Serverboards 18.04 Centauri Highlights

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Finally we have Serverboards 18.04 ready! Serverboards is our IT Infrastructure monitoring and management tool. The new version has many bugfixes and a huge new feature: Universal Service Queries. And some smaller ones.

Dashboards and Universal Service Queries

This new feature deserved its own blog post, so check it out.

It is, in a nutshell, Serverboards unified method to query services about their status and data, and then be able to query, manage and filter the data to show it to our users.

USQ is the data side of the equation, but also we worked hard in the visualization side, so the information looks gorgeous on the screen.

Example dashboard

There are many widgets adapted to be used with USQ, and more will come.

Speaking of widgets, before we were doing some tricks to mount externally defined widgets, be it done in react or not, into the dashboards. These mechanisms still exist, but now we allow direct React component mounting. We decided to do it this way as we are developing everything using React, and this way we allow React to take care o the lifecycle. Not a big deal, but every little helps.

Slowly we will move all widgets to use USQ as it allows us to have improved security. The dashboard builder has access t all the data, but once the queries are defined, the user can only modify a specific set of variables (start and end of range), so it can not access any data that the builder did not give access to. And the final user can not create new SQL queries, only ask the server for the data on specific widgets.

There are some issues to solve, as improved realtime, but if necessary old style widgets will stay here forever.

Also new is the theme support for the Dashboards. You can choose between a light theme for desktop use, or dark for wall monitor. Since the addition of the dark theme we became huge supporters, and we may change the default for dark soon.

There are many small improvements all around dashboards, as improved date selection, default ranges, change name/remove dashboards…

More s10s commands

s10s command is installed alongside Serverboards, but since 18.01 we added more functionalities to the existing cli, update and i18n.

Improved user management: adding, disabling, changing passwords.

Now from the command line it is possible to list all users, add new ones and so on.

This helps with the bootstrapping of Serverboards, as sometimes there were problems with the configured email server to be able to set an initial password. And PEM access is not as intuitive as we thought at the beginning.

So now, after installing, its possible to do a s10s user passwd and set the initial password.

Improved plugin management

To ease automatic updating of installed plugins, installing new plugins and so on, adding to the UI based solution, its also possible to install, uninstall and update plugins.

In the future we want to tunnel all plugin management thought this command and even the UI will use the command. This will allow us also to add even better package management with even versions of plugins depending on your installed Serverboards version.

Checking if all plugins are updated

This commands have the extra bonus that can always output JSON data, so they are machine friendly.

Service up for everybody

Most basic rule use was always check if a given service is up or not. Se now it is baked directly into the service definitions, so its super easy to create a check for a given service, be it that some specific credentials are still up to date, or that a specific SQL server is up.

Check out the service documentation if you are interested in developing new serviceup checks.

When the service is detected down (with some smart double check to avoid false positives) an issue is created and users are notified. When the service is up again, the issue is automatically closed.

And a lot of bugfixes and small improvements

All that was previously at Serverboards is still there and got some love and fixes. There are still rules, SSH terminals, SPICE connections, Prometheus integration… check out the plugin list for more information.

And a lot of fixes. And them some more.

Enjoy Serverboards and tell us what you think at twitter or the [forums]!