PolyMon Blog is moving…

This blog is moving to polymon.blogspot.com

Please see that site for the current PolyMon blog.

PolyMon Version 1.1.0 Releases

A new version of PolyMon has been released in CodePlex. See www.codeplex.com/polymon for more details.

This version addresses some reported issues and also provides new functionality:

Post-Event Scripting
This feature allows custom scripts to be run after a Monitor test has run. Functionality allows either PowerShell or VBScripts to be run.

Heartbeat Notification
This feature allows operators to set a specific time of day when they want to receive a “heartbeat” notification from PolyMon. Operators can choose to receive a summary of current Monitor statuses for any combination of OK, Warn or Fail states.

Queued Email Notifications
When operators are offline, any notifications they would normally receive are queued. New functionality now offers operators to indicate how they want to receive these notifications: Each one separately, Not at All, or Recapped (which basically send a single email listing the current status of any monitor that raised a notification with a brief list of the notifications themselves – this allows operators to quickly determine whether a monitor is still in a Warn/Fail state when they receive the recap email).

Upcoming Release

Well, it’s been a while since the last stable release of PolyMon (June 19, 2007 to be precise).

During that time I have mainly been working on adding post monitoring actions. Essentially this will allow any monitor to execute custom scripts after a monitor has run. Since the status and counter objects are available to these scripts you would in practice be able to perform various actions based on the results of the monitor (for example, if a service monitor fails because the service its monitoring is not running you could start the service up, or if a log file has grown past a certain point you could write a script to purge all or part of the log file, etc).

The action scripting will, for now, support VBScript as well as PowerShell scripts. Technically PowerShell would have been sufficient for any scripting task, but because I’m not sure how many people have taken to PowerShell yet (which I highly recommend, btw), I opted to include VBScript.

 I did look into incorporating VB.NET and C#.NET “scripting”, but one of the obstacles I found with this approach was adding references to other .NET libraries at run-time. I could have worked around this problem by providing an Add Reference capability, but it would create other problems such as making sure the referenced libraries are available (and in which location?) on the server that runs the monitors, not just the machine running the management console. Looks like PowerShell is a better approach. Problem there is that Microsoft does not allow redistribution of the PowerShell binaries, so the PolyMon install now requires an additional pre-requisite on top of the usual .NET framework.

 The next release of PolyMon which will incorporate this new feature is due in the next couple of weeks. I have yet to fully test it in a working production environment and have to finalize the installer and help files. For the last stable release I took the plunge and switched to Wix for creating the insllation package. The learning curve was relatively steep and I ended up spending far more time that I would have liked – but in the end the effort was well worth it. I highly recommend using WiX if you are creating anything other than relatively basic installers in Visual Studio.

 In addition to this new feature several bug fixes will be rolled in (in particular one that addresses the internationalization problems when creating the PolyMon SQL database – thanks to Steinlaus for figuring this particularly frustrating problem out).

PolyMon 1.0.0 Released

PolyMon 1.0.0 has been released.

In addition to various performance enhancements at the database level, product stabilization and minor enhancements have been added.

 In addition, the new installation procedure has been greatly simplified and now includes a single setup package with optional feature selection for creating and installing the PolyMon database, PolyMon Executive Windows Service and PolyMon Manager.

See www.codeplex.com/polymon for more details.

PolyMon RC3 Released

RC3 has been released. It can be found on the link indicated in the sidebar.

RC3 has made numerous enhancements to the system. Some of the hightlights:

  • PowerShell Integration: PolyMon now allows PowerShell scripts to be executed and uses some objects to pass State and Counter data between the PowerShell script and PolyMon. This effectively provides PolyMon a fully integrated scripting language and opens up monitoring to anything that can be done via PowerShell.
  • WMI: A new WMI monitor, with an integrated WMI browser and query builder is now available.
    Data Aggregates: Data aggregation is now built-in with daily, weekly and monthly affregations of both State and Counter data.
  • Data Retention Scheme: Each monitor can now specify how long data at various aggregate levels (from raw base data to monthly aggregates) is retained. This effectively allows a very granular control on database size.
  • Reporting: Reporting of historical State and Counter data has been completely rewritten and now supports the various aggregates implemented by PolyMon. In particular charting has been substantially enhanced.

Screenshots of most PolyMon features can be found here.

PolyMon RC2 Released

PolyMon RC2 has been released and is available at CodePlex (please see sidebar for link to PolyMon project hosted at CodePlex).

Various enhancements have been made including integrated help, bug fixes, updated install scripts for SQL 2000 as well as SQL 2005, visual enhancements, etc.

RC1 Release

PolyMon RC1 has been released.

In addition to product stabilization (bug fixes), this new release provides the following additional feature:

  • % Uptime/Downtime Reporting in Monitor Dashboards
  • System Health Report to view Lifetime %Uptime and any specific time period

Please let me know if you have any specific questions, suggestions or general feedback.

I hope you find PolyMon useful, Thanks!

Fred Baptiste