Use Octoblu for Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics Alerting into Slack

Use Octoblu for Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics Alerting into Slack

Use Octoblu for Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics Alerting into Slack

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A few weeks ago we had a Citrix User Group Networking SIG Webinar and one of the demo’s I gave was using Octoblu to generate a Slack Channel Alert based on a Citrix NetScaler Management and Analytics Alert coming from a NetScaler in your estate.  I have has a load of questions around how this was set up so I thought I would write a post describing the process.

Lets get going.

First, as always the pre-reqs…

You will need an Octoblu account – if you don’t have one (and why would you not!) then head over to the Octoblu site and sign up.

You will also need a working NetScaler and a Management and Analytics Server built and configured to monitor your vServers.

Finally you will need a slack account and channel set up to which you have admin rights – or at least access to the admin so they can create you a bot!

First log into your Slack account and make sure you have a channel suitable for monitoring.  You can always create a custom channel here but be sure to invite your new bot user at a later date to this channel or it i will not have the rights to push messages there.

Next you will need to create a bot User to post the messages from NetScaler MAS to the channel – head over to the following URL

Scroll down until you see Cutom BOT Users and click on the link to create a new BOT

Give the BOT a name and make sure to copy and paste the API token to a safe place – you will need this later on in Octoblu

Click Save Integration to save the new BOT

Again – be sure that your new BOT has rights to the channel you want to post to

One you have your BOT available in Slack you need to integrate that into Octoblu.  Head over to app.octoblu.com and login to your Octoblu account.

Navigate to Things then All things

Scroll down until you see the Slack Bot option and click on that

Grant access to your Octoblu Account

Then when prompted enter the API key you got earlier from Slack

Click on Submit and give your new thing a meaningful name and click on save

Next create a new flow to alert you in the event of a MAS Alert.  Give it a name

Drag a Trigger, your new Slack Bot Thing and a debit thing into the flow and link them all together.

NOTE: When deploying the Slack thing leave the post as list all channels for the time being.  You will use this to locate the channel ID that you want to post into.

Click to save the flow and run it.  Whe prompted update the permissions and deploy the flow before running it.

After the flow has executed you will see the red dot where the debug information if shown

Click on this and read the debug output.  You will see the channel information displayed in the debug window.  Take a note of the channel ID that you want to post the NetScaler messages into

Change the Slack Bot post to “Post Message” put the channel ID in and a test message then re-test the flow by clicking the trigger.  This should post a message into your Slack Channel.

Check that its posted ok

So, you now have your Octoblu Account talking to your Slack channel ok.  You will now need to link in NetScaler and MAS.  Log in to your MAS Appliance and open up the Rules options by heading to Infrastructure – Events and Rules.

Click to Create a new Rule

Give it a name and select the severity for your alert

Select the monitored NetScaler that you wish to alert on

Then select the vServer that you want to alert for

When asked for the action click to add a new action

Select to send an e-mail action

Give it a name, select your outbound smtp server and enter the e-mail address for the octoblu trigger you put into your MAS Alerting flow

If you don’t know this head back over to your Octoblu flow and click on the trigger.  On the right and in the properties you will see the unique email address for that specific trigger

Make sure your Octoblu trigger email address is set for the MAS Alert distro list

Then click on Save

Log into the monitored NetScaler and fail the specific server

Check in MAS for the event message being triggered

Then check in slack that the alert has been logged

Head back over to Octoblu and change the message text

NOTE:  You can use more complex messages here such as {{msg.data.stdout}} and the like but this post is intended to just get you started

Enable and fail your vServer again and check that Slack has picked up on your message

Thats is – how to integrate NetScaler MAS, Octoblu and Slack.

Laters,

b@m

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