Zabbix Server: Some issues and some tips

In addition to the implementation details, I wrote few days back, I would like the add up some precautions and resolution to some issues, which would sure make life with Zabbix little easier for newbie .

Keep the date time configuration correct: I really faced much trouble over this one. Before installation of any new server, make sure that you have chosen correct Timezone settings. For most of the version of Linux, you need to type setup on console and then go to timezone configuration and set as per yours (e.g. Asia/Kolkata) and then make the same entry in /etc/php.ini for variable date.timezone as well (e.g. data.timezone=Asia/Kolkata).

This is really an irritating bug at Zabbix side as client and server both the sides should use Server Timezone entry. But its not resolved till now and might be reason for trouble to many.

Problem I faced with it: I went really a lot of trouble with time settings with one of my zabbix servers. While all others were working fine, one was not giving any data on graphs. Although resolution worked in some other way, but I would like to give a few basics —

1. Verify all the settings like agents are referencing the right server or not

2. Check that whether ports are open or not.

The Server listens on 10051 and client listens on 10050. Now, How to Check open Ports in Linux? Although there are many ways to do the same, but simpler is using netstat

# netstat –ntulp

It will show all open ports and also that which process is using them. You must find 10051 port opened on Server.

3. Check the latest data under monitoring tab (My case) This provides you info about clients that when you last moment received data from them and what data. In my case, I found that my clients received data in future time that’s why there was nothing on the graph as it was checking data in past time.

I struggled a lot, but found only one solution that was to delete all the clients from Zabbix and then import the same configuration again. When you delete one host, then it delete all the logs related to it and that’s why when you re-import the configuration then it will start-a-fresh. Thats why I insist on making a backup of all configuration once, coz after then for recreating whole thing, you need just an import and then recreating screens. 🙂

Increase the upload size in php.ini: For using the above feature, its a necessary step as  many times the size of xml file might exceed the default 2mb. Find the maximum_upload_size and increase to be at least 8mb from 2mb (default).

Copying Configuration is better in place of creating new: For Linux Servers, copy all the  configurations/ items/ graphs etc from the Linux Based Zabbix Server itself, while for Windows, you need to configure one first and then copying all the entry to other in similar manner as was in Linux Servers.

Replace CPU Utilization Screen with Memory Utilization: Although it depends on your requirements, but for me in general, its better to replace CPU Utilization screen with a custom made Memory Utilization screen made of items Total Memory and Free Memory as CPU Load data is sufficient to monitor CPU Health in most of the cases.

Make a configuration backup once you are done with adding your servers: This is the most important thing as it helps you out in quickly restoring the things, if want to migrate the whole thing to new server in case of any problem in original server. You need to use Export feature of existing server to export a xml file (might be >2 mb) and then import it once you done with installing a fresh server or existing server. Then you will be needed to change the Server IP in all client’s zabbix agent configurations (/etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf in Linux and c:\program files\zabbix agent\zabbix_agentd.conf in windows) and restarted their zabbix services.

Create a slideshow for all the servers: This is a feature, which makes it look more cool. Create a slideshow of all the screens, you create and it will keep it changing in specified time duration (default is 5 secs), which is quite better, comfortable and effective than changing the screens yourself to take a look. You could make very good use of a projector with this feature 😉