In a couple of short weeks, we will meet again in Riga, to enjoy all the possibilities offered by the most epic Zabbix event of the year – Zabbix Conference 2017.
To help you get more familiar with the presenters of this year’s speeches, we are offering you insights into the minds of people stepping onto the stage of our event and sharing their vision, experience and knowledge.
Today we would like to present Serg Mescheryakov, a Doctor of Science, Professor of St.Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia, specializing in Computer Science and Engineering. In his 37 years of experience in IT as a developer, database architect, analyst and teacher, he has published more than 120 scientific papers and books and implemented a series of enterprise-scale database systems.
Pre-conference Interview with Serg Mescheryakov
Tell us about you and your company, how did you get started, and what choices led you to where you are now?
Working at St. Petersburg Polytechnic University as Doctor of Science and Professor, I never only taught the students but in parallel participated in big IT projects as a programmer, database architect, and analyst at various IT companies in both Russia and the USA.
The reason is not so in getting an additional salary but much more in keeping English language practice and being in close touch with the high tech of Silicon Valley. Having started my first contract with IBM in 2002, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories is already the 4th American IT company that I’m currently working for.
What are your biggest challenges, and could you give us some interesting statistics regarding your work?
Operation teams usually do not use Zabbix GUI for real-time monitoring. Custom integrated dashboards are specially designed to watch all the alarms from multiple Zabbix instances on one screen. The biggest challenge here is much noise, including false alarms, flapping triggers, true but too early activated alerts, which cannot fit on the screen and reduce the visibility of the entire infrastructure.
At Genesys, the total weekly volume of Zabbix events is over 15 K while the noise rate is varying from 50% to 80% depending on the amount of planned maintenance because more than a half of the noise is a result of the changes to the system..
How did you choose Zabbix to be your monitoring solution, and what about Zabbix impresses you the most?
I’m dealing with Zabbix for 5 years at different IT companies and found the built-in templates with predefined metrics and triggers as the main benefit of Zabbix solution. They allow quickly add new hosts to monitoring via simply assigning to corresponding templates.
As an analyst, I use Zabbix configuration and database as the automation tool to integrate ITIL processes and create calculated metrics for the purpose of evaluating the operations efficiency via worldwide known KPIs like MTTD, MTTC, MTTR, TAT, etc.
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?
First time I attended Zabbix Conference in 2013 and this year is my 5th meeting with Zabbix community in a row, including 3 times as a speaker. Each time I’m glad to present new results and ideas, this year about prediction experience and new data models, because they are accepted and implemented by Zabbix developers very fast, delivering new features in the next release and available for Zabbix users as open-source product.
What would be the key message of your presentation, and what do you want attendees to learn from your talk?
The key idea of my presentation would be proactive monitoring, which means using Zabbix prediction functionality for planning the updates beforehand instead of passively waiting for Zabbix alarm.
For that purpose the knowledge is needed for defining correctly the prediction parameters – workload trend, type of data model, look back history, and forecasting horizon. It would be great to analyze and improve the forecasting precision via adjusting the prediction parameters on the fly.
In your opinion, what are the main advantages and reasons for joining the upcoming Zabbix Conference 2017?
IMHO the main advantage of the annual Zabbix Conference is the opportunity to communicate closely with Zabbix developers and users from the whole world and share the achievements for the last year and future plans. And of course one more reason for coming to Riga is to enjoy again the Old Town and the other places of interest.
What topics you look forward to discussing with Zabbix community, conference participants and Zabbix team?
I’m looking forward to meet with Zabbix team and all the conference participants to get feedback on my presentation as well as learn more about the goals and initiatives of Zabbix monitoring, such as alarm noise reduction, containers and micro-services auto-discovery, automation of hosts deployment and maintenance, and other hot topics.
At the conference, Serg will talk about his experience in using Zabbix prediction metrics at various IT companies – Genesys (USA), RingCentral (USA), ComePay (Russia), Distillery (USA), Syncplicity (USA), mentioning challenges and sharing examples.
We look forward to learning about new forecasting models for cyclic and periodical workload metrics presented by Serg as well.
Seats are filled up, and the registration is now closed, but if you missed it be sure to follow the agenda page of the conference, as we will publish the videos of the speeches after the conference.
Read the previous article about Steven Bush, in the series of Zabbix Conference 2017 speaker interviews.