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.

Continue reading “Zabbix Running on a $25 Device!?”

Upgrades from Zabbix 2.0.0rc3 officially supported

So far, upgrading from one development 1.9 release or 2.0.0 release candidate to another was not officially supported. Only unofficial patches and only for MySQL were available.

Starting  with 2.0.0rc3, all database upgrades for all supported databases will be fully supported.

This should be great news for those who would like to do extended testing, as it will allow to create more complex test data and keep it while upgrading. Additionally, this would be useful for people who would like to start with a test deployment, and are cautious about redoing all of their configuration for further 2.0.0 release candidates or the final 2.0.0 release.

This commitment is largely because of the Zabbix maintainer for Gentoo, MattM, who was asking for that on the Zabbix IRC channel 😉

Multiple servers for active agent? Sure!

Zabbix agent currently supports only one server in active mode – the first host from the Server configuration parameter is used. While for most users that is enough, some installations require a more advanced approach with the agent being able to report to multiple servers in the active mode. Continue reading “Multiple servers for active agent? Sure!”

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.

Continue reading “Development sponsorship of VM environment support”

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. Continue reading “Importing legacy Cacti/MRTG data into Zabbix”

When Alexei isn’t looking…

Normally, Alexei is the one that directs Zabbix development: which bugs are meant to be fixed and which features are meant to be implemented. However, sometimes Alexei is too busy to pay enough attention to what developers are doing, and that is a chance to do some hacking. Here is one of them.

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Storing images in the Zabbix database

The encoding, database and the dog

Zabbix provides a network map feature, where images may represent triggers, hosts, host groups etc. They may show current status, problem count and lots of other data. There are some default images that may be used in the maps, and users may also upload their own. This uploading has been a problem in the past. Continue reading “Storing images in the Zabbix database”

Reloading configuration cache

Zabbix daemons use various approaches to improve performance. One such measure, introduced in Zabbix 1.8, is configuration cache. It resulted in massive performance improvements (up to 10 times), mostly because of a significantly reduced database access (that we looked at in previous blog posts). This cache slightly changes how Zabbix operates, though, and can introduce some delays in configuration information processing. Zabbix 1.8.6 provides a new feature to help with configuration cache management. Continue reading “Reloading configuration cache”