VIC Monitor is a program that runs in the background on Windows or Linux (support coming) and periodically checks to see if one or more network resources are available and working. These resources can be anything that can be connected to using TCP/IP and anywhere on any local or remote network.
Examples of things that can be monitored are web sites, email servers, telephone services for VOIP, home automation devices, even some alarm systems.
There is only a single text file that is used to control the operation of Connection Monitor, which is described below.
Connection Monitor can make use of one or more "indicator lights" which are USB devices that light up on command from a computer. A number of these devices are supported by Connection Monitor and more will be added in the future. The objective is to make available devices that are low in cost and easily obtained by our customers. If you are interested support for a specific device, please contact Infinadyne for more information.
Much of the work of setting up Connection Monitor is handled through the installer, which prompts for the basic required information.
Some indicator lights have a limitation of how many can be connected to a single computer. The primary one that we recommend is from Blinkstick and has no such limitation, although more than around five or six seems excessive on a single computer.
Specifying more than five email addresses on a single Connection Monitor can result in some performance issues. There is no built-in limitation on the number that can be specified, but the product is not intended to send email to a large number of people. Specifying a group email alias will work better.
Specifying more than five or ten resources to be checked with an indicator light can be confusing.
If one or more indicator lights are used, in general a red light is displayed when a resource is not available and green when it is.
It can be selected that green light isn't used but the indicator will be dark instead. This may be less confusing in some environments.
When a single resource is specified, the light is green or red constantly. When the status of the resource changes, it will be noticed within a few minutes and the light then changes. No blinking, flashing or anything else. It simply is red or green.
When multiple resources are specified, the indicator light is "blinked" to indicate the status of each. If there are three "check" statements in the specification file, this would be represented as follows:
|http:///www.google.com||one blink, red or green|
|https://pos.clover.com||two blinks, red or green|
|sip://ringcentral.com||three blinks, red or green|
In normal operation, if using the above selections, and the Clover service was unavailable the light would light up for a half second and then dark for a half second in the pattern: green, red, red, green, green, green. This pattern is repeated with five seconds between.
If multiple types of indicator lights are selected for use, they will not be synchronized. Depending on the type, multiple lights of the same type may or may not be synchronized.
The specific types of lights that are supported may change at any time, but in general support for a type of light will not be removed. New light support may be added at any time.
VIC Monitor is controlled through the use of a text file that specifies the network connections to check and the email addresses and light devices to be notified.
Lines in the specification file that are blank or begin with a “;” character are ignored. Comments may be included and must have “;” in the first position.
To specify a network connection to be checked, there are two formats available, the URL format and the domain format.
In order to send email, the following items must be present in the specification file. If no email addresses are specified, these are not necessary. Note that for security reasons, Gmail will require that you register the application with them and a different password.
Specifies the “from” address for email being sent out. This follows the usual rules for such email addresses and should match up with the email server that is being used. Specifying an email address that does not correspond with the server can result in the email sent being treated as spam.
emailserver <name> <port>
Identifies the server to connect to in order to send email. This would typically be the mail server for the company or an outside service, such as outlook.com or gmail.com. The port number defaults to 25, the common port for email sending. If a different port is needed, it is specified here.
emailuser <userid> <password>
Specifies the userid and password, if this is required, to utilize the mail server to send mail.
emailssl <YES | NO>
Specifies if email is to be sent using a secure channel.
sendlogs <YES | NO>
Specifies if log information is to be sent to Infinadyne for analysis. This can be helpful with configuration issues and is suggested initially. This is normally turned on during installation but can be turned off at any time. No information about the Email Send Specifications are included in the log file.
URL format consists of the verb “check” and a service name, a domain name, an optional port specification, and a page path. Parameters are not supported. Many service names are supported. A few are shown here with their default port address:
Examples of valid specifications for this:
The domain format consists of a domain, an optional port, and an optional text string that the response from the connection is expected to send. This response text is sent by many services, but not http. Email notifications from the Connection Monitor will indicate if text is being received and if it does not match the supplied text.
It is strongly suggested that the text be enclosed in double quotes even when a single word is being specified.
outlook.com 25 “ESMTP MAIL”
It is generally required that the computer that VIC Monitor is running on be connected to the Internet. If it isn’t, it can only send internal email and cannot check resources outside the local network. It is controllable how Connection Monitor determines it has a good Internet connection with the default being to connect to www.msftncsi.com. This can be changed through use of the internet statement in the specification file:
internet <site name | *>
Specifying a site of “*” disables the check entirely.
The Internet connectivity check is run at startup and once when an error is returned from the other specified checks. It will not be done more often than every 32 minutes. When the Internet connectivity check fails, no other checks are done. An email is sent out and any display lights show a steady yellow.
If it is desired that the VIC Monitor be checking only internal connections, this should be specified as * to disable the check.
In addition to one or more Internet connections to check periodically, there are two other specifications: email notification addresses and display light selections.
This is specified in the file as simply:
email <address> <level>
For example, to send notifications to email@example.com, this would appear as:
The level specification is optional and defaults to 1. Level 1 consists of sending only notifications that relate to the network connections being checked. Level 2 can be specified to request messages about the operation of the Connection Monitor itself. A further diagnostic mode can be selected with level 3.
It is strongly suggested that one or more level 2 notification email addresses be specified.
Specifying more than 10 email addresses can impact performance.
It is necessary to identify what display lights are present with this specification. It is specified as:
display <type> <option>
where <type> is BLINK, EMBRAVA or DELCOM. If multiple lights are present of the type specified, they will all be used. Zero, one or two display light selections can be present. Specifying the same light type multiple times is permitted but serves no function.
For the BLINK lights an option may be specified of DIM, STANDARD, or BRIGHT. This corresponds to using 2, 4 or 6 LEDs on a Blinkstick Square device. For the Blinkstick Nano DIM and STANDARD may be specified with BRIGHT being the same as STANDARD. Either one or two LEDs are used on the Blinkstick Nano device for DIM and STANDARD.
There is no way to specify different brightness levels for different display lights.
Support for additional display lights will be added in the future.
An optional statement is provided for the user to select if the light state will be green or dark for “everything is OK”.
normal <DARK | GREEN>
If this statement is not present, it defaults to GREEN.