How many times have you needed to inform users and clients about pending maintenance on a server? It happens often, and you always hope the notifications have gone out and all who are affected are informed.
If your servers are of the Linux sort, and you’re making use of the Cachet status page system, informing those users is incredibly simple. (See: How to install Cachet status page system on Ubuntu Server 18.04).
I want to walk you through the process of sending out a notification for maintenance-induced downtime for your Cachet-enabled Linux server.
SEE: Disaster recovery and business continuity plan (Tech Pro Research)
What you need
The only things you need are:
- An instance of Cachet status page system installed and running.
- An admin account for Cachet.
- SMTP server details.
If you didn’t configure the email setting in Cachet during installation, you need to do that now. To configure the email option, log into Cachet and click Settings in the left navigation. From there, click Mail. In the resulting window (Figure A), select the Mail Driver option that best suits your needs (select from SMTP, Mail, Sendmail, Mailgun, and more) and then fill out the mail host, mail from, and authentication options.
Click Save and then click Test. If you click Test first, even if your configuration is successful, it’ll be wiped away and you’ll need to reconfigure. So save, then test.
If you find that method doesn’t work, you’ll need to handle the configuration of mail via the command line. From a terminal window, issue the command:
sudo nano /var/www/cachet/.env
In that file, locate the following lines and configure them as needed:
Once you configured the above, save and close the file. To make Cachet aware of the changes, issue the command:
sudo php artisan config:cache
How to create subscribers
Before you can send out notifications, you need subscribers. These are easily added within Cachet. To do so, log into Cachet with your admin account and click Subscribers in the left navigation (Figure B).
In the resulting window, click Add a new subscriber. You can then add email addresses (one per line – Figure C).
Once you add all of your subscribers, click Add, and you’re ready to notify them. Note: Subscribers must verify their subscription before they start receiving alerts.
Creating a notification
Click on Maintenance (in the left navigation). In the resulting window, click Add Maintenance (upper right corner). Fill out the necessary information for the notification and click Add (Figure D).
When you finish filling out the information, click Add, and the notification will be saved and sent. Your users will be apprised of when maintenance will occur on the servers they depend upon and can plan accordingly.
And that, my friends, is all there is to notifying clients and users of planned downtime or general maintenance on your Cachet-enabled Linux servers.