[Xymon] Xymon swarm proposal
henrik at hswn.dk
Sat Nov 28 12:37:11 CET 2015
the recent talk on xymon-developer about rewriting xymonproxy to support
TLS, IPv6 and other good stuff made me think about other ways of scaling
Xymon across large installations.
Which led me to the idea of having multiple independent Xymon servers -
a swarm, because no one Xymon server depends on the others, but they can
Simply put, you have a number of independent Xymon installations. Each
of them handles a group of servers - it could be one in each of your
datacentres, one for each organisational unit, one in each network
segment, or just a because you have such a large installation that a
single Xymon server cannot cope with the load (and that would be a
really big installation, judging by the numbers I hear). This all works
just like the Xymon you have today.
The only thing that is needed to have all of these independent Xymon
servers show up as a single (virtual) Xymon installation is to have the
Xymon webpages - generated by xymongen - to display a set of webpages
showing the status of all of the Xymon servers in the swarm. When you
click on the detailed status log, you are transparently sent to the
Xymon server that holds the data about that server (the URL points to
the Xymon server handling the particular server you want to check on).
The nice thing about this is that I think it can be implemented fairly
easily, i.e. without having to change anything fundamental in the way
the various Xymon programs work. Which means it will also be easy to
adapt into an existing Xymon installation, and with a good chance of not
introducing difficult-to-troubleshoot bugs (difficult because bugs
involving remote systems are always a headache to reproduce).
There are of course a few nitty-gritty details, e.g. "Find host" really
should be able to search across all of the servers in the swarm. But
those cases are rather few and fairly isolated to not be too much of a
Multiple independent Xymon servers
* Each site runs just like today.
* A new sites.cfg file lists the other sites (just a site ID and how
to contact xymond there)
* Each site UI (the static webpages from xymongen) merges data from
* More resilient - if one site dies, the others will remain operational
* Less cross-site traffic (local data remain local except when needed)
* Less load on each site (updates only go to one Xymon server)
* Horizontally scalable
* Hostnames must be unique globally. Probably not a significant problem.
* Functions that fetch data directly from disk-files cannot be
cross-site (rrd-files, history-logs), unless you can retrieve the
data via a network request. In a standard Xymon installation that
o Availability reports
o Event log reports (but see below)
o Multi-host graphs, unless all of the hosts are local
* Alerts are always handled locally
* hosts.cfg file for the page layout must be merged from all sites.
Can be a simple append-one-after-the-other (built-in) or perhaps
allow foran externally generated hosts.cfg - if you want to have
servers from multiple locations on one page.
* How do we handle non-unique pagenames? Transparently prefix them
with the remote site-ID?
* xymondboard data is fetched from multiple sites and combined
(appended) - handled in sendmessage()
* cgi-URL's are generated with a prefix of /SITE/ - no change
otherwise. The local webserver then proxies /SITE/ requests to the
* Should there be both a local and a global "all non-green" page?
Maybe even a full set of local and global webpages? That would be
easy by running xymongen twice - one for the local and one for the
global set of pages.
* No changes for sending status- or data-updates (status, combo,
extcombo, client, data, modify)
* Option to fetch data from multiple sites. This is already in place
for sending to multiple Xymon servers, so we just need to combine
the output response from multiple sites.
* When processing host-related requests, we learn where the host is
located. Cache this for use by various tools. Must be disk-based
(e.g. SQLite file) so it can be shared.
* hostinfo requests should only answer for the local hosts. No need to
consult the SQLite cache - no changes.
* "Find host" must be cross-site
* Ack-alert: Suggest making it local-only. Since alerts are only
generated locally, it makes sense to also only ack the local alerts.
* Enable/disable only on the local site? Use the "info" page
enable/disable (automatically local). Global enable/disable needs
some more looking into.
* Critical systems - would probably be nice to be able to do both a
local and a global version.
* Eventlog - would be nice to have both local and global, even though
that means fetching a (large) remote logfile. Will probably require
a new "eventlog" CGI interface for retrieving a remote logfile. It
is probably not something we want to do on every
critical-systems/all-nongreen webpage update. So those could keep
the local eventlog display (as-is), and then the eventlog CGI could
have the option of combining logs from all sites (or maybe a
selection of sites).
_Commands re. specific hosts_
First check via hostinfo cache (see below) if we know where the host is
(performance optimization). If not then simply broadcast the message to
all sites and combining any data that is returned - there will only be
data from one server.
* xymondlog, xymondxlog, clientlog
* hostinfo - sendmessage() will fetch the data for us, whether from
the local xymond or from the SQLite cache.
_Commands that collect data on multiple hosts_
* xymondboard, xymondxboard - option from user whether to fetch local
or global info. Handled in sendmessage()
_Command that only work locally_
* schedule. If done via web i/f it becomes automatically transparent,
but not for scripts. Probably only used for
disable/enable/drop/rename so makes most sense to do it locally.
Doing global would have to parse the message to detect which host it
Comments are very welcome.
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