One year ago today - Sonian released Sensu into the wild and into the arms of the open source community. It has been amazing to see how far along this project has come from the early days of Aug 2011 when we started. I still remember the conversation I had on standup that day. I was laying down my normal daily diatribe about my hatred for all things Nagios and posed a simple question to the team, what should we do now? It was painfully obvious that Nagios was not right for our infrastructure. We has a few choices; spend time and energy into making Nagios work, find another solution that is flexible enough for us, or build our own. We started to look around for options but really couldn’t find anything that was flexible enough for us, or that provided us the ability to extend and add on to over time. Many commercial options were too closed or too expensive (or both), and none of the open source projects we saw at the time seemed to be a good enough fit. Sean Porter had an idea for using RabbitMQ in order to have clients subscribe to queues and a server that would publish checks. I knew he was on to something and had him take a week to build a POC in order to prove out what would become the first implementation of what is now known as Sensu.
After seeing that his idea could possibly work for us, and after much discussion with the team making recommendations and shooting down ideas, we decided to invest some time and man hours into building a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). After a few weeks the structure and design of Sensu was built, changed, refactored, and tested heavily. By September, we migrated our non-production environments over to using sensu for monitoring. By October we had moved over our entire production infrastructure over to Sensu. In November, after internal discussions and approvals, we released Sensu as an open source project under the MIT license.
Open source can work if you make it work. I can honestly say that Sensu would not be as powerful or as mature today if we had not had the support of some awesome people in the community. People like Joe Miller, Jeremy Carroll, Anthony Goddard, James Turnbull, the Heavy water guys, the Sonian Team, and everyone else out there who has helped make Sensu what it is today.
Thank you everyone for your support, your testing, your contributions to documentation and source code. Thank you for continuing to prove that open source works and that truly amazing things can be done with the right community behind it.
I look forward to seeing where this next year takes us.
And if any Sensu contributors are ever in the Boston area, let me know. I’ll buy the drinks.