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.