The Early Detection Research Network Portal is the flagship application of EDRN. If you google EDRN, the portal is the #1 hit (or at least it better well be). The portal is also one of the most complex EDRN applications: it's 30,000 lines of code, and it relies on interactions with the Biomarker Database, eCAS, and the EDRN Directory Service.

To ensure that the portal is providing all the features it should, we need to monitor the data and features it provides. This document describes this monitoring. Monitoring services are provided by DST873 with emailed alerts to

Common Expectations

NCICB operates the EDRN Portal at the National Cancer Institute. Support tickets may be emailed the NCICB Systems Engineers.

The portal answers to the vhost, which is a CNAME for, which currently as the IPv4 address In the checks below, substitute the appropriate values if they change.

Content Checks

Content checks ensure that the expected content appears on pages on the portal. The following are recommended Nagios checks for content:

Home Page
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/ --pagesize=12000:100000
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/biomarkers --linespan '--ereg=.*4DELF.*Next\s+30\s+items.*'
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/protocols --linespan '--ereg=.*A comparison of cytology.*Next\s+30\s+items.*'
Science Data
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/science-data --linespan '--ereg=.*Autoantibody Biomarkers.*Next\s+30\s+items.*'
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/publications --linespan '--ereg=.*2-D or not 2-D.*Next\s+[0-9]+\s+items.*'
check_http --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/specimens --linespan '--ereg=.*BIDMC.*Next\s+[0-9]+\s+items.*'

Security Checks

This section deals with assuring that various security operations of the EDRN Portal are functioning properly.

HTTPS Logins

The EDRN Portal monitors visitations to certain URLs that would prompt for a login. The setup should redirect those visits from HTTP to HTTPS. The following checks are recommended:

  • check_http_redirect -U -R
  • check_http_redirect -U -R
  • check_http_redirect -U -R

Basic Authentication

Certain HTTPS URLs at the EDRN Portal should respond with HTTP Basic Authentication responses. These checks ensure that happens:

  • check_http --ssl --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/snapshots --expect='HTTP/1.1 401 Authorization Required'
  • check_http --ssl --IP-address= --warning=5 --critical=10 --url=/blobstorage --expect='HTTP/1.1 401 Authorization Required'

SSL Certificate

Naturally, we want plenty of time to renew the SSL Certificate for the EDRN Portal. The following check will give us 30 days to do so:

check_http --IP-address= --ssl --certificate=30

Miscellaneous Checks

Lastly, we want to ensure that the hostname of the portal is resolvable. This check accomplishes that:

check_dns -w 10 -c 30 --expected-address=