Bernd Erk: Icinga - Middle of your Toolchain

Fri Apr 15 16:55:15 2016

Disclaimer

The following is a review of a presentation given at FLOSSUK Spring DevOps Conference. The event was held at Mary Ward House in London between 15th-17th March 2016. Although this is a description of a presentation with some dissection of what was discussed it is not a verbatim account and will contain personal impressions and interpretation. The content therefore does not reflect the quality of the original presentation and should be considered a review and personal opinion.

This is one of a series of reviews of the talks I saw at the event.

Icinga from the Core Developer

Bernd is the project lead on the Icinga project and has returned to the Spring Conference on a yearly basis to tell us about the latest developments. In the last few years the project has gone from strength to strength and the Icinga Version 2 carries that torch far forward. Icinga was originally a fork of Nagios with the intention of making it more accessible.

Bernd Erk at his presentation Bernd doing a live demonstration during his presentation

Icinga 2 takes this to a new level by re-writing the underlying system, it now has no share with its original parent and is only forwards compatible (you must migrate) from Icinga 1 to 2. Icinga 2 does however still allow you to use anything from the Nagios plugins.

Bernd made a passionate plea, well passionate for Bernd, at the event that if you are using Icinga you make it known to the development team, at this moment they have no way of tracking who is using the software and which version and they would like to know.

The focus on Icinga 2 has been the need to make it scalable and extensible. At the same time they have launched a web-based IcingaWeb2 that needs less configuration.

Features:

  • New not based on Nagios
  • Multithreaded
  • Availability and scaling zones
  • Distributed features zoning
  • Modular
  • Zone support
  • Secure Agent
  • Can use Nagios plugins
  • New Graphite schema
  • Separate metrics DB - can use Grafana
  • Easy to extend
  • JSON and CSV
  • Supports MySQL and PostgreSQL
  • Responsive layout in Icinga-Web

Icinga2 has a new way to configure which is not compatible with either Nagios or Icinga 1, it uses an enhanced configuration language. Icinga2 has no enterprise edition, they have one consolidated edition whose entire source is open.

Icinga2 also uses Icinga Director which is a configuration management for Icinga and User commit management. As they roll out Icinga 2.4 they will also roll out new modules to support it including the Graphite, Grafana and Elastic Search.

Bernd spent a good 15 minutes giving us a live demonstration of the Icinga2-Web system and it looked extremely promising. The use of more modern graphing systems, of exporting the metrics to other systems and allowing configuration management are all mature decisions of a project that gets stronger with each new release.

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