Introducing Speakers of Zabbix Conference 2016, part 2

Zabbix Conference 2016

The biggest Zabbix annual event in only 36 days away, and there are only 11 days left for you to register for Zabbix Conference 2016, taking place on September 9-10 in Riga.

For those, who are still about to register for the event, we encourage you to get acquainted with our speakers and to find out about their scheduled presentations and decide on why you really should join Zabbix Conference this year.

In this blog post we present you one of the most active Zabbix community members and a a permanent resident of the Zabbix IRC channel, Volker Fröhlich, from Geizhals, an Austrian company operating price comparison websites for Austria, Germany, the UK and Poland.

Pre-conference Interview with Volker Fröhlich

Tell us about you and your company, how did you get started, and what choices led you to where you are now?

Volker Fröhlich

Geizhals is an Austrian company, operating price comparison websites for Austria, Germany, the UK and Poland. It started out as a project in 1996 and became an incorporated company in 2000. While the service was originally focused on computer hardware, it is now covering about 1,5 million products of various kinds, including entertainment electronics, household appliances, sporting goods or even car tires. The company is serving about 200 million offers from around 70,000 merchants.

One thing that sets Geizhals apart, are the fine-grained filters, that  help you to quickly find what you are looking for.

What are your biggest challenges, and could you give us some interesting statistics regarding your work?

We are collecting a lot of logs and metrics through syslog and ELK. We are trying to integrate this with Zabbix as good as possible. One goal is to flexibly graph things from different sources together. Grafana-Zabbix comes in handy here.

How did you choose Zabbix to be your monitoring solution, and what about Zabbix impresses you the most?

I already had 4 years of experience with Zabbix from my previous job and the multiple old monitoring solutions were decided to be phased out. Since I know Zabbix, pretty well, I can work around most of the weaknesses that affect me. While some things are not as well thought through or implemented as they should be, I always found Zabbix to be a reliable and usually well-predictable system, that never crashed on me, never lost data and never got in the way of production systems. It is also documented fairly well.

I find it very versatile, as it covers many aspects of what monitoring can be. Very often I was able to adapt the code to my needs without having real developer skills.

What is your history with Zabbix Conference, and could you tell us your motivation for becoming one of the speakers for this year’s event?

I have visited them all, except the 4th one. I was a speaker 3 times before and got to know a lot of people. I’m looking forward to meeting them again. Frankly, I enjoy giving presentations and I like the responses they sometimes manage to trigger. I also think that a good talk can give the development a drive forward, with the Zabbix developers seeing community development in action and the response it gets from the audience.

What would be the key message of your presentation, and what do you want attendees to learn from your talk?

The action simulator bridges an annoying gap in Zabbix. It thereby can help users to stay out of trouble. I would greatly welcome to see something alike integrated into Zabbix in the not so distant future.

While the action simulator project is not new, it is finally working in 3.0 now. I would like to show the attendees, how they can easily gather insight into the effects of their configured Zabbix actions.

In your opinion, what are the main advantages and reasons for joining the upcoming Zabbix Conference 2016?

Meeting friendly and open people, many of them with many years of experience in all kinds of monitoring, with all kinds of backgrounds; Finally meeting people in person you only know from IRC, the forum or the issue tracker. Personal contact greatly intensifies communication and its effect. And of course, the conference is a jolly good time!

What topics you look forward to discussing with Zabbix community, conference participants and Zabbix team?

There are a number of long-standing issues that appear to be easy to solve. I think it is essential to understand real-world users’ everyday needs and to embrace and channel their contributions into something we can all benefit from.

I think there are a number of places where the frontend navigation could be more efficient. I’d like to advocate a few issues there.

As far as the community goes, I am looking forward to hearing their latest hacks and how they made Zabbix fit their exact needs.

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At the conference Volker will talk about the Zabbix Action Simulator available for Zabbix 2.0, 2.2 and now again for 3.0, as from his point of view it solves some important problems which may occur in more complex installations.

We are excited to meet Volker at the Zabbix Conference in just a month, to gain and share new information, priceless best practices and experience.

Less than two weeks are left to register, so we encourage you to act now and join the biggest Zabbix event of the year, to discover new possibilities of Zabbix, find answers, get to know Zabbix experts and community, people who share your passion, and quite possibly might become your next business partners!

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