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Flukso Energy Meter Monitoring Pack: Part 4: Seeing it all in action

12:57 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2007, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after all this hard work. To get the data into my MySQL dbase and into SCOM. What can I actually do with it?

This is the second part of  a far greater monitoring project I’m building to basically monitor my house but now I have control over the temperature and heating in my house using the Nest Thermostat monitoring pack AND can check on my power consumption and basically control my electrical bill.

I’ve created the views in the flukso monitoring view for electricity:

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Nothing much we can do with this view as this is actually giving me a good reading. It’s in fact what we can do with the data which get into SCOM. Because this data is now into SCOM we can use this data to generate alerts when sudden peaks occur.

A cool one I have setup is the peak right around supper. We have an electrical furnace so when someone starts cooking at around 18h (6PM) I now get an alert becaus the total power consumption is above 4000 watt at that time…

So I know now perfectly well when I need to rush home to get in on time for dinner…

Now that I have this data in I can move forward and build a cool demo to show the added value of having this data in.

This is the second part of the puzzle of monitoring my house. In fact this process can also be used when having a solar power installation to see the generated energy on the graph.

In short notice I will be adding Water readings to the graph as well and have another few things I would like to add to the management pack to be able to patrol my house but more on that later.

Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 3: Get data into SCOM

12:51 am in Monitor your home, Nest, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after we have successfully set up the connection between the flukso and our mysql dbase with basically following the same route as the nest thermostat data is pouring into our own dbase on the same device..

The only thing left to do is get this data in SCOM as well. I’ve created a separate management pack and PowerShell script for this to give people the ability to install it separate from each other but the goal is to create one big management pack in the end.

This blog post will explain how to retrieve the data with PowerShell (of course) and dump it into a property bag which is readable by SCOM. This is the second phase in our schematic example:

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Requirements

We basically need the same requirements as for the NEST thermostat monitoring as we ar using the same route:

What do we need to retrieve the data out of the MySQL dbase.

  • A watchernode which has PowerShell V2.0 installed (can be a server or a desktop laying somewhere)
  • a reg key to identify this watcher node. I’m using “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Flukso\Watchernode” for this
  • The mysql connector installed: http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/net/ (note in this example I’m using version 6.8.3)
  • Scom agent installed on the machine to be able to discover it as a class

There’s no additional install required on the mysql server although you will need the following to connect:

  • Location
  • User which has access to the mysql dbase (I use Root but this is not the safest way)
  • password

I’m using this on a virtual Win2012 machine without any issues.

Retrieve the data from MySQL using a PowerShell script

This is the script I created to get the data out of MySQL.

Note that this script only is retrieving one value. It’s possible to retrieve multiple values all at once but I preferred to use different scripts to get the different parameters out of the dbase.

The script has some prep work for water consumption in there as well but this is not yet fully operational as I need to convert the pulses to l/min so more on that later.

The dbase is filled with data every minute so I run the PowerShell script below every 120 sec to get data in.  The data is measured in watt.

The script used:

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It can be downloaded here: http://scug.be/dieter/files/2014/02/perfdatafrommysqlelectricity.rar

Param($energysort)
[void][system.reflection.Assembly]::LoadFrom(“C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\MySQL Connector Net 6.8.3\Assemblies\v2.0\MySQL.Data.dll”)

#Create a variable to hold the connection:

$myconnection = New-Object MySql.Data.MySqlClient.MySqlConnection

#Set the connection string:

$myconnection.ConnectionString = "database=flukso;server=<fill in ip of server>;user id=<user>;pwd=<password>"

#Call the Connection object’s Open() method:

$myconnection.Open()

#uncomment this to print connection properties to the console
#echo $myconnection

$API = New-Object -ComObject "MOM.ScriptAPI"
$PropertyBag = $API.CreatePropertyBag()

#The dataset must be created before it can be used in the script:
$dataSet = New-Object System.Data.DataSet

$command = $myconnection.CreateCommand()
#$command.CommandText = "select date, time, sensor_1 from fluksodata";
$command.CommandText = "SELECT Sensor_1 FROM fluksodata ORDER BY IDTimestamp DESC LIMIT 1";
$reader = $command.ExecuteReader()
#echo $reader
#The data reader will now contain the results from the database query.

#Processing the Contents of a Data Reader
#The contents of a data reader is processes row by row:

while ($reader.Read()) {
 #And then field by field:
 for ($i= 0; $i -lt $reader.FieldCount; $i++) {
 $value = $reader.GetValue($i).ToString()
 }
}
echo $value
$myconnection.Close()

$PropertyBag.AddValue("energysort", $energysort)
$PropertyBag.AddValue("electricity", $value)

This script will basically do the following.

  • Prepare the environment
  • Open the connection to MySQL
  • Get the data in the data reader
  • Read out the last line because we are only interested in the most recent value
  • Fill it in the property bag

Note: I’m also using a variable $energysort to identify the flukso sensor.

Now to get all the different parameters as mentioned above the only things you need to change are:

  • The name of the script itself
  • Command.CommandText = “SELECT Sensor_1 FROM fluksodata ORDER BY IDTimestamp DESC LIMIT 1″;
  • The property bag value: $PropertyBag.AddValue(“electricity”, $value)

Now that we have the PowerShell in place. Check out this blog post to make a management pack for it: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/nest-thermostat-monitoring-pack-part-3-create-the-mp/

Download the MP here: http://scug.be/dieter/files/2014/02/flukso.energymeter.rar

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Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 2: Get data into MySQL

12:51 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after we have successfully installed the device and data is flowing to the flukso website we get a nice graph on our dashboard which is available by logging into the website:

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Cool… So now we get a clear overview of our energy consumption. But there’s nothing we can do with it basically. We can look at it. Make some adjustments but no alerts, no long term reports nothing…

So as I discussed in the first post there’s an open API which makes the data available locally. This is great. No need to retrieve the data from an external website. It stays inside my own network.

The setup was very similar to my Nest Thermostat approach because I had that framework already in place I planned to use it the same way and get the data in SCOM via the same process.

Again the heart of my setup is my trusty Synology DS412+ hosting my linux distro and my MySQL dbase instance:

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How did I get data in?

The setup is very similar to my Nest Thermostat approach. To get the data queried out of the Flukso device I have used the script written by a fellow fluksonian PeterJ (yep that’s the official name of users of flukso): https://docs.google.com/file/d/13wB85cPx_5nykBq3ZShnClHa1rpkRE5edNEluMqxrFaCRlvJrD8Bn_6UDCs9/edit?pli=1

He uses a set of PHP scripts to get the data in.

A high level overview of the install:

  • Connect to your Synology box with Winscp
  • Copy the content of the files to /volume1/web/flukso (Make sure to follow the exact same paths as described on the google drive).
  • Open settings.php and fill in the parameters requested:

<?php
// Rename to settings.inc.php

// DB Settings
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
define('DB_NAME', 'flukso');
define('DB_USER', '<fill in a user with rights to create dbase on your Mysql>');
define('DB_PASS', '<fill in the password of that user>);

// Flukso settings
define('FL_ADDRESS', 'ipaddressofflukso:8080/sensor');
define('FL_PASSWORD', ''); //for future use
define('FL_SENSOR1', 'sensor ID');
define('FL_SENSOR2', '');
define('FL_SENSOR3', '');

// Meter settings
define('START_DAY', '070000');
define('END_DAY', '230000');
?>

  • Note the sensor ID can be retrieved from the website in the sensor section (make sure to use the ID and not the token)

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  • Run the install.php script by accessing your synology via putty to gain a terminal access (more explanation check the Nest thermostat topic here)
  • At this point the dbase should be created an ready to go:

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  • All left to do is create another line in the cron and restart it to get data flowing into our dbase and ready to get extracted by SCOM.
  • The crontab which needs to be changed is located in /etc and is named crontab. The line is in red.

Note: make sure to use TABS between the different columns otherwise the line will be deleted with the next reboot. On a Synology box it is… I don”t know on other linux distro’s but better safe than sorry right:

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  • The line that needs to be added: */1    *    *    *    *    root    /usr/bin/php /volume1/web/flukso/cronjob.php

After this install the data should normally be coming in.

I’ve tried to create a brief overview on how to setup the Synology to get the data from the flukso into my own MySQL dbase using a community driven script. However this is a System Center blog so I’m not going to go further in detail here.

If you still have questions either check the flukso forum which has some really active members out there eager to help spread the word on this nifty device: https://www.flukso.net/forum

Or connect with me on twitter @dieterwijckmans so I can assist where needed.

Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 1: Intro on the device used

12:50 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

This post is part of an ongoing series on how to monitor my house with SCOM and build scenarios based on the data that comes into SCOM.

More info on the blog series here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/monitor-your-home-with-scom/

After monitoring the temperature / humidity and heating in my house I now have turned my focus on the aspects that cost basically money. My electrical bill. To get this data in you need an energy meter. I actually have 2 at the moment so I can level them out to see which one is right… Boys and toys right.

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They are both of Belgian companies but can be used on any power grid. The above device is called the smappee.

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It’s a rather new device with a very spacy exterior and lighting. Indeed it’s connecting quite easy to your environment and it measures everything beautifully. The nice thing about this device is in fact it has a nice shiny app for iPhone and Android so you can get your data while on the road. The coolest thing is in fact that this device is capable of detecting certain patterns on your internal electrical grid to identify certain devices in your household so you can easily pinpoint what the big consumers of power are. This works quite well… The downside of this device however is that there’s up until now no way to get the data from the device towards your own device. This is not open source. Although there’s no additional fee for the website and the apps it’s kind of useless if you want to get the data out and play with it…

More info on the smappee can be found here: http://www.smappee.com/

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The device just below is completely different. Although it serves the same purpose: monitoring your power consumption. This device is just a small box which holds a custom made device which was built from the ground up with the open source community in mind. The software is running on a linux distro, dd-wrt for the routing and you have the possibility to access it via a terminal to gain root access and play with the device. The data gathered is logged to the flukso server and nicely graphed on a custom dashboard protected by your user name and password. You get a nice overview of your consumption even in real time. Besides the electrical consumption you can also check water and gas consumption so an all-round device for a little bit less than the Smappee. The cool thing in fact is that you can access the data locally by checking the box in the admin dashboard. This opens up the local API which can be addressed by a simple CURL call.

More info on the Flukso can be found here: https://www.flukso.net/about

Installation?

The installation for both devices was straight forward. As soon as the device came online you needed to connect it to an account on the website and that was it… Now only to get the data into the device.

To use this you need to have a little background of electrical work. Both website come with a huge disclaimer if you are not confident with installing the metering device ask a professional.

What you need to do is clamp a power metering device over the hot wire of your electrical installation behind the meter and before the first fuse in your fuse box:

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After connecting the clamp to the device you are good to go to get things monitored. Both devices use the same tech so if you have both just connect both of the clamps to the wire. No cutting is involved.

So this was a blog about System Center right?

True… But I’m also active in the flukso community and promised to give feedback to them as well how I cracked this box open to get all the data into a MySQL dbase. I’ve used a similar approach as the nest thermostat series which can be found here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/nest-thermostat-monitoring-pack-part-i-how-did-i-get-data/

So how did I get data?

Still not much System center content but important for the people who are going to use this or try this at their home because face it… Monitoring is our profession and if we can save some money while we are at it… Check out the other parts to find out how I got data in.

Nest Thermostat monitoring pack: Part 4 seeing it in action

12:35 am in Monitor your home, Nest by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after all this hard work. To get the data into my MySQL dbase and into SCOM. What can I actually do with it?

This is just the beginning of a far greater monitoring project I’m building to basically monitor my house but now I have control over the temperature and heating in my house.

I’ve created the views in the nest folder for humidity, Heating status and a separate view for target and current temperature.

Humidity view:

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Nothing much we can do with this view as this is actually giving me a good reading. Everything between 30 and 60 is healthy condition so no complaints here.

Next in line is the Heating status:

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This is basically a Boolean (on or off). The standard graph in Nest is also telling me this but I have to click through some views to get there. Now I can get this in a simple graph in my console wherever I want it.

Saving the best for last the temperature graph

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The first 2 graphs are nice to have but this one is actually pretty cool. This is giving me the relationship between the target temp asked by my household at a given time and the actual temperature in my house. Here I can clearly see that it takes approx. 2 hours to get my home heated up (radiant floor) but the heat stays constant for a long time. This is due to the nature or radiant floor and because my house is well isolated. If I overlay the 2 graphs I can clearly see that the temp is rising as soon as my heating is working…

So now I have the data in there. Next step in the process is to create a API control console task to actually change the target temp. This is possible via the API I’ve mentioned so it will be added to the mp in a short while.

Nest Thermostat monitoring pack: Part 3: Create the mp

12:34 am in Monitor your home, Nest by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

The Nest thermostat monitoring pack is in general part of a “monitor your home with scom” series which can be found here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/monitor-your-home-with-scom/

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Download the MP I’ve created here: http://scug.be/dieter/?p=1204

Now that we have discussed how to get the data from the Nest website via an api call into our dbase where we were able to get the data via PowerShell into a property bag. It’s now time to get SCOM working with this data.

I’m gathering a sample of the dbase every 5 minutes and the dbase itself is filled with data only when there was a call home from the device to the Nest website. As some of you will probably already know it’s not possible to use a PowerShell script to populate a performance rule in the console itself. You need to have a vbs. In fact it’s not a good idea at all to create a management pack in the console as it will be filled with GUID’s and such.

I’ve used the SCOM 2007 authoring console for quite a long time and am still using it but the biggest disadvantage is the fact it cannot interpret SCOM 2012 mp’s. If you create a MP with the authoring console it will work on both SCOM 2007 and SCOM 2012. But if you try to load a scom 2012 mp into the authoring console you’ll get a schema mismatch because it just can’t cope with the new schema. This makes it impossible to create the mp in the authoring console, load it in the SCOM 2012 management group, make minor modifications and then load it back into the console…

Well then you should use Visual Studio Authoring Extensions… True… But I don’t know Visual Studio. It’s still on my to do list but hey there are many things in there.

So for now I’ve used another great tool: Silect MP Author which is freely available. I made the core rules in there to get the PowerShell performance collection rule in there and then made view modifications and such in the console itself. Ok it’s not pretty but it’s just to showcase the possibilities of SCOM and I plan to integrate this bit into a larger “Monitor your home” mp which I probably rebuild from scratch using VSAE.

So enough chatting. Let’s create this performance rules to get the data we have in our dbase via PowerShell into our management group.

First things first. Download the free Silect MP author tool here: https://bridgeways.com/mp-author-landing-page

Install the tool and open MP Author

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Create a new management pack:

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Give it a proper name:

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Save in a location (I’ll do it by default on my SkyDrive so I can work on my project anytime from anywhere)

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Leave the references as is

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Choose Empty

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Create

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Now create a target for our watcher node which is identified by reg key: HKLM\software\nest\watchernode

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Right click target and choose group

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Check for a server where the regkey is located on. It’s easier to browse than to type in the key.

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Supply credentials.

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and locate the key: HKLM\Software\nest\watchernode

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Give the attribute a name

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identify the discovery

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and we only want to check whether it exists. We don’t care about the content.

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We run this every day.

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Create.

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Next thing we need to do is create the group of watcher nodes

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Fill in the desired expression and click next (note this changed in the final mp I’ve uploaded)

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Create the group

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So now we need to create the performance rule with our PowerShell we tested earlier on:

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Copy paste the script in the script body window.

Make sure to change the credentials in the connection string as discussed in part 2 of this blog series.

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Fill in the location variable

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Identify the performance rule

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Map the content of the property bags to instance and value which scom can use to create the performance dataset.

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Leave the schedule as is (more on this later)

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Create the script

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So now we have a script to get humidity in our environment, the value that is… The same process needs to be followed to get current temperature, target temperature and heating status in as well.

I already did it in the mp I’ve uploaded but I really wanted to show you the ease of use of mpauthor. I plan to do a more thorough blog series on this great tool but this is not in scope of this blog series of course.

So now the scheduler part… We want to collect data more frequent than once a day of course. Turns out it’s not possible to change this in MP author nor in the console after you have loaded the mp. You need to change the xml code itself.

The collection rule is only configured in the mp as daily:

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You need to change this to:

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And you need to do this for all rules you have created of course.

Note: Like I said before this is just a small showcase of how the management pack is constructed. The management pack which is attached here is slightly different and has some config done in the console in there so it’s not as clean as ID’s concerned. Again I’m planning to rebuild a full mp when I have all my different monitoring aspects in place.

If you want to use the management pack I have created make sure to change the connection string values to your dbase location username and password

So all left to do now is load the MP in your management group and check whether everything is running.

Nest Thermostat monitoring pack: Part 2: Get data into SCOM from MySQL

12:31 am in Monitor your home, Nest by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after we have successfully set up the connection between the nest and our mysql dbase data is pouring into our own dbase. So how do we get that data into SCOM so we can graph it and monitor it.

This blogpost will explain how to retrieve the data with PowerShell (of course) and dump it into a property bag which is readable by SCOM. This is the second phase in our schematic example:

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Requirements

What do we need to retrieve the data out of the MySQL dbase.

  • A watchernode which has PowerShell V2.0 installed (can be a server or a desktop laying somewhere)
  • a reg key to identify this watcher node. I’m using “HKLM\SOFTWARE\NEST\Watchernode” for this
  • The mysql connector installed: http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/net/ (note in this example I’m using version 6.8.3)
  • Scom agent installed on the machine to be able to discover it as a class

There’s no additional install required on the mysql server although you will need the following to connect:

  • Location
  • User which has access to the mysql dbase (I use Root but this is not the safest way)
  • password

I’m using this on a virtual Win2012 machine without any issues.

Retrieve the data from MySQLusing a PowerShell script

This is the script I created to get the data out of MySQL.

Note that this script only is retrieving one value. It’s possible to retrieve multiple values all at once but I prefered to use different scripts to get the different parameters out of the dbase.

The Nest parameters I read in:

  • Current temperature: The current temperature measured by the Nest device
  • Target temperature: The target temperature set for the Nest device at that time
  • Humidity: The Humidity measured by the Nest device.
  • Heating status: Whether the heating is on (1) or off ( 0 )

The script used:

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It can be downloaded here: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SCOM-Retrieve-performance-507293f1

This script will basically do the following.

  • Prepare the environment
  • Open the connection to MySQL
  • Get the data in the data reader
  • Read out the last line because we are only interested in the most recent value
  • Fill it in the property bag

Note: I’m also using a variable $location to identify the Nest Thermostat if you have more than one.

Now to get all the different parameters as mentioned above the only things you need to change are:

  • The name of the script itself
  • The Select statement: SELECT humidity FROM data ORDER BY timestamp DESC LIMIT 1 with the column name of the desired value
  • The property bag value: $PropertyBag.AddValue(“heating”, $value)

If everything goes well you have your data in your MySQL dbase now and can retrieve it remotely via PowerShell to pass it on to SCOM.

Next blog post we’ll get everything in SCOM.

Stay Tuned.

Nest Thermostat monitoring pack: Part I: How did I get data?

12:28 am in Monitor your home, Nest by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

I recently bought myself a Nest Thermostat. For those who are not familiar with this device. It’s basically an internet connected thermostat which learns your heating patterns with different variables. It’s of course packaged in a nice futuristic design… Cool…

More info here: https://nest.com/thermostat/life-with-nest-thermostat/

Although it is not officially released in Europe nor supported it’s actually quite easy to install. If you are reading this and need more info please make sure to check out this blog post: http://www.fousa.be/blog/nest-thermostat

So I survived the installation…

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This round eye thing as my wife refers to it is doing its job nicely. I get a lot of feedback from the app and even on the website. Everything looks shiny and cool… But… What if… What if I could get this data in SCOM and see whether I can monitor and control it from there… Imagine the fun.

Well this blog post will document my way of getting data into SCOM. To give you a high level idea this is actually what I did:

§ Retrieve data from the nest.com website (not from the actual device as my first attempts failed miserably)

§ Get this data into a MySQL dbase

This is a schematic overview of what components were used:

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In this blog post we’ll discuss how to get data from the nest into a MySQL dbase

Retrieving the data from nest

So how was I going to get data out of this nice circle on the wall which is controlling my heating… My first attempt was to sniff all the traffic which came from the IP of the nest thermostat and see whether there were valuable entries in the traffic between the device and the Nest web service. Well a lot of data was sent but it would take a lot of work to make sure everything was discovered correctly. I opened Google and Bing (always nice to compare both results) and started searching on the web. A lot of users had the same question how to get data out but not many had the answer. Until i stumble upon the github library and did a search there.

I found this API of Guillaume Boudreau on github: https://github.com/gboudreau/nest-api

This nice gentlemen wrote a PHP based api which could retrieve all the info and return it with a simple REST API call. I’m not a dev so this was unknown territory for me but I gave it a shot. My aim was to get this data stored locally so I can have full control over how it’s stored and retrieved by SCOM. This to make my life afterwards a bit easier.

I could inject it into a SQL dbase but this would require my server to be switched on all the time. I would also need to have a machine which is running a webserver to take care of all the different php requests to the API and such. Sure I can build a dedicated machine on my hyper-v host but the server had to be on all the time for the entire process to work not a good idea with current energy rates. But wait a minute. I have another device running all the time. My Synology DS412+. Up until now it only served as a storage device for both entertainment and iscsi luns for hyper-v. But this thing is capable of doing much more. I checked the different fan blogs / forums and realized right away that this device was the way to go. Without any knowledge of MySQL and or php I set of on an adventure..

Note: All this is configured on the beta version of DSM 5.0 so screenshots may differ from previous versions of DSM.

Configure the Synology NAS to store the data in MySQL and run the PHP settings.

I had a fun time configuring the NAS to get it a point that everything was working. I’ll link to some blog posts which got me going as this will take me too far. If you have issues please do not hesitate to comment or connect on twitter @dieterwijckmans to get more specific on this topic:

Install Mysql and phpadmin on synology nas

Install winscp to browse your Synology build in ftp server (via scp actually)

Install Putty to get a terminal access to the linux distro underneath your synology OS Note: Just install it you do not have to setup a key chain to access your synology.

A couple of quick pointers (I will write a more detailed process if I ever find the time or if there’s a huge demand for it)

  • When you connect to your synology station with Winscp use the SCP protocol on port 22 instead of the FTP or SFTP
  • To connect to your device via putty or winscp use the root user. The password is actually the admin password.
  • Set a password on your MySQL install for the root password because some scripts do not allow to run it with password no option.

Get this data in Mysql dbase

Again this will be a fairly straight forward process if you’ve done this before. For me all this was quite new as a 99% windows oriented tech (ok it’s out in the open I admit it) but it proofed to be a challenging but rewarding route.

First things first. These were my resources to get everything in Mysql. I started down a different path to write my own scripts when I stumbled upon a post on github by chriseng. He actually wrote a nice front end webpage to get data of Nest in a comprehenable way… He writes the data to a mysql dbase first. Exactly what I needed!

https://github.com/chriseng/nestgraph

So follow the instructions on there and get the api + script in place.

If all goes well open up your phpmyadmin by opening your browser and surfing to: http://<address of your synology>/phpmyadmin . You should see a dbase created and the first line of data in there:

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I know this is a high level and quick manual but this is in fact how I got it running without any knowledge of mysql / php and so on.

Now that we have 1 line in the dbase (mine has more in there but I have already automated the process) we need to schedule the command to poll the web service on a regular basis.

This took me quite some time to figure out so if you made it this far I’ll safe you the time of figuring it out yourself.

High level steps:

  • Create an extra line in the cron
  • Restart the cron

Create an extra line in the cron

The cron is basically the Linux equivalent of task scheduler. You need to put in different parameters and Linux will run the command for you on a regular interval. More info can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cron

On the Synology the cron is located in folder: /etc and the file is called crontab.

It should look like this:

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Some considerations which got me searching for quite a while why it wasn’t working:

  • Make sure to separate the columns by TABS instead of spaces.
  • Always use the root user or the job will be deleted when the NAS will reboot
  • Update the path of your php bin. Normally on a synology it’s located in /usr/bin/php
  • Update the path of your php scripts. Mine are stored in /volume1/web/nestgraph/insert.php
  • Verify your command by running it in a putty session like: “php /volume1/web/nestgraph/insert.php”. You will not receive a visual confirmation that everything went successful but you will notice an extra line in your mysql dbase.

So… You wait patiently to see the data coming into your dbase. But nothing is happening. You check again a while later. Nope. I see myself again struggling with this. Turned out you still need to restart the cron service on your Linux distro. All so complicated for us windows guys… sigh…

To do this on DSM 4X run:

  • /usr/syno/etc/rc.d/S04crond.sh stop
  • /usr/syno/etc/rc.d/S04crond.sh start

To do this on DSM 5 run:

  • /usr/syno/sbin/synoservicectl –restart crond

Do this in a putty session as these are both Linux related commands:

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After this the data should be flowing in…

Still with me?

Next thing we need to do is get the data queried out of our MySQL dbase and into a property bag to pass onto to SCOM.

Check out part 2 (link in top of blog post)

Monitor your home with SCOM…

12:24 am in Monitor your home by Dieter Wijckmans

So I completely refurbished my house recently…. After getting all the painting done and such it’s now time to focus on the toys which we all love in our home. More and more devices are becoming internet connected these days giving you control and surveillance over your house.  A lot of apps on my phone keep track of different things such as surveillance, heating, power consumption, water consumption, smoke detectors…

But they are all different apps…

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I have a SCOM lab running at home (ok not everybody has a full blown scom lab at home but maybe you can reuse some of my features in your setup). So during one of my scares holidays it got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool to have all this data in SCOM. There’s a little added value because all the programs that came with the products are written specifically to deliver the data of that device to your phone but hey I like a challenge.

This blog post will be a placeholder to link all the different aspects of my home which I covered in SCOM. It’s a nice showcase to show the versatility of SCOM and the different ways to get nonstandard data in.

First up…

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Nest Thermostat monitoring pack

Second in line: Flukso energy meter

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Flukso Energy Meter monitoring pack

 

System Center Universe 2014 Houston session video online

10:22 am in SCOM, SCOM 2012, scu, sysctr by Dieter Wijckmans

 

Wow I can’t believe it has been already 3 weeks ago that I was able to speak at System Center universe 2014 in Houston. The topic of my session was all about connecting both your on premise SCOM environment with your Azure cloud.

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The event was a cool experience and a great chance to catch up with a lot of people and meet new ones while we are at it. Had some great talks about our beloved technology and how we see it developing in the next year.

My Session video is available here:

System Center Universe 2014 Dieter Wijckmans

 

In addition to the video above I’m including some links to articles with more info on how to connect your on prem with your Azure cloud:

Introduction and install of a Scom Azure Gateway server (Cameron Fuller): http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2013/12/04/operations-manager-and-azure-better-together-introducing-the-azure-monitoring-gateway-[sysctr-scom-azure].aspx

Configure Site to site vpn: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-networks-create-site-to-site-cross-premises-connectivity/

Configure point to site vpn: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn133792.aspx

Configure the Scom Azure management pack: http://blogs.technet.com/b/cbernier/archive/2013/10/23/monitoring-windows-azure-with-system-center-operations-manager-2012-get-me-started.aspx