The first project we set Joe McMahon loose on when he started contracting with us a few months back was to setup a monitoring system for our servers. We were dealing with server downtime on a case-by-case basis, and Tim knew we needed a system to manage this more and more urgently as the number of servers we were dealing with was growing exponentially. Joe did a scan of the existing solutions and recommended we start out with Observium. Sounded good to us, and for the last couple of months (he has since come on part-time with us) he has been building it out. Last week, as his post on the Reclaim Hosting blog delineates, the project has gone out of beta and is now just about done.* He even took the occasion of that post to get a dig in on my “cult of personality” dynamism—bastard!
What does this mean for us? Well. it means when a server is using an intense amount of its resources we’re notified in our Monitoring channel on Slack. What’s more, it let us know if a particular server is running out of space, or if it’s down all together. So now the more than 60 servers we’re currently managing are all being monitored regularly, and we’re immediately notified in Slack if anything is amiss. What’s more, we all know at the same time so anyone of us can be in the know and act on it immediately. It’s yet another brilliant use of Slack to get keep us all notified and our email inboxes empty. This is a good example of continually fine-tuning our infrastructure, and it’s what I really appreciate about how Tim thinks—and one of the many reasons why he is so good. He’s constantly working to make things more stream-lined and efficient when it comes to our infrastructure, and he and Joe are already proving a formidable team.
On a more personal note, my last post was about spending time with Shannon Hauser during her current trip to Italy to deliver some animal cargo. And this post is about the work Joe McMahon is doing building a monitoring system for Reclaim. What do these nutballs folks have in common? They were our first two student aides at UMW’s DTLT! I love the fact we are still playing and working together, even if I am a pain-in-the-ass. Long after the institution fades into memory, the good people will remain.
*Joe noted it will remain 90% for the remainder of it’s life because it is a constant work-in-progress.