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monitoring with Icinga?

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  • Lars Nielsen
    Hey List, What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix mailservers? I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these? Best regards
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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      Hey List,

      What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix mailservers?
      I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these?

      Best regards
      Lars Nielsen
    • Lars Nielsen
      ... My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to relay general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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        søn, 02 06 2013 kl. 12:14 -0300, skrev Mike:
        > On 13-06-02 11:52 AM, Lars Nielsen wrote:
        > > Hey List,
        > >
        > > What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix mailservers?
        > > I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these?
        > >
        > That really depends on what you want to monitor about them. What are
        > they used for?
        >
        My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to relay
        general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.
      • Mike
        ... Ok, so with step one, you re going to want to have another system send email to a mailbox you host once every n minutes, clear that mailbox out once
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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          On 13-06-02 12:34 PM, Lars Nielsen wrote:
          >
          > My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to relay
          > general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.
          >

          Ok, so with step one, you're going to want to have another system send
          email to a mailbox you host once every 'n' minutes, clear that mailbox
          out once every-so-often, and alarm if the mailbox remains untouched for
          more than '2n' minutes.

          That way if mail is not getting delivered, you get alarms.

          --
          Looking for (employment|contract) work in the
          Internet industry, preferably working remotely.
          Building / Supporting the net since 2400 baud was
          the hot thing. Ask for a resume! ispbuilder@...
        • Wietse Venema
          ... Then, I suppose the appropriate test would send test email messages into the SMTP port, and raise an alert when some test message does not reach its
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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            Lars Nielsen:
            > s?n, 02 06 2013 kl. 12:14 -0300, skrev Mike:
            > > On 13-06-02 11:52 AM, Lars Nielsen wrote:
            > > > Hey List,
            > > >
            > > > What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix mailservers?
            > > > I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these?
            > > >
            > > That really depends on what you want to monitor about them. What are
            > > they used for?
            > >
            > My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to relay
            > general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.

            Then, I suppose the appropriate test would send test email messages
            into the SMTP port, and raise an alert when some test message does
            not reach its destination within a suitable time limit.

            For example, periodically send email to mailboxname+timestamp@...,
            and parse the "to=<mailboxname+timestamp@...>" and
            "status=delivered" out of the logfile record stream.

            Wietse
          • Erwan David
            ... This kind of monitoring is usually done with a tool named user . This tool will phone you less than a minute after the system has a malfunction.
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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              Le 02/06/2013 18:12, Wietse Venema a écrit :
              > Lars Nielsen:
              >> s?n, 02 06 2013 kl. 12:14 -0300, skrev Mike:
              >>> On 13-06-02 11:52 AM, Lars Nielsen wrote:
              >>>> Hey List,
              >>>>
              >>>> What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix mailservers?
              >>>> I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these?
              >>>>
              >>> That really depends on what you want to monitor about them. What are
              >>> they used for?
              >>>
              >> My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to relay
              >> general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.
              > Then, I suppose the appropriate test would send test email messages
              > into the SMTP port, and raise an alert when some test message does
              > not reach its destination within a suitable time limit.
              >
              > For example, periodically send email to mailboxname+timestamp@...,
              > and parse the "to=<mailboxname+timestamp@...>" and
              > "status=delivered" out of the logfile record stream.
              >
              > Wietse
              >
              This kind of monitoring is usually done with a tool named "user". This
              tool will phone you less than a minute after the system has a malfunction.
            • Jeroen Geilman
              ... Very drole, but not realistic. The outages you want to detect are 3-hour queue buildups at 2 AM on a Sunday due to a database problem, or outgoing SMTP
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 2, 2013
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                On 06/02/2013 06:55 PM, Erwan David wrote:
                > Le 02/06/2013 18:12, Wietse Venema a écrit :
                >> Lars Nielsen:
                >>> s?n, 02 06 2013 kl. 12:14 -0300, skrev Mike:
                >>>> On 13-06-02 11:52 AM, Lars Nielsen wrote:
                >>>>> Hey List,
                >>>>>
                >>>>> What is the most common solution to monitoring your postfix
                >>>>> mailservers?
                >>>>> I use Icinga and Munin. Is there a good integration to these?
                >>>>>
                >>>> That really depends on what you want to monitor about them. What are
                >>>> they used for?
                >>>>
                >>> My primary use is to recieve emails for my domains. Next I want to
                >>> relay
                >>> general emails for a limited amount of authenticated users.
                >> Then, I suppose the appropriate test would send test email messages
                >> into the SMTP port, and raise an alert when some test message does
                >> not reach its destination within a suitable time limit.
                >>
                >> For example, periodically send email to
                >> mailboxname+timestamp@...,
                >> and parse the "to=<mailboxname+timestamp@...>" and
                >> "status=delivered" out of the logfile record stream.
                >>
                >> Wietse
                >>
                > This kind of monitoring is usually done with a tool named "user". This
                > tool will phone you less than a minute after the system has a
                > malfunction.
                >

                Very drole, but not realistic.

                The outages you want to detect are 3-hour queue buildups at 2 AM on a
                Sunday due to a database problem, or outgoing SMTP failing.

                On a busy server, such an outage could mean a server overload.

                That is why you want to test the entire mail flow, not just queues or
                incoming mail.

                --
                J.
              • Robert L Mathews
                ... Or, even better, try to retrieve those messages from the actual mailbox using POP3. That way you ve simulated everything a user does, end to end. This is
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 4, 2013
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                  On 6/2/13 9:12 AM, Wietse Venema wrote:

                  > For example, periodically send email to mailboxname+timestamp@...,
                  > and parse the "to=<mailboxname+timestamp@...>" and
                  > "status=delivered" out of the logfile record stream.

                  Or, even better, try to retrieve those messages from the actual mailbox
                  using POP3. That way you've simulated everything a user does, end to end.

                  This is not hard to do. Using the Perl modules Net::SMTP and Net::POP3,
                  it's easy to write a Nagios/Icinga check that operates thusly:

                  1. Using POP3, check for a message with a timestamp in the
                  subject that indicates that it was sent in the last X
                  minutes (where X is the maximum delay you're willing to
                  tolerate). If not found, the result will be CRITICAL.

                  2. Using POP3, delete every message in the mailbox.

                  3. Using SMTP, send a new message to the mailbox with a
                  timestamp in the subject.

                  That's all it takes. Each time the check runs, (1) should find the
                  message sent by (3) of the previous check. The "timestamp in the
                  subject" can be as simple as the epoch seconds.

                  As I wrote on this list 11 years ago(!), "In general, the thing I've
                  learned about monitoring is that when possible, check the system by
                  using it, rather [than] looking for changes in side effects (such as
                  logs, or number of processes running, etc.). That's not to say that the
                  other things can't give useful information, too, but if you can check
                  the system by using it, you don't have to worry so much about whether
                  you've added a regexp for every possible log entry and so forth."

                  --
                  Robert L Mathews, Tiger Technologies, http://www.tigertech.net/
                • LuKreme
                  ... Great advice. I will simply add that what I use as my first-line monitor is the free MX monitoring that mxtoolbox.com offers, as well as an uptime monitor
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 4, 2013
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                    On 04 Jun 2013, at 10:27 , Robert L Mathews <lists@...> wrote:

                    > "In general, the thing I've learned about monitoring is that when possible, check the system by using it, rather [than] looking for changes in side effects (such as logs, or number of processes running, etc.). That's not to say that the other things can't give useful information, too, but if you can check the system by using it, you don't have to worry so much about whether you've added a regexp for every possible log entry and so forth."

                    Great advice. I will simply add that what I use as my first-line monitor is the free MX monitoring that mxtoolbox.com offers, as well as an uptime monitor from uptimerobot.com

                    I'm not affiliated with either service other than using them to monitor my connectivity.

                    The only down side to uptime robot is that it checks every five minutes, and that may not be fast enough for some people. For me, checking the SMTP server and the WWW servers every 5 minutes works out pretty well. YMMV.

                    --
                    My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can
                    feel it. I can feel it. I'm... afraid.
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