WatchDog-Server Management on Steroids

by Applied Informatics

Nowadays, when information practices and software development have shifted to use agile strategy, setting up and using localized resources sounds ironical. Organizations, both small and large, tend to use more of cloud based resources for sustaining their process requirements.Using these services has eased the way organizations needed to channelize resources. Cloud based services provide facilities to fire and set up resources in no time. Creating and setting dedicated servers and /or virtual private servers (VPSs) is one such resourceful activity. Cloud services like Linode, Digitalocean, AWS etc. provide web interfaces to help create and configure server instances. They also provide facilities to monitor server health and support various other operations. Once servers are set up it becomes challenging to track their usage, check for package upgrades and security updates, user access management, managing backups and most importantly handling application deployments. Organizations feel a need for a proper solution that will help manage and automate these activities across hundreds of servers.

Watchdog as Solution

Watchdog is a web based application that provides an elegant solution to users to handle operational activities over remote servers. It offers easy to use management utilities that simplify process of handling servers without the need of expert knowledge of sever administration. It is a totally web-based interface which has capability to manage your all your servers, that are spread over the cloud, under a single location. It supports user server setup and deletion, user management functions, data backups, creation of subdomains, deploying web applications and server health monitoring activities viz., cpu usage, disk space monitoring, network usage, process history and many more.

Technical Perspective

1. Developed in Python/Django

Watchdog is a web-based server administration control panel that runs on top of NGINX, Django/Python and MySQL. It is supported on Linux/UNIX,BSD machines and uses the following open-source software packages:

  • NGINX Web Server
  •  Sendmail MTA
  •  AUDITD auditing daemon

2. Core modules

Watchdog comes with a core set of ‘essential’ modules to help you run a server monitoring service. These range from server resource monitoring and user management to DNS management. There is a whole load of community developed modules out there, and this application was developed using Fabric and Ansible libraries. Various other open source libraries have been used with this application. The core modules that are supplied with this application are listed below:

Server Dashboard

  • Monitor servers

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 4.04.58 PM

  • Server statistics

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 4.15.14 PM

  •  Usage cost tracker
  •  Server user management
  •  Subdomain set up
  •  Enable private IP(s)
  •  Backup management and cron jobs
  • Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.23.34 PM
  •  Manage application deployments

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 4.21.28 PM

User Account information

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 4.11.14 PM

  • User profile
  • User SSH Key management

 

Advanced

  • System auditing
  • System update notifications
  • Configure firewall
  • Penetration testing

  • Database Support
    1. MySQL
    2. PostgreSQL
  • Domain management
    Registering Sub-domains

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 4.18.11 PM

Drop me a comment if you have queries or if you would like to set up WatchDog in your environment follow from the application’s main page .

 

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