An In­tro­duc­tion to Zab­bix

Here’s an in­tro­duc­tion to Zab­bix, the open source mon­i­tor­ing tool. Zab­bix is a highly in­te­grated net­work mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion, which has an ar­ray of fea­tures in a sin­gle pack­age.

OpenSource For You - - Contents - By: Neetesh Mehro­tra The au­thor is em­ployed at TCS as a sys­tems en­gi­neer. He is in­ter­ested in Java devel­op­ment and au­to­ma­tion test­ing. He can be con­tacted at mehro­tra.neetesh@gmail.com.

Zab­bix is open source net­work soft­ware that pro­vides agents to mon­i­tor re­mote hosts and in­cludes sup­port for mon­i­tor­ing via SNMP, TCP and ICMP checks. It of­fers real-time mon­i­tor­ing of thou­sands of met­rics col­lected from servers, vir­tual ma­chines and any other kind of net­work­ing de­vice. Its ca­pa­bil­ity ranges from mon­i­tor­ing the traf­fic in the net­work to track­ing how much ink is left in your printer. It also of­fers ex­cel­lent re­port­ing and data visu­al­i­sa­tion fea­tures based on the stored data.

Zab­bix was cre­ated by Alexei Vladi­shev and is cur­rently be­ing ac­tively de­vel­oped and sup­ported by Zab­bix SIA.

An overview of Zab­bix

Zab­bix uses the client-server ar­chi­tec­ture and a small agent on the mon­i­tored client to gather data and send it to the Zab­bix server. Zab­bix ver­sion 3 sup­ports en­crypted com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the server and con­nected clients, so that data is pro­tected while it trav­els over insecure net­works.

Zab­bix con­sists of sev­eral ma­jor soft­ware com­po­nents. These com­po­nents and their fea­tures are out­lined be­low.

Server: The Zab­bix server is the cen­tral com­po­nent to which agents re­port avail­abil­ity and in­tegrity in­for­ma­tion and statis­tics. The server is the cen­tral repos­i­tory in which all con­fig­u­ra­tion, sta­tis­ti­cal and op­er­a­tional data is stored.

Data­base stor­age: All con­fig­u­ra­tion in­for­ma­tion as well as the data gath­ered by Zab­bix is stored in a data­base.

Web in­ter­face: For easy ac­cess to Zab­bix from any­where and from any plat­form, a Web based in­ter­face is pro­vided. The in­ter­face is part of the Zab­bix server and usu­ally (but not nec­es­sar­ily) runs on the same phys­i­cal ma­chine as the one run­ning the server.

Proxy: The Zab­bix proxy can col­lect per­for­mance and avail­abil­ity data on be­half of the Zab­bix server. A proxy is an op­tional part of the Zab­bix de­ploy­ment; how­ever, de­ploy­ing it may be very ben­e­fi­cial to dis­trib­ute the load of a sin­gle Zab­bix server.

Agent: Zab­bix agents are de­ployed on mon­i­tor­ing tar­gets to ac­tively track lo­cal re­sources and ap­pli­ca­tions, and re­port the gath­ered data to the Zab­bix server.

Zab­bix fea­tures

Zab­bix is a highly in­te­grated net­work mon­i­tor­ing so­lu­tion, with an ar­ray of fea­tures in a sin­gle pack­age. Listed be­low are some of its fea­tures:

1. Data gath­er­ing

2. Real-time graph­ing

3. Web mon­i­tor­ing

4. Net­work dis­cov­ery

5. Au­dit log­ging

6. Easy con­fig­u­ra­tion

7. Agent-less mon­i­tor­ing

8. Web in­ter­face

9. Ex­ten­sive visu­al­i­sa­tion op­tions

10. JMX mon­i­tor­ing

Con­fig­ur­ing Zab­bix

There are pri­mar­ily four ways of get­ting Zab­bix on your sys­tem:

1. In­stalling it from dis­tri­bu­tion pack­ages.

2. Down­load­ing the lat­est source archive and com­pil­ing it your­self.

3. In­stalling it from the con­tain­ers.

4. Down­load­ing the vir­tual ap­pli­ance.

Re­quire­ments

Mem­ory: Zab­bix re­quires both phys­i­cal and disk mem­ory. A min­i­mum of 128MB of phys­i­cal mem­ory and 256MB of disk mem­ory are re­quired to start it.

CPU: Zab­bix, es­pe­cially the data­base, may re­quire sig­nif­i­cant CPU re­sources depend­ing on the num­ber of mon­i­tored pa­ram­e­ters and the cho­sen data­base en­gine.

Zab­bix can eas­ily be run on a num­ber of op­er­at­ing sys­tems like:

Linux

IBM AIX

FreeBSD

NetBSD

OpenBSD

Mac OS

So­laris

Win­dows

Zab­bix ver­sion re­leases

The first pub­lic ver­sion of Zab­bix was re­leased in 2001 and was called Zab­bix 1.0al­pha1. But the first sta­ble ver­sion 1.0 was re­leased in 2004. Af­ter this, a new sta­ble re­lease came out ev­ery one-and-a-half years. The lat­est Zab­bix 3.2.3 ver­sion was re­leased on De­cem­ber 21, 2016. The re­lease date of var­i­ous ver­sions can be ob­tained from the Zab­bix web­site.

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