Passive Monitoring of Displays

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EDIT MARCH 28, 2018: Please note that all conversations related to Display Monitoring in this Community should be considered obsolete and out of date. As announced in our new Community, Rise Vision added support for a new Display Monitoring feature.

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I'm wondering what systems people have in place to monitor if a sign is live and able to accept new data to it's cache?

I know email alerts used to be present, and had issues (though admittedly I started using Rise after this) and I'm not looking to open that can of worms. Besides logging into the Displays tab and check every 15mins what do people use?

I've discussed using traffic monitoring on the ports assigned to the digital signs in-house, we haven't implemented this yet, so not sure if it would even work, but this use case is (I assume) somewhat specific and not very applicable, especially if you're working as a third party provider.

We were also debating plugging a time stamp into the html of the sign, having a program pull the html, and compare this time stamp to a threshold, and send an email out if outside the threshold, but it's quite literally still on the whiteboard...
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Mark Parsons

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Posted 3 years ago

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Darius - PRODO.us, Champion

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Mark,

Not sure how much information you need to collect from your devices, but just to make sure if my device is up and running I use this (my response to similar question from yesterday):
"Right, that all 'active time' thing, it drove me nuts in a day, so I turned off the notifications. I simply go and check the status manually every morning. i do not even look at the 'heart' color as it also may be inaccurate. Look for the time posted, when it was active the last time. If it is close to your current time, then you are golden (not the case with windows devices - those can be way off).
And just like Robert & Wendi said, have 'em wired if possible."

Also, to actually see what is on the screen of our Chromeboxes I am capturing screen through Google management console (need management license). For our Windows devices I am using TeamViewer. The down side of TeamViewer is that it is not discrete connection, but otherwise it is awesome as it allows remote maintenance/troubleshooting.
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Mark Parsons

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Sign network is setup at a resort, and we have a snow report that could update every 15minutes due to trail closures, wind delays, etc. which is broadcast on our cable system, as well as to 5 different unique signs showing up on ~1,700 displays if you count each hotel room TV and condoTV as a display (we run 2 channels through rise vision), so trying to keep outage response to within 15mins given the number of people that could be seeing an ubuntu or windows desktop (and the TV's are set to turn on with the local channel up every time).

Thank you for the timestamp tip, I'll be bringing that into my routine for monitoring, as well as the Chromebox monitoring system. I've just purchased my first one and looking forward to testing it out. I have a combo of Windows and Ubuntu players running and use rdp/xrdp to monitor local content as I'm tied into the signs LAN.

The resort does have an IT ticket system, but training staff to recognize the outage and then put it into the ticketing system, especially at the height of holiday season and they're dealing with a line of 20 people...it gets challenging to say the least and usually I have too many other fires going on to incorporate checking the display up times on the website.
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HSuarez

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"I've discussed using traffic monitoring on the ports assigned to the digital signs in-house"
Curious to know, what types of tools are you looking at? I had a somewhat similar query yesterday from another user regarding network/traffic monitoring.
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Mark Parsons

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We've got ICMP up to test if the machine goes down, a CRON job to test for RV process, and now trying to figure out how to ensure that the cache is continuing to update/notify us if not.
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Robb, Official Rep

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Thanks for that confirmation Mark, I'll see if I can get the appropriate information and will let you know.
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Robb, Official Rep

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Mark, I was informed that the Online status in the UI is simply triggered by an active Channel connection for a particular Display. Green means online and connected to the channel, red means offline and not connected to the channel, black means never connected or not installed.

I hope that helps!
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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Just in case anyone was wondering, the channels that Robb mentioned are the mechanism by which Google App Engine (what RV's backend runs on) establishes persistent and unique connections to client end points.

https://cloud.google.com/appengine/do...
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Mark Parsons

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Thank you both, I'm traveling but will check into this when I have a free minute. Much appreciate all the info.
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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Mark,

We store all of our media assets in Amazon S3. We use S3Stat to monitor what's being accessed and by which devices (the referrer will have the Device ID in it). I'll actually be making a forum post about this in the not too distant future with screen shots and what not. That, combined with the device status monitoring in Rise Vision Displays and the Google Chrome Admin Console (we use managed Chrome devices) has been very helpful. 

Having said all that, we don't monitor specific content updates. 99% of things tend to "just work". I hop in each morning and look at the device status in Rise Vision. If they're online in the morning, unless there's a service interruption, they always get their updates without issue. 

Hope that helps!
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Mark Parsons

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Definitely, I'll be bringing this up with the dept. head. I was debating creating a javascript scraper to examine individual sign pages looking for the up/down info and reporting back...This seems quite a bit easier.
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Mark Parsons

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Robert,
I was looking into your S3/S3stat bucket solution, are you consistently having to monitor which items are pulled from your bucket, or do you receive a notification if they are/are not sourced?

Additionally, I run a cable channel through rise with a few gigs in the presentation, I could see this being a large cost (potentially, and if I'm mistaken let me know), do you think you could assign "marker items" so to speak, and have, for the sake of argument, an item pulled from amazon every 15-30mins, and use these pulls as indicators of the sign being live? So your playlist would look something like this:
  1. Amazon storage item (5min video)
  2. Rise Storage item (5min video)
  3. Rise storage item (5min video)
  4. Amazon storage item (5min video)
  5. Rise Storage item (5min video)
  6. Rise storage item (5min video)
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Robert Schoneman, Champion

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We don't use S3Stat to monitor whether displays are online but rather to see (it only updates every night so the data isn't real time) that displays are pulling the correct files and that the caches are working correctly. It also helps us identify usage patterns and be sure that our users aren't loading bloated files or resources are being over-utilized. We also lifecycle manage our S3 resources and S3Stat helps us see if we're holding on to things for too long or not long enough. 

Also, S3 logging is best-effort so it's by no means real time and there's no guarantee that all transactions will be logged. 

Rise Vision caches the content so if cost is a concern you're unlikely to see huge usage charges but only you can know your usage case thoroughly. AWS has a cost calculator you can use to predict costs. 

I would discourage you from sharding your storage resources. It'll make managing what's going on a lot harder. Using your idea though, I'd probably go with a 1x1 transparent image somewhere in various places in your playlist and you can use that as a way to monitor the devices. Rise won't reload the image constantly but it will poll the server and say "has this changed?" to which the sever will say "304 - Nope". You'll be looking in the logs for an abundance of 304's.