[Xymon] Hierarchial alerting

Chris.Morris at rwe.com Chris.Morris at rwe.com
Wed Mar 30 09:45:47 CEST 2011

You can use the DEPENDS option in you hosts.cfg file(s) to indicate that
one network test depends on another :-

This tag allows you to define dependencies between tests. If "testA" for
the current host depends on "test1" for host "host1" and test "test2"
for "host2", this can be defined with 


When deciding the color to report for testA, if either host1/test1
failed or host2/test2 failed, if testA has failed also then the color of
testA will be "clear" instead of red or yellow. 

Since all tests are actually run before the dependencies are evaluated,
you can use any host/test in the dependency - regardless of the actual
sequence that the hosts are listed, or the tests run. It is also valid
to use tests from the same host that the dependency is for. E.g.  foo # http://foo/ webmin depends=(webmin:foo/http) 

is valid; if both the http and the webmin tests fail, then webmin will
be reported as clear. 

Note: The "depends" tag is evaluated by xymonnet while running the
network tests. It can therefore only refer to other network tests that
are handled by the same server - there is currently no way to use the
e.g. the status of locally run tests (disk, cpu, msgs) or network tests
from other servers in a dependency definition. Such dependencies are
silently ignored. 

>From the hosts.cfg man page. 

-----Original Message-----
From: xymon-bounces at xymon.com [mailto:xymon-bounces at xymon.com] On Behalf
Of Phil Crooker
Sent: 30 March 2011 00:57
To: xymon at xymon.com
Subject: [Xymon] Hierarchial alerting

Hi All,

I'm just in the process of converting our old big brother monitor to
xymon. I had a look at zabbix, nagios, groundworks, and pandorafms and
found too many quirks, cruft and gotchas (plus the problem of open core
systems). I returned to the bb clones and found xymon is not only active
and maintained. I must say Xymon is a well thought out, well executed
step beyond big brother, well done, Henrik. 

Is there a way to have a hierarchy for alerts? For example, say we have
a branch office with a print server, file server, router, switch, etc. I
have a xymon entry for each (and multiples for each, ie poll the ftp
port on the file server as well as just the conn monitoring). If the WAN
link to the site dies, I get alerts for all the above, where as I should
really just get one alert for the router. Or if the file server dies, I
shouldn't get both ftp and file server alerts, just the server.

I know this wasn't available for big brother and can't find anything in
xymon. Does this exsit and/or has this been considered? 

For our big brother system, I created a  perl script daemon that reads
in the allevents log to create a "stateful" table of all monitored
items. I also have a text file table of the relationships between the
monitored items, using tabs:


This table is read into a hashed array, the allevents log file is tailed
to keep the state table current and the script awaits queries.
When an alertable event comes in, this daemon is queried by the alert
subsystem (using another perl script), the daemon checks to see if any
parent items are in a red state, if so the alert is discarded.

This is effectively just a plugin and could be more efficiently done if
integrated into the bbd. In terms of config files, having to maintain
two files is not ideal. Currently the host listing and web layout are
effectively combined in one file, so adding a hierarchy as above would
be tricky. Perhaps a second "#" with the parent following, ie:

          hostname.domain.com        # smtp dns #

Anyway, this is just an initial query about this issue.

thanks and regards, Phil

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