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Zabbix monitoring and management - introduction


Since Zabbix it focuses on hosts: So is the right choice for monitoring distributed networks (was originally developed for monitoring servers). Zabbix is manager also, is ipv6 ready! fully supported, also featured proxy-server for hidden and firewalled networks

In cases where there is no option to install an agent, Zabbix offers basic agentless monitoring. With it, you can check the availability of network services, as well as execute remote commands, with this introduction, we started a series of post about deploy Zabbix in alpine and/or debian linux, also for distributed networks.

 Lest get started to understand the features:

Zabbix is the most popular monitoring manager in open source world, there's monitoring itself only like catci, but the hint is that Zabbix is manager also, is ipv6 ready! fully supported, also featured proxy-server for hidden and firewalled networks. Its like nagios one but more big, cutting edge and professional.

Zabbix infraestructure

Zabbix is divided into two large parts: server(s) and agent(s), and yes "servers" cos can be centralized or decentralized due the "proxyes" semi-servers.

  • The servers: represent all the recollected data and has management capabilities. Each one if are more than one, collects and stores statistical data.
  • The agents: represent each host, the clients, those machines or devices from which data is collected. Those support both passive (polling) and active checks (trapping).
  • The proxys: represent a server that can act as man-in-the-middle for distributed load, cases of hidden networs or firewalled, of course with management capabilities cos act as server for those agents/hosts.

Passive checks mean that the Zabbix server requests a value from the Zabbix agent, and the agent processes the request and returns the value to the Zabbix server.

Active checks mean that the Zabbix agent requests a list of active checks from the Zabbix server and then periodically sends the results. 

User Interface is a web graphical component that runs "with" the server, an of course can be hosted in same zabbix server or in a away another hosted server from the zabbix server.


Server zabbix, or proxy one always need a main database, in fact the zabbix proxy is just a zabbix server but as man in the middle, the service of monitoring is running with it, the User interface is just another component, UI and agents always send the data to the zabbix server or zabbix proxy (and from proxy to server).

VenenuX uses zabbix respect the version of based Debian, Alpine linux uses zabbix most current version from release time, by example, alpine 

Zabbix and the Monitored ways

Zabbix can monitor almost any network device system, including electrical devices, Linux hosts, home computers, celphones, network devices, etc.

This is possible by the ICMP standard, the agent way to monitoring is the most complete featured, but only applies to computers host, because the zabbiz-agent software is only available for those devices, for networking only devices (small routers, cisco, microtik) SNMP, for electronic devices (air conditioner, etc) you must use ICMP, but others ways are in development cos Zabbix is open source.

Others ways of monitoring can be integrated, just like the BACKNET protocol. Cos any IT team can made their own templates that organize the retrieved data.

Types of monitoring

The zabbix agent is a zabbix service that runs on computers and is fully featured, the SNMP(Simple Network Manager Protocol) is a common standard protocol and is the second most supported, the ICMP(Internet Control Message Protocol) is the most used and simplest way but most limited, check the features:

Feature By Agent By SNMP By ICMP
Ping to check alive (direct ip) Yes Yes but with zabbbix proxy if firewall Only on direct IP, no firewall
Retrieve data from programs (direct ping) Yes Yes but with zabbbix proxy if firewall No
Send commands to manage Yes Yes but using zabbix proxy if firewall No
Runs on any device No, only computers Mostly any network device Yes
Runs on any OS YEs, limited in androit and mainframes Yes Yes
Requires privileges Not necessary for most features It depends No, cos is limited
Note: Support to allow zabbix-agentd to view running processes on Alpine Linux has been added since linux-grsec- Please ensure you have that kernel installed prior to attempting to run zabbix-agentd.

Where to start now?

The zabbix course will be more articles, stay tuned next mont will be very active, for more active community use the Telegram VenenuX groups or Telegram Alpine ones.

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no stupid winbuntu users allowed!