Apache HTTP Server monitoring

Apache performance and understanding /server-status metrics

Apache Statistics Module: mod_status

Understanding website performance and Apache uptime should begin with external monitoring, i.e. Zabbix, which allows you to discover problems from a user’s perspective. Such problems involve:

  • Response timeout – no timely response from the server;
  • HTTP errors instead of a response;
  • Slow response – say, comparing to the last month’s average.

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Javascript support in item preprocessing

With new preprocessing steps added to Zabbix in nearly every release, it became obvious that it’s impossible to predict every business case, so we had to come up with a universal solution. This, in turn, raised an important question – which embedded scripting language/engine to use.

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Zabbix at GTD Group, Case Study

“As one of the leading service providers in Chile, our key virtues drive us to be agile, reliable and caring for our customers’ experience and needs. Operating in the Internet, Telephony and TV sectors implies availability and consistency of everything we do. Being able to address all that is why we chose Zabbix.” – says Joel Urtubia Ugarte, senior network intelligence engineer at GTD Group.

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Zabbix 4.2: Template and host-level tags

In information systems word “tag” is a well-known and widely used term that helps to describe an item and allows it to be easily found again by browsing or searching.

In Zabbix, tags provide a useful way to group related events together and quickly tell users what a certain event is about. Tags are similar to, but more specific than, groups. The use of tags is completely optional, but may be extremely useful, for example, in event correlation, when defining tag-based user permissions, configuring maintenance and email notifications, or when filtering your content by specific tags.

If you have not used event tagging before and wonder what benefits it brings, or just want to know which improvements to event tags are awaiting you in Zabbix 4.2, you’re in the right place.

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Using Zabbix for Risk Management

Any business, big or small, might become a target of DoS attacks or intrusion attempts at some point, which is a serious risk to consider. In order to tackle that issue, the ISO (International Standardization Organization) created a set of rules for companies to follow, thus improving the safety and quality of operations.

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Zabbix 4.2: Extending Zabbix monitoring with RESTful microservices

There are a few ways one can gather custom metrics with Zabbix, for example, via user parameters or Zabbix sender protocol. While either method can work for simple metrics, creating a more wholesome approach (with data collectors, persistent connections etc) and interfacing it with Zabbix may not be as trivial.

With the HTTP agent item Zabbix can natively connect to RESTful web services, but the new pre-processing options, “Check for error” and the “Custom on fail”, take it a big step further. This allows us to create web services that can be directly used by Zabbix. To demonstrate we will create a very simple MySQL monitoring web service, returning the number of active and maximum connections.

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Zabbix 3.4 – Dynamic Maps

Zabbix 3.4 impressed with its graphical, easy-to comprehend and improved way to access all the gathered data resulting in more interactive, dynamic and visually pleasing network monitoring.

For sure it’s an obvious sign the product moves ahead in terms of more advanced interface, and the use of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) instead of a meanwhile outdated raster file format is a good example of the positive changes.

Let’s have a look at all the map improvements in detail with some practical examples:

    • SVG image is a candy for the eyes comparing to a raster one. What catches attention first are smooth and softened edges of the background shape. Text legibility is also affected positively by way of using a modern and stylish font;
    • Zooming doesn’t affect the quality of this type of images, letters remain readable, and no fuzzy edges experienced;
    • The use of SVG images gives a possibility to copy-paste required data for further data analysis, so no more unnecessary memorizing required:

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Using Macros for Time Periods Management

Let’s continue to cover the innovations of Zabbix 3.4, shall we? This time, we’re going to talk about the use of macros in update intervals and other time periods.

  • Couple of Words about Macros
  • History Update and Storage Intervals
  • Usage Scenarios
    • Update Intervals and Collected Data Storage Time
    • In Low-Level Discovery
    • Where Else?
  • So…
 

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New Monitoring Possibilities for Java Applications in Zabbix 3.4

What’s new?

The long-awaited release of Zabbix 3.4 is available now, which brought many useful improvements, among which were customizable JMX endpoints and flexible detection of MBeans.

It’s so cool, huh?

If you use Zabbix and you want to monitor Java applications, then yes — it can greatly improve your life, because you had to resort to various tricks before, and now everything works, as they say, out of the box.

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Zabbix 3.4: Mass data collection using Mercury and smartmontools as an example

As we have already mentioned earlier, there are new opportunities for mass data collection in the latest Zabbix version – Zabbix 3.4. Now let’s dwell on this functionality in more detail, and in order to make it more clear, we will tell about it in two examples:

  • one-time collection of the data received in JSON with the console: Mercury 236 electric power consumption meter
  • collection of hard drives and SSDs S.M.A.R.T. attributes obtained in tabular form with smartmontools.

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