopyright (c) 1986-2011 by Cisco Systems, Inc.\nCompiled Tue 16-Aug-11 06:21 by prod_rel_team
ASGARDCiscoRoutersystemHealthCommon-Cisco-cbqos.nmisCommon/systemHealth/sys/Cisco_CBQoSYEScbQosIfType1.$VAR1 = {    '' => 1  };  

And what modelling will NOT work on this node.

ASGARDCiscoRoutersystemHealthModel-AlcatelASAM.nmisModel/systemHealth/sys/eqptBoardNOeqptSlotPlannedType1.$VAR1 = undef;  
$VAR1 = undef;  
ASGARDCiscoRoutersystemHealthCommon-lldp.nmisCommon/systemHealth/sys/lldpLocalNOlldpLocPortDesc1.0.8802.$VAR1 = undef;  
ASGARDCiscoRoutersystemHealthModel-f5big_ip.nmisModel/systemHealth/sys/F5_CPUNOsysPlaneStatEntry.$VAR1 = undef;  

Check the Existing Models

Basic mode, check the model files and look for any errors, many things are checked for, more will be added.

/usr/local/nmis8/admin/ check=true

Debug is optional and debug=3 will reveal lots of cool information if you like data modelling.  You should check keeping an eye on these errors, examples below.

Syntax Error in the Model File

You will get the compile error first with the details and the name of the file after it.

String found where operator expected at (eval 219) line 41, near "}
	(Missing operator before 
  MODEL ERROR: Could not load Model-TELDATL1.nmis

Missing OID to Name definition in /usr/local/nmis8/mibs/nmis_mibs.oid

MODEL ERROR: with Model OID Model-POWERALERT-ups.nmis :: Model/system/sys/ups/snmp/upsoutputsrc UpsOutSource

Variable Name for Storing in RRD longer than 19 Characters

MODEL ERROR: RRD variable HbsAirLinkCompressedStatic found longer than 19

Missing Graph file for the graphtype name

MODEL ERROR: missing file for graph type cmtscpu: /usr/local/nmis8/models/Graph-cmtscpu.nmis
MODEL ERROR: missing file for graph type power: /usr/local/nmis8/models/Graph-power.nmis

TODO - More Modelling Verifications 

  • Foreach Vendor in Models.nmis, ensure that a model exists, ensure that the vendor matches the Enterprise name.

Rebuild the Model Schema

Run this to build the model schema automatically.  This will make the file /usr/local/nmis8/conf/Model-Schema.nmis

/usr/local/nmis8/admin/ models_dir=models-install make_schema=1 check=true 

Dealing with Many Nodes and Many Models

Auditing your Nodes and Models

The Model Audit tool is what you need a trivial tool which produces a TEXT TAB delimited output you can load into your favourite spreadsheet, so you can see which NMIS nodes are using which models and adjust accordingly.


Which Models use which System Health Concepts

The Model Summary tool is what you need a trivial tool which produces a TEXT TAB delimited output you can load into your favourite spreadsheet, so you can see which NMIS Models are polling for which things.


Releasing New Models to People

Sometimes you need to get all the models into ZIP file so you can release them to a customer.

[keiths@thor build]$ /usr/local/nmis8/build/make_models_release
Usage: make_models_release [-s] [-z] [model1.nmis graph2.nmis...]

checks (and with -s prints) the dependencies of all listed model/graph files,
and zips them all up if -z is given.

note: if not run out of the models-install dir, then the FIRST model file's
directory will be assumed to hold ALL relevant files!

Patching Models with New Stuff

A handy template for patching model files to do something new, instead of shipping around model files.


Comparing Two Directories of Models Contextually

Model files are structured files (code is not really that structured), so that you can compare what has changed in your models-install to your models folders we made a handy tool.


Check the Syntax for all your Model files in a few Seconds

Run it, can't hurt.


 Processing /usr/local/nmis8/models/Common-Windows-interface.nmis
  Processing /usr/local/nmis8/models/Model-TELDATL1.nmis
String found where operator expected at (eval 483) line 38, near "}
	(Missing operator before 
  Processing /usr/local/nmis8/models/Graph-lockstat.nmis

Show the model Structure

Useful for some people

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