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verify FM server 13 availability


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I am responsible for a solution hosted by FMS13 running on a mac mini server, located remotely in a place that I get to physically only once a week or less. Users mostly access files using FMGo, either in the same physical location as the server over wifi, or remotely using cellular data. As the router connects to the internet over cable, it has a dynamic IP.

 

I would like to be able to test whether fms13 is actually serving filemaker files, on a regular basis, so I can an early warning if something is not working. As things stand, we now have a situation where a user attempts to connect using FMGo, and if they are unsuccessful, they text me or email me to try and fix the problem. This is disruptive to my schedule and also seriously hampers the user's work.

 

I'm using site24x7.com to monitor the status of several websites that I am also responsible for, and this has shown itself to be very helpful. I would like to use the same service, and presumably could if FMS13 also served a file over the web. Unfortunately, that seems to be impossible as long as I'm running os x server yosemite on the mac mini. If I turn off os x server (by dragging it to the trash) then I can turn on FMS web serving, but I lose the ability to make changes to open directory users and groups. Apparently, according to filemaker support, the inability of FMS to do web serving when os x server is running is because FMS does not work well with os x versions more recent than mountain lion.

 

It would be possible, I think, to set up a script to run periodically on a remote machine to ssh in to the mac mini and verify the status of FMS using the command line interface, but since this requires usernames and passwords, it's not something I would want to farm out to a third party like site24x7.

 

Is there a way to check the availability of files using fmnet which will not require a filemaker client, and could be run by a service such as site24x7?

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First of all, server and dynamic IP is not 2 words you should use in the same sentence. Use static IP for servers.

 

The check via webserver you are talking about, will only verify if webserver is running. Not the FMP engine, which is needed in order to open hosted DB.

 

So, exactly what is it you want to check ?

- Is FMServer DB engine running ?

- Is hosted files open ?

- what else ?

 

If you want to monitor if FMServer DB engine is running, you can do so with any monitoring service or app, that can ping on port 5003. I am using an app called "Simon", that can monitor a wide range of services and ports, including FM port 5003. If DB engine is not running, you will not get an answer on port 5003.

 

Now, to find out if files is open, that is more tricky...

 

But to test web services or admin console you can do the same and test the ports used for that.

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Thank you for your helpful answer, Claude. 

 

I would really like to test if hosted files are open, but that does sound tricky, as you point out. 

 

In the meantime, I appreciate the suggestion about pinging 5003. That actually covers a significant part of the chain if I can verify that the DB engine is running and is accessible over the WAN.

 

And actually, the dynamic IP has worked very well so far (several years). And it's only one-third the monthly cost (our team is on a shoe-string budget!).

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It's easy and free to mimic having a static ip. Use noip.com. Although an ISP may change the address of your router infrequently, it will change eventually. At that point you won't have access over the WAN. You say the dynamic ip address has worked for three years. Are you saying your ISP has not changed your public ip in that time? This would be very unusual.

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Interesting discussion. No, the router has a DHCP reservation so that the IP address for the mac mini server to the LAN never changes. This is preferable to using a manual IP address set by the mac mini, as a manual address would require setting up again if ever the hardware has to be changed or a clean OS install has to be done.

 

The connection to the internet is through a cable modem, and ISPs offering cable internet do not generally offer a static IP even as an extra-cost option. Although it's true that the IP provided by the ISP changes only rarely, I have the router set to update a dynamic DNS service (dyn.com in this case) which propagates any IP change to the DNS network pretty rapidly, it seems to me.

 

By the way, Claude, I was unable to find a way to "ping" a specific port, but the nmap command (nmap -p 5003 xxx.xxx.xxx) where xxx.xxx.xxx is your hostname, works very well.

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By the way, Claude, I was unable to find a way to "ping" a specific port, but the nmap command (nmap -p 5003 xxx.xxx.xxx) where xxx.xxx.xxx is your hostname, works very well.

My name is Claus, by the way....

 

When I talked about ping, I should have been more clear. It is really a port scan, where you scan either a range of ports or a specific port.

But you found out that on your own...

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