My PRTG Dashboards (aka Maps)

So a few weeks ago our operations team got some new 42’ LCD’s to be used for monitoring.

As they were just displaying the same old alert screens they sit in front of. I thought I’d give PRTG dashboards a go.

We use SCOM to monitoring PRG core server and PRTG to monitor the SCOM core infrastructure I have configured additional SQL sensors and auto ticketing notifications.

Great screen for me as I can see if there’s any functions broken quickly in our monitoring tools.

 

After I had completed this I was thinking what else could I do that’s could really pop out. So one of our clients VICSES has some interesting feeds that I can leverage from.

After a little research I found a number of sources that I could use to get some info from:

  • VICSES RSS feed – For Current Emergency Information and Warnings
  • BOM (Australian Bureau of Meteorology) – Live rain radar image feeds for all around the sate
  • Weather Widget – Provides live weather stats for Melbourne and 7 day outlook
  • Declared Operations – Where we have integration into our ticketing system and colour changes to yellow for when were in declared Operations.
  • Animated Background – Using GIF’s

 

 

Took a couple of days to get all this working and found a number of limitations to be aware of:

  • Pages are very static and rely on the PRTG refresh to be able to update
  • If you have enabled SSL on your PRTG instance you can link to unsecured sources (limitation of modern browsers rather than PRTG itself)
  • Javascript/scripts and a number of other HTML coding doesn’t load.
  • 2MB limit on a background image by default (Work around found to use custom HTML element with link to image and set it to layer 1)

 

After understanding the limitations and developing some work around you can still build some decent interactive dashboards that can impress!

 

This was the source of a bit of buzz when I loaded it onto the big screens. Overall I did learn more about HTML coding and the limitations of the PRTG dashboards and some more about PRTG in general.

 

If you would like to know more about the HTML coding or sources I have used please feel free to contact me.

 

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AWS Puppet Labs workshop Melbourne

I was able to attend a Puppet Labs workshop at AWS offices in Melbourne on Monday. New to the Puppet tool I had found quickly that Puppet uses a declarative method of describing a state rather then using procedural code. Something new to me (as well as a lot of other AWS things I have recently been discovering)

There was a real mix of experienced people attending the puppet Lab workshop from those that had used it for some time to the noobs (like myself) who were windows based IT guys.

We were run through the basic setup of a master node and then some of the post configuration to start looking into how puppet starts to take control of files, packages, instillation, services and other configurations. Again the idea of letting go of control and letting the tools do the work for you is a repeated theme that a lot of  engineers (and users) need to adopt if IT want to become efficient. (Cattle not Pets).

Next step for me is to think of things Id like to have under puppet control in a windows lab environment…. Might need to do some more research and come back to that one now that I think of it.

I think most attendees got something out of that day. At the very least working with AWS sniping up servers, becoming more familiar with the interface is always good to practice.

puppetlabs