Case Studies

Zenoss Implementation

By 21/05/2019 July 3rd, 2019 No Comments
Aptira Zenoss Monitoring

This use case covers two of a Telco’s custom-developed platforms that provide network overlay services to Fortune 500 companies and government entities. They require platform-wide monitoring and would like to utilise Zenoss – an intelligent application and service monitoring tool.


The Challenge

The two custom platforms this Telco has developed consist of OpenFlow Network infrastructure, OpenStack Infrastructure and several applications including: Cloudify, an SDN Controller and Network Flow Programming Tools.

The customer had a requirement for platform-wide monitoring to capture operational events in the platform and send them to a third-party dashboard in near real-time. They had already selected (and were previously using) a tool named Zenoss as the event monitoring and management platform and asked Aptira to configure it to meet their requirements.

The platform components that required monitoring included:

Hardware

  • Bare Metal Servers
  • Top of Rack Network Switches
  • Noviflow switches

Software

  • Linux Operating System
  • Server OS (KVM hypervisors)
  • Top of Rack Network Switch Operating System
  • Noviware Operating System

Applications

  • OpenStack + Ceph cluster
  • Cloudify cluster
  • SDN controllers

Their requirements extended to additional metrics and custom events, thresholds and alerts that were not available in the standard platform. In order to implement these requirements, we exploited a feature of Zenoss that allows easy expansion of monitoring capability as modular plugins. These plugins are called ZenPacks.

Some of the customer’s requirements were covered in existing Zenpacks, e.g. the OpenStack and Bare Metal Server ILO Zenpacks. However, most requirements were not covered by any existing Zenpacks. Examples of components that needed additional capabilities include:

  • Cloudify Services and Cluster health check
  • SDN controller service and UI health check
  • SDN Etree, Eline services status
  • Noviflow Eline and Etree paths
  • Noviflow CLI, OF, Physical ports status, etc

Implementing these additional capabilities was a key objective of Aptira’s solution.


The Aptira Solution

Aptira developed custom capabilities for ZenOSS to provide functionality for custom monitoring, and to send alerts to a third-party dashboard. To fulfil these additional requirements, we were able to develop custom plugin capabilities.

We considered the option of enhancing existing Zenpacks like OpenStack, Bare Metal Servers ILO, and Linux. However, this would have created dependencies to multiple existing Zenpacks that would have complicated their lifecycle management. Any enhancements of existing Zenpacks would have to be continually updated with the custom-developed enhancements.

Instead, we developed a single custom Zenpack and integrated it with ZenOSS and the platforms, implementing the required functionality and making it easy to update and maintain existing Zenpacks.

To send the alerts to the third-party dashboard, we created Ansible playbooks which can easily add/remove devices to/from Zenoss and the third-party alerting dashboard.

Aptira also developed Ansible playbooks to perform maintenance functions on the integrated Zenoss solution, including adding devices, configuring events and triggers and notification/alerts via those playbooks.

This entire process was completed (including requirements, design, development and configuration) within the customer’s platform. This included:

  • Adding the devices in the third-party alerting dashboard and Zenoss
  • Configuring the Ansible playbooks that perform events notification
  • Installed the custom-developed Zenpack on the customer’s operational Zenoss system

The Result

Aptira was able to successfully complete this enhancement and enabling the customer to monitor all devices with their custom requirements. Events are now visible within Zenoss as well as the third-party dashboard.


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