Multisite

Last updated: March 14. 2010


1. Introduction

Version 1.1.3 of Check_MK introduces a new web GUI for displaying monitoring status information called Multisite. It has grown out of "Multiadmin" but is a complete rewrite and goes way beyond.

Multisite brings three major innovations:

  • User definable Views
  • Support for distributed monitoring via MK Livestatus
  • A user-customizable sidebar with dynamic content

Besides that, since Multisite is based on Livestatus, you will experience that it is very fast in large installations with many hosts and services. The response time for most views is almost independent of the size of your monitoring environment.

2. Views

Multisite allows each user to customize the builtin views or create completely new views. This is done in the GUI by flexibly combining datasources, layouts, filters, sortings, groupings, column-painters and inter-view-links. The idea behind is, that the administrators of the monitoring system should be able to create custom views for their users or customers, while those are presented a GUI as simple as possible.

The elements of views - like layouts, filters and so on - can be extended via Python using a plugin concept.

3. Distributed monitoring

Multisite is very useful in single site installations of Nagios. The most far-reaching innovation, however, is its support for distributed monitoring via Livestatus.

The basic idea behind a Check_MK Multisite setup for distributed monitoring ist that you do not pump all check data produced by your remote sites into one centralized Nagios (using NSCA or similar tools), but that leave your data where it is. Instead, what is centralized is just the visualization. The Multisite GUI retrieves live data from the remote sites on demand via MK Livestatus and merges it into one logical view. The visualization can even be run without a central Nagios server.

This scheme has various advantages, amongst which are:

  • It scales very well to a large number of remote sites. No inter-site network traffic is generated at all during the actual monitoring. No central storage is needed.
  • New or existing sites can easily be added to or removed from such a setup.
  • You are not restricted to one central GUI server. You can easily build peer-to-peer setups, where each of a number sites can access the data of each other.
  • There is no need for duplicating Nagios configuration files.
  • Just as Multisite collects data from remote sites, it also distributes commands. With one mouse klick you can for example schedule a downtime on a set of services distributed over many remote sites.

4. Status of the current release

Please note, that the current release of Multisite is still not considered stable. That means that:

  • you might still encounter bugs or problems,
  • some features are still missing,
  • the layout and design is not yet finalized,
  • the extension APIs and configuration file format is not yet finalized.

However, Multisite is already very useful and can be used in combination with the classical Nagios web GUI.