Getting started with Shinken as a Service

Shinken as a Service

Shinken is a monitoring software designed to keep an eye on your infrastructure and alert you if anything happens. It is designed to scale and handle large setups.

As we believe that anyone should be able to monitor their services without investing a lot of time and money in deploying monitoring software, we built Shinken as a Service: a simple solution that provides you a fully managed dedicated Shinken cluster.

You can use this cluster to monitor your OVH products (dedicated servers, VPS, cloud instances…) as well as websites and on-premise systems.

Getting started

During the lab, anyone can activate one monitoring stack per OVH account.

Joining the lab

Before starting to use Shinken as a Service you need to make sure that you have an account. If you don’t, go to and select “Create Account”.

You can then activate the free monitoring lab on your account by going to the Shinken as a Service page and click Start Now.

Deploying your Shinken cluster

Once your free order has been completed, you will notice a that a stack is ready to be deployed in the Sunrise part of your OVH manager.

Select the stack, choose a name for your cluster, select a region and you’re done. After a few minutes, your dedicated shinken cluster will be available.

Note that the name your pick will be in the DNS name you will use to contact your Shinken service.



In order to add hosts and services to monitor, you must configure Shinken resources. Shinken as a Service exposes the bare Shinken configuration resources: hosts, services, hostgroups… Head to the official Shiken documentation on resources for detailed definitions of these objects.

Once you have edited the resources, you can test the resulting configuration by pushing the Test resources button. You will get a confirmation if the configuration is valid, otherwise, the errors will be displayed.

Once you are satisfied with the result you can push the current configuration to your Shinken cluster by pressing Apply.

All these resources are accessible through the OVH API so you can fully automate the monitoring of cloud infrastructures.


By default, a contact called admin is created when you deploy the stack. Change the default the email address associated with the contact to receive alerts by email.

Thruk web interface

Every Shinken cluster comes with a web dashboard showing the state of your infrastructure. The direct link to the web interface can be found in the manager.

Thruk credentials are linked to Shinken’s contacts. To authorize a user to connect just add a thruk_password attribute with the new password of the user. Once set, a password cannot be retrieved but can be changed to a new one. You can add as many Thruk users as you want.

Passive checks

By default, your Shinken only uses active checks where Shinken contacts your host or service to retrieve its status. You can also enable passive checks where your host pushes checks to your Shinken cluster. A common way to do that is through NSCA.

NSCA is a simple protocol to submit host and service checks to a monitoring server. When activating it you will be able to choose:

  • an “encryption method”, currently supported modes are 0 (no encryption) and 1 (XOR obfuscation).
  • a key, which should be very long and random. Only used with encryption method 1.

Many agents can push from your servers to Shinken through NSCA. If you do not know which one to use, sauna can be a good starting point.

Passive checks can also be submitted through the LiveStatus API.


For security reasons, you can decide to limit the access to your Shinken cluster to selected networks only. You can filter access to:

  • Thruk web dashboard
  • LiveStatus API
  • NSCA receiver

To manage allowed networks, click on the Firewall button in the web interface and edit the white-list.

Going further