Monitor Servers with Zabbix


Zabbix is an enterprise open source monitoring solution 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 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 also be installed on UNIX 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.

Installing the Zabbix Server

Let's installing the Zabbix server on the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from packages.

Zabbix 2.4 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

$ wget
$ sudo dpkg -i zabbix-release_2.4-1+trusty_all.deb
$ sudo apt-get update

Installing Zabbix packages

Install Zabbix packages. dbconfig-common will create the database and populate the initial schema and data automatically. If backend db is located on a different server, please set dbc_remote_questions_default='true' in /etc/dbconfig-common/config.

Example for Zabbix server and web frontend with mysql database.

$ sudo apt-get install zabbix-server-mysql zabbix-frontend-php

Example for installing Zabbix agent only.

$ sudo apt-get install zabbix-agent

Editing PHP configuration for Zabbix frontend

Apache configuration file for Zabbix frontend is located in /etc/apache2/conf.d/zabbix. Some PHP settings are already configured.

php_value max_execution_time 300
php_value memory_limit 128M
php_value post_max_size 16M
php_value upload_max_filesize 2M
php_value max_input_time 300
# php_value date.timezone Europe/Riga

It's necessary to uncomment the date.timezone setting and set the correct timezone for you. After changing the configuration file restart the apache web server.

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Zabbix frontend is available at http://zabbix-frontend-hostname/zabbix in the browser. You will be presented with a login screen. The default credentials are as follows:

Monitor Servers with Zabbix

When you have logged in, click on the "Configuration" button, and then "Hosts" in the top navigation bar.

Username = admin
Password = zabbix

Monitor Servers with Zabbix

Click on the name of the server (by default, this should be "Zabbix server"). This will open the host configuration page.

Adjust the Hostname to reflect the hostname of your Zabbix server (this should be the same hostname you entered in the agent configuration for the server machine).

At the bottom, check out "Enabled". Click save.

Monitor Servers with Zabbix

You will be dopped back to the Hosts configuration page. Re-click on the hostname again.

This time, click on the "Clone" button at the bottom of the page.

We will configure this to reflect the settings of the client machine. Change the hostname and the IP address to reflect the correct information from the client agent file.

In the "groups" section, select "Zabbix servers" and click the right arrow icon to remove that group. Select the "Linux servers" and click the left arrow icon to add that group setting.

Monitor Servers with Zabbix

Click "Save" at the bottom.

After a few minutes, you should be able to see both computers by going to "Monitoring" and then clicking on "Graph" you will see a graphical representation of the data points that have been collected:

Monitor Servers with Zabbix

As with all monitoring software, these graphs will become more interesting the longer the server runs.

There are many other options that you can utilize to keep an eye on your servers.

Reference Document Zabbix Documentation 3.0
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