Open Source Projects

Like many in my position (i.e. a developer with a good knowledge of UNIX and the management of systems) I've been developing a various solutions to the challenges I've faced in the pursuit of my career. Some of these are of potential use to others and where that is the case and they're sufficiently general I've tried making them available for others to use.



All over the world people are using the Apache webserver to serve web pages onto the World Wide Web. With 1/2 to 3/4 of the websites in the world hosted on Apache it then comes as a little bit of a surprise that its quite hard to monitor the webserver itself for activity. Enter then the Apache HitMeter, a way of displaying real-time hit rate data for a working server.

The Rack manager

Those of you who've worked in an environment with more than a handful of systems to manage will know that the management of those systems is about more than just being able to ping them at 5 minute intervals. There is a lot of importance around keeping the paperwork straight on who owns them (either literally or figuratively), what to do if they suffer an issue and how they are configured. All of this is now more commonly subsumed under the heading of a CMDB in the ITIL framework many organisations model their systems management under.

This project then started as a simple first step beyond recording such data in a spreadsheet (the starting point most places begin from) and offers a few "nice to have" extras such as views of what is in the racks and cabinets in your data centre. Over time it has expanded its scope somewhat and now offers much more than a simple spreadsheet will ever offer and much more simply and maintainably. It does in fact perform most of the functions of an ITIL CMDB but at low man-hours cost and without losing sight of physical racks and systems it is managing.