I have been using Icinga for a number of years now and I have a large investment in many conf files in my conf.d directory so have been reluctant to migrate to director. And BTW, I think the concept of apply blocks with assign where/ignore where attributes is brilliant and powerful.
Now I am setting up a centos 8 stream on my kvm lab box to see how Director works. Also, obviously trying out Centos 8 Stream. My experience is not good. So in the hope of not offending and hoping to advance the software, here is some feedback for your consideration.
I installed icinga2, latest, very easily and manually, step by step, by the book. I installed icingaweb2 with the same official documentation but got very confused in the setup wizard and had to go back to the beginning a few times to try and understand what should be plain vanilla entries. I found a few sites of page-by-page images by users but nothing in the official documentation. I recommend for Icingaweb2, to make it more obvious and tie the steps I performed in the Icinga2 installation with those of the wizard. Perhaps a little more explanation on the idea of icinga database vs icingaweb2 database, or the name of the Monitoring IDO Resource. I don’t recall defining icinga_ido. I went step by step and only changed the password values, and I made all the passwords the same so I would not have to guess later on which was which.
But finally I scraped together bits of what I need and I finally get icingaweb2 running.
Next to install the module, Director.
OK I found the modules section of Icingaweb2 site, but I did not see Director as an option. I thought I would simply check a box to turn on director, or to at least install it. That’s what I expected, perhaps wrongly, but there was some disappointment.
I went to the docs pages for Director and read the brief promotional material in the Introduction page. There is no way that reading this page is enough to prepare me for “getting started”. It was not really informative about what Director does and mainly describes why it’s so great. On to the Installation page. The first thing I see is a list of 19 bullet points for prerequisites. Wow. I do these kinds of projects at home in the evenings so maybe tomorrow. Ah, I pushed on.
I go through the first 7 bullets and they’re all about versions. Well I just installed the latest, I think, so I’m probably OK.
Next there’s something called ipl. What is that? Perhaps it would be good to include a brief description of ipl to say what it is for and why I need it. When I click on the link to gitlab I see, in a big font, DEPRECATED. Why am I here if it is DEPRECATED? Fortunately I read on and found out that it is still needed in Director. Oh, but wait, only for certain versions. Please bullet these points so we don’t have to find the answers in the weeds. I read on because I want to know “WHAT DOES IPL MEAN AND WHAT DOES IT DO” but still it eluded me. I did not see that it tells me that “This module ships the new Icinga PHP library” - oh, there it is. IPL must mean “Icinga PHP library” - but what does it do and where does it fit in the scheme?
OH. Forget what I said before. I went to the link for the currently maintained version of IPL and found a better page. Why send me to the last page at all; all the DEPRECATED info is a waste of github space. I see clearly now: Icinga PHP Library - IPL. Thank you.
Now I want to install the IPL and I see 2 sample “installations”. Nothing explains, for beginners, what to do with what looks like a bash script. I’m not even sure. But I tentatively copy it into my clipboard and paste into the command line:
[root@localhost ~]# INSTALL_PATH="/usr/share/icinga-php/ipl" [root@localhost ~]# INSTALL_VERSION="stable/0.6.1" [root@localhost ~]# git clone https://github.com/Icinga/icinga-php-library.git "$INSTALL_PATH" --branch "$INSTALL_VERSION" fatal: destination path '/usr/share/icinga-php/ipl' already exists and is not an empty directory.
doh! The clone command choked because I have the lib installed, already.
And I probably have a relatively new ipl dir because I just installed Icingaweb2 2.9.something. But the requirements on this page say requires Icinga Web 2 (>= 2.9) -yes, PHP (>= 5.6, 7+ recommended) -yes, I just installed PHP 7.3.something…
I see a similar install technique used on the IcingaWeb2 Module page; blocks of code which I think are meant to be executed by cut-and-paste into a command line. But never have I seen an explanation of this somewhat disjointed process.
By now, I have spent too much time worrying about IPL (and this post). Now I see I need incubator? and reactbundle? whatever those are. Then a database; can I use what I just installed to get Icingaweb2 running? Then php-curl and other php dependencies which might or might not be installed already.
In general I think the group of developers at Icinga are really smart and thoughtful people, but when it comes to explaining things and how they all fit together, it lacks some… finesse. Now, I must confess, I am NOT the smartest one in the room; ever. So my experience when dealing with your installs is sadly frustrating.
It seems there are too many moving parts in the application and that the tech writers incorrectly assume that end users know what they’re doing.
I was recently setting up docker on one of my KVM instances and it was easier to get that, and portainer, installed and running than Icinga2, Icingaweb2, and well, I am still working on Director (not to mention setting up all the monitoring hosts and services).
While I was playing with portainer I found that an instance of Icinga2/Icingaweb2 was available so I pushed a button and about 2 minutes later, the whole thing was running with Director already installed.
There is some kind of huge disconnect here. Why can’t an application, that is delivered in a container, be delivered in a VM with the same simplicity and speed? I spend all this time installing and configuring when what I really want to do is automate the discovery of my hundreds of servers and their services, apply metric limits for alerting, and have it notify me only when it is meaningfully appropriate. That, and more time for hobbies and sleep.