Home > Checkmk Conference #6: Community feeling in a virtual Space

Checkmk Conference #6: Community feeling in a virtual Space

Timo Scheibe
By Timo Scheibe on May 11, 2020

It's now been a few days since the Checkmk Conference #6 took place – so, looking back, what can we say about it? We are still overwhelmed by the many impressions, and your feedback at the largest Checkmk community meeting in the world. Thank you for so actively participating, and for yet again making the event an unforgettable experience.

The sixth edition of our conference was held under changed circumstances. We had actually anticipated enjoying a good time with you in the Paulaner Nockherberg from April 27th to 29th. Due to the Corona crisis however, we did not know at first whether we could even hold the Checkmk Conference #6. Finally we decided, without further ado, to make it a completely online event.

Participants watched the conference over their browsers.

The Checkmk Conference #6 was a completely online event with more than 250 people attending over the whole two days.

After many long days and short nights, our organization team managed to virtually map all of the lectures and formats planned for the physical event. We even set up a studio in our office in Munich to provide the setting for the best possible live stream. Only the workshops planned for April 27th could not be realized in the form as originally intended.

We are extremely proud that a more than 250 people took part in the virtual meeting of the Checkmk community and users, and accepted the online format so well.

For those who could not be there this year, we want to explain a little about what you missed. Our CEO Jan Justus, together with our founder Mathias Kettner, opened the sixth Checkmk conference from our studio. Because not only have there been changes at Checkmk since the last conference, but also at tribe29, the company behind Checkmk, Jan initially said something about the development of the company.

In the meantime, more than 2.100 customers use the Checkmk Enterprise Edition – including around 55 percent of the companies listed in the DAX 30. "It is good to know that more than half of the largest companies in Germany, that is, in our core market, use our product", Jan emphasized the positive company development. In addition to expanding the customer base in more than 45 countries worldwide, we have also significantly increased our number of employees: in 2019, we had 35 members in the team. There should be 65 by the end of 2020. Tribe29 currently has around 50 employees. "We are a small company, but we have enough momentum to tackle important issues." said Jan Justus.

Our priorities in product development

With cloud, container and automation, Jan particularly highlighted three topics that are important for the Checkmk product. In doing so, he did not fail to shed light on the other important points on the product roadmap – those which the tribe29 team members further deepened in individual lectures over the next two days.
We will provide you with more information on individual lectures here in the next few days.

In addition to the three future topics already mentioned, the developers at Checkmk are currently working, for example, on improving the user experience, expanding network monitoring and improving performance.

In our lecture, our chief developer Lars Michelsen reported on what the current work of the developers on the product looks like, and which 'adjustment screws' they are presently working on. Thanks to the increased manpower in our development team, we have been able to significantly develop Checkmk in the past two years. We now offer you over 1,900 official plug-ins for our monitoring solution. And, as Lars said, plug-in development should be made even easier with optimized APIs and improved testing.

At this point we don't want to go into too much detail about what Lars said, instead we will save this for another blog post. However, there are many cool innovations in the pipeline.

Checkmk integrates ntop and Prometheus

Two important topics at the Checkmk Conference #6 were our planned integrations with ntop and Prometheus. With the integration of Network Flow Monitoring from ntop, we are expanding Checkmk with a significant new option that enables you to dive deeper into problem analysis. All of this will then be available in Checkmk dashboards. You will be able to read more details later.

Our studio in the Kellerstraße.

Founder Mathias Kettner (left) and CEO Jan Justus opened the conference from our studio.

In many companies, DevOps teams use Prometheus to monitor fast-moving container environments, while IT operation teams use Checkmk for monitoring. So far the cross-team exchange has been difficult. In order to enable uniform monitoring with Checkmk, we decided to connect the two platforms with each other. Wontek Hong explained how the integration of Prometheus into Checkmk works. Here, too, you have to be patient for a little bit longer while we write a blog post on the details of that.

In addition to the two integrations, we also told you a lot at the conference about our plans with the new REST-API and Check-API, the further development of our Windows monitoring and a particularly important project to improve the user experience. Especially with the UX optimization, you as the Checkmk community discussed a lot, and provided much input to us, including where we should definitely make improvements, and where we are already on the right track.

Socializing despite social distancing

At the beginning we were a bit skeptical of whether we would be able to implement the exchange with you in a virtual way, as we did at previous conferences. We think that thanks to you, we succeeded very well, as can be seen from the lively participation in the various Slack channels and your questions, comments, enthusiasm and fun in the chats on our video platform. We are therefore firmly planning to include similar interaction options between you and us, but also between the participants in the next physical conference. It was just fun.

We were also very pleased to see that the "Ask me anything" sessions set up to replace the in-person workshops were very well received by you. Our experts had a lot of fun talking to you about monitoring with Checkmk, the development of the software or the company itself.

Your posted pictures of the evening beer or wine during the fireside chats were also great. We did not expect that after a first day of the conference in front of the screen you would have so much power to exchange ideas with Lars, Mathias and Jan in the one track about the development of Checkmk. At the same time, our community manager Faye Tandog and our marketing manager Martin Hirschvogel were happy about the lively participation in the talk about the Checkmk community.

Thank you for participating so enthusiastically that our first online conference was such a great success. We are looking forward to hopefully meet you in person again at the next Checkmk Conference #7.

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