End-to-end Solarwinds SMS alerting on a VMware virtual machine

    Operating systems and applications used:

     

    Server O/SWindows 2008 R2 SP1
    VM VersionVMware hardware version 8
    VM hostVMware ESXi 5.0
    Solarwinds modules

    NPM 10.4.2, SAM 5.5.0

    Alerting software PageGate v.6
    SMS gatewayMultitech MTCBA-G2-EN2

     

    This guide assumes Solarwinds and PageGate are already installed and working.

     

    Installation and configuration

     

    Multitech SMS gateway

     

    Insert a working GPRS data-capable SIM in the Multitech router.

    Power on the device and wait for the Status light to flash.

     

    Configure a PC to use the following IP address settings:

     

    IP

    192.168.2.101

    Subnet Mask255.255.255.0
    Default Gateway192.168.2.1

     

    Connect a LAN cable directly between the PC and the Multitech device.

    Open a browser session to http://192.168.2.1

    Logon with username: admin and password: admin.

    Navigate to IP Setup.

    Configure an IP on (ideally) the same LAN segment as your Solarwinds server.

    Don't forget to click Submit, then Save and Restart to save your settings.

    Change the default password to something more secure!

     

    Navigate to the IP Setup menu and amend Auto Dialout Configuration as follows:

     

    AutodialoutEnable
    Autodialout loginDisable
    Autodialout Port5000

     

    Click Submit, then Save and Restart.

     

    Navigate to the PPP menu and configure the following settings

     

    NATDisable
    PPPDisable

     

    To test that the device is ready to send messages:

     

    Open a command prompt and type:

    telnet <device ip> 5000

     

    Type AT+CSQ.

     

    The router responds with the received signal strength (rssi) and the channel bit error rate (ber).

    RSSI ranges from 0 to 31. BER ranges from 0 to 7 (7 is the highest error rate).

     

    Signal Strength - RSSI
    10 – 31Sufficient
    0 – 9Weak or Insufficient
    99Insufficient

     

    Type AT+CREG?

     

    The router will respond in one of the following ways:

     

    Network Registration Verification

     

    ValueNetwork Registration Status
    +CREG: 0,0The router is not registered on any network
    +CREG: 0,1 The router is registered on the home network
    +CREG: 0,5The router is registered on a network and it is roaming

     

     

    Exiting Modem Mode

     

    1. After the last AT Command is entered, press:

    CTRL + ] (the right bracket).

    2. The following prompt displays:

    telnet>

    Type quit and press Enter.

    3. Then the following prompt displays:

    c:>

    Type exit and press Enter.

     

    Instructions here: http://www.multitech.com/setup.mvc/product/87456

     

     

    Virtual Serial Port

     

     

    There are various options for using a virtual serial port. You can install a 3rd party one inside the OS or attach one to the VM from vCenter. NOTE: I have found the latter very flaky to set up and get working.

     

     

    1) 3rd party Virtual Serial Port

    Download HW VSP from http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html#download.

    Open the application and log in, then create the connection to the SMS gateway.

    Install as COM3 pointing to the device IP and port 5000.

     

    2) VMware Virtual Serial Port

    Switch off the Solarwinds VM.

    From vCenter, edit the settings of the VM.

    Add a new Serial Port device.

    Under Connection, select Use network > Client.

    Set Port URI to telnet://<MultitechDeviceIP>:5000.

    Make sure the Device Status is Connected and Connect at Power On

    The serial port will be installed on COM1

     

    Log on to the VM and go to Device Manager.

     

    Edit the properties of COM1 and set parameters as follows (under Port Settings):

     

    Bits per second115200
    Data bits8
    ParityNone
    Stop bits1
    Flow ControlNone



    PageGate

     

    Make sure the GetASCII module is installed and enabled, to allow Solarwinds to communicate with PageGate.

     

    Create a new Carrier. Settings as follows:

     

    Carrier<Carrier name>
    ProtocolGSM-AT
    Baud Rate115200
    ParityNone
    Data Bits8
    Stop Bits1
    Init String<blank>
    Max Chars160

     

    Configure Connection 1 as follows:

     

    DialerConnector 1
    Init StringAT+CSQ
    Dialing Prefix<blank>
    Dedicated Carrier<Carrier name>
    Serial Port3 for 3rd party VSP, 1 for VMware VSP
    Direct ConnectNot ticked

     

    Verify all the necessary PageGate services are running.

     

    In this example, we're going to create an on-call group called ukit_on-call.

     

    Make sure GetAscii and On-Call Group is ticked.

     

    Configure your Recipients as follows:

     

    Enabled ServicesGetAscii
    TypeNormal
    Carrier<Carrier name>
    Failover<optional>
    ID/PINRecipient's mobile number
    Max Chars160
    Groupsukit_on-call

     

    Go back to the Group and create an on-call schedule for your recipients.

     

    Finally, we configure Solarwinds...

     

     

    Advanced Alert Manager

     

    Edit a working Alert.

    Under Trigger Actions, select Add New Action: Dial Paging or SMS service.

    The PageGate ukit_on-call group should now be visible under Page Recipient.

    Duplicate the Action to Reset Actions.

     

    Generate a test alert to verify all is working.