Monitoring | Farm Guardian | Update

By default, Zevenet runs simple health checks to the backends or real servers, but sometimes this check is not enough to determine that the backends are working appropriately. For this reason, Zevenet implements a service that executes and manages advanced health checks via a daemon that uses plugins called Farm Guardian.

The main task of Farm Guardian is to work as an advanced monitoring tool for applications, for this, Farm Guardian reads the farm configuration and obtains the backend list, and helped by a plugin checks the backend health status, Farm Guardian updates the backend status for the given farm allowing or not allowing the load balancer to send traffic to such backend.

From this section you can configure the Farmguardian check. You can see two tabs Global and Farms.

Global Settings

On the Global section there are the health checks settings of a certain Farmguardian health check, as it’s shown below.
The fields of this tab can be not editable if the check is pre-configured in the system, if you want modify that check, you should Create a new Farmguardian check adding the copy param with the desired check name and to modify the new.

  • Name. Identification name of the current Farm Guardian check.
  • Description. This field contains some description about the check.
  • Command. Check command and parameters to be executed on a regular basis against every backend.
  • Interval. Time in seconds between health check batches against all the backends.
  • Cut Connections. When this option is enabled, the current connections of the detected down backend are flushed, forcing an immediate reconnection to an available backend. If disabled, the current connections will be drained without disconnecting users.
  • Logs. Enables or disables the logs of every health check of Farm Guardian. With logs disabled only the backend status changes are shown in the log files.

Configure health checks

The used plugins by Farm Guardian can be found under the directory /usr/local/zenloadbalancer/app/libexec/.

Farm Guardian uses plugins in order to configure advanced health checks to detect if a certain real server is working as expected using customized options. There are a lot of health checks for every kind of protocol, service or application. The most important plugins are described below.

check_ftp: This plugin tests FTP connections with the specified host.
check_fping: This plugin will use the fping command to ping the specified host for a fast check.
check_http: This plugin tests the HTTP service on the specified host. It can test plain (HTTP) and secure (HTTPS) protocols, follow redirects, it searches for strings and regular expressions, check connection times, and report on certificate expiration times, HTTP return codes, etc.
check_imap: This plugin tests IMAP connections with the specified host.
check_ldap: This plugin tests LDAP services. It can be tested with a given search.
check_ldaps: This plugin tests LDAPS services. It can be tested with a given search.
check_mysql: This plugin tests connections to a MySQL server.
check_mysql_query: This plugin checks a query result against threshold levels.
check_pgsql: Test whether a PostgreSQL Database is accepting connections.
check_pop: This plugin tests POP connections with the specified host.
check_radius: Tests to see if a RADIUS server is accepting connections.
check_simap: This plugin tests secure IMAP connections with the specified host
check_smtp: This plugin will attempt to open an SMTP connection with the host.
check_snmp: Check status of remote machines and obtain system information via SNMP.
check_spop: This plugin tests secure POP connections with the specified host.
check_ssh: Try to connect to an SSH server at specified server and port.
check_ssmtp: This plugin tests SSMTP connections with the specified host.
check_tcp: This plugin tests TCP connections with the specified host.

For further information, execute the following command under the plugins path:

plugin_name --help

Farm Guardian will use this plugins to check the health status of the backends and will manage the execution error output of the executed plugin for deciding the backend status as follows:

If the error output == 0 then the backend is OK > $? = 0

If the error output <> 0 then the backend is NOT OK > $? <> 0

Custom plugin

These plugins can be configured and fully programmable by sysadmins in order to be adapted to any protocol or application.

This example shows a custom plugin

###snmp utils should be installed
###snmpd should be installed and configured in the backends
EXECUTE=`snmpget -v 2c -c $COMMUNITY $1 . |cut -d ':' -f2 | cut -d '.' -f1 | sed s/\ // | sed s/\"//`

echo "SNMP CPU load check for $1 is $EXECUTE"
# If the result is true, exit with 1; error; else exit = 0; OK
if (( $EXECUTE >= $MAXVALUE )); then
#error output; the server is overloaded and the load balancer isn’t going to send more connections
exit 1
#not error; the server can accept more connections
exit 0


When Farm Guardian execute a plugin, it can use some constants or tokens as arguments, like:

  • HOST: Farm Guardian will take care of modifying this constant by the real server IP address.
  • PORT: Farm Guardian will take care of modifying this constant by the real server port.

These constants can be used for every plugin, Farm Guardian will use them to run the health check with the real parameters in place.


On this tab there is a list of farms and services using this Farm Guardian health check.

Farms and services can be detached from this Farm Guardian health check clicking the trash icon or selecting the desired items and going to Actions > Delete.

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Documentation under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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