There's an old DevOps story of a developer who, when asked by a member of the ops team why an app isn't running on the live servers, replies "It's just fine on my laptop". To which the only reply is "Right then, hand it over, we're putting your laptop into production!" It's always been a problem ensuring that development and production systems have the same configuration — especially when you're deploying apps and services to automated cloud platforms. ScriptRock's GuardRail is designed to quickly pinpoint differences in configurations on servers and desktops, comparing states between systems and over time. With GuardRail you can see just what has changed, helping simplify diagnostics — and reducing downtime. If that developer and administrator had been using GuardRail, they'd have been able to compare the laptop and the failed server to see that, perhaps, a key configuration file had been changed, or that the developer had been using a different version of an application … [Read more...] about ScriptRock GuardRail, First Take: Cloud-based server monitoring and diagnostics
Free server monitoring
One of the things I have always dreaded about server monitoring was all the labor of setting up the monitors. It was always a very laborious task and many times, it called for several tweaks before I got what I actually wanted from the package.Now granted I worked with a particularly tight financial budget for IT, which is why many times I lean towards good tools that are not outrageously priced. My thoughts being that my situation was not the exception but rather the rule. I’ve said before gone are the days of the dot-com shiatsu massages, free snacks and sodas, weekly company paid lunches and a full bar and workout facility (I’m not kidding about that last one).Server monitoring is certainly an important enough function to any company that the need exists for good tools that are intuitive and easy to use. PA Server Monitor is such a tool.PA Server Monitor comes in three editions: free, lite and pro. We will speak about the Pro edition as it gives the best number of … [Read more...] about PA Server Monitor Pro: Straightforward server monitoring, with incredible power!
A certificate snafu grounded Microsoft's Azure cloud last weekend for more than a day. While the outage led to complaints by some users, one vendor saw the mishap as an opportunity.The cause of the outage was the failure to renew an SSL certificate, according to Microsoft. The outage began at around 3:44 p.m. ET last Friday and service wasn't fully restored until 8 p.m. ET the next day.To help salve dissatisfaction caused by the outage, Microsoft said it would proactively provide credits to affected customers. [See also: Microsoft blames Azure outage on a configuration error]The cloud disruption gave Matt Watson a lot of time to think. After all, his company, Stackify, of Kansas City, Mo. was knocked off Azure for 12 hours. The brainchild of those ruminations was a free service to help certificate administrators avoid Microsoft's mistakes.The service hosted at CertAlert.me gives administrators who register at the site an instant report on their domains, and they'll receive reminders … [Read more...] about Azure outage births free cert monitoring software
Latest VoIP news.Legislation enacted to protect emergency calls via VoIP, 11/05/07: Emergency triple zero calls from VoIP services are covered under legislation that formally came into effect in Australia Monday.Microsoft releases free tool to monitor voice quality, 11/01/07: Microsoft Wednesday released a free module for its just released Office Communications Server 2007 that lets users troubleshoot voice quality issues by monitoring network performance in real-time.The Network World IT Buyer's Guides provide comprehensive, detailed information on how to select, test, buy and deploy thousands of network and IT products. The new Network World IT Buyer's Guides offer even more features than before, here's just one that's worth checking out: VoIP Security ProductsEditor's note: Starting the week of Nov. 19, you will notice a number of enhancements to Network World newsletters that will provide you with more resources and more news links relevant to the newsletter's subject. The … [Read more...] about Legislation enacted to protect emergency calls via VoIP; Microsoft free tool monitors voice quality
It used to be that a picture was worth a thousand words; however, when it comes to the free SolarWinds VM Monitor tool, the picture that is provided is worth a whole lot more. Although this teaser product is limited to monitoring a single ESX server, the output is incredibly useful and provides true at-a-glance status information about the health of your ESX server.The product installation couldn't be easier. Simply install SolarWinds VM Monitor, provide the IP address or name of your ESX server as well as that server's read-only SNMP string, and output like you see below is generated. In this capture from one of our live ESX servers, you can see that this machine has nine of 10 installed virtual machines powered on with one VM in a critical state due to CPU running at full-throttle. You'll notice that it's only the virtual machine's CPU that's running at 100% though. The ESX server CPU is still running at only 16% capacity. You also get to see how … [Read more...] about SolarWinds VM Monitor provides free ESX server monitoring
Being an avid Nagios user, and using it to monitor a number of machines both on my local network and remote ones that I am responsible for, I was pleased to get my hands on the book Learning NAGIOS 3.0 by Wojciech Kocjan (ISBN 978-1-84719-518-0, published by Packt Publishing). This book is all about Nagios: how to set it up, configure it, and use it.The book is not overly large, weighing in at just under 300 pages and the font size is quite large, making it easy reading. While it might not be a book you read cover-to-cover, it makes a great reference book if you're either starting with Nagios or want to learn more about how to get the most out of it.Nagios has been the subject of a few prior tips, so to quickly recap, it is a monitoring service that is built on an extensible plugin architecture. With it, you have the central Nagios server, which executes various checks to determine whether defined services are in an OK state, a warning state (overloaded systems, slow services), or a … [Read more...] about Learning more about Nagios for server monitoring
I don't know about you, but I truly think that there is an incredible amount of really good software available for totally free today. Sure, there has always been a strong open source software community; but never before have so many of them been available as refined programs that are rock-solid.While talking with someone recently who was looking for ideas for opportunities for IT side work, the idea of utilizing these free titles dawned on me. The opportunity would be to make a basic service catalog for your ideal client, whether that would be a home user or a small business. Here are a few software titles that can be used to make a great catalog for your prospective clients:Untangle Appliance:This Internet appliance is, by far, my favorite, and is a candidate for both the small business and home user. If for no other reason, the web filter and Spyware Blocker applications can be a boon to the small network to protect the browsing experience. Other features such as VPNVMware ESXi:The … [Read more...] about Consulting services on free server software: Money to be made.
If you're a system or network administrator, you need monitoring tools. You have to know, at all times, the status of your systems so you can optimize performance and head off potential problems. Thankfully, plenty of tools are available to help you stay in the know about your systems. Some of these products are costly and do quite a lot. But others are free and do just as much — and in some cases, more. That's right. More.I want to introduce you to five system and/or network monitors that do more than you'd think they could do. From this list of products you will certainly find one or more tools that will serve your needs. Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.Observium (Figure A) is "an autodiscovering PHP/MySQL/SNMP-based network monitoring [tool]." It focuses on Linux, UNIX, Cisco, Juniper, Brocade, Foundry, HP, and more. With Observium, you'll find detailed graphs and an incredibly easy-to-use interface. It can monitor a huge number of processes and systems. … [Read more...] about Five free network monitoring tools
Another day another hacker attack. This time hackers stole the records of 15 million T-Mobile customers. They did not hack T-Mobile, but credit monitoring service Experian. Get In Stock Alerts on Twitter for SNES Classic, Switch and More Experian says that the hack was in an isolated incident over a limited period of time. It included access to a server that housed personal information of consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16, 2015. Consumers who got a T-Mobile contract in the last 2 years.These records include information such as name, address and birthdate as well as encrypted fields with Social Security number and ID number (such as driver’s license or passport number), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. Experian has determined that this encryption may have been compromised.T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in an open letter: "Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach … [Read more...] about 15 Million T-Mobile User Data Stolen On Experian Servers
I recently did a small experiment to evaluate the reliability and response time of various website monitoring services available on the Internet.In case you are new, these services continuously monitor your website(s) for downtime and send email alerts as soon as your web server goes down or becomes slow and inaccessible. You get another alert when the site is up again.Also see: Use Google Docs as Website Uptime MonitorFor this test, I configured my site with Uptime Party, Pingdom, Watch Mouse, Site Uptime and Zoho’s Site 24×7. They are all commercial site monitoring services but also offer a trial version which is good for around 30 days.Now as you would know, the site went down last week for a couple of hours due to some issues with the file server of the web hosting company but this was a good opportunity to test how quick and reliable these site monitoring services are.Here’s a snapshot of email alerts that came from all the above services along with the exact time … [Read more...] about The Best Website Monitoring Services