GroundWork Monitor

Purpose

We’re evaluating GroundWork Monitor to see if it’s useful in tracking the uptime of some of our server applications.

GroundWork Monitor is a collection of other tools, notably the Nagios toolset. They’ve slapped a consolidated web front-end on these tools and allow you to monitor any number of processes on various machines. We’re using the community edition.

  • GroundWork Open Source
  • We’ve been playing with the VMware installation of GroundWork. It’s a dedicated virtual machine that acts as a dedicated monitor for your applications.
  • Intelliware implementation details: Monitoring Servers

Issue – Email notification

It took me a day to get email notification working from the VMware installation. Here’s what I did:

Modified sendmail

The CentOS virtual machine doesn’t have a trusted SMTP server. I needed to get it to use the corporate SMTP server. I modified /etc/mail.sendmail.mc and made these changes:

define('SMART_HOST', 'my.real.mail.host')dnl

MASQUERADE_AS(real.mail.domain)dnl
FEATURE(allmasquerade)dnl
FEATURE(masquerade_envelope)dnl

Then I rebuild the sendmail.cf file:

m4 /etc/mail/sendmail.mc > /etc/mail/sendmail.cf
service sendmail restart

This allowed me to send email from the virtual machine command line.

mail -s HELP me@example.com (press enter)
email body (press enter)
. (press enter)
(press enter)

Automatic emails were still not being sent when the monitored server stopped.

Turn on global notifications

By default, notifications are turned off. On the GroundWork control panel, go to Configuration > Control > Nagios main configuration. Turn on the notifications and commit your change.

Automatic emails were still not being sent when the monitored server stopped.

Turned off state retention

Apparently Nagios ignores the global notification value if state retention is turned on. So turn off state retention (from the Magios main configuration) and commit the change.

This still did not resolve the problem. I’ve checked the mail logs and messages files, and I don’t see that the mail failed anywhere. My guess is that I’ve still got a misconfigured GroundWork instance. Since notification email is a “nice to have” at this point, it will stay in a non-working state until I have more time to track down what’s going wrong.

Success! Sort of

On a whim, I modified the email address for my contact from my @intelliware.ca address to the old @intware.com address. It seems to work now.

Viewing the Nagios logs was a little helpful (but not much). From the main console select Nagios > Event Log.

This isn’t really a solution, but it will do until we create a permanent installation of GroundWork.

Issue – VMware recovery

My desktop stopped responding so I had to do a hard cycle. Unfortunately, that reset my VMware instance. Here’s what I did to recover.

  1. restart VMware
  2. login to CentOS virtual machine. root/opensource
  3. wait for everything to start, then check the IP assigned to the CentOS instance via ifconfig.
  4. change any references (bookmarks, etc) to use the new IP.

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