[Xymon] server-side message pre-processor?

John Thurston john.thurston at alaska.gov
Tue Nov 3 20:11:23 CET 2015

On 11/3/2015 9:22 AM, Japheth Cleaver wrote:
- snip -
> I guess one question would be whether these are being caused by poorly
> configured local settings, or by people coming up with new tests they're
> reporting in that you don't want to hear about?

These are poorly managed hosts whose owners see none of the cost of 
flooding the server with garbage. "What? Your stupid server can't handle 
my 1,000 events per host per day?! What kind of crappy system is that?!"

They are treating my Xymon server like it was an instance of Splunk. I 
keep trying to tell them it is an _alerting_ system, not a _logging_ 
system. If there is yellow on the page, they should be looking to see if 
there really is a problem. If there is a red on the page, they should be 
scrambling to fix the problem. Some of the owners are just ignoring all 
colors on the page until a customer calls with a problem. Then they are 
using the 'msgs' test result to see the most recent contents of the 

> Are you running in local config mode? If so, I might suggest using this
> as justification for migrating to central configuration. Put the
> thresholding control back into your hands unless the users are willing
> to accept responsibility for the types of things they're sending in.

But I don't know their business requirements ('course, it seems like 
they don't either). Nor do I have the time to personally handle 
configuration of 600+ hosts. Nor do I want to have access to those 
systems through the client distribution and management system.

Local-config mode works fine for us, except for the client's implicit 
ability to flood me with garbage. Its the "all or none" acceptance model 
which is painful.

- snip -
> Is the problem more along the lines of "I don't want to receive test
> 'xyz' on any host", or more "Here's a list of 38 different tests I want
> to reject on 18 / 400 servers".

It's more the latter. "The owner of host=foo can't configure its client 
correctly. This has been going on for months. Fine. I will only accept 
disk and cpu from them."

I don't see the former condition as being realistic. Since any client 
can send a message containing any possible string as their test-name, it 
would impossible filter noise. Further, 90% of my system owners are 
politely handling their 'msgs' test. I don't want to punish those folks.

- snip -
> As an initial step, I think adding hard-coded ignore-test records at
> xymond startup (by command option or by xymonserver.cfg) would probably
> be a pretty simple stop gap to create in the next rev.

I don't think this would be of any value to me. In general, I _want_ to 
accept messages of the name 'msgs'. There are just 10% of my hosts from 
which I want silence on messages of that type. The option of defining a 
per-host white-list is what I need.

But it is probably a very fringe need. I'll try getting my bat out 
again. Maybe I can beat some sense into the 10%.

    Do things because you should, not just because you can.

John Thurston    907-465-8591
John.Thurston at alaska.gov
Enterprise Technology Services
Department of Administration
State of Alaska

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