User Guide


Extension contents

Each NEP Package contains the content that can be used to build the required NetEye design. The main Extension contents shipped with a package are:

  • Director Objects

  • ITOA Dashboards

  • Configuration elements

  • Monitoring Plugins

Most of these can be used without any particular limitations: an ITOA Dashboard can be opened right after its import, and both Configuration elements and Monitoring Plugins can be used immediately after placing them in the right path. Instead, Director Objects require a well-defined set of rules and best practices to be used efficiently.

Director Objects

Director Objects are the inner core of the entire solution. Their objective is to provide easy-to-use monitoring object definitions. Each object comes with ample support for its configuration and are organized in structures that can provide a basic and meaningful (in other words, standard) monitoring for hosts or devices. This way, there is a basic set of variables and performance data that all the other Extension contents can use to build their functionalities upon.

To ensure this, Director Objects have to be organized in self-containing blocks that can be combined preserving each own identities, data and structure. This lead to the concept of Template-Types.

What is a Template-Type

A Template-Type is a Template that defines a specific purpose, selecting which variables are required to ensure its purpose is completely fulfilled, and isolating them from other Template-Types. The purpose is a part of the monitored object that needs to be defined, like the kind of monitoring, how this monitoring can be done, whether or not it can be managed by a Cluster Zone, and so on. In short, a Template-Type selects an aspect of a monitored object (which can be Host or Service) and defines all the data that is needed to describe this aspect, ensuring no other Template-Type will redefine/rewrite that data.

Remember that, excluding some exceptions, objects provided by an NEP should not be edited directly: in case of an update or restore operation, all editing will be lost. If a Template must be edited, create a Child template and make any changes there.

Template-Types for Hosts

Template-Types have been defined for both Hosts and Services. While their names are similar, their purpose and use are not exactly the same. The next table summarizes the available Template-Types for Host Objects.


Host Template Name


Host Status


Defines the way the state of the host is probed

Host Monitoring


Describes how a specific technology should be monitored by providing the required Services, Data Fields and Custom Variables

Host Location


Implements the concept of distributed objects with both logical position (Icinga Cluster Zones) and geographical position (address, coordinates, etc.)

Host Custom


Used to overwrite Custom Variables coming from other Templates, as well as to alter Check Execution parameters, for a specific set of objects; it also provides default Check Command and Check Execution parameters to all monitored Host Objects

Each Template-Type defines and provides the (custom) variables strictly required to perform its monitoring duty. As an example, a Template-Type Host Monitoring is not supposed to define a Cluster Zone: it is not its duty to decide the Icinga Cluster Zone where it should be managed; instead, this information must be set by Template-Type Host Location. For the same reason, a Template-Type Host Location is not supposed to provide values for Icinga2 Agent and related, because it is a specific setting required for monitoring purposes. By enforcing this rule, each template can be considered a sealed box, and then all Host Objects can be created by combining different Template Types.

Template-Type: Host Status

Templates of type Host Status aim to define how the state of a Host Object is monitored. The main parameter provided is Check command, but also all the Check Execution settings must be defined using this kind of template. In fact, to ensure all Host Objects are monitored using consistent parameters, it is better to provide them with the required settings using a dedicated template instead of relying on the settings used on a multitude of Host Monitoring Templates. This is the main reason that a Host Object must be created by using one (or more) template of type Host Monitoring and one template of type Host Status.

All Host Objects defined by Automations provided by NEPs automatically include the specific nx-ht-status-ping template dispatched with Common.

Template-Type: Host Monitoring

Templates of type Host Monitoring have the purpose of implementing a well-defined monitoring strategy for a specific technology. Each of them contains all and only those required Data Fields to configure its settings, allowing for a complete monitoring configuration at the Host Object level. That data will be used automatically by the necessary Service Objects to monitor performance and all other aspects of the same technology on that very Host Object.

All technologies are grouped into categories, with each one designed to build a hierarchy together with the others. As the concept of hierarchy implies, technologies will have more similar behaviors and settings the closer they are to each other in the hierarchy tree. This allows for quick and easy understanding of what and how an object will be monitored. Also, the design of the categories and their naming enables an intuitive way to look up for the required type of monitoring.

Templates of type Host Monitoring usually don’t provide info about how the state of a Host Object is monitored: their aim is to provide Service Objects with all the data they might require to work. Parameters like Check command, Check Interval, Retry Interval and Check Attempts are managed using templates of type Host Status or using type Host Custom.

Template-Type: Host Location

Templates of type Host Location are meant for providing settings and information about the actual location of the monitored Host Objects both in terms of physical location (address or position) and monitoring location (Icinga Cluster Zone). Data provided through this kind of template is useful to group Host Objects or to restrict their access on a geographical or logical basis.

Because there is actually no standard for coding geographical or positioning data, it is the responsibility of the end user to create as many Host Location templates as he/she desires with the Data Fields that better describe its scenario.

As stated above, the use of templates of type Host Location is optional and not strictly required to build a working monitoring design.

Template-Type: Host Custom

Templates of type Host Custom are used to provide Host Objects having common characteristics with the same set of (Custom) Variables. Therefore, their main purpose is to overwrite settings of Host Templates in case the default values provided by the other templates are wrong. Because Host Objects with common characteristics will have the same set of overwritten variables, templates of type Host Custom are also suitable to group together Host Objects and clarify the structure of the end user’s infrastructure (e.g.: intranet servers, backup servers, core network devices, virtualization infrastructure etc.) They will thus become useful for managing Host Groups and user account authorization.

All Host Objects defined by Automations provided by NEPs automatically include the default Host Custom template dispatched with Common.

Template-Types for Services

The next table summarizes the available Template-Types for Service Objects. While the names are similar, Template-Types for Services behave slightly different from those for Hosts.


Service Template Name


Service Monitoring


Describes how a specific aspect of a technology should be monitored

Service Custom


Used to overwrite Custom Variables coming from other Templates, as well as to alter Check Execution parameters, for a specific set of objects

Each Template-Type makes use of (Custom) Variables defined in its companion Host Monitoring Template, and allows for an override of these values directly at the Service Object level (if needed).

Template-Types: Service Monitoring

Templates of type Service Monitoring implement a well-defined monitoring strategy for a given aspect of a specific technology. Each one has a companion HT of type Host Monitoring providing all the required (Custom) Variables to perform its monitoring duty. If for some reason, one or more Variables coming from the companion HT must be replaced, each ST provides full support for override and redefinitions.

Like HTs of type Host Monitoring, all STs of type Service Monitoring are grouped into categories designed to build a hierarchy. Unlike HTs of type Host Monitoring, all the STs of type Service Monitoring define default values for Check Command parameter. Parameters Check Interval, Retry Interval and Check Attempts can be managed via Service Custom Templates if required.

Template-Types: Service Custom

Templates of type Service Custom are used to manage Check Execution parameters and overwrite (Custom) Variables coming from other ST where it is needed. In case a Service Object needs different Check Execution parameters or it must be provided with other (Custom) Variables, this Template-Type can be used to perform this task.

How to create Objects using Template-Types

Creating Objects using Template-Types is quite simple. They can be viewed as building-blocks that can stick together in the right quantity. Some of them are mandatory, others can be used only if their functionalities are required. This means this paradigm relies heavily on Multiple Inheritance.

To create Host Objects, one Template of type Host Custom, one Template of type Host Status and one or more of type Host Monitoring are strictly required: the Host Custom type provides Check Execution parameters, the Host Status type provides the Check command, while the Host Monitoring type provides the Data Fields that Service Objects can use. Host Objects created this way will be assigned to the Icinga Master Zone. If Distributed Monitoring is required, or if Host Objects needs to be classified by geographical or logical location data, only one Template of type Host Location can be used.

To be more specific, a Host Object must be built following these steps. To obtain the maximum advantage using this paradigm, be sure to import all the Templates in the displayed order.

  • Add one HT of type Host Status

  • Add one or more HT of type Host Monitoring

  • Add one HT of type Host Location (Optional)

  • Add one HT of type Host Custom

Like Host Objects, Service Objects must be built following these steps:

  • Add one ST of type Service Monitoring

  • Add one ST of type Service Custom

Because Service Templates of type Service Monitoring provide their own Check Command, the use of type Service Custom is not strictly required. If not used, default values for Check Interval (5 minutes), Retry Interval (1 minute) and Check Attempts (3) will be used by Icinga 2. However, all Service Objects provided by Automations and Service Sets provided by NEPs automatically include the default Service Custom Template dispatched with Common.

The outlined order is, for both Host Objects and Service Objects, the one that is used when designing an NEP Package, therefore it already includes the optimal behavior for each object. While each Template-Type acts as a sealed box, there might be cases when variables are managed by two different Template-Types. In this cases, since Host Monitoring Templates or Service Monitoring Templates must not be edited, inheritance order matters and can influence the final behavior significantly. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you enforce the order outlined above for every created objects.

Predefined Service Sets

Basic monitoring for Host Objects is defined by grouping Templates of type Service Monitoring into Service Sets. Those Service Sets will be assigned to Host Objects based on the Host Monitoring Templates used to create the Host Objects themselves, and use default timings and settings provided by the default Service Custom Template. While this allows for easy and quick startup, it might not be suitable over the long term. If settings for these Services (or the Services themselves) must be customized or replaced, it is suggested to make use of the Default NEP Service Set Disabling function to exclude the whole Service Sets and make your own copy through cloning. Then, you can freely customize the clone.

About custom Service Sets

Every time you create a clone of a Service Set provided by NEP, make sure to review the apply rule of the cloned template: the default apply rule of a Service Set from NEP is built to implement Service Set exclusion based on the name of the Service Set you cloned from, making your cloned Service Set non applied. If you want to disable Service Set nx-ss-generic-icinga-agent-state, be sure to provide a Service Object that monitors the status of the Icinga2 Agent running on all impacted Host Objects and name it Icinga2 agent status. This service is used by some default NEP Dependencies that disables monitoring or notifications for agent-based Service Objects that rely on icinga2 Agent to perform the actual monitoring. If Service Object Icinga2 agent status is not present, several Dependency Apply Rules will inevitabily generate errors, blocking Deploy from Director and Icinga2 Service Start/Restart.