Open Source Enterprise Monitoring With Zabbix

Open Source Enterprise Monitoring With Zabbix
Open Source Enterprise Monitoring
with Zabbix
Alexei Vladishev, Founder of Zabbix
What is Zabbix:
• Zabbix overview
• Highlights of Zabbix features
• Monitoring of large distributed environments
• Zabbix Roadmap
Zabbix overview
Why shall we use monitoring?
Most important reasons:
Warn and act in case of any problems.
Downtimes are very expensive!
To identify and fix problems ASAP before customers start calling.
More productive work of IT staff
To automate routine tasks, check of availability of resources
To plan hardware resources. Capacity planning and trends.
To measure and analyse quality of provided and used services (SLA)
A good monitoring system makes us confident our business is running!
Zabbix is celebrating its 8th anniversary!
Choice of 1998 — HP OpenView, IBM, BMC: expensive to buy and maintain
How to name it? ABCDE...Zabbix!
April 2001 — the first public release Zabbix 1.0alpha1
April 2004 — the first stable release Zabbix 1.0
April 2005 — the company Zabbix SIA was established: commercial support
Zabbix today. We have made a good progress!
Zabbix 1.6.4, 500 downloads per day, 15.000 forum users
Zabbix company is growing, 20 Zabbix partners (Europe, Japan, the US)
What is Zabbix?
Zabbix is an Open Source distributed monitoring system capable of monitoring
availability and performance of servers, network devices, applications.
Zabbix functionality:
• Agent-less/based monitoring
• Auto-discovery
• Escalations and repeated notifications
• Pro-active monitoring, remote actions
• WEB monitoring
• Graphs, maps, screens
• IT Services (SLA), reports
• Distributed monitoring, IPv6 and more!
Zabbix: main components
• Zabbix core, system logic
• Data processing, escalations
WEB front-end:
• Access to historical data
• Configuration
• Server data collection, actions
• Remote data collection
Technical details
Important technical decisions:
• WEB front-end for data visualisation and configuration
• Written in the C language, PHP front-end. No Java/Python/Perl/Ruby on the
server and agent side! No fork(), native syscalls() are used instead.
• Support of virtually all platforms (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX,
• Choice of database engines: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite
• We do not reuse Nagios, RRD, Cacti
Key principles of Zabbix development:
• Keep things simple (KISS), yet be very flexible
• Maintain low hardware requirements, should not affect production
Why would we choose Zabbix?
What makes Zabbix so special?
• All-in-one solution only when it comes to monitoring!
• All historical data, trends and configuration is stored in a database
• Ready for monitoring of small and LARGE distributed environments
• True Open Source (GPLv2) solution, no commercial versions.
• All logic is on the server side, agents are for data collection only
• Extremely flexible! Triggers, escalations, new checks, screens, and more.
• Designed to deal with unstable communications
• Full support of IPv6
How to monitor
Service checks:
Zabbix Agent:
• Аctive and passive checks
• Monitoring of logs, event logs
• Easy to extend
• Remote command execution
• Extremely efficient!
WMI, JMX, Nagios plugins
SNMP v1,v2,v3:
• Network devices
• Normally NET-SNMP for servers
• Monitoring of applications (Oracle,
Weblogic, Websphere, PostgreSQL,
MySQL, ...)
• SNMP traps
• Monitoring of hardware
• Remote management (reboot, reset,
Use of Zabbix agent
Active checks:
• Highly efficient
• Buffering of collected data
Passive checks:
• Requires polling on the Zabbix
server side
• Additional performance hit
because of polling and network
Zabbix Highlights
Mmm... Triggers!
Trigger is a flexible logical expression used to define a problem condition.
• Status (value) of a trigger represents system state
• Change of trigger value generates events
• It is one of the ways to deal with flapping
CPU load is too high: {host:cpuload.last(0)}>5
CPU load is too high: {host:cpuload.min(300)}>2
CPU load is too high: {host:cpuload.min(300)}>2 & {host:cpuuser.min(300)}>50
CPU load is too high: {host:cpuload.min(300)}>2 & {host2:backup.last(0)}=0
We decide how to define «CPU load is too high» not Zabbix itself!
They are used to:
• Avoid notifications
• Define dependencies between different problems (related to networks,
applications, anything). No host dependencies!
Server is down → Switch1 is down → Switch2 is down
WEB App is down → MySQL is not responsive → No free disk space on /tmp
Different scenarios:
• Delayed notifications
• Repeated notifications
• Execution of commands
• Escalation to other users
• Recovery messages
• Different actions for
acknowledged and not
acknowledges events
Example (reaction to a failed WEB check):
Increase step every 5 minutes
Step 1-3: Send message to Unix Admins
Step 3-5: Send message to Boss if not ACK
Step 6: Restart Apache if not ACK
Step 7: Reboot server if not ACK
Step 10: Send message to all of not ACK
Visualisation: Dashboard
Favourite resources:
• Maps
• Graphs
• Screens
High-level view:
• Problems by host group
• Zabbix statistics
• List of the latest issues
• WEB monitoring info
• Auto-discovery
Visualisation: Graphs
Immediate access:
• Any period of time
• Easy time-navigation
• Two mouse-click zooming
• Problem conditions displayed
• Non-working time is marked
• Not generated in advance!
Graph types:
• Standard (dots, lines, colors)
• Stacked
• Pie
Visualisation: Screens
Different blocks:
• Graphs
• Maps
• Plain text data
• List of problems
• High level stats
Slide shows:
• Combination of screens
• Displayed one after
WEB monitoring
• Monitoring of user experience
• Support of complex scenarios
• Performance monitoring
• Availability monitoring
Step 1 Access home page
Step 2 Login (POST, GET)
Step 3 Run report
Step 4 Logout
IT Services
• Business level monitoring
• SLA monitoring
• We care about services
• Escalation of problems
• Root cause of the problem
Tree structure based on:
• Dependencies
• Physical location
• Type of service, etc
User management
• Standard: Zabbix database
• LDAP (Active Directory)
• Apache (Kerberos, Unix, etc)
• Depends of user type
• User group level permissions
• Notifications-only user groups
Extending Zabbix
New Zabbix agent-side check:
UserParameter=mysql.qps,mysqladmin –uroot status|cut –f9 –d”:”
UserParameter=sum[*],echo “$1+$2”|bc
Examples: mysql.qps = 456, sum[4,5] = 9
New notification methods:
• Just a matter of writing a shell script (voice generation, Skype call, anything)
New server side checks:
• Just a matter of writing a shell script
Monitoring of large environments
Our environment
• Several thousands of servers and network devices
• Distributed accross 2-100 data centers or branches
• Centralised monitoring is required
Zabbix: several approaches
1 Server
• One Zabbix server
does everything
1 Server
Many Proxies
• One Zabbix server
• One Proxy per data
center or company
• One Zabbix server per
data center
• More effort to maintain
• Can be used with
What is Proxy?
Proxy is a data collector. It is also used for auto-discovery.
• Makes architecture easier
• Does not require significant resources
• Offloads Zabbix server
Proxy: how does it work?
• Data collection only
• Fully managed via WEB front-end
• Configuration is stored on the
Zabbix server side
• All connections are initiated by
• Collection of thousands of values
per second
Connection loss processing:
• Data is buferred in the Proxy database
• Will be sent on connection recovery
• No notifications about local problems!
Distributed monitoring
Basic attributes:
• Tree-like structure
• Node is a Zabbix server
• Nodes are platform
• Two-way replication of
• Parent node controls child
Processing of connection loss
What will stop working?
• Data sending to parent node
• Synchronisation of configuration
Everything else will keep working!
Thousands of devices: solutions
Problems and solutions:
• Huge data volume: use database partitions for historical data
• Integration with existing systems: LDAP authentication, notifcation
methods to open tickets, XML import/export for configuration
management and inventory
• Maintenance: templates, mass updates
• Upgrades: all Zabbix components are compatible within one major
release 1.6.x
Choice of the best schema
Depends on the requirements:
• Local administration
• Full-featured monitoring when no connection between data centers
1 Server
Getting used to
Adopt Open Source
1 Server
Many Proxies
Adding Proxies
Distributed monitoring
Zabbix Roadmap
General directions
• Better integration
• Better scalability
• Flexible Dashboard
• Personalization
• Infrastructure for
• Business level
Today and tomorrow I am around!
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