Implementation of self-services into OMD

Here is a short summary of my new project “Implementation of self-services into OMD”. The project is based on the implementation of check_mk with OMD. I will report regularly about the progress on this blog and my twitter.

 

Problem

At the moment we are using OMD with NConf as configuration tool. Unfortunately this led to a lot of maintenance overhead. In order to change a configuration the server-administrators always have to request changes from the monitoring-administrator, because no one else has deeper knowledge in NConf. Let´s be serious about that: NConf is a great tool, but the structures are kinda complex – not even talking about the dependencies. In my opinion, it is too complex to give a handful of administrators the permission to change the configuration.

Another problem is, that we don´t have a working linux monitoring until now. This is based on the problem that installing a linux monitoring is very time consuming (again: my opinion). In the past I tried two options: First approach was to install nagios locally to the linux boxes. This means you have to install the nagios package for the particular distribution, version, and kernel with all it´s dependencies. After that you would have to configure all the necessary checks. The second approach was to realize a monitoring with the help of snmp. I covered that approach in an earlier article. Both approaches didn´t give me a full satisfaction since there´s just too much manual work.

 

Vision

The solution could be using check_mk with its build in inventory feature. In my vision the server-administrators could add a host by the IP-Address or Name and then chose the necessary service checks with the appropriate warning and critical levels. They don´t need any deeper knowledge of the monitoring system. The maximum of needed commitment would be to set standardized host, hostgroup and service names to make sure everyone recognizes the monitored system and services.

 

Goals

  • Externalization of tasks to the server administrators.
    • Implementation of self-service modules to make sure that the server-administrators can configure their hosts according to their needs.
    • Reducing the administration overhead.
    • Higher usability.

 

Status

Mathias Kettner, the founder of check_mk, offers daily snapshots of check_mk with OMD for download. I plan on evaluating check_mk with the current GIT snapshots. Unfortunately I am not able to try a stable version, since most WATO features (WATO is the configuration module of check_mk) are getting implemented just now. During our short conversation he told me that one of the priorities is to complete the missing features (e.g. parent handling) and offer a full configuration interface.

In the evaluation phase I want to make sure that check_mk offers all functional requirements. After that I plan to install it on a test machine and implement all checks from our production system. I will cover that phases separately  in more detailed articles.

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About sitweak
Monitoring, Network, Firewall, Mobile Security. I´m totally into that stuff!

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