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What is the best option for remote paging when network services are down? I'm looking for a solution that can let me know when network services are down during off-hours only, and especially when email/smtp services are out. Therefore, it needs to be redundant to our network and power supply.

I'm imagining a cellular modem is one option. What's the price range for these? Is anybody using them and feel that they are worth the cost? I'm imagining that it's something we would end up sending an emergency page ~ 1x/month at most, so I'd like the pricing to reflect that--I don't mind a high per-page cost as long as it has a low recurring cost.

Another option would be to expose at least one server to remote ping, and run a check script on a remote server. Are there paid options for this?

Currently, we run Nagios on a Linux VM on a Windows 2008 Hyper-V host. It would be great if the solution would work in that environment, but I know it's tricky with external devices, and we could move Nagios to a standalone workstation if needed.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've been using a serial-attached GSM modem with Nagios for a while; really any phone(-like thing) should work (as long as it presents as a serial port), but I'd imagine the industrial modems are more reliable, and since mine has an external antenna, gets better signal inside my datacenter. (Older EDGE/GPRS usb-dongles seem to be cheap, but I haven't tried any. There's probably also room there for double-duty if you get one with a data plan as an out-of-band management path.)

Alternately, an off-net VM or a service like Pingdom should do what you want too.

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some time ago i deployed Siemens Cellular Engine TC35 Terminal connected over serial port to linux server. to send SMSes i use scmxx. there are usb<>serial adapters - you might have some luck exposing it to your vm.

most probably you will also be able to use 'usb 3g dongle' cards [like huawei e200 or similar] to send sms'es [AT-commands to do so are standardized] but i did not try that myself.

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Similarly useful might be one of my favorite FOSS projects, Gammu and its GUI counterpart Wammu. They have been working on a *SQL backend, and there seem to be a couple of web-based interfaces running around the internet. – songei2f Feb 4 '11 at 2:08

Sendpage is an excellent option for sending pages to mobile phones. We deployed it in a setup where we had access to a POTS line and it did a great job.

What is Sendpage?

To send alphanumeric pages to a pager, if an email gateway is unavailable or undesirable, software is needed to control a modem which will dial a "Paging Central", and deliver the pages using an ASCII delivery system known as "TAP".

Sendpage implements all aspects of this type of software, including an SNPP client, an SNPP server, a queuing engine, a modem control engine, a TAP communication system, and an email notification system. Sendpage is available under the GNU General Public License.

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