Focus on monitoring evolution with Centreon 3.0 – Part 1

This post is also available in: French

As you probably know already if you follow our blog or social networks, we’ve been working on a new version of Centreon for a few months now.
This long-awaited version is well progressing and we are doing everything we can to give you an alpha or beta version around October/November.
For the moment, some evolutions have been integrated already.

Let’s talk about the monitoring engine first. We released the 1.4 version of our monitoring engine a few months ago and we already have many positive feedbacks, especially regarding the on the fly reload system.
We plan to keep up the development as we are already working on the 2.0 version of Centreon Engine for a simultaneous release with Centreon 3.

What’s new in this next version ?

Management of recurring downtimes

First of all, we implemented the concept of recurring downtimes for the sake of reliability and reorganization of scripts and options.
It should be the job of Centreon Engine to manage the rescheduling of a new downtime accordingly to the rules of recurrence.
Even though this very feature already existed within Centreon 2, it is without a doubt that we can say that it highly enhances the system. The former system can perform its scheduling tasks up to a limited number of checkpoints (80,000 services with one scheduled recurring downtime per day on 3/4th of them). Our new system can go much higher than this and it perfectly works even after a connection loss between the central and poller servers.
The disconnected mode is important for us. Indeed, it is very useful in embedded systems and it has been proven to be extremely important for some French industries.

Time periods improvements

We have improved the system of time periods.
We refactored the code in order to make it easier to read. Also, we took the opportunity to fix a bug that is still present in several Nagios based solutions ( Nagios 4, Icinga 1 and Centreon 1.3.x) [#4060, #4061]. We can now handle time periods with exceptions and inclusions. Our unit tests can prove it, it does work :) !

Integration of timezone management

This version includes a new feature in the core of the scheduler: the timezone management. Now, we can define a timezone on the host and its timeperiods will scale automatically with its timezone. This task used to be performed by Centreon Web (as in the user interface). That’s right, all you need to do to cover timezones is place a timezone on your hosts ! It also means that there would be no extra action to perform in case of a “Daylight saving” time shift (as opposed to the old version where we had to change the configuration and restart all impacted pollers).

A small example of a configuration file in the new version :

define host {
name centreon.com
address centreon.com
use website
timezone   :Europe/Paris
}

define host {
name nagios.com
address nagios.com
use website
timezone   :America/Chicago
}

define host {
name icinga.org
address icinga.org
use website
timezone :Europe/Berlin
}

You will find this feature under this form, only in Centreon Engine; so it implies a compatibility break with Nagios.
This version will integrate a long list of other features that break the compatibility with Nagios and its forked versions.

Compatibility break with Nagios.

We take the opportunity to review this change: we simplified the engine by removing all unused and experimental yet non-functional features and parameters. We tend to simplify our product keeping all possibilities and so, make it more efficient and robust.
Monitoring is not a service that allows production stops. If your monitoring system is a safeguard and you rely on it to get notified about IT issues, it is obvious that you want it to be as robust as possible. We are well aware of that and we are always emphasizing our efforts to produce a high quality product.

For those who are concerned about the Nagios compatibility break, note that Nagios Enterprise has just announced a new licence that is applied to some products. That could be seen as anti-“Centreon-Icinga-Shinken-Naemon” as the modules released under that license cannot be used with anything besides products developed by Nagios Enterprise. Simply put, we might lose the right to use NDOUtils or Nagios soon enough, but that depends on the decision of Nagios Enterprise. The Nagios community is fading away, much like its commitment in the world of Open Source, or so it seems…

In the second part, we will introduce to you the changes made on timeouts, polling frequency and notification management.
Until then, comment !

To download the latest version of Centreon Engine: http://www.centreon.com/Content-Download/download-centreon-engine-centreon

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