Zabbix Running on a $25 Device!?

Everything in the world of electronics gets smaller, while performance continues to grow. I know I should not compare those computers from 1960 with what we have now, but I still get amazed all the time.

The thing about modern computers is that sometimes it is a waste of resources to see them using a small fraction of their computing power to perform some very small task. It is like seeing a huge crane lifting a grocery paper bag. Of course, modern computers allow you to run many tasks simultaneously, sharing the power. You may use virtualization to run several logical machines on one device. But still sometimes there are cases when all you need is just a cheap, reliable, energy and space efficient device to do the work.

So when I heard that a company Observe IT from the UK, a potential partner of Zabbix, is willing to test-drive Raspberry Pi with Zabbix Proxy, I happily replied “Send it over here!”. It took more than 2 long weeks for British-Latvian post offices to deliver a very lightweight box to our office. While awaiting the package, we retweeted a message from Richard Gate about successfully installing Zabbix on Raspberry Pi. It made us jealous, but we were willing to see how it works ourselves.

So we started with a careful unpacking of the box.

A very light weight box with long awaited Raspberry Pi inside

To be honest, we waited for a couple of hours for a camera to arrive before opening the box :) It was not an easy thing in the office where most of the staff are IT geeks…

Some people from marketing did not believe there is a 'computer' inside

Most of the box was filled with paper. Which brought even more amusement on some employee faces :)

The size of a business card! Was it designed like that on purpose?

The real size of the thing. Our thanx once again to Aidan Venn from Observ IT.

So what is next?

We have prepared a keyboard, a mouse, power supply, a video cable and are awaiting the already ordered fast Secure Digital (SD) card. As soon as we have the device running, we plan to install a Zabbix Proxy (version 2.0.0) on it and test drive it. If everything goes smoothly, we will put a Zabbix Server on it to test how many NVPS it can hold. So follow us to see the result.

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18 Responses to Zabbix Running on a $25 Device!?

  1. Richlv says:

    for the record, i did not know there’s a raspi around here. and no, it’s not that we can’t find a single sd card in a tech company, i’ll be clearing one out in a moment ;>

  2. Thiago Gomes says:

    Very nice! Congratulation for initiative.

  3. Tiago Soares says:

    So, the sd card already arrived? It’s a joke… :)
    We look forward!

  4. sersor says:

    Yes, indeed. But then it did not work. A bit of searching the internet gave us that particular SD card – Sandisk Extreme 45MB/s Class 10 UHS-1 16GB simply is not supported :) Probably too fast/too new for Debian distribution that we have downloaded from Raspberry Pi site.

    So many digits behind the name and still not valid :) So we borrowed modestly looking Amazon SD card from Richlv

  5. nathan says:

    Any news on running Zabbix proxy on one of these?

    Looking forward to see how it runs.

  6. Aidan Venn says:

    Hi Sergey, FYI I tested before I sent it using a SanDisk 4GB Micro SD HC through a SanDisk adapter and debian download from Booted fine but didn`t do any more as we are very busy.

    However we have a few jobs we can test on when you have a working/beta etc.

    Looking forward to it!!



  7. Tiago Soares says:

    Hey Guys!

    Any news? We are quite excited about the results.

    Many Tks!

  8. Pablo says:

    Hi! I did it, it uses SQLite and the web interface is a bit slow but it runs.
    I haven’t tried it with load yet.
    Take a look at:

  9. Aidan Venn says:

    Hi All, I will hopefully be deploying a zabPIx agent in to the wild tomorrow to start some simple tests in a LAN and accessing via a WAN. I will report back when necessary!

    Regards Aidan

  10. Aidan Venn says:

    New faster Raspberry pi image released: Raspbian-based SD

    will install zabbix on it today

    regards Aidan

  11. Tiago Soares says:

    Hey Aidan,

    We look forward about updates!

    Many tks!

  12. Aidan Venn says:

    Hi all,

    Zabbix agent has been working fine for a week now gathering data at a remote site. No reliability issues, very minimal cpu usage, easy installation, very impressed so far. Will be installing another pi as a proxy at the same site in the next 10 days (just got a 16GB PNY class 10 SDHC card for speedier data transfer – compatible list on pi wiki) to take more local measurements – delay across point to point WLAN etc.

    How are others finding there installations?



  13. Nick says:

    Have been running a test Zabbix 2.0.2 proxy on a Raspberry Pi for two days now. Copes admirably with 2 hosts being monitored. Barely more than 5% CPU load. Will be deploying 10 test Pi Proxys to sites over the coming weeks.

  14. Tiago Soares says:

    Hey Nick,

    How are you doing with tests? Anything interesting?



  15. meffisto says:

    I have installed the Zabbix 2.0.1 server and it work’s, but that’s basically it. As soon as I start collecting data (even for a single host and as simple as sending the http get to a public web), the interface becomes unresponsive.

  16. Nick says:

    Hey Tiago,

    The test proxies are holding up well! Each one is for at max 10 hosts but there is no problem. Seem solid and reliable (more-so than the Windows servers they are monitoring!).

    We’ll be rolling out about 400 of these if extended testing over the next 6 months goes well – monitoring an estimated 3000 windows endpoints! Viva Raspberry Pi!

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