Lessons with Zabbix. Interview with Zabbix Summit 2019 speaker Julio Cesar Hegedus.

Julio Cesar Hegedus is currently responsible for a project to build a large Zabbix environment that supports multi-site fail-over.  At Zabbix Summit 2019 he will focus on the lessons learned with Zabbix, sharing positive and negative aspects.

Your speech looks quite promising – every Zabbix entry-level user for sure would be happy to get all essential knowledge together. But is it possible to learn Zabbix monitoring thanks to another person’s advice?

Yes, certainly! I think it is very important to listen and understand how many other users before you have done the same thing. Only if you cannot find something already built, you can start your own learning process of Zabbix monitoring. There are several sources where one can find what others are sharing which they have already done. I will never start a new template or check how to monitor something in detail, without first consulting Zabbix Share and other sources. I have shared a few things myself. 

What about the first-hand experience?

Obviously, you will really start to learn, when you assume your own monitoring tasks. Besides the satisfaction of accomplishing great monitoring that will preemptively detect something, even if you can react after something is broken or degraded but before someone else raise a complaint, it is the most rewarding experience. From your own experience, you will certainly delve into and build upon.

How did you start your journey with Zabbix? What were your first steps?

I first stumbled in Zabbix around 2004 but hadn’t paid as much attention.  I started using Zabbix more seriously only in 2005/2006, as I was tasked to monitor a big network, stretching across 86 offices in some 70 countries. The ability to use proxies, having a Template configuration model, agents and many of the other Zabbix advantages made a fantastic tool for the job. During three years, I went really down the road and learned as much as I could from this awesome software. After I have left the company, I understand they have updated, expanded and kept using for a long time after, evolving with the environment.

Nowadays, I have already developed complex solutions of monitoring that are very specific to special needs or frameworks that are possible to be used by many other colleagues, like Perobbix, which was a framework developed to monitor Oracle Databases in detail, so much detail that it became a requirement to certain operations of clients using our monitoring infrastructure.

So in the end, even when around all sorts of other tools, Zabbix is a present and always a useful presence on my working environment. I do monitoring of my own infrastructure, home temperature, and several home components at home as well.

What would you recommend the beginners: how to start working with Zabbix most efficiently?

I always recommend people to use VirtualBox (or similar virtualization tools) to run a virtual machine with a complete Zabbix server and start off by monitoring itself. After understanding the base components, add an agent outside, web checks, notifications and keep growing out of that box, with SNMP and many other possibilities that will arise.

I think that if you get along with the Zabbix interface, Items, and Trigger functions, everything else will circle around as a consequence of these aspects.

What I always say is: If you can read, write and understand what you need to monitor, then you can do, literally, anything with Zabbix.

Jekaterina Petruhina

Author: Jekaterina Petruhina

Marketing Specialist at Zabbix

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