[hobbit] Off on a tangent ([hobbit] conn alerts based on ping time)

Jeff Newman jeffnewman75 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 21:12:37 CET 2006


hobbit is already pretty much integrated with MRTG. Sure, you  have to
install MRTG and configure the mrtg.cfg, but that's pretty simple. Other
than that, hobbit is already coded to look for MRTG
RRD files. See the tips&tricks section under help. There is a document that
describes setting up
MRTG with hobbit. I also looked at bb-mrtg and found it daunting to try and
figure out how it all works together with hobbit, so I stuck with the
standard integration. I also didn't like the fact that plain MRTG with
bb-mrtg seemed to not use RRD and stuck with the default way MRTG works (ala
lots of .png files) but i could be wrong about that since I ahve never done

Anyway in short, putting MRTG (a well known easy to install program) on a
the hobbit server and following the instructions in the help pages took me
less than 10-15 minutes to get up and running (I had already downloaded the
linux MRTG rpm and installed it)


On 1/13/06, Charles Jones <jonescr at cisco.com> wrote:
> Jeff,
> That's a very good point. Do you know if anyone has documented setting up
> MRTG with Hobbit?  I searched the mailing list archives and didn't find
> anything concise.
> I will probably end up recommending and implementing the MRTG solution,
> but I still think it should be trivial for hobbit to alert on the ping
> response, since it already collects that data. I guess a real solution would
> be for hobbit to come with an MRTG module "out of the box" so that users
> didn't have to delve into the knowledgebase and/or depend on places like
> deadcat to find and provide the functionality they need.
> I myself don't mind using external scripts and having to tinker with
> something to get it to work the way I want, but its hard enough to sell
> management on Hobbit over commercial and well known tools like Nagios,
> without having to reveal that you need to spend a day downloading external
> scripts and making them work in order to get the functionality that they
> expect (and that they think that the commercial tools already have).
> I believe that a well-setup hobbit monitor is superior to Nagios and other
> tools I have tested and been forced to use over the years. But the fact that
> a lot of the application-specific monitoring (mysql, oracle, postgres, etc),
> as well as traffic monitoring (MRTG) is handled by third-party scripts that
> you have to meld into your server probably scares away a lot of people,
> especially management types who have security folks whispering in their ear
> to never trust third-party modules and especially not code written by
> "joe-user from some website" (a manager actually said that to me once).  As
> of yet Hobbit does not even have a fully functional client (no logfile
> parsing), so we have to use either the bb-client or the bb-msgs
> script....more third party plugins.
> I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I guess what I'm saying is I would
> like to see Hobbit come with built-in support for monitoring common
> applications and services (besides the basics). It's already partway there
> as Hobbit can natively check things like mysql, but what about postgres,
> oracle?
> Henrik is a busy guy I am sure, and he probably doesn't get much
> compensation for all the fine work he does on Hobbit, nor does he ask for
> any (I did buy him one of his wishlist items, I hope others do as well). As
> far as I know, Henrik has nobody helping him, except for seeing him mention
> someone was working on a new Hobbit client. Maybe what we need is more
> people to roll up their sleeves and write some modules that are compatible
> with hobbit with little or no tweaking. Sadly I'm no C/C++ guru, but I am
> pretty good with Perl :-)
> I think also perhaps we need an "official" repository of scripts that work
> with Hobbit, so when someone needs an addon, they can grab an already
> Hobbit-ized one, instead of going to deadcat and getting a script to hack
> on. Also a Wiki might be handy, so that Hobbit users can easily share and
> update information on various Hobbit setups and problems.
> Okay, I have written WAY more than I intended here, I'm so far off topic
> now that I will edit the subject line as a warning :)
> -Charles
> Jeff Newman wrote:
> Really, honestly, im not trying to belabor a point here, but you need to
> be careful as the ping only runs every 5 minutes, so even if you could get
> this alerting to work, the link would have to be slow during a ping cycle.
> So it could possible be slow for 4 minutes, recover, and the page wouldn't
> happen, as the ping time would be ok. Assuming the client saw the slowness
> during those 4 minutes via other methods, they would then question why
> hobbit didn't see it.
> Same thing hapens to me with spikes in network traffic between polling
> periods, I don't see them.
> With MRTG, you can shorten the time to 1 minute. MRTG integration with
> hobbit isn't too hard, so thats probably the route you should go.
> -Jeff
> On 1/13/06, Charles Jones <jonescr at cisco.com> wrote:
> >
> > Deal, Richard wrote:
> >
> >  Sounds like they need to through in MRTG and go red when the traffic is
> > high on the link.
> >
> > And then throw in things like
> >
> > bb-ospf.pl to check that ospf is not flapping over the link
> >
> > bb-xsnmp.pl to check out the routers at each end and the interfaces
> >
> > Yeah I'm aware of the existance of bb-mrtg.pl, although I have never set
> > it up.  I guess I was hoping that Hobbit could natively support ping testing
> > rather than having to install mrtg and hack stuff in.  Its sort of confusing
> > for a newbie when you are showing them the ropes of Hobbit and start
> > bringing external scripts into the mix (especially ones that require
> > modifying before they will work).
> >
> >
> >
> > you can also use http to a reliable server on the remote side as part of
> > the link test.  Just make the http test for the link dependent on the router
> > and the conn test to the web server.
> >
> >
> >
> > That won't work in this case as all of the companies servers are in a
> > CoLo, Hobbit is running at the CoLo, and they want to test the T1 link at
> > the office from the CoLo (there are no servers on the other side of the
> > office T1 to do a test against), and even if there was, it still would not
> > give them a heads-up to the T1 being slow/saturated, as Hobbit only alerts
> > when the conn test outright fails.
> >
> > -Charles
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >   ------------------------------
> >
> > *From:* Charles Jones [mailto:jonescr at cisco.com <jonescr at cisco.com>]
> > *Sent:* Friday, January 13, 2006 1:01 PM
> > *To:* hobbit at hswn.dk
> > *Cc: *crimson at technologist.com
> > *Subject:* [hobbit] conn alerts based on ping time
> >
> >
> >
> > I'm helping someone set up Hobbit at their company, and they want to
> > monitor the status of a remote office T1 link.  Of course Hobbit can tell
> > them if the link goes totally down, or you can ignore bad pings with
> > "badconn",  but they want to know when the link is *slow*, as they often
> > have periods of time when the pings are not dropped, but instead taking 1-3
> > seconds (instead of <100ms like normal).
> >
> > Is there any chance that Hobbit will soon support comparing the ping
> > replies to specifiied values for green, yellow, and red?
> >
> > Somethign like:
> >
> > myhost.com # conn:200:500
> >
> > This would make myhost.com's conn test go yellow if the ping was between
> > 200 and 500ms, and red if it was over 500ms.
> > Since hobbit already graphs the numeric values of the ping replies, this
> > seems like it would be fairly easy to add?
> >
> > -Charles
> >
> >
> >
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