Having a reasonably large personal server environment of at least 10 key production VMs along with many other non-critical, but still important machines, a good monitoring system is key.
Smokeping and Nagios are particularly popular, it’s rare to find a network or *NIX orientated organization that doesn’t have one or both of these utilities installed.
There are other programs around that offer more “combined” UI experiences, such as Zabbix, OpenNMS and others, but I personally find that having the 3 applications that do each specific task really well, is better than having one maybe not-so-good application. But then again I’m a great believer in the UNIX philosophy. :-)
The downside of having these independent applications is that there’s not a lot of integration between them. Whilst it’s possible to link programs such as Munin & Nagios or Nagios & Smokeping to share some data from the probes & tests they make, there’s no integration of configuration between the components.
This means in order to add a new host to the monitoring, I need to add it to Nagios, then to Munin and then to Smokeping – and to remember to sync any changes across all 3 applications.
So this weekend I decided to write a new program called Smokegios.
This little utility checks the Nagios configuration for any changes on a regular cron-controlled basis. If any of the configuration has changed, it will parse the configuration and generate a suitable Smokeping configuration from it using the hostgroup structures and then reload Smokeping.
This allows fully autonomous management of the Smokeping configuration and no more issues about the Smokeping configuration getting neglected when administrators make changes to Nagios. :-D
Currently it’s quite a simplistic application in that it only handles ICMP ping tests for hosts, however I’m intended to expand in future with support for reading service & service group information for services such as DNS, HTTP, SMTP, LDAP and more to generate service latency graphs.
This is a brand new application, I’ve run a number of tests against my Nagios & Smokeping packages, but always possible your environment will have some way to break it – if you find any issues, please let me know, keen to make this a useful tool for others.
To get started with Smokegios, visit the project page for all the details including installation instructions and links to the RPM repos.
If you’re using RHEL 5/6/derivatives, I have RPM pages for Smokegios as well as Smokeping 2.4 and 2.6 series on amberdms-custom and amberdms-os repositories.
It’s written in Perl5, not my most favorite language, but it’s certainly well suited for this configuration file manipulation type tasks and there was a handy Nagios-Object module courtesy of Duncan Ferguson that saved writing a Nagios parser.
Let me know if you find it useful! :-)