What can you do with Sensu?

Sensu is an open-core monitoring platform that empowers organizations to compose comprehensive monitoring & telemetry solutions that meet their unique business requirements. By providing a platform to build upon, Sensu enables you to focus on what to monitor and measure, rather than how.

Execute Service Checks

Sensu can monitor application and system services, detecting those in an unhealthy state. Service checks can be used, for example, to determine if a service like HAProxy is up or down, or if a web application is responding to requests.

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Send Notifications

Sensu notifies your team about events before your customers do, using services such as Email, PagerDuty, Slack, HipChat, IRC, etc.

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Collect Metrics

Sensu simplifies the process of gaining insightful metrics from complex distributed systems. The Sensu check format is composed of an exit status code, and an arbitrary payload (e.g. message string, PerfData, JSON, animated cat GIFs, etc). This simplicity provides a single platform to collect every metric data point that is meaningful to your business.

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Documented API

Sensu’s API provides access to event and client data, the ability to request check executions, and resolve events. The API also provides a key/value store which can be leveraged to extend Sensu's functionality in a variety of ways.

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Dynamic Client Registry

Sensu's use of the pubsub pattern of communication allows for automated registration & de-registration of ephemeral systems — allowing you to dynamically scale your infrastructure up and down without fear of generating false-positive alert storms.

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Self-Service Monitoring

Sensu provides support for centralized and decentralized (or distributed) monitoring, enabling operations teams to maintain a standard service level for the entire organization without placing unnecessary restrictions on developers. Give your users access to monitoring without relinquishing control.

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External Input

Sensu’s monitoring agent (sensu-client) provides a TCP and UDP socket that can accept external JSON data. Applications can leverage this interface to report errors directly to Sensu or ship application-specific metric data.

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Secure Connectivity

Sensu leverages transports that offer SSL encryption, authentication, and granular ACLs. Sensu's connections traverse complex network topologies, including those that use NAT and VPNs.

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Sensu Plugins

Monitoring your infrastructure with Sensu saves valuable time thanks to the general availability of hundreds of Sensu Plugins that provide native instrumentation for the tools and services your business depends on, including:

Added-Value Features

Sensu Enterprise builds upon the underlying building blocks provided by Sensu Core with some important added-value features.

Built-in Contact Routing

Every incident or outage has an ideal first responder, a team or individual with the knowledge to triage and address an issue. Sensu Enterprise contact routing makes it possible to assign checks to specific teams and/or individuals, reducing MTTR. Contact routing works with all of the Sensu Enterprise third-party integrations.

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Metric Translation

Sensu Enterprise provides built-in metric translation that allows you to collect metrics in various formats from disparate data sources, and mutate them into a proprietary intermediate format that has been optimized for portability, and then output metric data to multiple destinations. Metric Translation enables you to leverage plugins that don't collect metric data in the same format as your metric data store. Sensu Enterprise currently supports translation to and from the following metric specifications:

Sensu Core vs Sensu Enterprise

Sensu Core (the Open Source Software project) provides an open framework for building comprehensive monitoring solutions, without imposing restrictions or being overly opinionated. While new user-facing "features" may be developed exclusively in Sensu Enterprise, the framework that makes those features possible will always be a part of Sensu Core.

Sensu Enterprise builds on Sensu Core by providing added value in the form of several opinionated extensions, along with enterprise class support. We like to think of the distinction between Sensu Core and Sensu Enterprise as the difference between a framework and a product.

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