Watchman Monitoring + Archiware P5

I’ve been a little busy lately. I’m working on some scripts for Watchman Monitoring that alert when Archiware P5 needs attention. It’s really much more exciting than it sounds. ūüôā

WatchmanArchiwareP5

Archiware P5 plugin (included with Watchman Client 6.6.0)

UPDATE: The Archiware P5 plugin is now included with the Watchman Monitoring client version 6.6.0

Use the link above to read up about Watchman Monitoring and the Archiware P5 plugin.

This plugin is now part of Watchman Monitoring thanks to Allen and his team! Of course, big thanks to a lot of help from Python magician and MacDevOps:YVR colleague, Wade Robson. I couldn’t have finished this plugin without his help. Merci, mon ami. (Early help to get started with this project is thanks to Scott Neal, automation expert and programming wizard. Thank you so much Scott, and thanks for the tasty Portland beer!).

Watchman Monitoring is a group of plugins that will warn when drives are failing, computers have restarted unexpectedly or backups are not running.¬†All reporting goes to a beautiful web interface in the cloud which can keep a history of plugin issues. Watchman allows for integration with ticket systems and multiple users¬†including clients and IT staff that can keep track of what’s up with their workstations, and servers.

Watchman Monitoring helps me keep tabs of major issues at all my clients before they become disasters. I even use it in discovery for new clients to see what issues exist but are ignored or unknown.

Since I set up a lot of SAN storage for my clients, and I use Archiware P5 for backups and archives I realized I needed to write a plugin for Watchman Monitoring that alerts me to issues. Instead of remoting in with VPN to each and every client every day to check on backups the only alternative is to automate it. These scripts watch the LTO tape drives and emails when they need cleaning, or warns when running jobs need tapes, if workstations haven’t backed up in a while or if tape pools need more tapes. And in Beta 2 we’ve added a check to see if the P5 maintenance support needs to be renewed to give you time to renew it before it expires. As well as better alerts for issues with running jobs, and lots of bug fixes.

We have it working on Mac servers running Archiware P5 and the next step is Linux, and the Unix family. Later on, Watchman will port it to Windows. The scripts are written in Python which is great for portability (except to Windows. Ha ha). And the P5 Watchman plugins should eventually run everywhere that Archiware P5 runs (OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Windows).

The best part of writing plugins for Watchman Monitoring is the great help that Allen and the whole team at Watchman have given us been throughout our development of these Archiware P5 plugins. And of course everyone at Archiware and Mike at PVT have been super helpful in explaining the use of the nsdchat cli for Archiware P5, even going so far¬†as to add some features we needed to nsdchat when we explained how useful they’d be for this project. Mille mercis. Vielen danke.

Using GitHub to check code in, document business logic, write code, build a¬†wiki and then track issues that need bug fixes or enhancement requests has been an adventure. It all starts with an problem that you¬†want to be alerted for. It’s easy enough to add custom plugins to Watchman Monitoring you just need some ideas, a programmer (or two) and some time for testing, debugging, more testing and time. Did I mention you need lots of time? Ha ha

And now for a sneak peak of the Archiware P5 beta 2 plugins for Watchman Monitoring.

  1. Watchman nicely lists the new warnings and expirations for quickly getting to the issues you need to see.             Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 warnings expiration X
  2. Expirations are tracked with Watchman. In this case we note the date when the maintenance for Archiware P5 needs to be renewed. Don’t want to miss that!¬†Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 Expirations plugin Xpng
  3. Server info is good to know. Uptime, port used, and what exactly is licensed.         Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 Info plugin X
  4. The LTO tape drive is the heart of any tape library, and alerting when it needs cleaning is very important.                                               Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 Devices plugin X
  5. Other plugins watch the tape pools, running and completed jobs, as well as Backup2Go (workstation backup).

Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 B2Go plugin X

Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 Pools plugin X

Watchman Monitoring Archiware P5 Jobs plugin X

Umask fixes in Yosemite aka OS X 10.10.3 and shared storage

Finally!

Yes, Apple has restored the ability to set a user and system umask in OS X 10.10.3. This is a huge fix for users of shared storage. Xsan and all SANs where users want to be able to share files, projects and all things without using ACLs or any LDAP directory. This is great. I am jumping up and down. So happy. So many people wanted this. Anyone using shared storage have been demanding this since the upgrade to Yosemite. 10.10.3 is out today and we will be happy.

Reference: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201684

tl;dr

sudo launchctl config user umask nnn

and

sudo launchctl config system umask nnn

Troubleshooting AutoPkgr

While awaiting my awesome Part.2 of how to set up Munki we will look at quick fix I made recently to troubleshoot AutoPkgr issues I was having.

I have AutoPkgr set up with several sites as a quick and easy way to get updates of free and licensed software into Munki. Strangely, I ran into an error on my test box, and not on my deployments with clients. So it was something I had done, but what did I do?

AutoPkgr python error

AutoPkgr python error

At first I thought that one of the recent updates to AutoPkgr had broken the application. But since it was running correctly elsewhere I had to quickly rule that out. Running the recipes, which looks for new updates of certain applications, kept giving me a python error. How do you troubleshoot this? Re-install Python? De-compile AutoPkgr? Rant on the MacEnterprise maillist? No, that won’t help. ūüôā

AutoPkgr is a very nice GUI front end to the excellent AutoPkg project. AutoPkgr installs Git and AutoPkg which are needed. AutoPkgr makes much of the set up much quicker and faster. It’s a great tool. Thanks to the Linde group.

AutoPkgr update dialog

AutoPkgr update dialog

The best way to troubleshoot this issue with AutoPkgr is to see if it is an issue with AutoPkgr. Let’s see if AutoPkg runs at all, and with the same errors. Now there’s an idea. So how do we run AutoPkg? Terminal. Open Terminal.app, and run AutoPkg directly. I always start with a basic “where is the app binary I want?” and then run the app with no options¬†to see if there’s a help menu with an explanation of the switches.

AutoPkg in Terminal

AutoPkg in Terminal

Looking at what Terminal says we now know that AutoPkg is installed in the path /usr/local/bin which is a very accepted place for non-standard (extra, or optional) binaries to live. We also know that “autopkg run all” is not the correct command to run, but it was enough to elicit a better error message. In fact, the problem seems to be a “plist error” with the TextWrangler override recipe. What’s that you might be asking? AutoPkg allows the use of “overrides” which adjust a recipe. In my use of AutoPkg I set an override to add information to a recipe, specifically developer and category information so that Munki’s Managed Software Update app correctly displays the information and the user has a more logically sorted software self-serve portal. In any case, we know from this error that something is wrong with the override. I can run xmllint and clean it, I can open and find the error, or I can just delete this override and re-run AutoPkg to see if we can get somewhere.

AutoPkg transmit

AutoPkg transmit

In this example I run AutoPkg with the Transmit recipe and all runs well. Everything is good now. So what’s the lesson here? Be careful with your plist files. When you make your override, and add useful keys, double-check your work to avoid a broken AutoPkg.