Great project from Matthew Mombrea over at IT world. Check out the full tutorial here.
Providing hosting services and running your own servers means that you’re constantly on guard for things going wrong and failing. Setting up robust server monitoring using a package like Nagios or Zabbix is extremely complicated and time consuming, in fact it’s some people’s entire job at larger companies. At a smaller company, you may still have these critical sites, applications, and servers, but no one on call or available in the middle of the night. That means that after you go to bed, if a server goes down, you won’t know about it until morning.
That is the situation I’m in. We’ve got server monitoring tools configured and running, but when an outage is detected I get an email or SMS to notify me. Those do me no good since I leave my phone silent in my office at night and if I were to keep it in my bedroom with audible alerts for every email and SMS I get my wife would kill me. The feeling of uncertainty that this causes has been a problem for me for years now and there is no worse way to start your day than by waking up to a pile of alert emails, angry customers, and down servers.
It would be preferable to have some type of indication in the night that there was a problem. Then I could get up, however annoying that may be, and solve it before anyone ever notices. My idea was to use a Raspberry Pi B+ I’ve had sitting around to ping websites and web apps over WiFi and then alert me in some visual way that might wake me up (I’m a light sleeper). With no fans and just a plain old micro-usb port for a power supply, the Pi has no moving parts and is totally silent – perfect for a bedroom. Just add a USB WiFi dongle and some code to monitor the servers and you’re good to go.
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