Aleksandrs is always curious about new technology and Zabbix features. He explores every newcomer with the most detailed attention and always brings lots of fresh knowledge to the Zabbix community. Meet Aleksandrs Petrovs-Gavrilovs – Zabbix Technical Support engineer and one of Zabbix Summit speakers.
You joined the Zabbix engineers team not so long ago but have managed to become a permanent speaker of online meetups and a successful trainer during this time. How did you do it?
Well, Zabbix is a monitoring tool that really encourages you to test its possibilities. Mostly for two reasons. One – being the actual number of choices. You have to retrieve different kinds of information or metrics if you prefer. And the second, of course, the fact that technology, devices, and every environment they are in is constantly evolving. Since it is evolving, so do the ways it makes information available to you, or in our case, to Zabbix.
Curiosity in getting this information in new ways and desire to share that knowledge with others – that’s what eventually led me to become a trainer. While meetups were a perfect way to share even more experience with the community.
You are one of the most active engineers – ready to dive into a certain topic and present it in Zabbix community activities. What you find the most interesting when participating in Zabbix meetups, conferences, or other events?
The community itself, of course! Zabbix community is a very passionate set of even more inventive people. Everyone has a story or a method to share. Everyone is willing to share, so others can do the same. While stories and the methods are completely unique, they have that same core of sharing enjoyment after seeming struggles, that was solved by a new, inventive approach in monitoring through Zabbix.
Which are your favorite Zabbbix-related topics you would be ready to discuss for hours? If any?
With Zabbix, you can discuss any part of it for hours, honestly. Starting from “How you performed tuning to your installation to make it almost literally “flying”” and moving to “Do you want to know how we get this specific piece of data?”. And it always is interesting and, honestly, even inspiring to try something new yourself.
I know that you are the “security dude” among Zabbix technical support engineers. Why is this topic so close to you?
Well, that is a bit funny story. I mean, I was not actually planning to be a “security dude” I’m trying to get a bit of everything. But as you know, in recent Zabbix releases, we implanted a lot of new cool and useful security options. I could not miss those, so I started digging deeper in each of those – TLS 1.3, encrypted connection to the database, HashiCorp vault – you name it. And suddenly everyone came to ask all kinds of questions about them to me. Before I even noticed – I’ve become a security guy.
During Zabbix Summit Online 2020, you will reveal Zabbix 5.2 usability features. Can you tell us which feature you are the most excited about and why?
Definitely all of the security topics mentioned – new options of encrypted connections between components of Zabbix, how can you set up those, and what broad options you actually have to make your monitoring as close as possible to be impenetrable. I very much recommend viewing presentations of my colleagues – Kaspars and Arthurs. I even will be participating myself in one of those (thank you, Kaspar!). And of course, usability improvements, which I plan to cover myself – a lot to share with all of you! And I would really like to add that there will be a “What’s new in Zabbix 5.2” presentation from my colleague Edgars, which you definitely don’t want to miss.
Being a speaker at Zabbix Summit for the first time – what do you expect from this event personally?
I am really looking forward to meeting all the Zabbix enthusiasts and experienced administrators to discuss Zabbix and not only share but receive new experience too. For me, that is always something to look for while providing support or training. Except now, with the Zabbix Summit Online edition, the scope is even bigger.