Primarily, I come here because of an issue I had (I documented it here: https://virtualmin.com/comment/772386#comment-772386 ) in which, as long as virtual servers were in FPM execution mode for PHP, a bug with the current-state implementation of PHP-FPM on my server resulted in Apache2 being unable to restart after Virtualmin updated Debian Packages.
That morning, I had let Virtualmin successfully install a bunch of updates, and I simply moved on with my life and did other chores… I didn’t think it would compromise web access, and it’s only 3 hours later that I finally noticed all the websites hosted on my server were down, because Apache2 wouldn’t start anymore.
And indeed, in the Status section of Virtualmin, Apache was marked as not being up.
After I saw the situation, and did some googling, I quickly went back inside virtualmin, switched from PHP-FPM back to Fcgid for all virtual domains, and could finally start Apache2.
But, still, slightly annoyed case, I somehow expected Virtualmin to go bonkers when Apache didn’t work, I felt Virtualmin had a “moral obligation” of sorts to tell me with more insistence. I plead guilty, my job isn’t to monitor servers 24/7, I don’t have a paid third-party notification service contacting me on my phone and all.
Here’s the idea: I believe Virtualmin should go “OH MY GOD ALERT ALERT ALERT” when crucial services are down for more than a few seconds, and
- (0) automatically try, by itself, to restart the services several times, and in case of failure, proceed to:
- (1) show very clearly in the dashboard that an issue must be adressed immediately, with a notification visible at all times
- (2) send an email alert to the root admin’s email
- (3) have this “OMG ALERT” mode be the default option, as an opt-out feature, not as a opt-in feature that we’d possibly fail to notice once it is implemented
With a conservative approach, the crucial services to keep watch of would be Bind, Apache/NginX, Mysql, for instance.
Bullet list entry (1): if Virtualmin restarts one of the crucial services for whatever reason (package update, server config changes), and the service fails to restart, an alert should be shown in the Virtualmin pages requiring to click a little cross to dismiss it, this way we’re sure the admin has seen it.
Bullet list entry (2): make use of Virtualmin’s own engine to send an email alert to the root’s account email address, hopefully the email will hit home faster than third-party notification services.
It’s too bad that, in 2017, it still costs money to send SMS notifications, that, it would have been an AWESOME feature too.
Well, that was it for my suggestion.
Have a good day everyone!