[hobbit] Latest Snapshot

Francesco Duranti fduranti at q8.it
Fri Jan 27 12:07:17 CET 2006

Hi Henrik, 
Thanks for the good work!!

I've downloaded the snapshot but I cannot use it ... 
I've manually changed the hobbitnk.cfg file to put an host that exists in my configuration but it seems that nkedit cannot get the configuration (it didn't find that host/service) and if I try to insert anything i get an Internal Error from apache. In the error_log i get 
Fri Jan 27 11:57:54 2006] [error] [client] Premature end of script headers: hobbit-nkedit.sh, referer: http://itromlx10/hobbit-seccgi/hobbit-nkedit.sh?HOSTNAME=itromlx10&SERVICE=http&Find=Search&PRIORITY=1&GROUP=&NKWKDAYS=*&NKSTARTHOUR=0000&NKENDHOUR=2400&start-day=0&start-mon=0&start-yr=0&end-day=0&end-mon=0&end-yr=0&EXTRA=&NKEDITADDCLONES=

I've also one question (and possibly one request if it can be implemented)...
It's possible to create different configuration file for different group ? 
Here I've some groups that are monitoring various servers/services (windows server, network equipment, Web Logic Server and Apache Web Server) and it can be really nice to have them go to different NK Page (configuration) each one monitoring the objects they really need to check....

I'm also trying to create a comprehensive hobbit configuration program that can edit all the files in the hobbit configuration (hosts, alert, client, services, graphs, etc.). 
My unix programming skill are a bit old so I'm developing it in .NET for windows (also because some of the user here that can need to modify the configuration are windows people that know nothing about telnet or ssh or vi :P).
The interface will be a MDI interface with one child-window for each configuration file and it will be simple to include in the program new configuration file of others addon (as the snmp or bb-msgs and so on).

At the moment I'm trying to understand how to get/put the file on the hobbit machine and the simplest one is via ftp... I think I can get the file also via the bbmessage.cgi but then I've to get via bbmessage.cgi and put with ftp ...

Continue the good work!


-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Henrik Stoerner [mailto:henrik at hswn.dk] 
Inviato: giovedì 26 gennaio 2006 21.46
A: hobbit at hswn.dk
Oggetto: Re: [hobbit] Latest Snapshot

On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 12:04:16PM -0500, Michael Dunne wrote:

>  I downloaded the latest snapshot and am curious if there is any 
> documentation for the new "Critical Systems" enhancements. The new 
> features look perfect for our organization and I'd love to start testing.

Docs are usually the last thing that gets done :-)

Fortunately, this is one of those things that doesn't need much documentation just to use.

There are two new CGI's - they both install automatically when you run "make install". 

The "hobbit-nkview.sh" provides a view of the current critical systems, as defined in a new configuration file hobbit-nkview.cfg; the old "NK" tags in the bb-hosts file have been deprecated since they cannot hold all the info that is needed. So this is a replacement for the bbnk.html page that Hobbit inherited from the bbgen tool. The new view is dynamic - so it's always up-to-date; it allows you to prioritize systems so the most important ones are listed first; it will automatically hide alerts that are older than some threshold so a "noisy" system doesn't clutter the view of the operators; and it allows the operator to acknowledge alerts - both to get them off his display, and to inform others that the alert has been recognized and some action has been taken.
The acknowledgement feature is going to be used a lot more in the future; it is designed to allow acknowledgments to be sent by different groups to allow for alerts that can escalate to e.g. higher-level management regardless of any acks from a technician.

In my production setup, the configuration of what systems and alerts are "critical" is handled by a separate group who wants some say about what can and cannot go on their monitor (e.g. 
they won't accept responsibility for monitoring stuff until the operational procedures have been documented etc.); this is a group of people who are very much "point-and-click" types. So hand-editing text configuration files is out of the question.
Hence, a web-interface to configuring the critical systems view was built; this is the "hobbit-nkedit.sh" CGI. So by using this tool, you can configure the "critical systems" view with what status messages show up there; what their priority should be; what times of the day/week they are monitored; any special instructions the operators should see when there is an alert; and for systems that are going into or out of service you can even define the date where this happens and the monitoring will automatically start or stop at the right time. For groups of hosts with identical monitoring setups, you can define a template for how they are configured on the "critical systems" view, and then "clone" this template to all of the hosts that should use the same template. So you only need to define the monitoring once.

To use this, you basically build the current snapshot, then do a "make install" on top of your current setup. You will need to add a couple of menu items to your ~hobbit/server/www/menu/menu_items.js
file, to get the links to these two new CGI's; see the default file that gets built in hobbitd/wwwfiles/menu/menu_items.js when you build Hobbit. In the "Views" menu, it is the "Critical systems"
item, and in the "Administration" menu it is the "Edit critical systems"
item. Note that the hobbit-nkedit.sh wrapper for the CGI with the current snapshot gets installed in the public CGI directory; it should go in the secured (password-protected) CGI directory. This has been fixed for the next snapshot.

Another thing you must do it to arrange for some way of allowing the hobbit-nkedit CGI to update the hobbit-nkview.cfg file. The way it is done, this CGI (which runs with your web-server userid) must have access to update the ~hobbit/server/etc/ directory.  The easiest way of doing that is to make the program "suid hobbit". So: 

   chown hobbit ~hobbit/server/bin/hobbit-nkedit.cgi 
   chmod u+s ~hobbit/server/bin/hobbit-nkedit.cgi 

I haven't yet decided if that is the best way of doing it; I have a bad feeling about making CGI programs suid, but this may be the one occasion where it is needed. Feedback on this is welcome.

I'm actually doing a presentation tomorrow for our 24x7 monitoring group, showing them how these new features work. It has been very much designed based on input from them, so hopefully it should work in a way that is useful to the operators. Once I get some confirmation that there are no serious bugs in the new tools, I'll put it into a proper release version - probably sometime in February.


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