Planet OpenNMS

November 28, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: November 28th, 2016

In the last week we worked on documentation and configuration, various internals, Minion, graphs and the web UI, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Documentation and Configuration

    Jesse converted a number of datacollection configuration files from Castor to JAXB. Ronny and Seth updated...

November 28, 2016 04:47 PM

November 22, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: November 22nd, 2016

In the last week we worked on documentation, various internals, Minion, maps, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Documentation

    Cyrill worked on documenting eventd-configuration.xml, Ronny did more work on user/group documentation.

  • Internals, Events and Alarms

    Will (with some h...

November 22, 2016 03:31 PM

November 21, 2016

Network World Reviews OpenNMS

Today Network World published the results of a comparison among open source network monitoring applications. OpenNMS did not win but I was pretty happy with the article.

The main criticism I have is that the winner, Pandora FMS, seems to be the only one of the four reviewed that is more “open core” than “open source”. They have a large number of versions, each with different features, and you have to pay for those features based on the number of monitored devices. It seems to be difficult to have open source software that is limited in this fashion, as anyone should be able to easily remove that limit. Thus I have to assume that their revenue model is firmly based on selling software licenses, which is antithetical to open source. That said, it looks like the review was based on the “community” version of Pandora which does appear to be free software, just don’t expect any of the “enterprise” features to be available in that version any time soon.

I don’t know why I have such a visceral dislike of the “per managed node” pricing model, outside of having to deal with it back in the 1990s and 2000s. It seems like an unnecessary tax on your growth, “hey, customer, for every new device you add you have to pay for another monitoring license.” Plus, in these days of virtualization and microservices it seems silly. Our customers might spin up between 10 and 100 virtual servers as needed and tear them down just as quickly, and I can’t imagine the complexity that would get added to have to manage a license of each one of them.

Network World Comparison

Of the other applications reviewed, I’m not familiar with NetXMS but I do know Zabbix. They, like OpenNMS, are 100% open source and they are great people. It was awesome to finally meet Alexei Vladishev in person at this year’s All Things Open conference.

Alexei Vladishev and Tarus Balog

The only other thing that immediately pushed a button was the sentence “All four products were surprisingly good.” At first I took it to express surprise that free software could also be good, but then I calmed down a bit and figured they meant it was surprising that all four applications were strong.

For the article they installed OpenNMS on Windows. When I read that my heart just sank, because while it does run on Windows our support of that operating system grew out of a bet. We were talking many years ago about Java’s “write once, run anywhere” slogan and I mentioned that if that were true, why don’t we run on Windows? The team took up the challenge and it took two weeks to port. The first week was spent getting the few bits of code written in C to compile on Windows, and the second week on soft-coding the file separator character so that it would use a back-slash instead of a forward-slash. Even on Windows, the comments in the article were really positive, which make me think this whole Java thing isn’t such a bad idea after all (grin).

They used Windows because apparently was an issue with getting OpenNMS installed on CentOS 7, which was a surprise to me, but then Ronny pointed out that there can be some weird conflicts with Java and packages like LibreOffice that I don’t experience since I always do a minimal install. There is a cool installer for CentOS 7 which may help with that. We also maintain Docker images that make installation easy if you are used to that environment.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, not much has been done for OpenNMS on Windows since we got it working. It is fortunate because not much is required to keep OpenNMS running on Windows due to Java, but it is unfortunate because we really don’t have the Windows expertise that would be required to get it to run as a service, create an MSI installer, etc. Susan Perschke, the author of the article, seems to be a Windows-guru so I plan to reach out to her about improving the OpenNMS experience for Windows users.

One thing that is both common and valid is criticism of the web user interface. At the moment we spend most of our time focused on making OpenNMS even more scalable, and thus we don’t have the resources to make the user interface easier to use. That is changing, and most of the current effort goes into Compass™, the OpenNMS mobile app. The article didn’t mention it which means they probably didn’t try it out, which is more a failure on our part to market it versus an oversight on theirs.

They also didn’t talk directly about scalability, although it was listed in the comparison chart (see above). OpenNMS is designed to monitor tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of devices with our goal to be virtually unlimited in order to address scale on the order of the Internet of Things. That is why we wrote Newts for storing performance data and are working on both the Minion and Underling to easily distribute OpenNMS functionality.

Another reason we haven’t spent much time on the user interface is that our larger customers tend not to use it much. They rely on the ReST interface to integrate their own systems with OpenNMS and on things like the Trouble Ticketing API for alerts. As the paradigm shifts from monitoring devices to monitoring services, we have made improvements to the user interface for such things as “Business Service Monitoring.

But still, it was nice to be included. We don’t do much direct marketing and even though typing “open source network monitoring” into Google returns OpenNMS as the first hit we are often overlooked. Let’s hope they revisit this in a year and we can impress them even more.

by Tarus at November 21, 2016 04:22 PM

November 18, 2016

Android Open Source Frustrations

I used to be a huge fan of Apple products, but as they started to lock down their ecosystem the limitations they created started to bother me, so I switched to running as much open source as possible.

It wasn’t, and isn’t always now, easy. One of the gripes I still have against Apple is that their commercial success has spawned a ton of imitators who have decided to lock down their products, quite often without the Apple savvy to back it up. Unfortunately, Google seems to be joining these ranks.

I’m a fan of Google, they do a lot to support open source, and I use a Nexus 6 as my primary “hand terminal” (handy). However, I run alternative software on it, namely OmniROM, which gives me more control over my experience and security.

I pretty much run open source software on all my technology with few exceptions, one being my Android Wear watch. I noticed that there was a new update to Android Wear (version 2.0) so I went to play with it. When I launched the app I got this screen:

Android Wear App Error

(sigh)

So I went off to search for a solution to the error message “This phone has been flashed with an unsupported configuration for companion. you must re-flash it as either signed/user or unsigned/userdebug”. I found a couple of answers that suggested I edit the build.prop file and change

ro.build.type=userdebug

to

ro.build.type=user

In order to do this, you have to have root access to your phone.

(sigh)

I do root my phone, but I haven’t done it in awhile because Google has introduced this thing called “SafetyNet“. The stated purpose is to prevent malware but in practice what it does is torpedo people like me who actually want to control the software on the devices they own. If you install a custom ROM or have root access, certain applications will not run.

Now I have to choose between running the Android Wear app or, say, Pokémon Go. I chose Android Wear (I pretty much finished Pokémon Go).

The process: Boot into recovery, install SuperSU, boot into system, use a file editor to edit /system/build.prop and change ro.build.type from “userdebug” to “user”, reboot.

Android Wear Mute

So Android Wear will start now, but to add to the frustration the one feature I hoped they would fix is still broken for me. It used to be that if my watch was actively paired with the phone, it would mute ringing and other audio notifications. It doesn’t (and none of the fixes I’ve found work for me) so now I just remember to decrease the volume on the phone down to “vibrate”.

Pokemon Go Blocks root

And, I verified that Pokémon Go will not start now – it hangs on the login screen and then reports an error. This is whether or not SuperSU is enabled, and I think I would have to remove it entirely to get it to work.

Now I know that I can install other apps that will hide the fact that my phone is rooted, but if I do that the terrorists win. I would just rather use apps that don’t force me to give up my rights.

Which brings me to the last frustration. I purchased a bunch of content from Google, but now I can’t access it on this phone. I get “couldn’t fetch license”. This started recently so I believe it has something to do with SafetyNet, but repeated calls to Google Play support yielded no answers.

Google License Error - Deadpool

I have a Google 6P that is stock and doesn’t suffer from the download issue, so it stands to reason that there is some “protection” in place that is preventing me from accessing the content I purchased. I solved the problem by not buying content from Google Play anymore.

I’m pretty certain that it is only going to get worse. Google used to be much better about such things but I think they want to emulate Apple in more ways than one (see the new Pixel phone if you don’t believe me) and that is a shame for all of us.

UPDATE: I found a better way to do this that doesn’t require root. Assuming you have a custom recovery like TWRP, you can simply boot into recovery and then connect the handy to a computer. Using “adb shell” you can then access the system directory and edit the build.prop file directly.

by Tarus at November 18, 2016 06:02 PM

November 16, 2016

Releases

Release Announcements

November 16, 2016 09:57 AM

November 14, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: November 14th, 2016

In the last week we worked on documentation and configuration files, maps, Newts, various polling and provisioning internals, the web UI, ReST, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Documentation and Configuration

    Ronny did documentation updates for Pollerd and poll-outages configuration f...

November 14, 2016 03:31 PM

November 10, 2016

2016 All Things Open

I made the decision to stop going to conferences for 2016, but I made an exception for All Things Open (ATO). Not only is it an amazing show, it’s also in my back yard, and the combination is not something I can pass up.

I love conferences. My favorite track is always the “hallway” track and I really enjoy spending time with people that I tend only to see these events. The problem is that I started to do the math.

In 2015, due to work travel, I was gone part or all of 26 weekends (I travel about 50% of the time, and often that means I head out on Sunday and back on Saturday). That leaves 26 weekends free. Of those, at least 10 are taken up with vacations, holidays, birthdays and other social engagements, leaving me just 16 or so weekends to myself. If I do 5 to 10 conferences, most of which are held over a weekend, I’m left with less than a weekend a month.

Plus, OpenNMS is going like gang-busters, so I really need to focus on that business. While I love open source conferences, we don’t get many customers out of them (one exception is the Ohio Linuxfest which seems to attract a large number of OpenNMS users) so it can be hard to justify the time (although they are a whole lot of fun).

Anyway, since ATO was the main show I was going to be involved with this year, we decided to host a party that first night. I also submitted some papers, and to my surprise two of them were accepted.

I headed out on Tuesday afternoon, as the wonderful team at opensource.com was hosting a gathering for contributors that night. That was a lot of fun and a number of us ended up at Foundation afterward. As a cocktail enthusiast I had always wanted to visit, but it is about an hour from my house I don’t want to drink and drive. Since I was staying downtown for the event, that issue went away and I had a great time.

The conference was held in the Raleigh Convention Center, and you could see the registration desk from my hotel room.

ATO - View from Marriott

Wednesday was start of the conference. ATO is organized by Todd Lewis, the nicest guy in open source, and he kicked off the keynotes.

ATO - Todd Lewis

Todd’s superpower is organization, and not only did the conference run smoothly, he got some great speakers. Jim Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat, did a talk on the social benefits of open source.

ATO - Jim Whitehurst

We also got a talk from Mark Hinkle, the VP of Marketing of the Linux Foundation. He was recruited at the last minute due to a cancellation, and I thought he did a good job especially considering his time to prepare (unlike normal, I actually had my presentations done at least a week before the conference).

ATO - Mark Hinkle

He started off with some “separated at birth” pictures between punk rockers and open source personalities, which reminded me of something that hit me when it was announced that the DB Cooper investigation was being closed.

ATO - DB Cooper and Jim Whitehurst

I think Jim was about four years old when DB Cooper hijacked that plane, but the similarity is striking.

Another keynote speaker was Jono Bacon.

ATO - Jono Bacon

Always (well, usually) interesting, I love how he has been working the relatively new field of behavioral economics into his talks of late. It is the study of how human psychology can impact economic decision-making and I think it has a lot of relevance in a field where businesses often tout the word “free”. By understanding how we behave we can better align our communities to meet the needs and desires of their participants.

After the keynotes were the individual sessions. I had two back-to back.

ATO - Tarus Balog

Thanks to Ben for the picture, which captures me in my full “Fred Flintstone” glory. Click on the pic below if you want to see the slides, and I did a interview for DZone on my talks. I did embed some video which won’t show up on the PDF, though.

My first talk was on the challenges facing us with the Internet of Things, especially when it comes to monitoring.

ATO - Silos Presentation

It was lightly attended but everyone who came seemed to get a lot out of it.

Right after that I did a new, updated version of my open source business talk.

ATO - Business Presentation

That one was standing room only, and I was really pleased with the feedback. One guy was telling me that he has seen a number of presentations about running an open source business but mine was the only one with concrete examples. I’m glad folks liked it.

Once my talks were done it was time for lunch and I was pretty much done with my obligations. The main one left was to help prepare for the OpenNMS Group sponsored concert at King’s Raleigh. We had hired MC Frontalot and his band to play a show in Portland, Oregon for OSCON, and the Doubleclicks opened. It was so much fun we decided it would be cool to bring it closer to home.

ATO - Doubleclicks

If you haven’t heard of the Doubleclicks you should check out their music. Even if you have, you might want to familiarize yourself with their catalog, especially if, like I did, you think it would be funny to shout out “Freebird!” in the middle of their show (ouch).

ATO - Mc Frontalot

The MC Frontalot set was really tight as well. I love working for professionals. We when got there and there was no keyboard and half the drum kit was missing, I was a mess. They calmly got it all sorted and then really kicked it during the show. They premiered “Freedom Feud” – a song we commissioned about free software. Front is still working on the final master and we have a video in production, so look for it to be posted soon, and thanks to Ben for the concert pics.

Even though I didn’t get to bed until about 04:30 (we eventually ended up in the hotel listening to some tracks Front is writing for the next album that’s all about the Internets) I was back up at 08:00 for Day Two of ATO. With my responsibilities out of the way it was nice to listen to the talks and visit with all the cool people in attendance.

Many thanks to everyone who came to my talks, to Todd and Company for a great show, and to OpenNMS for hosting a party for all my friends. See you next year.

by Tarus at November 10, 2016 07:17 PM

November 07, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: November 7th, 2016

In the last week we worked on maps, various internal fixes and polling, the web UI, ReST, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Maps

    Markus did more work cleaning up history and session handling in the topology UI.

  • Internals and Polling

    I did some cleanup of jar-signing for JNLP du...

November 07, 2016 03:31 PM

October 31, 2016

Move to Let’s Encrypt – it’s soooo easy!

This weekend I wanted to play around with setting up Nextcloud on my home network (we already use it at work and it is awesome). Since I am planning on putting personal information into that app, I wanted to make sure that access to it was encrypted end-to-end.

This meant setting up SSL on my home web server. Now, it used to be that you either had to use a self-signed certificate (which could cause problems) or you had to spend a bunch of money on a certificate from a recognized Certificate Authority (CA).

Enter Let’s Encrypt. Launched in April of this year, Let’s Encrypt provides free certificates that are recognized by most of the things you need to recognize them.

I had been putting it off since dealing with certs is, quite frankly, a pain. You have to fill out a request, send it to the CA, get back a key file, install it in the write place, etc. Even with a free one I didn’t have time for the hassle.

I shouldn’t have worried – with Certbot it is dead simple. Seriously.

Certbot Screen

I went to their site (as directed from the Let’s Encrypt site) and just followed the instructions. I downloaded a script which downloaded all the required dependencies via apt, answered a few questions, and, bam, I had a functioning web server running SSL. They even prompted me if I wanted all requests to port 80 (http) to be redirected to port 443 (https) and when I said “yes” it did it for me.

The whole process took a couple of minutes.

Amazing stuff. The certificates are only good for 90 days, but they even include an automated way to update them.

Certbot Certificate Renewal

As more and more of our personal information becomes digitized, it is extremely important to use strong encryption. In the past this could be inconvenient if not outright difficult, but you really don’t have an excuse with Let’s Encrypt. Use it.

by Tarus at October 31, 2016 04:07 PM

This Week in OpenNMS: October 31st, 2016

In the last week we worked on maps, various internal fixes, ReST, the Minion, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Maps

    Markus made it possible to persist topology map layouts to the database so they can be modified.

  • Internals

    Jesse did some more work on upgrading to Jetty 9.4. D...

October 31, 2016 03:26 PM

October 24, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: October 24th, 2016

In the last week we worked on maps, various internals, Minion, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Maps

    Markus fixed a singleton/scope bug, as well as doing more work on breadcrumbs/history in the topology maps.

  • Internals

    Jesse converted more configuration file parsing from the o...

October 24, 2016 03:26 PM

October 17, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: October 17th, 2016

In the last week we worked on data collection, Minion, maps, users and groups, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Data Collection

    Chandra added logging for JMX task completion.

  • Minion

    I worked more on Minion packaging and making the Minion packages run as a normal user on non-pr...

October 17, 2016 03:26 PM

October 10, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: October 10th, 2016

In the last week we worked on data collection, Minion, maps, users and groups, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • Data Collection

    Alejandro fixed an issue in SNMP counter wrap causing spikes in graphs. Ronny added collection configuration for Elasticsearch stats (using the XmlCollector...

October 10, 2016 03:26 PM

October 03, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: October 3rd, 2016

In the last week we worked on ActiveMQ, Minion, and bug fixes.

Github Project Updates

  • ActiveMQ

    Jesse worked on making our ActiveMQ instance able to authenticate using our JAAS realm.

  • Minion

    Deepak and Seth's work on cleaning up trap serialization was merged to develop. I worked on...

October 03, 2016 03:26 PM

September 26, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: September 26th, 2016

In the last week we worked on dependency updates, Minion, ElasticSearch, and bug fixing.

Github Project Updates

  • Dependency Updates

    Jesse did some more work on upgrading to the latest Jetty and Camel. He also updated HikariCP to the latest version and made it our default pooling implemen...

September 26, 2016 03:26 PM

September 20, 2016

OpenNMS Horizon 18.0.2

OpenNMS 18.0.2 (code name: Muskrat) is now available.

This is a reasonably small bug-fix release, with a few fixes and enhancements, as well as a fix for a cross-site-scripting vulnerability.

Notable Changes

  • improvements to bridge link discovery in Enlinkd
  • fixed SVG alarm status
  • fixed Re...

September 20, 2016 08:05 PM

September 19, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: September 19th, 2016

In the last week we worked on ICMP updates, Jetty, Minion, ElasticSearch, and bug fixing.

Github Project Updates

  • ICMP Updates

    My changes to JNA, JICMP, and JICMP6 have been merged into develop for inclusion in 19.0.0.

  • Dependency Updates

    Jesse did some more work on upgrading to the...

September 19, 2016 03:26 PM

September 12, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: September 12th, 2016

In the last week we worked on data collection, the Minion, the topology UI, provisioning, web UI cleanup, SNMP, roles and authentication, and the OSGi plugin manager.

Github Project Updates

  • Data Collection

    Jesse improved the datacollection APIs and modernized the HTTP, JDBC, JMX, NSClient,...

September 12, 2016 03:26 PM

Open Core Returns from the Dead (sigh)

The last 18 months of my life have been delightfully free of “open core” companies. These were companies who pretended to be “open source”, at least in their marketing materials, yet their business model was based on selling “enterprise extensions” which consisted of proprietary software that actually had the features you wanted. Basically, the open source piece was a loss leader to get you to buy the commercial edition, and as Brian Prentice pointed out so eloquently there was no real difference between “open core” and traditional closed source software. We like to call these businesses “fauxpen source“.

Customers realized this as well, which lead most open core companies to switch their tactics. While many still maintain an open source project, they have removed the term “open source” from their websites and most of their marketing (often replacing it with “open architecture”). I’m happy with this, as it allows true open source companies like OpenNMS and Nextcloud to differentiate ourselves while allowing these other companies to still produce open source software without misleading the market.

But lately I’ve been introduced to two new licenses that offer access to the source code without meeting the ten requirements of the Open Source Definition. These licenses further muddy the waters due to giving access to the code without including the freedoms of truly open software.

The first case was from Monty Widenius, who announced a proprietary Business Source License (BSL) for some of the MariaDB products. Monty was the guy who earned €16.6 million by selling MySQL to Sun and then got upset when Sun got bought by Oracle. Apparently, he seems to be unhappy that he isn’t earning enough money from his fork of MySQL products so he wants to create commercial software but not call it that.

The BSL, or as I call it, the “Rape of Large Companies License” allows the developer to offer the code up for use for free unless you cross some sort of arbitrary threshold, also set by the developer. In three years that code will revert to an OSI approved license, in this case the GPLv2, and if you are above the usage threshold then you don’t have to pay anymore.

I’m not sure what his goals are here, outside of running a commercial software business while paying lip service to open source software. Perhaps he hopes to get people to contribute to BSL licensed projects as long as their use case is small enough not to cross the “pay me” threshold, but more likely he just wants to ride on the coattails of the success of open source software without committing to it.

I learned of another such license called the Fair Source License (FSL) from a post by Ben Boyter who writes the Searchcode Server. Ben, at least, is a lot more up front about his reasons for adding a “GPL Timebomb” to his code. Initially, the code is published under the FSL but with a switch to the GPLv3 in three years. He isn’t expecting contributions and instead has offered up the code simply so it can be audited for back doors. As this is one of the more powerful features of open source software I applaud him for doing it, but I really wish he hadn’t used the term “bomb”. I have to deal with terms like “GPL poisoning” enough in my business that negative words like that just tend to scare people. He should have called it “Happy Fun Lucky GPL Gift Giving Time!”

Look, I’m all for anything that gets more code out there under an OSI-approved license but, c’mon, three years is a lifetime in this industry. Enterprise customers, who would be most affected by this license, will still have to approach the buying decision as if a BSL or FSL licensed application were commercial software. Even with the three year revenue window, it is unclear what happens if, say, a huge security bug is discovered three years out. Does the code to fix that bug restart the clock?

The whole process is confusing and doesn’t help the cause of open source software. I think open source is awesome and extremely powerful, and when I see things like this I’m almost insulted, as if the developer is saying “when I’m done you are welcome to my leftovers”. Instead of announcing a future switch to an open source license years in advance, they should just open it when they are ready, like id Software does with the Doom engine.

I’m giving a talk at All Things Open about running a truly open source business, the core point of which is that you can’t have an open source business with a business model based around selling software. No matter how you dress it up by either calling it “open core” or “business source” it is still proprietary software.

by Tarus at September 12, 2016 12:57 PM

September 01, 2016

OpenNMS Group Turns Twelve

Heh, it almost slipped my mind completely but The OpenNMS Group turned 12 years old today.

I did have to go give our co-founder, David Hustace, a hug and if we weren’t so slammed it would have been time for a beer. Raincheck.

I did spend a second reflecting on our wonderful customers who make all this possible, as well as all the people who contribute to and use OpenNMS. There are a lot of people who don’t believe a company can survive with a 100% open source model, but the funny thing is that we’ve outlived quite a few proprietary software companies in the last decade or so, thus we must be doing something right.

Our business plan of “Spend Less Money Than You Earn” and our mission statement of “Help Customers, Have Fun, Make Money” are as true today as they were in 2004. I look forward to getting ever better on delivering on both of them.

Kippis!

by Tarus at September 01, 2016 10:07 PM

August 29, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: August 29th, 2016

In the last week we worked on Minion, ElasticSearch integration, GWT to AngularJS conversion, non-privileged ICMP operations, and the OSGi plugin manager.

Github Project Updates

  • Detector and Poller Refactoring

    Chandra and Jesse did some refactoring in both the core and the periphery (local...

August 29, 2016 03:26 PM

August 25, 2016

Nextcloud and OpenNMS

Last weekend, OpenNMS-er extraordinare Ronny Trommer was at a conference where he met Jos Poortvliet from Nextcloud. I’ve been following Nextcloud pretty intently since I recognized kindred souls in their desire to create a business that was successful and still 100% open source (and not, for example, fauxpensource). Jos mentioned that Nextcloud was getting a new monitoring API and thought it would be cool if OpenNMS could use it.

Since their API returns the monitoring information as XML, Ronny used the XML Collector to gather the data. Once the data is in OpenNMS, you can graph it, set thresholds, configure notifications, etc.

Available metrics include:

  • CPU load and memory usage
  • Number of active users over time
  • Number of shares in various categories
  • Storage statistics
  • Server settings like PHP version, database type and size, memory limits and more

Here’s an example of the number of files from a small demo system:

Files in Nextcloud

Of course, since OpenNMS is a platform, once the data is in the system you can leverage its integrations with applications such as Grafana:

Nextcloud Metrics in Grafana

Some applications will go on and on about how many “plugins” they have. Often, these are little more than scripts that do something simple, like an SNMP GET, but with all the overhead of having to run a shell. To add something like Nextcloud to OpenNMS, it is just a simple matter of configuring a couple of files, but to make that easier a lot of configurations have been added to a git repository. If you want to try out the Nextcloud integration, follow these instructions.

True open source solutions can offer the best feature, performance and value for most companies, but unfortunately there are so few pure open source companies providing them. I applaud Nextcloud and look forward to working with them for years to come.

by Tarus at August 25, 2016 07:40 PM

New Additions to OpenNMS

I am very happy to announce that Chris Manigan has joined the OpenNMS team.

Chris has been using OpenNMS since 2010 when he worked at Towerstream in Rhode Island. He gave us a very nice testimonial for the website, and has a lot of experience with using OpenNMS as scale.

Chris Manigan

He put that experience to use at Turbine, insuring that their infrastructure could deliver gaming content to users who demand performance. Now he’s going to use that experience to insure that OpenNMS is ready to take on the Internet of Things, for both our internal infrastructure and those of our customers.

I also want to announce that Jesse White, our CTO, and his wife Sara welcomed Charles White into the world early yesterday morning.

Charles White

Weighing 7 pounds and 11 ounces, he is already writing code in Python and we hope to have him making commits in Java in the next week or so.

by Tarus at August 25, 2016 04:07 PM

August 24, 2016

OUCE 2016 – Sad News

Dear OUCE attendees

I would like thank you for your trust in our OpenNMS User Conference. We have been organizing the conference for years now and always had a valuable experience, both from the community as well as from the learning side.

The conference lives from the community and their involvement. A critical mass of attendees is necessary to create a shared experience. This years conference has so far less than 10 registrations and we will not be able to create an experience which is valuable and good for everybody. We did not expect this situation and are surprised. We discussed as well the option of running a small-scale conference but could not see how this could be successful. This is why, after serious discussions among the organizers and the community, we have decided to cancel the conference for 2016. We will do the necessary to refund your tickets already paid asap.

Please accept our apologies, we are as disappointed as you are as we have already invested considerable time and passion into this event.

If you need any help regarding canceling Hotel bookings in Fulda, we are willing to help to make this as painless as possible for you.

Thank you

Alexander Finger
1. Vorsitzender

Ronny Trommer
2. Vorsitzender

by Ronny Trommer at August 24, 2016 07:55 AM

August 23, 2016

Nagios XI vs. OpenNMS Meridian – the Return of the FUD

It seems like our friends over at Nagios have been watching a little too much election coverage this year, and they’ve updated their “Nagios vs. OpenNMS” document with even more rhetoric and misinformation.

As my three readers may recall, back in 2011 I tore apart the first version of this document. Now they have decided to update it to target our Meridian™ version.

Let’s see how they did (please look at it and follow along as it is quite amusing).

The first misleading bit is the opening paragraph with the phrase “most widely used open-source monitoring project in the world”. Now, granted, they do indicate that means “Nagios Core” but it seems a little disingenuous since what they are selling is Nagios XI, which is much different.

Nagios XI is not open source. It is published under the “Nagios Open Software License” which is about as proprietary as they get. I’m not even sure why the word “open” was added, except to further mislead people into thinking it is open source. The license contains clauses like “The Software may not be Forked” and “The Software may only be used in conjunction with products, projects, and other software distributed by the Company.” Think about it, you can’t even integrate Nagios XI with, say, a home grown trouble ticketing system without violating the license. Doesn’t sound very “open” at all. OpenNMS Meridian is published under the AGPLv3, or a similar proprietary license should your organization have an issue with the AGPL. You don’t have that choice with Nagios XI.

Next, let’s check out the price. The OpenNMS Group has always published its prices on-line. One instance of Meridian, which includes support in the form of access to our “Connect” community, is $6,000. They have it listed as $25,995, which is the price should you choose the much more intensive “Prime” support option. I’m not sure why they didn’t just choose our most expensive product, Ultra Support with the 24×7 option, to make them seem even better.

Nagios XI Node Limitation

Also, note the fine print “Price based on one instance of XI with 220 nodes/devices”. There is no device limit with OpenNMS Meridian. So let’s be clear, for $6000 you get access to the Meridian software under an open source license versus $5000 to monitor 220 nodes with extreme limitations on your rights.

Our smaller customers tend to have around 2000 devices, which means to manage that with Nagios XI you would need roughly ten instances costing nearly $50,000 (using the math presented in this document). And from the experience we’ve heard with customers coming to us from Nagios, the reason it is limited to so few nodes is that you probably can’t run much more on a single instance of Nagios XI. Compare that to OpenNMS where we have customers with over 100,000 devices in a single instance (and they’ve been running it for years).

We also price OpenNMS as a platform. You get everything: trouble-ticketing integration, graphing, reporting, etc. in one application. It looks like Nagios has decided to nickel and dime you for logs, etc. and a thing called “Nagios Fusion” which you’ll need to manage your growing number of Nagios instances since it won’t natively scale. And remember, due to the license you are forbidden from using the software with your own tools.

I especially had to laugh at the “You Speak, We Listen” part. If you have a feature or change you need, if you ask nicely they might make it for you. With OpenNMS Meridian you are free to make any changes you need since it is 100% open source, and with our open issue tracker we address dozens of user requests each point release.

Finally, there is the feature comparison, which at a minimum is misleading and is often just blatantly false. Almost every feature marked as lacking in Meridian exists, and at a level far beyond what Nagios XI can provide. Seriously, is it really objective to state that OpenNMS doesn’t support Nagvis, a specific tool that even has “Nagios” in the name?

Nagvis

I had to laugh at the hubris. They obviously didn’t Google “opennms nagvis“, because, guess what? There has been an OpenNMS Nagvis integration for some time now, contributed by our community. Just in case you were wondering, we have an integration with Network Weathermap as well.

Nagios is just another proprietary software product that wants to lock you into its ecosystem, and this is just a shameful attempt to monetize an application that is long past its prime. Heck, it was the inability of the Nagios leadership to get along with others that resulted in the very popular Icinga fork, and with it Nagios lost a lot of contribution that helped make up its “Thousands of Free Add-Ons” (and the way Nagios took over the community lead plug-in site was also poorly handled). Plus, many of those add-ons won’t scale in an enterprise environment, which probably lead to the 220 device limit.

Compare that to OpenNMS. We not only want to encourage you integrate with other products, we do a lot of it for you. OpenNMS has great graphing, but we also created the first third party plug-in for Grafana. When it comes to mapping, OpenNMS is on the leading edge, with a focus on various topology views that can ultimately handle millions of devices in a fashion that is actually usable. Need to see a Layer 2 topology? Choose the “enhanced linkd view”. Run VMware and Vcenter? It is simple to import all of your machines and see them in a view that shows hosts, guests and network storage. Plus the unique ability to focus on just those devices of interest allows you to use a map with hundreds of thousands if not millions of nodes.

Nagios Map

Compare that to the Nagios map screenshot where it looks like “localhost” is having some issues. Oh no, not localhost! That’s like, all of my machines.

As for “Business Process Intelligence” I’ve been told that the Nagios XI version is like our Business Service Monitor “Except BSM is more featureful, and has a significantly better UI/UX”. Need real Business Intelligence? OpenNMS has Red Hat Drools support, the open source leader, built right into the product.

We also support integration with popular Trouble Ticketing systems such as Request Tracker, Jira, OTRS and Remedy. And the kicker is that you can also run any Nagios check script natively in OpenNMS using the “System Execute Monitor“, but once you get used to the OpenNMS platform, why would you?

I’m not really sure why Nagios goes out of its way to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about OpenNMS. We rarely compete in the same markets. I’m sure that Sunrise Community Banks get their money’s worth from Nagios, and for companies like NRS Small Business Solutions, Nagios might be a good fit. But if you have enterprise and carrier-level requirements, there is no way Nagios will work for you in the long term.

When a company does something like this to mislead, from wrong information about our product to using terms like “open” when they mean “closed”, it shows you what they think of their competition. What does it say about what they think about their customers?

by Tarus at August 23, 2016 04:29 PM

August 22, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: August 22nd, 2016

In the last week we worked on ICMP enhancements, modernizing dependencies, Minion, Topology Maps, and GWT to AngularJS conversion.

Github Project Updates

  • ICMP Enhancements

    Since a bit before Dev-Jam, I have been working on a big update to the ICMP code, which includes adding support for the "Don't…

August 22, 2016 04:57 PM

August 15, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: August 15th, 2016

In the last week we worked on ICMP, upgrading to Jetty 9, Minion, SSL, ReST updates, replacing GWT with AngularJS, and Eventd.

Github Project Updates

  • ICMP Enhancements

    Since a bit before Dev-Jam, I have been working on a big update to the ICMP code, which includes adding support for the "Don't Fra…

August 15, 2016 04:57 PM

August 10, 2016

The Inverter: Episode 72 – Walking Into Trees

I figured I’d better get this review of the latest Bad Voltage out before the next one drops this week (sigh).

The episode clocks in at a svelte 51 minutes, and mainly focuses on two segments, one on Pokémon Go and the other on streaming music.

As the guys point out, unless you’ve been living in a cave you have probably heard of Pokémon Go (and even people in caves are playing it). It is the augmented reality (AR) game from Niantic based on the characters made popular by Nintendo.

It has also had its share of controversy, with stories of people being injured while playing and in my own neck of the woods a row over people being fined for visiting the grave of a friend.

The game from Niantic that proceeded it was Ingress, which I’ve talked about before and I showed it to the team when they did their show in Fulda. Ingress can be pretty addictive, so I was set on not playing Pokémon at all. I didn’t really need another time sink in my life.

But a couple of things happened. First, I was introduced to this short from South Park that parodied Pokémon with “Chinpokomon”. I laughed since “chinpoko” is a rude Japanese word, so of course it was one of the few words of Japanese I know. I was determined to be “chinpokomon” on Pokémon Go.

I installed the app the weekend it was released and tried to register with that “trainer” name. It wasn’t to be. I tried every variation I could think of but it wouldn’t accept it. I’m not sure if it was because they were disallowing names with anything like Pokémon in them, or that, by that time, some of the 10 million people who had downloaded it had had the same idea. So I uninstalled the app and forgot about it.

Flash forward a week or so and not only did Andrea start playing, a bunch of people at the office did too, so I decided to check it out again.

I’ll post a full review soon, but I have a few thoughts to share here. Ingress suffers from three main issues: GPS “spoofing” where people fake their location, people playing multiple accounts and the in-game chat system which is often used to heap abuse on other players.

Pokémon Go is much nicer in that there is no chat system and you can’t trade items (making multiple accounts somewhat useless). That may change in the future but for now you can play in a rather friendly environment. Even in battles your Pokémon don’t die, they “faint” and you get them back. There is still an issue with spoofing, which is how many players access the game in countries that don’t have it.

The problem with Pokémon Go is the gameplay gets old, fast. The variety of game items makes it an order of magnitude more complex than Ingress, but I’m not really into collecting a 100% version of each Pokémon. I do like getting new ones (catch them all) but Niantic has made that pretty difficult. There is a part of the screen that will show you nearby Pokémon but you don’t get a clue as to where they are. There was a website called Pokévision that reverse engineered the API and would display them on a map, and I used that extensively to get uniques. I got a lot of exercise running around the UMN campus during Dev-Jam to get one I needed. I was averaging 25,000 steps a day according to my watch, but since Pokévision has been shut down I am less eager to run around in circles hoping a Pokémon will pop up.

Pokémon Gold Medal

In a couple of weeks of casual play I’ve made it to Level 24 and caught 105 Pokémon (I’ve seen 106, damn Wheezing) and my interest is starting to wane (although the Tauros is my favorite, ‘natch). I’ll probably hit Level 25 (where you get access to a new item) and then cut back drastically. Which I think is going to be the major problem with Pokémon Go.

We often eat at this one restaurant in Pittsboro every Friday night, and two weeks ago one young lady who works there was really into the game. This past Friday I asked her how she was doing with it, and she said she’d stopped playing because “it was boring”.

Don’t get me wrong, Niantic has a hit on its hands, I just don’t think they will sustain the level of interest they had a launch.

The guys made some good points about it. Jeremy noted that while it is called “AR” it is really nothing more than taking the video feed from the camera and superimposing Pokémon pictures on it. It does nothing for scale or distance, for example.

Bryan detailed some interesting history that I didn’t know concerning the origin of Niantic. It grew out of a spooky company called Keyhole with designs on tracking and influencing people’s habits (although they are more well known for being the technology behind Google Maps and Google Earth). Now, as an Ingress player I’ve already opted in to allow Google to track my location, and it came in handy when Jeremy roofied me at Oktoberfest and I wandered around Munich for a few hours. I had a record of where I had gone.

On a side note, Bryan went on to state that on Android you can’t control access to the microphone. Now, I’ll agree that the only way to be sure would be to have a hardware kill switch installed so you could disable the microphone entirely, but I run a version of AOSP called OmniROM and I seem to have the choice to limit access to the microphone on a “per app” basis.

Android Microphone Permissions

Not sure if that isn’t available on all Android releases but it seems to work on mine. Of course, many apps use Google Play Services so there’s that.

The second segment was on streaming music services. I don’t stream music so I don’t really have much to add, but I have heard that Pandora uses OpenNMS so I’m a big fan. (grin)

I do sometimes listen to SiriusXM at my desk. We have it in our cars so I have the option to stream it as well. I was listening to AltNation when I heard a track called “Loud(y)” by Lewis Del Mar. I found it on Soundcloud with a number of other tracks by them, and after it played them all it continued with similar artists. I really liked the mix (which included songs like “Thrill” by CZAR) and ended up listening to it for a couple of days. What I liked most about it is that all of them were from artists new to me. I buy the music I like and so I tend not to get much from streaming, and I also tend to listen when being connected to a network is not feasible (such as in a car or a plane), but I am considering the service from Soundcloud that let’s you listen offline (ironically called Soundcloud Go).

Which brings me to another sore point with me. The guys brought up vinyl. As many people know, vinyl is making a comeback, but dammit, it is just some sort of hipster thing since almost all music today is digitally mastered. You probably haven’t listened to a commercial record that didn’t go through Pro Tools, so when I hear “oh, but vinyl is so much richer and warmer” I have to call bullshit. Get a FLAC version of the song and you can’t get any better. Sure, you may need to upgrade your sound card and your speakers, but when, say, I get a FLAC master track from MC Frontalot it is the one that is sitting on his computer where he created it. It contains all of the information captured, and I can’t see how that gets improved by sticking it on a vinyl record whose sound quality starts to decay the moment you play it for the first time.

(sigh)

The Outro for the episode was kind of cool, as the guys talked about old gadgets and things like BBS’s. I can remember being in Tokyo when the Sharp Zaurus was introduced and I scoured the city looking for one in English. It was a cool device and I also liked the name. And the show brought back memories of having flame wars on a WWIV BBS system over a 2400 baud modem. The host (a high school kid who worked as a bag boy at a grocery store to pay the phone bill) could only afford a single phone line so you had to take turns. It made flame wars kind of fun – once you got in, you’d post your rant, log off, wait 30 minutes and then log back in to see if there was a reply.

All in all a nice, light episode. Nothing too heavy, kind of a like a sorbet. Hoping they bring back the meat this week.

by Tarus at August 10, 2016 12:40 PM

August 08, 2016

This Week in OpenNMS: August 8th, 2016

In the last week we worked on minion, topology maps and BSM, JNA ICMP, replacing Eventd with JMS, and replacing GWT widgets with AngularJS.

Github Project Updates

  • Minion

    Pradeep, Malatesh, and Deepak did more work on minion syslog, trap, JMX, and kafka code. Chandra did more work on provisioning…

August 08, 2016 04:57 PM

August 06, 2016

Wiki Main Page

We heard the call of duty to do something to get the wiki more usable. So we spent some time at the Dev-Jam to create a more structured Wiki entry page.

We broke up the content from the old main page into categories.

Wiki Main Page

Here a few thoughts behind the categories we have identified:

Getting

...

August 06, 2016 01:46 AM

August 05, 2016

2016 PB and Jam

OpenNMS is headquartered in the idyllic small town of Pittsboro, NC, sometimes just called “PBO”. Since a number of people who come to Dev-Jam travel a fair distance, we’ve started a tradition of a “mini Dev-Jam” the week after, hosted at OpenNMS HQ.

This is much more focused on the work of The OpenNMS Group, but it is still a lot of fun. Last night as a team building exercise we decided to try an “escape” room.

This is a a relatively new thing where a group of people get put in a room and they have a certain amount of time to figure out puzzles and escape. Jessica set us up with Cipher Escape in their “Geek Room” which was the only one that could accommodate 11 of us.

It’s a lot of fun. For our experience we were lead into about a 15×15 room and given the following backstory: you are watching your neighbors cat while they are on vacation and after you feed her you realize you are locked in their house. You have 60 minutes to escape.

One thing I thought was funny was that the room was dotted with little pink stickers and we were told that these indicate things that don’t need to be manipulated (e.g. there was a picture frame that when you turned it over you would see the stickers, which meant you weren’t supposed to take it apart). I can only imagine the beta testing that went into determining where to put the stickers (our hostess specifically mentioned that you didn’t need to take the legs off the furniture).

To tell anything more would spoil it, but I was extremely proud that the team escaped with over 10 minutes to spare (we missed the best time by ten minutes, so it wasn’t close, but we did beat a team from Cisco that didn’t escape at all).

Escape Room Success

It was a ton of fun, and I’d put this team up against any challenge.

Afterward, most of us went out for sushi at Waraji. I’ve known the owner Masatoshi Tsujimura for almost 30 years, and even though they were packed they were able to set us up with a tatami room.

Waraji Dinner

It’s a bit out of the way for me to visit often, so I was happy to have an excuse for a victory celebration.

by Tarus at August 05, 2016 06:22 PM

2016 Dev-Jam: Day 5

The last day of Dev-Jam is always bittersweet. The bitter part is the goodbyes, but the sweet part is “Show and Tell” when folks share what they have accomplished in the week.

We also get together for a group picture. Just before that Jonathan’s son Eddie joined us from the UK on the robot:

Dev-Jam Jonathan and Eddie

and David, who had to leave for a family issue, joined us via robot as well.

Dev-Jam 2016 Group Pic

All of the presentations are up on Youtube.

Chandra has been working on adding provisioning detectors to the Minion:

Deepak and Pavan, who work for a large electronic medical records company, discuss how they are using OpenNMS at scale:

Seth has been managing a lot of that work, which is currently focused on syslog, and he did a presentation on new syslog parsing functionality:

Alejandro presented some awesome improvements to the UI:

Markus has been working on project Atlas, which includes major improvements to OpenNMS maps. Here he demonstrates the integration of the geographical map with the topology map:

More UI enhancements were offered by Christian who added trend lines to the OpenNMS home page:

Ronny talked about his ideas for making device configurations more modular and managing that with git:

And he has also been creating reusable Docker containers with OpenNMS:

One project I found extra exciting was “Underling” which is an instance of Minion written in Go. This makes it incredibly small (about 6MB) which should allow the Minion to run on very inexpensive hardware.

I plan to demonstrate more Minion stuff at the OpenNMS Users Conference (and if you haven’t registered, you should).

In the evening we walked back across the river to dine at Town Hall Brewery.

Dev-Jam Final Dinner

It will be the last time all of us were together until next year, and I can’t wait.

by Tarus at August 05, 2016 05:59 PM

August 04, 2016

2016 Dev-Jam: Day 4

Dev-Jam is made up of two main groups of people: those who work on OpenNMS full time and those who don’t. For those who work on OpenNMS full time, we try to depart from the day to day running of the project to both try new things and have fun. Think of it as “special projects week”.

Since OpenNMS is aiming to be a platform for the Internet of Things, this tends to involve a lot of electronics.

Dev-Jam Electronics

I decided to take some time out to further explore the Virtual Reality provided by Google Cardboard. I played with it last Dev-Jam, but I bought a nice headset from Homido since the Cardboard experience with the actual cardboard holder, while novel, was a little bit wanting.

The downside is that it doesn’t have the little magnet thingie that acts as a mouse click. Most people using the Homido tend to pair some other controller to their Android device in order to navigate, and since I have a PS3 (that I mainly use to play Blu-ray disks) I had a Sixaxis controller I could use. I had to buy an app in order to deploy a driver on my Nexus 6P that would work with the Sixaxis, and after a bit of tinkering I got it to work (note that it disables the regular Bluetooth driver when you run it).

I configured the “X” button to act as a mouse click, and pretty soon I was able to move about the Google Cardboard demos. The Homido fits well and the image is good, but it does allow some light to bleed around the edges in so it would work best in a dim or dark room.

I then went off to find some apps. This is not a field that a lot of developers have explored, and most of them are pretty passive. While this can work (check out the creepy “Sisters”) I wanted something more along the lines of what I experienced with the Samsung Gear VR, which includes immersive games. I found one called Hardcode VR that was fun, sort of a platformer along the lines of Portal. The controller worked out of the box exactly like you would expect it to: the right joystick was used for looking around and the left one for moving. I did get a slight headache after playing it for awhile, though, so I think that for the time being mobile device-based VR is still a novelty.

My experiment did amuse some of the folks at the conference, and Ronny made this comparison:

Tarus vs. Bender

I am always humbled by the people who give a week of their lives up to come to Dev-Jam, and even more so since DJ was away from his wife on his birthday. We did make sure he had a cake, though.

DJ's birthday cake

The cake was from Salty Tart and it was mighty tasty.

by Tarus at August 04, 2016 03:47 PM

July 28, 2016

2016 Dev-Jam: Day 3

It’s hard to believe this year’s Dev-Jam is half over. After months of planning it seems to go by so fast.

One of the goals I had this week was to understand more about the OpenNMS Documentation Project. For years I’ve been saying that OpenNMS documentation sucks like most open source projects, but I can’t say that any more. It has actually become quite mature. There is a detailed installation guide, a users guide, and administrators guide and a guide for developers. Each release the docs are compiled right alongside the code, and it even rates its own section on the new website.

Web Site Docs Page

It’s written in AsciiDoc, and all of the documentation is version controlled and kept in git.

Ronny Trommer is one of the leads on the documentation project, and I asked him to spend some time with me to explain how everything is organized.

Ronny Trommer

Of the four main guides, the installation guide is almost complete. Everything else is constantly improving, with the user guide aimed at people working through the GUI and the administration guide is more focused on configuration. For example, the discussion of the path outage feature is in the users guide but how to turn it on is in the admin guide.

There is even something for everyone in the developers guide (I am the first to state I am not a developer). One section details the style rules for documentation, in great detail. For example, in order to manage changes, each sentence should be on a single line. That way a small change to, say, a misspelled word, doesn’t cause a huge diff. Also, we are limited as to the types of images we can display, so people are encouraged to upload the raw “source” image as well as an exported one to save time in the future should someone want to edit it.

It is really well done and now I’m eager to start contributing.

Speaking of well done, Jonathan has figured out what is keeping OpenNMS from using the latest version of OTRS (and he’s sent a patch over to them) and Jesse showed me some amazing work he’s done on the Minion code.

We’ve been struggling to figure out how to implement the Minion code since we want to be able to run it on tiny machines like the Raspberry Pi, but since OpenNMS is written in Java there is a lot of overhead to using that language on these smaller systems. He re-wrote it in Go and then uploaded it to a device on my home network. At only 5.6MB it’s tiny, and yet it was able to do discovery as well as data collection (including NRTG). Sheer awesomeness.

Wednesday was also Twins night.

Twins Tickets

For several years now we’ve been going as a group to see the Minnesota Twins baseball team play at Target Field. It’s a lot of fun, although this year the Germans decided that they’d had enough of baseball and spent the time wandering around downtown Minneapolis.

At first I thought they had the right idea, as the Braves went up 4 to 0 in the first and by the top of the fourth were leading 7 to 0. However, the Twins rallied and made it interesting, although they did end up losing 9 to 7.

Our seats were out in left field, ‘natch.

Twins Tickets

by Tarus at July 28, 2016 02:25 PM

July 21, 2016

OpenNMS Horizon 18.0.1

OpenNMS 18.0.1 (code name: Platypus) is now available.

While it contains a large number of bug fixes and a few enhancements, the most noticeable change is a fix for the distributed and geographical maps. We had been using MapQuest's (wonderful and freely-available) OpenStreetMap-compatible tile...

July 21, 2016 08:05 PM

OUCE 2016 - Speaker and Talks

OUCE 2016 - Speaker and Talks

OpenNMS User Conference: Europe (OUCE) is a series of talks about monitoring and network management with OpenNMS. Our conference creates a time and place for the OpenNMS community to share information, discuss ideas, and work together to improve monitoring with the fr...

July 21, 2016 06:07 PM

July 15, 2016

OpenNMS Events

Dev-Jam 2016

Our eleventh developers' conference at the University of Minnesota is in just a few days! This is the place to go if you want to spend a week with OpenNMS core contributors to learn or share your experiences. We don't make a set plan for Dev-Jam. Instead, we use this time of the yea...

July 15, 2016 11:50 PM

June 01, 2016

Call for Papers – OUCE 2016

The 2016 edition of the OpenNMS User Conference Europe (OUCE) will take place at University of Applied Science in Fulda.

Where do I find more information?

You find more detailed information on our conference page at https://ouce.opennms.eu

When?

Tuesday September, 13th 2016 until Thursday September, 15th 2016

Where?

Hochschule Fulda
Leipziger Straße 123
36037 Fulda, Germany

OUCE 2016 - Hochschule Fulda

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Tickets?

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Submit a Paper or Workshop

In order to submit your proposal, please go to the registration page, register with your email address and send us your proposal. The personal information are only used for the purpose of organizing the conference.

If you are curious about what others have already submitted, have a look at the preliminary schedule.

Your contribution matters

The conference is mainly driven by user contributtions who want to share their experience with open source monitoring solutions, especially OpenNMS. Your proposal can have any form you like, i.e.:

Regular talks
Share your experience in a user story and tell others about your way to solve a specific monitoring issue.
Workshops
Teach others about a technology, discuss a topic, ask for feedback or develop new ways to solve monitoring problems.
Community events
Bring some bottles of beer your favorite drink and help to bring the community together.

The focus of the conference covers the following topics:

Technology
Network management is hard. It has requirements to scalability and needs to integrate with a lot of other tools. If you’re building a business integration and you have extended OpenNMS, this is the track to show others what you have achieved and how OpenNMS works at its best.
Business
This track focuses on talks for people who want to share their experience using Open Source monitoring like OpenNMS in commercial environments. You can show how Open Source has effects on return of investment and total cost of ownership in your business or how you build your business in cooperation with Open Source monitoring solutions.
Projects
Everything has a start and nothing is perfect. The great thing in a community is to share knowledge and get input from others for real world use cases. If you’re building a cool solution with or around OpenNMS or with other tools and would like share it, this is the place to do so. You can inspire other people following your path and encourage developers to think about further improvements. You have the possibility to meet other people to improve your solution. Even if you have installed bleeding-edge stuff or you made some experiences in the wild network management world, please submit your talk or workshop here.

We are very flexible on the format of your submission but we recommend the following formats:

  • A regular talk should have a duration of about 45 minutes.
  • A lightning talk should not exceed 10 minutes.
  • Workshops should last for a maximum of 90 minutes. If you have special requirements, pleas let us know.
  • Other events can happen in workshop rooms or in the lounge. These events should be coordinated with the board upfront.

You have questions regarding the conference, please register at the OUCE mailing list, where you can get in contact with the organization team.

Recording

Talks will be recorded and made available on our website after the conference (unless you tell us that you’d prefer not to have them published). All recordings will be available without any special logins and will be found in our OpenNMS YouTube channel.

Who is attending?

The conferences will be attended by OpenNMS users, prospect users and open source interested folks from all over the world. You can meet OpenNMS developers as well as other experts of the network management domain.

The 2016 conference is limited to a maximum of 70 participants. The profile is ranging from system administrators to programmers to IT managers.

Call for paper proceeding

The call for paper is open until August, 1st 2016. The submitted talks will be evaluated by the conference board.

After the review period, ending August, 1st, you will get notified whether your proposal is accepted or not. Please take notice of our submission policies as well:

  • your speech will be contributed under the following license: CC BY-SA or another permissive creative commons licence
  • your speech will be harassment-free for everyone

by Ronny Trommer at June 01, 2016 02:58 PM

May 16, 2016

[Release] – OpenNMS Horizon 18.0.0

We welcome our new release of OpenNMS Horizon 18.0.0 with code name Tardigrade, named after a perhaps one of the most durable known organisms. This release introduces a few really cool new features.

Business Service Monitoring

To be able to get your monitored assets into Business Service related context the “Business Service Monitoring (BSM)” can be used. The goal of the Business Service Monitor is to provide a high-level correlation of business rules, and to display them in the topology map. In the BSM, you define a Business Service that encompasses a set of entities (nodes, interfaces, services, and other Business Services) and the relationships among them. The alarm states of the component entities are rolled up in a map-reduce fashion to drive a state machine. The state of a Business Service is reflected in a new type of event, and can also be visualized (along with the service hierarchy) in the existing OpenNMS topology map. A Business Service can create his own Alarms which can be used in workflows. The graph representation allows to analyze the root cause from the BSM to the technical service and the other way around – which Business Service is impacted by a specific technical service outage.

For details on using the BSM, see the User and Administrators Guide.

ElasticSearch 1.x Event Forwarder

We have added the possibility to forward OpenNMS Events and Alarms into ElasticSearch for analyzing and plotting with other tools like Kibana or Grafana. For more details see the Admin Guide. Big thank you to our community contributor Umberto Nicoletti started this thing.

OpenNMS Properties are modular

Now most properties set in the opennms.properties file can be instead overriden by creating a file in the ${OPENNMS_HOME}/etc/opennms.properties.d directory. It makes it maintenance friendlier and makes it easier to use configuration management tools like SaltStack, Ansible, Chef or Puppet.

Notification for Slack and Mattermost

With the new notification strategies it is now possible to send monitoring notifications to Slack and Mattermost.

OpenNMS Plugin Manager

An API for adding 3rd-party “plugins” to OpenNMS. The core of a tool for adding plugins into OpenNMS has been included in Horizon 18. This provides a set of tools for finding and adding plugins to be loaded into the OpenNMS OSGi container.

Requisition UI improvements

A huge number of improvements have gone into the requisition UI. Also, the old “Quick-Add Node” functionality has been reimplemented using the same backend as the requisition UI.

“Scan Report” Remote Poller GUI

A new front-end for the remote poller that lets you perform a single scan and get a pass/fail report in a GUI has been added. You can enable this alternate UI with the “-s” option on the remote poller CLI.

Topology UI Updates

As part of the BSM work, the topology UI has been vastly improved for both performance and usability.

TSRM Ticketing Plugin

We have added a new Ticketing Plugin for IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager (TSRM).
Information on configuring the TSRM ticketing plugin can be found in the Administrators Guide.

Collect anonymous usage statistics

To get a better idea of how to estimate hardware requirements and the performance characteristics of OpenNMS, we wrote a tool to occasionally submit anonymous diagnostic information about your OpenNMS install. It will submit information like the number of nodes, alarms, etc. as well as some basic system information to our servers for statistical reasons.

When a user with the Admin role logs into the system for the first time, they will be prompted as to whether or not they want to opt-in to publish these statistics. Statistics will only be published once an Administrator has opted-in.
These statistics are visualized on stats.opennms.org.

OpenNMS Data Source is Grafana 3 compliant

We have uploaded the OpenNMS Data Source to Grafana Plugin Platform which allows now easy setup and install with a simple sudo grafana-cli plugins install opennms-datasource.

Vagrant Boxes Refreshed

We have updated the Vagrant boxes which are uploaded to the Atlas Platform. They are updated with latest Horizon 18 and pre-configured Grafana 3 as a test, dev or play environment.

Beside that there are lot of bugs fixed and you can find all of it more detailed in our Release Note.

Happy Updating and Thank you to all contributors to make this great release happen.

by Ronny Trommer at May 16, 2016 05:22 PM

April 26, 2016

DevJam 2016 – Travel Bursary

Do you want to be a part of the great OpenNMS DevJam 2016? The best way for someone to learn to develop and contribute to OpenNMS is to attend DevJam. If you want to improve your abilities and meet other OpenNMS developers from all over the world, then you need to be at OpenNMS DevJam 2016!

The OpenNMS DevJam is THE event of the year for contributors and developers of the OpenNMS Project. Contributors and developers of OpenNMS from all over the world meet at the University of Minnesota. The event is all about to learn, hack, code, talk and have fun around the OpenNMS project.

When?
Sunday, July 24, 2016 through Saturday, July 30, 2016

Where?
University of Minnesota – Mark G. Yudof Hall
220 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

More details?
http://www.opennms.org/wiki/Dev-Jam_2016

If you need to convince your manager? Mike Huot wrote a proposal which can help you to get there.

Deadline for the proposal is 31st May 2016.

The OpenNMS Group, Inc and the OpenNMS Foundation Europe e.V. support volunteers who have no financial or commercial background with a travel bursary for the conference. What you create should be under a free license and publicly available. If you want to apply for the DevJam 2016 Travel Bursary please fill the following form:

Fields marked with an * are required

Give a short title for your DevJam 2016 project?

Give us a description about how you would like spent the time in the week with OpenNMS contributors and developers. Do you want to start, learn or contribute? You can be creative in how you want to help in the OpenNMS project. Your results should be public available and should be under a free license.

Submit your proposal to the board members of the OpenNMS Foundation Europe e.V.

Hope see you soon at DevJam 2016 in Twin Cities

by Ronny Trommer at April 26, 2016 06:07 PM

March 10, 2016

[Release] – OpenNMS 17.1.1

We welcome our new release of OpenNMS Horizon 17.1.1 with code name Glenmorangie, named after a whiskey distillery in Tain, Scotland. This is a bug fix release. The most noteworthy bug fixed is regarding ACL support which was broken and caused Web UI failures.

This release adds a little but useful enhancement. Instead of connecting to TCP 5817 and using send-event.pl it is now possible to send events to OpenNMS through ReST. Otherwise GitHub introduced Pull Request Templates a few weeks ago which have added to improve our pull request workflow. If you think it is more annoying then helpful, please don’t hesitate and give us feedback.

You can find all the details in our Release Notes and wish you happy updating.

by Ronny Trommer at March 10, 2016 11:41 PM

February 22, 2016

[Release] – Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS / CentOS 7.2.1511 and Horizon 17.1.0 Vagrant Box Update

We have updated our Vagrant box hosted on the Atlas platform with latest OpenNMS Horizon 17 pre-configured with RRDtool. This is also the first VirtualBox image which comes with a pre-installed Grafana 2.6 with the Grafana OpenNMS Plugin data source.

Ubuntu 14 LTS based image

vagrant init opennms/vagrant-opennms-ubuntu-stable
vagrant up --provider

CentOS 7.2 based image

vagrant init opennms/vagrant-opennms-centos-stable
vagrant up --provider

If you run the default Vagrant box it uses a NAT interface. To have access to the running application from your box just add the following lines in your Vagrantfile:

config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 8980, host: 8980
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 3000, host: 3000

You want to build the box for a different provider than VirtualBox with packer just fork or contribute to the opennms-packer repository.

gl & hf

by Ronny Trommer at February 22, 2016 01:37 PM

February 18, 2016

[Release] – OpenNMS 17.1.0

We welcome our new release of OpenNMS Horizon 17.1.0 with code name Talisker, a whiskey distillery in Carbost, Scotland – the only distillery on the Isle of Skye.

We added support for the Web Services-Management protocol and added a few northbound interfaces. You can find all the details in our Release Notes and wish you happy updating.

by Ronny Trommer at February 18, 2016 09:25 PM

January 19, 2016

OpenNMS to Exhibit at SCaLE 14x

The OpenNMS Group is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the 14th annual Southern California Linux Expo to be held 22-24 January in Pasadena, California.

In addition to having a booth in the expo hall, Ken Eshelby will be presenting a talk entitled “Internet of Thingies.

Also, join us at the “Network and Server Management” birds of a feather group! We will have a food, drinks, and good company!

by jessi at January 19, 2016 08:28 PM

December 07, 2015

Ubuntu Vagrant Box Update

We have updated our Vagrant box hosted on the Atlas platform with latest OpenNMS Horizon 17 pre-configured with RRDtool. This is also the first VirtualBox image which comes with a pre-installed Grafana 2.5 and has the Grafana OpenNMS Plugin as data source installed and is ready to be used. All...

December 07, 2015 10:34 PM

[Release] – Ubuntu Vagrant Box Update

We have updated our Vagrant box hosted on the Atlas platform with latest OpenNMS Horizon 17 pre-configured with RRDtool. This is also the first VirtualBox image which comes with a pre-installed Grafana 2.5 and has the Grafana OpenNMS Plugin as data source installed and is ready to be used. All you have to do is run

vagrant init opennms/vagrant-opennms-ubuntu-stable
vagrant up

If you run the default Vagrant box it uses a NAT interface. To have access to the running application from your box just add the following lines in your Vagrantfile:

config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 8980, host: 8980
config.vm.network "forwarded_port", guest: 3000, host: 3000

You want to build the box for a different provider than VirtualBox with packer just fork or contribute to the opennms-packer repository.

We have added a also a quick install script for Debian and Ubuntu.

gl & hf

by Ronny Trommer at December 07, 2015 07:30 AM

December 02, 2015

[Release] – OpenNMS 17

We welcome our new release of OpenNMS Horizon 17 with code name Glen Moray.

Like a good single malt Scotch whiskey it took some time to get the release out – but we think waiting was worth it. The most obvious change is the a more slimmed down web app layout.

home-modified

We have added a new visual component to show alarms and outages in a heat map which can be used as an additional component on the start page or as a full screen view.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 23.22.48

The JMX data collection configuration tool is reworked and improved. It allows to interactively create your data collection configuration for your Java applications with JMX.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 23.26.03

The documentation is improved and we have removed unnecessary modules and focus on Release Notes, Installation Guide, User Guide, Administration Guide and Developer Guide.
We moved the content how to develop new documentation from the Documentation Guide to a Developers Guide section.

The distributed components with OpenNMS Minion is introduced in the admin area.

Important to notice Linkd with the SVG map is removed. Enhanced Linkd with Topology view is now the new default.

Otherwise real SSO via Kerberos (SPNEGO) and LDAP is enabled we integrate now with OTRS-3.1+ Ticket system.

We added a JMS Alarm Northbounder to make it easier to integrate OpenNMS in larger management application stacks.

A lot of improvements to the Grafana support was made. We support now the version 2.5.0 of Grafana. The OpenNMS Grafana Data Source allows filtering and trending performance data and the Newts integration is improved.

We have added support for following devices:

  • Added trap support for Infoblox devices
  • Adding SNMP traps for Raytheon NXU-2A
  • Add A10 AX load balancer trap events
  • Add Force10 Traps
  • Event definition for Juniper screening SNMP traps
  • Event definiton file for DSVIEW-TRAP-MIB
  • Trap definition files for Evertz Multiframe and Modules
  • Trap and data collection definitions for Ceragon FibeAir 1500
  • New (additional) event file for NetApp filer
  • New Fortinet datacollection / graph definition
  • Event and data collection support for Didactum Sensors
  • Add Juniper SRX flow performance monitoring and default thresholds
  • Dell Equallogic Events
  • Add Sonicwall Firewall Events

For more details you can go to our Release Notes.

Looking forward to upgrade my systems and Happy Upgrading

gl & hf

by Ronny Trommer at December 02, 2015 11:39 PM

OpenNMS Horizon 17.0.0

We welcome our new release of OpenNMS Horizon 17 with code name Glen Moray.

Like a good single malt Scotch whiskey it took some time to get the release out – but we think waiting was worth it. The most obvious change is the a more slimmed down web app layout.

We have added a new visual compone...

December 02, 2015 10:34 PM

November 10, 2015

[Release] – OpenNMS 16.0.4

We welcome a new minor OpenNMS Horizon release 16.0.4 with codename Doorman. This is a bug fix release and all solved issues can be found in the Release Notes.

by Ronny Trommer at November 10, 2015 11:41 PM

June 02, 2015

The OpenNMS Group at the SouthEast LinuxFest

The OpenNMS Group is happy to be a Platinum Sponsor of the SouthEast LinuxFest taking place in Charlotte, NC, USA, from 12-14 June.

There will be a booth in the exhibit hall showcasing our Meridian and Horizon products, and our CEO, Tarus Balog, will be giving a talk entitled “Open Source is Dead, and This May Be a Good Thing”.

Hope to see you there.

by Tarus at June 02, 2015 12:11 PM

April 18, 2015

OpenNMS Training Dates Announced for August 2015

The next OpenNMS training course will be held the week of 10-14 August, 2015, at the OpenNMS headquarters in Pittsboro, NC, USA.

by Tarus at April 18, 2015 05:26 PM

April 01, 2015

The OpenNMS Group at POSSCON

A group of OpenNMS folks will be attending this year’s POSSCON conference in Columbia, SC on 14-15 April.

There will be a booth where you can come by and see the new OpenNMS shiny, and Tarus Balog will be giving a talk on the first day about switching to the Linux Desktop, and on the second day there will be a workshop on using OpenNMS.

Hope to see you there.

by Tarus at April 01, 2015 04:16 PM

February 20, 2015

Press Release: The OpenNMS Group Announces Meridian Product Line

PITTSBORO, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The OpenNMS Group, Inc., the maintainers of the award winning OpenNMS open source network management application platform, are releasing a new product line called OpenNMS Meridian.

Earlier in the year, the community-driven OpenNMS Project renamed the mainline software release to OpenNMS Horizon. This signaled a change to a much more rapid release cycle for OpenNMS to align with the open source mantra of “release early, release often.”

However, the OpenNMS Group identified a need within its customer base for a version of OpenNMS with a longer, very stable release cycle, even if it sacrificed access to the latest features. OpenNMS Meridian was created to address that need. In addition, the Meridian subscription will include access to custom configurations such as improved reports and correlations that the user would have to build for themselves in Horizon.

“It has sometimes been hard to justify the purchase of our core product, OpenNMS Support,” says Tarus Balog, the OpenNMS Group CEO, “if we do our job right, then support becomes less of a requirement and more of an insurance policy. We wanted to be able to provide value on a continuous basis and to better productize our service offerings. Anyone familiar with the Red Hat model will recognize its influence in our decision: Meridian is analogous to Red Hat Enterprise Linux whereas Horizon is like Fedora.”

The OpenNMS Meridian subscription is offered for a yearly, flat fee per management server. It includes access to the OpenNMS Connect website where the Meridian community can ask questions as well as interact with each other to maximize their Meridian investment. More formal Meridian support is offered through the OpenNMS Prime Support product, and there are also support options available for OpenNMS Horizon.

Both Horizon and Meridian are published under the open source Affero General Public License (AGPLv3). Meridian can also be used under a proprietary license for those organizations who have concerns about the APGL.

Meridian is set to launch on March 17, 2015, while Horizon is available now.

More information can be found at www.opennms.com.

Contacts

The OpenNMS Group, Inc.
Tarus Balog, 919-533-0160 ext. 7782
tarus@opennms.com

by Tarus at February 20, 2015 05:32 PM

February 19, 2015

OpenNMS to Exhibit at SCaLE 13x

The OpenNMS Group is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the 13th annual Southern California Linux Expo to be held 19-22 February in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to having a booth in the expo hall, Jeff Gehlbach will be presenting a talk entitled “Managing Networks in a Software-Defined Future” while Tarus Balog is giving a presentation entitled “Open Source is Dead And This May Be a Good Thing™“.

The OpenNMS Group is also excited to be able to sponsor a performance by nerd-core rapper MC Frontalot on Saturday at 9pm.

by Tarus at February 19, 2015 10:03 PM

January 13, 2015

OpenNMS User Conference 2015 Call for Papers

The OpenNMS User Conference 2014 Call for Papers is now open.

This conference is for OpenNMS Users, by OpenNMS Users, so your experiences, tips and tricks are in high demand. Plan on joining us in Fulda, Germany in September for the OpenNMS user event of the year.

by Tarus at January 13, 2015 04:53 AM