July 14th Mtg: Implementing Zabbix in Azure for network and server monitoring

Date: July 14th, 2016
Time: 7pm
Place: Stam Lab, 2211 Elliot Ave, 1st Floor, Seattle WA
Directions: Map
Subject: Implementing Zabbix in Azure for network and server monitoring
Presenters: Brian Globerman

Zabbix is enterprise open source monitoring software for networks and applications, created by Alexei Vladishev. It is designed to monitor and track the status of various network services, servers, and other network hardware. Zabbix uses either MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle or IBM DB2 to store data. Its backend is written in C and the web frontend is written in PHP. Zabbix offers several monitoring options:
– Simple checks can verify the availability and responsiveness of standard services such as SMTP or HTTP without installing any software on the monitored host.
– A Zabbix agent can be installed on *nix and Windows hosts to monitor statistics such as CPU load, network utilization, disk space, etc.
– As an alternative to installing an agent on hosts, Zabbix includes support for monitoring via SNMP, TCP and ICMP checks, as well as over IPMI, JMX, SSH, Telnet and using custom parameters. Zabbix supports a variety of real-time notification mechanisms, including XMPP.
Released under the terms of GNU GPL v.2, Zabbix is free software. (reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zabbix)

I recently transitioned monitoring – for a ~250 person health care consultancy with eight regional offices plus a growing Azure tenancy – from on-premises Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold to Azure-hosted Zabbix. This talk describes briefly the training and implementation process, and the improved visibility into our network and server infrastructure we have achieved. I also describe how Zabbix allowed us to achieve improvements in planning for future growth, and reduced time and effort required for producing network diagrams and performance reports for management.

Brian Globerman has been working in system, network, and VoIP administration since 2003. He is currently Systems Engineer at ECG Management Consultants in Seattle. Prior positions included managing Avaya and Cisco IP telephony systems at Global Market Insite, Windows and Exchange administration at Loudeye, Inc., and testing Windows Server 2003 MMC snap-ins and administration tools as contractor at Microsoft. He has the usual CompTIA certifications (Security+, Network+, Cloud+), as well as the EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker.