Network computing provides a vast array of communications possibilities to the IT management world, but what happens if you have a closed or secured network that is inaccessible by wire or from “the web”? How do you know what’s going on without actually being there? No electronic communications in or out. Hmmmm….

This scenario recently came up with one of our clients in a secured environment. They needed to be able to notify systems management staff about events and conditions taking place within a sealed environment. These notifications needed to land on the desks out in their operations room where the IT staff actually worked. Other similar scenarios may play out like this in a sealed/secure environment:

Scenario 1
Some “operators” work in the sealed room but do not perform maintenance tasks, etc. (segregation of duties)

Scenario 2
Physical separation – Staff perform most daily tasks/work outside of the sealed server room.

So how did we pull it off? Read on.

One of the Notification Methods within ELM that is extremely valuable, but often overlooked is the Command Script Notification. This little beauty can execute a command, a command line application, a batch file, or a script. You may pass event information in the form of variables, leveraging information in the event, such as the computer name or the message details field in any batch files or scripts that are executed.

ELM supports Windows Script Host (WSH) and generic command line (cmd.exe) files. WSH is a language-independent scripting host for 32-bit Windows platforms. WSH supports scripts written in Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) or JScript. You may also use Perl and Python scripts, or any other script type that includes a script engine. WSH can also serve as a controller of ActiveX scripting engines.

Sealed Notifications - Command Script Text to Printer

The solution in this sealed environment scenario was for TNT Software support engineers to come up with a command script that sent the notification information to a local printer. Here’s how it works.

  • ELM generates a text file utilizing a command script.  (click here to view the text of the actual script)
  • The command script then launches the text file in Notepad.
  • And sends the file to the default printer.
  • If numerous notifications are sent the print jobs simply store in the printer’s queue until they can be printed.

The IT staff then checks the printer on a frequent/scheduled interval in the secured environment to see if there is any activity. The paper based notifications can then be distributed accordingly for analysis and corrective actions.

Another creative approach with ELM solving the sealed environment notification challenge.

We hope that you found this article on Setting Up Notifications From a Sealed Environment useful and wish you continued success with ELM.