Welcome to another post in our series of interview blogs for the upcoming Percona Live Europe 2017 in Dublin. This series highlights a number of talks that will be at the conference and gives a short preview of what attendees can expect to learn from the presenter.
This blog post is with Bernd Erk, CEO of Icinga. His talk is titled Monitoring Open-Source Databases With Icinga. Icinga is a popular open-source successor of Nagios that checks hosts and services and notifies you of their statuses. But you also need metrics for performance and growth to deal with your scaling needs. Adding conditional behaviors and configuration in Icinga is not just intuitive but also intelligently adaptive at runtime. In our conversation, we how to intelligently monitor open-source databases.
Percona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?
Bernd: I started a position as a junior systems engineer in a large German mail order company. They were totally committed to Oracle databases and the tool stack around it. As Linux gained more and more attention, we became aware of MySQL very early and were fascinated by the simplicity of installation and administration. There were of course so many things Oracle had in those days that MySQL didn't have, but most of our use cases also didn't require those extra (and of course expensive) features.
Percona: You're presenting a session called "Monitoring Open-Source Databases with Icinga." Why is monitoring databases important, and what sort of things need to be monitored?
Bernd: Usually, databases are a very important part of an IT infrastructure and need to be online 24/7. I also had the personal experience of database downtime putting a lot of pressure on both the organization in general and the team in charge. Since most open-source databases provide very good interfaces, it's not so hard to figure out whether they are up-and-running. Like in many monitoring arenas, knowing what to monitor is the important information.
In addition to the basic local and remote availability checks, monitoring database replication is very important. We often see environments where the standby slave is outdated by years or not able to keep up with the incoming load. From there, you can go into databases and application metrics to learn more about performance and I/O behavior.
Percona: Why are you using Icinga specifically? What value does it provide above other monitoring solutions?
Bernd: I've been involved with Icinga from the beginning, so it is my number-one choice in open-source monitoring. In my opinion, the great advance of Icinga 2 is not only the simplicity of legacy systems like Nagios (or Icinga 1) but also its support for complex environments (such as application-based clustering). There is also the live configuration of the Icinga 2 monitoring core through our REST API. With all the supported tools for metrics, logs, and management around it, for me, Icinga 2 is the best match for open-source monitoring.
Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?
Bernd: Attendees will get a short overview on Icinga 2 and how it is different from Nagios (Icinga 1). I will also guide them through practical monitoring examples and show implemented checks in a live demo. After my talk, they should be able to adapt and extend on-premise or cloud monitoring with Icinga 2 using the default open source plugins.
Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live Europe 2017?
Bernd: Getting together with the great database community in all aspects, and going to Dublin, to be honest. I have never been there, and so it is my first time.