Friday, October 15, 2010

Nagios notifications

For quite some time, I've been receiving Nagios notifications via e-mail and SMS. Recently, my cellular operator, MTS, turned off the service that allowed me to receive email messages via SMS. Shame upon MTS! Don't use their services. The reliability is terrible and then they just turn it off.

I plan to buy and set up a SMS gateway on the server. In the meanwhile, I was looking for other alternatives.

Firefox extension

Nagios Checker is a Firefox extension that displays Nagios alerts in the browser's status bar. Works fine, but I'm still not certain about the merits of this solution. After all, I can get e-mail notifications in the same browser area. And it's not mobile.

On the other hand, it's much more satisfying to see the green spot down there than to jump up every time an email notifier informs you of another webinar you don't want to attend.

Push e-mail

My cell phone is Nokia E63. It's a Symbian thingy and its messaging application can monitor my Gmail account non-stop. Well, actually, I'm not sure if it's implemented as a real push e-mail, even though Wikipedia is dead sure that it is. Either way, it works, but only as long as I'm within reach of a WiFi network. Of course, it should work over GRPS/Edge/3G, too, but I am still to find how much this permanent connection would cost me.

Social networks

There's a number of articles that recommend using Twitter to deliver the notifications, but I never could grasp the value of this service and do not use it. Besides, I think anyone would be able to read the alerts? Not good.

Instant messengers

A sound idea. But I tend to keep as far from them as possible. Even at work, where Skype is the preferred way of communication, I hardly use it. It's not as comfortable as e-mail, IMHO. It annoys and distracts me. And, finally, there are too many new messages, and the natural reaction is to neglect them.

Other ways

I've found an interesting article, "Notifications and Events in Nagios 3.0" (Part I and Part II). It summarizes some interesting ideas and details of their implementation in Nagios. Still, it does not mention an amazing idea, which I would really like to try out. Have a look at this video:

In the meanwhile, I think I should try push e-mail. Also, I think the server could trigger a desktop notification program (like notify-send, kdialog or, even better, a self-made Tcl/Tk pop-up notifier) remotely, via ssh. It should work well.

It's a pity cell phones don't have their own IP addresses and can't be controlled via ssh...

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