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Introducing...

NagVis is a visualization addon for the well known network managment system Nagios.

NagVis can be used to visualize Nagios Data, e.g. to display IT processes like a mail system or a network infrastructure.

Map Templates (different host, same services)

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We monitor many of the same type of host (servers, switches, routers, etc.). Each type typically with the same group of services (cpu, memory, network, io, etc.). For some time I've wanted to build a single map to display the services of a single host (a server for example) which could be used for any other server. A map template would allow us to do this by providing a single map definition for a certain type of monitored host (i.e. one for servers, one for switches, etc.). Displaying any server from a single map definition just by specifying the host name at display time would bring to NagVis our whole Nagios environment, without having hardcoded maps for every host. The map template would have services predefined as is done with standard maps but the host name would not be given until display time.

There are at least two ways I can see this being used. One way is to simply bring up the templated map and then specify a host name to apply it to, from a drop down pick list or something. This allows for detailed examination or monitoring of any host without building a map for every one. The other use would be as a drill down link from other maps. Currently the default drill down action when clicking on a host icon is to bring up the Nagios Service Status Detail screen which displays the same information that the default hover action provides. With a templated map available the host icon click action could bring up another NagVis map displaying the service information but with the benefit of a NagVis graphical display instead of the text driven Nagios display.

Currently in NagVis when a map is selected the host objects on the map are already known, with a templated map they could be known like the drill down scenario above but might not be known as in the first scenario above. If not known there would have to be some front end (Header template possibly) that would prompt the user (maybe by pick list) to choose a host to apply the template too. Once the host has been selected the map objects (Nagios services) would be displayed for the given host. For our use a single host would work just fine but others may find value in a template that supports multiple hosts (host1, host2, host3...) which may add complexity to the implementation but also would add value to map templates.

There should also be some way to identify which type of host a template will work with, this helps by building shorter (specific) pick lists. This could be accomplished by defining which Nagios groups the template applies to and or utilizing some sort of regex filter on host names and or a filter that built its pick lists based on any host with a pre-defined service name.

NagVis is already a great monitoring display but has limitations in this area because each host has to be placed on maps by hand. This feature could open it up to whole new realm of interactive monitoring by bringing more of our monitored hosts to NagVis maps in a simple and powerful way.

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Author: gjfrater · Date: 2012-02-17

Comments

Xkilian,

Best I can tell after reading about the dynamic maps feature of 1.7 the groundwork is being laid for this ability. I have not had any time to play with them but it looks like dynamic maps allow you to build maps 'on the fly'. What maps can be displayed is dependent upon another bit of code (not yet written I think) to layout the map that dymaic maps will display. They already built this piece of code for geomaps. Similar code needs to be written for the template idea to be implemented. Lami can confirm or clarify if I'm missunderstanding the dynamic maps.

Cheers,

-greg
Author: gjfrater · Date: 2012-07-02
Is this still planned for release? What is described here is very powerful.

It may require optimizing the way data gets exchanged between Livestatus and Nagvis, but that is the price of progress. Simply because, more maps = more people looking at maps, more load on the Livestatus instances serving the data.
Author: xkilian · Date: 2012-06-30
Thats great to hear, sounds like you guys are a step ahead, as always. Thanks.
Author: gjfrater · Date: 2012-02-21
This is a good idea I think.

We are working on some other things which go in this direction. These changes will prepare NagVis to make it possible to implement things like host based maps etc.. Once those changes are merged into the master branch and declared as mostly stable we can think about implementing something like template maps. I guess we need about 2 weeks for finishing the current development.
Author: lami · Date: 2012-02-21

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