Apr 28 2010

Zabbix, the book

Ages ago the folks over at Packt asked me if I was interested in writing a book about Zabbix, I kindly declined, I didn't have time to write a book ,

Months later we got back in touch and I got involved in reviewing the book

It just arrived in the mail .

There's a couple of things I'd have done different , but overall it's a good read if you are interrested in Zabbix.

Oct 11 2009

Monitoring MySQL

Ronald Bradford wants to know what kind of Monitoring you use..
He specifically wants to know about Alerting tools

There's different cases , looking at it from a full infrastructure point my current favourite is Zabbix or good old Nagios,

But when looking at it from a debugging perspective you have MySQLAR or Hyperic, but those aren't in the alerting list.

However, when you are building HA clusters, you have custom scripts running either from mon or from pacemaker ..

Still .. Ronald probably wants more input :)

Sep 23 2009


I found the initial announcement in my Spambox, thats where I send all the mails from GroundWork as unsubscribing from their marketing lists doesn't seem to work ..

Tarus pointed it out.. he already mentionned Marketing, low community imput etc..

Nevertheles I had a look, and my first and last impression was, NagiosForge, no active community, and empty pages on other imvho more relevant Monitoring Projects created by GroundWork employees.

Big John coined the "to pull a GroundWork" phrase aiming at their early products, err logo placements. When we were evaluating differen Open Source monitoring tools for our OLS paper about 18 months ago we looked at the tool and it didn't make the cut .. it failed in all areas where it claimed to be strong, ease of installation , lack of errorhandling during the installation, etc ... some while later another collegue tried again and we ran into similar problems

Yet some people claim it to be a great product.. I'm not a fan yet ...maybe one day they they'll know to convince me .. but for now
When I need Nagios .. I`ll be looking at Djagios , Opsview , Icinga or the real thing.

However, ther's still Hyperic, Zenoss and Zabbix :)

Jul 30 2009

Rivermuse First Impressions

First of all, I don't come from a Tivoli, OpenView background , I have never touched the commercial network monitoring tools and I`m not a network guy . I'm an infrastructure guy whith a focus on Open Source platforms so I have been using Nagios and more recently Zabbix, Zenoss etc for the better part of the last 2 decades in large to very large environments.
My syslogs go to a central (r)syslog)-ng) server where I frequently abuse grep. So If my experience with RiverMuse is not what it should be , there's work to be done on both sides ;)

So When looking at my Rivermuse setup (in a VirtualBox FC9 setup) my first tought is "Those Rivermuse folks will really need to explain me what their tool is all about .. as to me it's just a fancy colortail integrated with snmp traps."

Hopefully it's not just that and it all becomes clear in a couple of days .. Apart from the FC9 annoyancy there is the frequent Unresponsive script errors.

And those I fear will be the real killer problems for RiverMuse

On the other hand, RiverMuse does good job in displaying the actual events in your network and following up the actions that one ... after a while you'll get a good overview of the actual issues as opposed to all the relevant events

I've dropped RiverMuse into my blade test setup (more on that subject later) and I`ll be keeping a look on what I can learn from it but the dreaded Unresponsive scripts that I know so well from Bamboo really need to be fixed :)

Well time will tell :)

Mar 31 2009

Slides updated

I've updated the slidedeck of my Open Source Virtualization talk, with the 2009 edition as I gave it last week at the UKUUG Spring conference.

Talk is up, both on my page as on SlideShare

Tom also updated our set of Open Source Monitoring Tool Shootout slides .
They are also on SlideShare

Mar 24 2009

UKUUG Spring 2009 Conference , here we come

I`ll be heading to bed early today as tomorrow will be a busy day. I have to get up early to catch my flight to London where
Tom and I will be representing Inuits at the UKUUG 2009 Spring Conference.

Tom will be giving an updated version of our Open Source Monitoring Shootout talk again, I`ll probably be skipping a couple of his slides as right after that Jane Curry will be covering Zenoss in depth and on thursday there will be an OpenNMS talk too.

On Thursday I will be giving another session of my Open Source Virtualization overview talk .. and I also plan on skipping slides and referring to the next speaker, as Matt will be giving an openQRM talk right after me :)

See you there !

Feb 08 2009

Monitoring MySQL

The slides for my Monitoring MySQL talk , which I gave earlier today in an overcrowded MySQl Developersroom at Fosdem are now online, both at my site and at Slideshare

As of now I actually expect people to use those slides for schoolwork or next year in a main Fosdem track :)
As afterall that is the goal of Open Source and spreading the word ..

Nov 18 2008

Do we want an Open Source MySQL Monitoring tool ?

Matt Reid wants to know what we want in an Open Source MySQL monitoring solution ?

He is working on the second incarnation of Monolith and wants input from the MySQL community.

Now for me the bigger question is if we want an isolated tool that runs stand alone, or a tool which we can integrate it in something we already have.

To me there is a difference between a tool that I want to use to debug my environment, such as Mytop or MySQL Activity Report, in that case I need some tool that quickly installs with little dependencies and little impact.

On the other side I want a tool that is constantly there, that tells me about trends and performance history. But there I don't want an isolated toool, I want something fully integrated where I can correlate different measurements from disk io, memory usage etc , that tool should also tell me about the things that go

We did some research earlier this year to figure out the current state of Open Source monitoring tools. Different tools have a different audience.. some go for the network layer, others take the os level and other even try to go deep inside the applications.

Given that knowledge we even had the idea to refocus that research comparing different monitoring tools such as Zabbix, Zenoss, Hyperic and Nagios again but this time with a focus on monitoring MySQL and submit that as an abstract for the upcoming MySQL conference, we didn't .. maybe next time.

There's plenty of frameworks already that will allow you to send alerts on all of the occasions you list, or allow you to graph all the values you want. And yes we want to see those values too.

But do we want yet another tool , yet another URL to browse to or do we want those alerts and graphs integrated in an existing tool such as Zabbix, Zenoss or
Hyperic .. I guess I prefer the integrated approach.

Sep 24 2008

Systems management, what will happen when the VCs want their money ?

Tarus is happy not to have VC's on his back. He doesn't want to be responsible for turning a 15 Milj investment into a 150 Milj cashout. Others chose to go that way.

Back when he wrote the article the chances were small that he already knew that Qlusters was going to be shut down with still sooo much money in the bank, but the VC's wanted it back.

So how do open source companies plan on making those tenfold roi reality.
Apart from selling out to a bigger company I think thats a very difficult task.
Especially when you keep in mind how to manage both the Open Source community and your customers. The figures he mentions that VC's require surely start pushing vendors into violating Fabrizio Capobianco rules.

Now the story changes when indeed you cn go to a model where you are selling a large scalable service to your customers, even with microsized payments it becomes a possibility, but that's a totally different business model from what e.g. the Open source systems management shops are doing .

So will the Zenoss, Hyperics or the Groundworks of this world survive the demands of their VC

Luckily these projects are Open Source, so when the company dissapears, the project can continue, and grow even better. Like openQRM did

Sep 02 2008

Back to Zabbix 1.4.6

I failed to get both Autodiscovery or even adding a host to the Zabbix monitor working on 1.5.6 so I decided to roll back to 1.4.6 afteral.

At least autodiscovery seems to work there.

The weird thing is that people upgrading from older versions seem to get it working like a charm, but a fresh install on a Centos 4.X seems to be troublesome, Just no time to debug it now.