Case Study. Digital Preservation Micro Services + Zabbix @ Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain, it is second in size only to the British Library. First opened to scholars in 1602, it incorporates an earlier library built by the University in the 15th century to house books donated by Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester. Since 1602 it has expanded, slowly at first but with increasing momentum over the last 150 years, to keep pace with the ever-growing accumulation of books, papers, and other materials, but the core of the old buildings has remained intact. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items.

The Bodleian Digital Library System and Services (BDLSS) department have used Zabbix since 2015 for monitoring infrastructure which consists of over 350 virtual servers, multiple storage systems, and two tape robot libraries.

The Clarendon Building, Oxford, United Kingdom

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Zabbix 4.2: Extending Zabbix monitoring with RESTful microservices

There are a few ways one can gather custom metrics with Zabbix, for example, via user parameters or Zabbix sender protocol. While either method can work for simple metrics, creating a more wholesome approach (with data collectors, persistent connections etc) and interfacing it with Zabbix may not be as trivial.

With the HTTP agent item Zabbix can natively connect to RESTful web services, but the new pre-processing options, “Check for error” and the “Custom on fail”, take it a big step further. This allows us to create web services that can be directly used by Zabbix. To demonstrate we will create a very simple MySQL monitoring web service, returning the number of active and maximum connections.

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