Last 5 days are left to join the most epic Zabbix event of the year and to help you with this decision, we are continuing the series of interviews with the presenters of Zabbix Conference 2017.
Registrations are filling up fast, but if you hurry you still might save your seat at the greatest Zabbix event of the year, providing fresh knowledge, skills and business opportunities in the world of it infrastructure monitoring.
Today we would like to present Software Development Manager at S.A.S, Steven Bush, overseeing Zabbix deployment with 4200 active servers across 24 data centers, 1112 users and custom data extraction tools for external reporting on 480000 items.
Pre-conference Interview with Steven Bush
Tell us about you and your company, how did you get started, and what choices led you to where you are now?
SAS (pronounced “sass”) once stood for “statistical analysis system.” It began at North Carolina State University as a project to analyze agricultural research. Demand for such software capabilities began to grow, and SAS was founded in 1976 to help customers in all sorts of industries – from pharmaceutical companies and banks to academic and governmental entities.
AS – both the software and the company – thrived throughout the next few decades. Development of the software attained new heights in the industry because it could run across all platforms, using the multivendor architecture for which it is known today. While the scope of the company has spread across the globe, the encouraging and innovative corporate culture has remained the same.
In 2000, CEO Jim Goodnight created an Application Service Provider group to deploy solutions in line with market demand for what eventually became solutions delivered via the web. Later called SAS®Solutions OnDemand, the group evolved into the enterprise hosting organization at SAS that provides consulting services for solutions hosted by SAS, at partner data centers – using SAS infrastructure – or at customer sites via remotely managed software and services.
In 2007, an Advanced Analytics Lab – a highly specialized group of analytic practitioners with advanced degrees who focus on solving some of the most complex business problems that our customers have – was created within SSOD.
What are your biggest challenges, and could you give us some interesting statistics regarding your work?
SAS software is installed in over 83,000 sites across 149 countries. The portion of that customer base that falls under the SAS Solutions OnDemand (SSOD) footprint present a wide variety of both types of deployments and datacenters that must be monitored by our Zabbix deployment.
Of particular challenge is our Remote Managed Software and Service (RMSS) customers where our customers install and configure Zabbix Agents and a Zabbix Proxy which we then integrate with our own systems. Additionally, the challenge of varying levels of responsibility by the different groups across the company make for a challenging set of circumstances for managing monitoring and alerting rules.
How did you choose Zabbix to be your monitoring solution, and what about Zabbix impresses you the most?
With new requirements, SSOD determined that our previous monitoring tool, Xymon was no longer sufficient. Originally, Zenoss was identified as the choice for replacement due to the lack of the need for an agent; however Zenoss proved unable to satisfy the dynamic requirements of the group in a timely manner.
A champion-challenger proof of concept was accomplished to see if Zabbix was a better fit with a decisive outcome in favor of Zabbix. Over the course of ~8 months all SSOD monitoring was migrated from Xymon to Zabbix.
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 never been to the Zabbix conference. I was hoping to attend so that I can network with other Zabbix professionals, and learn some techniques that might be of use for my organization. I have found that presenting what one has done is an excellent method to engage the best minds in dialog, so I felt presenting would be advantageous.
What would be the key message of your presentation, and what do you want attendees to learn from your talk?
The Dynamic and flexible nature of Zabbix is essential for modern software-as-a-service monitoring solutions, and the extendibility affords opportunities to learn more from your data than you might otherwise be able to.
In your opinion, what are the main advantages and reasons for joining the upcoming Zabbix Conference 2017?
From my perspective the main advantages are the networking and education possibilities.
What topics you look forward to discussing with Zabbix community, conference participants and Zabbix team?
Roadmaps for the way ahead. Tips and tricks for large enterprise deployments.
At the conference, Steven will present adaptations and techniques used to manage a Zabbix deployment in a highly customizable software as a service environment, and sharing tips on PostgreSQL to Oracle DB conversion.
We look forward to witness the presentation of Steven, to learn from the experience of S.A.S the global leaders in analytics, give us a fresh perspective in managing Zabbix deployment.
The value of our event grows with every year, and we are glad that we can provide immense knowledge, opportunities and good time for the participants of our conference. For those not registered, this is a now or never moment, as in a few short days we are closing the registration for full conference packages. Join the biggest Zabbix event of the year, seats are limited and time is almost up.
Read the previous article about Xavier Schneider, in the series of Zabbix Conference 2017 speaker interviews.