Planet OpenNMS

August 14, 2017

Statusbox

Hey folks,

maybe you still remember the discussion about the Statusbox feature which Markus started at the Easterhack session. At that time I already liked the idea and to be honest, I was a little bit disappointed that it wasn't possible to complete it on this weekend. After some days I read Markus' comment in his pull request:

As this feature was intended to be a small enhancement but a lot of issues were raised while developing this issue, I am now going to burry it.

I was rea...

August 14, 2017 10:45 PM

This Week in OpenNMS: August 14th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on internals, documentation, and web APIs.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Jeff did more work on the Twilio notification strategy.
    • Craig continued his work on the OpenNMS plugin manager.
    • Christian worked on moving event parms to a separate table.
    • I worked on cleaning up our exception-handling in JNA ICMP code.
    • I fixed an RPM bug where users.xml would be overwritten upon upgrade.
    • I fixe...

August 14, 2017 02:35 PM

August 07, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: August 7th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on internals, documentation, and web APIs.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Dustin and Christian worked on moving event parameters into a separate table in the database.
    • Jesse fixed an ordering bug in event processing that could happen when eventconf is live-reloaded.
    • Jeff cleaned up his tool for importing events from CA Spectrum.
    • Jesse fixed some issues with custom varbind processing in even...

August 07, 2017 05:54 PM

Introducing OpenNMS.js

Recently, we have been working on a project called "Helm" which will integrate a convenient OpenNMS alarm dashboard into Grafana. As part of that process, we have been developing a pure-JavaScript API for interacting with OpenNMS's ReST services called "OpenNMS.js".

OpenNMS.js is primarily designed for developers, making it easy to write Node.js or browser tools for performing actions in OpenNMS. However, OpenNMS.js is also a CLI tool that lets you perform a number of useful actions...

August 07, 2017 04:18 PM

August 03, 2017

2017 Dev-Jam – Days 4 and 5

Apologies to my three readers for the two-plus week delay in writing this up. I know you’ve been waiting for this post with more anticipation than Season 7 of Game of Thrones, but things have been crazy busy in OpenNMS-land of late.

As you know, this year’s Dev-Jam was held at Concordia University in Montréal. For most of the week we had access to a nice, large space which included air conditioners (the Grey Nuns building does not have central air), but due to a scheduling conflict we had to move out for the day on Thursday.

We moved to the basement cafeteria, which worked out rather well.

Dev-Jam: Grey Nuns Cafeteria

There were no A/C units but with the windows open there was a good cross breeze and it was comfortable. By the fourth day of Dev-Jam people are pretty much settled into a routine, so the day was mostly spent working to finish up various projects.

On Friday we moved back upstairs. The last full day of Dev-Jam is always bittersweet for me, as I love the “show and tell” part where people share what they have been working on, but I hate the fact that it is over for another year. We also forgot to bring the equipment we usually use for video capture (it was left back in Minnesota) so while the sessions were recorded, they haven’t been posted to Youtube yet.

Dev-Jam: Jesse White presents on Minion

Jesse kicked off the presentations talking about work he was doing to assign specific monitoring tasks to particular Minions.

Dev-Jam: Markus presents on Doughnut Graphs

Markus followed that with his work on adding “doughnut” graphs to the user interface. These resemble the graphs available with Compass™, our mobile app. That is supposed to be a green doughnut and not a grey one but the projector didn’t render it very well.

Dev-Jam: Christian presents on IFTTT

As OpenNMS wants to be the monitoring platform of choice for the Internet of Everything, Christian did some work on integrating it with “If This, Then That” (IFTTT)

Dev-Jam: Ronny presents on ASCIIBinder

Ronny is our “documentation czar” who led the effort to create the most awesome docs.opennms.org site. He explored using ASCIIBinder to manage our growing collection of documentation.

Dev-Jam: Seth presents on ReST

I work with some amazing people, and years ago they saw the potential in adding ReST functionality to OpenNMS. It was a great decision and makes OpenNMS extremely flexible when integrating with other systems. Seth presented some of the work he is doing to extend that feature.

Dev-Jam: Alejandro presents on Drools

OpenNMS has a couple of ways to correlate alarms. The basic method is using the “vacuumd” configuration and SQL, but a stronger (although more complex) method is to used the Drools business intelligence engine. Alejandro presented some work he is doing to move some of the legacy vacuumd tasks to Drools.

Dev-Jam: Jeff presents on CLA Assistant

Contributor License Agreements are a controversial topic in open source, but we use one for OpenNMS. The main reason is to ask any contributor to certify that they have the right to contribute the code. It may seem trivial, but not only does signing such an agreement make the person think about it, it does give the project some cover in case of a dispute.

We currently manage our own CLAs, but the website CLA Assistant aims to make it easier. Jeff presented on what he found out about the service, and we may be migrating to it in the future.

Dev-Jam: Antonio presents on Enhanced Linkd

And last but not least, Antonio talked about the work he is doing on Enhanced Linkd. This is the process that figures out Layer 2 connections between devices. It is non-trivial as vendors seems to relate this information in different ways, and we really appreciate the time he has put into that part of the project.

It was great seeing everyone again, and it was also cool to hold the conference in a new location (well, cool once it was over, it added a lot of stress to my life). I’m eager to start planning next year’s conference.

by Tarus at August 03, 2017 04:26 PM

July 31, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: July 31st, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on internals, documentation, and web APIs.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • I got rid of the RANCID "rws-not-configured" exception when it's not configured.
    • Jesse worked on cleaning up some code in Enlinkd.
    • Markus enabled the IFTTT integration in the main codebase.
    • Alejandro did more work on wrapping up his Drools and BSF alarm northbounders.
    • I worked on fixing integration test code to run...

July 31, 2017 03:20 PM

July 24, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: July 24th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! Last week we were at Dev-Jam, our annual developer conference hackathon.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Alejandro fixed a threading issue in Statsd.
    • Ronny did lots of work on converting documentation to be rendered by AsciiBinder
    • Jesse worked on APIs for handling merged datacollection configuration files
    • DJ did some cleanup of test infrastructure
    • Alejandro implemented alarm northbounders that can feed into BSF scri...

July 24, 2017 03:10 PM

July 20, 2017

2017 Dev-Jam – Day 3

By Day 3 we’ve settled into a rhythm, so I don’t have much to report from the actual OpenNMS side of things. Personally, I spent way too much time trying to figure out why Twitter is blocking links to this blog. It’s been ad-free for over a decade, yet Twitter thinks it is spam.

We believe it was because we were using dlvr.it to post things I write here to the OpenNMS Twitter feed and thus it got flagged as automation (which is, apparently, bad). I can understand it, but my complaint is that there is no clear process for getting it resolved. I think I’ve submitted the proper request and I’ve even tried to back-channel some help through friends of friends, but I think I’m just going to focus on posting on Google Plus from here on out, unless I need to complain. (grin)

So the gang worked while I bitched at Twitter. Oh, I do have a picture of a Canadian food product: ketchup flavored potato chips, modeled by Jeff.

Dev-Jam: Ketchup Potato Chips - photo credit Jessica

I can report on what we did in the evening. Usually Dev-Jam involves seeing a Major League Baseball game, specifically the Minnesota Twins. However, the only MLB team ever in Montréal, the Expos, played their last season here a year before Dev-Jam started (2004).

However, Montréal does host an international fireworks competition, so we got tickets. It’s held at La Ronde, which is an amusement park in the Six Flags chain. La Ronde is located on the northern end of St. Helen’s Island (Île Sainte-Hélène). While the park itself wasn’t very crowded, it turns out that Metallica fans, including our own Alejandro, were descending on the southern part of the island for a concert.

To get there from Grey Nuns, we took the Metro. The Metro station on St. Helen’s Island is near a museum called The Biosphere, complete with a geodesic dome created by Buckminster Fuller. Might be worth a return visit.

Dev-Jam: Montréal Biosphere - photo credit Mike

We took a free shuttle to get to the park, and our tickets also granted us admission. Out of habit I had taken my grandfather’s pocket knife, not realizing they would have metal detectors, but they had a cool system where I could drop it off and pick it up later (so I didn’t have to hide it in the bushes).

As soon as we got into the park, the sky opened up and poured on us. Some of us found shelter under building overhangs, some on rides and some just got wet. One of the rides was the carousel, where Ben, Seth and Cynthia seemed to have fun.

Dev-Jam: La Ronde Carousel - photo credit Mike

Luckily, the rain didn’t last too long. Since it was National Hot Dog Day, we decided to find some. As a fan of the show Silicon Valley, I suggested we try out the “Not Hotdog” app. Seems to work.

Dev-Jam: Not Hotdog - screenshots Mike

Afterward there was just enough time for a ride on Le Vampire.

Dev-Jam: Le Vampire Rollercoaster - photo credit Chris

Jessica is in the back of this shot, with Ronny and Jesse in the front.

Then it was time to see the show. There are three seating sections: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold had free beer but we had been told that the Silver section (Argent) had the best views. I wasn’t disappointed. And this being Quebec, there had to be clowns.

Dev-Jam: Fireworks Clowns - photo credit Ben

In section 307 we were on an elevated platform looking out over a lake. The fireworks were launched from the other side of the lake and synchronized with music. As this is an international competition, the presenter for our show was Germany. They played the German national anthem and introduced the performers.

Dev-Jam: Fireworks Introductions - photo credit Ben

The show … it was amazing.

And when I say it was amazing, I mean it was like I had never seen fireworks before, and I’ve seen them at places like EPCOT at Disney World. Since we were pretty close to the launch site, it was like they took up your whole field of vision. Plus, I never knew there were so many different types. They used the whole area, from high overhead down to the lake itself (at one point in time it was if the water was ablaze in green fire). Shells would explode overhead in a burst of color, followed by a second color and when those faded there would be a ring left that slowly faded away.

Dev-Jam: Fireworks Above - photo credit Ben

Sometimes the sky would just be a fountain of gold, and at other times the action would be at ground level. At times I felt they were telling a story. Not exactly one I understood, such as the red fountain thingies seem to be fighting the shooty yellow thingies, but it still evoked an emotional response.

Dev-Jam: Fireworks Down Low - photo credit Ben

The emotional high point for me was when they played Pachelbel’s Canon. I know it is cliché but the “Canon in D” is one of the most beautiful things ever made, and to see it illustrated in fire was simply breathtaking.

Speaking of things to take your breath away, soon after the show started the air was filled with smoke and ash from the fireworks. While it really didn’t detract from the show, people with health issues related to breathing should think carefully about attending.

Dev-Jam: The Bridge at Night - photo credit Ben

The show was 30 minutes long, and by the time we headed out to leave so did 40,000 Metallica fans. This was further complicated by the bridge to the island being closed so people could watch the fireworks. Rather than waiting for buses to arrive once the bridge was reopened, we decided to walk. There was a great view from the top, and the bridge itself was lit in green.

Dev-Jam: View from Bridge - photo credit Ben

We got back to the dorm around midnight, having had a great time. I hope I get a chance to see the fireworks show again, perhaps at next year’s Dev-Jam.

by Tarus at July 20, 2017 08:36 PM

July 19, 2017

2017 Dev-Jam – Day 2

Dev-Jam was fully underway by Tuesday morning, starting with another Canadian tradition, Tim Hortons.

Dev-Jam: Tim Hortons Box

Lots of great discussions were going on. Ronny demonstrated Project Atlas, more formally known as the GraphML Topology Provider. This allows you to use GraphML to create topologies within the OpenNMS user interface.

Dev-Jam: Ronny Doing a Demo of Atlas

There is also a topology.xml file on the OpenNMS Forge github repository that can be used as an example.

Jesse gave us a demonstration of Project Helm. This is a Grafana plugin that let’s you combine fault and performance data from multiple instances of OpenNMS on one dashboard.

Dev-Jam: Jesse Doing a Demo of Helm

While it is just in alpha, the goal is to let users manage alarms directly from the dashboard, including acknowledging them, adding “sticky” and journal notes, etc. We have been working for years now on making a robust ReST interface for OpenNMS and it is really paying off by allowing us to create features like this. Since all of the communication between Grafana and the OpenNMS system (or systems) is via ReST, there is no need to store and manage data locally.

Dev-Jam: Helm Screenshot

If you want to play with Helm, you should be running the latest Horizon 21 snapshot.

We have a person named Roberto attending Dev-Jam for the first time and I was eager to find out why he was interested in OpenNMS, so I spent some time talking with him. His company deploys underwater fiber-optic cable. Their customers used to be large telecommunications providers, but now they deal mainly with very large Internet companies, and those companies are requesting a higher level of monitoring information. It was one of those “very large Internet companies” that suggested they use OpenNMS, and it was interesting to learn about the challenges of running and managing undersea fiber.

Only a small part of the cable contains the fiber as most of it consists of a thick protective sleeve. The sleeve has to be thicker near shore since there is a greater chance of damage from things like ships’ anchors. Also, electrical current flows through the sleeve which attracts sharks, who then proceed to bite the cable. Here’s a video:

I’m eager to see how they end up using OpenNMS.

As I mentioned before, we are staying in the Grey Nuns Residence at Concordia University. According to Wikipedia there is a crypt in the basement where nearly 300 bodies are buried, most of them nuns who had lived at the Grey Nuns Motherhouse. It is off limits to visit, but I wanted to see if I could at least find the entrance.

Our conference is being held in a large room called E104, and most of the rooms of the people attending are also on the east side of the residence. My room, however, is on the west side and to get there I have to walk about 200 meters (it is a big place). You go out of E104, down to the basement and along a very long corridor before heading up several floors.

Along this corridor you will see a nondescript door,

Dev-Jam: Door to Grey Nuns Crypt

and if you peek through the little round window you can see into the crypt.

Dev-Jam: Image of Grey Nuns Crypt

The graves are marked with plain wooden crosses, and the one nearest the door died in 1885, although there are certain to be much older graves in the crypt. Apparently there was a project to move the bodies out of Grey Nuns but the government balked due to the fact that some of the people buried there died of infectious diseases (the history of the Grey Nuns [pdf] confirms that several nuns died of the Spanish Flu of 1918).

It is a pretty solemn place and in stark contrast to the rest of the dormitory.

Speaking of things definitely not solemn, for dinner we all headed to a Japanese restaurant nearby called Kinka Izakaya. Izakaya means a pub, and the menu consists of lots of small plates, kind of like Japanese tapas.

Dev-Jam: Dinner at Kinka Izakaya

The place met a number of criteria: good food, can seat 24 people and close to the dorm. We also had to try a “Sake Bomb” in which a small amount of sake is suspended over a glass of beer. You then drop the sake into the beer and drink. Yes, there is video:

Good times.

by Tarus at July 19, 2017 03:50 PM

July 18, 2017

2017 Dev-Jam – Day 1

Dev-Jam is an unstructured conference. Our goal is to simply put a bunch of incredibly smart people in a room and see what happens. That said, we do officially start and end the conference. On Monday morning we get together to make introductions and to talk about projects that we want to pursue during the week. This allows people with similar interests to work together if they want. On Friday we have presentations on what got accomplished.

Dev-Jam: People Around a Table

I usually start off the week, and then turn it over to Jesse White (our CTO and GM of The OpenNMS Group Canada).

Dev-Jam: Jesse White in an MC Frontalot shirt

I thought it was cool that he was wearing an MC Frontalot T-shirt as we commissioned him to produce a free software song that we released on Independence Day (July 4th).

Another cool thing about OpenNMS is that we try to work as transparently as possible. While a lot of projects allow public access to their git repository, I believe OpenNMS is the only one that has a repository for every branch that automatically builds packages as commits are made (the list can be found at http://yum.opennms.org/repofiles/ but be patient as there are so many it can take a minute or so to load). We also publish a weekly newsletter called “This Week in OpenNMS” (or TWiO). This week Ben posted some ideas bouncing around this year’s Dev-Jam which include:

  • updating packaging (yum/Debian) infrastructure including better support of upstream PostgreSQL packages
  • improved wifi link support in Enlinkd and topology
  • improving the opennms.com and opennms.org web sites
  • simplifying collection of OCAs
  • integrating DigitalOcean and Xen requisition tools
  • Spark chat integration
  • ReST infrastructure improvements
  • discussing how to improve Docker image generation
  • grafana dashboard for UPS data
  • northbound interfaces for Drools (scriptd-like interface for alarms)
  • structured data monitor (using the XML collector infrastructure)
  • Cisco ACI integration
  • OSGi deployment of ReST services
  • donut charts on the front page
  • rewrite the node list page
  • migrate documentation to AsciiBinder
  • trigger IFTTT events when alarms change
  • porting the Go version of the minion to a new platform

Dev-Jam: Laptop and Can of Cheerwine

I should note that Ben is also a fan of that North Carolina export, Cheerwine.

Dev-Jam: People Meeting to Discuss the Website

Jessica, our graphic designer, pulled together a meeting to discuss our web presence. We recently revamped the opennms.com website and we are looking to determine improvements needed for the opennms.org website.

Speaking of Jessica, she also designed our Dev-Jam shirts.

Dev-Jam: Front of Dev-Jam Shirt

The front is meant to represent summer camp.

Dev-Jam: Back of Dev-Jam Shirt

The top symbol is for Montréal, the bottom is Ulf the OpenNMS mascot, the tag to the left represents coding and the right image is for fireworks (we are attending the competition on Wednesday).

It’s not all work. Recently I read about a restaurant very close to Concordia (where we are holding the conference) that offered free meals to people who need them. I wanted to support that, so for lunch a group of us went to Marché Ferdous, which had been written up on sites such as CNN, the BBC and Huffington Post.

Dev-Jam: Marché Ferdous Entrance

It’s a small shop a couple of blocks away from our dorm, and I got the falafel platter.

Dev-Jam: Marché Ferdous Falafel Platter

My meal was about CAD$10 so I paid with a $20 bill and told them to keep the change. Always gotta pay it forward, yo. (grin)

The falafel was just okay (I’m spoiled as I get to eat Angie’s falafel on a regular basis – some of the best falafel on the planet and I should know as I’ve had it pretty much all over the planet) but the sides were excellent. Everyone else got meat and really enjoyed it.

After lunch we took a side trip to a SAQ store to check out the spirit selection. Later that evening there was a tasting …

Dev-Jam: Monday Whiskey Selection

… which probably had something to do with the decision to screen Strange Brew, eh?

Dev-Jam: Strange Brew on Screen

by Tarus at July 18, 2017 04:00 PM

2017 Dev-Jam – Day 0

♬ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ♬

It’s hard for me to believe that we are getting ready for our twelfth annual OpenNMS developers conference, Dev-Jam.

Dev-Jam: Welcome to Montreal Sign

This year we changed venues from our normal spot at Yudof Hall at the University of Minnesota to Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. We have to plan these things out months in advance, and back in January there was talk of greatly increasing the effort required to enter the United States, especially for visitors from other countries, requiring them to, among other things, reveal social media passwords. Since a large portion of people attending Dev-Jam come from outside the US, we thought it prudent to move the conference. Plus, The OpenNMS Group now has a corporation in Canada, so it also seemed to be a nice way to mark that development.

After searching around for a place to hold the event, we settled on the Grey Nuns Residence, a large dormitory. While the individual rooms are not as nice as Yudof, the conference space is really large and should work out well. Plus, Grey Nuns is considered one of the most haunted places in Montréal, although so far no one has reported anything unusual.

We have over 20 people attending this year, which is down a little bit from normal. We have several people from Minneapolis who attend, and by moving it to Canada it became difficult for them to make it. In an ironic twist our friend Muthu from India was unable to get his visa to Canada approved in time to make the conference. But outside of some weather delays everyone else made it here safely.

So did the Cheerwine. It has become a Dev-Jam tradition for me to bring the North Carolina made cherry-flavored soda to share with everyone, and sometimes it gets a little, soggy, in transit. All 48 cans made it to Montréal, although it won’t last all that long.

There is a bit of adjustment to being in Quebec. I get to practice my (poor) French, and I love the fact that it is like everything has subtitles (legally, English should appear under the French in no more than half the size). Plus we’re having to get used to things distinctly Canadian such as Thrills chewing gum. Flavored with rosewater, the taste has been compared to soap, a fact that is proudly displayed on the box.

Dev-Jam: Thrills Gum Box

Another Montréal tradition is poutine. This is a dish of thin french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.

Dev-Jam: Poutine

The one I tried was a variation that included chicken and a whiskey BBQ sauce. This was from a restaurant chain called St-Hubert which specializes in chicken (seriously, the set menu offered chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, ribs, chicken, chicken, and, you guessed it, chicken). It was good, and it was nice to find a place to serve 20+ people comfortably.

Dev-Jam: Dinner at St. Hubert

While change can be challenging, I think this is going to be a great week. Outside of David and myself, both Mike and Craig have made all twelve Dev-Jams, and DJ has made all but one. One of my goals with OpenNMS is to built something that lasts, and it is nice to have traditions that have continued for this long.

by Tarus at July 18, 2017 01:46 AM

July 17, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: July 17th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internals and web code.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Jesse fixed maskelement matches for events
    • Jesse worked on a project to provide alarm correlation
    • Seth worked on upgrading Karaf to 4.1
    • Ronny worked on AsciiBinder documentation infrastructure
    • Alejandro fixed varbind matching of events
  • Web and UI

    • Seth did more work on alarm endpoints in the ReSTv2 API
    • Alejandro ma...

July 17, 2017 01:36 PM

July 10, 2017

OpenNMS Horizon 20.0.1 (Korben Dallas) Released

OpenNMS 20.0.1 (code name: Korben Dallas) is now available.

This release contains a large number of bug fixes and a few small enhancements, including:

  • a fix for a deadlock that could cause the poller to freeze
  • a fix for rendering issues in the threshold and KSC editors
  • OpenNMS now starts properly on systems without any IPv6 support
  • VMware provisioning and monitoring improvements
  • a tool for generating topology based on metadata in node asset fields

For details on what has changed,...

July 10, 2017 06:46 PM

Freedom Feud

My official title at OpenNMS is CEO, but I’ve worn several hats in the last 12+ years, including accountant, receptionist, HR manager and janitor. Now I get to add record producer to the list.

I guess it all started back in 2012. OpenNMS was doing pretty well and I wanted us to give a little something back to the community. As a fan of MC Frontalot I came across his FAQ and found out that you could actually book him for things like conferences, kids parties, bar mitzvahs and the like. We were sponsoring the Ohio Linuxfest (by the way, I’m a keynote speaker there this year along with the ever amazing Karen Sandler) and I decided to see if I could book him to play a show. Turns out he is pretty affordable (for contrast, Henry Rollins starts out at $10,000 per event, which isn’t unreasonable but doesn’t count as affordable for us just yet). I booked him to play a solo gig and finally got to meet the man. He did a great show, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and we became friends of a sort.

While Front is very much a nerd, he had not had much exposure to free software. A lot of musicians rely on Windows-based software to create their music (Front mainly uses Reaper and Professor Kliq is such an Ableton fan he has their logo tattooed on his wrists) and thus they aren’t used to using open source. The OLF event went so well I hired him a few more times, and I think it was at SCaLE when I suggested he write a free software song. His reply was, well, why don’t you commission one.

Front is talent for hire. He did a couple of tracks for New Relic, “Nerd Life” and “Small Data“, and while we don’t have anywhere near the budget of that company we felt that free software deserved to be examined under his lyrical microscope, so we started the process.

Note that this was a couple of years ago, back in 2015, so it took awhile. Front and I had a number of conversations about free software and I started him on his education. I pointed him to the works of Richard Stallman and Eric S. Raymond (notably The Cathedral and the Bazaar), as well as Lawrence Lessig and organizations such as the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). We also talked about the classic “free as in beer” vs. “free as in freedom” confusion that arises out of the term “free software”, which ended up forming the basis of the song.

Later in 2015 I wanted to do something special for the OSCON show in Portland. This time I decided to hire Front along with his band. In the previous shows he’d done for us it was him and “DJ CPU” providing the music, and while those were great shows I was unprepared for the “live band” experience. It took it to another level. During that show Front performed a bit of the song, but it wasn’t until last year’s All Things Open that the whole song was played for the first time (again with the band, since, awesome).

With the song almost complete we now how to figure out how to present it to the world. I wanted a video, so I decided to turn to animator Chad Essley. Chad had done the video for “Shudders” off of Question Bedtime and we had gotten to know each other through a fund raising promotion he did for the EFF where we sponsored adding OpenNMS references to that video. I felt he could do a good job with it, since he is both talented and he gets the subject matter.

Now when I said “record producer” above I basically meant I signed the checks, but it was cool watching artists such as Front and Chad work out even small details when it came to the video. Animation can take a really long time, so we debated on combining it with some live action, etc., to both speed up the process and reduce the cost. It was at this point that I was introduced to the concept of a “lyric video”.

Ed Sheeran had just come out with a new song, and in order to promote it as quickly as possible he released a video that pretty much consisted of just the song’s lyrics. While at this point in our process we had a portion of the animation completed, I thought that adding the lyrics to it would both speed things up as well as improve the experience, as Front’s rhymes on this track are some of the tightest he’s ever written. The end result is both a video that is fun to watch as well as one that gets the message across in an entertaining manner.

It seems to have been well received, and as I write this it has had over 10,000 views and mostly positive comments, and we got a shout out on Boing Boing.

Speaking of lyrics, the phrase that has gotten the most comments is the line “Pull down capitalism till it’s rubble and chain”. When asked about it, Front commented:

I thought it was funny to equate Free Software with that dirty commie yearning for collectivized well-being and shared responsibility! Those two realms of thought are not directly in line with each other as far as I can tell. But I imagined the kind of business dude who is reflexively distrustful of free software, and I pictured him saying, “you mean… LIKE COMMUNISM??” Thought I’d give him a little dig at the end there.

I can’t remember if I shared my story with Front when we were first talking about creating this song, but when I got started with OpenNMS I was called a communist a number of times on various message boards. It confused me, since it came mainly from people who made their living as network management consultants. I was thinking, hey, here is a tool that lets you provide better solutions for your customers while showcasing your unique talents via your ability to deliver them, and that’s communism? Sounds like good business to me. But there is still that element of “anti-capitalism” associated in free software (I blame the phrase “so you can help your neighbor” in the Free Software Definition, but that’s just me).

The whole process was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I’m very pleased with the result. Check out the video as there are a lot of in-jokes and Easter eggs, and I’ve been told that “floppy head Lawrence Lessig” was met with approval by the man himself.

Oh, in the spirit of free software, Front has published the song under the Creative Commons (CC BY-SA) license, and I am hoping to see a few cool remixes come out of this. I’ve reached out to both Professor Kliq and Raccoon Fink and if they find time to play with it, I’ll be sure to let you know (and let me know if you find some out there). Front is working on a new album tentatively entitled The Internet Sucks so maybe this track will make the cut.

by Tarus at July 10, 2017 06:25 PM

This Week in OpenNMS: July 10th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internals and web code.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Jesse improved agent address handling in Trapd.
    • Seth worked on upgrading our internal Spring version to 4.3.
    • I fixed a bug on generic resource handling.
    • Alejandro fixed path-outage clearing to handle event times properly.
  • Web and UI

    • Markus worked on changes related to accessing ReST code from the OSGi container.
    • Set...

July 10, 2017 02:16 PM

July 06, 2017

Rhythmbox: Repeat One Song

I use Linux Mint as my default desktop environment. One of the reasons I started using it was that the default applications for many functions were the default applications I would choose if I were making a distro.

Their choice for music player used to be Banshee. I really liked Banshee – it reminded me of the early versions of iTunes before that application became too complex. Unfortunately, Banshee is no longer under active development, and the last release was back in 2014.

As the underlying libraries have changed and matured, Banshee has not kept up. For example, if I plugged in my handy Banshee would hang if the MTP mount was being accessed elsewhere. Mint recently decided to switch to Rhythmbox, and I’ve finally made the decision to start using it.

One of the things I’ve learned about open source is to be patient learning a new app. The reason there are often numerous open source solutions for various tasks is that people do things differently, and it can take awhile to understand how a particular application is designed to work. I’ve found that many features I thought were lacking in Rhythmbox were there, just implemented differently than I expected. If the feature is, indeed, missing, you can often add it with a plugin.

I’ve recently been exposed to the music of Imogene Heap, starting with her album Sparks. I really like the sixth track “Lifeline” and I wanted to listen to it a couple of times on repeat. There is a repeat button on the menu, so I clicked it, but that just repeats the playlist. In other apps you can click that icon multiple times and it will rotate through various options: i.e. repeat playlist, repeat song, etc. Not so with Rhythmbox.

A quick search and I found a plugin hosted on Github to add this feature. I downloaded the repository, unzipped the file, and then copied it to ~/.local/share/rhythmbox/plugins/. I then went to Tools -> Plugins and enabled “Repeat One Song” (no restart of the app needed). Now, under the Edit menu, I have the option to repeat the current song.

Repeat One Song Screenshot

Not quite as nice or intuitive as clicking on a button, but it works.

While I see this as a great example of the awesomeness of open source, it also brought out the downside of free software. There was this comment:

This should not be a plugin.. It should be there by default if rhythmbox wants to call itself a music player.

Seriously? A bunch of people write a complex piece of software, give it away for free, build in a way to extend it, but no, that’s not enough. This guy isn’t satisfied that these folks didn’t cater to his every need, even though edumucelli has gone to the trouble to add it.

Free software isn’t a free solution, and I just wanted to post this to remind people, including myself, that often it takes an investment of time to really get to understand how an application works.

In open source, often our first goal is to make something that works before we make something that is easy to use. I’m not proud of this, but quite frequently the motivation behind the developers of free software is to solve a problem important to them and it just happens to be useful to others. And even companies that focus heavily on UI and try to build intuitive interfaces can get it wrong. I’ve had to work with recent versions of iTunes and find it rather difficult to do simple things, although I’m certain that if I used it more I would learn what I needed to do, just like I have with Rhythmbox.

Which I’ve grown to like. It works well with my mobile device and I’m eager to watch it improve even more in the future.

by Tarus at July 06, 2017 08:00 PM

July 05, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: July 5th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we did various internal and web UI work.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Alejandro did more work on improving the logging of events.
    • I did a bit more work on fixing up the JAXB bugs introduced in 20.0.0, including adding smoke tests for some of the UI that was impacted.
    • Seth worked on the ActiveMQ support in OpenNMS.
    • Antonio fixed more Enlinkd bugs.
    • I fixed the syslogd-configuration.xml parser to...

July 05, 2017 01:52 PM

June 26, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: June 26th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we did various internal and web UI work.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Ron Roskens added documentation about collection resource types.
    • Brynjar Eide fixed a bug in scanning SNMP devices with missing IP-MIB::ipAddressIfIndex entries.
    • Jesse did more work on Java 9 support.
    • Antonio squashed more topology and Enlinkd bugs.
    • Jean-Marie Kubek improved test support for RADIUS by using an internal tinyRa...

June 26, 2017 03:23 PM

June 21, 2017

A Brief History of an Open Source Company

I’ve been invited to give a keynote at this year’s Ohio Linuxfest being held in Columbus, Ohio, on 29-30 September. I am both excited and humbled as this is one of my favorite conferences of the year and I know a lot of amazing people will be there to share their knowledge of free and open source software.

Ohio Linuxfest Logo

I take my presentations pretty seriously, especially keynotes, so I wanted to come up with something that was both funny and interesting. They asked me to speak on running a business around open source software, and I immediately thought I should come up with some click-bait title like “Ten Things About Open Source Business, Four of Them Will Shock You!” but it just didn’t feel right. Then I thought about Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and that seemed more fitting.

My most popular talk so far has been on starting an open source business, but that focuses mainly on the mechanics of the process. For this talk I want to trace my history with OpenNMS starting with my first day on the job and then describing how it grew to become what it is today. In those 15+ years I’ve had a lot of adventures, some good and some bad, and I’ve met a some wonderful people. It is the work of many of those people that actually make OpenNMS what it is – I act more like a “crap umbrella” with my one job being to block all of the things that might keep the team from being productive – and I want to talk how that came about. This presentation will consist almost entirely of real world examples of the problems we encountered and our decision process for solving them.

I hope it will be entertaining and useful, and look forward to seeing you there.

by Tarus at June 21, 2017 06:26 PM

June 20, 2017

When Not To Start an Open Source Company

Over the weekend, Chris Aniszczyk posted a link on Twitter to a very interesting article by Matt Klein about his decision not to start an open source company around his project, Envoy. I thought it raised a number of interesting points worth a few comments.

First off, Matt works for Lyft, which, in case you haven’t heard of it, is Uber without the moral decay. I abandoned Uber some time ago, despite being an early adopter, and I’ve been very happy with Lyft. One of the main differences is that Lyft allows you to tip your driver, which I almost always do with few exceptions. The fact that Lyft is able to keep and motivate people like Matt speaks volumes for their corporate culture.

It also demonstrates a wonderful trend of commercial companies starting and maintaining open source projects. I’ve been working with open source for almost two decades and I can remember when any software developed at a company was considered confidential. To this day there are a number of vendors who consider their SNMP MIB files (which, I should point out, are really only useful to people who have purchased their products) proprietary information. Companies like Lyft, Paypal and Facebook, none of which would self-identify as open source companies, have gained a lot of value for little cost by making the tools they use open source.

When talking about open source for the enterprise, I often talk about the fact that it is the processes that a company uses to serve its customers that make it unique and define its value, not the tools used by the company. So often with commercial software you have to change those process to fit how the application thinks you should work, and in the process you lose some part of what makes you special to your customers. With open source you can fit the application to those processes. It is how you use the tools and not the tools themselves that is important, and so there is a lot to gain and little to lose by making them open source.

Getting back to Matt’s article, he is a project maintainer for Envoy, which is a “high performance C++ distributed proxy and communication bus designed for large service oriented architectures.” While I don’t consider myself a coder so I don’t claim to fully understand the its advantages, I do recognize enough buzzwords in that sentence to know that it would attract some attention from investors, and Matt was approached about leaving Lyft to start a commercial business around Envoy. He decided not to, and as I read his article about his decision I realized I’d found a kindred soul, someone who was more interested in creating something of value that would last versus making a quick buck.

He had me with this paragraph:

In my opinion, the best opportunity to commercialize OSS lies with projects that can be easily turned into SaaS products. Ultimately, even if software is completely open, many customers are happy to pay for a turnkey solution that “just works” and has a defined SLA with 24/7 monitoring and support. In some sense, customers pay for the operational expertise that comes from deeply understanding and running the software, versus the software itself.

Amen.

I’ve been making a living on open source for 15 years now working with OpenNMS, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about business models. We started out with the “service and support” model, which kept the doors open but limited growth. Then our clients started asking us for features, so we added custom development, which was time intensive but allowed us to finance OpenNMS features which attracted even more customers as the platform became more powerful. When we hit the problem of trying to balance the “release early, release often” philosophy of open source with the need for stability, we adopted the Red Hat model of splitting our application into a feature-rich, rapidly developed release (which we call Horizon™, similar to Fedora) and a more stable, subscription-based release that may lag in features but is better suited production environments (which we call Meridian®, similar to RHEL). But ultimately we came to the decision that what we really wanted to do was to offer OpenNMS as a service.

One company that inspired that decision was Automattic, maintainers of WordPress. I don’t think I know of a more powerful piece of software that is easier to install. They have a famous “5 Minute Install” that is quite simple. First, you drop the software into the webroot of your web server of choice. Next, you create a database account on your database of choice with certain permissions. Then you navigate to a web page and follow the prompts.

However, for a lot of people, terms like “webroot” are gibberish, and even with WordPress you still need some minimal database skills to maintain it. So Automattic offers up WordPress as a service. For a small monthly fee they’ll do everything for you, and this has generated revenues on the order of tens of millions of dollars per year.

OpenNMS is way more complicated, thus the value of a hosted version should be greater. In order to do so we needed some way to access the client’s network in a secure fashion, so with Horizon 20 we introduced the Minion. The Minion software allows for OpenNMS functionality to be distributed. It is built on the Karaf container, so once installed all of its features can be remotely managed. For smaller networks, the Minion can be sold as an appliance and talk to a hosted version of OpenNMS. It can bring a complex and powerful tool like OpenNMS into the hands of the masses.

For larger companies it solves issues of scale as Minions can be deployed to cover even the largest networks (our goal is IoT scale). We’ve had them in production at one client for months now handling over 2 million events an hour. That translates to around 555 events per second, although the system itself can handle over 10,000 events per second so they have room to grow. If they ever hit that limit, we can simply add more Minions. They have the option of hosting all of OpenNMS in their own data center, or they could choose a hybrid model where some of the functionality is outsourced.

For pretty much the first time in the history of OpenNMS, we are seriously and actively seeking investment. There are a number of companies entering this space who have raised enormous amounts of money, and we think we can be competitive for far less money and provide a better solution. Plus, also for the first time in the history of OpenNMS, we have a reason to make it easier to use versus spending all of our resources making it more powerful.

Matt talks about investment in his post (remember Matt? As usual, I’ve made this all about me. Meeee!) It was actually his stories about dealing with investors that prompted me to write this. As Envoy started to get some traction, investors wanted him to leave and start a company. He writes:

Over the last few months I’ve been told by several investors that no OSS has become ubiquitous without having explicit commercial backing. I think this is false and is situation dependent. If anything, I would argue that if I were to leave Lyft now and start a platform company around Envoy, it will decrease the chance of Envoy becoming ubiquitous, primarily because it would negate all of the reasons laid out above.

That first sentence is interesting, since “ubiquitous” and “commercial” are a little vague. I would make the claim that the Apache web server was ubiquitous until its success spawned NGINX, and it was backed by the Apache Software Foundation which is a non-profit. Is a foundation “commercial”? The idea that for a project to become successful it needs a number of people to spend a lot of time working on it seems obvious, and the best way to achieve that is to pay those people to work on it.

He goes on to write:

It took me a lot of time to ultimately understand the previous simple point. Investors are extremely persuasive. They capitalize on “fear of missing out.” However, it’s important to realize that the opportunity cost is hugely mismatched between investor and company.

When he writes “investors” above I believe he means specifically venture capitalists. We’ve talked with a few VCs in the past and I can remember the almost “strong arm” tactics they used. If I hear “a rising tide lifts all boats” one more time, I might have to hit somebody. I’m not saying that all VCs are the same, but many of them come across as gamblers and not investors. I’m risk friendly but I don’t gamble. I’m heavily invested in wanting to build something with OpenNMS that outlasts me (it is already much bigger than me as the team I work with has way more to do with its success than I do) and I don’t want to gamble with it.

I do hope that there are some investors out there that can appreciate that aspect of our company as well as the fact that we’re profitable, have mature products and wonderful customers. Perhaps private equity or perhaps another company that shares our vision and wants to advance the project through acquisition. In any case we’re looking for them.

When I was a young man, old guys like I am now would tell me “work on something you love, not just for the money”. I always dismissed it with the thought that with enough money I can buy love. When you immerse yourself in something as personal as an open source project for ten to twelve hours a day, year after year, you really do have to love it and the satisfaction you get just can’t be bought. Matt’s thoughts are similar:

Ultimately, on a personal level I’m just having too much fun solving tough computer science problems at large scale at Lyft and building a community around Envoy. The bar to do something different is therefore extremely high, and it took a long time to realize that it’s perfectly OK to accept that and keep going down the existing path that I’m on. On another level, leaving now to start a company would feel very much like not following through on my original goal of open sourcing Envoy; the industry desperately needs a high quality and community-driven solution to microservice networking. Follow-through is something I take very seriously.

With that attitude the success of Envoy is almost assured.

by Tarus at June 20, 2017 03:10 PM

What the...? SNMP Daemon spams my log!

As soon you provide more than a handful of services monitoring and centralized logging becomes essential. Especially when you run the Net-SNMP daemon with Docker you will notice your logs get spamed with some messages like Cannot statfs /run/docker/netns/...: Permission denied everytime you query for performance data.

The Wiki article is a small guide how to configure the Net-SNMP daemon to get cleaner logs and less noise for a cleaner signal.

Would you like to know more? -> SNMP spams my...

June 20, 2017 01:48 AM

June 19, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: June 19th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal and web UI changes.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Antonio worked on more Enlinkd and topology bugs.
    • Jesse fixed a bug in Collectd in Horizon 20 that would cause large amounts of collection on non-primary interfaces.
    • I fixed some issues related to the JAXB update.
    • I continued my work on a JavaScript API for OpenNMS.
  • Web

    • Seth worked on the ReSTv2 APIs and cleanu...

June 19, 2017 02:33 PM

June 15, 2017

CubaConf 2017

UPDATE: Today the United States administration announced tougher restrictions on travel to Cuba. While nothing has changed at the moment, there will be some changes in the next 30 days. This should not impact people attempting to go to Cuba for this conference as it should fall under the “professional” or “educational” travel categories. This may change again before November and I’ll be sure to post updates.

While tourist travel remained officially banned, Obama also allowed a broad category of “people to people” visits to Cuba. Trump’s new directive still allows individual travel in all but that category, and reverts to an earlier policy of requiring “people to people” visits only in a Treasury-licensed group.

Free and open source software is as close to a true meritocracy than anything else I’ve found. It doesn’t matter what is the color of your skin, your gender or where you live, your value is judged simply by your contributions to the project. I wrote up my favorite instance of that for opensource.com concerning my friend Alejandro who got involved with OpenNMS when he lived in Venezuela. He and his wife are now permanent residents in the US due to his work on our project.

I actually forget how I came across CubaConf, but I was immediately interested in attending. This is an annual free software conference held in Havana, Cuba.

CubaConf

It has been illegal for US Citizens to travel to Cuba since before I was born. Last year the Obama administration eased some of those restrictions, so it is now possible, under certain conditions, to travel to Cuba as well as to use US Dollars while there.

Cuba has been pretty isolated since the 1960s, and as it races to catch up with the rest of the world it will need access to modern technology, especially software. I see an opportunity for free software to play a huge role in the future of that country, and I am eager to meet the people who will help make that happen.

I want to use this post to encourage all of my free and open source software friends to come to CubaConf. This is a three-day event that follows a format similar to one we used for our OpenNMS user conferences. The first day is a normal conference, with various tracks and presentations set to a schedule. The second day is a “barcamp” style conference where the attendees will set the agenda, and the third day is a hackathon.

Presentations are welcome in both Spanish and English, so I’ve submitted two talks (both in English). One is on starting an open source business. This will be different from my usual talk as I want to focus on how someone in Cuba could both spread the use of free software while getting paid to do it, without as much focus on setting up a corporation or other formal business entity. The second talk is on OpenNMS. While business transactions are still difficult between the US and Cuba, I really want to bring the magic that is OpenNMS to their attention so that when things ease between our countries people will be familiar with it.

I plan to attend all three days, and Alejandro is coming with me to help with any language issues (my Spanish is passable but not nearly as fluent as a native speaker). Note that the Call for Papers is open until the end of August.

Since you might be hesitant to consider going to Cuba from the United States, I wanted to share with you how it works.

First, tourism to Cuba for Americans is still illegal. However, the State Department has come up with a list of 12 categories which qualify for visiting.

12 Visa Categories for Cuba

In the case of CubaConf, you will choose either number four “Professional research and professional meetings” or number five “Educational activities”. I guess number six might work “Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions” since it is kind of a workshop, but I’d stick with the first two. Since I am a free software professional, I plan to use number four, as I consider this a professional meeting.

Note that Cuba could care less about why you are there – this is a requirement of the US government.

Second, once you have a legal travel category, you’ll need a visa. In speaking with my favorite airline, American Airlines (they offer direct flights to Havana from Charlotte, NC, and Miami, FL), once you book your travel they will outsource the visa process to Cuba Travel Services who will handle the whole thing via e-mail. The visa costs $50 and it looks like there may be a $35 fee, but I’m not sure if the fee applies if you are referred via the airline and it may be built into the price of the ticket.

Speaking of things included in the price, the third thing to consider is that all Americans traveling to Cuba must have non-US health insurance. This is included as a $25 charge when you purchase your ticket.

That covers much of the “getting there” part. The fourth, and in my mind most important thing to know is that Cuba is still very much a cash-only country. American banks are still not doing business there so your credit cards won’t work, nor will the ATM, so you’ll need to bring cash. I verified this with calls to Bank of America, Chase and Citi – currently none of those banks have cards that work in that country.

There are two types of currency in use: The Cuban National Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) or “kook”. The CUC is pegged to the dollar and is the currency used by most visitors. Luckily, Havana is a pretty safe place, although I still won’t want to carry around a lot of money if I can avoid it.

I’m not sure where I will stay. Being a big Marriott fan I do have the option to stay at the Four Points Sheraton, but it seems to be pretty far away from the Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo where the conference will be held. Most people visiting stay in a “casa particular” which is a room in someone’s house, and it appears that Airbnb is also in Cuba.

I plan to use the open source way and just ask my friends organizing the conference where I should stay. It is very easy to do, as they have set up a Telegram channel for the conference. While Spanish is the main language in the channel, English is welcome, and if you are thinking about coming to CubaConf I would consider going there first.

I am very exited about the opportunity to visit Havana in November. Despite the modern history between the US and Cuba, I know I’ll make some new friends.

Software libre crea amistades inmediatas.

by Tarus at June 15, 2017 07:22 PM

June 13, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: June 13th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal and web UI changes.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Antonio worked on more Enlinkd and topology bugs.
    • Jesse fixed an issue with thresholding WS-Man collection results.
    • Jesse worked on fixing StrafePing on the Minion.
    • Jesse did more work on initial Java 9 support.
    • Seth did more work on upgrading our embedded Karaf to 4.1 and our ActiveMQ to 5.14.
    • Dustin updated the doc...

June 13, 2017 02:59 PM

June 12, 2017

Monitoring Websites with Selenium

Now and then websites are really important for daily business and private life. You can nearly buy everything on websites, find information, meet friends, watch movies and much more. All the worse if your website is not working and you don't notice it or your customer first. But even if you already have some monitoring for webservices or domain name availability, you can't be sure, if your website itself works correct. Maybe the login/logout procedure is broken, some parts of the website are mis...

June 12, 2017 01:42 PM

June 09, 2017

Horizon™ Version 20 Released

Just a heads up that version 20 of Horizon has been released.

Since version 20 coincides with the 20th anniversary of the film The Fifth Element, we’ve decided to use characters from that movie as codenames for this release. Version 20.0.0 is called “Leeloo”.

This release continues our commitment to rapid releases in the Horizon product line, and is mainly focused on bug fixes, small enhancements and code cleanup. We have removed all use of Castor for the parsing of XML files and replaced it with JAXB, and number of deprecated events have been removed from the system.

Probably the biggest new feature is a topology provider that can be used to create custom maps. The Asset Topology Provider generates a GraphML topology based on node metadata including asset fields.

You can read the announcement and for more information, check out the release notes.

by Tarus at June 09, 2017 06:41 PM

June 08, 2017

OpenNMS Horizon 20.0.0

OpenNMS Horizon 20.0.0 (code name: Leeloo) is now available!

This release is focused more on fixes and tuning of existing subsystems, as well as plenty of code cleanup and updates in the process of bringing Minion monitoring up to the level of the rest of the codebase.

New in OpenNMS Horizon 20

Breaking Changes
  • NMS-9303: Deprecated Capsd and Linkd event definitions are removed. Otherwise unused event definitions are also cleaned up and removed from the code and configurations. For a d...

June 08, 2017 07:14 PM

Why the FCC’s Title II is so Important (Spectrum Rant)

Here is a rant about Time Warner/Charter/Spectrum or whatever the heck they call themselves these days. It illustrates how this large company can have a huge negative impact on a small business, and why treating Internet providers as common carriers is so important.

Our company wouldn’t exist without the Internet. Outside of the fact that our products are mainly used to monitor Internet resources, we host a number of servers from our office and about half of the staff works remotely so we rely on the Internet to communicate and coordinate.

Back in 2012 I contracted with Time Warner to provide Internet access to our office. We had fiber to the building and while our service was considerably more expensive than coax, I liked the fact that it was symmetrical and expandable. We started of with 20 Mbps but soon increased that to 50 Mbps. Over five years we only had one outage, due to a misconfiguration of our Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), and they corrected it within 20 minutes. I love the fact that when you called in the person who answered the phone understood terms like “duplex” and they were always very helpful.

Note the scenario: happy customer who is happy paying a premium for enterprise-level service.

Now let me tell you why all that goodwill has gone away.

Earlier this year we decided to move our office from Pittsboro, NC to Apex, NC. The first thing I did was contact Time Warner (well, Charter at the time) to insure that they could provide fiber to the new location. They said they could, although it would take 45 to 60 days. As our new office space needed to be completed, we were targeting an April 1st move in date anyway, so on February 15th I placed the order for the new service. At best, it would be available on the 1st and at worst it would be ready by the 15th. We told the old landlord we’d be out by April 30th just in case and to give us more time to move.

Finally, Spectrum doubled our speed and cut the price in half. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

The feeling didn’t last.

As we got closer to April, things started to go wrong, most of it due to the fact that Spectrum is now such a behemoth that they have no idea what they are doing. In order to get fiber into our new building, they needed what is called a “Right of Entry”. They sent it to our landlord who promptly completed the form and sent it back. However, that person didn’t let the project manager know the form had been received, so he did absolutely nothing. Ten days (!) later I get a note that our build out had been suspended because of the lack of the ROE form. A form, I should point out, that was sent to them, twice.

At the end of March I’m told that our new date is May 11th. I’m unhappy – due to their poor processes I now have a new office that I can’t use for six weeks (remember, we took possession and started paying rent on April 1st). We also had to be out of the old office by the end of April. Luckily I work with a great team that is able to be productive when working from home, so I decided to suck it up and live with it.

On April 12th I get an update – the new date for the end of construction is now May 15th due to processes within Spectrum taking too long to finalize the work with a contractor. Now the actual date we’ll have Internet has been pushed out to the week of May 29th.

I am livid. By this point I’m ready to switch to the other option, AT&T. Unfortunately, they also need 45 to 60 days for service installation so I realize at this point I’m stuck with Spectrum.

I ask my salesperson for options and he suggests we get coax installed for a month (for a fee, of course). Since our office is right next to a large housing development they can get coax in the following week. I sign off on it.

It didn’t happen. When May arrived some of us started working in the new office mooching off the neighbor’s Wi-Fi from AT&T (with permission of course). I ended up traveling for a couple of weeks so I completely forgot about the coax option (it’s not like Spectrum was keeping me updated on anything – I’d have to reach out to them for an update). I did get a note on May 10th that all construction had been completed for the fiber and another note on May 18th that our new install date was June 2nd.

(sigh)

So, 45 days late, we have a firm install date. Wonderful.

Imagine how I felt when on the 24th of May I received a note that more construction was needed and that it would be pushed out another 30 days at least. When I get extremely angry I refer to it as going “non-linear” as that how fast my blood pressure rises. As I was ranting to pretty much everyone I’d ever interacted with at Spectrum it dawned on me that this could be for the coax order. Turns out that was the case. Apparently our crack project manager on the coax side decided to route our service from a point several miles away instead of from the one nearly across the street. This is why it was delayed and why the construction was needed. By this time we are about a week out from having fiber so I canceled the order. I did get a very apologetic call from the coax salesperson which I appreciated (under Spectrum, fiber [Enterprise] is handled by one sales team and coax [Business] is handled by another), and I made it clear that I’d be okay with everything as long as the fiber was delivered as promised on the 2nd.

It was. Around noon on June 2nd we had our 100 Mbps service and on the 3rd we moved all of our devices from the old office in Pittsboro to the new one in Apex. I informed my salesperson that they could disconnect the old service and despite all of the problems, I was happy with the new service.

So the whole process cost me two months rent and a few years off my life, but it was finally over.

Not so fast – the other shoe fell today.

I get an e-mail that I need to confirm my disconnect request. That didn’t bother me, in fact I appreciated it, but what did bother me was an additional note that it would be done within 30 days. When I replied I asked for clarification – would I be *paying* for the service I wasn’t using until they could disconnect it? The answer was “yes”.

I experienced a new word – apoplectic.

Due to the fact that the bureaucracy behind the new merged Spectrum company is so bad, I’m out nearly ten thousand dollars. That is the real money – it’s probably cost us twice that again in lost productivity from lack of network access and dealing with them throughout this process. We’re not one of those companies that is too big to fail so this really impacts us negatively. Had it been explained to me that I’d have to pay for the service until it was disconnected, I would have put the disconnect order in a month ago, but then had I used the date I was originally promised, our servers would have been off-line for over a month. That would have been catastrophic to our company.

Finally, I’ve gone from a happy customer to an extremely pissed off one who will be actively looking for options. Based on my experience I would suggest any business looking for network access look elsewhere.

Access to the Internet has become as important as other utilities such as electricity, water and sewer and just like those utilities it needs to be regulated as one. This is why the decision by the new industry-picked head of the FCC to reverse the decision to classify Internet access under Title II as a “common carrier” is so devastating to businesses like mine. Our company is small, yet we put millions of dollars into the local economy each year. You multiply that by the number of other small businesses and it can have a great impact to any community. Barriers put up by companies like Spectrum demonstrate that they can’t self-regulate and the government needs to take a firmer hand (and this is coming from a left-leaning libertarian).

I will be protesting that final bill for Internet access and I would welcome any advice on how to deal with a company like Spectrum. Let’s hope that there is a change soon so that other businesses can focus on creating value and not have to deal with the crap we had to endure.

I’m not holding my breath.

by Tarus at June 08, 2017 06:47 PM

June 06, 2017

OpenNMS Training Dates Announced for September 2017

The next OpenNMS training course will be held the week of 11 September, 2017, at the OpenNMS headquarters in Apex, NC, USA.

This will be the first training course in our new office. Did I mention we are just above a brewery?

by Tarus at June 06, 2017 02:39 PM

OpenNMS Training Dates Announced for September 2017

The next OpenNMS training course will be held the week of 11 September, 2017, at the OpenNMS headquarters in Apex, NC, USA.

This will be the first training course in our new office. Did I mention we are just above a brewery?

by jessi at June 06, 2017 12:00 AM

June 05, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: June 5th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal and web UI changes.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals, APIs, and Documentation

    • Jesse fixed an issue with WS-Man thresholding.
    • Jesse fixed an issue with the HikariCP strategy failing to get new connections with a busy database.
    • Jesse did some initial work on fixing Java9 builds.
    • Antonio worked on some Enlinkd and topology bugs.
    • I worked on creating a JavaScript API for interacting with OpenNMS ser...

June 05, 2017 02:59 PM

June 02, 2017

Service Outage Tomorrow, Saturday June 3rd

Wonder of wonders, Time Warner/Charter/Spectrum/whatever has finally delivered connectivity to our new office, albeit a month late.

So, we’ll be moving a number of servers from our old location to the new one, which means certain things, such as demo and Bamboo will be down for a few hours. Almost everything else is hosted elsewhere and redundant, so we shouldn’t have any other issues.

Sorry for the outage and thanks for your patience.

by Tarus at June 02, 2017 10:03 PM

June 01, 2017

Monitoring? Meh.

Recently, I was talking to a person in the tech industry and describing all of the cool things we are doing with OpenNMS, when he kind of cut me off and went “Oh, monitoring? Meh.”

Well, I can’t remember if there was an actual “meh” but that’s how it came across, and I’m afraid the reaction is probably more common that I would think. Monitoring isn’t sexy, but it surprises me that people can’t see how critical it will be to the future of any business.

IoT Devices Over Time

While forecasts vary, by 2020 there are expected to be over 30 billion devices on the Internet, and that figure will skyrocket to over 75 billion by 2025. Just knowing what is connected to your business network is going to become critical, as well as making sure it belongs there in the first place and, if so, is functioning properly.

Outside of the obvious security concerns, as people began to transact business more and more through devices rather than people, faults in those devices will directly impact revenue as people search for other options when faced with a bad experience.

Here are a couple of examples.

One of the greatest inventions in my lifetime is the ability to buy fuel at the pump. You just pull up, swipe your card, pump and then leave. You used to have to pay inside, and some places made you pay first which meant two trips in if you were paying by credit card. It could be cold or rainy, and not only did you have to wait in line behind people buying food or lottery tickets, you had to leave your car out by the pump possibly blocking the next customer.

The only problem I’ve experienced with this process concerns the receipt. Quite frequently I need a receipt, but it seems the pumps I choose are always out of paper. The little red indicator mark when the paper roll is almost finished isn’t visible to the cashier since there really isn’t one out by the pump. It is frustrating, but it is not like I have a choice at the moment. If there was some way to monitor the pump for a “low paper” alarm, it would improve my shopping experience.

One shopping experience that did result in my leaving the store without a purchase happened yesterday at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. I needed some florescent lights for the new office so I went by on my way home. I picked up four bulbs (two that I needed and two spares) and went to the checkout area.

I walked past several unmanned cash registers until I got to the “Self Checkout” section, which was the only thing open. Of the four machines, two had red blinking lights on them (that are green when things are functioning normally) and the one lone, overworked cashier was doing her best to help people out. I usually don’t mind using Self Checkout and when I noticed one of the two machines was open (everyone else was waiting for the attention of the lone cashier) I went to it and started my purchase.

I scanned my “My Lowe’s” card and then the first bulb. “Eight ninety-five” piped up the voice and I placed it in a bag.

Here is where the problems started. First, I hate the fact that with these Self Checkout kiosks they don’t trust you to use a “quantity” key. I was buying four identical items but I was required to scan each one. Next, the bulb was light enough that it didn’t register as having been bagged, so the interface yelled at me and presented me with a button marked “Skip Bagging Item?”.

I sighed and, having no other option, hit the button. I then went on to scan the next three bulbs. However, as I bagged the fourth bulb, the scale must have started working since the whole unit went into some kind of alarm mode, screeching “Unidentified Object in the Bagging Area!” and the screen was locked until the cashier had time to come and fix it.

I looked around the area, and by this time all four kiosks had a flashing red light, there were at least three shoppers lined up to use them in addition to those of us already there, and our valiant cashier was busy helping a guy ring up his plumbing supply purchase which consisted of a ton of small copper fittings which most likely wouldn’t be registered by the scale.

I gave up. I picked up my bulbs and returned them to the Lighting section, passing three employees in the customer service area helping zero customers. Before I reached the car I’d ordered the same bulbs on Amazon at a fraction of the price, and they’ll be here on Friday.

Yes, I’m complaining, but how could monitoring have helped here? First, there is some sort of monitoring – those little red lights. When they all light up you would assume someone, or perhaps multiple someones, would come by to help. A monitoring system could have made sure that happened by using an additional notification system outside of the lights, and escalating it until the problem was addressed.

A more long term solution would be to collect information on the purchasing experience and the problems people encountered and to make changes to the automated kiosk software. I’m certain that Lowe’s didn’t write that software but instead bought it, and like most proprietary software solutions they now have to fit their processes to the application instead of the other way around. It probably wasn’t designed for a store that sells a lot of small, light things which is central to the issues I have using it.

With the rise of IoT devices, robotics and other forms of automation, monitoring is going to become extremely important. Lowe’s lost out on a $40 sale, but think of something like an assembly line where a problem could result in the loss of thousands of dollars a minute. Our goal at OpenNMS is to be ready for it, and to build products that make people go “Monitoring? Oh yeah!”.

by Tarus at June 01, 2017 12:17 PM

May 30, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: May 30th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, the Minion, and web code.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals

    • Seth continued working on modernizing our bundled ActiveMQ, Camel, and Karaf versions.
    • Jesse added an event for knowing when alarms are deleted (and fixed BSM to track them).
    • Antonio worked on more bug fixes to Enlinkd.
    • Jesse added support for doing reverse DNS lookups even when a A record does not exist.
  • Minion

    • I added su...

May 30, 2017 04:22 PM

May 25, 2017

Server Room Nightmares

I’m interested in any server room nightmares people would like to share.

Here’s one of mine.

We are in the process of moving offices from Pittsboro, NC down the road to Apex. Unfortunately, we are having some issues getting Spectrum Enterprise to complete the fiber installation at the new place, so while we are out of our old building the lack of network access in the new building means we have a bunch of servers in the old location.

Today while I was working in the new office and mooching of our kind neighbor’s wi-fi, I got several notices that links had failed.

linkDown event list

These were some workstations that we use for training, but when they are not in use we use them as part of our continuous improvement Bamboo farm. I immediately hopped on our Mattermost IT channel and asked if anyone was rebooting or otherwise messing with the machines, and when the answer was “no” I started to investigate.

One suggestion was that the air conditioning may have failed and those machines shut down from overheating. It has happened in the past, but it was both rather cool today and other machines that are more sensitive to such things were still running. I checked it out anyway using our AKCP probe.

temperature graph

The temperature had increased a bit, but it wasn’t anything that should have caused problems (it was caused by the server room door being left open).

Being 30 minutes away, I decided to text my friend Donnie, who is technically gifted as well as working in our old location, and he went to investigate.

For some reason, those three machines had been disconnected from the switch.

Now just for this situation we have an Arlo camera installed in the server room, so using the time stamp on the linkDown traps I found the following video.

Note the slightly balding guy in the red shirt in the lower left corner of the video. He is busy unplugging our devices.

Why? I have no idea. These people represent the IT people for the new tenant, and I assume they had legitimate reasons for being in the server room but messing with our equipment was not one of them.

Seriously, in over 30 years of working with computers, I’ve never heard of anyone going into someone’s house, office, server room or data center and just start unplugging cables. I still have not heard an explanation, but the landlord has had a discussion with the new tenant and it shouldn’t be happening again. It is one reason the important stuff is in that locked half-rack seen in the upper left corner of the video, and the really important stuff is hosted elsewhere.

I am curious – I’m certain this pales compared to other stories out there. Do you have any whoppers to share?

by Tarus at May 25, 2017 07:23 PM

May 23, 2017

New Meridian® Releases Available

Just a quick note to point out that new Meridian releases are now available: 2015.1.5 and 2016.1.5

For those who aren’t aware, Meridian is a subscription-based version of OpenNMS built to complement Horizon, the cutting edge release. You can think of it as Meridian is our Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Horizon’s Fedora. There is one major Meridian release per year and each major release is supported for three years.

Before the Meridian/Horizon split it was taking us 18 months or so to do a new major release of OpenNMS. Now we do three to four Horizon major releases a year.

About half of our revenue comes from support contracts and so we had to be extra careful when doing a release, and even with that many of our customers were reluctant to upgrade because the process could be involved. This was bad for two main reasons: often they wouldn’t get bug fixes which meant an increase in support tickets, and more importantly they might miss security updates.

Updates to Meridian, within a major release, are dead simple. This is the process I used yesterday to upgrade our production instance of OpenNMS.

First, I made a backup of the /opt/opennms/etc and /opt/opennms/jetty-webapps/opennms directories. The first is out of habit since configuration files shouldn’t change between point releases, but the second is to preserve any customizations made to the webUI. I modify the main OpenNMS page to include a “weather widget” and that customization gets removed on upgrades. Most users won’t have an issue but just in case I like having a backup.

Next, I stop OpenNMS and run yum install opennms which will download and install the new release. The final step is to run /opt/opennms/bin/install -dis to insure the database is up to date.

And that’s it. In my case, I copy the index.jsp from my backup to restore the weather information, but otherwise you just restart OpenNMS. The process takes minutes and is basically as fast as your Internet connection.

If you have a Meridian subscription, be sure to upgrade as soon as you are able, and if you don’t, what are you waiting for? (grin)

by Tarus at May 23, 2017 03:28 PM

May 22, 2017

OpenNMS Meridian 2016.1.5 Released

Release 2016.1.5 is an update to 2016.1.4 that provides quite a few bug fixes and a few enhancements.

The codename for 2016.1.4 is Peirce Quincuncial.

Bug

  • OpenNMS doesn’t correctly support IPv6 addresses for (jasper) reporting (Issue NMS-5450
  • vmware urls do not support username/passwords that require URL encoding (Issue )(NMS-7106)
  • If a target node is rebooted the RRD/JRB files contains spikes because the sysUpTime check is not working (Issue )(NMS-7148)
  • Geo-Maps running on a server without internet connection breaks the UI for valid nodes. (Issue http://issues.opennms.org/browse/NMS-7148))
  • scrollbars displayed for RrdDashlet title box (Issue NMS-7562)
  • RWS client always uses plain HTTP, even if rws-config.html has HTTPS URL (Issue NMS-8441)
  • Multiple smoke tests flapping inside docker (Issue NMS-8544)
  • Restarting OMNS results in numerous SNMP outage alarms and notifications (Issue NMS-8620)
  • Null ospfrouterid in NodeDiscoveryOspf (Issue NMS-8667)
  • Exception in LatencyStoringServiceMonitorAdaptor: IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException (Issue NMS-8756)
  • Threshold editor help text unclear about comparison operators (Issue NMS-8826)
  • NPE in CdpLink.toString() (Issue NMS-8897)
  • auto-acknoledge random fails (Issue NMS-8901)
  • Near Real-Time Graphing unable to graph Cisco BDI interfaces (Issue NMS-8908)
  • WS-Man throws event 4776 and 4625 with domain user on windows side (Issue NMS-8925)
  • NPE in IpInterfaceScan when processing IPLike rule with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-8934)
  • Statsd: erroneous reporting; aggregators not reset between worker’s runs (Issue NMS-8944)
  • WS_Man datacollection using WQL fails with ‘unsupported element’ (Issue NMS-8955)
  • Enlinkd fails to discovery Bridge Topology (Issue NMS-8973)
  • Typo in linkednode.jsp in panel title (Issue NMS-8981)
  • NRT Graphing does not show SNMP counter values correctly (Issue NMS-9005)
  • Copyright bump 2017 (Issue NMS-9060)
  • opennms.conf can break the snmp-request command (Issue NMS-9068)
  • Jsr160ConnectionFactory doesn’t work with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-9071)
  • WS-Man thresholding reports: No thresholds configured for resource type ‘*’ (Issue NMS-9077)
  • Standalone HTTPS with Jetty doesn’t work with certificate alias (Issue NMS-9084)
  • Correlation engine’s cancelTimer method should be public (Issue NMS-9087)
  • Collection timing enhancements (Issue NMS-9090)
  • Migrate RTC related objects to JAXB instead of Castor (Issue NMS-9100)
  • Pollerd continues to monitor deleted nodes (Issue NMS-9112)
  • Selection of non-disk RRD strategies (Issue NMS-9120)
  • It is possible to perform alarms/notifications actions through the Acks ReST end point without permissions (Issue NMS-9140)
  • SNMP client code can get stuck in infinite retry loops (Issue NMS-9164)
  • incorrect permissions on opennms.service (Issue NMS-9166)
  • Fix the execution of Drools rules when using streaming (CEP, Temporal Reasoning) (Issue NMS-9172)
  • Drools examples fails to load with exception (Issue NMS-9186)
  • SyslogParser should not assume UTC timestamps (Issue NMS-9201)
  • New resource types are not available in the Web UI until it is restarted (Issue NMS-9205)
  • OSPF Router Id not properly updated (Issue NMS-9218)
  • DNS Adapter on Delete Node does not delete DNS record (Issue NMS-9219)
  • Problems associated with SNMP4J affects OpenNMS performance (contention issues) (Issue NMS-9223)
  • Pollerd takes too much time scheduling polling when OpenNMS starts (Issue NMS-9247)
  • Requisition UI breaks when percentage sign is used inside Foreign ID input field (Issue NMS-9269)
  • Make TCP output queue parameters configurable (Issue NMS-9282)
  • Calculation of KSC reports timespans “Last Week” and “This Week” broken (Issue NMS-9325)

Enhancement

  • Upgrade Drools to 6.4.0.Final (from 6.0.1.Final) (Issue NMS-8676)
  • Node detail page is hard to use with a lot of surveillance categories (Issue NMS-8989)
  • SNMP data collection definitions for Cisco ASA5585-SSP-60 devices (Issue NMS-9094)
  • Persist string attributes over the TCP stream (Issue NMS-9126)
  • Add JMX instrumentation for the Drools Correlator to understand the the working memory of each rule-set (a.k.a. engine) (Issue NMS-9145)
  • Upgrade snmp4j to 2.5.5 (Issue NMS-9162)
  • Enhance to MockSnmpAgent to support returning arbitrary SNMP error codes (Issue NMS-9163)
  • Set domain level for DNS adapter (Issue NMS-9222)
  • Allow for choosing ifDescr over ifName for interface directory name (Issue NMS-9240)
  • Improve handling of counter wraps/reset when using Newts (Issue NMS-9252)

by RangerRick at May 22, 2017 09:47 PM

OpenNMS Meridian 2015.1.5 Released

Release 2015.1.5 is the sixth release of OpenNMS Meridian 2015. It contains a few bug fixes and minor enhancements.

The codename for 2015.1.3 is NT.

Bug

  • OpenNMS doesn’t correctly support IPv6 addresses for (jasper) reporting (Issue NMS-5450)
  • Restarting OMNS results in numerous SNMP outage alarms and notifications (Issue NMS-8620)
  • Poller Node Down without outages (Issue NMS-8751)
  • Threshold editor help text unclear about comparison operators (Issue NMS-8826)
  • Invalid graph templates (Issue NMS-8907)
  • Near Real-Time Graphing unable to graph Cisco BDI interfaces (Issue NMS-8908)
  • Copyright bump 2017 (Issue NMS-9060)
  • opennms.conf can break the snmp-request command (Issue NMS-9068)
  • Jsr160ConnectionFactory doesn’t work with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-9071)
  • Migrate RTC related objects to JAXB instead of Castor (Issue NMS-9100)
  • Pollerd continues to monitor deleted nodes (Issue NMS-9112)
  • SNMP client code can get stuck in infinite retry loops (Issue NMS-9164)
  • SyslogParser should not assume UTC timestamps (Issue NMS-9201)

Enhancement

  • SNMP data collection definitions for Cisco ASA5585-SSP-60 devices (Issue NMS-9094)
  • Enhance to MockSnmpAgent to support returning arbitrary SNMP error codes (Issue NMS-9163)

by RangerRick at May 22, 2017 09:46 PM

This Week in OpenNMS: May 22nd, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, documentation, and web code.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals and Documentation

    • Seth continued working on modernizing our bundled ActiveMQ, Camel, and Karaf versions.
    • Markus continued working on moving requisitions to the database.
    • Ronny updated the documentation for JDK installation, and I added installation documentation for safely dealing with OpenNMS upgrades while OpenNMS is running.
    • ...

May 22, 2017 02:36 PM

OpenNMS Team Wins 5000€ Prize at TM Forum {open}:hack

A group of four students from Southampton Solent University, mentored by Dr. Craig Gallen, used OpenNMS to win the top prize at the TeleManagement Forum {open}:hack competition at the TM Forum Live conference in Nice, France.

{open}:hack Winner Team

Now, a little background is in order. Dr. Gallen founded Entimoss, our OpenNMS partner in the UK and Ireland. He got involved with OpenNMS over a decade ago when he was working on his doctoral thesis entitled "Improving the Practice of Operations Support Sys...

May 22, 2017 11:45 AM

OpenNMS Meridian 2015.1.5 Released

Release 2015.1.5 is the sixth release of OpenNMS Meridian 2015. It contains a few bug fixes and minor enhancements.

The codename for 2015.1.3 is NT.

Bug

  • OpenNMS doesn’t correctly support IPv6 addresses for (jasper) reporting (Issue NMS-5450)
  • Restarting OMNS results in numerous SNMP outage alarms and notifications (Issue NMS-8620)
  • Poller Node Down without outages (Issue NMS-8751)
  • Threshold editor help text unclear about comparison operators (Issue NMS-8826)
  • Invalid graph templates (Issue NMS-8907)
  • Near Real-Time Graphing unable to graph Cisco BDI interfaces (Issue NMS-8908)
  • Copyright bump 2017 (Issue NMS-9060)
  • opennms.conf can break the snmp-request command (Issue NMS-9068)
  • Jsr160ConnectionFactory doesn’t work with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-9071)
  • Migrate RTC related objects to JAXB instead of Castor (Issue NMS-9100)
  • Pollerd continues to monitor deleted nodes (Issue NMS-9112)
  • SNMP client code can get stuck in infinite retry loops (Issue NMS-9164)
  • SyslogParser should not assume UTC timestamps (Issue NMS-9201)

Enhancement

  • SNMP data collection definitions for Cisco ASA5585-SSP-60 devices (Issue NMS-9094)
  • Enhance to MockSnmpAgent to support returning arbitrary SNMP error codes (Issue NMS-9163)

by jessi at May 22, 2017 12:00 AM

OpenNMS Meridian 2016.1.5 Released

Release 2016.1.5 is an update to 2016.1.4 that provides quite a few bug fixes and a few enhancements.

The codename for 2016.1.4 is Peirce Quincuncial.

Bug

  • OpenNMS doesn’t correctly support IPv6 addresses for (jasper) reporting (Issue NMS-5450
  • vmware urls do not support username/passwords that require URL encoding (Issue )(NMS-7106)
  • If a target node is rebooted the RRD/JRB files contains spikes because the sysUpTime check is not working (Issue )(NMS-7148)
  • Geo-Maps running on a server without internet connection breaks the UI for valid nodes. (Issue http://issues.opennms.org/browse/NMS-7148))
  • scrollbars displayed for RrdDashlet title box (Issue NMS-7562)
  • RWS client always uses plain HTTP, even if rws-config.html has HTTPS URL (Issue NMS-8441)
  • Multiple smoke tests flapping inside docker (Issue NMS-8544)
  • Restarting OMNS results in numerous SNMP outage alarms and notifications (Issue NMS-8620)
  • Null ospfrouterid in NodeDiscoveryOspf (Issue NMS-8667)
  • Exception in LatencyStoringServiceMonitorAdaptor: IncorrectResultSizeDataAccessException (Issue NMS-8756)
  • Threshold editor help text unclear about comparison operators (Issue NMS-8826)
  • NPE in CdpLink.toString() (Issue NMS-8897)
  • auto-acknoledge random fails (Issue NMS-8901)
  • Near Real-Time Graphing unable to graph Cisco BDI interfaces (Issue NMS-8908)
  • WS-Man throws event 4776 and 4625 with domain user on windows side (Issue NMS-8925)
  • NPE in IpInterfaceScan when processing IPLike rule with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-8934)
  • Statsd: erroneous reporting; aggregators not reset between worker’s runs (Issue NMS-8944)
  • WS_Man datacollection using WQL fails with ‘unsupported element’ (Issue NMS-8955)
  • Enlinkd fails to discovery Bridge Topology (Issue NMS-8973)
  • Typo in linkednode.jsp in panel title (Issue NMS-8981)
  • NRT Graphing does not show SNMP counter values correctly (Issue NMS-9005)
  • Copyright bump 2017 (Issue NMS-9060)
  • opennms.conf can break the snmp-request command (Issue NMS-9068)
  • Jsr160ConnectionFactory doesn’t work with IPv6 address (Issue NMS-9071)
  • WS-Man thresholding reports: No thresholds configured for resource type ‘*’ (Issue NMS-9077)
  • Standalone HTTPS with Jetty doesn’t work with certificate alias (Issue NMS-9084)
  • Correlation engine’s cancelTimer method should be public (Issue NMS-9087)
  • Collection timing enhancements (Issue NMS-9090)
  • Migrate RTC related objects to JAXB instead of Castor (Issue NMS-9100)
  • Pollerd continues to monitor deleted nodes (Issue NMS-9112)
  • Selection of non-disk RRD strategies (Issue NMS-9120)
  • It is possible to perform alarms/notifications actions through the Acks ReST end point without permissions (Issue NMS-9140)
  • SNMP client code can get stuck in infinite retry loops (Issue NMS-9164)
  • incorrect permissions on opennms.service (Issue NMS-9166)
  • Fix the execution of Drools rules when using streaming (CEP, Temporal Reasoning) (Issue NMS-9172)
  • Drools examples fails to load with exception (Issue NMS-9186)
  • SyslogParser should not assume UTC timestamps (Issue NMS-9201)
  • New resource types are not available in the Web UI until it is restarted (Issue NMS-9205)
  • OSPF Router Id not properly updated (Issue NMS-9218)
  • DNS Adapter on Delete Node does not delete DNS record (Issue NMS-9219)
  • Problems associated with SNMP4J affects OpenNMS performance (contention issues) (Issue NMS-9223)
  • Pollerd takes too much time scheduling polling when OpenNMS starts (Issue NMS-9247)
  • Requisition UI breaks when percentage sign is used inside Foreign ID input field (Issue NMS-9269)
  • Make TCP output queue parameters configurable (Issue NMS-9282)
  • Calculation of KSC reports timespans “Last Week” and “This Week” broken (Issue NMS-9325)

Enhancement

  • Upgrade Drools to 6.4.0.Final (from 6.0.1.Final) (Issue NMS-8676)
  • Node detail page is hard to use with a lot of surveillance categories (Issue NMS-8989)
  • SNMP data collection definitions for Cisco ASA5585-SSP-60 devices (Issue NMS-9094)
  • Persist string attributes over the TCP stream (Issue NMS-9126)
  • Add JMX instrumentation for the Drools Correlator to understand the the working memory of each rule-set (a.k.a. engine) (Issue NMS-9145)
  • Upgrade snmp4j to 2.5.5 (Issue NMS-9162)
  • Enhance to MockSnmpAgent to support returning arbitrary SNMP error codes (Issue NMS-9163)
  • Set domain level for DNS adapter (Issue NMS-9222)
  • Allow for choosing ifDescr over ifName for interface directory name (Issue NMS-9240)
  • Improve handling of counter wraps/reset when using Newts (Issue NMS-9252)

by jessi at May 22, 2017 12:00 AM

May 18, 2017

OpenNMS Team Wins 5000€ Prize at TM Forum {open}:hack

A group of four students from Southampton Solent University, mentored by Dr. Craig Gallen, used OpenNMS to win the top prize at the TeleManagement Forum {open}:hack competition at the TM Forum Live conference in Nice, France.

Joe Appleton, Jergus Lejko, Michael Sievenpiper and Marcin Wisniewski built the “Port-o-matic” application using OpenNMS to provide a web application for accessing shipping port services, including managing fees and measuring pollution.

Joann O’Brien, the TM Forum’s VP of API’s and Ecosystems, said

They demonstrated fantastic use of all the available technology. They chose a problem relevant to the City of Nice and their home city, that could have a significant impact on society and business by ensuring a better quality environment at ports.

Tarus Balog, CEO of The OpenNMS Group, added:

The hardest thing to get across to people new to OpenNMS is that it is a platform and not strictly an application. The learning curve can be steep and it is hard to see its value straight out of the box. I love the fact that solutions like the “Port-o-matic” demonstrate the power of OpenNMS.

The {open}:hack competition took place over two full days, and in addition to having fun at the conference, the students will be able to enjoy the 5000€ prize money.

by Tarus at May 18, 2017 07:25 PM

OpenNMS Team Wins 5000€ Prize at TM Forum {open}:hack

A group of four students from Southampton Solent University, mentored by Dr. Craig Gallen, used OpenNMS to win the top prize at the TeleManagement Forum {open}:hack competition at the TM Forum Live conference in Nice, France.

{open}:hack Winners

Now, a little background is in order. Dr. Gallen founded Entimoss, our OpenNMS partner in the UK and Ireland. He got involved with OpenNMS over a decade ago when he was working on his doctoral thesis entitled “Improving the Practice of Operations Support Systems in the Telecommunications Industry using Open Source”.

Most of his work was focused on a business solution framework called NGOSS (now Frameworx) developed by the TM Forum for creating next generation OSS/BSS software and systems. Now the TM Forum is the world’s leading trade organization for telecommunications providers and at the time was not very friendly toward open source. He demonstrated how an open source platform like OpenNMS could be used to integrate with and tie together these different interfaces to build a reference implementation for part of the framework. Open source was a new concept for the industry, and we were branded the “open source pirates” at first. But Craig persisted, and in 2011 he was awarded the TM Forum’s Outstanding Contributor Award.

In addition to his persistence and ability to deal with large organizations, Craig is also a great teacher. When the TM Forum introduced its {open}:hack program, he wanted to get involved and he found several interested students at Southampton Solent University.

The goals of {open}:hack are:

  1. Accelerate industry deployment of Forum Open APIs, metamodels and architecture across the industry
  2. Validate existing APIs and provide feedback for future iterations to technical collaboration teams
  3. Create IoT/Smart City & NFV/SDN solutions leveraging the Forum Open APIs
  4. Accelerate the incubation of new digital business opportunities in the areas of 5G Network Services & IoT/Smart City
  5. Create extensions to Forum Open APIs to be shared with industry

Participants were given access to APIs from the TM Forum, Huawei, Salesforce and Vodafone, which included things like data from drones, and tasked with creating something beneficial. Their project was called “Port-o-matic” which created an application for accessing services at shipping ports, as well as measuring environmental factors such as pollution. This was especially relevant to them since Southampton is the UK’s number one cruise port and second largest container port (the Titanic set sail from there).

{open}:hack architecture

Their solution leveraged the power of the OpenNMS platform to tie all of these APIs together and then to provide aggregated data to their web application. It can scale to almost any size using the new OpenNMS “Minion” feature which can distribute data collection and monitoring out to the edges of a network, offloading the need to have all of the functionality in a central location and positioning OpenNMS for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The hardest thing to get across to people new to OpenNMS is that it is a platform and not strictly an application. The learning curve can be steep and it is hard to see its value straight out of the box. I love the fact that solutions like the “Port-o-matic” demonstrate the power of OpenNMS.

It is also interesting to note that the second place prize went to a team from Red Hat. For an organization like the TM Forum that was wary of open source to demonstrate such a change of heart is encouraging, and I credit Dr. Gallen with a lot of that advancement.

{open}:hack Group Photo

So congratulations to Joe Appleton, Jergus Lejko, Michael Sievenpiper and Marcin Wisniewski, the winners of this latest {open}:hack competition, and I look forward to seeing more great things from you in the future.

by Tarus at May 18, 2017 06:48 PM

OpenNMS Team Wins 5000€ Prize at TM Forum {open}:hack

A group of four students from Southampton Solent University, mentored by Dr. Craig Gallen, used OpenNMS to win the top prize at the TeleManagement Forum {open}:hack competition at the TM Forum Live conference in Nice, France.

Joe Appleton, Jergus Lejko, Michael Sievenpiper and Marcin Wisniewski built the “Port-o-matic” application using OpenNMS to provide a web application for accessing shipping port services, including managing fees and measuring pollution.

Joann O’Brien, the TM Forum’s VP of API’s and Ecosystems, said

They demonstrated fantastic use of all the available technology. They chose a problem relevant to the City of Nice and their home city, that could have a significant impact on society and business by ensuring a better quality environment at ports.

Tarus Balog, CEO of The OpenNMS Group, added:

The hardest thing to get across to people new to OpenNMS is that it is a platform and not strictly an application. The learning curve can be steep and it is hard to see its value straight out of the box. I love the fact that solutions like the “Port-o-matic” demonstrate the power of OpenNMS.

The {open}:hack competition took place over two full days, and in addition to having fun at the conference, the students will be able to enjoy the 5000€ prize money.

by jessi at May 18, 2017 12:00 AM

May 15, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: May 15th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, documentation, and web code.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals and Documentation

    I did a bit more work on packaging issues (OpenNMS and Minion). I also spent a lot of time on flapping smoke tests, and Seth added more test coverage for syslog/kafka/Elasticsearch. Markus did some cleanup on WS-Man support. Marcel and Ronny improved the JMX documentation. Seth continued to work on updating our...

May 15, 2017 04:00 PM

May 12, 2017

Monitoring Websites

Now and then websites are really important for daily business and private life. You can nearly buy everything on websites, find information, meet friends, watch movies and much more. All the worse if your website is not working and you don't notice it or your customer first. But even if you already have some monitoring for webservices or domain name availability, you can't be sure, if your website itself works correct. Maybe the login/logout procedure is broken, some parts of the website are mis...

May 12, 2017 01:50 PM

May 11, 2017

2017 Red Hat Summit

I had never been to a Red Hat Summit before this year. We are exploring running OpenNMS on OpenShift and so Jesse, David and I decided to head to Boston to see what all the fuss was about.

RHSummit - Airline Sign

I noticed a couple of things are different about visiting Boston in spring versus winter. First of all, the weather was quite nice, and second, Boston can be freakin’ expensive.

And Red Hat spared no expense on this conference. This is the premiere event for companies in the Red Hat ecosystem and they obviously wanted to make an impression. I’m an “old guy” and I can remember going to huge shows put on by HP and IBM and this was on par. It took place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) which takes up about a half a million square feet. Red Hat used all of it.

RHSummit - Convention Center Sign

Nothing quite demonstrated the size of this conference than the main auditorium. The centerpiece was a huge screen for the presentation flanked by two smaller screens to show the speaker. That was needed since the place was so big you could barely see the person talking.

RHSummit - Main Auditorium Screen

In addition to the general sessions, there were a large number of talks on pretty much anything related to Red Hat products, philosophy and partners. As a major player in “the cloud” there was a lot of emphasis on OpenShift and OpenStack, but the whole range of offerings was covered from Fedora and CentOS to JBoss and Gluster.

As with most tech conferences, there was an expo floor. This one was dominated by the color red.

RHSummit - Expo Floor

I spent a lot of time wandering around talking with people. Over the years a large number of my friends have been hired by Red Hat, and as I’ve curtailed my participation in a lot of the big Linux conferences, it was nice to see them again. I ran into Brian Proffitt and Ruth Suehle near the center of the expo:

RHSummit - Brian Proffitt and Ruth Suehle

It was also nice to run into the Latvian army. The Zabbix crew had a booth and it was cool to see Alexei and Alex again, although it was ironic that I missed them on my trip to Riga (they were actually driving north to Tallinn when I was heading south).

RHSummit - Zabbix Booth

Zabbix, like OpenNMS, is 100% open source and thus not only do we get along, I quite like them and look forward to chatting about the joys and challenges about running an open source business when we meet.

Speaking of meeting, I also got to meet Brian Stinson of the CentOS project.

RHSummit - Brian Stinson from CentOS

We swapped some stories and recounted the strange and funny time when Jerry Taylor, the City Manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma, claimed the CentOS project had hacked his city’s website. Has it been eleven years? Wow.

As part of the conference, Red Hat provided lunch. It was always a pretty hectic time since the show was packed and nothing demonstrated this more than trying to serve lunch to all those people.

RHSummit - Lunch Crowd

As far as conference lunches go, it was above average, but I did find it funny that they only served water to drink (usually there are cans of soda, etc.) I overhead one Red Hat employee say to another, you know, we can afford that gigantic screen but all we get is water?

On Wednesday night, Red Hat purchased a ton of tickets to the Red Sox game at Fenway Park. While I can’t find a reference to actual conference attendance figures, I heard the number 5000 being batted around which was a significant portion of the ballpark (it holds a little over 37,000). They gave us all red baseball caps and you could definitely see them in the crowd.

RHSummit - Fenway Park

For our annual developers conference, Dev-Jam, we have about one-one hundredth the amount of people to see the Twins play, but we also get better seats. (grin)

It was my first time at the historic Fenway Park, and the fans were almost more fun to watch than the game. I also enjoy trying to explain the game of baseball to people from outside the country, and this was made more interesting by some bad blood between the Sox and the Orioles that resulted in the ejection of the Orioles’ pitcher for hitting a batter.

Fenway is relatively close to Cambridge, so I took the opportunity to visit a friend of mine who is a professor. I decided to walk to Harvard Square along the river, where the rowing teams were practicing.

RHSummit - Rowing

Now whenever I see a movie featuring Ivy League students on the water, I’ll know where that was shot.

It was also nice to be able to spend some time with David and Jesse. While I work with David almost daily, we’re so busy that it is hard to find time to talk strategy and plan for the future of OpenNMS. Jesse, our CTO, moved back to Canada after the birth of his son to be closer to family, and it was also nice to have time to spend with him. Walking to dinner one night David took this picture

RHSummit - River and Bridge

which turned out so much better on his iPhone 6S than my Nexus 6P.

I often say that Red Hat, as a company, doesn’t get the credit it deserves since it is headquartered in North Carolina and not Silicon Valley. Our companies share a similar philosophy of taking care of customers, creating great open source software and producing steady growth, versus, say, chasing unicorns. It was wonderful to see that work demonstrated in such a large and professional conference, and I hope next year I’ll get to speak (although I doubt it will be on the big stage).

by Tarus at May 11, 2017 02:49 PM

Easterhack 2017 - Post Mortem

Easterhack 2017

Hello World, We had an Easterhack some days ago, as some of you remember. Marcel Fuhrmann and Markus von Rüden organised the event and Marcel provided a place in his home for the OpenNMS guys to hack, eat, drink, talk and have some fun. Here are a few things what we did (aside from playing Guitar Hero, trying his homemade climbing wall, eating Pizza, and drinking Mead) :)

  • We discussed about best practices for monitoring system processes and the result is published in the opennms.org blog ...

May 11, 2017 01:42 PM

May 09, 2017

Fifteen Years

On Sunday my mother celebrated her 75th birthday.

Although a happy occasion, why is this relevant to an open source blog? Well, it was soon after her 60th birthday in 2002 that I started my first company around OpenNMS.

I did not start OpenNMS, it began in the summer of 1999, with the first code posted on Sourceforge in March of 2000 by a company called Oculan. I started working with Oculan in September of 2001, and in May of 2002 they decided to stop contributing to OpenNMS. I saw the potential, so I asked Steve Giles, the founder and CEO, if I could have the OpenNMS project. He looked at his watch and said if I was off his payroll by Friday, he’d give me the domain names, a couple of servers, and he would sprinkle water on me and I would be the new OpenNMS maintainer.

That was actually the easy part. Explaining to my wife that I had quit my job and started a company “selling free software” was a bit harder.

sortova.com from archive.org circa May 2002

And thus Sortova Consulting Group was born. It was named after my farm. When Andrea and I decided we wanted to have a farm, we first bought raw land. In driving out from Raleigh to work on it we would pass this little farm with a barn, some cows, etc., and on the mailbox was a sign reading “Almosta Farm”. I joked that if that was “almost a farm” then what we had was just “sort of a farm”. Later, when we bought the place where we still live, the name Sortova Farm stuck.

We pronounce it “Sore-toe-va”. Only one customer ever pulled me aside and asked if it really meant “sort of a” consulting group. He laughed when I confirmed that it did.

Considering that I didn’t have any prior business experience, Java experience, or even real Internet access at my home, it is amazing that OpenNMS survived to this day. It is a wonder what you can accomplish with pure stubbornness.

Now my one true superpower is my ability to get the most fantastic people on the planet to work with me. The first group of those came from the OpenNMS community. When I was running Sortova it was the gang that later became the Order of the Green Polo that kept me going, mainly through mailing lists and IRC. In September of 2004 my good friend and business partner David Hustace and I founded the OpenNMS Group, and that corporation is still going strong. In 2009 we mortgaged our houses to buy the copyright to the Oculan OpenNMS code and thus brought all of it back under one organization, and two of the original OpenNMS team at Oculan now work for OpenNMS.

When I visit Silicon Valley I often get to meet some brilliant people, but the joy of this can be offset by the pervasive attitude of focusing on technology simply to make money. I know of a number of personally successful people who built companies, sold them, and then those products vanished into obscurity. Remember VA Linux? Their stock rose over 700% on the first day of trading, but where are they now? Did they ever deliver on their promises to the stockholders?

I want to build with OpenNMS something that will last well beyond my involvement with the project. I’ve gotten it to the point where I am not longer expressly required to make it thrive, but I am still working on its legacy. We want it to be nothing less than the de facto standard for monitoring everything, which is a high bar.

Note that I still would like to make a lot of money, but that isn’t the core driving force of the business. Our mission statement is “Help Customers – Have Fun – Make Money” in that order. If you have happy customers and happy employees, the money will come.

Fifteen years ago I made a leap of faith, in both myself, my family and my friends. I’m extremely happy I did.

by Tarus at May 09, 2017 03:06 PM

Process Monitoring with SNMP

Monitoring processes that don't provide network services is a default use case in network monitoring. Because they aren't providing network services, black box testing won't work- you need an agent on your system providing an inside view of your operating system. The Net-SNMP agent is easy to install and configure on Linux or Unix. It's compatible with any monitoring solution that supports SNMP, such as OpenNMS.

By default, there are basically two methods utilizing Net-SNMP: using the HOST-RES...

May 09, 2017 01:42 PM

May 08, 2017

OpenNMS Horizon 19.1.0 (Octopush) Released

OpenNMS 19.1.0 (code name: Octopush) is now available.

This release contains a large number of bug fixes and infrastructure updates, as well as a few new features:

  • updated Camel, CXF, Drools, Quartz, SNMP4J, and Spring dependencies
  • Drools now persists working memory on OpenNMS shutdown and loads it back up on startup
  • a new syslog parser (RadixTreeSyslogParser) has been introduced which supports most syslog formats and uses Grok for parsing
  • the TCP persister now supports string valu...

May 08, 2017 05:44 PM

May 07, 2017

Privacy and Trash

Meet Sam. Sam is in his early twenties and grew up in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2012. He is currently on vacation in Athens, Greece, with his girlfriend Sara. They managed to find an amazing deal on American Airlines from Minneapolis to Athens for $200 for the both of them, but with taxes and fees that ballooned up to nearly $850.

I have a copy of Sam’s resume, his Gmail address and his phone number. I know how long he’ll be gone and what seats they will be sitting in on their return. In fact, I know a lot more about Sam and Sara (Facebook and its ilk are ubiquitous) but I’m a little uncomfortable revealing as much as I have, so I’ll stop.

It is all because of this:

Sam Boarding Pass

With all the focus recently on the security of devices like those that make up the Internet of Things, what is often forgotten is that traditional paper has huge security issues in today’s connected world.

Airlines still insist on printing first and last names along with record locater codes on boarding passes. That is often all that is required to access a particular reservation. From there you can get information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

This reminds me of when credit cards first came out and to use one the merchant would take an actual imprint of the card on carbon copy paper. Since that included the shopper’s name, complete card number and expiration date, it became easy for thieves to steal this information. At least now almost all receipts include, at most, the last for digits of the card (in case you were wondering, Sam used a Mastercard ending in 3286).

The genesis of this post arose from a more malicious reason. I fly a lot and over the years commercial air travel (which is the only air travel I can afford) has become less of a special occasion and more like taking a bad bus trip. People use the “seat back pocket” as their personal trash can, to the point that I almost never use it myself, even when I get upgraded to first class. Nasty. On this trip, the duration from when the last person got off the inbound plane until we started boarding our flight was less than ten minutes, so trust me when I say little was cleaned between flights.

I don’t blame the airlines. Consumers have spoken, and what they want is cheap airfare, so it is up to us to be respectful of our fellow passengers.

Anyway, when I see folks like Sam leave information like this as trash, I am so tempted to do things like reassign his seat to one in the middle next to the lavatory (it’s an 11 hour flight), or to cancel his flight completely. Lucky for him I believe in karma, and I just can’t bring myself to do it.

The basics of security involve two things: something you have and something you know. We need to apply this to everything that needs to be secure. I get so frustrated with systems in the United States, such as the new “chip” cards being used for credit and debit. Introduced a decade ago in Europe, their systems use “chip and PIN” – something you have, your card, and something you know, your PIN. In the US we are moving to “chip and signature” – something you have, your card, and something anyone can fake in a heartbeat, your signature.

(sigh)

This is especially touchy since two summers ago my spouse had her purse stolen. We immediately canceled and closed all of the accounts, but they were still able to get over $2000 out of our checking account. They used a paper check from another theft and then they cashed it at the bank using her ID. The bank forgot the “something you know” part of security even though they were quite aware that our account had been compromised and the account number changed. Only after the fact did they offer to “flag” transactions on our account for extra scrutiny, and now neither of us carries paper checks, although thieves could probably guess our bank from our ATM debit cards (we did get our money back from the bank).

So be careful. Buy a good shredder. If you need to dispose of paper when traveling, tear it into tiny bits and drop it in the nastiest trash can you can find … and not in the seat back pocket.

by Tarus at May 07, 2017 03:59 PM

May 05, 2017

Restart Detection

Most of today's servers run in virtual environments and Java applications in containers. Sometimes these applications or servers unexpectedly restart and can often go unnoticed because a restart can be much faster then a polling cycle.

If SNMP is enabled, the hrSystemUptime can detect restarts from Windows or Linux machines. Similarly, this concept can also be applied to Java application restart detection via JMX and the JVM uptime metric. This article describes how to use the OpenNMS thresho...

May 05, 2017 12:50 AM

May 03, 2017

LinkedIn

I’m at Red Hat Summit in Boston this week so expect a longer post on the conference later, but I wanted to mention that I’ve reopened a LinkedIn account after an absence of several years. You can find me here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarusbalog

I left the network due to how they were handling privacy issues. I’m still not 100% happy with it now, but I think I can control how much information I share and I do have a need that I think the service can provide.

I was walking in Boston yesterday and I saw a sign for Harvard Medical School. They used to use OpenNMS and I really enjoyed working with the guys who worked there. Most of them have moved on, so I was curious to know where they were and if they were still in the city. It dawned on me that LinkedIn would have helped in this situation.

I don’t like a number of changes that have been made to the site, such as the inability to feature external links (such as to this blog which will remain one of my main ways to communicate) but it may be just my inability to navigate the website. OpenNMS is also on LinkedIn, and it looks like you can “follow” the company as well:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-opennms-group

Anyway, let’s give this a go. See you in the toobz.

by Tarus at May 03, 2017 11:51 AM

May 01, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: May 1st, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, Minion, and web APIs.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals

    Christian worked more on fixing some issues in resource storage with storeByForeignSource turned on. Ronny did more work on removing old legacy Capsd events. I worked on upgrade-packaging issues when OpenNMS is running. Markus added support for custom JMX URLs, as well as support for using JMX over SSL by default.

  • Minion

    I finish...

May 01, 2017 03:21 PM

April 24, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: April 24th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, documentation, Compass, Minion, and the web UI.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals and Documentation

    Jesse worked on optimizing some of the time series calculation code. I worked on making sure OpenNMS wouldn't upgrade over itself if it is running. Christian added documentation for the Grafana dashboard widget, and Seth documented the new grok-based syslog parser. Alejandro worked on making Dr...

April 24, 2017 03:21 PM

April 20, 2017

New Board, New Claim: Make OpenNMS great again

The new Board

In our last general assembly 13th April 2017 a new board was elected. Dustin Frisch is our new President, Uwe Bergmann our new Vice President and Ronny Trommer our new treasurer.

The assembly itself was very interesting. The discussion was from: “lets dissolve the foundation” to “make it great again”. At the end we decided to keep the foundation and use it further as a plattform to support OpenNMS and its users.

What will happen in the future

The board will have a meeting in a couple of days to define the next steps and the agenda for the next period. Just speaking for me: I am very interested in organizing the next OpenNMS User Conference Europe (OUCE). I spoke to a couple of friends in the last weeks and nearly all of them said they are missing the OUCE.

I think the next OUCE will happen not earlier than next year.

So stay tuned. We will keep you up to date regarding the foundation an the OUCE.

by Uwe Bergmann at April 20, 2017 02:45 PM

April 18, 2017

Reboot & Update Monitor

Security updates are important and need to be installed regularly and as quick as possible.

In Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Debian this is easily done with the apt package manager. Most of the security updates can be installed without rebooting your system. If you upgrade your Kernel it is required to restart your system and Ubuntu and Debian can tell you if a reboot is required. In case you have a fleet of machines to maintain, OpenNMS and Net-SNMP can help you with this task.

This i...

April 18, 2017 01:32 PM

April 17, 2017

This Week in OpenNMS: April 17th, 2017

It's time for This Week in OpenNMS! In the last week we worked on various internal changes, and the web UI.

Github Project Updates

  • Internals

    Alejandro updated our embedded Drools to 6.5.0 and added support for saving/restoring state. Jesse updated the XMP collector to the new collection set API, and cleaned up more legacy collection API usage. Seth added support for customizing the new grok-based syslog parser.

  • Web UI

    Craig did some more work on his asset -> topology adapter...

April 17, 2017 03:14 PM