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Caretaker

2 Jan 2010

A TYPO3 installation is a complex mix of TYPO3-core, TYPO3-setup and extensions which makes every installation unique. Therefore it is difficult to automatically detect the health of a TYPO3 installation, especially when new security concerns arise or different systems, extensions or partners are interacting. Currently available system-monitoring software, like nagios, can check the hardware state and much more but not the proper setup of TYPO3 and the correct function of the whole website.

Given this situation [email protected] Hamburg and networkteam Hamburg+Kiel joined forces to develop a flexible TYPO3 centralized monitoring system. Including the basic functionality known from other system monitoring software. They intend to add the following new features:

  1. Testing and monitoring of remote TYPO3 installations (core, setup and extensions)
  2. Include integration tests (based on Selenium)
  3. Flexible and comfortable management of tests as TYPO3-records
  4. Extensibility of the whole system.

The project is called 'Caretaker' and has it's own project page on Forge: https://forge.typo3.org/projects/show/extension-caretaker

Caretaker is an observation system for TYPO3. It provides a system to observe instances of TYPO3 on a central place. The system is based on a client-server architecture where everything is configured on a central server. Administrators can define a wide range of different tests and assign them to all registered instances. The results are accumulated and displayed on the server. Communication between caretaker and a caretaker client (caretaker_instance) takes place securely. All traffic is encrypted.

Caretaker can be extended. At this moment the following extensions are in development:

At the time of writing Caretaker is marked as being in 'Alpha' stage. But it's already an extremely valuable extension. If you host more than one TYPO3 installation and need to keep it updated with the latest secure extensions and TYPO3 versions, you will be relieved and sleep much better after implementing Caretaker.

Caretaker can check for extensions that are out of date or make sure that a certain extension is of a minimal version. It can also check for suspicious or out of date user account names (ex collegues). And one very usefull feature is checking for 'unsecure extensions'. Whenever a security bulletin is released, the list of unsecure extensions is updated and all your installations are automagically checked.

If an installation is OK, it's name is green and whenever it is not, it's name is marked in a nice RED color. You can setup the tests to run as often as you like (every 1, 5, 10 minutes or any other interval).

Please all run over to forge and take this extension for a spin.

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