This is going to be one of my rambling sysadmin-y entries talking about stuff that's probably of little general interest. Fair warning given.
There are two components that I would consider essential to proper system administration: GOOD Monitoring and Issue/Incident Tracking. It is imperative that you know when a problem arises (preferably before anyone else notices) and that you keep track of the problems you have encountered in order to spot troublesome systems and redesign them to stop bugging you.
Those of you who have worked with me know I have my prejudices in both of these areas, and that for the last few years I've settled on two pieces of software to fill these roles: InterMapper for monitoring and RT for issue tracking.
The major caveat of this pairing is that the two have no formal integration: InterMapper will happily send emails, and RT will happily accept emails and turn them into tickets, but RT doesn't know when InterMapper is telling it about the same problem twice, or that a previous issue has been cleared. The end result of this lack of integration is that you have a bunch of RT tickets for the same issue which need to be manually merged and resolved, and this manual bit bugged me enough that I actually took the time to fix it!Continue reading "InterMapper & RT: You two play nice nowâ€¦"