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Introducing Rudolf Henning’s QuickMon

| by Jonathan Allen Follow 578 Followers on Oct 09, 2014. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Most open source projects on CodePlex are directed towards developers. Rudolf Henning’s QuickMon is different. It is designed to help the network administrators who keep the servers running so that developers can get a good night’s sleep.

InfoQ: How would you describe QuickMon?

Rudolf Henning: Perhaps I should start by explaining where it came from and how it has evolved to what it is now. Initially I wanted to create some simple tool that I can use to perform regular simple monitoring tasks - things that I regularly have to do over and over again. Over time it evolved into something that can be used as a full blown monitoring and alerting system yet it is simple and quick to use. It still can be used as a simple 'quick check' tool if needed but it also sports a full blown Windows Service that can monitor various and multiple resources and raise alerts as needed (and even attempt to fix some issues if possible).

In short - it is a simple resource monitor and alerting tool/system.

InfoQ: So imagine that I’m a junior system administrator that has been tasked with setting up monitoring. What are the main things that I should be looking at right from the start?

Rudolf: First thing with monitoring is always to identify 'what' to monitor - regardless of the tool. Then you need to ask yourself how can you measure or monitor it with the tools you have. The best is to start with basic and generic stuff like 'is the thing I want to measure available at all'. Typically this would be using a tool or technology like pinging or just opening a connection to it and see if that works. In QuickMon that would be things like the Ping or sql query collector. Then after that you can start looking into getting some details of the resource - typically like performance counters, database queries or WMI. If needs be you can create a complete Powershell script and have the Powershell collector call it from QuickMon.

InfoQ: Does QuickMon offer any templates to help our junior system administrator get started?

Rudolf: Yes, QuickMon has something called Templates (also called presets) which can be managed on their own. When setting up a new collector you can choose between using a template or start from scratch. You can also save an existing collectors' config as a template so it can be reused in the future. On top of that QuickMon also has something 'config variables' which allows you to reuse the same config for multiple collectors and simply have a custom variable inside the config be replaced by a value specific to that collector. There are even MonitorPack config variables which does the same across the entire monitor pack.

InfoQ: Is there anything that you used to monitor and the stopped because you found that it wasn’t necessary or led to too many false alerts?

Rudolf: Yes it has happened in the past but it is part of the monitoring world to continuously adjust what or how you monitor stuff as requirements or as the environment change. Sometimes you specifically add some monitoring temporarily just for testing something for a short time. False alerts in itself could tell you something about a system to help you adjust monitoring and alerting. QuickMon supports alert suppression to avoid getting alerted too much about the same issue over and over. This can be adjusted as you need it.

QuickMon is offered under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

To suggest other open source projects that should be highlighted on InfoQ, contact Jonathan Allen at jonathan@infoq.com.

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