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Building a remote alarm using a heartbeat: How do I quickly notifiy someone of the alarm?

Posted on 2006-10-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I am custom-building a remote alarm for a few servers using heartbeats.  I already have a heartbeat server set up at a remote location.  The heartbeat server monitors several servers and can detect when the internet goes down on its end as well as if the internet goes down for the ISP the servers are using.  So, when it says the server's gone down, it is most likely that it really did and it wasn't just an internet issue.

What I haven't figured out is what to do next.  I want the system to notify someone very quickly of the issue (either call a cell #, or more optimally, notify ADT or some security company and they try to get a hold of someone).  Any suggestions?
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Question by:stev0931
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 17825977
Not quite sure why you want to re-invent the wheel, but there should be plenty of applications out there to do this.
When you use the term "heartbeat", what protocol are you using to accomplish this?
SNMP has been around for years and most any snmp management station has the capability to "do something" with alarms. I've set them to call a pager # with a particular message, send emails to a specified mail list, send emails to cell phones, most anything that you want to do with a "trap" alarm.
 
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Author Comment

by:stev0931
ID: 17825990
What you're suggesting may be a better direction to go, except that I don't want to open up SNMP coming into my network from the outside.  Would this work with HTTP?  (the current heartbeat just tries to go to a specific URL out on the web server).
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Accepted Solution

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lrmoore earned 250 total points
ID: 17826039
Take a look at some of the ManageEngine utilities.
http://manageengine.adventnet.com/products/oputils/index.html

ICMP doesn't require opening ports on your firewall.
You can use something like TCPPING utility to see if tcp port 80 is open on target server and generate a local snmp trap if it's not..
http://www.kehlet.cx/articles/77.html
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Author Comment

by:stev0931
ID: 17826054
Thanks!  I'll post again once I've finished going through the links...
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Author Comment

by:stev0931
ID: 17826738
I see how to make the trap happen now (so that handles that part of the problem), but I'm still left with the part of: How does this alert get out to someone quickly and reliable?  A phone call to my cell / ADT / etc. would be optimal...
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Author Comment

by:stev0931
ID: 17826754
It almost seems like what I'm really looking for here is a device that I can tell to call someone...
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Assisted Solution

by:lrmoore
lrmoore earned 250 total points
ID: 17826877
If you can generate the trap locally, then you can run an application like ManageEngine's OpManager as a trap receiver that can turn around and make the call..
http://manageengine.adventnet.com/products/opmanager/help/user_guide/index.html
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Author Comment

by:stev0931
ID: 17827244
Thanks!
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