#icinga on Freenode

As many of you are aware, you can visit the #icinga channel on the Freenode IRC Network to chat with fellow Icinga users and several members of the Icinga Team.
As our project gains more users who were looking for a better monitoring solution and found it in Icinga, we’ve seen the number of people hanging out in the #icinga channel cross into the three digit mark several times recently and we anticipate that 100+ users will soon be our constant.
A floor of 100+ #icinga channel users is a solid milestone and is a testiment to our having such a great community consisting of so many wonderful and dedicated people. Having this many people who share an interest in Icinga connected together is certainly a joy for us! And we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your continued participation.
Closing in on this milestone is also a good reminder that rather than it just being the handful of hackers that started the Icinga project and those of us who continue to develop it, there are many more people who rely on the #icinga channel to get help, learn more about Icinga and monitoring, or to just kick back and relax with some really smart people.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that Icinga is now officially registered as a Freenode Group.
Our Freenode Group registration helps us to ensure that the #icinga channel will continue to be there for you and also opens the door to future possiblilities. It’s also the first step of several that are now in the early planning stages which will be focused on IRC and our community.
If you’ve never been on IRC before, or don’t have an IRC client installed just CLICK HERE to come say hello.

Icinga at the LSPE Meetup: 'Not Nagios'

Last week I had the pleasure of representing the Icinga Team by attending the San Francisco Bay Area LSPE Meetup (Large-Scale Production Engineering) for their “Not Nagios” event which was held at Yahoo’s URL café at Yahoo HQ in Sunnyvale, CA.

I’d like to thank the LSPE organizers and Yahoo for hosting such a great event and give a big shout out to Marius Ducea of Promet Solutions who stepped up and gave his “Monitoring with Icinga” presentation to a crowd of over 70 IT professionals from all over Silicon Valley and the surrounding area. It’s meeting users like him, who are motivated enough by what we are doing to volunteer themselves to become our grassroots advocates, that truly makes being a part of the Icinga Team a wonderful experience.

Most of all, thanks to those of you who attended – it was great to meet all of you during such a relaxed and informative evening and I certainly look forward to doing it again as soon as I can.

I was especially glad for the interest received and for the many good questions that were asked during the Q&A portion that followed.

Hopefully I was able to cover your questions with an adequate response. But for those of you asking questions that involved issues that I couldn’t answer directly at that moment, you can find our development tracker at https://dev.icinga.com to see if we’ve addressed or are working on the things that are important to you. If not, please feel free to let us know so we can get started on it for you.

We’re also on IRC, so hop onto the #icinga channel on the Freenode IRC network if you’d like to talk with us or just want to come say hello.

In addition, you can also join our mailing lists or you can follow @icinga on Twitter, but just be sure to stay away from that @mjbrooks_dev guy… his tweets are boring.

If you weren’t able to attend or need a refresher, check out Marius’ presentation slides ‘Monitoring with Icinga’ or watch a video of the entire event that was taken by attendee KC Leung. The video is particularly handy because it also contains the other two presentations of the night which included Cacti in large environments and JMX trans, both of which offered much to learn.

Lastly, be sure to check out our live demos for yourself. We have both the Classic UI and the new Icinga Web available for you to take a peek at.

Until next time we meet… happy monitoring and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our upcoming 1.5 release for maximum happiness.

The New Classic UI Tactical Overview Header – Feedback Welcome

I’ve always been tempted by icinga-web and like many of you have probably also done, I even used it… at least for a while. With each new release, my first impression of icinga-web is always, “Wow, these icinga-web developers are absolutely amazing!”. Yet for all it’s new web 2.0 goodness, I would eventually find myself inevitably returning to the Classic UI over time. First, because there was a particular view of something that I was used to or just preferred slightly more. Then eventually, click by click, I would slowly stop switching altogether and just use the Classic UI. Partly out of laziness, but mostly because moving between the two completely different visual styles always felt a bit too jarring.
When in the Classic UI, the one thing that I really missed about icinga-web and truly hankered for was the constant view of important events displayed at the top of the screen. For those not blessed with two monitors that can be dedicated to monitoring, constantly bouncing between the finer details of things such as a host’s extinfo and then back to the TAC for the broader view of what is going on can quickly make one feel like they are on one of those hamster wheels. A lot of effort for zero progress.
Perhaps what I’ve said so far feels all too familiar to you?
I thought it might, so I had a simple idea. Following in the fine tradition of the Three Virtues of a Programmer (Laziness, Impatience and Hubris) I decided that rather than my usual patches that just fix something that is already there, I was going to create something new. I was going to replace what was essentially dead space in the interface and make it a bit more useful.
At the same time, I wasn’t necessarily interested in creating a whole new look. I’m sure if I had, everyone would summarily reject it. So in a fit of insight I decided to give a nod to the great work that the icinga-web team does, while still also holding on to, however tenuously, the minimalistic feel of the Classic UI’s top.html with its tab looking graphic that has become so familiar. The result that you see today, is my conceptual blend of those two visuals.

Don’t get me wrong though, a similar feel to the look is all there is. The new tactical header was written without any reference to the code of its counterpart in the icinga-web. Perhaps that might be seen by some as some sort of oversight on my part, as I’m sure some people might expect it to work exactly the same. However, the point wasn’t to make it merely be a clone, but for it to stand on it’s own and for it to be as useful as possible in how it relates to the rest of the Classic UI.
I’m sure as we get feedback, there will be some modification and some fixes as well. Hey, I’m only human and the new tac header in its current form is just one person’s (my own) vision of how things can be. I can already think of a couple of things that I think might work even better.
However, this is where you come in. No, not that guy behind you, I mean YOU!
Not that long ago I was just a regular Icinga user with the occasional submission of a few patches here and there. Now I’ve made what I hope is a lasting mark that many people find very useful. The key point I want to make though, is that just like all of the things that get developed, it started out as a simple idea.
So if you have an idea, or any feedback really, let the Icinga Team know. Even if you can’t offer to code it yourself, that doesn’t make your ideas any less valuable and even something that you think is just a small idea can make a fairly decent impact to the benefit of everyone. Just log onto your new Icinga 1.4 installation and look at the top of your screen if you want to see the truth of that for yourself.
Happy monitoring!
Matthew Brooks