Is Raspberry Pi 4 a goodbye or a good buy for running Zabbix? How is it performance-wise? Is it reliable? Here’s my nine-month review of it, with a splash of appliance/application performance monitoring.
In about April 2022 when it became clear that I am going to continue my home monitoring project, I bought a Raspberry Pi 4 to run the show. Here’s my opinion on how well it is suited for running Zabbix.
Table of Contents
Applying that delicious layer of Zabbix on top of your Raspberry Pi 4 cake is extremely straightforward, as just like for every other platform that Zabbix officially supports, they do have packages and instructions to set up what you’d like to run.
After installing the packages, the next steps are just like with Zabbix running on any other platform, so I am not going to dive into that now.
Modifications to my Raspberry setup
As I do not need to run a graphical environment on my Raspberry, I did disable the graphical environment from starting at all to save some precious RAM and other resources.
After some time I did also purchase an external USB hard disk, as the memory card from where Raspberry Pi 4 runs its OS is not very snappy, especially with write operations, and can also run tight on free space.
Other than that, my Raspberry Pi 4 is running pretty much by default.
How about the performance?
The graphs that you are about to see are from nine months period of time, as that’s about as long I have had the device.
No problem with the CPU usage. It’s been creeping up a little bit over time though, as I have been adding new items to monitoring and also additional software, such as HomeBridge and Home Assistant.
It still has available memory, even though the device runs Zabbix server, MariaDB, Grafana, Mosquitto, Home Assistant and HomeBridge.
As you can see, the number of running processes has grown significantly as I have been adding other stuff than Zabbix.
It’s easy to see when I did switch from an internal memory card to an external USB drive. The disk I/O utilization percentage is hovering at very tolerable levels.
I/O latency has remained about the same.
With only Zabbix, MariaDB and Grafana running the device remained around the 55-60C area, but has been warming to about 70C with the additional software. Still not too bad.
Splash of APM
Have you ever wondered what happens to the memory usage of a wrapper shell script that runs other scripts in a loop and keeps doing that until it’s manually stopped? This happens, it’s boringly stable. The results are brought you to by Zabbix Agent 2 process discovery.
Really, it does not vary much.
But as I have been adding new stuff, clearly the OS needs to do some more swapping and even the script has more page faults than before.
There’s more than that to process discovery, but those were some examples.
Zabbix server itself is doing very well, here are some example stats.
My conclusion: Raspberry Pi 4 is an excellent Zabbix server for smaller environments and a very good Zabbix proxy candidate. It’s been rock solid.
This post was originally published on the author’s page.