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Flexible server monitoring

Introducing Simon 5!

Simon version 5 is now available. It is a massive update, introducing a much-requested feature: syncing the Simon data between multiple Macs, plus a Simon Status service, a Link Checker filter, improved Find filter, iMessage and Speak Error notifiers, a new app icon, and much more.

Important: please note that Simon 5 requires a minimum of macOS 10.12 (Sierra), and is a paid upgrade from Simon 4. Purchasers since September 1, 2020 automatically get a version 5 license (that also works in previous versions).

Read the Simon What's New page for details.

Daily Status Report

I have a Pulse Test that runs every 24 hours. It sends a simple email notification that Simon is running and includes a link to our html-based Simon Summary Report. Simon generates the summary every 5 minutes and uploads it to our public web server. The product that Simon replaced would send a message containing a summary of all tests. I asked if that was possible in the past and recall the answer was no (or not yet). Including the link to the report is the next best thing.

I was away this past week w/o Internet or good cell coverage and one of our watched servers went down shortly after close of business one evening. Even though the person that was backing me up probably received had an email notification that the system went down they overlooked it and didn't realize there was a problem until the next day when customers started calling. He was eventually able to contact me and we got it restarted but that system did have about 20 hours downtime. Ideally he would have looked at our daily status report, clicked the link and seen there was a problem, but he didn't. FWIW, I fully realize that this is a training issue, but I'm trying to come up with a more effective way of reporting problems.

2 questions:

Is it possible to set a mail "priority" flag for email notifications?
I would like failures for this specific system to be set at "HIGHEST" in the hope that others wouldn't overlook failures

Is it possible to embed an image in an email notification?
If Simon could take a screen shot of itself maybe I could include that in the message. At least it would give a quick visual indicator that a system is down.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Daily Status Report

You should be able to set an email priority by using the "X-Header" fields thusly:

X-Priority: 1 (Highest)

Regarding a screenshot, the email notifications are plain text, so you couldn't include a screenshot in the email itself. You could include a link to a screenshot, though that wouldn't necessarily be any more helpful than a link to a report.

But if you wanted to do that, you could add a notifier to take a screenshot (assuming Simon is frontmost; if necessary, could use an Action notifier to bring Simon to the front first), upload the screenshot to a server or save it to Dropbox or iDisk, and include a link to that in the email.

Notifiers run in the order listed, though they all run at the same time. So there's no guarantee that the screenshot would be taken and uploaded before the email is sent, but since you'd upload it to the same location, the URL wouldn't change.

(Version 2.6's filters run sequentially, before the notifiers, and support scripts, so could be used to ensure prep work is finished before the notifications, if that were important.)

Hope this helps.