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send SMS alert through SolarWinds that runs on VMware....

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I was wondering if someone could tell me how to setup an 'edge' modem so that I could have it recognized by a VM running SolarWinds in Vsphere.

Vsphere does not recognize USB (yet) because rarely do you plug a USB device into one of your servers. So I'm wondering how I can plug something into the guest VM that SolarWinds runs on so that it will send an SMS to my phone when something goes down. Can anyone recommend a device and how to set it up to make this work?
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Question by:willlandymore
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Aleshire
ID: 33683056
Not familiar with SolarWinds, but can it send an email??
If so, depending on your carrier, you can send an email to SMS message that will be delivered to your cell phone.

Here is a list of some of the major carriers.

AT&T – cellnumber@txt.att.net
Verizon – cellnumber@vtext.com
T-Mobile – cellnumber@tmomail.net
Sprint PCS - cellnumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Virgin Mobile – cellnumber@vmobl.com
US Cellular – cellnumber@email.uscc.net
Nextel - cellnumber@messaging.nextel.com
Boost - cellnumber@myboostmobile.com
Alltel – cellnumber@message.alltel.com

where cellnumber = your 10 digit phone number
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by:willlandymore
ID: 33683376
Solarwinds can send e-mail fine and I could have it deliver e-mail right to my smartphone. There are two issues with that....

1/ If the e-mail server were to go down you don't get any messages saying that it's down because it can't deliver what SolarWinds is trying to send
2/ my iPhone buzzes for any e-mail so if you have other accounts on there you would have to check it each time to see if it's a server alert or have to disable your e-mail account so you knew that if it buzzed it was a server alert.

The ideal situation would be to use SMS which sends out a different sound when it gets one, you get to keep your e-mail coming into your phone too, and it rules out the problem of your e-mail server going down and you don't know that you're not getting the alerts.
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by:Kevin Aleshire
ID: 33683513
Sending an email to SMS message won't be recieved on your phone as an email, but as a normal SMS text message.  Carriers provide address like the ones above and they convert the email to a SMS message.
1/  You are right, you definitely don't want to use your email server for the smtp server.  You should instead use your Internet Service Providers SMTP server for these outgoing messages.  Most software that allows you to send email requires you to specifiy an smtp server.  So if you use charter, it will be something like smtp.charter.net  
2/  Again, the email to SMS message will be recieved as a SMS text message.

If you still want to connect a modem to accomplish this, check these sites for some direction.
Here is a tutorial of how to use a cell phone connected to a computer to send SMS messages.
http://www.developershome.com/sms/howToSendSMSFromPC.asp

Here's is a non-developer guide which includes steps for using a windows or linux computer.
http://www.developershome.com/sms/#quickGuideNonDevelopers
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by:willlandymore
ID: 33683585
doesn't that still sort of depend on the connection being up too? If it's with a modem you can send a page from the modem each day to make sure that's still alive, but if the connection dies to the outside world how would you know?

I'm just trying to think of worst case here... :)
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by:willlandymore
ID: 33683659
okay, I see. It's plugging in the phone to the computer. But in this case it's a VMware VM so you can't plug something in to it. It's a guest OS running on a host and the hardware relationship between the guest and hosts is not 1:1.

So I can't just plug in a USB/serial line into the host and have the guest see it....

Will
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Aleshire
ID: 33683708
True, but the same could be said that it depends on if the phone lines are still up and running too.
Sending a page/SMS from a modem everyday isn't much different from sending an email to SMS message everyday to monitor connections, etc.

playing the devils advocate is your best move, so keep thinking worst case scenarios. That's the only way your gonna think about how to prevent/solve them.

How does the SolarWinds software expect to recognize a modem for the purpose of sending SMS messages.  Which SolarWinds product are you using on this server??
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by:willlandymore
ID: 33683768
SolarWinds (Network Performance Monitor) 10.0
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Kevin Aleshire earned 500 total points
ID: 33683931
Keep in mind, i've never used/seen this software but their own Knowledge Base says to use the send email to sms process.
http://knowledgebase.solarwinds.com/kb/questions/1035/Sending+SMS+alerts+from+Network+Performance+Monitor

I know my county IT recieves text messages, so I checked with them to see how they get around the possible outage scenario.  They have two connections available for their server so if one goes down they use the other.  The second connection is a cheap $40 cable modem connection.  In the grand scheme of things for our uptime needs, etc. they felt the $40/month for this extra connection was well worth knowing something is wrong ASAP.

The have a dedicated server for this process, so i'm not sure how your VM scenario changes things.
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by:willlandymore
ID: 33683980
that's more than helpful...thanks.
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