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Old 08-13-2008, 07:11 PM
"Gustavo Niemeyer"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

Hello everyone,

I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
Canonical[1]. Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
information next to the MOTD message during logins.

The goal of this tool is to provide the administrator a basic overview
of how the system is running. To give a basic feeling of what it is
about, a rough mockup follows. Please note that we don't even know
yet which of these details will be available, and how they will be
actually worded.

System load: 1.15 Processes: 1500
Memory usage: 65% Temperature: 74 C
Swap usage: None Users logged on: 1 (you)

=> Zombie processes were found alive.
=> Disk usage on /home is above 90%.
=> This machine is being affected by USNs 123, 456 and 789.

The headers at the top will always be present, while notes at the
bottom will report outstanding events.

So the question is: what information would you find useful to look at
during logins, to get an idea of how things are going in your servers?

We obviously can't include too much information because we're limited
to a reasonable amount of space, so it'd be very useful if any ideas
were accompanied by the motivation, as that would help us to figure
together which are the most interesting ones.

Thank you very much.

[1] http://landscape.canonical.com

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:19 PM
Scott Kitterman
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 16:11:23 -0300 "Gustavo Niemeyer"
<gustavo@niemeyer.net> wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>
>I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
>Canonical[1]. Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
>landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
>information next to the MOTD message during logins.
...
> => This machine is being affected by USNs 123, 456 and 789.

There isn't a USN until a fix issued, so it's only apt-get update &&
apt-get upgrade to deal with it. I don't particularly need a tool to find
this out. Open CVEs that I need to mitigate in another way would be much
more interesting.

Scott K


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Old 08-13-2008, 07:31 PM
"Gustavo Niemeyer"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

Hey Scott,

> There isn't a USN until a fix issued, so it's only apt-get update &&
> apt-get upgrade to deal with it. I don't particularly need a tool to find

The idea is precisely to tell you that apt-get upgrade is advised. In any
case, please don't focus too much on the example. The idea is precisely
to find out what you do find useful, rather than the opposite.

> this out. Open CVEs that I need to mitigate in another way would be much
> more interesting.

That's an interesting idea. Note taken.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:35 PM
"Gustavo Niemeyer"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

> I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
> Canonical[1]. Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
> landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
> information next to the MOTD message during logins.

Andreas pointed out some interesting fact that I missed in my
explanation: this tool won't depend on Landscape (even though it
may end up benefiting somehow when Landscape is available to
provide more information).

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:43 PM
Rick Clark
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

On Wednesday 13 August 2008 14:35:31 Gustavo Niemeyer wrote:
> > I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
> > Canonical[1]. Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
> > landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
> > information next to the MOTD message during logins.
>
> Andreas pointed out some interesting fact that I missed in my
> explanation: this tool won't depend on Landscape (even though it
> may end up benefiting somehow when Landscape is available to
> provide more information).
>
> --
> Gustavo Niemeyer
> http://niemeyer.net

It is also worth mentioning that this is a GPL'd tool and it is modular so you
can easily add your own data or disable anything that you don't want.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:52 PM
Onno Benschop
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

On 14/08/08 03:11, Gustavo Niemeyer wrote:
> So the question is: what information would you find useful to look at
> during logins, to get an idea of how things are going in your servers?
>
Things like network usage & load and swapping behaviour.

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Old 08-14-2008, 01:46 PM
"Miano, Steven M."
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

On 14/08/08 03:11, Gustavo Niemeyer wrote:
>> So the question is: what information would you find useful to look at
>> during logins, to get an idea of how things are going in your servers?
>>
>Things like network usage & load and swapping behaviour.

Just to add to that, it would be nice to see a 24 hour history, 7 day history, and 30 day history of load averages, and network usage if possible.

Maybe just a couple of arrays stored and presented?


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Old 08-14-2008, 04:03 PM
"Daniel Robitaille"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Gustavo Niemeyer <gustavo@niemeyer.net> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>
> I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
> Canonical[1]. Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
> landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
> information next to the MOTD message during logins.

is that information going to be dynamically generated each time an
user does login, or it's going to be updated in a file every X
minutes, and the motd message will just happen to be the latest
version available? Personally I have some servers I never login
into, unless I know there is a problem with it, or I know security
updates are available, which make that message a bit pointless to
display at login time only.

If that "motd" info was available in a file, then I could find a way
to push that into a centralized server where I could see it no matter
when I do an actual login.

And actually that type of expanded motd message may be more useful on
my desktop computer where I login more often than on a server that
just happily runs in a corner of the server room serving services or
disk space without human intervention for days at end.

> The goal of this tool is to provide the administrator a basic overview
> of how the system is running. To give a basic feeling of what it is
> about, a rough mockup follows. Please note that we don't even know
> yet which of these details will be available, and how they will be
> actually worded.
>
> System load: 1.15 Processes: 1500
> Memory usage: 65% Temperature: 74 C
> Swap usage: None Users logged on: 1 (you)
>
> => Zombie processes were found alive.
> => Disk usage on /home is above 90%.
> => This machine is being affected by USNs 123, 456 and 789.
>
> The headers at the top will always be present, while notes at the
> bottom will report outstanding events.
>
> So the question is: what information would you find useful to look at
> during logins, to get an idea of how things are going in your servers?

These days I'm playing with the getting old Big Brother (www.bb4.org)
to centralize messages from various servers into one web page. Now
looking at some of the info I have been tracking that way from my
servers: connectivity, system load, disk usage (i.e, specific
important disks are nearly full while other disks I can ignore), if
specific processes are still running (by default big brother tracks
cron), and if specific services are online and listening (ftp, http,
ssh). I could see some of these bits of info being useful in that motd
message.

It is on my to-do list to tied into Dell's OMSA and track down as well
more hardware specific basic info (temperature, state of disks and
raid, are the fans working, etc).


Daniel

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:17 PM
"Gustavo Niemeyer"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

Hi Daniel,

> is that information going to be dynamically generated each time an
> user does login, or it's going to be updated in a file every X
> minutes, and the motd message will just happen to be the latest
> version available? Personally I have some servers I never login

It'll be displayed only during logins, even though it's quite possible
that some of the notes do consider historic information at some
point.

> into, unless I know there is a problem with it, or I know security
> updates are available, which make that message a bit pointless to
> display at login time only.
>
> If that "motd" info was available in a file, then I could find a way
> to push that into a centralized server where I could see it no matter
> when I do an actual login.

This is just one more feature we're implementing in Landscape, and
in this case it'll benefit even administrators that are not Landscape
users. If you want to reuse it in different situations, the software is
GPL and it should be trivial to just run it from cron and ask it to mail
the information anywhere you want, for instance.

> And actually that type of expanded motd message may be more useful on
> my desktop computer where I login more often than on a server that
> just happily runs in a corner of the server room serving services or
> disk space without human intervention for days at end.

It'll be easy to run it on desktops too.

> These days I'm playing with the getting old Big Brother (www.bb4.org)
> to centralize messages from various servers into one web page. Now
> looking at some of the info I have been tracking that way from my
> servers: connectivity, system load, disk usage (i.e, specific
> important disks are nearly full while other disks I can ignore), if
> specific processes are still running (by default big brother tracks
> cron), and if specific services are online and listening (ftp, http,
> ssh). I could see some of these bits of info being useful in that motd
> message.
>
> It is on my to-do list to tied into Dell's OMSA and track down as well
> more hardware specific basic info (temperature, state of disks and
> raid, are the fans working, etc).

Nice ideas! Thank you!

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:21 PM
"Gustavo Niemeyer"
 
Default Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

Hello Steven,

> Just to add to that, it would be nice to see a 24 hour history, 7 day
> history, and 30 day history of load averages, and network usage if
> possible.

That's precisely the kind of feature that landscape-client and the
Landscape server already offer. But long histories might not be
good candidates for the login message. The idea is offering a quick
hint about how things are generally going, together with any
outstanding warnings that are likely worth keeping an eye on.

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