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How to install Monitis Agents in bulk using Chef

What is Chef?

With Chef, you write abstract definitions as source code to describe how you want each part of your infrastructure to be built, and then apply those descriptions to individual servers. The result is a fully automated infrastructure: when a new server comes online, the only thing you have to do is instruct Chef what role it should play in your architecture.

Now you can use Chef for deploying, updating and removing Monitis agent as well.


The following manual assumes that you already have configured, and are running, Chef infrastructure, so we will not discuss Chef installation and configuration procedures here, especially since it is wonderfully documented and easily referenced here !


The current version of Monitis Cookbook is tested on following operating systems:

- Debian 6.0.1 x86-64 bit

- Ubuntu 12.04 x86-64 bit

- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 x86-64 bit

- CentOS 6.2 x86-64 bit

- Fedora 17 x86-64 bit

- openSUSE 12.2 x86-64 bit

- Windows XP x86 bit

- Windows 7 x86-64 bit

- Windows Server 2003 64 bit

- Windows Server 2008 64 bit


There are 3 recipes:

install – Installs and configures Monitis monitoring Agent if not installed

update – Uninstalls and installs latest version of Monitis monitoring Agent

uninstall – Uninstalls Monitis monitoring Agent


Monitis cookbook installation is extremely easy and contains the following steps:

1. Installing from tarball


  • Extract the cookbook tarball.


  • Copy cookbook to chef cookbook folder

            cp -r monitis-chef-deployment-master /var/chef/cookbooks/monitis

  • Upload the cookbook to theChef Server. Use knife cookbook upload sub-command. There is no difference in its use for Open Source Chef Server, Hosted Chef or Private Chef.

knife cookbook upload monitis


2. Installing from GITHub

  • Download the cookbook from here GITHub

            git clone git://

  • Upload the cookbook to theChef Server. Use knife cookbook upload sub-command. There is no difference in its use for Open Source Chef Server, Hosted Chef or Private Chef.

knife cookbook upload monitis


Now Monitis cookbook is installed and available in chef server, you can test and see it under the cookbooks section of chef WUI :

chef installation


Before it can be used, you need to first set some attributes: installation directory and monitis username


You can set these attributes via Chef WUI, or by editing the cookbook template directly. If you have enough experience to edit cookbook, you probably won’t need to read this manual any more!


Below we illustrate how to configure Monitis agent using Chef WUI.


Setting Attributes

Attributes can be set in different levels:

1      Node level

2      Role Level


Generally you will not want to set attributes on node level, as you will then have to do this for every node separately. So we recommend always setting these attributes on Role level. (One for all)


For setting up attributes on Role level we will need :


Login to the Management Console and navigate to the Roles tab.

setup attributes in chef



Click Create on the sub navigation bar.

Give the role a name and an optional description.

To add a recipe to the role, drag it from “Available Recipes” to “Run List”.

add recipe to the role

1. click “json” -> 2. “Default” from the “Default and Override Attributes” tree on the bottom left.

3. check “Autodetect type of attribute” checkbox

4. enter {“MONITIS”:{“USEREMAIL”:”[email protected]“,”PASSWORD”:”YOUR_MD5_PASSWORD”}}

5. click “Add Attribute”.

adding attribute to chef

6) Click “Create Role” to save the new role.


Voila! You are set up and ready to use Monitis cookbook and from now on you can install Monitis agent on thousands of hosts using a single click.


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More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.

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