This is the second part of our report from this year’s Check_MK Conference in Munich.

In Part 1, which you can read here, we listed some key facts about Check_MK and the developer team and described some of the new functions added in the past year. This second part will describe the remaining new functionality and provide a preview of what the Check_MK team has in the pipeline.

 

Password Store

The new Password Store will prevent access data, which is required for various checks such as database queries, from being displayed in legible form in the Check_MK front end.

 

Check_MK Appliances

All appliances have been refurbished and given a hardware update. Beginning with firmware Version 1.3, no further 32-bit variants will be sold.

The biggest model will be equipped with two 480 GB SSD hard drives, (larger drives will be optional) a total of 24 CPU cores with 48 threads, (two E5-2650v4 12-core/24-thread CPUs) 64 GB RAM, (ECC) 4x 10 Gbit LAN and redundant power supplies in 2HE format. In laboratory tests (!) this system ran 10,000 hosts and 800,000 services, resulting in a CPU utilization of 36 and a storage utilization of 31%. The hard drives were operating at an average rate of 90 MB/s. The check latency (or monitoring check delay) was measured at 20 seconds.

 

Managed Service Edition

Also beginning with Version 1.4.0, a Managed Service Edition (CME) will be available, which will represent an extension of the existing Check_MK Enterprise Edition. (CEE) This version with a customizable design will serve as a kind of secondary system to provide customers a view of subsections of their monitored environment in a separate system or network area.

 

Check_MK Manual

A Check_MK manual is to be published sometime this year. The existing documentation already in use for training purposes (approximately 530 pages) is being completed and extended and is going to be made available as a complete manual consisting of between 800 and 1000 pages. We anticipate a price of around 90,- €.

 

„Check_MK at EDEKA – Monitoring in an Enterprise Environment“

Lars Hansen and Martin Lange from LUNAR GmbH in Hamburg gave a presentation describing the architecture and key figures of their implementation of Check_MK in the EDEKA group’s IT environment. Not only the high level of requirements on the monitoring system was impressive, but particularly the number of monitored devices and services: The Datacenter Monitoring Template and the Retail Monitoring Template defined at EDEKA ensure that approximately 126,000 devices and 1,400,000 services are monitored, resulting in a total of around 2 billion checks per day.

When the system is completely rolled out, up to 11,500 stores with approximately 570,000 devices and 6,300,000 services across Germany will be covered. The final number of checks are expected to total 9,070,000,000 per day.

 

Roadmap

The last contribution at the Check_MK Conference this year was a preview of future developments, ideas and plans from the Check_MK team.

One idea for the future is to give administrators the ability to selectively activate and deactivate configuration changes. A time-dependent, period-based dynamic parameter adjustment will be available. Additional performance improvements to Livestatus are planned, as well as an overhaul to the entire SLA module, which will give the administrator more granular control over the settings.

Beyond all the new functionality, the version strategy is being adjusted slightly. Minor releases will be counted on the version number’s second digit instead of on the third digit. And even and odd version numbers will no longer be used to distinguish between stable and development versions of the software, as they are in so many other projects. Because of several dependencies in the existing developers‘ environments, the version number will continue to be a three-digit number. The last digit will however be zero. (ie. 1.4.0)

 

 

Mathias Kettner seems to have passed on most of the responsibility for development to Lars Michelsen, who is also now officially the head of development. Mathias will only exercise influence on conceptual questions and on decisions of fundamental strategy. He is currently involved with marketing and sales for Check_MK as well as with the completion and extension of the documentation.

 

The Check_MK Conference was again, as it was in 2015, a super time and place to meet other users of Check_MK, as well as to get up-to-date on new innovations. For those attendees looking to make a decision on whether to implement Check_MK, the Conference was more than useful, as it provided the complete package of current functionality, customer implementations, integration capability, as well as a preview of future functionality and all the stuff the Check_MK developer team is currently working on. The openness and transparency that was evident everywhere served to promote trust in both the product and the team. Another benefit was the opportunity to request functionalities, the so-called feature requests, by which attendees could engage actively, actually participating in the solution‘s future development.

 

Check_MK – what is that exactly? We explain the basic architecture and features of Check_MK in our Open Source Monitoring Guide (German). We will provide the English version of this guide in the next few weeks.

We have in fact covered nine of the most popular open source monitoring solutions, comparing and contrasting each solution’s strengths and weaknesses. We hope you find it useful!