Only 11 days are left to join the most epic Zabbix event of the year and to help you with this decision, we are continuing the series of interviews with the presenters of Zabbix Conference 2017.
Today we would like to present Accountable Manager at NATIXIS, Xavier Schneider, who has built an impressive Zabbix infrastructure (7500 nvps, +20000 hosts and 1200 users) and is working on many projects in the field of instrumentation infrastructure.
Pre-conference Interview with Xavier Schneider
Tell us about you and your company, how did you get started, and what choices led you to where you are now?
I’ve started working for Natixis in the year 2000, this was at the time when the internet bubble was growing. Natixis needed engineers with great potential to be part of the IT team, and they were interested in training people, providing them with skills essential for a great engineer.
At this time, I was just a young engineer in the process of graduating from an engineering high school of Pau in the south of France (Bearn). After my military service in 1999, my goal at the time was to work in the car industry on electrical cars with hydrogen fuel cells. But computers and data processing were already a part of my life, that’s why without offers in fuel cells, I decided to accept Natixis offer.
I joined application servers team to work in the architecture team and became an expert on Websphere application servers, Jboss, Tomcat, Apache. Later I also worked on supervision for Websphere.
In 2013, I became the team leader of the instrumentation team, and by chance, at the same time, Zabbix project was deployed on all Natixis servers.
What are your biggest challenges, and could you give us some interesting statistics regarding your work?
My biggest challenge was to become a team leader and to be responsible for all tools available for my team. We manage our infrastructure using 4 main tools: Zabbix, Newtest, Performance Center and Truesight Hypervisor.
- Zabbix: 1200 users, 7500 nvps, +20 000 hosts;
- Newtest : French product from Ip-Label. Allow having pre-defined scenarios on a web site or heavy clients. 240 scenarios, 312 000 scenario execution per month;
- Performance center: allow to stress an application. 80 campaigns per year;
- Truesight Hypervisor : the concentrator tool which decides what to do with an alert(email, snow, on duty call) from the other products (Zabbix, control-M, network..) 200 000 enrich events /month.
How did you choose Zabbix to be your monitoring solution, and what about Zabbix impresses you the most?
Supervision was always the last part of each project, and when Natexis Banque Populaire and Ixis society were merged to create Natixis in 2006, each society had their own preferred supervision tool. Managers chose to implement the third tool in 2012. After a POC, Zabbix was chosen.
The main reasons for choosing Zabbix – its an open source product, Zabbix provides full support and documentation (not only the community), template mechanisms, possibility to extend the product. I especially appreciated the availability of templates.
What is your history with Zabbix Conference, and could you tell us your motivation for becoming one of the speakers for this year’s event?
This will be the third for Natixis participation. First only Patrick FOUQUET was attending, the second time we participated together with Patrick, and that year we also did a detailed summary of the latest Zabbix Conference 2016 to our senior managers. This year our senior managers decided that it would be great if we would take an active participation and do a Natixis presentation.
That’s why I became a volunteer for the next Zabbix conference. Furthermore, Natixis has just finished the project of Zabbix 3.2 migration with Galera database, and the success of the migration is the main subject of Natixis Presentation.
What would be the key message of your presentation, and what do you want attendees to learn from your talk?
In a large banking environment, we must prepare for the D-day with a surgical precision. We can’t lose more than 5 minutes of supervision. Thanks to the load tests, we are confident about the capabilities of our architecture. (easily handling peaks at almost 4 times our normal speed).
In your opinion, what are the main advantages and reasons for joining the upcoming Zabbix Conference 2017?
In my opinion, it’s necessary to share knowledge and speak with different people, and Zabbix conference is very valuable for that. Thanks to the knowledge we gained by participating, we were introduced to the load module test last year and now we are using it in Natixis.
What topics you look forward to discussing with Zabbix community, conference participants and Zabbix team?
I definitely look forward to hearing updates on the Zabbix ROADMAP. Each year, Natixis provides a budget for ZBXNEXT features that we are interested in. Zabbix Conference is the place to be to decide what will be great ideas and features to promote in the next release period.
At the conference, Xavier will give you feedback about Zabbix 3.2 migration on Galera database, in a large banking environment, exploring the limits, making sure the new architecture will absorb the possible load peaks, and talk about the importance of preparation to only have 5 minutes of unavailability during the migration.
We look forward to hearing the speech of Xavier, to get an in-depth understanding of the details most important in a migration process.
We will meet in Riga in a month to experience all of the knowledge and activities prepared for the participants, and if for some reason you still haven’t registered, now is the time to do so! Join the biggest Zabbix event of the year, seats are limited and time is running out fast.
Read the previous article about James Green, in the series of Zabbix Conference 2017 speaker interviews.