The Future of Nagios – Where Do We Go From Here?

The Father of Nagios

The announcement of a Nagios fork has brought to light several weaknesses in the Nagios project that have hampered its evolution. Two of these being the fact that I have been “the” developer and sole gatekeeper of the codebase.

The time I can commit to Nagios development has decreased in recent times. It will continue to decrease further as time goes by. I need to transition my role away from that of “the” Nagios developer. To do that, I’m empowering others to take over development, and moving into an architectural/mentor role. And eventually, when the time is right, I’ll pass that role on to someone else.

This necessary transition comes as no surprise to me. Savvy developers will find an encoded “EAG worked here” message in the Nagios 3.x code – a subtle message that I knew that Nagios 3 would be the last major version that I was “the” Nagios developer for.

As a response to this necessary transition, the core development team will be expanding effective immediately. Andreas Ericsson and Ton Voon have stepped forward to help manage and further develpment of the Nagios core. Andreas and Ton have both been very active on the Nagios development lists, and many of you know just how knowledgeable and capable they are. I gladly welcome their willingness to participate as we move forward to help write the future of Nagios.

Will the expansion of the core team solve all the problems that have been identified with past development? Probably not. And certainly not in the immediate weeks to follow. The core development team has its work cut out for it in creating guidelines and procedures, patching bugs, and helping to finalize a roadmap for the future.

Will I tell you what the roadmap is for Nagios? No. You will tell me. You will tell the core development team and the entire community. Working together, and based on your input, we will create what we believe to be the best roadmap for everyone involved. Many ideas will be implemented, others will morph over time, and some will be discarded altogether.

We need development of an “official” UI to be created as a separate effort from the main core. We need a dedicated UI development team.

We need an official bug/issue/patch tracker for Nagios and the core components. A new http://tracker.nagios.org website will have to be born and maintained with the help of the community.

We need an alternative to what once was a valuable service provided by the old nagiosexchange.org website. We’ll be glad to host it at http://exchange.nagios.org, but we want the community’s assistance in building and maintaining the site. There’s a lot of work associated with doing this, but it’s absolutely critical for the Nagios community and project. We don’t want anyone to “screen scrape” the old site to populate the new. So unless Netways wants to help with the transition, we have some work to do.

We need new technologies and innovations surrounding Nagios. In an effort to spur the open creation and nurturing of ideas, steps are being taken that could quite possibly blow the lid off anything we’ve seen in the past surrounding Nagios.

At the suggestion and with the help of my friend whurley, and the services of the folks at IdeaScale, http://ideas.nagios.org has been born. This site can serve as a simple, elegant tool for the facilitation and birth of innovative ideas around Nagios. It can help write the roadmap for the future of Nagios. But only if you actively participate in it.

The need for innovation and open development around Nagios is not a new idea for myself or others in the community. As a step towards helping to facilitate new innovation, Nagios Enterprises created a heretofore unannounced Nagios Labs site back in November. Its purpose was to help spur innovation that would ultimately determine the future of Nagios. How? By highlighting and encouraging new ideas, young developments, and brilliant inventions. Should we pursue this idea? Is it worthwhile? Tell us what you think at ideas.nagios.org.

I can’t tell you with absolute certainty what the future holds for Nagios. What I can tell you, however, is that the future of Nagios will likely be all the more brighter as a result of recent events.

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