Nagios Plugin to Check Extreme Networks Devices

Over at INEX we’ve embarked on a forklift upgrade of the primary peering LAN using Extreme Networks Summit x670’s and x460’s. As usual, we need to monitor these 24/7 and we have just written a new Extreme Networks chassis monitoring script which should work with most Extreme devices.

It will check and generate alerts on the following items:

  • a warning if the device was recently rebooted;
  • a warning / critical if any found temperature sensors are in a non-normal state;
  • a warning / critical if any found fans are in a non-normal state;
  • a warning / critical if any found PSUs are in a non-normal state (or missing);
  • a warning / critical if the 5 sec CPU utilisation is above set thresholds;
  • a warning / critical if the memory utilisation is above set thresholds.

You’ll find the script in this Github repository: barryo/nagios-plugins.

A some verbose output follows:

Doctrine2 Service Provider for Laravel 4

I’ve just released a Laravel 4 package which contains a service provider to the Doctine2 entity manager and the Doctrine2 cache. These are made available via facades named D2EM and D2Cache respectively.

Currently it uses the XML schema method for defining entities but this can easily be augmented with the other methods. Also, ArrayCache and MemcacheCache are fully supported caching interfaces. Any other cache that requires no configuration is also supported but some trivial coding will be required for caching backends required configuration.

Combining this with TwigBridge, we have an excellent framework with Laravel 4!

Nagios / Icinga Alerts via Pushover

I came across Pushover recently which makes it easy to send real-time notifications to your Android and iOS devices. And easy it is. It also allows you to set up applications with logos so that you can have multiple Nagios installations shunting alerts to you via Pushover with each one easily identifiable. After just a day playing with this, it’s much nicer than SMS’.

So, to set up Pushover with Nagios, first register for a free Pushover account. Then create a new application for your Nagios instance. I set the type to Script and also upload a logo. After this, you will be armed with two crucial pieces of information: your application API tokan/key ($APP_KEY) and your user key ($USER_KEY).

To get the notification script, clone this GitHub repository or just down this file – notify-by-pushover.php.

You can test this immediately with:

The parameters are:

Now, set up the new notifications in Nagios / Icinga:

Then, in your contact definition(s) add / update as follows:

Make sure you break something to test that this works!

NOCtools and OSS_SNMP Get Support for Multiple Spanning Tree (MST) Protocol

NOCtools (a mixed bag collection of tools and utilities for NOC engineers) and OSS_SNMP (a PHP SNMP Library for People Who HATE SNMP, MIBs and OIDs) have just gotten support for Multiple Spanning Tree.

Specifically, OSS_SNMP has two new MIBS (Cisco’s original MST tree which has a lot of deprecated nodes – MIBS\Cisco\MST; and the newer IEEE tree – MIBS\Cisco\SMST). With these, we can, for example, get an array of [instanceID] => instanceName values from a switch by just coding:

NOCtools has the more impressive use cases of these new features. Specifically (and just likes its RSTP/pvrspt functionality), it can:

  • Show MST port roles (root, designated, alternate, etc) for a given (or all) MST instance(s) – this is equivalent to the RSTP version;
  • From a given device, it can crawl all CDP neighbours and create a graph of all devices, their connecting ports and the MST roles of those ports. This is a really useful feature as it means you don’t need to log into multiple switches to get a handle on what links are blocking. See documentation and a sample diagram here.

Synchronising Microsoft Exchange to Another IMAP Server

This post is much less of a detailed how-to but rather some useful links. We were tasked with the job of sync’ing about 1,000 MS Exchange mailboxes to a Dovecot server. This needed to be done via an administrator account on the Exchange end as individual user passwords were not available.

The tool of choice for this is imapsync.  Unfortunately, there is not a single formula that will work for all as it can depend on the Exchange configuration and version as well as the use of domains on the Exchange and ActiveDirectory servers.

To help understand the various combinations of logins for Exchange, I found the following invaluable: Understanding login strings with POP3/IMAP.

Also invaluable is the imapsync FAQ – just search for mentions of Exchange.

In the end, the following worked for me (but your mileage will most definitely vary!):

One key element here is that when logging into Exchange as an individual user I had to use --authmech1 NTLM but if you use this auth method with the above user string, you will always end up logging into the admin’s mailbox, not the user’s. That, at least, was my experience.

Git Web Applications (aka GitHub Alternatives)

I’ve been through the mill with a few of these and it’s a growing list of options. I should start by saying that I love GitHub and use it regularly for a large number of projects (including some of my own, some for my company and some for my customers). The only problem I have with GitHub is that I just haven’t made the jump to trust it with our proprietary code – the primary asset of the company. Particularly after a high profile security breech.

Now, nothing I’ve come across yet comes close to GitHub. But two we use daily have good matching features:

  • Gitorious –  whether they intended it or not, it’s a good clone of GitHub but always a little behind on features. It’s also a Ruby on Rails application and the documentation is getting far better. When we started, it was pretty… shite, to be honest. Installing and upgrading was a pain. They have addressed this with which includes a virtual appliance for VirtualBox so you can be up and running in minutes.
  • Atlassian Stash – if you’re a small team (<= 10 users) then this could be for you. Installation is pretty easy, it looks great, is very fast (over HTTP/S, but it’s inbuilt SSH client is extremely slow) and is very easy to use. Pull requests are also done really really well. It’s a full Java webapp so it does require some CPU and memory. For <= 10 users, my definite favorite. Thereafter though it gets expensive – e.g. for up to 25 users you’ll fork out $1,800 / annum. That’s not entirely unaffordable but if you’re using Stash, then you may also be using their other products such as Jira, Confluence, Bamboo, Fisheye and Crucible. Now that adds up to a hefty bill!

One’s I have not tested and so cannot speak authoritively on include:

  • GitLab – Looks like a very interesting alternative.
  • RhodeCode – they say it will “change the way you manage your code”.
  • Gitolite – a quick look at the available information for this definitely puts it in the also ran category. There’s no polish or anything nice to entice one to even try it.
  • Gitosis – in their own words: “Manage git repositories, provide access to them over SSH, with tight access control and not needing shell accounts”. The project appears dead.


Nagios Plugin for Checking Backups via rsnapshot

We’ve just added a check_rsnapshot.php script to our nagios-plugins bundle on Github. This script will verify rsnapshot backups via Nagios using a number of checks / tests:

  • minfiles – checks the number of files in a snapshot against a minimum expected number;
  • minsize – checks the size of a snapshot against a minimum expected size;
  • log – parses the rsnapshot log to ensure the most recent runs for each retention period completed successfully;
  • timestamp – checks for files created server side containing a timestamp and thus ensuring snapshots are succeeding;
  • rotation – checks that retention directories are being rotated; and
  • dir-creation – checks that retention directories are being created.

Please see this Github wiki page for more information including instructions.