Can you have a Zabbix HA cluster at home? Of course, you can! By day, I am a monitoring tech lead in a global cyber security company. By night, I monitor my home with Zabbix & Grafana and do some weird experiments with them. Welcome to my blog about this project.

The winter has come, and due to world events, it might bring one to two hours of rolling blackouts here in Finland, too. As I have my home Zabbix running on my Raspberry Pi, without a UPS this would mean my Zabbix possibly could not monitor the actual duration of the outages, as my Zabbix server would be without power, too, right?

No. Thanks to the simplicity of setting up a HA cluster with Zabbix, I now have a two-node Zabbix server setup at home, with the standby node running on my laptop, which of course can run on battery for the duration of the blackout. So, while this post is kind of boring — I’m not introducing anything weird to monitor today — I hope the post encourages you to try out the high-availability features of Zabbix. It’s easy!

Set up the nodes

As written on Zabbix documentation, setting up HA on Zabbix means two additional lines added to your zabbix_server.conf file:

  • HANodeName for the descriptive, unique name of the node
  • NodeAddress, which should be the address Zabbix front-end will then use

That’s it! And, that is what I did. Then make sure your Zabbix servers point to the same database, and that all your Zabbix servers can connect to that database.

But does it work?

Of course, it does! Here’s the status as seen from Zabbix Reports System Information:

And here’s the status as reported by sudo zabbix_server -R ha_status from the command line on my Raspberry Pi:

Out of curiosity, I tried out what happens if I try the same command on my laptop. This happens:

Still to do

As nowadays due to our baby my time is very limited, I do have one remaining task to make this perfect: to set up a database cluster. For now, MariaDB is running on my Raspberry Pi only, so I would need to spread it to run on my laptop, too. I will most likely do this with MariaDB Galera Cluster, but that will be another story.

Winter, you might take out my electricity, but you won’t take down my Zabbix.

I have been working at Forcepoint since 2014 and I won’t let my systems go down. — Janne Pikkarainen

This post was originally published on the author’s LinkedIn account.

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