ArsDigita Server Architecture Auditing

by Jin Choi, part of ArsDigita Server Architecture

This documents an audit procedure for a single physical server running the ArsDigita Server Architecture.

There are several systems involved in each installation:


This is an independent audit from day-to-day monitoring via ArsDigita Cassandrix as specified in the ArsDigita Server Architecture.

Check that sufficient disk space is available using "df -k". Any partition close to 100% is bad, and should be brought back down at once.

On, there is a script /usr/local/bin/ that runs a set of ad-hoc Unix checks. We may wish to put a variant of this on all our current systems.


We do not currently have a universal system for doing backups. How they are carried out depends on which version of Unix it is running, what kind of tape drive it has, and whether it was set up before or after TechSquare started taking care of backups. To find out if backups are being carried out properly, it is necessary to su to root, run crontab -l, pick out the line which looks like it handles system backups, and check that file to see what software it uses, and what (if any) logging is being carried out.

If there is currently a tape in the drive, you can check the result of the backup directly. Most of our systems rely on a variant of "dump" for backups. To check out a backup on tape, you must:


Make sure Oracle is running and that we aren't bumping up against process limits. Try connect to Oracle using sqlplus.


Oracle backups are handled by doing consistent exports every evening. The location and times of these dumps differ from machine to machine. To find where the exports are going, run "crontab -l" as root to find the script which does the exports. Make sure that script is using the proper oracle system password. The latest export files in the export directory should be timestamped no earlier than some time the previous night. There should be sufficient disk space to store two copies of the latest versions of the exports, so that the next exports can happen (much more than two copies if they are compressed).

As these exports are done from root's cron, cron will send the results of the export to root. If you would like to receive these nightly mailings, add yourself as one of the recipients of the "root" mailing account (if running qmail, add your email address to /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-root).


Most of our newer systems run qmail as their mailer. If you want to figure out how to route mail around using qmail, read this.

To make sure qmail is functioning properly:


Grep for nsd in /etc/inittab to see what servers are supposed to be running. Make sure all of those servers are indeed running using "ps -ef | grep .ini".

ArsDigita services

We have three monitoring services that run as their own process on various servers: keepalive, rollover, and reporte.


Logs tend to grow without bound unless checked. Various logs to check to make sure they aren't getting ludicrously big:

Add a comment | Add a link