Performance improvements in 2.0

The performance of Zabbix is being constantly improved, and there were significant performance improvements back in 1.8. Then pretty much every Zabbix 1.8 series release added some more benefits, reduced database access and so on. With the 2.0 release there are more performance benefits expected, but there’s so little time to gather some information… luckily, some users do provide us with empirical evidence 🙂

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Mysterious Zabbix Problems: How We Debug Them

This came as the first assignment for me, a new Zabbix employee – to fix a bug ZBX-3788 zabbix daemon processes hang on futex
Sometimes terminating a Zabbix agent with “killall -15 zabbix_agentd” resulted in one hanging process and other processes in the <defunct> state. strace utility showed the process was hanging on futex:

Process 10468 attached - interrupt to quit
futex(0xb783ca50, FUTEX_WAIT_PRIVATE, 2, NULL
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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.

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Development sponsorship of VM environment support

While it is possible to monitor various aspects of virtual environments with current versions of Zabbix, it does require some time to set it all up and isn’t as integrated as it could be.

A more integrated experience for virtual environment monitoring is currently being considered for development. It might cover VMware, Xen, KVM (and possibly other environments), and include easy-to-set-up monitoring of both hypervisor and guest virtual machine statistics.

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Importing legacy Cacti/MRTG data into Zabbix

Here at the University of Hawaii at Manoa ITS department, we recently began using Zabbix. Before adopting Zabbix, we monitored our resources with a loosely integrated mix of several software components, including Cacti, MRTG, and uPortal. Having used this old system for quite a while, we have a considerable amount of data which is valuable for trending. So how do we switch to this great Zabbix system but retain all of our trending statistics? The instructions here describe how to convert data from either Cacti or MRTG and import it directly into Zabbix.

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