Mobile Notifications

Date June 23, 2008

I briefly touched on having a monitoring system for your network, but that's only half the battle. The other half is getting the alert and taking action on it.

The way my system is configured, I have Nagios monitoring a couple of hundred resources around the network, from pings to diskspace to server room temperature. In the event that something goes wrong, an alert is generated, and an email is sent out. On the mail server, I have a rule specified to forward that email to my blackberry's email address (since we don't have a Blackberry
Enterprise server). My phone then rings to let me know I've got mail. Depending on the severity, members of the operations or management team are notified as well, and my gmail is also set to get alerts. The overall idea is that I become notified regardless of where I am. I've even toyed with the idea of an AIM bot that connects and sends me messages if I'm online.

It's definitely a trade-off. Having this alert system makes me feel a lot more confident in knowing that the network is up and running, but at the expense of my personal life. It's unfortunate, but since I'm really the only administrator, I bear the responsibility of making sure it's working. That's what they pay me for, and I don't get paid by the hour. It's much nicer if you have another person available with whom you share on-call duties. Until you get to that point, you have even more vested interest in making the network reliable and fault-tolerant.

2 Responses to “Mobile Notifications”

  1. Ryan said:

    Alerting is a must, but so is having a life of your own! Your blog is very informative and you expend a lot of time, effort, and $ into designing a redundant system. However, with respect, you are a single point of failure! You should consider finding a partner who can provide support as your backup whether you are on vacation, sick, or just want some extra help when times are busy!

  2. Matt said:

    Ryan,

    Thank you for your kind words. No one would be happier than I for someone with which to share the load. I have been informed that, for now, it is not in our budget to hire someone else.

    At the beginning of next year, they've promised to re-evaluate and try to hire someone. Until that time, I'm stuck with being the only sysadmin. It's not ideal, but it's the way it has to be for now.

    It's also the title of the blog. I do reserve the right to keep the name of the blog the same in the unlikely event that I get help :-)

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