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I am using Nagios to monitor that a certain number of servers and processes stay online. This works well and I'm happy with it.

However, I would like a consolidated "event log" across the servers that I inherited and now administer. The events are mostly cron jobs, although it would be nice to log events other ways too. This is how most of the cron jobs are set up right now:

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@hourly /backup/myscript.sh | mail -s "Myscript started" serverlog@mydomain.com

What is a better way to get logs from across different servers into one place? Perhaps I could even log into Nagios and click on an "Event Log" tab and see all of these notifications.

This is not a replacement for going through the actual log files generated by the script (stored on the server), just another way to keep an eye on things and look back quickly if something is not working right.

I'm open to suggestions about this and would love to hear the way you do this or best practices.

ps: I should also mention that the reason I'd like to change this is because hundreds of emails per day are being generated and that makes it harder to see when there is a real problem. I guess I would also like the option to log things as "completed" or "errors encountered" or something like that, and then have notification e-mails sent when there is a problem. Maybe I am hoping for too much.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 0 down vote accepted

nagios does indeed have a monitoring dashboard. The real-power in nagios is that you can write your own custom triggers to inform you by email/txt-message/phone-call/blinky-lights/whatever you can script... of any problems/warnings/errors. There is also a web-gui that shows you everything you're monitoring in a variety of configurations... (i.e. service-groups... servers... individual monitors... etc...)

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I know it has a dashboard, but does it have an "event log" area on that dashboard? Where / what plugin do I need? –  cwd Dec 9 '11 at 17:28
    
Yep. Already built-in. You can see a full log of every event (historically) but it's not ajaxy in that it doesn't update dynamically. You have to refresh the page. –  TheCompWiz Dec 9 '11 at 17:30

Since you can use Nagios by writing your own plugins there are definitely ways of doing this.

For example I use Splunk to collect the event logs for all of my servers, network devices, etc. The same could be done with a general syslog server or dumping to a database.

I have searches set up in Splunk that Nagios executes and performs the alerting logic for. I would suggest that if you want to go this route get a good feeling for how to write custom plugins. Once you have that down figure out exactly what you want to add to your Nagios dashboard.

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If your intent is to monitor things without the need to login to each server alone, you can gather all the logs in one place using syslog server. This way you need just to look in one place for all related information.

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from kiwisyslog.com ? –  cwd Dec 9 '11 at 17:55

I would recommend you take a look at LogZilla. It allows you to log everything centrally, search through them and even create graphs/charts, etc. We've been using it for about an year now and I really like it. There's also a free license for smaller shops.

edit: There's a "live" demo running at http://demo.logzilla.pro

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