The inaugural Sensu Summit took place on tuesday and wednesday (15.08. & 16.08.2017) in Portland, Oregon (U.S.) in the rooms of the Portland Art Museum located in Downtown.

It was the first official cometogether of the Sensu Inc. -the former Heavy Water Inc.- and its continuous growing community. About 75 people attended, which is an amazing number for an initial community event of a still new tool out there, in the view of the fact that the first commit was just 2011. In general the main goal of the first Sensu Summit was to let users from all over the world exchange their use cases and experiences with Sensu and giving a first view of Sensu 2.0 as well.

With 500.000 monthly downloads, 27.368 commits from overall 1349 contributors Sensu isn´t a little one anymore. But of course, there is a different brand awareness between the european and the american it monitoring market. Sensu isn´t that popular in the european market at present. In my opinion that is because the european market is a bit lagging behind, regarding the openness for innovative technologies and especially in the course of the „digital transformation“ and moving on-premise infrastructure into the cloud. That is the moment newer architectures and solutions are needed. Sensu fultil this needs, because it is very flexible, scalable and made for automation with configuration management tools.

It was really amazing listening to talks of companies about their use cases and implementations with Sensu like GE, GoDaddy, T-Mobile, ViaSat or Yelp. If you want to go into more depth, you can find the recorded talks following this link.
In addition to that the Sensu team revealed an impressive selection of further corporations using Sensu: Bose, Cisco, Columbia, Electronic Arts, FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Netflix, Nike, Oracle, PlayStation, Tesla, Uber, Walt Disney Pictures, Yahoo. Having a beer at an informal atmosphere with nice conversations between all of the attendees and the Sensu team has finished day 1 at the Portland Art Museum.

Day 2 was full of open spaces, where everyone could suggest topics regarding monitoring in general or current problems at their businesses. After determining the most popular topics, all interested people grouped together in round-table discussions, which was very informative and helpful.

Sensu 1.0 and previous versions are written in Ruby, an interpreted programming language.

Sensu 2.0 will be written in Go for reasons of performance (compiled language, natively utilize multiple cores), safety (static types, error handling, race detection) and packaging (statically linked binaries, easy to ship in a container, cross compilation, easy to package for any os). Another crucial reason was simplicity. Having just one compilable binary makes it much easier for the users, than installing and configuring several tools, like it was in the past with redis and rabbitmq clusters and of course sensu itself.

Sensu 2.0 will reduce the operational burden and complexity, will be api focused, multitenancy and will contain a role based access control . Etcd will substitute redis and the configuration will be stored within the distributable etcs instances. The new Sensu transport will be AMQP inspired with websockets and with json message bodies. At the moment it is planned to have an open beta in January 2018 and a stable version 2.0 in mid 2018.

Overall, the first Sensu Summit revealed how flexible and scalable Sensu is and how easy it can be integrated in very different environments with various targets. It was very impressive to see which companies are already using Sensu and what their use cases are.

Why Sensu?
In summary, some main advantages using Sensu as your monitoring solution:
– better scalability due to micro services approach
– greater independence, easy to substitute single solutions, more flexible release management
– easy to connect with other tools, better possibilities to create integrations
– automate your deployment due to use of SCM tools (Ansible, Chef, Puppet, SaltStack)
– ability to recycle already existing and own-written business Nagios plugins
– gaining more information due to new metric checks
– nice graphing by connecting sensu to Graphite & Grafana
– and, of course, because the Sensu team is fabulous – intelligent, authentic and inspiring.