Zabbix Review

Cost-effective and works well for Cisco switches, but the setup is difficult and time-consuming


What is our primary use case?

This is a network monitoring solution that I was playing around with to see if it would meet my needs.

How has it helped my organization?

Zabbix helped me to identify issues on the system, as well as ports that were open.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the support for monitoring Cisco switches. It is easy to use because there is a free template for it included.

What needs improvement?

The main problem with Zabbix is that you have to spend time writing templates for all of the products that you have. It would work great if I had the time to do it, but considering that I have all kinds of different devices, I don't want to spend the time doing it.

If they included more prebuilt templates of devices that are in use today, then it would be very helpful. For example, they have a template for a SonicWall 3600, but they don't have one for a SonicWall Tz300. They do have some base templates but they are not customized for these specific products. For some products, I was able to download one, but not for all of them.

The documentation needs to be improved.

The deployment is complex and should be simpler to complete.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zabbix for about a month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once the product is started, it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I didn't really test the scalability. For me, it wasn't scalable because I only used it for the devices for which I had templates. I was the only person who was using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did not contact technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was using Kaseya Traverse, which I bought because I have a large Kaseya installation. I thought that it would monitor sFlow, but it didn't, so I returned it and then replaced it with LogicMonitor.

Basically, the problem was that in order to support sFlow, I would have to have a virtual machine for each of the network switches that I wanted to monitor. So if I had 50 switches then I would need 50 virtual machines to monitor sFlow. When they told me that it supports sFlow, then technically, they are correct. However, what they didn't tell me was that for each switch, you have to create a separate collector, which didn't make any sense.

With SolarWinds NetFlow, you can have multiple switches with one collector.

How was the initial setup?

After I downloaded Zabbix, it was a pain to set up. I would say that it is complex in terms of the instructions. I was getting errors, and apparently, I was not the only one. I had to look at two or three different websites to get it set up. I found that if you follow the steps that come with it, which were not very detailed, it did not work. I had to search through different forums in order to figure out the error that I was getting. By the time I had finished, it took me three or four hours to figure out why I was getting the errors, and I had to reinstall it four times in the process.

In total, I would say that the deployment took at least 12 hours.

What about the implementation team?

I completed the deployment myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was using the free, Community Edition.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Zabbix is to seek the help of somebody who has actually done it before. Otherwise, it's not worth their time. Also, find somebody who can provide you with the templates that you need, or who's got familiarity with building them. It is a good solution if you have the time to build the templates and figure it all out. This requires knowledge of SNMP, as well as all of the devices. Then, you have to put it into XML and create a template that Zabbix can use. It is not a straightforward solution.

The reason that I stopped using Zabbix and bought LogicMonitor is not that it didn't work well. Rather, I needed a solution that was complete, where I didn't have to do the development.

I would rate this solution a four out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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