[CentOS] Recommendation On Ping And Alert Tool

Kennedy Clark hkclark at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 00:15:56 UTC 2005


> I'll second the recommendation of Mon. It is simple and powerful with
> very few requirements. Mon.cgi will give you web-based access to the
> status information. It also has the advantage of being written in
> Perl, so making minor changes to the monitoring or alerting routines
> is very easy. The logic to only notify once (or twice, or three
> times) per outage is built-in. You can also change the notification
> routines based on the time of day and/or day of the week. For
> instance, I set mine so that it doesn't bother notifying me about
> scheduled daily reboots of some of the servers.
>
> Bowie
> _______________________________________________


While we are on the topic of cool tools in the network management arena, I
should probably put in a plug for SmokePing:
http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~oetiker/webtools/smokeping/

It's a wonderful open source tool from Tobi Oetiker, the same guy who
created the excellent MRTG and RRDtool (Tobi has been getting some excellent
help on SmokePing from Niko Tyni lately). Note that SmokePing isn't designed
to measure stuff like ifInOctets and IfOutOctets (volume of traffic on a
port/interface) via SNMP like MRTG. Instead, it's fairly unique in that it
focuses on packet loss, latency and jitter (variations in latency). It's the
only tool of it's kind I know of. It's great for monitoring stuff on the
Internet (where SNMP generally isn't an option). It usually works off ICMP
pings, but there are a variety of nifty modules that do other measurements
(DNS response time, remote "proxy pings" via the Cisco MIB, TCP sockets,
etc.).

If you go to the site, the key to reading the graphs is:
* The COLOR of the line shows PACKET LOSS.
* The HEIGHT of the line shows MEDIAN LATENCY.
* The SMOKE around the line shows JITTER (variation in latency).

It requires RRDtool, which you can "yum install rrdtool" right from Dag's
site. The only tricky part of the installation/setup is getting speedycgi (a
cool thing that speeds up CGI scripts without mod_perl complexity) working.
I have not been able to get the RPMs at
http://www.daemoninc.com/SpeedyCGI/CGI-SpeedyCGI-2.22/binaries/ to work with
CentOS. If all else fails, you can bag speedycgi and live with slower CGI
rendering by changing the first line of smokeping.cgi from
"#!/usr/bin/speedy" to "#!/usr/bin/perl".

It also has some pretty cool alarm features (can watch packet loss and
latency trends over time and alert you when certain "patterns" are found).

Thanks,
Kennedy
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