Monday 23 September 2013

KAIRA operational status label

Over the last few months, we've had some occasional technical problems with KAIRA. That's all fixed now and the station is back online and observing again. However, the outages did highlight the fact that we could use some improved monitoring and also that this monitoring needs to be more visible.

So, as a result of this we've put a new monitoring tool in place which generates a display icon. This will be used in various places on our system for the benefit of staff, but we've also decided to put it on the web log too. Apart from being useful to our observers and the support staff, it may also be of interest to the general public and anyone else who might be interested in KAIRA's operational status.

When working well, the status icon will be pretty bland, with just some text indicating that it is operational and what the time of the last check was. It will look something like this:

Checks are made once a minute, so you should see it change if you were to reload the web page.

However, if something is not quite right, the background will change to a pretty eye-catching colour and the text will indicate the likely cause of the fault (or at least a pointer for the support team as to where they could start looking to work out what is wrong). Some examples include:

In summary, the status label will help improve uptime and let us catch and fix problems quickly. But it will also be a useful widget for users of the system too.

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