What is Checkmk Cloud?

At a glance

The Checkmk family is growing – say hello to its newest member, Checkmk Cloud. Checkmk Cloud is a state-of-the-art monitoring platform for cloud and hybrid infrastructures and further builds on the strengths and developments of Checkmk Enterprise. 

Checkmk Cloud adds out-of-the-box support for many more advanced cloud services, overhauled and more capable monitoring agents, and additional deployment options via the largest cloud marketplaces. This version also allows for more liberal use across subsidiaries and affiliated entities. 

Checkmk Cloud is ideal for organizations transitioning into the cloud, companies with large, decentralized infrastructure, and organizations with the highest security requirements. Check out our blog about the new 2.2 features.

Illustration for a hybrid infrastructure

Why did we build Checkmk Cloud?

As our economies are becoming ever more reliant on technology, the effects of IT outages tend to ripple wider and deeper across organizations. Modern businesses rely heavily on technology to carry out their operations, and any downtime can result in significant financial losses. 

The cost and severity of outages is increasing, with networking being the single biggest failure point. In fact, in 2022, three out of every five outages incurred costs of over $100k.

One key promise of cloud hyperscalers was to enable businesses to in-house their IT operations and side step managed service providers. Cloud services would abstract computing use cases enough for less specialized organizations to interact with them directly. Cloud services also remove the need to maintain costly in-house infrastructure, reducing the fixed cost implications of foregoing managed service providers. 

The reality is that direct access to cloud services has also transformed the way many organizations equip their businesses with technology in the first place. This means that the role of IT in business is undergoing a fundamental shift – from a tangential service to a core tenet of entire business models. CIOs have a firmly established seat in top level management in many industries, and require constant visibility into a web of complex, dynamic and business-critical services.

The rising direct costs of IT outages for businesses, and management attention on business-critical services underscore the importance of investing in robust IT monitoring that keeps up with the pace of organizations. 

Checkmk Cloud is the Checkmk solution that meets these monitoring needs. It stands for unrivaled on-premises infrastructure monitoring and advanced cloud monitoring in a hybrid world. It is built for a reality that is moving to a more dynamic and cloud-based IT while remaining entirely customizable and completely agnostic to what it monitors, and provides even more deployment options. 

illustration showing hybrid set-up

Who is the Checkmk Cloud for?

Checkmk Cloud is the right tool for many organizations and use cases:

  • Existing Checkmk users whose organizations are moving into the cloud. Checkmk Cloud provides monitoring for more advanced cloud services, cloud dashboards and cloud native deployment options from marketplaces that seamlessly integrate with your AWS or Azure setup. 
  • Organizations with large, decentralized and dynamic environments. Checkmk Cloud provides greater flexibility and no restrictions in how you deploy it across your global organization and affiliates. 
  • Organizations with the highest security requirements. Checkmk already 2.2 comes with numerous security improvements, and the Checkmk Cloud’s push agent allows for monitoring in even more segmented environments and communication restrictions. 

Use cases

Monitor and visualize advanced cloud services. Checkmk Cloud allows businesses to include many advanced cloud services in their monitoring that reach well beyond what Checkmk Enterprise already offers. Supported services cover the most widely used offers in serverless functions, container management, networking, caching and many more. 

table showing different cloud checks

Along with expanded support for cloud services, Checkmk Cloud also comes with powerful visualization in pre-configured cloud dashboards.

Add hundreds of hosts in mere minutes. The Checkmk Cloud’s host auto registration and removal allows for time efficient mass rollout and maintenance of Checkmk across even the largest and most segmented networks. Once installed on a host, the Checkmk Cloud’s monitoring agents can discover your cloud objects automatically – meaning hosts will be added to or removed from your monitoring in real time, and associated services automatically discovered and activated. All of this is integrated with the agent bakery for further customization and automation with agent labels, macros, pre-configurable agents, rule hierarchies and the ability to perform wide reaching cleanups after major infrastructure changes.

Monitor highly segmented and isolated networks. Checkmk Cloud also expands the types of networks organizations can monitor. The agent’s new push mode allows organizations to monitor highly segmented networks in real time. The push mode also allows organizations to adhere to strict security standards of networks only capable of one-way, outbound communication - without the need to receive any prompts from the Checkmk site.

illustration of the push mode

Checkmk Cloud builds on deliberate decisions taken, and technological foundations laid in Checkmk Enterprise over the past years. The new auto-registration and agent push mode are only possible thanks to wide reaching improvements to the agents. 

For example, we expanded the agent with a new component, the Agent Controller; and the server with the respective counterpart, the Agent Receiver. The Agent Controller precedes the agent script, queries it and communicates with the Checkmk server on the script’s behalf. To do so, the Agent Controller registers with the Agent Receiver, which is also a new process running on the Checkmk server. The new component Agent Controller also allowed for new features of the agent, specifically  TLS encryption and data compression, which we introduced with Checkmk 2.1. 

This, and other changes to core components of Checkmk were necessary precursors to support  Checkmk Cloud`s powerful agent capabilities. 

illustration monitoring different cloud workloads

Modern licensing. Checkmk Cloud ships with a new and modern, and flexible license management for improved overall usability. The new Online Verification allows you to license your site(s) in mere seconds - and never worry about license audits again while getting full visibility into your subscription usage. Of course, the new licensing also includes options for deployments in secure networks without access to the outside world. 

Global use across your entire organization. Checkmk Cloud is built with the organizational structures of global players in mind, from a technical point of view, as well as the legal side. One subscription and license can be used across an entire organization, no matter how large, and including its affiliates, without requiring a separate Group Use license. 

OpenShift Monitoring. We developed a full fledged OpenShift integration for Checkmk Cloud to natively, and officially support OpenShift monitoring for the first time. Outside of Kubernetes solutions offered by cloud hyperscalers, Red Hat's OpenShift is one of the most important and widely used Kubernetes distribution. OpenShift is also a cornerstone of the hybrid world Checkmk Cloud was built for. 

OpenShift users can now also benefit from the well-received Kubernetes dashboards of Checkmk, providing powerful and actionable insights at a glance and in a well structured format. 

illustration for auto-registration

Grafana Cloud. Checkmk is now listed as a data source on the official Grafana plugin store, and thus Grafana Cloud officially integrates with Checkmk Cloud. Existing support of Grafana in Checkmk Enterprise remains untouched.

More deployment options than ever. Checkmk remains as agnostic and flexible as ever – customers maintain full control over where and how Checkmk runs. With the Checkmk Cloud, we are now adding the option to more seamlessly integrate Checkmk into your operations on AWS and Azure. Checkmk Cloud is listed on the Azure and AWS marketplaces, and can be deployed in minutes.