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Bloodhound Server Monitor Package

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014859D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 8 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Bloodhound Server Monitor Package A software package monitors server computers for up/down status, filesystem usage, print queue status, process (jobs and daemons) status, hardware error status, and ORACLE database utilization. The package provides a server monitoring function that is tailored a Delivery Center distributed systems operations group. The key advantage of this monitoring solution is that it provides a "positive confirmation" model of server monitoring. There is no question about what the tool is monitoring, because the objects and thresholds being monitored are instantly displayable from a web browser. Bloodhound works with industry standard web browsers and the Apache web server. Therefore, it can conveniently monitor servers that reside on the other side of a firewall, without using ssh or the X-Window system. Server-to-client data transmission is minimized by sending plain text HTML tables to the web browser client, which then draws appropriate usage bar graphs for filesystems and databases using the table WIDTH functions in HTML. Bloodhound provides an overall managed account status bar of Green, Yellow, or Red, so that an operator or account manager can determine the status of a managed server account in seconds.

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Bloodhound Server Monitor Package

Bloodhound Server Monitor Package

A software package monitors server computers for up/down status, filesystem usage, print queue status, process (jobs and daemons) status, hardware error status, and ORACLE database utilization. The package provides a server monitoring function that is tailored a Delivery Center distributed systems operations group. The key advantage of this monitoring solution is that it provides a "positive confirmation" model of server monitoring. There is no question about what the tool is monitoring, because the objects and thresholds being monitored are instantly displayable from a web browser.

Bloodhound works with industry standard web browsers and the Apache web server. Therefore, it can conveniently monitor servers that reside on the other side of a firewall, without using ssh or the X-Window system. Server-to-client data transmission is minimized by sending plain text HTML tables to the web browser client, which then draws appropriate usage bar graphs for filesystems and databases using the table WIDTH functions in HTML.

Bloodhound provides an overall managed account status bar of Green, Yellow, or Red, so that an operator or account manager can determine the status of a managed server account in seconds.

Because the design of Bloodhound caters to installations of 5 to 100 servers, it is designed to use a polling mechanism to collect data. Therefore, its utilization of network resources is controlled, since data is transferred to the collector from each monitored server in round-robin fashion. It uses available LAN bandwidth to provide positive confirmation of server operation. This technique is not possible with a enterprise monitoring system, because network utilization rises too high and the polling window becomes too long to provide timely monitoring data. The Bloodhound polling window has been determined to be:

Polling window time = #_of servers X 1.4 seconds (using fast ethernet)

The objects and thresholds monitored by Bloodhound can be maintained by the operations staff, as they are held in simple text files on the monitored servers. An overall status display is provided that was built using the Netscape "server push" and "client pull" programming model. This provides a continuously updated display.

Server Monitoring Challenges

During the course of working on multiple transitions, these server monitoring

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challenges were encountered.

1. Servers are mission-critical to customers, yet no system monitoring product is included in the architected solution because of pricing pressures.

2. A set of scripts was developed to perform basic server monitoring and is installed on the accounts we support. However, the package is dependent on NetView for displaying server problems (traps). Users who don't have access to NetView can't see the information generated.

3. The people responsible for monitoring the servers (operations) can't change the monitoring criteria...