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Is there any better solution than ping -t for monitor status of some VPN clients.

I have set up FreeBSD router with fix public IP address for accepting incoming PPTP VPN connections. The callers are some simple routers with ADSL connections and dynamic IP address.

When VPN caller get connection it got local IP adders which I can ping from my windows work station and also from FreeBSD router, IP addresses are always same for specif caller ID.

Now I want to monitor what happening with callers, Are they connected, to get notification when some host is unreachable and to have log when they are connected and when they had gode, for how long they are connected and things like that. So i can debug my VPN callers and see why some one of callers losing they connections and for how long they are not attented to I can ping them.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could setup a monitoring service such as Nagios.

You would still be relying on ping response to tell if they are up or not (unless you had an alternate way of checking such as an SNMP request to the VPN server/router).

However, you wouldn't be running it by hand, it would be automated and would give you a record of when the pings failed and when they were successful.

If they are supposed to be connected all day 9-5, you could also setup notifications to only email you during 9-5 if they are disconnected, so you wouldn't have to watch it, but just be alerted if someone loses connection.

EDIT:
As an easier way to configure your various hosts, services, dependencies, etc in nagios check out NConf. I had been managing a nagios server monitoring a good 50+ hosts modifying all the files via command line then switched to using NConf when deploying a new nagios server. You get a lot of power and options with NConf without really losing anything from the command line access.

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Ill probably have go with Nagios, But starting that I know how Ill have to learn and how headache is waiting for me until I install that and configure on way I like. I thought maybe there is simpler solution for it. –  adopilot Oct 27 '09 at 16:19
    
There is definately a learning curve as with any system like this. Once you get into it though, there is so much you can do with it. I think it is a very valuable tool for any sysadmin. Also, check out NConf to help with the nagios configuration, it is a web based config tool which really helps for assigning all your services and setting up dependencies. –  ManiacZX Oct 27 '09 at 16:39
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If I remmeber right, when using the vpn software TINC it allowed the user to run a bash file when the connection went up and down, which would allow you to write to a text file/database in bash, what software are you using for the vpn and have you looked into this method?

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I think that I am using default FreeBSD "PPP" software. freebsd.org/doc/en/books/handbook/userppp.html –  adopilot Oct 27 '09 at 15:23
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