Wed, 21 Dec 2016

Progress in Icinga2 Land

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Last month I blogged about my negative experiences with the Icinga2 API. Since then, stuff has happened in Icinga2 land, including a very productive and friendly meeting with the Icinga2 product manager and two of the core developers.

My first issue was that objects created through the API sometimes don't show up in the web interface. We learned that this can be avoided by explicitly specifying the zone attribute, and that Icinga 2.6 doesn't require this anymore.

The second issue, CREATE + UPDATE != CREATE isn't easy to fix in Icinga2. Apply rules can contain basically arbitrary code, and tracking which ones to run, possibly run in reverse etc. for an update is not easy, and while the Icinga2 developers want to fix this eventually, the fix isn't yet in sight. The Icinga Director has a workaround, but it involves restarting the Icinga daemon for each change or batch of changes, an operational characteristic we'd like to avoid. The inability to write templates through the API stems from the same underlying problem, so we won't see write support for templates soon.

The API quirks will likely remain. With support from the Icinga2 developers, I was able to get selection by element of an array variable working, though the process did involve finding at least one more bug in Icinga. The developers are working on that one, though :-).

Even though my bug report requesting more documentation has been closed, the Netways folks have improved the documentation thoroughly, and there are plans for even more improvements, for example making it easier to find the relevant docs by more cross-linking.

All in all, there is a definitive upwards trend in Icinga2's quality, and in my perception of it. I'd like to thank the Icinga2 folks at Netways for their work, and for taking the time to talk to a very vocal critic.

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