About Shinken

Shinken is an open source monitoring framework written in Python under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License . It was created in 2009 as a simple proof of concept of a Nagios patch. The first release of Shinken was the December 1st of 2009 as simple monitoring tool. Since the 2.0 version (April 2014) Shinken is described as a monitoring framework due to its high number of modules. For the same reason, modules are now in separated repositories. You can find some in the shinken-monitoring organization’s page on Github

Shinken Project

Shinken is now an open source monitoring framework but was first created to be a open source monitoring solution. This difference is important for the team, a framework does not have the same use than an all in one solution. The main idea when developing Shinken is the flexibility which is our definition of framework. Nevertheless, Shinken was first made differently and we try to keep all the good things that made it a monitoring solution :

  • Easy to install : install is mainly done with pip but some packages are available (deb / rpm) and we are planning to provide nightly build.
  • Easy for new users : once installed, Shinken provide a simple command line interface to install new module and packs.
  • Easy to migrate from Nagios : we want Nagios configuration and plugins to work in Shinken so that it is a “in place” replacement. Plugins provide great flexibility and are a big legacy codebase to use. It would be a shame not to use all this community work
  • Multi-platform : python is available in a lot of OS. We try to write generic code to keep this possible.
  • Utf8 compliant : python is here to do that. For now Shinken is compatible with 2.6-2.7 version but python 3.X is even more character encoding friendly.
  • Independent from other monitoring solution : our goal is to provide a modular tool that can integrate with others through standard interfaces). Flexibility first.
  • Flexible : in an architecture point view. It is very close to our scalability wish. Cloud computing is make architecture moving a lot, we have to fit to it.
  • Fun to code : python ensure good code readability. Adding code should not be a pain when developing.

This is basically what Shinken is made of. Maybe add the “keep it simple” Linux principle and it’s prefect. There is nothing we don’t want, we consider every features / ideas.


Shinken has a lot of features, we started to list some of them in the last paragraph. Let’s go into details:

  • Role separated daemons : we want a daemon to do one thing but doing it good. There are 6 of them but one is not compulsory.
  • Great flexibility : you didn’t got that already? Shinken modules allow it to talk to almost everything you can imagine.

Those to points involve all the following :

  • Data export to databases :

    • Graphite
    • InfluxDB
    • RRD
    • GLPI
    • CouchDB
    • Livestatus (MK_Livestatus reimplementation)
    • Socket write for other purpose (Splunk, Logstash, Elastic Search)
    • MySQL (NDO reimplementation)
    • Oracle (NDO reimplementation)
  • Integration with web user interface :

    • WebUI (Shinken own UI)
    • Thruk
    • Adagios
    • Multisite
    • Nagvis
    • PNP4Nagios
    • NConf
    • Centreon (With NDO, not fully working, not recommended)
  • Import config from databases :

    • GLPI
    • Amazon EC2
    • MySQL
    • MongoDB
    • Canonical Landscape
  • Shinken provide sets of configuration, named packs, for a huge number of services :

    • Databases (Mysql, Oracle, MSSQL, memcached, mongodb, influxdb etc.)
    • Routers, Switches (Cisco, Nortel, Procurve etc.)
    • OS (Linux, windows, Aix, HP-UX etc.)
    • Hypervisors (VMWare, Vsphere)
    • Protocols (HTTP, SSH, LDAP, DNS, IMAP, FTP, etc.)
    • Application (Weblogic, Exchange, Active Directory, Tomcat, Asterisk, etc.)
    • Storage (IBM-DS, Safekit, Hacmp, etc.)
  • Smart SNMP polling : The SNMP Booster module is a must have if you have a huge infrastructure of routers and switches.

  • Scalability : no server overloading, you just have to install new daemons on another server and load balancing is done.

But Shinken is even more :

  • Realm concept : you can monitor independent environments / customer
  • DMZ monitroing : some daemon have passive facilities so that firewall don’t block monitoring.
  • Business impact : Shinken can differentiate impact of a critical alert on a toaster versus the web store
  • Efficient correlation between parent-child relationship and business process rules
  • High availability : daemons can have spare ones.
  • Business rules : For a higher level of monitoring. Shinken can notify you only if 3 out 5 of your server are down
  • Very open-minded team : help is always welcome, there is job for everyone.

Release cycle

Shinken team is trying to setup a new release cycle with an objective of 4 release per year. Each release is divided into three part : re-factoring (few weeks), features (one month), freezing (one month). Roadmap is available in a specific Github issue, feature addition can be discussed there. Technical point of view about a specific feature are discussed in a separated issue.

Release code names

I (Jean Gabès) keep the right to name the code name of each release. That’s the only thing I will keep for me in this project as its founder. :)

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