RIP Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

An era is coming to an end. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was released in the spring of 2012. At the 28th of April 2017 the support for this Ubuntu Version will comming to a close.
Each user now has the task to upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu.
As a hoster with the mission to take care of the systems of our customers, we have a scarily high number of servers we have to take care of. Even if we are up to this task, we still need the cooperation of our customers, as we have to prevent possible failures. And a few of our customers, don’t see the the problems, that we are up to in the future.

As i mentioned above, our mission is to keep the systems up and running, including new updates and the task of ensuring the security. But if we are not able to perform the upgrades, we won’t be able to ensure the security or to keep the system up to date.

A similar case will come up with Debian in May 2018. Debian 7,8 are available as LTS, which are maintained by the community (volunteers and companies, which are interested in it – but not by the Debian Security Team). Anyway, Debian 7 will be end of life at the 31st of May 2018.
So we will have to get trough the same topic again.

When the end of life of a distributions version approaches, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any updates for the packages you have installed, but there won’t be any updates to keep your systems safe. And that is, what you should keep in mind.

The next releases of Ubuntu and wether they will be LTS, you can see in the diagram below. Ubuntu 14.04 will be supported until April 2019, so there will be enough time to think about a good strategy for upgrading.

Marius Gebert


Marius ist seit September 2013 bei uns beschäftigt. Er hat im Sommer 2016 seine Ausbildung zum Fachinformatiker für Systemintegration absolviert und kümmert sich nun um den Support unserer Hostingkunden. Seine besonderen Themengebiete erstrecken sich vom Elastic-Stack bis hin zu Puppet. Auch an unserem Lunchshop ist er ständig zu Gange und versorgt die ganze Firma mit kulinarischen Köstlichkeiten. Seine Freizeit verbringt Marius gern an der frischen Luft und wandert dabei durch die fränkische Schweiz

Open Source Backup Conference – Call for Papers is now open!

  1. Your special field is doing backup based on open source software like AMANDA, BAREOS, BACULA, REAR etc.?
  2. There’s an experience or some latest developments you’d like to share with other open source freaks?
  3. You want to visit Cologne?
  4. You have nothing planned from September 25 to September 26?

Congratulations! Best conditions to become a speaker at the Open Source Backup Conference 2017!

Until May 31, interested speakers are welcome to submit their proposals for a talk via cfp form. We’re searching for technical talks with a real benefit for our participants such as latest developments related to BAREOS and BACULA, user experiences, case studies, best practices and tools.

The English-speaking conference offers the ideal platform to gain latest know how and to keep up to date with the latest trends and developments on open source backup software.

Besides the presentations, there are three hands-on workshops and a relaxed evening event on September 25.

Meet the open source community and be part of the OSBConf in Cologne!

For those who want to join the OSBConf as a participant, the early bird tickets are also available until the end of May! You want to support the OSBConf? Have a look at our sponsoring opportunities.

Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

Monthly Snap March > NETWAYS Web Services, Jitsi, ReactOS, Ceph, Braintower, OSDC, Graylog, Elastic{ON], Timelion, Icinga Director, Puppet

Tim began with a simple video chat jitsi-meets  and Alexander continued with his experiences with ReactOS.

Then Deniz wrote about Crush Maps in Ceph while Isabel presented the latest Shop Highlights such as AKCP sensorProbe 2, the Braintower software version 3.5.0 and some new STARFACE Services.

Then Martin announced our new platform NETWAYS Web Services and Gabriel analysed the differences between OwnCloud and Nextcloud.

Jean gave us an insight in the Icinga Buildserver, Version 3, while Julia started the countdown for the OSDC 2017 and presented the fixed program. Thomas Widhalm and Nicole reviewed the Elastic{ON] in San Francisco.

Blerim then described the Kibana add-on Timelion and Markus Waldmüller showed benefits given by the Icinga Director.

On events, Julia presented the programme and sponsors for the OSDC in May and announced our new training sessions for GRAYLOG.

Later in April, Ronny looked at multi-zone notifications in Icinga 2 while Gunnar presented ControlPlane.

Furthermore, Michael managed Elasticsearch, Kibana & icingabeat with Puppet and Lennart began with the first part of automated Monitoring with Puppet.

Last, but not least, Vanessa told about the Akademika 2017, where we’re serching for nice colleagues.

Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

OSDC 2017 Countdown – 7 weeks until Berlin

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series OSDC 2017 Countdown

OSDC-Countdown 2017: Tuning Linux for your Database by Colin Charles

OSDC 2017 | Simplifying Complex IT Infrastructures with Open Source | May 16 – 18, 2017

Join us in Berlin and be part of the Open Source Data Center Conference 2017, where internationally recognized Open Source specialists report on the latest developments in Data Center solutions and share their experiences and best practices with experienced administrators and architects. This is also a great opportunity for you to deepen and expand your own know-how in a relaxed atmosphere as well as to establish contacts and to get to know the Open Source community.

Next to the speeches, you have the opportunity to take place in one of three interesting hands-on workshops on May 16.

More information and your tickets can be found on:

See you in Berlin!

Julia Hackbarth

Autor: Julia Hackbarth

Julia ist seit 2015 bei NETWAYS. Sie hat im September ihre Ausbildung zur Kauffrau für Büromanagement gestartet. Etwas zu organisieren macht ihr großen Spaß und sie freut sich auf vielseitige Herausforderungen. In ihrer Freizeit spielt Handball eine große Rolle: Julia steht selbst aktiv auf dem Feld, übernimmt aber auch gerne den Part als Schiedsrichterin.

Manage Elasticsearch, Kibana & icingabeat with Puppet

A while back I’ve already looked into the Elastic Stack 5 Beta release and the beats integration. Time flies and the stable release is here. Blerim announced the icingabeat 1.0.0 release last week, and so I was looking into a smooth integration into a Vagrant box here.

The provisioner uses Puppet, which Puppet modules could be used here? I’m always looking for actively maintained modules, best by upstream projects which share the joy of automated setups of their tools with their community.


Elastic and Kibana Puppet Module

The Elastic developers started writing their own Puppet module for Kibana 5.x. Previously I’ve used community modules such as puppet-kibana4 or puppet-kibana5. puppet-elasticsearch already supports 5.x for a while, that works like a charm.

Simple example for a low memory Elasticsearch setup:

class { 'elasticsearch':
  manage_repo  => true,
  repo_version => '5.x',
  java_install => false,
  jvm_options => [
  require => Class['java']
} ->
elasticsearch::instance { 'elastic-es':
  config => {
    '' => 'elastic',
    '' => ''

Note: jvm_options was released in 5.0.0.


Default index pattern

If you do not define any default index pattern, Kibana greets you with a fancy message to do so (and I have to admit – i still need an Elastic Stack training to fully understand why). I wanted to automate that, so that Vagrant box users don’t need to care about it. There are several threads around which describe the deployment by sending a PUT request to the Elasticsearch backend.

I’m using a small script here which waits until Elasticsearch is started. If you don’t do that, the REST API calls will fail later on. This is also required for specifying index patterns and importing dashboards. A Puppet exec timeout won’t do the trick here, because we’ll have to loop and check again if the service is available.

$ cat/usr/local/bin/kibana-setup


START=$(date +%s)

echo -e "Restart elasticsearch instance"
systemctl restart elasticsearch-elastic-es

echo -e "Checking whether Elasticsearch is listening at $ES_URL"
until $(curl --output /dev/null --silent $ES_URL); do
  NOW=$(date +%s)
  if [[ "$NOW" -gt "$REAL_TIMEOUT" ]]; then
    echo "Cannot reach Elasticsearch at $ES_URL. Timeout reached."
    exit 1
  printf '.'
  sleep 1

If you would want to specify the default index pattern i.e. for an installed filebeat service, you could something like this:

ES_DEFAULT_INDEX_URL="$ES_URL/.kibana/config/5.2.2" #hardcoded program version

curl -XPUT $ES_INDEX_URL -d '{ "title":"filebeat", "timeFieldName":"@timestamp" }'
curl -XPUT $ES_DEFAULT_INDEX_URL -d '{ "defaultIndex":"filebeat" }'

One problem arises: The configuration is stored by Kibana program version. There is no symlink like ‘latest’, but you’ll need to specify ‘.kibana/config/5.2.2’ to make it work. There is a certain requirement for pinning the Kibana version, or finding a programatic way to automatically determine the version.


Kibana Version in Puppet

Fortunately the Puppet module allows for specifying a version. Turns out, the class validation doesn’t support package revision known from rpm (“5.2.2-1”). Open source is awesome – you manage to patch it, apply tests and after review your contributed patch gets merged upstream.

Example for Kibana with a pinned package version:

$kibanaVersion = '5.2.2'

class { 'kibana':
  ensure => "$kibanaVersion-1",
  config => {
    'server.port' => 5601,
    '' => '',
    'kibana.index' => '.kibana',
    'kibana.defaultAppId' => 'discover',
    'logging.silent'               => false,
    'logging.quiet'                => false,
    'logging.verbose'              => false,
    ''               => "{ log: ['info', 'warning', 'error', 'fatal'], response: '*', error: '*' }",
    'elasticsearch.requestTimeout' => 500000,
  require => Class['java']
file { 'kibana-setup':
  name => '/usr/local/bin/kibana-setup',
  owner => root,
  group => root,
  mode => '0755',
  source => "puppet:////vagrant/files/usr/local/bin/kibana-setup",
exec { 'finish-kibana-setup':
  path => '/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin',
  command => "/usr/local/bin/kibana-setup",
  timeout => 3600


Icingabeat integration

That’s fairly easy, just install the rpm and put a slightly modified icingabeat.yml there.

$icingabeatVersion = '1.0.0'

yum::install { 'icingabeat':
  ensure => present,
  source => "$icingabeatVersion/icingabeat-$icingabeatVersion-x86_64.rpm"
file { '/etc/icingabeat/icingabeat.yml':
  source    => 'puppet:////vagrant/files/etc/icingabeat/icingabeat.yml',
service { 'icingabeat':
  ensure => running

I’ve also found the puppet-archive module from Voxpupuli which allows to download and extract the required Kibana dashboards from icingabeat. The import then requires that Elasticsearch is up and running (referencing the kibana setup script again). You’ll notice the reference to the pinned Kibana version for setting the default index pattern via exec resource.

archive { '/tmp/':
  ensure => present,
  extract => true,
  extract_path => '/tmp',
  source => "$icingabeatVersion/icingabeat-dashboards-$",
  checksum => 'b6de2adf2f10b77bd4e7f9a7fab36b44ed92fa03',
  checksum_type => 'sha1',
  creates => "/tmp/icingabeat-dashboards-$icingabeatVersion",
  cleanup => true,
  require => Package['unzip']
exec { 'icingabeat-kibana-dashboards':
  path => '/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin',
  command => "/usr/share/icingabeat/scripts/import_dashboards -dir /tmp/icingabeat-dashboards-$icingabeatVersion -es",
  require => Exec['finish-kibana-setup']
exec { 'icingabeat-kibana-default-index-pattern':
  path => '/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin',
  command => "curl -XPUT$kibanaVersion -d '{ \"defaultIndex\":\"icingabeat-*\" }'",

The Puppet code is the first working draft, I plan to refactor the upstream code. Look how fancy 🙂


Managing your Elastic Stack setup with Puppet really has become a breeze. I haven’t tackled the many plugins and dashboards available, there’s so much more to explore. Once you’ve integrated icingabeat into your devops stack, how would you build your own dashboards to correlate operations maintenance with Icinga alerts? 🙂

If you’re interested in learning more about Elastic and the awesome Beats integrations, make sure to join OSDC 2017. Monica Sarbu joins us with her talk on “Collecting the right data to monitor your infrastructure”.

PS: Test-drive the integration, finished today 🙂



Michael Friedrich

Autor: Michael Friedrich

Michael ist seit vielen Jahren Icinga Developer und hat sich Ende 2012 in das Abenteuer NETWAYS gewagt. Ein Umzug von Wien nach Nürnberg mit der Vorliebe, österreichische Köstlichkeiten zu importieren - so mancher Kollege verzweifelt an den süchtig machenden Dragee-Keksi. Oder schlicht am österreichischen Dialekt der gerne mit Thomas im Büro intensiviert wird ("Jo eh."). Wenn sich Michael mal nicht im Monitoring-Portal helfend meldet, arbeitet er am nächsten LEGO-Projekt oder geniesst das schöne Nürnberg. Oder - at an Icinga Camp near you 😉

On Tour with Icinga 2: San Francisco

The best thing about travelling? Definitely meeting people! My four colleagues and I had the chance to be guests at Pivotal and Slack in San Francisco.

Our group used the trip to Elastic{ON}17 in San Francisco as an opportunity to meet with other people who are active in the Icinga universe. Our first stop was at Pivotal who were kind enough to host our Icinga Camp at their office.

After a warm welcome at Pivotal, our keynote speaker Blerim Sheqa started our Icinga Camp by welcoming our guests. His talk provided insights into the current state and development of Icinga 2. Subsequently we heard about Icinga Director, in detail the current features and how it works from Markus Frosch. Our third talk about Elastic Stack and how to integrate it with Icinga 2 by Thomas Widhalm rounded off the camp.

Again, this Icinga Camp was a perfect way for customers and users to get to know the team members from NETWAYS. Our speakers were happy to answer many interesting and sophisticated questions as well as to take in ideas and requests from the audience. In the end, everybody attending the camp profited a lot from these discussions.

Out next stop was at Slack Headquarters where we were invited for a rather casual get-together. The people at Slack were mainly interested in Icinga 2, Icinga Web 2 and all the features available now and in the future. Furthermore it was extremely interesting to get an insight into American company culture and to compare it to Germany. All in all, we had a very good time at Slack HQ, met nice people and everybody was able to gather useful information and facts.

Again a big thank you to our hosts, it was a pleasure to be your guests!

If you are interested and want to learn more about Pivotal or Slack, you can visit them online or follow them on Twitter:

Pivotal @pivotal

Slack @SlackHQ

Nicole Lang

Autor: Nicole Lang

Ihr Interesse für die IT kam bei Nicole in ihrer Zeit als Übersetzerin mit dem Fachgebiet Technik. Seit 2010 sammelt sie bereits Erfahrungen im Support und der Administration von Storagesystemen beim ZDF in Mainz. Ab September 2016 startete Sie Ihre Ausbildung zur Fachinformatikerin für Systemintegration bei NETWAYS, wo sie vor allem das Arbeiten mit Linux und freier Software reizt. In ihrer Freizeit überschüttet Sie Ihren Hund mit Liebe, kocht viel Gesundes, werkelt im Garten, liest Bücher und zockt auch mal gerne.