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Online Reporting & Notification

The Winserver Wingman client software is free to use (subject to the terms of its End-User License Agreement) and offers significant monitoring functionality in a user session on the server itself or via an installation connecting to that server from another workstation on the network.

Yet greater utility can be had by combining the client with a reporting subscription which offers;

  • A unified, online view of all of your servers grouped within a hierarchical tree. As the Windows client summarises a server's status as that of the highest alert set among its tasks, so the web service will display an overall state based on the highest alert set among all servers.
  • Notifications by e-mail whenever an alert is posted by any server in your reporting tree.
  • The ability to share all or some part of your reporting tree with other users of the service who may then receive their own e-mail alerts for your servers.

Given a valid subscription a client will be shown in your reporting tree when it has both;

  • Online Reporting & Notification enabled (in > Options > Service) with your Account e-Mail and corresponding Reporting Key entered, and;
  • An enabled Transmit a Heartbeat task. This task is the mechanism whereby a machine announces itself to the service and continuously confirms that it is running and able to report.

Plan Pricing

Reporting plans take the form of an annual subscription for a maximum number of Reporting Sources. A source equates to one monitored server whether reporting directly under your own account or shared with you by another user. Pricing is tiered, as shown here in USD;

  • Watcher (1 Source): 1-month free trial.
  • Sentry (2-3 Sources): $9.50 per source, per annum.
  • Warden (4-7 Sources): $9.00 per source, per annum.
  • Sentinel (8-15 Sources): $8.50 per source, per annum.
  • Guardian (16-31 Sources): $8.00 per source, per annum.
  • Seer (32-63 Sources): $7.50 per source, per annum.
  • Oracle (64+ Sources): $7.00 per source, per annum.

A subscription is for one year initially but it's possible to amend the source count mid-term, either up or down, which may be enacted via a trunctation or extension of the current term. Larger increases will entail a renewal in which case the balance of the current subscription will be converted into a rebate on the new plan price.

Reporting Groups

How and where a client displays in your reporting tree depends initially on its Reporting Path (specified in Options > Service), comprised by default of the server's domain and machine names. The first component is a backslash separated hierarchy of group names describing the machine's location in the tree as a DOS path describes a file or folder's location in the Windows file system.

A path is not required (without which the client will appear in the root of the tree) but as certain web service functions operate on groups rather than individual sources (notably sharing and the pausing of notifications) it's useful to locate clients within at least one group.

Remote Actions

Remote Actions, (enabled and customised in Options > Service) leverage the expectation that a machine will report in to the web service at a known interval (the heartbeat task frequency). Once enabled you may queue, from your desktop or mobile browser, a preconfigured command to be executed on the server at its next heartbeat.

Built-in options include Restart and Shutdown or define your own custom actions in the form;

Identifier|Executable|Arguments

Shown below are the built-in options defined as custom actions along with some further examples;

Restart|shutdown.exe|-r -f -t 0 -c "Winserver Wingman remote Restart action."
Shutdown|shutdown.exe|-s -f -t 0 -c "Winserver Wingman remote Shutdown action."
Flush DNS|C:\Windows\System32\ipconfig.exe|/flushdns
Log Processes|C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe|/c wmic process >> C:\Wingman.Process.log
SQL Reset|C:\Windows\System32\sc.exe|restart MSSQLSERVER
Start VNC|C:\Windows\System32\sc.exe|start uvnc_service
					

Alterations to the definition of custom actions are limited by the same strictures described under Task Security for the Check a Console Command task. The actions are also subject to the Secure Paths setting detailed in the same article.

Managed Users

Any standard user may initiate the registration of a managed account linked to their own. A managed user has their own Account e-Mail and Reporting Key but no reporting subscription, they are instead allocated a maximum number of reporting sources from their manager's subscription.

The manager may access the account of any managed user, as if they were logged-in as that user, by following the links enumerated in their Account page.

Use cases for managed users include;

  • Providing a customer with their own reporting credentials and separate address for notification without requiring them to maintain a subscription or configure any sharing.
  • Maintaining accounts for staff, contractors or partners who may need to be notified of alerts posted for some or all of the managing account's sources.

Management of an account may be ended by either party after which the formerly managed user will have 24 hours to procure their own subscription to ensure continued service for any sources reporting under their credentials.

8 September 2016