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$Id: README,v 1.3 1998/01/13 05:52:34 trockij Exp $

INTRODUCTION
------------

"mon" is a tool for monitoring the availability of services. Services
may be network-related, environmental conditions, or nearly anything
that can be tested with software.  It is extremely useful for system
administrators, but not limited to use by them. It was designed to
separate the tasks of monitoring a service for availability and sending
out alerts when things fail. To achieve this, "mon" is implemented as a
scheduler which runs the programs which do the testing, and triggering
alert programs when these scripts detect failure.  None of the actual
service testing or reporting is actually handled by "mon". These functions
are handled by auxillary programs.

This model was chosen because it is very extensible, and does not require
changing the code of the scheduler to add new tests and alert types. For
example, an alphanumeric paging alert can be added simply by writing a
new alert script, and referencing the alert script in the configuration
file. Monitoring the temperature in a room can be done by adding a script
that gathers data from a thermistor via a serial port.  Often these
monitoring scripts can just be wrappers for pre-existing software.

The "mon" scheduler also can communicate with network clients, allowing
manipulation of run-time parameters, disabling and enabling of alerts
and tests, listing failure and alert history, and reporting of current
states of all monitors.

There are five clients which come with the distribution, found in
cgi-bin/ and clients/ :

    -moncmd, which is a command-line client. moncmd supports the full
     functionality of the client/server interface.

    -monstatus, which is essentially a command-line equivalent
     of opstatus.cgi. It displays nicely-formatted columnar output
     of the current operational status, groups, and the failure
     log.

    -skymon, which is a SkyTel 2-Way paging interface, allowing
     you to query the server's state and to manipulate it in the same
     manner as moncmd, right from your pager. Access is controlled via
     a simple password and an access control file.

    -opstatus.cgi, which is simple operational status web page which
     hilights failures and shows things which are disabled. It is meant
     to be quick to use and to display the most critical information
     at the top.

    -mon.cgi, which is an interactive web interface, allowing
     you to not only view status information, but to change parameters
     in the server while it is running.



AVAILABILITY
------------

The latest version of mon is available from:

http://consult.ml.org/~trockij/mon/


REQUIREMENTS
------------

"mon" uses Perl 5.n, where n >= 004. You really want at least 5.004_04,
which fixes a few memory leaks, and has a Sys::Syslog which works with
Linux.

You'll need the Time::Period module, available from your local
CPAN archive (http://www.perl.com/perl).

The disk space monitor requires the "File::Df" module from CPAN.

To use "telnet.monitor", "tcp.monitor", and "fping.monitor" (which all
come with the mon distribution), you need the "fping" and "tcp_scan"
utilities from Wietse Venema and Dan Farmer's Satan package to make
monitoring easier and more efficient. If you're building under Linux,
you'll need to patch the satan-1.1.1 distribution. Patches are available
from ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/network/admin.

----------
Jim Trocki
Computer System and Network Engineer
Transmeta Corporation
Santa Clara, CA
trockij@transmeta.com