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Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days)

 

 

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davidu at everydns

Apr 16, 2008, 10:00 AM

Post #1 of 13 (7686 views)
Permalink
Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days)

We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our volume
of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.

We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for vtext.com
so I thought the better question would be to ask what the current
best practice is to get SMS alerts out?

Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something called
a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been told to
check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com -- anyone
using them to delivering timely notifications?

Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
datacenter?

What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

-David


repstein at chello

Apr 16, 2008, 10:22 AM

Post #2 of 13 (7576 views)
Permalink
RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

David Ulevitch wrote:

<snip>

> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

Get a pager! :) SMS is just not as reliable.

> David

Randy


shoemakerp at vectordatasystems

Apr 16, 2008, 10:33 AM

Post #3 of 13 (7604 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

My solution is to use a modem / POTS line hanging off the nagios box
along with the qpage daemon to send alerts out through a TAP gateway. If
you need the specs and 800 number for Verizon's TAP gateway I can send
it offlist.

http://www.dynowski.com/blog/2006/05/19/using-nagios-with-quickpage-a-sms-tap-gateway/

This is important not only to avoid the inconsistency of the vtext
email-sms gateway but to get an alert out in case of a major network
disruption that breaks email functionality.

Patrick Shoemaker
President, Vector Data Systems LLC
shoemakerp [at] vectordatasystems
office: (301) 358-1690 x36
mobile: (410) 991-5791
http://www.vectordatasystems.com


David Ulevitch wrote:
>
> We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
> form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our volume
> of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.
>
> We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for vtext.com
> so I thought the better question would be to ask what the current best
> practice is to get SMS alerts out?
>
> Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something called
> a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been told to
> check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com -- anyone
> using them to delivering timely notifications?
>
> Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
> datacenter?
>
> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?
>
> -David
>


pkranz at unwiredltd

Apr 16, 2008, 10:33 AM

Post #4 of 13 (7598 views)
Permalink
RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

If you stick with SMS messages, the weakest link will always be the carriers
SMS gateway. Since this is the last item in the chain, any upstream service
will still be handicapped by the gateway. I've worked with a variety of
carriers, and they have all had problems at one point or another with their
SMS gateways getting overwhelmed with SMS spam, etc.. causing long SMS
delivery queues or dropped messages. If you can find the SMS gateway admin
at Verizon they can probably comment on what the issue is and any planned
resolutions, else you may need to switch providers to one with a more
cluefull SMS gateway team.

So far this year, I have only had a couple instances of delayed/dropped SMS
delivery via the AT&T/Cingular SMS Gateway..

Peter Kranz
Founder/CEO - Unwired Ltd
www.UnwiredLtd.com
Desk: 510-868-1614 x100
Mobile: 510-207-0000
pkranz [at] unwiredltd


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nanog [at] merit [mailto:owner-nanog [at] merit] On Behalf Of
David Ulevitch
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:00 AM
To: nanog [at] merit
Subject: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these
days)


We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our volume
of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.

We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for vtext.com
so I thought the better question would be to ask what the current
best practice is to get SMS alerts out?

Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something called
a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been told to
check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com -- anyone
using them to delivering timely notifications?

Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
datacenter?

What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

-David


andrey.gordon at gmail

Apr 16, 2008, 10:34 AM

Post #5 of 13 (7623 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I have one of these babies
http://www.multitech.com/PRODUCTS/Families/MultiModemCDMA/
with SMS Server Tools 3 running (hacked up for CDMA, cuz they dont'
support CDMA out of the box)

$40 a month does the trick

There was a good thread about sms notifications not so long time ago.
Here is what the summary was:



On Fri, Sep 7, 2007 at 6:54 PM, Alex Pilosov <alex [at] pilosoft> wrote:

As an experiment, I wanted to try to summarize all the answers given on
this question, hope this helps someone.

Suggestions given:

* modem and TAP gateway
** TAP numbers at http://www.avtech.com/Support/TAP/index.htm
** Software: sendpage or qpage

* Mobile phone with a serial port and AT commandset
** Software: sms-tools gnokii gsmd
** Issues: not reliable because of battery drain

* Purpose-made GSM/CDMA modems
** Software: same as above
** Manufacturers: Intercel, Sierra 750 (PCMCIA), Falcom Samba 75 (USB)

* Purpose-made GSM-IP modems
** Manufacturers: http://www.acmesystems.it/?id=70

* Pages via DTMF
** Hylafax/asterisk

- -alex [for mlc]

- --
Andrey Gordon [andrey.gordon [at] gmail]
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)
Comment: http://getfiregpg.org

iEYEARECAAYFAkgGOL0ACgkQYovzGDqdwI/CTQCffgfxf55JhSyoekqGc9LxyAEY
AaIAn2A0erUkl6WdWrtOgIaZCi6HZj1F
=HYjO
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


ddunkin at netos

Apr 16, 2008, 10:37 AM

Post #6 of 13 (7597 views)
Permalink
RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

Yes, this is still a good route for those of us with old pagers
(cell/pager via e-mail have had horrendous drop rates for me, likely due
to the volume of messages). If the network issue is severe enough that
your Internet access is not working, you can still dial via a modem.
Even then things don't always get through the provider, so I have two
Nagios systems running in tandem. This means receiving two notices for
each outage, but often enough we still only receive one (even though
each Nagios/qpage server reports a success on both sides).

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nanog [at] merit [mailto:owner-nanog [at] merit] On Behalf Of
David Ulevitch
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:00
To: nanog [at] merit
Subject: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS
these days)


We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our volume
of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.

We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for vtext.com

so I thought the better question would be to ask what the current
best practice is to get SMS alerts out?

Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something called
a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been told to
check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com -- anyone
using them to delivering timely notifications?

Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
datacenter?

What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

-David


derrick at anei

Apr 16, 2008, 10:43 AM

Post #7 of 13 (7583 views)
Permalink
RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

I still use and love qpage http://www.qpage.org/ with Nagios.

Your best bet is to also attach a modem to your system and let it dial out to the gateways.
http://www.notepage.net/tap-phone-numbers-u.htm

This site provides a central spot for TAP gateway numbers and SNPP systems. Use your Nagios parent configuration to send snpp when the Internet is working and fall back to TAP modem pages when your system can no longer reach the net.

It's the only modem I still have in use but it works great every time for sending out those text messages and pagers.

Derrick

________________________________

From: owner-nanog [at] merit on behalf of Randy Epstein
Sent: Wed 4/16/2008 1:22 PM
To: 'David Ulevitch'; nanog [at] merit
Subject: RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days)




David Ulevitch wrote:

<snip>

> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

Get a pager! :) SMS is just not as reliable.

> David

Randy


sauron at the-infinite

Apr 16, 2008, 11:04 AM

Post #8 of 13 (7604 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

My recommendation as of late has been to use WCTP with a TAP backup.
(using qpage at $WORK)

This way you get the faster delivery/rate of WCTP, with an OOB fall-back
should it be needed.

Most pager companies (and presumably many cell providers) provide
interfaces for one/both of the above.


- d.

On Wed, 16 Apr 2008, Patrick Shoemaker wrote:

> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 13:33:40 -0400
> From: Patrick Shoemaker <shoemakerp [at] vectordatasystems>
> Cc: nanog [at] merit
> Subject: Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS
> these days)
>
>
> My solution is to use a modem / POTS line hanging off the nagios box along
> with the qpage daemon to send alerts out through a TAP gateway. If you need
> the specs and 800 number for Verizon's TAP gateway I can send it offlist.
>
> http://www.dynowski.com/blog/2006/05/19/using-nagios-with-quickpage-a-sms-tap-gateway/
>
> This is important not only to avoid the inconsistency of the vtext email-sms
> gateway but to get an alert out in case of a major network disruption that
> breaks email functionality.
>
> Patrick Shoemaker
> President, Vector Data Systems LLC
> shoemakerp [at] vectordatasystems
> office: (301) 358-1690 x36
> mobile: (410) 991-5791
> http://www.vectordatasystems.com
>
>
> David Ulevitch wrote:
>>
>> We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable form
>> of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our volume of
>> alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.
>>
>> We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for vtext.com
>> so I thought the better question would be to ask what the current best
>> practice is to get SMS alerts out?
>>
>> Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something called a
>> TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been told to check
>> out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com -- anyone using them
>> to delivering timely notifications?
>>
>> Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
>> datacenter?
>>
>> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?
>>
>> -David
>>
>
>

--
Dominic J. Eidson
"Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-menu!" - Gimli
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.the-infinite.org/


david at davidcoulson

Apr 16, 2008, 12:19 PM

Post #9 of 13 (7583 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

In my experience, even with TAP, sending messages to a cell phone is
spotty at best. I have folks on both uni-directional pagers via TAP or
SNPP, as well as cell phones via e-mail and TAP. There isn't a
noticeable difference in delivery time between e-mail and TAP on the phones.

Cell to Cell is probably the best option if you want to stick with SMS
to cell phones. I have no idea how reliable it is between carriers. I
still get some comfort knowing that people have pagers with a TAP
gateway - I've no idea how the technology differs between a pager and
SMS, but it seems much more reliable. All of the pager problems I've had
in the last few years have been, erm, 'payment related'.

David Ulevitch wrote:
>
> We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
> form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our
> volume of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.
>
> We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for
> vtext.com so I thought the better question would be to ask what the
> current best practice is to get SMS alerts out?
>
> Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something
> called a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been
> told to check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com --
> anyone using them to delivering timely notifications?
>
> Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
> datacenter?
>
> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?
>
> -David
>


deepak at ai

Apr 16, 2008, 4:37 PM

Post #10 of 13 (7579 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

Verizon at least, uses SS7 signaling to deliver on-network SMS. This
means they can provide delivery confirmation with their SMSes. I am not
aware of another US network that does this or interacts with Verizon
over SS7 for SMS exchange.

So, if you are using a phone's SMS capability on the same network (e.g.
Verizon) and it has delivery confirmation you might be very happy.

Deepak

David Coulson wrote:
>
> In my experience, even with TAP, sending messages to a cell phone is
> spotty at best. I have folks on both uni-directional pagers via TAP or
> SNPP, as well as cell phones via e-mail and TAP. There isn't a
> noticeable difference in delivery time between e-mail and TAP on the
> phones.
>
> Cell to Cell is probably the best option if you want to stick with SMS
> to cell phones. I have no idea how reliable it is between carriers. I
> still get some comfort knowing that people have pagers with a TAP
> gateway - I've no idea how the technology differs between a pager and
> SMS, but it seems much more reliable. All of the pager problems I've had
> in the last few years have been, erm, 'payment related'.
>
> David Ulevitch wrote:
>>
>> We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
>> form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our
>> volume of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.
>>
>> We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for
>> vtext.com so I thought the better question would be to ask what the
>> current best practice is to get SMS alerts out?
>>
>> Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something
>> called a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been
>> told to check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com --
>> anyone using them to delivering timely notifications?
>>
>> Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
>> datacenter?
>>
>> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?
>>
>> -David
>>
>
>


frnkblk at iname

Apr 16, 2008, 8:44 PM

Post #11 of 13 (7584 views)
Permalink
RE: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

Piecing together the information I've learned over time, is it possible that
VeriSign handles some of that for Verizon?

Frank

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nanog [at] merit [mailto:owner-nanog [at] merit] On Behalf Of
Deepak Jain
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 6:37 PM
To: David Coulson
Cc: David Ulevitch; nanog [at] merit
Subject: Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS
these days)



Verizon at least, uses SS7 signaling to deliver on-network SMS. This
means they can provide delivery confirmation with their SMSes. I am not
aware of another US network that does this or interacts with Verizon
over SS7 for SMS exchange.

So, if you are using a phone's SMS capability on the same network (e.g.
Verizon) and it has delivery confirmation you might be very happy.

Deepak

David Coulson wrote:
>
> In my experience, even with TAP, sending messages to a cell phone is
> spotty at best. I have folks on both uni-directional pagers via TAP or
> SNPP, as well as cell phones via e-mail and TAP. There isn't a
> noticeable difference in delivery time between e-mail and TAP on the
> phones.
>
> Cell to Cell is probably the best option if you want to stick with SMS
> to cell phones. I have no idea how reliable it is between carriers. I
> still get some comfort knowing that people have pagers with a TAP
> gateway - I've no idea how the technology differs between a pager and
> SMS, but it seems much more reliable. All of the pager problems I've had
> in the last few years have been, erm, 'payment related'.
>
> David Ulevitch wrote:
>>
>> We've noticed that 1234567890 [at] vtext is no longer a very reliable
>> form of delivery for alerts from Nagios, et al. It seems as our
>> volume of alerts has risen, our delivery rate has dropped precipitously.
>>
>> We don't expect much trying to actually reach a postmaster for
>> vtext.com so I thought the better question would be to ask what the
>> current best practice is to get SMS alerts out?
>>
>> Back in the day, I remember a company I worked for had something
>> called a TAP gateway. Is that still a good route? I've also been
>> told to check out an SMS gateway/api service called clickatell.com --
>> anyone using them to delivering timely notifications?
>>
>> Is the best thing to do to try and get a programmable cellphone in a
>> datacenter?
>>
>> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?
>>
>> -David
>>
>
>


wessels at packet-pushers

Apr 17, 2008, 4:58 PM

Post #12 of 13 (7524 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

On Wed, 16 Apr 2008, David Ulevitch said:

> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

I added asterisk and a cheap X100P card to my Nagios setup. Now I
can get a voice call if things are really bad.

I started to install some text-to-speech tools also, but got depressed
by all the additional ports that were coming along for the ride.
So for now it just plays a prerecorded message: "go check nagios!"

DW


hb-nanog at bsws

May 29, 2008, 5:11 AM

Post #13 of 13 (7200 views)
Permalink
Re: Postmaster @ vtext.com (or what are best practice to send SMS these days) [In reply to]

* David Ulevitch <davidu [at] everydns> [2008-04-16 19:18]:
> What else are operators doing to get the pages out when things go wonky?

a UMTS/3G card, that just attaches a usb controller (ohci) and a
usb-serial converter behind it (ubsa), and a "modem" behind that takes
AT commands. the commands are even somewhat standardized. Add a bit of
kermit and shell scripting around and you have a very reliable
out-of-band notification mechanism.

--
Henning Brauer, hb [at] bsws, henning [at] openbsd
BS Web Services, http://bsws.de
Full-Service ISP - Secure Hosting, Mail and DNS Services
Dedicated Servers, Rootservers, Application Hosting - Hamburg & Amsterdam

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