I’m in my network, monitoring!

While I was originally supposed to come here in Los Angeles to work as a firmware developer engineer, I’ve ended up doing a bit more than I was called for.. in particular it seems like I’ve been enlisted to work as a system/network administrator as well, which is not something that bad to be honest, even though it still means that I have to deal with a number of old RedHat and derivative systems.

As I said before this is good because it means that I can work on open-source projects, and Gentoo maintenance, during work hours, as the monitoring is done with Munin, Gentoo and, lately, Icinga. The main issue is of course having to deal with so many different versions of RedHat (there is at least one RHEL3, a few RHEL4, a couple of RHEL5, – and almost all of them don’t have subscriptions – some CentOS 5, plus the new servers that are Gentoo, luckily), but there are others.

Starting last week I started looking into Icinga to monitor the status of services: while Munin is good to know how things move over time and to have an idea of “what happened at that point”, it’s still not extremely good if you just want to know “is everything okay now or not?”. I also find most Munin plugins being simpler to handle than Nagios’s (which are what Icinga would be using), and since I already want the data available on graphs, I might just as well forward the notifications. This of course does not apply to boolean checks that are pretty silly on Munin.

There is some documentation in the Munin website on how to set up Nagios notifications, and it mostly works flawlessly for Icinga. With the one difference being that you have to change the NSCA configuration, as Icinga uses a different command file path, and a different user, which means you have to set up

nsca_user=icinga
nsca_group=icinga

command_file=/var/lib/icinga/rw/icinga.cmd

I’m probably going to make the init script have a selectable configuration file and install two pairs of configuration files, one in /etc/icinga and hte other in /etc/nagios so that each user can choose which ones to use. This should make it easier to set it up.

So while I don’t have much to say for now, and I have had little time to post about this in the past few days, what my plan, in regard to Icinga and Munin, consists of is primarily cleaning up the nagios-plugins ebuild (right now it just dumps all the contrib scripts without caring about them at all, let alone caring about the dependencies), and writing documentation on the wiki about Icinga the way I cleaned up the one about Munin — speaking of which, Debian decided to disable CGI in their packages as well, so now the default is to keep CGI support disabled unless required and it’s provided “as is”, without warranties it ever works. I also have to finish setting up the Munin async support, which becomes certainly useful at this point.

I’m also trying to fit in Ruby work as well as the usual Tinderbox mangling so … please bear with my lack of update.

3 thoughts on “I’m in my network, monitoring!

  1. its very nice to be able to combine work and open source contributions. Thanks for your work on gentoo (thumbs up)

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  2. At home I am using icinga to monitor my equipment, it is not that hudge, it took me a long time to sort the “bad nagios plugins” from the “good nagios plugins”. Some of them are not working efficiently, you can first sort them out with time ./check_whatever, and compare the times fetching data. Bash scripts are running slow compared to similar perl scripts. However now since around 2 years it is running very stable (icinga) with ca. 120 services on around 10 components.Thanks for taking time and looking at the network related monitor software on gentoo.

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