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Showing posts from February, 2011

AWS CloudFormation is a provisioning and not a config mgmt tool

There's a lot of buzz on Twitter on how the recently announced AWS CloudFormation service spells the death of configuration management tools such as Puppet/Chef/cfengine/bcfg2. I happen to think that the opposite is true.

CloudFormation is a great way to provision what it calls a 'stack' in your EC2 infrastructure. A stack comprises several AWS resources such as EC2 instances, EBS volumes, Elastic Load Balancers, Elastic IPs, RDS databases, etc. Note that it was always possible to do this via your own homegrown tools by calling in concert the various APIs offered by these services/resources. What CloudFormation brings to the table is an easy way to describe the relationships between these resources via a JSON file which they call a template.

Some people get tripped by the inclusion in the CloudFormation sample templates of applications such as WordPress, Joomla or Redmine -- they think that CloudFormation deals with application deployments and configuration management. If …

Cheesecake project now on GitHub

I received a feature request for the Cheesecake project last week (thanks Joost Cassee!), so as an experiment I also put the code up on Github. Hopefully the 'social coding' aspect will kick in and more people will be interested in the project. One can dream.

HAProxy monitoring with Nagios and Munin

HAProxy is one of the most widely used (if not THE most widely used) software load balancing solution out there. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a very solid and very fast piece of software for your load balancing needs. I blogged about it before, but here I want to describe ways to monitor it with Nagios (for alerting purposes) and Munin (for resource graphing purposes).

HAProxy Nagios plugin

Near the top of Google searches for 'haproxy nagios plugin' is this message to the haproxy mailing list from Jean-Christophe Toussaint which contains links to a Nagios plugin he wrote for checking HAProxy. This plugin is what I ended up using. It's a Perl script which needs the Nagios::Plugin CPAN module installed. Once you do it, drop check_haproxy.pl in your Nagios libexec directory, then configure it to check the HAProxy stats with a command line similar to this:

/usr/local/nagios/libexec/check_haproxy.pl -u 'http://your.haproxy.server.ip:8000/haproxy;csv'…