Ep. 7 (part 3): Managing Hosts in Folder in Checkmk
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|[0:00:00]||Welcome to this third part of our series on working with rules and service parameters. In this video, we're going to take a look at how you can structure your hosts using folders.|
|[0:00:20]||Working with folders starts making sense when you have more than a handful of hosts so let's say 20 30 or 50 hosts. Many of our customers have thousands of hosts. And then it really becomes important that you have a well-designed structure.|
|[0:00:35]||Working or building a structure is in principle very easy think of it as a file system in Linux or windows where you have folders and subfolders, but in the end, there is no files in these folders but rather hosts. We also have a very good article on this topic and you can find that in our documentation. Let's have a look. So if you go to docs.checkmk.com then under the configuration section there is an article called host administration so let's open that.|
|[0:01:08]||And when you scroll down and here is an image that depicts pretty well how this works so you have this main directory which is automatically there and created by Checkmk and then for example you can create subdirectories for servers and network, and then you can simply add hosts to these folders.|
|[0:01:29]||This not only allows me to have a better structure but it's also a powerful feature. You can, for example, attach attributes or host tags to these folders. And all the hosts within that folder would then inherit those attributes and you can then make exceptions on those attributes on the host itself and how that works you can see here in this diagram you have a folder called the main directory which is added by default by Checkmk and here it has a "Prod" tag and a 'TCP' tag, now if you look down at the network folder the TCP tag is overridden by the "no agent" tag.|
|[0:02:10]||And on this host "F" the 'Prod' tag is overridden by a tag called 'test'. So now if you look at host "A" here, you'll see it has a 'Prod' and a 'TCP' tag both inherited by the folder Main Directory.|
|[0:02:27]||Host D has a 'Prod' tag and a 'No agent' tag the 'Prod' tag was also inherited by the main directory and the no agent tag is inherited by the folder network. The host F has a 'test' tag which is directly set on the host itself and it has a 'no agent' tag inherited by the folder, 'Network'.|
|[0:02:54]||And this is quite a powerful concept especially if you use it in combination with rules. So you could for example define host tags on a folder then configure rules that use those host tags then that rule will be applied to all the hosts within that folder.|
|[0:03:11]||You can even attach rules directly to a folder and let me show you how that works. We're now back in a monitoring system that we've built throughout the series So let's go to setup and hosts. You see we have six hosts here. Let's now create a folder we do that by clicking this button 'add folder'. Immediately you can see that there are quite a lot of settings here and I will go over this later in this video.|
|[0:03:36]||For now, let's stick to the basic settings and give this first folder a name called Network like in a diagram we saw in the documentation. That's it for now just press Save. And now you see here that there is a folder called Network.|
|[0:03:58]||Let's quickly create another one called Servers. Again, save.|
|[0:04:07]||So now we have two folders here the next thing we should do is move one of the hosts to these new folders. So for example let's move switch1 to the Network folder. And there are a few ways you can do this, the simplest way is to simply click on this folder icon, and pick the folder that you want to move it to. Now you see this is no longer empty but it has one host and also switch1 has disappeared from this main directory.|
|[0:04:40]||Now let's say that we want to move the rest to the folder called Servers. We can do that all at once by selecting them all press this 'x' icon here, now all the rows have been selected and now we just go to 'Hosts' and 'Move to other folder'. Then from this drop-down we can select the folder we want to move to, Servers and press 'Move'. The main directory is now empty what we recommend is that you either add hosts or subfolders to a folder. You can also mix the two but you risk the chance that it all gets a bit confusing and cluttered.|
|[0:05:26]||So unless it's really necessary I would advise to exclusively add hosts or subfolders to a folder. When you hover over a folder you see this pencil icon here. If you click on it, you can edit the properties of this folder.|
|[0:05:39]||That would be the same as going into the folder and then under folder go to 'Properties'. And here you see all the properties of the folders and you should be able to recognize this because these are the same as you would see on a host. Let's close these sections and go to "My Custom Tags".|
|[0:05:58]||Here you see a host deck which we created in the last episode and we could use this to say that every host within this folder gets the application tag called 'Web Server'.|
|[0:06:13]||When I would now add a new host to this folder it should immediately get this tag called app:web only when I explicitly set another value for that tag directly on the host it will get that value instead. So let's save that now you see here DB_server3 still has the host tag application:db. If we edit this host you see that it's explicitly defined here so let's remove that. Now you see that it inherits 'Web server' from the folder called Servers.|
|[0:06:51]||So we save that, now you see here it has the host-tag, 'application:web'.|
|[0:06:59]||When you build this structure the right way then you're going to notice that you don't need many exceptions like this, you can simply let the host inherit the values from the folder.|
|[0:07:10]||But of course, you can always override this value on the host itself. What we can do is remove all these attributes that we have explicitly set on all these hosts, of course we can do that by going into each host and uncheck all the boxes but we can also do that for multiple hosts at once.|
|[0:07:31]||For example, if I select all of these hosts and then go to 'Hosts' and then 'Remove explicit attribute settings', You see here we can pick attributes that we want to unset on all these hosts. So let's do that for the application and the criticality now save and if we now go into DB_server3 again.|
|[0:07:59]||You see here that like previously it's inherited from the servers folder, if I now go look at the criticality under custom attributes you see that now it's the default value and it's the default value because we did not explicitly define a criticality on the folder itself.|
|[0:08:21]||The rest works the same as before I can still work with rules as before the only thing that has changed is that some of the values are now inherited from folders when I work with host tags.|
|[0:08:33]||There is one new thing namely I can add rules directly to a folder. Let me show you how that works. Let's take a look at some of the rules we have previously created. So if we go to setup and then rule search, we can type in 'cpu util', and then here on our CPU utilization on Linux and Unix, we can find two of the rules that we have created in the previous video. Let's edit one of them.|
|[0:09:04]||Here the second line under conditions, here you can specify to which folder this rule should apply. So we could say okay this rule will now only apply to the folder called Servers.|
|[0:09:17]||And it will also be applied to all its subfolders if there would be any. And now you can see that this ruleset has been split into two sections.|
|[0:09:30]||And here the same inheritance principle applies as to attributes which means that rules placed in subfolders will be applied over rules applied on higher-level folders.|
|[0:09:45]||And that's basically how folders work it's a very easy yet very powerful concept when used correctly. It's also a very good way to structure a large number of hosts. And when you set up your rules and folders in an intelligent way, then whenever you add a new host and place it in a correct folder it will automatically inherit all the right attributes. And all the correct rules will be automatically applied to it. Now you might ask yourself what structure should I apply to my setup?|
|[0:10:17]||All I can say is that there is no golden rule. But we have noticed that there are three general approaches to it. One would be to organize it per location, another one would be to organize it for technology and a third one would be to organize it for your organization or groups of people.|
|[0:10:37]||Now let's say you have a data center in New York, one in London and one here in Munich. You could create a folder for each of them and that would have the advantage with distributed monitoring that you could set per folder from where it should be monitored. When you want to organize it per technology, you could for example create a folder called 'Network' and configure on the folder that all the hosts within should be monitored using SNMP. And if you want to organize it for your organization or groups of people you could for example create a folder called 'DevOps'.|
|[0:11:14]||Then on that folder, you can configure the permissions that only that group of people can see and edit the folders or the hosts in that folder and that's it for this series on working with rules and service parameters. I hope this was helpful to you. If it was, please like the video and subscribe to the channel. And for now until the next episode.|
Ep. 1: Installing Checkmk 2.0 and monitoring your first host
In this video, Baris explains how to take get started with Checkmk and start monitoring your first host within a few minutes.
Ep. 2: The Checkmk 2.0 user interface
In this video, Baris take you through the new user interface in Checkmk 2.0. He explains the various components of the User interface such as the new navigation menus, the Sidebar, main dashboard, tactical overview, how to switch between the Checkmk interface themes and much more
Ep. 3: Using SNMP to monitor network devices in Checkmk 2.0
In this episode, Baris explains how to monitor network devices with Checkmk. SNMP is a protocol that many switches, routers, printers, UPSs, hardware sensors and other devices have implemented with the purpose of being able to monitor them easily.
Ep. 4: Monitoring Windows in Checkmk
In this video of our Getting started with Checkmk series, Baris explains how to install a Checkmk agent on a Windows host system and add that into your monitoring environment.
Ep. 5: Using metrics and graphs in Checkmk 2.0
In the 5th episode of the Getting started with Checkmk series, Baris explains using various metrics that you can monitor in Checkmk such as CPU utilization, CPU load etc. You can also see graph visualizations for these metrics or create and customize your own as per your requirements.
Ep. 6: Updating Checkmk 2.0 and using multiple instances
In this video, Baris explains how to update your Checkmk instance. It is very easy and can be done within minutes. You can run multiple Checkmk instances with different versions on the same system. This gives you the flexibility to test the new version before using it in production.
Ep. 7 (part 1): Working with rules and setting thresholds in Checkmk
In the following three-part videos series, Baris explains rule-based monitoring with Checkmk. In the first part, he shows you how you can work with rules and set threshold values. Rule-based configuration is one of the key features for Checkmk which helps you to scale your monitoring easily within minutes.
Ep. 7 (part 2): Smart rules with Host Tags in Checkmk
In the second part of this video, Baris explains using Smart rules with host tags in Checkmk. In the first part, he shows you how you can work with rules and set threshold values. These are features that you can use to build your rules even more intelligently and to better organize your monitoring.
Ep. 8: Working with Host and Service Groups in Checkmk
In this Baris demonstrates how to create host and service groups in Checkmk, so you can perform actions on an entire group instead of configuring each of them individually.
Ep. 9: Using the Quicksearch function in Checkmk
In this episode of the Checkmk tutorials, Baris shows how you can use the Quicksearch function in Checkmk. You can use it to easily find and manage certain hosts or services. He also explains some examples of filters to you. In Checkmk 2.0 you can use the same syntax in the Seach function found in the monitor menu to get identical results.
Ep. 10: Detecting configuration errors with the Analyze Configuration feature
With the Analyze Configuration feature, you can check if there are any configuration errors in your installation. Checkmk controls a number of possible security risks or potential performance restrictions and indicates if there are any problems.
Ep. 11: View creation and customization in Checkmk
In this video, Baris demonstrates how to customize headers, columns, and more in Views in Checkmk for yourself or other users. He also explains how to create custom views and add desired information to these views.
Ep. 12: Acknowledging problems in Checkmk
In this video, Baris explains how you can acknowledge problems in Checkmk. This function helps you to qualify the states of hosts and services. This allows you to keep track of messages in the main dashboard and, for example, you can add comments to problems.
Ep. 13: Scheduling downtimes in Checkmk
In the episode of our Getting started with Checkmk series, Baris explains how you can manage the maintenance times of your systems in Checkmk. Such scheduled downtimes prevent your monitoring from sending false alarms when a host or service goes to WARN or CRIT during maintenance work. You can also inform the users concerned about the maintenance via Checkmk.
Ep. 14: Distributed monitoring with Checkmk
In this video, Baris explains how you can connect several Checkmk instances to a monitoring system and then manage it.
Ep. 15: MKPs and Plugins in Checkmk
In the 15th episode of our Getting started with Checkmk tutorial series, Baris explains what are Checkmk Extension Packages (MKPs) and how easy it is to integrate them into your Checkmk monitoring environment. MKPs are the preferred format when you make your own extensions as it makes it easy to share with other users or deploy in distributed environments.
Ep. 16: Working with 'Bulk Actions' in Checkmk
In this episode of our Checkmk tutorials series, Baris explains how you can save a lot of time with bulk actions. With this feature you can perform various tasks such as deleting, renaming, service discovery etc. on a large number of hosts simultaneously.
Ep. 17: Working with network topologies in Checkmk
In this video of our gettign startted with Checkmk series, Baris explains how to map network topologies in Checkmk. This feature is quite helpful to manage your network and prevent any unnecessary notifications from the devices in your network.
Ep. 18: Creating and customizing dashboards in Checkmk
In this video of our Getting started with Checkmk series, Mathias explains how you can create and customize dashboards in Checkmk 2.0, so you can get insights into your monitoring according to your requirements. Find out more in this video.
Ep. 19: Monitoring websites and their certificates with Checkmk
In this episode, Bastian demonstrates how to monitor a website and its certificate with Checkmk. You can also monitor specific web pages with Checkmk by using the several options that will suit your use case. Learn more in this video.
Ep. 20: Configuring dashboard elements in Checkmk
Learn how to add data visualization elements of the various metrics into your Checkmk Dashboard. In this video, Mathias explains how you can configure these elements and create a dashboard as per your requirements.
Ep. 21: Setting up notifications in Checkmk
Learn how to set up notifications in Checkmk and assign relevant contacts and contact groups to be notified for various events. Later in this video, our presenter Bastian also demonstrates how you can set up rule-based notifications according to different conditions for hosts and services.
Ep. 22: Monitoring logfiles with Checkmk
Monitor your logfiles with Checkmk using its Logwatch plugin. It is very useful when you want to monitor your logfiles regardless of whether you are using a UNIX/Linux or a windows based system. Learn more in this video.
Ep. 24: 3 Rules for efficient network monitoring
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Ep. 25: New UX and security improvements in Checkmk 2.1
Checkmk 2.1 come with many UX improvements such as pre-built dashboards for Linux and Windows, faster core performance and much more. Security features such as two-factor authentication etc. were also added in this new version. Watch this video to learn how to use these new features and enhancements in Checkmk.
Ep. 28: Working with InfluxDB integration in Checkmk
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Ep. 29: New agent architecture in Checkmk 2.1
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Ep. 30: Clustering the Checkmk appliance
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Ep. 32: Working with the Agent bakery in Checkmk
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Ep 33: Monitoring Docker containers with Checkmk
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Ep 34: Introduction to Checkmk Ansible collection
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Ep 35: Monitoring SQL databases with Checkmk
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