All posts by ski

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:

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.

May 12th Mtg: Secure Mesh VPN with Tinc

Date: May 12th, 2016
Time: 7pm
Place: Stam Lab, 2211 Elliot Ave, 1st Floor, Seattle WA
Directions: Map
Subject: Secure Mesh VPN with Tinc
Presenters: Spencer Krum

Tinc ( provides a secure mesh vpnv or any number of hosts. My friends and I used this to build a network linking our homes, laptops, and various hosted machines. We started doing some cool things with it such as UPnP and NFS, things that would be impossible to do securely over the public internet. We then added Consul ( which provides a service directory and health checks. Consul’s raft consensus algorithm works well for us because nodes drop on and off this network frequently.

In this talk I will cover the configuration of our VPN and the neat things that we do with it.

Spencer (nibalizer) Krum ( has been sysoping Linux since 2010. He works for IBM contributing upstream to OpenStack and Puppet. Spencer is a core contributor to the OpenStack Infrastructure Project. Spencer coordinates the local DevOps user group in Portland and volunteers for an ops-training program at Portland State University called the Braindump. Spencer is a published author and frequent speaker at technical conferences. Spencer is a maintainer for the voxpupuli effort (, which attempts to bring together a network of Puppet developers, modules, and infrastructure.

Spencer lives and works in Portland, Oregon where he enjoys cheeseburgers and StarCraft II.

April 14th Mtg: A Practical Introduction to Cloud Services

Date: April 14th, 2016
Time: 7pm
Place: Stam Lab, 2211 Elliot Ave, 1st Floor, Seattle WA
Directions: Map
Subject: A Practical Introduction to Cloud Services
Presenters: Ahmed El-Shimi

Public vs Private. SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. VMs, Containers and Serverless Compute. Object, Block and File Storage. The *Cloud* is hardly one service or one vendor or one anything.

In this talk we’ll skip the philosophical and positioning stuff and get practical, introducing the concepts that Sys Admins and Infra people need to know. We’ll focus on AWS and Azure and walk through the foundation services and how to use the cloud to deploy highly available apps, store and manage data and create and secure networks in the cloud.

Ahmed El-Shimi has worked in Storage and Distributed Systems for many years building infrastructure technologies such as Deduplication, Automated Tiering and Hybrid Cloud Storage. Today, as Co-Founder of, he helps Enterprises understand and manage their data and optimize storage usage across Datacenter and Cloud. Minima, a Data Management and Archival SaaS, heavily uses and partners with both AWS and Microsoft Azure. Ahmed can be reached at