Monthly Snap October: Icinga Camps and Meetups

We’re in OSMC mode in October which typically means that expectations are high, time is limited and everyone is busy preparing talks, demos, implementing new features … but also fixing things. Icinga 2.10 brings support for namespaces, improved TLS connection performance and much more. Community members tackled some bugs already, 2.10.1 is released and 2.10.2 is waiting for test feedback from the snapshot packages. Also notable – we’ve agreed on writing more technical documentation for Icinga, future 2.11 will bring even more shiny insights.
On the right, you can see a draft from our community channels, how Icinga can be run distributed on ships. We’ve also learned that CESNET is using Icinga 2 and the Director for monitoring their eduroam infrastructure, sharing everything on GitHub too 🙂
Our partner Shadow-Soft wrote about using the official Chef cookbooks, NETWAYS updated the Icinga cloud offering in NWS to 2.10.1 and published the webinar video for adding new satellites and also working with the Icinga Director. If you are in Switzerland, join our partner Linuxfabrik for an official Icinga training in December!
Our first meetup in Salzburg, Austria was a great success – many hours of helping each other and exploring all the things. Rumors tell that other Austrian cities might get involved soon – many thanks to Moritz for organizing 🙂  Icinga Camp Tel Aviv happens on December 17th, make sure to book your flight and ticket!
Thilo looked into Grafana and Graphite graphs embedded into notifications, Gian Paolo went for NetBox and Icinga as MVP. Doing the migration dance from Icinga 1 to 2 is a good thing since 1.x is out of support by the end of 2018. 42ThinkTank did great!
That’s it for October, looking forward to the OSMC week, especially to meet many of you 🙂

Monthly Snap March: Icinga Camps, Roadmap & Releases

Icinga Camp Berlin and New York were a blast – thank you everyone for joining! The archive for both is now online including slides and recordings. Marianne shared her impressions and Marco did so too 🙂
We’ve also had the pleasure to join the 2nd Icinga meetup in Zurich. Oh what a lovely community … we’ll sure be back for more #icingalove ❤️
We’re already planning for Berlin 2019 and would love to see your talks on how you use Icinga, integrations, cool new ideas, or just the crazy things no-one expects … did I say LSD theme? Want your own Icinga meetup in your hometown? Just get in touch, we’ll help you organise and can provide some swag too.

8 years #icingalove

8 years ago, May 2009 all we knew – create a better monitoring tool and work with our community and their demands. Integrate long awaited patches and functionality and care about feedback. Community members from all around the globe joined that vision. Germany, Austria, Italy, UK, India, USA, Australia, Brazil, Belgium,… many of us never worked in an open source project, and we try to make things right. Passionate with lots of emotional discussions, still putting our ideas to the next level.

Make Icinga work better with noise automated suppression using BigPanda

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.icinga_dash
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.

Announcing Icinga Partners & Services

Maybe I’ll sound a bit too dramatic, but I am feeling really proud when I realize how far the Icinga project has come and what impact it made in the open source monitoring community.
6 years ago we started our journey and forked from Nagios. A software that we loved, but also experienced its technical limitations and general lack of vision. It was a tough call, but as people who lived and breathed in this technology space, we knew that it had to be done. Because Icinga was easy to implement and users experienced that it was constantly improved, they believed in its future. And so Icinga became a great success.
However in 2013 we were facing another difficult decision, because we realised that despite the significant improvements we had already made, we needed to go further in order to change #monitoringsucks back to #monitoringlove. So we decided to completely part with the old and restraining code base and to completely rewrite Icinga from scratch. But with great power comes great responsibility and the major challenge was to identify the elements of Icinga that needed to be changed and the ones that needed to be untouched, because the users loved them. The configuration style is one example where we decided to break up with our roots; but it had to be done in order to make Icinga ready for the future. 
And you, our users are awesome and proved us right. We never expected that Icinga 2 would be adopted so fast and we were absolutely stunned to learn that many of you migrated to Icinga 2 before we had even released the first stable version. Today, at version 2.3.8 and the upcoming release of Icinga Web 2, everyone in the team works very hard in making Icinga a great foundation for the years to come and the best fully open source monitoring solution there is.
While we put huge efforts into the Icinga documentation, provide knowledge transfer through our Icinga Camps, and community support in the mailing lists, more and more people and businesses around the world approach us because they need professional services around Icinga. At the same time we get inquiries from IT companies that want to provide services around Icinga and seek to be listed on our website so that potential customers can find them. This is great, because when someone bases part of their business on our plattform, it means we are doing the right thing and we want to bring this to the next level in order to best support the community.
Helping our users to find qualified service providers in their area and supporting companies to base their business on Icinga is one of our strategic focuses for the upcoming years. Because of this we’ve spent the last weeks talking to many of our users, team-members, potential partners, and Icinga friends to come up with a model that is transparent, useful, easy to handle, and creates value for everyone involved and today we announce our new Icinga Partner Program.
We are especially happy that all the service providers we talked to and who helped us shape the program also decided to enrol and support our effort from the beginning: With Gridshield in Costa Rica, Inuits in Belgium, NETWAYS in Germany, Shadow-Soft in the US, and OlinData in the Netherlands, Singapore and India, we can cover most parts of the world starting today.
We will work together with them to spread the word about Icinga and offer official Icinga training, support, and professional services to the Icinga community. Find out more about those services provided by our partners here.
Please note that there is no and never will be a commercial version of Icinga. All parts of Icinga will always remain 100% open source and free of any licensing cost. For any questions, comments, ideas, or any information you want to know about our partner program, please get in touch with us. If you are a service provider and consider to enrol, check out the details of the program and apply here.