Weekly Snap: Apache 2 Authentication, Hardware Starter Kit, LConf 1.2 & NoMa 2.0.2 Released

14 – 18 November was packed with new hardware, a Polish IT conference, a guide for Apache 2 authentication, and two new releases – LConf 1.2 and NoMa 2.0.2 our notification management addon for Icinga and Nagios.
Much awaited, Tobias released LConf 1.2 our configuration interface for Icinga and Nagios. Alongside bug fixes, major changes include: a return to installation per makefile, much consolidation of code for plugins such as LConfExp.pl, an option to use either the old or new OpenLDAP configuration, inclusion of a new test kit for developers to try out new features, and most exciting of all – host and service escalations. Improvements to the LConf for Icinga Web module were also made, in user masks and menus and configurations. Download LConf 1.2 and the LConf-Icinga-Mod 1.2.1 at netways.org.
From Managed Services, Marcus showed how to set up different authentication methods on Apache 2 per source IP. Using the example of a company that uses LDAP for internal authentication and MOTP for external, he applied an iptables rule to redirect queries from the internal/external sources onto a two different ports. On each of these ports, he then set up a VHost to offer the different authentication methods. Even better, he recommended iptables-save, to enable settings to be retrieved with an init script making life easier after a reboot.
Bernd spoke at an IT conference  in Warsaw on “Monitoring with Icinga”. The event focused on reliability and monitoring so in addition, we joined forces with our OSMC partner Thomas Krenn, to present practical business applications of open source in various showcases live.
Last but not least, our new hardware guru Georg introduced the latest addition to our online store – monitoring and SMS alerts in an all-in-one starter kit. It combines a SecurityProbe 5E Standard that can monitor up to 8 locations (with expansion units and Cat5 connection), a temperature sensor with a 0.3m cable (can add up to 300m extension cable with Cat5 connector) and a Teltonika Modem USB/G10. The AKCP SecurityProbe 5E Standard SMS Starter Kit offers simple monitoring for remote locations and best of all comes at an 11% discount. More sensors can be found at our shop.

NoMa release 2.0.2

Those of you who have been following the ongoing development of NoMa in the GIT repository
know that there are lots of exciting new features in the 2.x series; SQLite support, an improved configuration interface, a powerful timeframe concept, and much more.
Now finally we’ve packaged it all into a release 2.0.2 (with an installer, and updated documentation 🙂 ) available at http://www.netways.org/projects/noma/files
Many thanks go to Rune “TheFlyingCorpse” Darrud and Sebastian Wolf for all their hard work
on the project.

Weekly Snap: PRIMERGY Solutions & New Noma, BP-Cronk and LConf Releases

6 – 10 December handed out a few monitoring addon gifts for Christmas and promised one more for the Fujitsu server family.
Bernd reported from his visit to the PRIMERGY Solution Briefing in Augsberg which gathered server specialists from across Germany. Thanks to a long-standing partnership with Fujitsu Technology Services, NETWAYS had the opportunity to contribute a presentation introducing the current plugin check_fujitsu_primergy and the integration of iRMC cards. Both can be found in our demo system, open to all. To top it off, he promised a new plugin in progress for the Eternus series which will be released at the year’s end.
In the same spirit of giving, Jannis laid out a bunch of new monitoring tool releases under the NETWAYS Christmas tree: NoMa 1.0.6, LConf for Icinga 1.0.1 and BP-Cronk 1.0.1. Alongside bug fixes, the latest version of NoMa (Notification Manager) features new filter capabilities. So rules can now be set with host groups as well as hosts and services, saving time and sanity. LConf for Icinga brings an optimized directory information tree that automatically unfolds to show changes made and accepts common keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl-C for copy) too. Finally, the latest Icinga Web cronk for Business Process Addons improved the configuration parser and made saving new configs more intuitive. All are available to download at netways.org or the Git with season’s greetings from the development team.

Project of the Month: NoMa up a notch

June 2010: In a large and distributed environment, multi channel alerts for hundreds of users can get complicated. Indeed that’s where NoMa came in handy for one of our longstanding clients. With no less than 60 alert definitions, NoMa had been managing Nagios alerts for the corporation’s 1000+ users dependent on central services, across their 80+ remote sites worldwide.
All was working well, but as always things can work better. One pesky characteristic was that if a highly interconnected component were to fail, not only would the admins receive that alert, but they would also receive individual alerts for all the other services and components that were subsequently affected. This domino effect inundated the admins with messages that ultimately stemmed from the same issue. So the proposal was put forward – how about bundling all related errors into one summary message, but still be able to individually (de)activate each alert?
Consultant William took on the challenge, thereby setting the foundations of NoMa’s latest release, version 1.0.5. By transferring the persistence coded in Perl memory to a database NoMa had improved stability and failover precaution built in. This enabled the new feature of central outage correlations and alert summaries. Further improving the user friendliness, the team also simplified the (de)activation of alerts to be executable on the web interface, without the need for restarts.
All in all, thanks to their sponsorship and close cooperation, NoMa will soon be available as v 1.0.5 equipped with greater flexibility. As the biggest contributor to NoMa, a company representative even presented the project at the OSMC 2009. Check out the presentation for more info and keep an eye on netways.org for the official release coming soon!

Nagios Voice Alerts bei der Stadt Augsburg

Wieder einmal haben wir unsere aktuelle Lösung zur Generierung von Sprachnachrichten durch Nagios bei einem Kunden erfolgreich zum Einsatz gebracht.
Die Nagios Voice Alarmierung von NETWAYS basiert auf einer Starface Appliance (ein Ableger von Asterisk), welche durch ein Skript von Nagios gefüttert wird. Dazu haben wir ein spezielles Modul für Starface entwickelt. Das Queuing wird dabei von unserem eigenen Notification Manager (NoMa) erledigt.
Über ein Sprachmodul werden die Nachrichten von Nagios dem Angerufenen vorgelesen. Dieser hat nun durch Tastendruck die Möglichkeit ein Acknowledgement zu senden.
Als ideale Ergänzung zu Email oder SMS kann die Sprachbenachrichtigung in die Eskalationskette von Nagios einbinden und so die Erreichbarkeit in Notfällen deutlich steigern.
Mit der separaten Box ist man nicht mehr auf ISDN-Karten angewiesen, die teilweise gar nicht mehr in neuere Server eingebaut werden können und die Integration ist flexibler und zuverlässiger als beispielsweise mit einer Fritzbox.

Daemon ahead! – NoMa 1.0.2 released

It’s been quite a while and there have been loads of changes. Because of a blocking bug in Nagios we had to daemonify the notifier and since “divide and conquer” makes sense we added threads, too. Now Nagios can keep on blocking while NoMa keeps on doing it’s job. 🙂
The changelog:

  • notifier runs as daemon
  • major rewrite of notifier
  • fixed timezone support – daylight saving will be taken into account
  • use of threads via thread pool
  • status information
  • notifications queued via pipe or socket
  • improved logging
  • simplified method escalation
  • removed timezone from notifications – we now only care about the timezone that the contact is in
  • working hours can now be specified as multiple periods
  • init scripts for daemon
  • watchdog thread restarts the daemon if there is a memory leak

You better download the new version right now from NagiosForge or SourceForge.
Have fun!

Daemon voraus! – NoMa 1.0.2 released

Einige Zeit ist nun vergangen und vieleviele Änderungen wurden vorgenommen. Aufgrund eines blocking bug in Nagios war es an der Zeit den notifer zu daemonisieren und aufgrund von “divide and conquer” wurden auch gleich noch threads implementiert. Jetzt kann Nagios weiter blocken und NoMa führt schön seine Arbeit aus. 🙂
Alle Änderungen im Überblick:

  • notifier als daemon
  • grundlegendes rewrite des notifiers
  • fix der Zeitumstellung (Sommer-/ Winterzeit)
  • Verwendung von threads via thread pool
  • Statusinfo (was für Neugierige und developer)
  • Benachrichtungen werden per pipe oder socket in eine Warteschlange eingereit
  • verbessertes logging, damit keine Infos mehr verlorengehen können
  • vereinfachte Eskalation der Benachrichtigungsmethoden
  • Zeitzonen wurden auf Kontakte reduziert, da die Benachrichtigungen zu Kontakten gehören
  • Mehrfach-Zeitperioden
  • init scripts für den daemon
  • watchdog thread

Am Besten gleich unter NagiosForge oder SourceForge herunterladen.
Viel Spaß damit!

Ask the developer: NoMa for Nagios

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Ask the developer

What is NoMa?
Short for Notification Manager, it is an online tool for managing contacts and the Nagios notifications they receive. It offers easy administration of contacts, groups and escalations, taking into account working hours, time zones and even holidays.


Who is NoMa useful for?

NoMa is great for environments which have many contacts, hosts, services etc., and whose contacts should receive different notifications. If I could create a ‘Nagios Enterprise Suite’ for data centers, large and international corporations- then NoMa would definitely be in there.
How does it work?
NoMa on its own is simply consists of a MySQL database, lookup scripts and notification scripts, and the whole thing is connected to Nagios as a normal plugin.

The user enters contacts, groups and their respective notification requirements via the online interface to be stored in the database. In entering notification requirements, NoMa queries the NDO and gives an Ajax search preview.

When Nagios registers an error, it notifies NoMa. Then NoMa looks up the notification, contact, escalation level, dates or times and alert methods that match, and forwards the Nagios alert to the right person or people. All sent notifications then are available on a log viewer.
In essence we have outsourced the notifications component of Nagios to NoMa.

What communication channels can be used?

Any! The NoMa download comes with notification scripts for email, voicemail and SMS. The great thing about NoMa is that it is easily extendable – I imagine that an IM script exists somewhere already.
How is NoMa’s user administration?
NoMa has really flexible access management system, avoiding the glitch so many softwares have, that only one single administrator has access rights. Multiple users can edit notifications, but it is also easily customised to enable for example, low level administrators the chance to edit their own or group’s notification details, but nothing else.
What’s cool about NoMa?
The use of wildcard characters to define hosts and services for notification recipients – not only can the user search hosts and services by typing the first few letters to call up a list of matches, but they can also define them with wildcards for configuration. NoMa can essentially find and configure notifications from an unlimited number of hosts and services, without the administrator needing to know their names. Even better, you can search and define on multiple terms and make exclusions all in one hit. Just wildcard definitions alone make NoMa incredibly useful for large environments.

NoMa in a nutshell?

Basically NoMa makes sure that the right notifications go to the right people at the right times – but instead of typing in config files, you can do it all through a few clicks on NoMa. It makes life easier, taking the ‘manual work’ out of configuring notifications in Nagios. Easy admin for the admins!
More information:
Features & demo system
Join the project or download

NoMa 0.1.0 – beta und stabil

NoMa, der ‘NETWAYS Notification Manager for Nagios‘, ist mit Version 0.1.0 nun ins Betastadium übergegangen. Neben Bugfixes und Erweiterungen in der Session Security bietet NoMa nun auch die Funktionalität, nach Anstoß durch Nagios, eigenständig Eskalationen auf Kontakt- bzw. Kontaktgruppenebene auszuführen.
NoMa erfüllt bereits auch bei Kundschaft zuverlässig seinen Job und in absehbarer Zeit ist mit weiteren Features zu rechnen. Erstmalig gibt es NoMa jetzt auch auf seiner neuen Heimat NagiosForge, wo nicht nur Releases, sondern auch die Entwickler Versionen direkt aus dem Subversion heruntergeladen werden können. Natürlich ist NoMa auch weiterhin auf sourceforge.net zu haben.
Viel Spaß!

Neue Demosysteme für RequestTracker, NagiosPortal, Nagios und NoMa online

Nach größeren Umstellungen bei unseren Systemen, einer Umstellung des RT auf fastcgi, vielen Erweiterungen im NagiosPortal, dem Release von Nagios 3 und einem weiteren Schritt von NoMa Richtung Vollständigkeit ist es nun vollbracht: die neuen Demosysteme sind online!
Unter den unten angegebenen URLs können die neuen Systeme nach Lust und Laune ausprobiert werden. Der Zugang für nagiosbezogene Demos ist durch login dem Benutzernamen ‘guest’ und dem Passwort ‘guest’ möglich. Für das RT-Demo benötigt man einen personalisierten Benutzeraccount, den man hier anfordern kann.
Hier nun die URLs:
RequestTracker:
http://rt1.demo.netways.de/rtdemo/

NagiosPortal:
http://nagiosportal.demo.netways.de/
Nagios:
http://nagios.demo.netways.de/
NoMa:
http://noma.demo.netways.de/
Viel Spaß damit!