I use an advanced ping template with Cacti to monitor ICMP latency. Advanced Ping is based on a template originally found on the Cacti forums, but modified to look more like Smoke Ping. My thanks go to my colleague at Talia, Enno, for making it look beautiful as well as functional.

Advanced_Ping

Installation

  1. Download the Advanced Ping tar archive.
  2. Extract the xml template and ss_fping.php.
  3. Copy ss_fping.php to the Cacti “scripts” directory, such as /var/www/cacti/scripts.
  4. Ensure ss_fping.php is readable by the web server’s user. Readable by all is safe. It does not need to be executable.
  5. In the Cacti web interface, import cacti_graph_template__00_advanced_ping.xml.
  6. Optionally, rename the template to remove the leading 00 (I prefer this graph to be sorted above all others), or to change its width from 750 to 500 pixels.

Add this graph template to a host and create the graph. You will be prompted what type of ping (ICMP or UDP), timeout, and port (if UDP).

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time again! Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2014.php

(In case you miss it the first time, try reloading or clicking the button.)

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One limitation of Mikrotik‘s DNS and DHCP implementations is that you cannot easily sync hostnames from DHCP requests into DNS. This is a standard feature of many routers. On OpenWRT routers (which use dnsmasq), if a PC called “pc1″ requests an IP address, any other PC can then “ping pc1″. Fortunately, we can script this behaviour on Mikrotik.

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APT, the package manager for Debian/Ubuntu has had the ability to use a proxy for many years. However, proxy support is tricky. Suppose you have a proxy at your work, but not at your home? When you take your laptop home, APT won’t be able to update.

Enter apt-find-proxy, my tool to do just that.

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I have removed support from Ubuntu 13.10 “Saucy Salamander” / Linux Mint 16 “Petra” from my repository. As these releases are no longer supported, you should upgrade immediately.

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I’m joining Google!

I am very excited to announce that I’m joining Google as a Site Reliability Manager at the London (Victoria) office. I start in late November 2014. I don’t yet know what projects I’ll be working on, but I can’t wait to find out.

I’ve been at Talia a long time. I’ve done some cool stuff, worked with great people, and been to very unusual places. But all things must end, and it is time for a change. Thank you to all my friends and colleagues at Talia, and I wish you all the best.

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My company, Talia, provides hosted Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services to our customers. A typical use is a software-based PBX such as Asterisk on our virtual machine hosting cluster (or as the kids say, our “cloud”). We use the same for our own corporate PBX.

In the past month, we’ve experienced two fraudulent attacks costing a few hundred USD each. We have measures to detect and prevent such things, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how these attacks occurred.

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I still use a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH as my home router, although I no longer use it as a wireless AP*. Tonight I upgraded it to OpenWRT 12.09 “Attitude Adjustment”. These are my notes on the upgrade.

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Some time ago, I wrote a guide on how to create an online eBook library, accessible from a browser or Android/iPhone device. The benefits are many. You always have access to all your books, anywhere. You can directly share them with your friends. You don’t have to manage local libraries on your devices.

Since I wrote my first post, a number of better tools have come along which make this easier. Here is the new way to do it.

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Merry Christmas!

It’s time once again for our special Christmas card! Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2013.php

(In case you miss it the first time, try reloading or clicking the button.)

Read the rest of this entry »

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