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Monitor all aspects of your applications health.



 Project Readme

Health Monitor ¶ ↑

Monitor individual aspects of your rails application's health

Most rails applications have many additional moving parts of which the health cannot be assessed with simply pinging the (hopefully page cached) homepage

For example,

  • Is Email is sent successfully?

  • Is the SMS gateway alive and you bought sufficient credits?

  • All database connections are alive? Backgroundrb down again?

  • The cloud computing setup jacked the imagemagick? Again?

  • You are running out of disk space and there are no more file descriptors?

  • The git SHA and version is what ?

Health Monitor adds a single controller action to generate an html, js, or xml report with details of all your custom defined health checks. An error response code (500 server error) indicates failure when any monitored feature fails or exceeds the custom timeout definition. Health monitor is easier to setup than custom server side cron tasks and adds the advantage of exercising more code since everything from your load balancer to nginx to mongrels must be happily shoving rubies around to get that 200 oh boy success message. So ping away, grab a beer and know that hey, you might be too drunk but at least you will know your application is sick before your clients do.

Installation¶ ↑

Install the plugin or gem

script/plugin install git://

sudo gem install health_monitor --source=

If you use the gem, be sure to add it to your environment.rb

config.gem 'health_monitor'

Run the generator to create HealthMonitorController

script/generate health_monitor

Quick Reference¶ ↑

# Built in checks to monitor db and schema
monitor_health  :schema_check, :database_check

# Monitor a process
monitor_process :monit

# Monitor anything
monitor_health :mycheck, :description => 'Check blahs' do |controller|
  ... do something ....

Examples¶ ↑

class HealthMonitorController < ApplicationController

  # Built in checks query the database for the schema and make sure
  # that the database connection is live. If you're on Engine Yard
  # you can also check that nginx/apache and the database are live
  monitor_health :schema_check, :database_check, :ey_agent_check

  # Monitor specified process
  monitor_process :monit

  # Check database connection by ensuring there is at least one user
  # calls protected method +user_check+
  monitor_health :user_check, :description => 'Check database connection'

  # Monitor email sending. Fail if it exceeds 4 minutes
  monitor_health :email,
    :timeout => 240000 # Fail this test if it exceeds 4 minutes
    :method => lambda{ |controller|  ActionMailer::Base.deliver_my_mail('blah') }

  # Display the status of system df call with the results
  monitor_health :check_disk, :description => 'Check Disk status' do |controller|
    results = `df`
    status = $? == 0 ? :success : :failure
    { :status => status, :message => "DF: #{results}" }

  def user_check; User.first; end


monitor_process Monitor a server process¶ ↑

process_name - name of the process to monitor

Options¶ ↑

sudo - (default false) set to true to run pgrep as sudo pattern - specify a pattern to match (pgrep -f) instead of the process_name arguments - additional arguments to pgrep “-o root,blah -a”

monitor_process :monit, :someproc, :sudo => true
monitor_process :mongod, :pattern => 'mongodb.*slave'

monitor_health¶ ↑

Monitor the health of the application

Options¶ ↑

:description - description of the task :message - Defaults to SUCCESS or FAILED!

Additional information that is either a string or a hash with keys <tt>:success</tt> and <tt>:failure</tt>
Message allows more custom result information, such as the number of servers queried or IP address
or git version.

:timeout - Fails the health check if the total time exceeds :timeout milliseconds :method - The name of the method or a Proc to invoke. A block can be given as well. Defaults to the method with the feature name

Built in checks¶ ↑

schema_check, database_check, and ey_agent_check are protected methods.

Check the database connection and report the schema number

monitor_health :schema_check

Check for an active database connection

monitor_health :database_check

Check the Engine Yard agent, web server, and database

monitor_health :ey_agent_check

Monitored Methods¶ ↑

The proc or method defined should return its status as one of the following:

  • true or false indicating success or failure monitor_health :mymonitor, :method => { |controller| …do something … ; true }

    monitor_health :myothermonitor def myothermonitor; false; end

  • a status symbol: of :success, :failure, :timeout, :skipped monitor_health :mymonitor, :method => { |controller| …do something … ; :failure }

  • a hash of attributes including:

** :status must be a value listed above: defaults to failure ** :message Custom message with result data ** :description The task description

monitor_health :mymonitor do |controller| something ... ;
  { :status => :success, :message => 'My custom results for server abc', :description => 'task description' }

Skip tests or run a single test¶ ↑

To skip a test, add the skip parameter to your url with a list of comma delimited tests to skip


To specify tests to run, use the :only parameter


Routes¶ ↑

By default, the route resources are added (assume controller is named HealthMonitorController) The action defined is named monitor_health

Base resource if show is not already defined by health_monitor_url


Member accessor monitor_health_health_monitor


To disable and write your own routes, use route option with acts_as_health_monitor

acts_as_health_monitor :route => false
map.resource :health_monitor, :controller => "health_monitor", :only => :show, :member => { :monitor_health => :get }

Considerations¶ ↑

If you are reporting sensitive information, consider limiting this controller to specific IP addresses or adding authorization logic to your controller with before_filters.

Inspirations and Fun¶ ↑

Health monitor was inspired by work at Health monitor is brought to you by the rule of threes and the letter B. The official mascot of health monitor is GIRAFFE! and the official drink is sparklemotion (1 part sparks, 1 part champagne)

Copyright © 2009 Blythe Dunham. See LICENSE for details.