OpenSource For You

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.

- 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

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.


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:






Mac OS



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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