Tick, tick, boom: Checkmk 2.0 arises with new UX, better container insight

Checkmk 2.0

The second major release for IT monitoring tool Checkmk is now available, trying to tempt ops folks with better container infrastructure insights, additional network monitoring, and a reworked user interface featuring beginner and expert modes.

The new GUI aims to improve usability for old and new users with a more centralised navigation and the option to activate a beginner mode that automatically hides more advanced functionality so that they’re not overwhelmed from the start.

Enterprise users will also find a new overview dashboard in Checkmk 2.0 providing an birds-eye view of the monitored environment as well as a server-oriented dashboard which compiles information on Checkmk servers and sites.

Teams on an enterprise edition have a wider array of visualisation elements at their disposal and can choose gauges or scatterplots to make their dashboards easier to read. A new filtering mechanism has been added to display specific hosts and services only and there are more options to work with labels.

Users who miss the WATO menu once they have their system updated, should be able to find everything they need under the setup module now, which includes a consolidated search tool making it easier to find rules, hosts, and global settings through one interface. Automation of processes is meant to have become easier through a new REST API.

Since Checkmk is more geared towards an enterprise customer base, its creators have put a bit of work into authentications and auditing, so that v2.0 supports SAML authentication and provides detailed logs of service changes. Having capability to monitor Active Directory Connect and some more AWS services should also help this audience.

To turn Checkmk into more of a contender for custodians of cloud native architecture, the tool was fitted with an integration for monitoring system Prometheus through a Feature Pack last year. Since then, the module has been developed so that it handles Kubernetes namespaces (which can now also be used as a host prefix) better. It also comes with additional checks as well as support for HTTPS. 

Other improvements specifically geared towards Kubernetes users include better “monitoring of ingresses, jobs, endpoints, and pod conditions”, while integration with ntop has been added to let Enterprise Edition users monitor network flows. 

Users of the raw edition who felt left out on the container front gained the option to connect to visualisation tool Grafana, a feature reserved to Enterprise users before. They can now also access parts of the more modern graphing system of the Enterprise Editions in v2.0, as the company replaced PNP4nagios-based features with HTML5. Additional details on the update can be found on the Checkmk blog.