Get started with Server Ranger by adding a server. To do this, click the Add button on the toolbar or click the File menu and select New Server. Next, select the type of server from three basic types. Unless they are webservers or mail servers, most servers will be network servers. Finally, fill in the required information, starting with a human-friendly name so that it is easy to remember and identify.
The server list can be organised by latency to show the slowest servers or the fastest servers. It can also be organised alphabetical, by the human-friendly name assigned to it. Click the downward arrow above the list to make your choice.
Server Ranger can scale up to monitoring many hundreds of servers but if you are only interested in one server, click the Single Server Mode button on the toolbar. This removes the list from view and focuses on just one server.
Server Ranger can check your servers in intervals between 30 seconds and 1 hour. Click the Server Ranger menu and choose Preferences and drag the slider to make your selection.
Each server can have its own custom alert policy or you can assign it a global policy.
Global policies include:
- Less Important
Changes made to Global policies affect all servers configured with that policy.
Servers can also have no alert policy. In this case, servers will continue to be monitored and results will be logged but no alerts will be issued.
1. Email - enter the email address that should be contacted when the server hits the specified condition (i.e. the number of continuous checks in Warning or Offline). Click Configure SMTP to set up the details used to send the email.
2. SMS - using the Twilio service, SMS text messages can be sent to one or multiple recipients, anywhere in the world, for instant alerting whether a server is in Warning or Offline.
3. Notification - this uses your Mac's Notification Center to issue a notification. How these display on your Mac, depends on your system's settings but they can be made to show in the Notification Center list at the right of your screen and/or display a banner.
4. Dock badge - a number can appear on your Dock badge to display the number of servers currently in Warning or Offline.
5. Play sound - a short system sound can be played. It is up to you to decide how slow a server should respond before being considered in Warning: select the number of milliseconds in the box.
Optional SMS alerts use the Twilio service to send the SMS anywhere worldwide. SMS messages usually cost a small amount to send and this will be charged by Twilio.
1. Create an account at www.twilio.com and choose the SMS plan.
2. You need an SMS phone number to send from. You cannot send from your own numbers. Create a number with SMS capabilities. Once created, this number will be listed under Active Numbers. Make a note of the number.
3. Back at your Twilio Dashboard, take a note of your Account SID (starting with AC) and your Auth Token. These need to be Live Credentials, not Test Credentials.
4. Finally, give Twilio a little credit. From the Dashboard, click Billing and then Add Funds. $20 can go a long way, especially if you set up careful alert policies.
5. Next, we configure Server Ranger so open up Preferences from the Server Ranger menu and click SMS Setup.
6. Enter the information that you made a note of earlier; the Account SID, Auth Token and SMS phone number (this is the number that your texts come from, not the one you are sending them to!)
7. Now we set up our policies. See “Setting up alert policies”, above.
Here are a few tips when configuring SMS:
• You won’t usually configure SMS for Warning alerts unless the performance of the server is absolutely critical.
• Consider if you require SMS alerts for every Offline alert. An email alert is often sufficient. Where SMS is required, it is usually on a per-node custom policy basis, not in a global policy.
• Twilio logs SMS message that are sent. It also logs errors when sending an SMS so if texts are not being received, check the Twilio Dashboard and Errors & Warnings for more information.
• Until you are comfortable with the quantity of SMS messages being sent, it may be a good idea to keep Auto Recharge switched off. Once you are happy with your policies and have tested your setup sufficiently, you can turn on Auto Recharge so that you will be charged automatically when your Twilio balance falls below a certain amount.
Click the "Show Log" button on the toolbar to view a log file of all the checks that showed either a Warning or Offline condition. This log can be printed out or exported for further analysis. Server Ranger exports to a CSV file which can be imported into Microsoft Excel or Numbers for further analysis.
Server Ranger has numerous keyboard shortcuts so that it can be keyboard-driven if you so wish. Here are some of the most common shortcuts:
⌘N - add a new server
⌘R - immediately run a check on all servers
⌃⌘F - full screen view
⌘] - select next server in list
⌘[ - select previous server in list
⌘0 - open Server Ranger Viewer
⌘1 - open Overview window
It is possible to completely reset the logs database. You may wish to do this after creating a yearly export to start records again, as an example.
To reset the logs, go to Preferences - Advanced and click the Reset button, after noting the warning.