Sensu - Introduction
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Sensu - Introduction

Get your feet wet with this Next Generation Monitoring Framework!
4.6 (537 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
6,996 students enrolled
Created by Kyle Anderson
Last updated 10/2015
Price: Free
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Knowledge of how to Install Sensu!
  • You will setup a Sensu Check!
  • How to setup a Sensu Dashboard and how to use it!
  • A solid understanding of Sensu's Architecture.
View Curriculum
  • Standard Linux administration knowledge (installing packages, starting things, looking at logs).
  • A VM or Server with a modern OS (Ubuntu is used in this Video) for installing Sensu and testing it out.
  • The server must have access to the internet to download packages and send email.
  • A sense of Curiosity for learning new things!

Sensu is a powerful Next-Generation monitoring framework that is quickly replacing traditional monitoring systems like Zabbix, Icinga, and Nagios.

But diving into a new monitoring system can be difficult without a guide to show you the way! This course can be your guide to understanding how Sensu works and how to deploy it to your infrastructure.

This introductory course will teach you the basics of Sensu's architecture and how to take advantage of the flexibility it provides to build awesome systems.


  • In-depth architectural overview
  • All videos closed-captioned in English. Hear and See for optimal learning!
  • Step-by-step howto instructions on getting Sensu up and running
  • Leverage your existing Nagios plugins written in C, Python, or Bash
  • Take advantage of the plethora of Open Source Sensu plugins in Ruby!
  • Learn about RabbitMQ, Redis, Ruby Gems, Sensu's API, and more
  • Use Uchiwa, the awesome open source Dashboard for Sensu
  • Setup the foundation to build on more intermediate and advanced Sensu topics

When you are finished with this course you will have setup a complete monitoring solution that actually checks things and actually sends email. This is not a theoretical course, it is a practical one that leaves you with skills and infrastructure to build upon.

Let Me Make The Mistakes For You

It's one thing to read docs and get perfect copy-paste command line examples that work. It is another thing to be in real life watching a real engineer fight a live system and try to get it working! I purposely make mistakes just to demonstrate what happens when things go wrong. That gives me an excuse to troubleshoot the problem and then solve it. Then, when you encounter that same mistake in your infrastructure, you will know exactly what to do!

For Dev and Ops Alike

Sysadmins, Devops Practitioners, Infrastructure engineers, SREs, and simply curious software engineers should take this course to better their craft and learn more about what makes Sensu special. It is not your grandfather's monitoring system. It is a modern, scalable, flexible monitoring system with a great API to integrate with your infrastructure.

Even if you don't end up using Sensu in Production, taking this course will still level-up your monitoring game, by increasing the scope of your DevOps toolbox. So enroll today and check it out!

Who is the target audience?
  • *Sysadmins* who are sick of inflexible monitoring systems!
  • Curious *Devopsy* types who have heard of Sensu and would like to try it for themselves!
  • System *engineers* who want to further their craft by adding a super cool tool to their toolbox!
Compare to Other Sensu Courses
Curriculum For This Course
14 Lectures
Sensu's Architecture
3 Lectures 29:35

Just an introduction into what this course is, who I am, and what Sensu is


Sensu is a monitoring framework. I uses existing open source components and does not re-invent the wheel.

The plus side to this is that Sensu by itself is easy to understand and simple. The downside to this is that it does put the burden of maintaining the other components on the administrator.

Here is a list of the components that covered in this video:

  • The Sensu Client (Agent that runs on every host)
  • RabbitMQ (Message queue used between the Sensu Client and Sensu Server)
  • Sensu Server (Picks up messages off the queue and acts on them)
  • Redis (stores persistent state and check history)
  • Sensu API (rest interface)
  • Uchiwa (Sensu dashboard)

Don't panic. While this initial architectural overview may be a blur, subsequent lectures will go deeper into each component.

What the heck is Sensu and how does it work?

What makes Sensu special? Why should I even bother investing in a different monitoring system? In this lecture I'll hint at some of the different types of things you can build with Sensu, and explain how such a flexible monitoring framework can really change how you build systems, for the better!

Why Should I Care About Sensu?

Check your understanding of how Sensu really works
4 questions
Setup Sensu From Scratch
3 Lectures 16:33

RabbitMQ is the primary mechanism by which messages are passed in Sensu. Let's set it up.

Setup and Configuring RabbitMQ

The Sensu Server and API use Redis to store state. I needs to be running and configured.

Installing Redis

The first step of learning how to use Sensu is installing it! This lecture will demonstrate installing Sensu on Ubuntu, but the instructions for installing it on other OSes involve very similar steps.

Installing Sensu

What talks to what here?
3 questions
Get a Client Going And See it In The Dashboard
3 Lectures 23:33

The Sensu Client is the agent that actually executes Checks for Sensu. Let's configure it, start it, and check out the logs.

Configuring and starting the Sensu Client

Now let's setup something we can see: a dashboard.

Installing Uchiwa - The Sensu Dashboard

In this lecture I'll discuss some of the terminolgy and actions you can take in Uchiwa (the Sensu dashboard)

Tinkering with Clients and Checks in Uchiwa

Think "a dashboard is a dashboard"? Let's make sure you understand what clicking things in the dashboard actually does...

Test Your Uchiwa Understanding
6 questions
Making Sensu Do Something Useful - Beyond the Docs
2 Lectures 32:56

The `cat` handler isn't very interesting or useful. Lets get this thing to email me.

Adding a Real Handler

This check-mem thing is kinda contrived. Let's install a real check and see what it looks like.

Adding a Real Check

Adding Checks and Handlers
4 questions
Conclusion + Further Reading + Bonus
3 Lectures 07:40

This lecture will discuss the differences between the Community supported version of Sensu versus the Enterprise Edition.

Open Source vs Enterprise

Evaluating the Open Source versus Enterprise Edition versions of Sensu
4 questions

Sensu is a very flexible monitoring system that makes you think a little differently about how to monitor things.

This lecture will conclude the course with some final thoughts on what makes Sensu great!


There are a number of design features of Sensu that we touched upon that can allow a very dynamic monitoring environment. This lecture will talk about how to go further with these features and mention the next level "intermediate" course.

Bonus Lecture: Intermediate Topics
About the Instructor
Kyle Anderson
4.6 Average rating
581 Reviews
7,075 Students
2 Courses
System Engineer

I love building systems I can be proud of.

I also love teaching and empowering others to do the same.

All of my lessons come from this passion, and hopefully it shows.I teach from a background of real experience on tools and technologies that I use in production. (I don't want to teach something that I haven't been on call for.)

I specialize in Advanced deep-dives in distributed systems that are difficult to learn about from a manual. (Which is why I love teaching them!)