In running a number of Drupal websites I’ve had the desire to centralize my management or visualization of the status of my various Drupal sites. Oftentimes I rely on Drush and its site aliases feature to query the status of a website. At a local Drupal Users Group meeting I was shown a nice graphical approach to monitoring your Drupal sites with a module called Drupal Remote Dashboard (or DRD for short).
The Drupal Remote Dashboard (DRD) reminds me a lot of a Piwik or Google Analytics dashboard, but instead of showing you user traffic on your website it shows you the health of your Drupal installations.
The DRD admin interface shows you health of Drupal Core installations you have on remote servers. It also can you show you individual domain name reports running on each Drupal Core instance. A Drupal Core instance is the drupal webroot path to Drupal on a server. If you’re running many drupal cores on your webserver in a shared hosting environment then the admin page can get rather messy. But, if you’re running Drupal in a more centralized traditional multi-site setup — then these reports drill down nicely.
From my own DRD installation the main admin page shows you Drupal Cores, eg individual Drupal installations:
Then within each core you can see Domains running within that Drupal instance (this image from the projects homepage). You can also see additional reports typically found in any Drupal website from this handy centralized dashboard:
Setup and Configuration:
I found installing this module to be tricky. The DRD module is really 2 modules working together:
- A dashboard module you install on the computer you want to centralize your monitoring from. So you would install Drupal Remote Dashboard on http://drupal-diagnostics.local as an example. This could be your laptop or at your work location.
- A server module installed per Drupal Core you want to monitor, this server module communicates back to the Dashboard for reports and actions. It is called Drupal Remote Dashboard Server.
- Both of the above modules also require the AES module for secure communications between these processes.
Once the module(s) are installed you can add a Drupal Core to your dashboard report:
After installing the Core typically you’re given the option to Push the Keys from the remote site to the dashboard with a simple URL link you press. If this fails you can log into the remote site manually and retrieve and set the keys here in the Admin panel if you need to.
Then, and here’s the most critical part. For every Core you install you then need to run the following Action(s) from the Core Overview Page. You’ll want to run Update Remote Actions and Update Server Domains:
Note: You must select (check) the Cores you want to run the actions on 1st before selecting the Actions (yea I know, I didn’t write this tool :P).
Then all the reports and Cores should be reporting their statuses OK. This tool is helpful for a GUI to how your sites health is. You can also issue Drush command graphically but I have not done this yet.
Looking for quality web hosting? Look no further than Arvixe Web Hosting!