Environmental monitoring with Zabbix

So who cares about monitoring the environment?

You. Or, you should!

In this setting, we’re not talking about the environment in the same sense Greenpeace and the other environmental activist groups do.

Not to dismiss the importance of their work, we’re just having a slightly different focus in this room.

Anyway, what or who’s environment are we talking about? Your servers! Core infrastructure equipment! Even the hallway leading to your datacenter and for the HSE-aware, your own cubicles.

But why? We’re already monitoring everything else. We know when disks are running full, network utilization hits the roof and whenever a device goes down.

Sure. But do you in all cases know why?  Could you have prevented it?

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Improved Zabbix API documentation

Exciting news! After a lot of hard work and hundreds of cups of coffee we’re proud to announce that the new documentation of the Zabbix API is complete.  The improved API documentation provides both a high level overview of the available methods and in-depth descriptions of each method separately. Continue reading

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Zabbix Conference 2013 map

Zabbix Conference 2013 is coming. And for the third time it will happen at the hometown of Zabbix – Riga, Latvia.

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Zabbix Conference 2013 location revealed

Zabbix Conference 2013 location has been decided upon, and we are pleased to let you know that it’s Riga, Latvia again. This time we will be honoured to meet you all at Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel. Located on the Daugava riverbank, just opposite of the Old Riga, it should be a great experience for the conference topics and close enough to the center of nightlife as well.

Got any questions, suggestions or other remarks regarding the chosen location? We will be happy to hear them in the comments here or elsewhere.

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Zabbix Conference 2013 – in Latvia

We’ve had two awesome events already – Zabbix Conference 2011 and Zabbix Conference 2012. They both were held in Riga, the Zabbix hometown, at the end of September.

Zabbix conference last year – 2012

We have decided on the dates and place for Zabbix Conference 2013 – it will again happen in Latvia, and it’s moved a bit more towards the summer – September 6th and 7th.

While other countries were considered this time, we decided to go for Latvia still, as it is easier to organise an event here. Of course, we also had several community members actively bug us about conference being in Latvia again – apparently, they have grown fond of it :)

The exact location for the conference has not been decided on yet, but we were advised to warn the potential host about “hundreds of geeks with a wifi need”, as the Zabbix crowd is able to bring a wireless network to its knees in most venues.

We would also suggest to use the chance and see more of Latvia before and after the conference – but definitely plan to arrive early on the previous day as we will have a welcoming event to meet old friends and find new ones.

Many prominent community members have already confirmed their presence – so start planning for September 5-7 in Latvia :)

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Zabbix 2.2 features, part 5 – Better value mapping

Value mapping is a neat, little feature in Zabbix that allows to see what a numeric code actually means. Well, what did that mean? For example, a UPS device might return “2″, which means “all is OK”, and “3″, which means “battery low”. There will be many different devices with different numeric codes, so remembering what they all mean is nearly impossible. Value mapping will show a human readable description, but the raw value will still follow in the parentheses – for example, Normal (2).

Until Zabbix 2.2, this was only supported for integers. Zabbix 2.2 will allow to configure value mapping also for decimal and string values.

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Newly documented APIs

We’ve recently published the documentation for some of the APIs that have been introduced in 2.0 but had not been covered in the manual at all. If you are a Zabbix expert, you’re probably already aware of their existence, but if you don’t know your way around the source code, you might have missed them. Anyway, you can now familiarize yourself with six useful APIs for maintaining your Zabbix configuration. Continue reading

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Zabbix 2.2 features, part 4 – HTTP proxy for web monitoring

Having explored two other improvements to the built-in web monitoring – ability to template it and change retry count – let’s take a look at another one. Until Zabbix 2.2, it was not possible to set HTTP proxy for web monitoring… well, that’s not entirely true – with a hack one could set HTTP proxy for the whole Zabbix server (or, since Zabbix 2.0, Zabbix proxy), but there was no way to set it per web scenario. Zabbix 2.2 will provide such a feature.
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Zabbix 2.0.5 string freeze starts

When we started following the string freeze principle for Zabbix 2.0.3 release, the goal was to give translators some time period before each release, thus increasing the chances of a translation being completely finished. That did help, and 2.0.3 came out with 6 translations at 100%. Now the translation freeze for Zabbix 2.0.5 starts.

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“Why on earth was I not notified?!”

“Why on earth was I not notified?!” — ever heard that question from a fellow worker? Setting up notifications can be a challenge — and not only for beginners. Normally, debugging such cases is cumbersome, complex and requires a good understanding of how Zabbix works. Were you ever asked for a list of people who would be notified on some event? It’s hard to tell, until the event actually happens. Or at least it used to:

The Action Simulator tries to relieve you from these problems and make you and your co-workers happy again.

Update: Presenting the Action simulator at the Zabbix Conference 2013

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