One of my joys at work is getting to work with Erlang. If adoption increases, Erlang has quite a few benefits to offer in terms of distributed computing and reliability, but in the short term Erlang has the inevitable weakness of not being PHP or Java. Further, Erlang applications may rely on Mnesia instead of MySQL or PostgreSQL, and the end result is that a company's existing infrastructure (ops, monitoring, runbooks, etc) usually isn't effective at supporting Erlang without some modification.
Taking a stab at one aspect of this, I spent some time over the past few days
writing monitoring scripts for Erlang process groups, nodes and applications
for use with Nagios. The effort is tentatively named
although I'll admit a certain weakness in its charm.
More thorough usage details are in the nagios_erlang README, but generally it provides:
- the ability to check that the host can ping another node,
- the ability to check that a specific application is running on another node1,
- check that the number of processes in a process group satisfies warning and critical constraints (i.e. more than 5 is ok, less than 5 is warning, less than 3 is critical, etc).
At the moment they are performing active checks,
but it should be straightforward to extend the script to support passive checks
as well. (Add a second wrapper to output in NCSA format in
nagios_erlang.erl, check for
write output to a temporary file, pipe it into NCSA
send_message; something along those lines).
Awkwardly, it does this by trying to start the application and checking if it is already started. I couldn't come up with a more sophisticated approach, but perhaps I am simply blind to an appropriate function in the