Splunk Dry Harder – Splunking the Laundry 2

I was originally going to call this revisit of my old Splunking the Laundry post, Heavy Duty Cycle. My former coworker Sean Maher instead suggested Dry Harder and I could not pass that up as the sequel. So we return to playing with Laundryview data. This is a fun service used in campuses and apartment buildings to let the residents track when there are available machines, check status of their wash and get alerts when done.

The original code was very primitive python scraping a specific laundry view page for my apartment building laundry room. It formatted the data like syslog. From there that went into Splunk.

I decided remaking the code as a modular input was in order if I could make it scrape all shown machines from the page automatically. It works and you can find the TA-laundryview on my Github account. The readme does point out you need to know the laundry room (lr) code found in the URL you normally visit to see a room’s status.

Splunk can pull in any textual information you feed it. Whether that is data generated by small devices like a RaspberryPi 2 or scraping a site like Laundryview and benefitting from the existing machine data. Let’s explore a day’s data from UoA.

So here is the example I have been collecting of the University of Alabama laundry rooms. Note that I have defined an input for each laundry room on campus. The interval I set is every 15 minutes to the index=laundry, sourcetype=laundry, host=laundryview.com. I have found that the 15 minute time frame is enough resolution to be useful without hammering the sites too hard.

UoA Laundry Rooms

UoA Laundry Rooms

A pair of stacked column graphs gives us a fun trend of washers and dryers in use for the entire campus population.

> index=laundry site_name=”UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA” type=washer | timechart span=15m count by inUse

UoA Washers

> index=laundry site_name=”UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA” type=dryer | timechart span=15m count by inUse

UoA Dryers

Next we make a Bubble chart panel to bring out the machines in an error status. We define that as Laundryview reporting an offline or out of service status. You will find I defined an eventtype for that.

> index=laundry | stats dc(uniqueMachineID) AS totalMachines by room_name, type | append [search index=laundry eventtype=machine_error | stats dc(uniqueMachineID) AS inError by room_name, type] |  stats sum(totalMachines) AS totalMachines sum(inError) AS inError by room_name, type | eval failure=inError/totalMachines*100

UoA Machine Errors

Here we show it again but this time with a stats table below it helping spot the laundry rooms with the most unavailable machines.

UoA Machine Error Table

You can see we could run all sorts of trends on the data. Want to bet the laundry room usage plummets around the football game schedule? How about throwing machine errors on a map? I actually did make a lookup table of laundry room name to lat/long information. That is when I found out the default map tiles in Splunk do not have enough resolution to get down to a campus level. It gets you down to about the city level. Tuscaloosa in this case. So it was not worth showing.

Other questions you could answer from the data might be:

  1. Do we have any laundry rooms with functioning washers or dryers with none of the other type? Imagine how ticked students would be stuck with a wet bunch of clothes and have to carry it to the next closest laundry room to dry it.

  2. How about alerting when the ratio of machines in an error state hits a certain level compared to the population available in a given laundry room.

  3. Could the data help you pick which housing area you want to live in at school?

  4. How long and how often do machines sit in an Idle status? This maps to a machine that has finished it’s cycle but no one has opened the machine door to handle the finished load. (eventtype=laundry_waiting_pickup)

The possibilities are quite fun to play with. Enjoy!