Don’t Forget to Kick the Tires – On Automatic Monitoring & Human Intervention

With as much as we use modern technology to automatically monitor, observe, and report on so many different systems, I think it is important to manually check the viability of these same systems from time to time.

While the quality of sensors and metrics always seems to be improving, there are still loopholes and lapses which make human oversight and investigation important. I have experienced a few situations in the past few months where the electronic/computer-based monitoring solution for systems have failed in ways that could have been particularly costly; yet human intuition and manual intervention ensured that the situation was addressed appropriately to avoid real damage or loss. Read more on Don’t Forget to Kick the Tires – On Automatic Monitoring & Human Intervention…

Monitoring Your iOS Traffic

There are a number of free ‘sniffer’ tools around, for your PC or Mac, for looking at and changing the network traffic. The venerable Wireshark, Fiddler, and Burpsuite are some of the ones that I have used in the past, and still fire up today.

What about your iOS devices though? What programs are available for these, so you can see what your phone and iPad are sending out and receiving? I wouldn’t want to try and use an iOS version of Wireshark on my phone, not just because it hasn’t been ported to work on iOS, but because viewing all the data and changing it on a small phone screen is just not physically feasible. So what can you do if you want to see what your device is sending out, and how can you change what is going into it? Read more on Monitoring Your iOS Traffic…

Collecting Metrics from Ruby Processes with Zabbix Trappers

Justin and I have recently started using Zabbix for monitoring, in place of Nagios. We’ve also taken the opportunity to start collecting even more metrics than before.

One nice thing about Zabbix is that it can use pre-existing Nagios monitoring plugins out of the box. But what if you also want to collect metrics from say, a Ruby process? You’re in luck! Zabbix can collect various forms of information (from numerical metrics to arbitrary strings, to log data) via the Zabbix sender protocol. Let’s set this up. Read more on Collecting Metrics from Ruby Processes with Zabbix Trappers…

You’re Ready to Deploy – You Must Be Done, Right?

You’ve built your application. It does everything the customer asked for and everything he needs. Your designer’s polish has impressed everyone and your tool is a dream to use. Your comprehensive system test suite runs clean. Your exploratory tester can’t find any bugs you’ve missed. And you’ve got it deployed and running on its final home. So you must be done, right?

Wrong. It might be deployed and running – but now you have to keep it that way.

Read more on You’re Ready to Deploy – You Must Be Done, Right?…

Monitoring and Management with Monit and Nagios

Recently, the SME Toolkit, a project sponsored by the IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group, initiated a major migration, moving all operations from one hosting provider to another. Atomic Object took responsibility for the technical aspects of the migration and new hosting environment. The migration gave us a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to monitoring and management.

Read more on Monitoring and Management with Monit and Nagios…