MSSQL databases from Icinga Web 2

Disclaimer: This guide is only for RedHat and CentOS 7, using the PHP SCL packages with the official icingaweb2 package.

Often when we help customers implement Icinga 2, Icinga Web 2 and Director, they use custom imports to pull in data to their monitoring config. Whenever data is in need to be pulled from a MSSQL database, this can be challenging. Their are multiple guides around the Internet, even from Microsoft.

This post should clear things how to achieve this with the official Icinga packages and their requirements.

Requirements

Basic Installation Icinga Web 2

First of all icingaweb2 and PHP needs to be installed – usually you should have this already…

# on RedHat
subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-7-server-optional-rpms
subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms
yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

# on CentOS
yum install centos-release-scl epel-release

yum install httpd icingaweb2

systemctl start httpd.service
systemctl enable httpd.service

echo "date.timezone = Europe/Berlin" > /etc/opt/rh/rh-php71/php.d/timezone.ini
systemctl start rh-php71-php-fpm.service
systemctl enable rh-php71-php-fpm.service

Please also see the official documentation.

MSSQL PDO driver for PHP

Their are multiple ways to install a MSSQL compatible driver, but with icingaweb2 and the ZendFramework below in mind, we need to use pdo_dblib with FreeTDS as driver implementation. I prepared a RPM spec file for you to build and install, it is based on the php-extras packages shipped with Fedora’s EPEL, only updated for PHP 7.1 SCL.

You can setup a small RPM build environment on a RedHat or CentOS machine with the required repositories.

sudo yum install rpm-build rpmdevtools yum-utils gcc gcc-c++ scl-utils scl-utils-build
rpmdev-setuptree

cd ~/rpmbuild/SPEC
wget https://github.com/lazyfrosch/rpm-php-extras/raw/epel7/php-extras.spec
cd ../SOURCES
spectool -gf ../SPECS/php-extras.spec

cd ~/rpmbuild
rpmbuild -bs SPECS/php-extras.spec
sudo yum-builddep SRPMS/rh-php71-php-extras*.src.rpm

rpmbuild --rebuild SRPMS/rh-php71-php-extras*.src.rpm

With the built RPM files under RPMS/ you are good to go to your Icinga machine. Basically you only need to copy rh-php71-php-mssql*.rpm over and install it there.

yum install rh-php71-php-mssql*.rpm
scl enable rh-php71 -- php -m

After restarting php-fpm the driver has been loaded.

systemctl restart rh-php71-php-fpm.service

Patching Icinga Web 2

In Icinga Web 2.5.1 and before there is an error in detecting MSSQL correctly, detection only works in PHP 5.x. A fix has been suggested in PR#3400.

To manually patch this, you only need to fix a single line in /usr/share/php/Icinga/Application/Platform.php

--- /usr/share/php/Icinga/Application/Platform.php.orig 2018-03-27 06:02:59.454240788 -0400
+++ /usr/share/php/Icinga/Application/Platform.php 2018-03-27 00:38:15.967639651 -0400
@@ -351,7 +351,7 @@
 */
 public static function hasMssqlSupport()
 {
- return static::extensionLoaded('mssql') && static::classExists('Zend_Db_Adapter_Pdo_Mssql');
+ return static::extensionLoaded('pdo_dblib') && static::classExists('Zend_Db_Adapter_Pdo_Mssql');
 }
 
 /**

I hope this helps you getting started, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

NETWAYS offers professional support for Icinga and other Open Source tools, check our Website about Support.

The image used in this article is from johnmartel.blogspot.de, we assume fair use by mentioning the author.

Markus Frosch

Autor: Markus Frosch

Markus arbeitet bei NETWAYS als Principal Consultant und unterstützt Kunden bei der Implementierung von Nagios, Icinga und anderen Open Source Systems Management Tools. Neben seiner beruflichen Tätigkeit ist Markus aktiver Mitarbeiter im Debian Projekt.

Philips Brilliance 258B6 and macOS

With Apples policy to get rid of established connection methods and switching entirely to USB-C, we faced the need for keeping hardware connected to the new Apple devices.

As there are many offers for adapting USB-C to any other connectors, we looked thoroughly through these possibilities.

In the end we found a charming solution, Philips’ Brilliance 258B6 (Review)

It provides USB-A, HDMI, DSUB, DVI, Audio connectivity, Ethernet, Display Connection and Power Supply via one single USB-C Slot so other devices could still be connected directly at the MacBooks USB-C ports.

While this setup has been runnig smoothly with mostly Dell Notebooks with Windows and Fedora, macOS was sometimes having issues.

The most annoying one has been intermittend Network connection loss. We have discussed this topic at length and could determine, that there is no fault at our network setup.

After a lot of testing, Philips came up with a solution: Installing the correct driver! You may find version 1.0.17 here.

Having installed this specific version, the monitors started to act as expected.

Another issue some users had to face, was a random vertical shift by one pixel.

Using the OSD you might want to switch off “Pixel Orbiting” and this strange behaviour stopped.

So if you’re thinking about buying a new monitor for your new devices, this monitor might be a very good choice.

Tim Albert

Autor: Tim Albert

Tim kommt aus einem kleinen Ort zwischen Nürnberg und Ansbach, an der malerischen B14 gelegen. Er hat in Erlangen Lehramt und in Koblenz Informationsmanagement studiert, wobei seine Tätigkeit als Werkstudent bei IDS Scheer seinen Schwenk von Lehramt zur IT erheblich beeinflusst hat. Neben dem Studium hat Tim sich außerdem noch bei einer Werkskundendienstfirma im User-Support verdingt. Blerim und Sebastian haben ihn Anfang 2016 zu uns ins Managed Services Team geholt, wo er sich nun insbesondere um Infrastrukturthemen kümmert. In seiner Freizeit engagiert sich Tim in der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr - als Maschinist und Atemschutzgeräteträger -, spielt im Laientheater Bauernschwänke und ist auch handwerklich ein absolutes Allroundtalent. Angefangen von Mauern hochziehen bis hin zur KNX-Verkabelung ist er jederzeit einsatzbereit. Ansonsten kocht er sehr gerne – alles außer Hase!

Gitlab now supports Let’s Encrypt

Since last week our Gitlab-ce and Gitlab-ee instances are able to use Let’s Encrypt for SSL encryption. As an owner of one of our instances, you are able to use Let’s Encrypt simply by activating it in your product view on our NWS platform.

With this, you can now use your own domain, without the need of an existing SSL-certificate. If you already have a SSL-certificate active and want to test Let’s Encrypt, you can do so. Your active certificate will be stored and will be activated again, as soon as you deactivate the SSL encryption with Let’s Encrypt.

In the screenshot below, you can see an example of how it looks in the product view. Activation and deactivation will always require a restart of your instances, since these are major configurations changes to your container.

If you are interested in one of our instances, just have a look on nws.netways.de! We have many more open-source apps available, such as Rocket.Chat, RT or Nextcloud and are currently working on some new features/apps.

Marius Gebert

Autor:

Marius ist seit September 2013 bei uns beschäftigt. Er hat im Sommer 2016 seine Ausbildung zum Fachinformatiker für Systemintegration absolviert und kümmert sich nun um den Support unserer Hostingkunden. Seine besonderen Themengebiete erstrecken sich vom Elastic-Stack bis hin zu Puppet. Auch an unserem Lunchshop ist er ständig zu Gange und versorgt die ganze Firma mit kulinarischen Köstlichkeiten. Seine Freizeit verbringt Marius gern an der frischen Luft und wandert dabei durch die fränkische Schweiz

NETWAYS Web Services: Meet and greet at Icinga Camp Berlin 2018

This entry is part of 12 in the series NETWAYS Web Services

Again, everybody who is interested in NETWAYS Web Services and especially in our Icinga 2 Master and Icinga 2 Satellite hosting can meet and greet our team lead Sebastian Saemann at Icinga Camp Berlin 2018, starting on Thursday, 8 March. Do not miss the chance to listen to his talk “Icinga as a Service”.

Main emphasis will of course be put  on hosted instances of Icinga 2 Master and Icinga 2 Satellite which are two independent products on the NWS platform, but which can of course be combined to interact with each other. Furthermore – which is probably the most important aspect to our customers – is integration into an already existing environment. Running your monitoring on NWS is smooth, simple and fast.

 

How customers benefit from a hosted Icinga 2 instance

Anybody who is not able to attend Icinga Camp Berlin 2018 can have a look at our other upcoming Icinga events or watch our product videos on the NWS platform:

More information can be found on our NWS homepage, in our FAQ sections or by contacting us via the NWS livechat.

Important note: All NWS products are up for a 30 day free trial!

Nicole Lang

Autor: Nicole Lang

Ihr Interesse für die IT kam bei Nicole in ihrer Zeit als Übersetzerin mit dem Fachgebiet Technik. Seit 2010 sammelt sie bereits Erfahrungen im Support und der Administration von Storagesystemen beim ZDF in Mainz. Ab September 2016 startete Sie Ihre Ausbildung zur Fachinformatikerin für Systemintegration bei NETWAYS, wo sie vor allem das Arbeiten mit Linux und freier Software reizt. In ihrer Freizeit überschüttet Sie Ihren Hund mit Liebe, kocht viel Gesundes, werkelt im Garten, liest Bücher und zockt auch mal gerne.

The Impact of Voice and Tone in Writing

Did you realize, when you read something your brain maps the words to a particular voice in your head? Your inner voice reads out loud the wordsyou’re reading. Actually, not everyone has this, but most people do. Ruvanee Vilhauer from the New York University did some research on this and found out that the vast majority (82%) said that they do hear an inner voice when reading to themselves.

The interesting thing about this is, that the inner voice varies depending on the written words, grammar and even the punctuation. Certain texts manage to let our inner voice sound enthusiastic, others make it sound sad, happy, thoughtful and so on.

Marketing professionals for content marketing and digital communication take advantage of this, for example when building brands. Depending on the target audience, advertising texts have their own sound and feel. Our inner voice has a huge impact on how we feel about something. It is much more likely that we recommend a product or a brand if our inner voice sounds excited while reading a text about it.

The Voice and Tone in Writing

The voice is the distinct personality of a text, be it in a magazines article, blog post, website or just a short tweet. A writer’s voice is something uniquely their own. It is build based on the words the writer uses, the grammar, punctuation, mechanics and overall style he uses. Readers begin to construct a person based on the voice and tone of a text. Beside the headline, the first sentence is the most important part of a text. It decides whether the reader continues reading and with how much attention he will continue. The voice gives personality to the writing and helps grab the readers attention and build a relationship.

The tone is more like a subset of the voice. It adds a mood to the personality and therefore a mood of our inner voice. The writing tone helps us specify if your inner voice sounds excited, amused or thoughtful. Further, if correctly pulled through, the writing tone emphasises the whole image of a product. At some point, it’s more a matter of how something is said than what is said.

Of course, IT companies benefit from all of this like any other company. One of the main aspects if a brand or a product is successful is it’s textual presentation. Usually, IT companies (especially startups) try to make their users feel enthusiastic about their product or upcoming event. When reading their texts and tweets, often it feels like something really big and great going to happen. And you definitely don’t want to miss anything big and great. You could loose track and in the IT business it can happen pretty fast to miss something. As we all know, technology changes very fast.

The voice and tone runs through the entire marketing concept. It helps us differentiate the interesting from the boring stuff. For marketers it is an important instrument to build a friendly and trustworthy image for the product. The way we read our everyday texts, especially tweets and blogs, has a huge impact on how we see IT companies and their products, independent from their technical achievements. If the company misses to delight you about their brand and product, they will have a much harder time to actually convince you to use it. If the tweets and blogs have a more conversational, friendly and trustworthy tone, it’s more likely that you will get motivated to actually give it a try.

There are so much more details about this topic which I never could fit into a blogpost. The key takeaway of this post is that it’s definitely worth thinking about the voice of tone of a text and the inner voice of the reader when writing for a certain product, even if you are not a professional marketer. A great article to get started with this topic is listed on the website of Nielsen Norman Group.

Blerim Sheqa

Autor: Blerim Sheqa

Blerim ist seit 2013 bei NETWAYS und seitdem schon viel in der Firma rum gekommen. Neben dem Support und diversen internen Projekten hat er auch im Team Infrastruktur tatkräftig mitgewirkt. Hin und wieder lässt er sich auch den ein oder anderen Consulting Termin nicht entgehen. Mittlerweile kümmert sich Blerim hauptsächlich im Icinga Umfeld um die technischen Partner und deren Integrationen in Verbindung mit Icinga 2.

NETWAYS Web Services: Nextcloud 13 now up and running!

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series NETWAYS Web Services

A lot of Nextcloud users have waited for the new Nextcloud 13 version to be available. Now our NWS team has implemented it for all Nextcloud apps on our platform.

Nextcloud 13 will bring you the following enhanced functions to your cloud:

  • Video and Text chat
  • End-to-end Encryption
  • Refined User Interface
  • Improved Performance
  • Improved File Sync and Share

 

Nextcloud users will now profit from a new app called Nextcloud Talk which provides an Open Source platform for audio, video and text communication in real-time as well as in asynchronous mode. Push notifications will help you to never miss a message! Absolute privacy is guaranteed by implementation of end-to-end encrypted calls that are 100% secure peer-to-peer.

Another big innovation is the End-to-End Encryption of content which can now be controlled by the users themselves. In the current Tech Preview release in version 13 it is now possible to encrypt single folders chosen by the users via their Nextcloud client. This prohibits the server side from accessing and seeing the folder or file content. The preview is available in mobile clients for Android and iOS as well as in desktop clients for Windows, Mac and Linux. Nextcloud will continue to enhance its encryption functionality over the next months.

Performance is also an important subject when it comes to the daily use of a certain software. The Nextcloud team has done a lot to make your work and collaboration faster and more comfortable by decreasing for example page load times as well as improving Server-Side-Encryption and external storage performance. For more information on performance enhancements please have a look at Nextcloud’s own blog article

 

For more detailed information on the new Nextcloud release you should visit the Nextcloud website or start your own Nextcloud instance on our NWS platform. Please remember that we offer a 30 day free trial period for every app!

 

 

 

 

Nicole Lang

Autor: Nicole Lang

Ihr Interesse für die IT kam bei Nicole in ihrer Zeit als Übersetzerin mit dem Fachgebiet Technik. Seit 2010 sammelt sie bereits Erfahrungen im Support und der Administration von Storagesystemen beim ZDF in Mainz. Ab September 2016 startete Sie Ihre Ausbildung zur Fachinformatikerin für Systemintegration bei NETWAYS, wo sie vor allem das Arbeiten mit Linux und freier Software reizt. In ihrer Freizeit überschüttet Sie Ihren Hund mit Liebe, kocht viel Gesundes, werkelt im Garten, liest Bücher und zockt auch mal gerne.