There is no perfect software solution for every user and every application. What works for one person may be too much or too little, too simple or too complex for another. That is why Checkmk is available in a number of different editions. These differ above all in their range of features and suitability for specific areas of application. In the following short article we would like to introduce the Checkmk Cloud Edition, one of the commercial editions.
2. Overview of the Cloud Edition
The Cloud Edition is currently the most comprehensive edition of Checkmk. Its content is based on the Checkmk Enterprise Standard Edition, but it additionally provides extensive cloud functions. This makes the Cloud Edition particularly valuable for users whose hosts are located in a cloud and who also want to set up their entire monitoring in a cloud.
Support when moving applications and processes to the cloud, i.e. in so-called lift and shift scenarios, has already been integrated into all Checkmk editions — which simplifies the implementation of a monitoring of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). In addition, the Cloud Edition also provides cloud-specific check plug-ins. In this way you can continue to use the Standard Edition when transitioning from a data center to a cloud. If you would subsequently also like to use the SaaS and PaaS products that a cloud can additionally provide, you can upgrade to the Cloud Edition.
3. Additional functions with the Cloud Edition
The key features of the Cloud Edition that differentiate it from other editions:
In the Cloud Edition, there are specific dashboards for AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP.
The monitoring of OpenShift with the special agent for Kubernetes is exclusive to the Cloud Edition.
Configuration of a push agent:
In all Checkmk editions, the Checkmk server initiates communication with a host and requests the data from the Checkmk agent — in the so-called pull mode. With the Cloud Edition you can additionally use the push mode. You configure the push mode in the properties of a host, in the section on monitoring agents.
Auto-registration of hosts:
In the Cloud Edition, you can have hosts created automatically that have a Checkmk agent installed. This includes registering the agent with the Checkmk server, establishing a TLS-encrypted connection, creating the host, performing a service discovery and activating the changes, so that the host is added to the monitoring environment — all fully automatically. Auto-registration works for pull and push agents.
Note: In the Checkmk user interface, elements that only exist in the Cloud Edition are indicated by the (Cloud Edition) suffix, e.g. rules, dashboards or parameter values.
4. Upgrading to the Cloud Edition
You can test the Cloud Edition without obligation, because it is not limited in the first 30 days. By entering a license key after 30 days at the latest, you can then use the Cloud Edition without limitations.
To upgrade from one of the other editions to the Cloud Edition, follow the upgrade description.
5. Differences of the components in detail
5.1. The monitoring interface
The six built-in dashboards for Kubernetes can be used in the Cloud Edition to monitor OpenShift clusters.
5.2. The monitoring agents
Only in the Cloud Edition the Checkmk agent for Linux and for Windows can be configured and used in push mode. You configure the mode (push or pull) in the Monitoring agents section in the host or folder properties. Push mode relies on the Agent Controller and is therefore not available in the agent’s legacy mode.
The Cloud Edition provides the ability to create hosts automatically during registration with the so-called auto-registration. The Agent registration rule set is used to configure the Checkmk site. The auto-registration also requires the Agent Controller.
In the Cloud Edition you can additionally use the Agent Bakery to provide agent packages with a configuration for auto-registration. The rule for the Agent Bakery is named Agent controller auto-registration (Cloud Edition). These packages perform registration automatically after installation.
Agent registration permissions
In the Cloud Edition the predefined role
Availability in the Azure and AWS Marketplaces
Testing the Edition
With the available Enterprise Editions, i.e. Standard Edition, Cloud Edition and Managed Services Edition, you can test the Cloud Edition in full functionality for 30 days without obligation. On a small scale, i.e. with one site and up to 750 services, you can also run Checkmk with the Cloud Edition on a permanent basis without requiring a subscription.
5.5. Additional functions
Check plug-ins for AWS
In the Cloud Edition there are additional check plug-ins for the AWS Cloud products AWS Lambda, Elastic Container Service (ECS), Route 53, CloudFront, ElastiCache for Redis and Simple Notification Service (SNS).
Check plug-ins for Azure
Check plug-ins for GCP