Introducing a PyUnit-Based Network Monitor

This project grew out of our need to monitor critical IT infrastructure without having to learn and manage a large monitoring system such as Nagios. As a custom software development company, we already utilize Jenkins to manage all of our builds, unit tests and documentation generation. We decided to leverage that existing infrastructure to create a monitoring tool that would work just like a set of unit tests.

The result of this effort is a PyUnit-Based Network Monitor. To use this monitor, modify the config.xml file to suit your needs and deploy the code to Jenkins. Using the “Build Periodically” trigger in Jenkins, you can automatically run this monitor on any schedule you like. Under the “Post-build Actions” section, you can configure sending email for every failed build. This monitor supports formatting the output as JUnit-compatible reports, so you can use the “Publish JUnit Test Result Report” functionality to have Jenkins track your monitor results over time as well.

Note: if you don’t currently have Jenkins, but wish to use this network monitor, you can create a free hosted Jenkins instance at OpenShift which supports python out-of-the-box.

Currently, this tool supports the following types of monitors:

  • urltest: Test that a URL is valid and accessible. Optionally, check the contents of the returned data against a substring and/or regular expression. Supports various protocols (http, https, ftp, etc.) and supports basic HTTP authentication.
  • tcptest: Test that a TCP port is open on a particular host
  • udptest: Test that a UDP port is open on a particular host
  • filetest: Test for the existence of a file in the filesystem. Optionally, check the contents of the file against a substring and/or regular expression. Additionally, you can assert a minimum and maximum byte size on the file and/or a minimum and maximum modification time for the file.
  • nofiletest: Test for the non-existence of a file in the filesystem.
  • disktest: Test the amount of free space on a disk/partition. Under Windows, network disks are supported using UNC notation (Note: you must have the win32api extension installed to support this).

For more details on configuration, see the config.xml schema. For details about how to run the monitor, type python -h to view the help content.

This software is released under the Modified BSD License.