New Haven suspends mask monitoring plan

Local musician Smitty has been featured in the city’s Mask Up campaign, among growing efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

New Haven City Hall has ended a planned “mask census” to track the number of people wearing COVID protective face covers – then determine how to get more of them to comply.

Less than an hour after the Independent first published an article about the new census, city spokesman Gage Frank told the Independent that the program was now “on hold.”

“We saw some concern from residents,” he said of the reason for the sudden hiatus in the program, which was still in the planning stage and had not yet been implemented. In practice.

“It was just about targeting the messages” to encourage the appropriate use of the mask, he said. It was designed as a way to measure mask use by direct observation, as opposed to phone calls and surveys.

For now, at least, the plan has been scrapped.

City Hall is planning a “mask census” to understand how many people across the city are wearing COVID protective face coverings – and then find out how to get more to comply.

The program is not yet operational, Mayor Justin Elicker and city deputy general manager Rebecca Bombero told Independent Friday.

Bombero, who is the coordinator of the fledgling effort, said recent contacts with alders and community management teams have resulted in only one volunteer signing up to help. Now she and her team are coming together to find the best way to proceed. She said the program will likely rely on city employees rather than volunteers to do the data collection work.

A parallel effort to recruit volunteers for a new senior telephone banking program has been more successful. (See more on this below.)

CAD assistant Becky Bombero. (File photo by Thomas Breen.)

If and when the mask count program rolls out, here’s the plan:

A volunteer or city staff member will be dispatched to a busy part of the city where, by order of the state, masks must be worn – such as at a bus stop, train station or near the entrance of a store.

Bombero said the mask enumerator will be stationed a safe distance from other people, likely in a vehicle or in a chair.

They will track how many people they see, how many are wearing masks and how many are wearing masks correctly, for example on the mouth and nose, rather than on the chin.

The enumerator will then enter these figures in a follow-up sheet to be aggregated and analyzed by the town hall.

Elicker and Bombero both compared the effort to the one-off pedestrian counts that organizations like the Town Green Special Services District take to track changes in the number of people walking through the city center, and to use that as a proxy for economic health and potential business. impact.

“We have anecdotes,” Elicker said of mask compliance across town. “We don’t have any data. The city can react better with the data.

Bombero agreed, noting that such a mask count effort will provide “just one more metric we can follow on how best to respond to the pandemic.”

How to use this generalized data?

Bombero and Elicker said this could inform the type of educational campaigns the city might want to put in place to encourage proper mask wearing. It can also result in targeted mask distribution events.

Bombero said the program was inspired in part by federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on collecting observational mask-wearing data. For months, public health experts have promotes mask wear as one of the most effective tools to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state requires residents to wear masks whenever in public and unable to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

“The goal is to find out if people in general are wearing masks and are wearing masks correctly,” Elicker said. “Do we have to change our messaging? Do we need to do more awareness? Are things going well? There is no intention of monitoring businesses or getting anyone into trouble. It’s just to get a sense over time of how people’s behavior has changed when it comes to wearing masks to guide our decisions ”in education and awareness.

This spring, the city launched a “Hide” campaign, with notice boards posted around the city showing prominent locals (like Smitty, above) wearing sports masks.

Elicker: No “Surveillance”. Cousin: always suspicious

Mayor Elicker: It’s not about surveillance.

Elicker and Bombero stressed that the program is not really about individual follow-up.

This will not result in citations or fines for those who do not wear masks.

While the city is amend companies up to $ 100 if employees are caught not wearing masks at work, this mask census program is not about law enforcement but rather data collection and education, they said.

A city staff member sent an email to local clergy earlier this week encouraging them to solicit volunteers for a so-called “mask watch” program. The city subsequently removed the word “surveillance” from any online reference to the program.

Elicker said that “the use of the word ‘surveillance’ by a staff member is not an accurate representation of everything we are trying to do. We try to guide our decision making ”with data. Don’t keep an eye on individuals.

Photo by Sam Gurwitt

Rev. Cousin. (Photo by Sam Gurwitt.)

Reverend Bethel AME, Steven Cousin, told The Independent that seeing the word “surveillance” in reference to this mask compliance program in an email from the city initially raised many concerns. Which neighbors will the city be watching? Who will be targeted? If the numbers don’t match what the city wants, will there be appeals, citations, fines?

“We understand about Covid and how the numbers are increasing,” he said. “But especially in the African American community, we’re always going to look at it from a different perspective, on how that could be another way of monitoring ourselves and trying to get unwanted attention.”

In a follow-up call after this reporter spoke to Elicker and Bombero about how this program actually works – its widespread data collection, not individual tracking – Cousin said the mask count effort was ringing in the air. theory. But in practice, he said, observation, data collection and subsequent analysis will only delay outreach and education work that can be done more immediately by the town hall.

“If it’s about the safety of masks and people wearing masks properly,” he said, “why not go to those areas and hand out face masks while they’re there? This is how you educate people, through this personal one-on-one intervention.

Cousin cited Dixwell entrepreneur Rodney Williams mask gifts all over town as a model for what he would like to see from the city. “Go out into vulnerable neighborhoods and distribute free masks,” he said. “I would love to see the city do something like this”, where they know people gather – that is, at bus stops or train stations or near popular stores – and distribute on those sites and talk to people who don’t have masks.

“Given the history of this country, it’s always going to be greeted with a sort of skepticism, especially in the African American community, ”he said of mass data collection. “It may sound harmless.” But that doesn’t mean everyone will greet him that way.

Telephone calls to seniors

Residents of the Bella Vista Seniors Complex line up to vote. (Photo by Courtney Luciana.)

While only one person has signed up to volunteer for the still-ongoing mask counting program, Bombero said, the city has already recruited 13 volunteers to help with its new telephone banking program for seniors. This pandemic-era awareness effort has volunteers. make regular phone calls to seniors across town to educate them about the current high risks of transmitting the novel coronavirus, the importance of staying safe and home when possible, and connecting them with resources like nurses, The “hot line” of the Clifford Beers clinic, and free meal distribution programs.

Bombero said the town had the phone numbers of about 7,500 older people in the area and that the volunteers had made about 1,000 phone calls in the past two weeks.

Elicker said the city had a similar program in place during the first wave of the pandemic this spring. “The goal is to check people’s mental health,” he said. “To see if they have basic needs in food and things like that. To make sure people know we’re in the red and to let people know about testing sites. “

Volunteers take notes on every call they make, Bombero said, and then she and her team go through those notes to see what kind of follow-up they need to provide based on those conversations.

This story was first published on November 20, 2020 by the Independent from New Haven.


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EMA deploys COVID vaccine surveillance plan

Posted on November 13, 2020 | Through Kari oakes

As it continues its ongoing review of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) presented its COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring plan. In addition to the agency’s usual vaccine surveillance requirements, the surveillance plan imposes new monthly reporting obligations on companies marketing vaccines.

A new guide is also available to help companies in the details of developing vaccine risk management plans (RMP) specific to COVID-19.

In collaboration with the national competent authorities (NCAs), the EMA is requiring Pharmaceutical companies that market licensed COVID-19 vaccines to step up data collection and reporting activities, to include active data collection for serious adverse events that may occur infrequently. Companies should also use spontaneous reporting systems and observational studies, among other data sources, to research and assess emerging safety data.

With this information in hand, says the EMA, companies should look to “[p]comprehensive assessment of the impact of safety issues detected on the benefit-risk ratio of vaccines, taking into account exposure and efficacy data.

Vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and the elderly should benefit from enhanced active surveillance, and the plan should include a way to engage with stakeholders, including those who have been vaccinated and those working in health, as well. as marketing authorization holders (MAHs) and their international partners.

All relevant information should be reported and pharmaceutical companies should have a plan for “prompt and effective communication of new information” arising from surveillance activities. In addition to the biannual periodic safety update reports (PSUR) required by good pharmacovigilance practices (GVP), MA holders must submit monthly summary reports. These reports should include “information on suspected adverse reactions reported, including adverse events of special interest (AESI) and sales data,” as well as other data, the EMA said.

Aggregated exposure data for each vaccine should be available for detection of safety signals and ongoing analysis of vaccines for particular populations, among others. The EMA also requires that MAHs have a traceability tool so that the vaccine and the lot are known for each individual vaccinated.

The accompanying core RMP19 advice was added as a result of EMA guidelines on the development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine. During a series of modules in the guide, MAHs are given guidance to flesh out the details of the RMP, including considerations for safety specifications, identification of identified significant risks, special populations for enhanced surveillance and a reactogenicity monitoring plan.

Where vaccine formulation and administration may affect the risk of adverse events, these details should also be addressed in the RMP.

Other topics not required but offered for consideration include the risk of vaccination errors that could occur in a mass vaccination scenario, what happens when individuals receive a mixed schedule of two different vaccines, and the need booster or revaccination.

The pharmacovigilance plan should include details of signal detection, including plans to “leverage the infrastructure and outcome of global efforts” to enumerate adverse events. The guide also provides details on the recommendations of the follow-up questionnaire.

Whether additional pharmacovigilance is required in addition to routine postmarketing safety activities will depend on a variety of factors, depending on the recommendations: missing information or whether, in addition to ongoing or planned clinical trials, a study Post-Authorization Safety Observational (PASS) is required.

EMA guidelines
EMA pharmacovigilance plan

© 2021 Society of Regulatory Affairs Professionals.



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41% of households with professional security surveillance plan to upgrade their system within the next year

DALLAS, November 9, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Parks Associates Safety Research finds that COVID-19 is a key factor driving households with security surveillance to upgrade their system: 41% of monitored households have a professional surveillance plan to upgrade their system within six months and a half-hearted plan to install an add-on device themselves, with the majority citing the pandemic as a related factor. The most popular add-on devices among these surveillance homes are video cameras, smart lighting, and video doorbells.

Global research firm Parks Associates will present new consumer studies and insights from leaders in the connected home and IoT industry at the CONNECTIONS ™ conference, November 10-12. The virtual conference, sponsored by Alarm.com, a leading smart home platform, is the premier conference covering smart home, showcasing consumer research and leadership insights as well as market changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID 19 has focused on the home environment for consumers and increased interest in the use cases made possible by smart home solutions, and US broadband households with professional security surveillance are a leading segment in the adoption of smart security devices, especially security cameras, security lighting and video doorbells, “said Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “This influx of connected products and services will require a solution that can intelligently connect and control all of these points of the home. We look forward to hearing from Alarm.com and other market leaders about advancements in AI and applications that can improve the user experience. . “

“With the continuous improvement in smart home technology and connected devices, it’s no surprise that many people are looking to upgrade their existing systems,” said Anne Ferguson, Vice President of Marketing at Alarm.com. “Computer analysis and vision, in particular, expand the applications and capabilities of today’s systems. Affordable solutions, professionally monitored and managed through a unified platform provide integrators with increased customer loyalty, recurring upsell opportunities and long-term RMR growth. “

Alarm.com will share the company’s expertise in designing, deploying and improving solutions to integrate a variety of IoT devices, during multiple sessions at CONNECTIONS ™.

  • Anne Ferguson, Vice President of Marketing, Alarm.com, will make the visionary presentation Consumer-centric AI: humanizing the future to November 10, 1:00 p.m. HC, in the session Create value through high user experiences.
  • Abe kinney, Product Management Director, Alarm.com, will speak on the panel Smart Home Platforms: Playing Well Together to November 11th, 11:00 a.m., during the session Smart Home platforms: in search of a unified experience. The panel also includes executives from Johnson Controls, MMB Networks, Olibra and Yonomi and will discuss platform design trends, partnerships and likely pathways to more unified smart home experiences for consumers.

CONNECTIONS ™ Community Sponsors include Sutherland Global Services, Alarm.com, Bitdefender, Nice, Cox, Intellithings, Cirrent, Everise, MMB Networks, ServiceLive, Zen Ecosystems, Firedome, Inspire, Mercku, Olibra, Ossiaco, Plume, Tuya, Zigbee Alliance, Z-Wave, Aprilaire, Asurion, Gadgeon and Wi-Charge.

CONNECTIONS ™ brings together industry leaders to network and discuss the growing smart home market. To request data or an interview, contact Rosey Ulpino, [email protected], 972-490-1113.

About CONNECTIONS ™

Parks Associates 24th Annual CONNECTIONS ™: Premier Connected Home Conference is a virtual conference that takes place November 10-12, preceded by six thematic virtual sessions hosted in July-October. CONNECTIONS ™ offers networking opportunities combined with visionary speeches and conference sessions focused on technological innovations, consumer research, and product and service business strategies. www.connectionsconference.com

Contact:
Rosey Ulpino
Parks Associates
972-490-1113
[email protected]

SOURCE Parks Associates


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State government reveals new surveillance plan

The state government has revealed its latest attempt to reduce the number of suicides.

A new program will help track suicides in real time, allowing schools, health workers and services to follow any worrying trends.

Nearly 700 people committed suicide in New South Wales between January 1 and the end of September this year, including more than 20 on Sydney’s northern beaches alone.

The new surveillance system would provide real-time data regarding the location, age and gender of a victim.

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This information will be posted on the NSW Health website, meaning anyone, including schools, health services and frontline workers, will be able to access it.

The data will be available about a month after a person’s death, compared to an average of 12 months previously.

“This means that from now on we will be able to make critical decisions about local health services and responses in communities where we can effectively see risks emerge in real time instead of reacting to threats. year-old data, ”Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor said.

“It’s something people have been calling for a while.”

The announcement comes months after a cluster of youth suicides broke out on Sydney’s northern beaches, where several students have committed suicide this year.

While Ms Taylor denied that the program was developed in response to a cluster, she said the idea behind the program was to target any clusters that might grow in the future.

“Every death by suicide is a tragedy, not only for the person, but also for their family, loved ones and their entire community,” she said.

Claudia Neale was one of many Sydney North Beach students who committed suicide this year.  Photo: Sam Ruttyn
Claudia Neale was one of many Sydney North Beach students who committed suicide this year. Photo: Sam Ruttyn

Suicide rates have remained relatively stable in 2020 despite the current coronavirus crisis that has devastated families and businesses.

About 673 people have committed suicide in New South Wales (between January 1 and September 30), up from 672 for the same period last year.

The majority of them are men with 505 tragically dead, compared to 168 women.

Ms Taylor said that while the rates were stable, they had to come down.

“Are we going to do everything in our power every day to make sure people have the health they deserve?” Absolutely. ”She said.

Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor has said suicide rates must come down.  Photo: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone
Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor has said suicide rates must come down. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone

When asked why the government has taken so long to implement this system, Taylor said the process required the collaboration of various departments to create an accurate and timely system.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the system would provide “meaningful information” to those on the front lines.

“We hope to do more sophisticated data collection in the months and years to come so that we can identify where the problems lie and dedicate the appropriate resources to those areas and target our responses so that we can reduce suicides in Nova Scotia. South Wales, ”he told reporters on Monday.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the system would provide
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the system would provide “meaningful information” to those on the front lines. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone

Labor leader Jodi McKay called for a royal commission on mental health and suicide on Sunday after nearly 1,000 people committed suicide in New South Wales last year.

“Too many young people are dying by suicide,” Ms. McKay said.

“At the height of the drought, men were committing suicide. Mental health is a huge problem and families are going through hell all over New South Wales because they are not getting the support they need.

“We urgently need to ensure that mental health services are accessible to young people in schools and to everyone in the regions and rural areas of New South Wales. I am calling for a royal commission to shed light on what has gone so wrong in the delivery of mental health services.

The next step for the program, which is part of the Berejiklian government’s Towards Zero campaign, will be to expand the dataset to include information on social, economic and other pressures a person may have experienced, as well as anything else. previous contact with health. services.

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Electronic surveillance plan to allow home quarantine of arrivals

Stranded Australians could return home earlier under a national proposal to use electronic devices to monitor travelers at home and ease pressure on hotel quarantine in every state.

The proposal is being submitted to the national cabinet as a way to expand the quarantine system and add to the 5,575 international arrivals allowed each week in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

International arrivals could be tagged with electronic surveillance as part of a hotel quarantine overhaul proposal.Credit:Brendan Esposito

National hotel quarantine review manager Jane Halton said it would be up to travelers to choose the modeled option of a system in Singapore that requires people to wear wristbands to track their location .

“We are looking to see if, in fact, the combination of electronic monitoring of people, if it is their choice, with much more testing, could allow more people than currently to quarantine at home, s ‘they can do it safely,’ Ms Halton told ABC TV on Friday.

Travelers arriving in Singapore have been using a “Stay At Home” Gateway device using 5G mobile phone networks and global positioning system (GPS) navigation since August to perform 14-day quarantine at home.

Ms Halton cited Singapore’s approach in her review of hotel quarantine in Australia, although her report ruled out Victoria given the separate commission of inquiry into state system failures.

Ms Halton is a former Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health and is now Director of the ANZ Group and Crown Resorts, as well as Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

While she acknowledged privacy concerns with 5G devices to track location, Ms Halton said it might be better than quarantining hotels for some.

“I think the thing to remember is that for a lot of people the choice, if they have it, [is] between spending 14 days in a hotel room and spending time at home with a portable device, ”she said.


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Kentucky presents coronavirus surveillance plan for back to school

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – In response to calls for more autonomy for school administrators, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear unveiled new coronavirus guidelines for the reopening on Monday.

The Democratic governor also announced 342 new cases and five more deaths, although the number is expected to rise later in the week due to notification delays. Bluegrass State now has a total of 57,282 cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

According to an emergency declaration signed by the governor on Monday, all public and private schools from kindergarten to grade 12 will be required to submit data on coronaviruses. The data will then be reflected in a publicly accessible school district-wide dashboard, as well as a color-coded state map.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr Steven Stack insisted the system will help school administrators more easily determine the level of spread in their communities.

K-12 schools in green or yellow areas, for example, could call to send students home for virtual education if their county’s positivity rate exceeds 6%. Schools in counties classified as red or orange would be encouraged to stop teaching in person, Governor Beshear urged.

“If you are in the red, it is not responsible for doing face-to-face learning every day,” he said. “We have a greater responsibility towards our students.

Last week, twenty-five counties reported positivity rates of 10% or more.

The positivity rate is an indicator of the extent of the virus’s spread, according to the World Health Organization. If the rate is below 5% for two weeks and testing is generalized, the virus is considered to be under control. As of Monday, the total positivity rate was 4.17% statewide.

This information would allow school districts to make their own recommendations based on local conditions in their area, Beshear said. He previously recommended that schools wait until September 28 to resume in-person classes in early August.

“There will be no further recommendation from my office after September 28 regarding in-person or virtual classes,” he said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that go away within a few weeks. But for others, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.


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Netizens Criticize PNP Over Social Media Monitoring Plan

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino netizens have been continuously rating the Philippine National Police (PNP) for days since Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of the government’s COVID Shield Joint Task Force, said on Saturday they would monitor the Filipino social media posts looking for quarantine violations.

Most agreed that instead of violating people’s privacy, police should first punish police officers who have already been caught blatantly breaking the quarantine rules that Eleazar seems very keen to enforce. .

Netizens cited Metro Manila’s police chief as an example. General Debold Sinas and dozens of police officers who were pictured partying without masks and celebrating without physical distancing on his 55th birthday in May.

Their photos were uploaded to the National Capital Region Police Bureau’s Facebook page, but were later deleted.

Sinas, who was not removed from his post despite the violations, faces criminal charges before the Taguig prosecutor’s office for violating quarantine rules along with 18 other senior police officers.

But Eleazar argued his proposal would not lead to privacy breaches and instead empower people.

“We will make sure that we do not abuse anyone and if there is [would] will be abuse, they will have to answer us, ”Eleazar said in a television interview, without saying what he did to hold Sinas and his men accountable.

“Contrary to what others think it will be abused, it is the other way around. You will have the option to report information. And just like what I said, the PNP leadership will not tolerate any abuse. If there is any abuse, let us know, ”he added.

He assured the public that no one would be arrested on the sole basis of his social media posts.

“We need more evidence, like corroborations and witnesses, so that we can pursue the case,” he said.

“There is due process and we will follow due process, and what we do, just report anything that you believe is a violation of your rights and we will act accordingly,” he added.

For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.

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Implement simple server monitoring with PowerShell

As your server inventory grows, you’ll need some help to make sure you can avoid any issues.

There are many server monitoring and reporting options on the market, but some situations may require a lightweight solution. Monitoring with PowerShell is a way to use native Windows functionality to create scripts that check your systems and send out regular updates.

This article explains how to create a simple framework for Windows Server controls with the added benefit of generating reports at different intervals to aid in your monitoring efforts. Although PowerShell 7 is available, this tutorial is based on Windows PowerShell 5.1 due to the ease of its default PowerShell remote configuration process.

Server monitoring with PowerShell

While there are many server checks you can perform, this article will focus on a few to demonstrate the capabilities of a simple PowerShell monitoring framework. This tutorial will cover:

  • Disk space. Check local disks and trigger a warning if the percentage of free space drops below 10%.
  • Operating system version. Check if the version number is lower than 6.2. If so, the server operating system is older than Windows Server 2012, 2016, and 2019 and is no longer supported by Microsoft.
  • Expired certificates. Compile a list of certificates that are within 30 days of expiration.
  • Use of license. Check the licensed states and report the unlicensed ones.

Script framework for monitoring servers with PowerShell

The general idea behind this server monitoring framework is to run a series of checks on one or more servers, record the results, and then review the results. To do this, we will create functions in the PowerShell script.

  • Call ServerCheck. This function will take care of a series of checks and computers on which to run these scripts, and then export the results to an XML file.
  • New-Server Report. This function will take the XML files and generate different formats depending on the type of report requested, daily or monthly.

Build server controls

There are many ways to structure a potential script to perform server checks, but this tutorial will place all the checks in a hash table that uses script blocks, making it easier to run the code on the requested computers, by local or remote.

In addition, the script uses a state key and associated scriptblock to report whether the check succeeded or failed. Each condition must return a Boolean value.

Adding new checks is as easy as adding a new top-level key with a subkey of Check and state. Both are scriptblocks executed by Summon Command within the Invoke-ServerCheck function.

$Checks = @{
  'OSVersion' = @{
    'Check' = {
      Get-CimInstance Win32_OperatingSystem | Select-Object Caption, Version, ServicePackMajorVersion, OSArchitecture
    }
    'Condition' = {$_.Version -LT 6.2}
  }
  'Certificates' = @{
    'Check' = {
      Get-ChildItem -Path 'Cert:' -Recurse -ExpiringInDays 30 | Select-Object Subject, NotAfter
    }
    'Condition' = {$Result.Count -GT 0}
  }
  'DiskSpace' = @{
    'Check' = {
      Get-CIMInstance -Class 'Win32_logicaldisk' -Filter "DriveType="3"" | Select-Object -Property DeviceID, @{L='FreeSpaceGB';E={"{0:N2}" -f ($_.FreeSpace /1GB)}}, @{L="Capacity";E={"{0:N2}" -f ($_.Size/1GB)}}
    }
    'Condition' = { ($Result | Where-Object { (($_.FreeSpaceGB / $_.Capacity) * 100) -LT 10 }).Count -GT 0 }
  }
  'License' = @{
    'Check' = {
      Enum Licensestatus {
        Unlicensed      = 0
        Licensed        = 1
        OOBGrace        = 2
        OOTGrace        = 3
        NonGenuineGrace = 4
        Notification    = 5
        ExtendedGrace   = 6
      }
       
      Get-CimInstance -ClassName SoftwareLicensingProduct -Filter "PartialProductKey IS NOT NULL" | Select-Object Name, ApplicationId, @{N='LicenseStatus'; E={[LicenseStatus]$_.LicenseStatus} }
    }
        'Condition' = {($Results | Where-Object LicenseStatus -NE 'Licensed').Count -EQ 0}
  } 
}

How the Invoke-ServerCheck function works

The Invoke-ServerCheck The function handles most of the server monitoring with PowerShell. This function takes an array of checks from the $ Checks variable, each set of checks will be run on the servers or on the local computer.

The script performs the following steps:

  1. iterates over each check in the $ Checks variable;
  2. runs Summon Command on the script block of the Checks key;
  3. store the result in a $ CheckResults variable; and
  4. saves the XML of the $ Exit variable to the requested path, which allows easier manipulation of this variable in subsequent functions.
Function Invoke-ServerCheck {
  [CmdletBinding()]

  Param(
      [Parameter(Position = 0, Mandatory = $True)]$Checks,
      [Parameter(Position = 1, ValueFromPipeline = $True)]$ComputerName,
      [Parameter(Position = 2)]$Path = $Env:TEMP
  )

  Process {
    If ($ComputerName) {
      $Computer = $ComputerName
    } Else {
      $Computer = $Env:COMPUTERNAME
    }

    $CheckResults = @()

    $Checks.GetEnumerator() | ForEach-Object {
      Write-Host "Running Check, $($_.Key), on $Computer" -ForegroundColor 'Green'

      $Params = @{
        "ScriptBlock"  = $_.Value.Check
        "Verbose"      = $MyInvocation.BoundParameters.Verbose
      }

      If ($ComputerName) {
        $Params.Add('ComputerName', $Computer)
      }

      $Result = Invoke-Command @Params

      $CheckResults += ,[PSCustomObject]@{
        "Check"     = $_.Key
        "Result"    = $Result
        "Condition" = (Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock $_.Value.Condition -ArgumentList $Result)
      }
    }

    $Output = [PSCustomObject]@{
      "Server"  = $Computer
      "Results" = $CheckResults
    }

    $FileName = "ServerResults-{0}-{1}.xml" -F $Computer, (Get-Date -Format "yyyy_MM_dd_HH_mm_ss")

    Export-Clixml -Path (Join-Path -Path $Path -ChildPath $FileName) -InputObject $Output
  }
}

Next, we will want to generate a report showing which checks passed or failed for any of the given servers.

How the New-ServerReport function works

To better understand which checks have been performed on which servers, we will use the New-Server Report function.

The function performs the following steps:

  1. searches for XML files matching the name Server Results;
  2. performs checks depending on whether Daily Where Monthly the report exists;
  3. look at him Creation time to determine whether to remove all files on the given day or 30 days back;
  4. after having gathered the results, regroups them according to the servers then outputs a table of controls; and
  5. saves results to a CSV file for later viewing.
Function New-ServerReport {
  [CmdletBinding()]

  Param(
      [Parameter(Position = 0)]
      [ValidateSet('Daily','Monthly')]
      [String]$Type = 'Daily',
      [Parameter(Position = 1)]$Path = $Env:TEMP,
      [Parameter(Position = 2)]$ReportPath = $Env:TEMP
  )

  Process {
    $Files = Get-ChildItem -Path $Path -Filter '*.xml' | Where-Object Name -Match 'ServerResults'

    Switch ($Type) {
      'Daily' {   
        $Results = $Files | Where-Object 'CreationTime' -GT (Get-Date -Hour 0 -Minute 00 -Second 00)

        $ResultArray = @()

        $Results | ForEach-Object {
          $ResultArray += ,[PSCustomObject]@{
            'Results'  = (Import-Clixml -Path $_.FullName)
            'DateTime' = $_.CreationTime
          }
        }
       
        $Report = $ResultArray | Foreach-Object {
          $DateTime = $_.DateTime
       
          $_.Results | Group-Object -Property 'Server' | Foreach-Object {
            $Server = $_.Name
       
            $_.Group.Results | ForEach-Object {
              $Object = [PSCustomObject]@{
                "Server"   = $Server
                "Check"    = $_.Check
                "Result"   = $_.Condition
                "DateTime" = $DateTime
              }
       
              $Object
            }
          }
        }

        $FileName = "ServersReport-{0}.csv" -F (Get-Date -Format "yyyy_MM_dd_HH_mm_ss")

        $Report | Export-CSV -Path (Join-Path -Path $ReportPath -ChildPath $FileName) -NoTypeInformation

        $Report

        Break
      }

      'Monthly' {
        $Results = $Files | Where-Object 'CreationTime' -GT (Get-Date).AddDays(-30)

        $ResultArray = @()

        $Results | ForEach-Object {
          $ResultArray += ,[PSCustomObject]@{
            'Results'  = (Import-Clixml -Path $_.FullName)
            'DateTime' = $_.CreationTime
          }
        }
       
        $Report = $ResultArray | Foreach-Object {
          $DateTime = $_.DateTime
       
          $_.Results | Group-Object -Property 'Server' | Foreach-Object {
            $Server = $_.Name
       
            $_.Group.Results | ForEach-Object {
              $Object = [PSCustomObject]@{
                "Server"   = $Server
                "Check"    = $_.Check
                "Result"   = $_.Condition
                "DateTime" = $DateTime
              }
       
              $Object
            }
          }
        }

        $FileName = "ServersReport-{0}.csv" -F (Get-Date -Format "yyyy_MM_dd_HH_mm_ss")

        $Report | Export-CSV -Path (Join-Path -Path $ReportPath -ChildPath $FileName) -NoTypeInformation

        $Report

        Break
      }
    }
  }
}

Running monitoring with the PowerShell script

There are several ways to use this script, but the easiest is to add the servers to check and then use the New-Server Report to determine which checks have been run over time.


@("Server1","Server2","Server3") | Invoke-ServerCheck
New-ServerReport

Modular structure provides flexibility when monitoring with PowerShell

By using PowerShell to create a modular framework for easily creating and running controls on servers, a system administrator can quickly gain greater visibility and control of their environment. While these checks are straightforward, there are many ways to expand the capabilities to include more in-depth investigations into your server inventory.

With the new cross-platform capabilities in PowerShell 7, you can extend these checks to work on Linux systems to handle things like necessary operating system-specific updates.


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Nornickel Develops Permafrost Monitoring Plan After Russian Arctic Fuel Spill

Russian company Nornickel, one of the world’s leading producers of nickel and palladium, has unveiled a long-term program to monitor permafrost and remedy environmental damage after an arctic fuel spill in its hometown of Norilsk.

In what has been described as the worst environmental disaster to impact the Arctic, on May 29, more than 21,000 tonnes of diesel fuel spilled into the ground, two rivers and a lake downstream after the a storage tank at a power plant operated by Nornickel collapsed or sank due to what the company said was thawing permafrost soil.

Two factory managers and two high-level engineers were arrested for violating environmental protection rules. The mayor of Norilsk and a government inspector were also charged with negligence.

Greenpeace compared the incident to the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 off Alaska, and President Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency after the incident.

“For several years now, Nornickel has been striving to reduce its environmental impact. Today we face bigger challenges for everyone in the world: climate change and its impact on the Arctic region and our operations,” Gareth Penny, chairman of the board of directors of Nornickel, said in a statement.

Nornickel also announced that it has appointed Andrei Bougrov, who has been with the company since 2013, as senior vice president for environmental protection.

The company plans to strengthen cooperation with Russian and foreign researchers focused on arctic ecology and permafrost areas to find solutions and improve industrial security in the region, Bougrov said in the statement.

According to Nornickel’s estimate, over 90 percent of the spilled fuel has been collected and removed so far.

Authorities have yet to rule on the extent of the environmental damage or the cause of the crash, but Greenpeace has estimated it at $ 1.4 billion.

Nornickel has pledged to pay for the cleanup costs, estimated at 10 billion rubles ($ 145 million).

Nornickel is owned by the richest man in Russia, Vladimir Potanin.

With reports from Reuters, dpa and Interfax


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Onsite server monitoring tools meet business needs and budget

Although the market has changed and more vendors are offering cloud-based monitoring, there is still a wide range of feature-rich server monitoring tools available for organizations that need to keep their workloads on-premises. for security and compliance reasons.

Here we take a look at open source and commercial on-premises server monitoring tools from eight vendors. While these products broadly serve the same IT goals, they differ in approach, complexity of configuration – including ongoing aspects of maintenance and licensing – and cost.

Cactus

Cacti is an open source network monitoring and graphing front end application for RRDtool, an industry standard open source data logging tool. RRDtool is the data collection part of the product, while Cacti manages the graphical representation of the network for the collected data. Since Cacti and RRDtool are both open source, they can be handy options for organizations on a budget. Cacti’s support is community driven.

Cacti can be ideal for organizations that already have RRDtool in place and want to expand what it can display graphically. For organizations that haven’t installed RRDtool or are unfamiliar with Linux commands or tools, Cacti and RRDtool can be a bit difficult to install because they don’t include a simple wizard or agents. This should be familiar territory for Linux administrators, but may require extra effort for Windows administrators. Note that Cacti is a graphical product and is not really an alert or corrective product.

ManageEngine Application Manager

The ManageEngine system is part of an extended suite of server monitoring tools that include application specific tools as well as cloud and mobile device management. The application monitoring framework enables organizations to purchase agents from various vendors, such as Oracle and SAP, as well as tools specific to customer applications. These server monitoring tools allow administrators to perform cradle-to-grave monitoring, which can help them troubleshoot and resolve application server issues before they impact user performance. final. The strengths of the ManageEngine platform include its licensing model and the large number of agents available. While the Per-Device Monitoring License is all-inclusive for the interfaces or sensors required per device, agents are sold individually.

Thirty-day trials are available for many of the more than 100 agents. License costs range from less than $ 1,000 for 25 monitors and one user to over $ 7,000 for 250 monitors with one user and an additional $ 245 per user. Support costs are often built into the cost of monitors. This can be ideal for organizations that want to make a smaller initial investment and grow over time.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager

The product monitors servers, corporate infrastructure, and applications, such as Exchange and SQL, and works with Windows and Linux clients. Microsoft System Center features include configuration management, orchestration, virtual machine management, and data protection. System Center is not as extensive on third-party applications as it is with native Microsoft applications. System Center is based on base licenses to match Server 2016 and later licensing models.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager base price starts at $ 3,600, assuming two processors and 16 total cores, and can be extended with base pack licenses. With Microsoft licensing, the larger the environment in terms of processor cores, the more a customer site can expect to pay. While Microsoft offers a 180-day trial of System Center, this version is designed for larger Hyper-V environments. The assistance depends on the contract chosen by the organization.

Nagios core

Nagios Core is free open source software that provides metrics to monitor server and network performance. Nagios can help organizations deliver increased availability of servers, services, processes, and applications. Although Nagios Core comes with a GUI, the scope of what it can monitor is somewhat limited. But admins can deploy additional community-provided front-ends that provide more views and additional functionality. Nagios Core installs and runs natively on Linux systems and Unix variants.

For additional features and functionality, the Nagios XI commercial product offers real dashboards, reports, GUI configuration and enhanced notifications. The price for this retail version ranges from less than $ 7,000 for 500 nodes and an additional $ 1,500 per company for reporting and capacity planning tools. In addition to agents for operating systems, users can also add network monitoring for a single point of service. 60-day free trials and community support are available for products that work with the Nagios Core free download.

Opsview

Opsview system monitoring software includes on-premise agents as well as agents from all major cloud providers. While the free version provides 25 hosts to monitor, the main advantage of the product is that it can support both SMB and enterprise. The price of a full package including 300 hosts, reports, multiple collectors, and a network analyzer is less than $ 20,000 per year, depending on selected agents.

Corporate packages are available through a personalized quote. The provider offers both on-premises and cloud variants. The list of agents that Opsview can monitor is one of the most extensive of any product, bridging the cloud, applications, web, and infrastructure. Opsview also offers a dedicated mobile application. Support for most packages is available 24/7 and includes customer portals and a knowledge base.

Paessler PRTG Network Manager

PRTG can monitor from infrastructure to the application stack. The PRTG Network Monitor licensing model follows a sensor model format on a node, core, or host model. This means that a traditional host can have more than 20 sensors monitoring everything from processor to bandwidth. The services range from networking and bandwidth monitoring to other more application-specific services, such as low disk space of Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox. A fully functional 30-day demo is available and prices range from less than $ 6,000 for 2,500 sensors to under $ 15,000 for an unlimited number of sensors. Support is email based.

SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor

SolarWinds offers more than 1,000 monitoring models for various applications and systems, such as Active Directory, as well as several virtualization platforms and cloud-based applications. It also provides dedicated virtualization, networking, database and security monitoring products. In addition to standard performance metrics, SolarWinds provides application response templates to help administrators troubleshoot issues. A 30-day free trial is available. The price for 500 nodes is $ 73,995 and includes one year of maintenance.

Zabbix

This free, open source, enterprise-wide monitoring product includes an impressive number of agents that an administrator can download. While most of the functionality is not point-and-click, dashboards are similar to other open source platforms and are more than sufficient. Considering the cost of free entry and the large number of agents, this could be an ideal product for organizations that have the time and Linux experience to bring it online. Support is community based and additional support can be purchased from a reseller.

The Basics of Server Monitoring Tools

The products reviewed here differ slightly in terms of size, scope, and licensing model. Apart from open source products, many commercial server monitoring tools are licensed by node or agent type. It is important for IT buyers to understand all of the possible options when obtaining quotes, as they can be difficult to understand.

Prices vary widely, as do the dashboard features of the different server monitoring tools. Make sure staff are comfortable with each system’s dashboard and alert functionality as well as mobile capability and notifications. If an organization chooses an open source platform, keep in mind that the installation may require more effort if the staff are unfamiliar with Linux.

Open source monitor dashboards usually aren’t as graphical as paid products, but that’s part of the trade-off with open source. Many commercial products are cloud ready or have this capability, so even if an organization does not plan to monitor its servers in the cloud today, it can take advantage of this technology in the future.


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