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Application Monitoring with openITCOCKPIT

Velocity Sensor

Article from ADMIN 37/2017
By , By
A good monitoring solution must provide information about applications and their performance. We show you how to monitor a database using openITCOCKPIT.

OpenITCOCKPIT [1] is an open source framework based on the modular Naemon monitoring suite that allows deep insights into applications and IT processes, in addition to infrastructure monitoring. It can be combined with tools for ticketing, change management, and IT documentation.

A commercial version of openITCOCKPIT is available if you need to implement advanced monitoring, such as event correlation or SAP systems monitoring. In this article, we will use the free version of openITCOCKPIT [2].

Basic Installation

In our example, we will install openITCOCKPIT without a cluster connection, but with all front-end modules (see the "System Requirements" box). We recommend Naemon for the installation (root privileges needed) and the operation, but Nagios is also supported.

System Requirements

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x64 supports the current 3.0.6 version of OpenITCOCKPIT. The minimum requirements are two CPU cores, 2GB of RAM, and 15GB of disk space, which is sufficient for a small test system, as used for this article. Generally, system requirements depend on how many hosts are audited and how many services are associated with them. To cover an average IT landscape and establish a productive system, we recommend at least 32GB of RAM, 16 CPU cores, and 500GB of hard disk space.

Because openITCOCKPIT can be installed using the Apt package manager, the first step is to enter the repository and then retrieve the key:

$ echo 'deb https://apt.open-itcockpit.com trusty main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openitcockpit.list

Alternatively, you can enter:

$ add-apt-repository 'deb https://apt.open-itcockpit.com trusty main'

To get the latest packages, you can specify nightly in addition to the trusty option:

$ apt-key adv --recv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com A7D3EAFA

Now, an update is needed to read the new repositories:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install openitcockpit{,-naemon,-statusengine-naemon,-npcd}

You do not need to select any options to query the configuration, because Nginx already exists. Then, start the configuration with:

$ /usr/share/openitcockpit/app/SETUP.sh

The update to the latest version is then the final step.

During setup, the user or users are created that are permitted to log on locally to openITCOCKPIT. After setup, these details can only be changed on the front end; the credentials cannot otherwise be changed and viewed. When updating, you also create an initial backup of the data input. After the update command openitcockpit update, the installation is complete and you can turn to the front end.

Monitoring Dashboard

To begin, log in with the user account that you created during the setup. You are now looking at the monitoring dashboard (Figure 1). By default, it displays hosts, services, and scheduled downtime at a glance. Additional graphics can be inserted (e.g., charts or complex maps) by clicking the Add Widget button and new tabs by pressing the plus sign.

Figure 1: The openITCOCKPIT dashboard is the homepage for the administrator.

After logging in, you also should visit the Administration | Debugging page, which includes information about the current version of openITCOCKPIT, active processes, the openITCOCKPIT server's IP address, memory usage, and an overview of individual worker queues.

In the open source version of openITCOCKPIT, some modules are unlocked from the outset. If you purchased the Enterprise version, enter the supplied license key in the Administration | Registration item. The modules you purchased are then released for installation. You can then install them using the Administration | Package Manager . It is important to run the openitcockpit-update command on the back end after each individual packet installation. The complete version contains the modules check_ nrpe (always available by default), AutoreportModule , MKModule (for check_mk), DistributeModule , MapModule , IdoitModule , and EventcorrelationModule . After installing and updating, the individual modules appear on the left in the menu structure.

You have two options to create a user: Either set up local users or import users from LDAP if you have a directory in place. This is done below Administration | System Settings , where the access credentials and addresses are stored.

Every user can be assigned to a user group, and you can assign different parameters to the groups – for example, whether certain maps may be accessed. The Administration | Manage User Roles item contains two predefined standard roles. It is important that the permissions are adjusted after installing a new module, so you still see all the modules as the administrator.

The next step is to create the hosts, for which you need to change from Basic Monitoring | Hosts to New in the menu. In the window, define the data for the container in which you want the host to reside. It is important to select a host template. Such a template is made available by default, but you can create any number of them. It may be necessary (e.g., for ESX) to select other settings than for Exchange Server. In Basic configuration , specify only information about the host itself and the type of notifications; under Expert settings , you can make a selection in the Checkcommand drop-down (Figure 2). You specify what exactly is to be verified, as well as the applicable thresholds, and when the status is critical. Here, you also define how often to go through a check before it transitions from a soft state to a hard state.

Figure 2: Among other things, the maximum number of check attempts can be set when editing the service template.

Setting Up Monitoring Services

In the next step, you will be setting up the services, true to the motto "One service for each host." Here, you define what openITCOCKPIT monitors on the host and how. As for the hosts, you can generate service templates up front or edit the existing ones. This has the advantage that you no longer need to enter the notification settings and checks by hand.

To monitor larger IT environments comfortably, openITCOCKPIT offers service template groups. As a result, identical hosts do not need to be provided manually with the same checks. To accomplish this, you create a new service template group, by selecting the container in which the predefined service templates reside; then, add as many service templates as you like to the group. In the next step, you can assign a host or whole host groups to the group. Because openITCOCKPIT currently only lets you drag service template groups onto hosts/host groups, we recommend waiting with this step until all the hosts have been created. If you retroactively add a new host, you have to perform an allocation again. A pull method is on the openITCOCKPIT roadmap and is already in development.

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