Maximillian Dornseif wrote:
I administer about a dozen FreeBSD Servers. This results in me getting about 100 mails a week from the PERIODIC(8) scripts. Obviously this is to much to read with care.
I wonder what the canonical approach is to handling hundreds of status mails like the ons generated by periodic.
Yeah. Periodic scripts are great if you only have a few machines not doing anything really critical. It's a mark of the standards requiredby the FreeBSD project that the baseline system comes with a working monitoring system built-in.
However, periodic e-mails really do not scale to tens, let alone hundreds, of machines and once a day is really far too infrequent for checking important services. My recommendation is to redirect all of the periodic output to local log files -- daily.log, weekly.log etc. -- according to the comments in /etc/defaults/periodic.conf. Then set up a full blown monitoring system using eg. Nagios. For a dozen or so servers, you won't need anything particularly special to run Nagios on. Sticking it in a jail on one of your existing machines might work well for you. Nagios monitoring needs to be developed over time. With the standard plugins supplied by the net-mgmt/nagios-plugins port, you'll be able to monitor most services with external listeners. However, to get the most out of Nagios I find that installing net-mgmt/net-snmpd on all monitored machines is a necessity. You'll need to be careful about how you do that -- SNMP v2c or lower does the equivalent of sending passwords across the net in plain text, so it's useful if you can arrange for some sort of private back-end network between all your servers. While the intrinsic capabilities of net-snmpd add a great deal of monitorable information, the real advantage is the ability to hook up arbitrary scripts via the 'extend' mechanism. This coupled with the ability to write custom plugins for Nagios means you can do a lot of very interesting things. Trivial example: we routinely hook up running 'gmirror status -s' through snmpd and then use a very short Nagios plugin script to alert us to RAID problems. There's also nagios-exchange with plenty of interesting and useful stuff available -- see for instance http://www.nagiosexchange.org/cgi-bin/page.cgi?g=Detailed%2F1562.html;d=1 Nagios and periodic don't fulfil exactly the same functions, but there is enough overlap to allow replacing one with the other. Cheers, Matthew -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 7 Priory Courtyard Flat 3 PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Ramsgate Kent, CT11 9PW
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