Zabbix Monitoring-Simplest becomes more simpler

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Remember that IT guy from the movie “Hello” based on Chetan’s One Night @ Call Center? So many USBs hanging around neck, some screw drivers in the pocket, some wires here and there … and don’t know what else. A funny sight to laugh about, but little does you realize that life of us, we ‘IT guys’ somewhat really become the same.

Month by month reduced manpower and day by day getting complex infrastructure really make we IT people, (even if equipped with most powerful and expensive hardware on our side) running every moment of each day. Even sometimes, we find ourselves fed up of our own jobs and issues popping around from all over, try to come up with new energy at every next day and tired at the end of day thinking that will ever we going to get some productive time to block issues before rising rather than facing issues which most of the time arise due to the fact that even after knowing rules, we can’t keep an eye over each and everything by own.

Monitoring solutions do the job for you. You know that problems come due to grown logs, low disk spaces or any such parameter, which could be monitored easily if individual, but monitoring all at one place is what these monitoring solutions are all about.


I already have recommended Zabbix as complete monitoring solution and even wrote a dummies manual about deployment of the same on your Windows/ Linux workstations and Servers. Once I even been complaining about the complexity and confusions around simple yet very complex in nature Zabbix Solution.

Genuinely, having a cool product in your hands solve many things, but it frustrates you a lot, when you get lots of questions hitting your mind and no authentic solution over the same other than random answers in forums or hit-n-trial experiences of other users. You wanted to have command over what’s going on in your infrastructure and you not confident about the product itself?

After receiving and reading the Packt Publications book over Zabbix written by Rihards Olups, I really feel getting the same confidence I always wished for. The book really clears around tiny details of Zabbix. As I promised in my last introduction post about the book, allow me to share detailed summery about the book now…


Zabbix 1.8 Network Monitoring
Language :
English
Paperback : 428 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : March 2010
ISBN : 184719768X
ISBN 13 : 978-1-847197-68-9
Author(s) : Rihards Olups

428 pages are like nothing, when you talk about something that covers really a lot, but the step by step and Layman’s approach make each of the page of real worth.

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Zabbix

This chapter covers almost all what in first place, you may come to know after installing not one, but a few Zabbix servers. It starts from what Zabbix is, what are the features, how it will look like and then how to install and configure. Yes!! even the first chapter leaves you with completed installation and web frontend with brief explanation of each step and command you went through while installation.

Chapter 2: Getting your first notification

Zabbix is much bigger thing than just the installation. by looking at the default provided graphs and monitored data of the server itself already gives you an idea that what Zabbix is going to do for you, but knowing the details like creating a host, items to monitor, defining triggers, email notifications, creating actions etc are what concerns this chapter. It explains in details that how we can monitor some particular element of consideration in Zabbix terms.

An experienced learner could gather the details at his own pace, but having the correct manual about each and everything makes your life easier about the product and enables you to concentrate more on your scenario itself.

By the way, this chapter could be downloaded as sample chapter from here

Chapter 3: Monitoring with Zabbix Agents and Basic Protocols

Zabbix usages client-server way to bring the most from the monitored host. You are needed to install Agents on client side (already discussed in earlier chapter). This chapter deals with more finer elements of Zabbix Agents and show the way to use them all over the Zabbix frontend.

Chapter 4: Monitoring SNMP and IPMI Devices

Once I mentioned that it requires installation on client side, few of you might have started to think that not each device will be like that you could install something up on like your DSL, your UPS, your EPBX etc… what about that? Don’t get worried, Zabbix isn’t only for typical specialist Server Administrators, but it does the job for more complex scenario as well, where the infrastructure to be monitor includes more variety of devices.

This chapter deals with how to monitor SNMP devices and how to get along with other monitoring interfaces and real worth reading for people, who wanted to extend their capabilities/ responsibilities at another level.

Chapter 5: Managing Hosts, Users and Permissions

This chapter is about the instructions that how to behave with frontend about managing hosts, users and permissions as the name hints. It also shows that how you can create different groups for different monitoring responsibilities and in this way delegating the works and rights that might be more suiting to your environment.

Chapter 6: Acting Upon Monitored Conditions

A monitoring solution is not only about knowing whats going on, but also doing corrective measures at first place, if harmless. This chapter deals about the same like how to create triggers on specific scenarios, putting human readable constants and using scripts/ remote commands to deal with situation in first place with human intervention. One of most worthy chapter of this book.

Chapter 7: Simplifying Complex Configurations with Templates

Templates are like standards or tailor made copies for scenario and having lots of customizable ones make your life more easier. This chapter deals with various templates available with Zabbix and also how to use them.

Chapter 8: Visualizing the Data & Chapter 9: Creating Reports

These two chapters deals about the presentation part, which would be actual impression when people other than administrators go through them.

Chapter 10 to Chapter 13

These four chapters dig deeper into advanced item configurations, scenarios, later included proxy method for monitoring remote locations and database itself. Worth reading for administrators, who feel themselves comfortable with day to day tasks with Zabbix and want to go geeks with it now.

Chapter 14: Upgrading Zabbix

This chapter deals with one of the most important aspect. Zabbix is a constantly growing application and sure we find ourselves in front of another version with new features in short intervals. Knowing exactly that how to make the transitions without loosing data is what concerns this portion of the book.

Chapter 15: Taking Care of Zabbix

My experience says that even beginners should read this chapter for sure otherwise they are bound to pass through un-necessary worries like I went. Having a good thing is good, but best is to keep it good. This chapter not only talks about performance and efficiency cautions, but also give good instructions about backing up and restoring data.

 

There are two Appendix A & B after these all chapters, which deals a little with troubleshooting in a few scenarios and things like Global support through online documentations, forums, wikis, IRCs.


If you know the worth of a monitoring solution like Zabbix, then more than anything else, this book makes the place in your closest book self for any free time reading more than anything. Its not about impressing others with some tricks around Zabbix, but its about real living with it.

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Zabbix 1.8 Network Monitoring Book from Packt Publishing

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Sometimes big things come in your way in unexpected manner. Happened to me when I was contacted by Sandeep Patil from Packt Publishing to take a look over their book over Zabbix. I have seen the book earlier and was already knowing that its one of the biggest book on the subject for sure. Chance of reviewing the same would be like chance of interviewing your favourite star. 🙂

This would mark my first time, when might have been requested for reviewing some book otherwise, it has happened once for movie, many times for reality shows, many times for websites or services and in recent months a few times for smart phones, but I was never on reviewing some book. I could bet you that even thinking to review a book that too a tech book was harder or may say boring for me, if it would not have been on my sweet heart Zabbix. Zabbix and Squid been my most favourite Open Source applications and these are truly a must for any IT Infrastructure. I have even wrote dummies manuals over them on my blog.

Here is the front cover of the book and if you click over the same, then it would take you to the site itself with the details/ pricing etc of the book. Just taken a sneak peak till now, but I could assure you that its definitely worth taking a look for anyone managing small or big Network Infrastructure.

booka 


I have written a couple of posts over Zabbix and deployed it in a few scenario in current job as well as test environment at my home, but definitely that doesn’t stand for a chance to get compared in anyway against the author, Rihards Olups, who had straight nine years experience with Zabbix (since first releases). Recently he joined Zabbix SIA and the gained internal knowledge reflects in the book.

This book really fills up the vacuum about Zabbix related books and will really help people, who find it hard enough to deploy confusing NagiOS and then integrating it with other reporting solutions. Even I struggled a lot with countless customizations and template tricks in last many months and always cried if there was a better manual than forums only.


Consisting of 428 pages and 15 chapters, the book not only covers the installation, frontend customizations and extensive configuration instructions, but also includes well worth mentioning chapters over upgrading, maintenance and troubleshooting instructions. The book goes through command-by-command, example-by-example and scenario-by-scenario, not only that but it also includes very useful sources for templates/ rules etc. It really makes the simple yet powerful application experience more wonderful than ever.

As about the structure of the book, then it seems to be really compact and very much to the point (that’s what matter most for any book) along with the same it also impressed me with the way of putting thoughts. Take a look over one example that I got to read, when was just taking a look over introductory lines around backing up Zabbix …

Real men make no backups
And use RAID 0, right? Still, most do make backups, and for a good reason. It is a lucky person who creates backups daily and never needs one, and it is a very unfortunate person who needs a backup when one has not been created, so we will look at the basic requirements for backing up Zabbix.

I’ll take my time to go though the whole of the book and will be back soon with some more thoughts over the book. Meanwhile I want to take this place to thank Sandeep for providing me this licensed electronic review copy to me with personalized footer as given below

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Be tuned … will wait for your comments ….

 

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