Hyperic Plug-in Customizes System Monitor Interface

A new plug-in framework for Hyperic's Web infrastructure management tool allows users to customize its HQ monitoring software. 

Open-source Web infrastructure management provider Hyperic on March 26 will make it easier for users to customize and integrate its HQ monitoring software through a new plug-in framework.

The new HQU plug-in framework for Hyperic's HQ monitoring and management tool allows system administrators and engineers to customize the HQ user interface, integrate HQ with third-party management tools via Web services and automate tasks via a console for the Groovy scripting language.

Hyperic initially used the plug-in framework internally to add a range of plug-ins that perform automated inventory, control management actions, collect performance data and perform service checks. The company to date has some 70 different plug-ins.

"Now we're giving our customers that same capability. With HQU, we allow people to create custom screens that go along with those back-end plug-ins," said Paul Melmon, senior vice president of engineering at the San Francisco company.

New user Contegix, a fast-growing management service provider, is using the HQU plug-in framework on two fronts.

"We are using the console and Groovy in general to dynamically script out a lot of additions for our customers. The Groovy console lets us do that quickly," said Matthew Porter, CEO of the St. Louis-based managed hosting provider. "Furthermore, we're taking it to the next step by tying our homegrown management tools directly into HQ."

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Hyperic's HQ management software provides monitoring, troubleshooting and remote control. It can automatically discover Web infrastructure components and update asset inventory.

In creating new custom user interface views, customers can add incremental functionality without having to stop or restart the HQ server. "Users can get incremental new screens from us or others in the [Hyperic Hyperforge] community and add incremental functionality without having to upgrade or redeploy HQ," said Melmon.

One such extension, for example, is a new event log viewer that provides a filterable view of log data from systems monitored by HQ.

The Web services integration allows HQ data to be shared with other management systems, such as the OpenNMS integration Hyperic created that synchronizes inventory and alert data between the two management tools.

The new Groovy script console provides templates that allow customers to automate management tasks and insert those automation scripts into HQ without taking it out of service.

Contegix used that capability to eliminate the manual effort skilled engineers would have had to expend to check on the health of customers' servers. "We were able to export a list of our servers, write a Groovy script, run it in HQ, and we got hundreds of servers checked in an hour, instead of having somebody sit there continuously and add those [servers] in an error-prone, manual way," said Porter.

The new HQU plug-in framework is available March 26.