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Clientless Monitoring with Sensu

We all know and love sensu-client, but there are some times where deploying the client is either sub-optimal (e.g.: a box you don’t control) or impossible (e.g.: appliances, 3rd party services).

I opted to tackle these kind of challenges Serverless-style, running my own code, then shipping the check outcome to the /results API.

Some reasons for going this route include:

  • Sometimes you simply need to do more than the community plugins offer, which means you’re already writing custom code anyway. All you need to do is do a POST to the /results API, and boom.

  • I didn’t want to manage “bastion” clients that do proxy client style monitors, because I don’t live in a world where I can run Configuration Management tools against boxes at-will. Running in a PaaS/Serverless mode gave me more autonomy to iterate.

  • Checks can be more dynamic vs having to re-run Configuration Management to change sensu-client configs. For example, I can pull a list of service endpoints from Service Registry in real-time, then iterate that list in your code. Having to re-trigger Ansible/Chef/Puppet when endpoints light up/die would cause alot of churn in highly dynamic environments.

Chris Chandler

Principal Engineer, T-Mobile

Chris Chandler, currently a Principal Engineer at T-Mobile, has worn many hats in his two decades in Tech. Whether he worked on VoIP and Contact Center solutions, Enterprise Social Software, or running an IaaS platform, there has been one common thread: making things work together and making sure they stay that way… or at least putting systems in place to let people know when they don’t. While monitoring is his true love, Chris is currently tackling a new challenge: Release Engineering (AKA: “automated cat herding”).

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