Today I am happy to announce that Icinga is now part of the Chef Cookbook Program. We were able to get certified with our Icinga2 Cookbook which can be used to install and manage either Icinga2 Core or Icingaweb2. A big shout-out goes to Virender Khatri for maintaining and developing most of this Cookbook.
Chef is a configuration management software that helps automating the installation and configuration of software on your servers. By turning infrastructure to code Chef makes it possible to abstract installation processes and configurations into Cookbooks.
The Partner Cookbook Program sets guidelines and best practices for cookbook creation and maintenance. By using cookbooks with the partner badge users can be sure that the cookbook has been reviewed and fulfils Chefs quality standards.
Given that the very development of Icinga arose from the need for additional functionalities in open source monitoring, it’s little surprise that the tool has become indispensable for so many IT professionals. Its configurability and flexibility allow for a sophisticated approach to monitoring, which is both scalable and extensible to large, complex environments.
The 2016 State of Monitoring Report confirmed the popularity of Icinga, with a large number of respondents naming it their primary systems monitoring tool. Of those that reported using the tool, almost 40% stated that they work in an enterprise organization with 1000+ employees. The vast majority reported that they push changes to production several times per day, and that infrastructure changes are deployed a few times per week. But at the same time, 64% stated that their IT team employs 20 or less people. Given the complexity and scale of the environments that Icinga monitors, and the ability of the tool to create sophisticated and detailed checks, it is perhaps understandable that resource-strapped IT teams encounter challenges managing and triaging high volumes of alerts.
Too much of a good thing?
In effect, sysadmins can become victims of their own success. They’ve configured the tool to effectively identify potential problems – but identifying and separating critical issues from warnings and high-impact from low-impact ones is challenging, particularly when dealing with complex, noisy environments.
Plus, most sysadmins don’t just have Icinga alerts to consider. According to the State of Monitoring, almost all Icinga users utilize anywhere from two to 10 additional tools in their stack, which means that multiple systems may trigger alerts related to the same issue. Lacking any form of unification between the various tools, IT teams are left with a pile of manual work to establish relationships amongst alerts before triage can begin. That chaos leads to missed SLAs, long mean time to resolve (MTTR), and, ultimately, customer outages. When you consider the sheer amount of machine data generated by agile, fragmented systems, there’s really no question that the scale goes beyond what any human – or even a small army of humans – is capable of managing.
Alert correlation – why it matters
BigPanda helps companies improve detection, accelerate remediation, and increase productivity through automated alert correlation. For a tool like Icinga, which is capable of doing so much, alert correlation provides an additional – and critical – layer of insight that allows sysadmins to effectively prioritize alerts and know what to do next.
To illustrate, let’s consider a typical “day in the life” of your average app. At any given time, checks on the app could complain of a whole host of issues: disk space, CPU consumption, low memory. Depending on the nature of these issues, some might be urgent while others aren’t. Some that aren’t urgent may be precursors to future high severity events. How do you know what matters and what to do next? Enter BigPanda.
The BigPanda correlation engine consumes alerts generated by Icinga, in addition to any other monitoring tool an organization might be using, and then normalizes and groups them into related, high-level incidents. This not only significantly reduces the number of items that IT has to deal with, but it also centralizes alerts from all monitoring tools into a single pane of glass for easy management and tracking. BigPanda automatically enriches incidents with contextual information – such as runbooks, metrics, related incidents, and configuration items and code deploys – helping you quickly gain the understanding required to properly prioritize and remediate incidents.
The BigPanda integration: How it works
BigPanda intelligently correlates alerts across monitoring systems by evaluating three main parameters:
Check: analyzing similar checks or error conditions across alerts and alert sources is a strong indicator that items are related.
Time: the rate at which related alerts occur. Alerts occurring around the same time are more likely to be related than alerts occurring far apart.
Context: the host, host group, service, application, cloud, or other infrastructure element that emits the alerts. Alerts are more likely to be related when they come from the same components of your infrastructure.
Every new alert generated by Icinga will be automatically correlated against existing active incidents in BigPanda. If there’s no match, a new incident will be created. The system works out-of-the-box, without requiring customers to define an explicit set of rules or build a dependency model for their environments. However, BigPanda customers can customize the correlation rules to suit unique requirements based on their specific systems, applications, topologies, and division of duties. On average, BigPanda users benefit from compression rates upwards of 90% between raw alerts and correlated incidents.
The best part? BigPanda can be set up in minutes with clicks, not code. We offer a tight and seamless integration that supports both Icinga and Icinga2, and is ready in a few easy steps.
To learn more about how BigPanda supports Icinga, click here or get started for free.
This is a guest blogpost by our partner BigPanda.
Icinga: Monitoring as a part of a holistic infrastructure
Icinga makes monitoring, something so many of us do poorly, a lot easier. One of the greatest things about Icinga is that it was created with configuration management in mind. It uses a file-based configuration structure while also having a robust API to encourage remote automation and triggering of events.
As we started adopting Icinga as our main monitoring solution across the board at OlinData, it became even clearer that we wanted this deeply integrated into the platform we were deploying in our clients’ infrastructures. In late 2015 we began building a product to automate what we were already doing manually by creating OpsTheater. Icinga 2 is one of the core components in OpsTheater. This allows us to do a bunch of cool stuff right from the start.
Monitor all of OpsTheater
Because we write the puppet-glue between all the OpsTheater components it becomes very easy to make sure the OpsTheater core tooling is all monitored from the very beginning. We know if all the components of OpsTheater are up and running, if the disks are getting full, or the servers CPUs are too saturated, when the last puppet run on a machine was too long ago, or when Elasticsearch stops accepting logs.
Monitor everything else
Since monitoring is already installed with OpsTheater with numerous implementation examples on our own platform, it makes it easier for your team to adapt and adopt monitoring into your organization. There are numerous templates we’ve created and embedded to monitor everything from an Apache Server, to making sure your routers are functioning properly. Icinga 2’s roots are built from Nagios, so it can use the depth of plugins created for Nagios created to monitor just about everything. This makes it require very little effort from your team to monitor things like AWS, DigitalOcean, Cisco devices, and services of all kinds on any operating system.
Easily create monitoring profiles for standard tools.
Because we use puppet to glue the parts of OpsTheater together, we have created puppet profiles for different pieces of software that many clients use. Those profiles already include all the metrics someone would typically like to monitor for those tools anyway, making the whole monitoring deployment a bit easier. Now, all we need to include on a webserver is the opstheater::profile::icinga::nginx puppet class and presto, nginx is monitored.
Standardize monitoring across OpsTheater users
By using OpsTheater in different environments we learn a lot. Usually those lessons are not specific to that environment, so why not apply those lessons in OpsTheater and make them available for all users? Bit by bit all of the environments will have much better monitoring, which in the end benefits all involved.
This is a guest blogpost by our partner OlinData. Please see our training offers for more information about public training in Amsterdam provided by OlinData.
A couple of months ago we started our Icinga partner program. We are happy to have couple of great partners online right now and much more to come. One of our goals was the ability to provide an Official Icinga Training near YOU. We are happy to announce, that our US partner Shadow-Soft offers a training at the end of March and you have the chance to get trained on the full stack based on an Icinga Fundamentals and an Icinga Advanced training.
Please join Shadow-Soft and Icinga March 29, 2016 – April 1st
Receive 30% Off – REGISTER BY JANUARY 31 USING CODE ICINGA30
More about the Icinga Training
Icinga 2 Fundamentals Training
With this Icinga 2 fundamentals training you will get an overview of the new configuration format. You will gain in-depth inside in the Open Source Monitoring software Icinga, its add-ons as well as the monitoring of modern IT infrastructure. Best practices and the brand new Icinga Web 2 are also a big part of that training.
Icinga 2 Advanced Training
Build on the foundations of the fundamentals course, you’ll learn the advanced monitoring features coming with Icinga 2. Among high availability and cluster concepts you will gain insights into database, Java and VMWare monitoring. Integration with tools like Logstash and Graphite is another important part of the advanced training.
Since a couple of days the registration and of the course the Call for Proposals is open and we would like you to be a part of it. It is not necessary that the talk covers Icinga directly. Everything in your toolstack which integrates monitoring, logging and metrics even better then a single boxed solution would be great to enrich our day full of monitoring. There are a couple of Early Bird tickets available right know and we hope you’ll register as soon as possible. Tickets start at 75.00 € and cover food, drinks, wireless, shirt and of course a great day.
Sponsoring our Camps is a great opportunity to show you love of Icinga. Find out more about our sponsoring opportunities or don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question.
If you have any ideas, wishes or contributions for our Camp, please let us know to guarantee a great day. See you in Berlin!
Team Icinga is in Portland right now and taking part in PuppetConf 2015. While working the Icinga booth, we are surprised to learn how many people already use Icinga 2 and especially Icinga Web 2 in production already, given that it was just released a few days ago. From small setups, to universities and large brands like HP, PuppetLabs and Cisco. After Icinga Camp in San Francisco last year, this is our second official gig in the United States and given the very positive feedback, we are more than happy about our decision to come.
PuppetConf is a little smaller this year, but this was expected with moving it’s location from San Francisco to Portland. Portland surely is a great city, but it also meant that folks from the valley had to board a plane and it looks like not everyone who came last year was willing to do that. The main new thing at PuppetConf is the new Puppet Application Orchestrator. Luke Kanies mentioned in his keynote, that the initial ideas for the product are over four years old and that they are happy to ship the latest member of the Puppet family this year.
The conference will end tonight, but it will not be the end of our Portland experience. Tomorrow Icinga Camp Portland will be held at the PuppetLabs headquarter right here in downtown. There are only a couple of tickets left, so if you are still in town tomorrow, head over to our camp site and register now. We are looking forward to see you there.