SNS & CloudWatch Notifications to Pushover (Android / iPhone)

Richard Benson14 October 2013IT Pros, Administrationcomments

We use Amazon Web Services extensively here and rely on CloudWatch notifications to keep us abrest of how our infrastructure is performing.  CloudWatch has great integration with SNS topics and alerts are a doddle to configure.  However, by default SNS topics cannot be pushed to your smartphone without creating your own fully fledged app.  When you work in a small team, this is not really an option.  SNS can push to URLs, however, and Pushover has a simple API.

The following script allows simple notifications from SNS topics to be pushed to your smartphone via Pushover.

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Pingdom Status Screen v2

Richard Benson23 August 2013Administrationcomments

When Pingdom interviewed us about the Desktop Notifier, we mentioned that our office has a screen up showing our check statuses at a glance, today one part of that system has been pushed to our Github account.

This first part is a simple PHP site that gives an overview of all checks, highlighting their status in an attention grabbing way.

Installation just requires copying to your webserver and mofication of includes/ with your pingdom username and password.  Once started you can elect to hide paused or up checks using the buttons at the bottom.

View Pingdom Notifier Screen on Github

Simple archiving to S3 for log files

Richard Benson02 April 2013IT Pros, Administrationcomments

When operating a large number of cloud servers, many of which will have small amounts of local storage, growing log files can become a problem and most countries have laws in place that service providers need to retain logs for specified amounts of time.  Manually fetching these logs from each server is a time-consuming task and becomes even more difficult when you may not even know how many servers you have at any one time.

To solve this problem in our case, it seemed obvious to upload these logs to a cloud based storage and then delete them from the local machine when done.  There didn't seem to be a simple solution out there to manage this, so we decided to create our own simple application that will fulfill this task.

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Pingdom Desktop Notifier is dead; long live Desktop Notifier for Pingdom

Richard Benson01 October 2012IT Pros, Administrationcomments

desktop-notifier-example.png We use Pingdom a lot here; we have 65 checks running at the moment, we publish our uptime reports for the most important ones, and we have our own-made Pingdom status screen up in the main office but we all miss the old Desktop Notifier. This died when Pingdom deprecated their v1 API and it seemed that neither they, nor the community, were going to provide a replacement any time soon, so here is ours; "Desktop Notifier for Pingdom".

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Upgrading Lenny to Squeeze on Rackspace Cloud

Richard Benson27 April 2012IT Pros, Administrationcomments

Debian 5 (Lenny) is now out of support it will not be receiving any more security or bug fix updates, meaning an upgrade to 6 (Squeeze) is required.  The procedure is reasonably simple, however if you are using Lenny on a Rackspace Cloud server, you will get an error relating to "dependency based startup".  Furthermore, if you are using MySQL 5, you will need to upgrade that to 5.1 and this itself has a pitfall if you have based your config on the stock my.cnf.  Below is the procedure for upgrading Debian Lenny to Squeeze on Rackspace Cloud with MySQL installed.

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A pseudo Windows sudo

Richard Benson10 January 2011Administration, IT Proscomments

Often when using the command prompt in Windows Vista and Windows 7 you'll need to run the command as an Administrator and whilst running a command prompt elevated is not tough, it's fiddly. If you've forgotten to do it before you've moved your way around the file system it can be very annoying.

Linux has sudo but Windows has no alternative, so we knocked together a very simple sudo for Windows.
To use it, you'll currently need Visual Studio 2010 to compile, then place it in System32 (or any PATH folder) and simply type:
sudo <your-command> <arguments>
To run a permanently elevated command prompt, you can simply type "sudo cmd" into your start bar search and save yourself the additional mouse clicks required to do this the traditional way.

The code is available on our GitHub. There is a pre-compiled binary available, but check your dependencies first.
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