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LivingNet Description

Set your Network alive with this little piece of software.
If you decide to use LivingNet it's possible to check the health of your network and let everybody be informed if one of your main servers will not be accessible any more.

The important difference to other server checking software is that in LivingNet there is not only one station that will look for the health of your servers and workstations. In LivingNet the check will be done by as many different stations as you like. The best of all is that it is possible to show the health of your network, servers and workstations on every station you like, even if this station is not checking the health itself.

So let us take a look what's going on there.

LivingNet has a heartbeat that is represented by a token which is running through your network. During setup of LivingNet you define the stations that will be checked and are able to handle the heartbeat token. This list is called the heartbeat queue. Each station in the heartbeat queue will receive the token from the previous computer in the heartbeat list and send it to the following computer from the heartbeat list. If it's not possible to send the heartbeat token to the next station, the station will be skipped and all other stations will be informed that there is a station OFFLINE now.
All stations are listening to the heartbeat and if there is no heartbeat for a specified time they will start to reanimate the heartbeat with the last token they got. So LivingNet will stay alive even if the station that holds the heartbeat token will go down before it send it out to the next station.

Take a look at the main screen of LivingNet now :

On the left side you can see all important informations about your network. First there is the heartbeat shown in the upper left corner. Every time this light flashes up, the heartbeat is recognized by this station. In the middle you can see a list of all stations that are currently OFFLINE. The graphic at the bottom left side shows where the heartbeat token is currently located.
To the right is a list with the last messages from LivingNet.

You can see that the station named 'T-Bird2' is not answering the heartbeat token any more. Usually the heartbeat has to go like this :

... >> ThoJa-Server >> T-Bird2 >> T-Bird >> ...

Because LivingNet lost one of his checking servers this station will be skipped by the station that currently holds the heartbeat token. This is shown in the Heartbeat Location picture in the lower left corner. In the lower right corner of your desktop you will notice an offline message like this

When this station is reconnected to the network and answering the heartbeat token again, you got this message

It's possible to setup a station that is only listening to the heartbeat, but never got the heartbeat token. The downtime of this station will not be recognized and will not be shown to other stations in this LivingNet environment.

Because each LivingNet environment uses his own channel, it's possible to setup different heartbeat queues on the same wire.

During normal run of the LivingNet you will only notice a little icon in the system tray. Each time a heartbeat is recognized this will be shown here

That's all.

 

Before starting LivingNet you have to configure it for your environmet. All configuration has to be done in the file LivingNet.cfg. The documentation in the example file should help you to set up LivingNet properly.

The informations you got from LivingNet will assist you in solving network problems.
Because it's easy to see what is accessible from every part of your network you will be able to locate an error in a very short time. You don't have to go to each segment of your network and try to reach other stations with the ping command or similiar. Just ask someone, who works on this segment of the network, what is OFFLINE there.

When you take a look at a single server checking software, you will see that your check is as good as your checking server hardware. If the checking server fails your check will never be done. So if you remove the network cable of this station your checking station will be blind. Sure it can inform you that there are problems on the network (if this is possible without net access), but when you power the server down (maybe your power supply is defect) there is no possibility to check your net.

In a LivingNet there is not only one station that performs the check. You can define as many checking servers as you like. As far as only one station is working your checks will be done.
When you configure LivingNet and you plan it very well, you will have the possibility to find an error in your network very fast.

This Version of LivingNet is Freeware. Very important features like SMS, E-Mail and so on are not implemented here. A Version with all features you need for a professional network check will be available soon.

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