I just mentioned how my internet connection went down in the middle of the night. Of course I don’t check my network when I get up in the morning until I get to work and try and get access to my email. At that point, if it’s something I can’t walk my wife through, I am out of luck until I get back home. That sort of scenario is most annoying, not only for me but also for the rest of my family who depend on the internet connection for their communication, entertainment and research as well.

That being the case I decided that what I really need is some sort of notification when that type of thing happens, so I can address it quicker. I started looking into different network monitoring packages and came up short. At work I use Nagios, which is a great piece of software, but tough to set up and overkill for what I really need. There are several others as well, but nothing quite fits the bill and everybody you ask tells you to use Nagios anyhow, so using anything else is not exactly confidence inspiring.

Several years ago I wrote a junky network monitoring script in bash. I decided to harvest a little bit from that and my newfound knowledge of the workings of better programs and have another go at it. I put together a very simple framework that I’ll call “OpenNetMon” unless something better happens along. This framework, written in bash scripts, allows me to write different modules for different types of monitoring, and different types of actions and chain them all together with specific servers and services that I need to be watched. It was very quick to get going, has a lot of flexibility, and so far, seems to work pretty well. I slapped the pieces I needed to use onto my account on Danns server (Hi Dann) and I have it checking icmp, http, ssh and imap access on 5 of my servers every 10 minutes. It takes less than 3 seconds to do so, including maintaining a service status change log and emailing and paging me with service changes.

Not quite sure where this is going just yet, but if you’re interested in tinkering on this project, just let me know.

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3 Responses to “OpenNetMon”

  1. augur Says:

    i do think this would be interesting!

    an offsite way of checking and being updated on the status of your HTTP server, or FTP, or SSH. That i would be interested in!

    I am not a great coder, but a good network admin and love to tinker with my many *nix boxes, wanna see if we can turn this into something fun?

  2. linc Says:

    Haven’t had time to post about it yet, but I am sure the stuff works. My net connection went down at home today while I was on the train and the software paged my phone to let me know, just like I had it set to do so. More info and the code coming soon…

  3. yeti Says:

    I had the same itch a few years ago. Been using monit ever since,

    fun project to hack on if you do roll your own though!

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