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Zabbix OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Zabbix is #1 ranked solution in best Network Monitoring Tools, top Server Monitoring tools, Infrastructure Monitoring tools, and top Cloud Monitoring Software. IT Central Station users give Zabbix an average rating of 8 out of 10. Zabbix is most commonly compared to Nagios XI: Zabbix vs Nagios XI.Zabbix is popular among Midsize Enterprise, accounting for 48% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution is Comms Service Provider, accounting for 31% of all views.
What is Zabbix?

Zabbix is the ultimate enterprise-level software designed for real-time monitoring of millions of metrics collected from tens of thousands of servers, virtual machines and network devices. Zabbix is Open Source and comes at no cost.

Zabbix Buyer's Guide

Download the Zabbix Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Zabbix Customers

Bodybuilding.com, LLC., ITtelligent Consulting Services,Eltele AS, Total Server Solutions, LLC., ChinaNetCloud

Zabbix Video

Archived Zabbix Reviews (more than two years old)

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DM
IT Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reasonable network monitoring which works okay if you don't mind the glitches

Pros and Cons

  • "Simple network monitoring that is easy to install and manage."
  • "The product delivers false positives during reporting because of flapping. Other reasonably priced alternatives may have better performance."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for the solution was to monitor the network and servers.

How has it helped my organization?

We used this solution for monitoring our applications and our internal web applications, which we couldn't do with Icinga (the previous software we used). That product was very good but the application monitoring of it wasn't good at all. Now I hear that application monitoring is very good in Icinga EN, so we might try it again.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable thing about the Zabbix product is that it was easy to install and manage.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of things that can use improvement which is why we are seeking a new solution. Network monitoring is a problem. It gives too many false positives. For example, it notifies us that a server is down while I'm using that server — the server it claims is down — to do the search. A moment after the search is complete, everything is OK again. It's called flapping. It has some flapping control, but it's not as good as other products. I used to use Icinga and it is a better product in that respect.

For how long have I used the solution?

We had been using this product for about four years or more.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I know it doesn't just go dead on me, so the stability is okay I guess. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't really know how the product scales as I haven't tried to scale it up or I haven't had the need. Considering that we will be moving away from the product, I don't need to bother with that right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their online help is okay, but not as amazingly good as Icinga, for example. Icinga has the largest user base as far as I can tell and I use IRC for help a lot and there's a lot of people in it. There are few helping with Zabbix. The forums are pretty up-to-date.

As far as tech support itself, I have emailed them about the flapping issue, but the main issue that bothers me is the flapping and infrastructure monitoring which is not very good. The support team suggested a few tricks which would help but not as much as I want. The support team is responsive, but nothing was resolved.

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

We are actually looking for another solution that meets our needs better. That is not because Zabbix is necessarily a bad solution. Our needs changed and there are better solutions available.

I previously used ManageEngine OpManager in another organization, so I guess the reason as to why I switched was that I changed jobs. That product was excellent, but it is also out of the reach of my current budget.

How was the initial setup?

Installation was not hard and it was very straightforward. The initial deployment without any complex setup took a few hours. Then the setup took an additional three days to a week. In total about a week to be completely deployed with all the servers monitored and everything working.

I did the deployment alone. I set it up and everything, and left it to other people to monitor as per their responsibility. I have 10 admins monitoring it. I've stopped monitoring it at this point, or in the half past year or so, as I am looking for a better solution.

The admins use it daily. Even now, I'm getting all the emails and I'm a little bit bothered from the continued flapping. Every admin is responsible for a different aspect of the monitoring so they get their dedicated reports. For example, one admin is responsible for the ELP servers, so he's getting only the email for the ELP related stuff.

What about the implementation team?

We did not implement through a vendor. I did the implementation myself. It's very easy, you don't need anyone just to install it. For more complicated stuff that I was not sure of, I asked around on forums. I did the entire implementation myself and it's very easy.

What was our ROI?

Any product that is saving you from a network meltdown is really worth more than you pay for it. This product did its job and some are still using it in the organization while we search for a better solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product a 7 out of 10. This is because it needs better flapping control and better infrastructure monitoring. Other products provide this already. I don't think I have much to say that isn't answered elsewhere. The product's benefit is that it is easy to get up and running. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MD
Monitoring Manager at Skytoll
Real User
DBforBIX and auto-discovery are valuable features

What is our primary use case?

To monitoring our prod, pre-prod, and test environments.

How has it helped my organization?

Simple, we know everything about our infrastructure, problems, etc.

What is most valuable?

DBforBIX Auto-discovery.

What needs improvement?

It's OK for me as is, but some frontend improvements would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

To monitoring our prod, pre-prod, and test environments.

How has it helped my organization?

Simple, we know everything about our infrastructure, problems, etc.

What is most valuable?

  • DBforBIX
  • Auto-discovery.

What needs improvement?

It's OK for me as is, but some frontend improvements would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Zabbix. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,936 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AK
User at Fujitsu
MSP
The auto-config feature is invaluable

What is our primary use case?

Infrastructure monitoring.

How has it helped my organization?

Excellent monitoring tool.

What is most valuable?

Auto-config.

What needs improvement?

Multitenancy.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What is our primary use case?

Infrastructure monitoring.

How has it helped my organization?

Excellent monitoring tool.

What is most valuable?

Auto-config.

What needs improvement?

Multitenancy.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Alireza Derogar
Network Security Specialist at SON Corporate Group
Real User
Enables the ability to execute a custom script on devices to solve problems in seconds.

What is our primary use case?

  • OS monitoring with SNMP or Zabbix agent (Windows(server and client), Linux and mac)
  • Database monitoring with Zabbix agent (mariadb-oracle)
  • Device monitoring whit SNMP (Cisco devices, Mikrotik and firewalls like sophos nad juniper)

How has it helped my organization?

Creating a trigger to get alarmed on it and take action to solve them (automatically), and get management info to improve performance.

What is most valuable?

Zabbix scripts is the most valuable feature because you can execute a custom script on devices to solve problems in seconds.

What needs improvement?

It is a little complex to config and implement so I'd like for them to make it easier to config, for example, a configuration for SNMPv3 or trap listener on it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We still do not have this software completely under the stress, but it has worked well so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Like other software, its efficiency and scalability depend on a variety of circumstances, one of the most important is to allocate enough resources to it and its database.

How are customer service and technical support?

There are good resources to help with fixing your needs.

And while this is an open source software but has a good support team, however, we have not had the support needed before.

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

Because zabbix is a open source NMS however it is very powerful and highly scalable.

How was the initial setup?

Its launch is more complicated than other software and requires more steps for settings. But when it comes to how it works and how to categorize the information in the database, you'll have a better idea of what you can say.

What about the implementation team?

We did this ourselves.

What was our ROI?

Of course, as with other network management software, the return on investment depends entirely on management responses to the information that is available from these systems.

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

This is definitely a free software (it's open source), and You just need to allocate some resources to launch it

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Of course, we compared it with similar tools like Nagios, Zenoss, PRTG and OP Manager , and we chose it based on the benefits

What other advice do I have?

When you learn how to work with it, you will love it.

It is a complete network management system that will meet all your needs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user901191
Assistant Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We use it to monitor and manage our servers

Pros and Cons

  • "Zabbix can use old data to current data to set the threshold. We can use previous data to set the threshold."
  • "We use it to monitor and manage our servers."
  • "I want Zabbix to improve the UX/UI. Zabbix doesn't use a JavaScript chart for images, and I want them to improve this."

What is our primary use case?

We have a lot of servers (about 10,000). We monitor and manage them using Zabbix.

How has it helped my organization?

It has rich functions.

What is most valuable?

The financial setting is the most valuable feature, since Zabbix can use old data to current data to set the threshold. We can use previous data to set the threshold.

What needs improvement?

I want Zabbix to improve the UX/UI. Zabbix doesn't use a JavaScript chart for images, and I want them to improve this.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Performance is really stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't use technical support. We have a contract, but we don't use it because there are not many problems.

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

We switched from our previous solution because of cost.

How was the initial setup?

I installed Zabbix, and it was easy.

What was our ROI?

It is free, which allows us to reduce costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our choices were Geneos, Nagios, Zabbix, Centreon, and Cacti. We chose Zabbix because we did a proof of concept, and Zabbix was the best. It had the richest functions, and it was free.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution as a 10 out of 10. It is the best product. I really love Zabbix because it has a lot of functions and works well. My advice is to use Zabbix.

When selecting a vendor, the number of customers is very important along with the price.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BS
Sr. Linux Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
We are able to do problem determination on runaway processes

What is our primary use case?

We use it to monitor Linux systems. It has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to do problem determination on runaway processes. 

What is most valuable?

Graphing processes. It can send messages to our ticketing system. It has good graphs of what is going on within the operating system.

What needs improvement?

I would like to better be able to monitor Oracle processes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

We did not previously use a different…

What is our primary use case?

We use it to monitor Linux systems. It has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to do problem determination on runaway processes. 

What is most valuable?

Graphing processes. It can send messages to our ticketing system. It has good graphs of what is going on within the operating system.

What needs improvement?

I would like to better be able to monitor Oracle processes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

We did not previously use a different solution, so I asked my manager to look into it.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. The initial setup was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated SCOM.

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

  1. Features
  2. Price.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user200937
System & Network Engineer at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easier to maintain, configure and less expensive in the total cost of ownership.

What is our primary use case?

Monitor systems and networks devices and web applications. Increase monitoring by including powershell script and automation on incidence responses.

How has it helped my organization?

We are now more pro-active before an issue appears to our customer because all the layers are now converged by Zabbix monitoring.

In addition, this monitoring product is easier to maintain, configure and less expensive in the total cost of ownership than the others.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are its performance (scalability) in monitoring, the monitoring centric (agent compatibility with the large vendors OS, SNMP, IPMI, JMX), VMware monitoring, web monitoring, capacity planning and the proxifying monitoring.

What needs improvement?

The capacity planning feature and SLA monitoring need to be improved.

The capacity planning feature should give to administrator recommendations regarding the actions to be done on systems to ensure scalability and stability. In addition, currently this feature only provides basic information (disk usage time left, cpu consumption forecast, etc.). You cannot predict easly the capacity planning of virtual infrastructure or scale-out network storage.


What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues experienced because the server component is compiled in C and is separated from the web dashboard (PHP).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues experienced because Zabbix is optimized for a high performance. The Zabbix server and the Zabbix proxy use various data caching solutions, giving them great performance and reducing the load on the back-end database.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a partnership with a solution integrator, so we don't open a case directly with Zabbix LLC.

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

Previously, we were using Nagios coupled with Centreon. We switched because Centreon has some paid features and so, there are some hidden costs. In addition, we needed to use an agent in our client OS because some metrics are deprecated by SNMP and are only available via WMI; WMI is known for its performance problem in monitoring.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very simple, it is very well-documented and packaged for a lot of Linux distribution.

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

This product is free, i.e., no vendor lock and all the features are included without the Enterprise Edition. However, just like the other products used in production, it's better to subscribe to a support contract.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other solutions; stay with Centreon's newer version.

What other advice do I have?

The only advice is:

  • To read the documentation before implementing.

  • Test the software with the appliance (i.e., only for testing and not for the production environment).

  • Participate with the community on the forum.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Gerente de Informática at a tech services company
Consultant
Move from a reactionary approach to a proactive evaluation of equipment or systems

Pros and Cons

  • "Health and communication links availability."
  • "Look and feel."

What is most valuable?

  • Monitoring servers
  • Health and communication links availability

How has it helped my organization?

By using the solution, we moved from a reactionary approach to a proactive evaluation of our equipment/systems.

What needs improvement?

Look and feel.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not in the version we’re currently using.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

We only use the free version without support.

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

Yes, we used to use another solution. We migrate to Zabbix after evaluating when it was implemented as a part of a web-based software solution that was acquired by the company in which I was working at that time.

How was the initial setup?

The installation process was simple.

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

Nothing, because we’re using the free version, which covers all our current needs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

You’ll be pleasantly surprised if you give the product a chance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user656028
PostgreSQL Database Administrator at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Gives Flexibility Of Building Checks Without Relying On Special Plugins

What is most valuable?

  • Multi-level infrastructure maps. You can set up highly customizable maps of your infrastructure, including each component status, maps which can contain submaps, and if something’s wrong at the submap level - the submap will be shown with problems.
  • Agent and agentless monitoring. Installing an agent is the easiest way, but SSH, SNMP, Impi, custom scripting and other protocols are supported.
  • Templates. There are a broad set of templates that define monitoring items for common OS and applications, you can build your own or use one developed by the community.
  • An API for you to create, modify, and delete most things programmatically, including items, triggers, charts, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

As we know how are systems are supposed to work, Zabbix has given us the flexibility of building our checks without relying on special plugins. If some monitoring item is not provided already, building your own is very easy, and any scripting language will do. We’re able to pinpoint with accuracy where issues lie, and respond to them in a cost effective way, due to the nature of it being open source, with fairly decent documentation and optional commercial support.

What needs improvement?

The Java gateway for monitoring Java applications didn’t work for us. Our JMX Service URL’s are somewhat complex, but we were able to write our own JMX checks.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When your checks grow to a certain volume, you need to adjust some settings on the server related to cache sizes, preforked workers, and so on. This is expected as with any service that grows beyond its default settings, there’s documentation about it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The system is as scalable as your database is. We applied partitioning on the biggest tables to keep the performant at 14 new values per second. You can setup a distributed architecture consisting of an N number of proxies capturing data and reporting to N master servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Fortunately, we’ve never needed it, because we have very talented engineers in our team and there’s plenty of documentation available online. There are also user forums which are helpful most of the time.

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

A fork of Nagios called Icinga, it’s pretty good, but something like the Zabbix Maps feature was a must have for us. We needed something very schematic and flexible to show the overall status of our systems.

How was the initial setup?

It wasn’t complex, but we have very skilled engineers.

The quickest way to go is to have a turnkey virtual instance tailored to your needs by Zabbix, or use one of the freely available ones.

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

The product is open source with optional commercial support, which is recommended to reduce the learning curve, avoid pitfalls, and keep the project going.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

SolarWinds. Nice product, but our particular project was more in line with the Linux, PostgreSQL, and the Open Source philosophy.

What other advice do I have?

If you’re into the Open Source and freedom principles, don’t mind getting your hands dirty, and have the technical skills, Zabbix is a good choice. Commercial support is available if you don’t want to go at it alone, lack sufficient technical skills, and you need help to keep the project going.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Director at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Integration With Other Open Source Solutions Expand Possibilities For Data Visualization

What is most valuable?

Highly adaptable to almost any environment and technology. The use of features, like Low Level Discovery, Templates, and Macros, allow an easy and customizable deployment over large environments.

Regarding notifications, the ability to use different media types and custom scripts gives Zabbix virtually no limits (mail, SMS, Telegram, Slack, etc.). Integration with other Open Source solutions, like Grafana, expand the possibilities for data visualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Availability problems are easily detected, minimizing downtime. Performance problems are detected before having an impact in customer experience. There is a centralized view of the whole IT system (HW to apps), and new devices services are easily integrated.

What needs improvement?

Reporting and SLA customization.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We are partners, so customer service does not apply to us.

Technical Support:

We are partners with Zabbix. The response whenever we needed their technical assistance was excellent.

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

We used Cacti for data visualization. We switched because of the benefits of using Zabbix as a central monitoring solution instead of having multiple tools to manage.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward. Documentation on the initial setup is available at Zabbix's website and easy to follow.

What about the implementation team?

We are Zabbix's partners.

What was our ROI?

Being truly Open Source, the only investment is in the time needed to get to know Zabbix and all the features it brings. This time is later gained in downtime minimization, easy scalability, and overall system status visualization.

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

Zabbix is Open Source, there is no licensing or pricing. As with any monitoring tool, there is a time cost which is required to learn how to use it well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Nagios. We preferred Zabbix for the easy to use GUI and because it is 100% Open Source.

What other advice do I have?

In our opinion Zabbix is an amazing monitoring solution which allows for any service or device to be monitored. In most cases, integration is supported out-of-the-box. In some cases, additional scripting or minor development is required.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Zabbix resellers.
ITCS user
Head of computer network and telecommunications division at a financial services firm
Real User
with Zabbix and some programming experience, you can monitor absolutely everything

What is most valuable?

  • Stability
  • Flexibility
  • Expandability

My favorite features are auto-discovery and LLD (low-level discovery) with Zabbix (and with some programming experience), you can monitor absolutely everything.

Also, it is worth mentioning the good quality of documentation and great community support.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we implemented Zabbix, we were blind.

What needs improvement?

I'd like it if they'd have implemented some sort of SNMP auto-discovery.

For how long have I used the solution?

Almost seven years (from version 1.8.2).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were some issues, then I made an upgrade from version 1.8 to 2.4.
I had to migrate existing MySQL DB (that is sitting under the hood) from one engine to another.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes. But again, it was an upgrade issue.

From the very beginning, I used distributed monitoring that was based on the Zabbix nodes conception, but they got rid of the nodes since version 3.0.0.

So, I had to change Zabbix Nodes with Zabbix Proxies. Finally, I have found out that the Proxies have better performance, stable matching, and are easier to configure than the Nodes.

How are customer service and technical support?

I know they have one but I never had a chance to use it.

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

Before Zabbix, It was another Open Source solution: Nagios. Actually, I set them both up simultaneously.

So, I had a chance to compare them side-by-side. Finally, I chose Zabbix.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is the very first step. This step you have to perform just once. The process is easy and straightforward, but the product itself is not easy to use.

I would suggest reading documentation before the installation. It has a steep learning curve.

What about the implementation team?

The monitoring of IT infrastructure is not a piece of cake. Don't think you can install it with a couple of clicks and be done.

To implement have a good implementation, you have to read the documentation thoroughly.

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

Like any other Open Source product, you can spend some money on support, but the product itself is free of charge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, I did not evaluate other options before choosing this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
The most valuable features are the monitoring and the ease in which we can set it up at customer sites.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the monitoring and the ease with which we can set it up at customer sites with our custom Zabbix proxy and tools. It is very agile and it is easy to do custom setups.

What needs improvement?

The dashboard and the graph section could be a little bit more professional.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zabbix for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability, but we needed to adjust some of the standard values in the configuration. However, that was to be expected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't scaled yet, but we plan to do this with two front-ends, two Zabbix cores, and HA MySQL.

How are customer

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the monitoring and the ease with which we can set it up at customer sites with our custom Zabbix proxy and tools. It is very agile and it is easy to do custom setups.

What needs improvement?

The dashboard and the graph section could be a little bit more professional.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Zabbix for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability, but we needed to adjust some of the standard values in the configuration. However, that was to be expected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't scaled yet, but we plan to do this with two front-ends, two Zabbix cores, and HA MySQL.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't used technical support yet. I have attended a course with one of the employees at Zabbix, and he was very good.

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

We did not use a solution previous to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and the subsequent upgrade were both very easy.

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

There are no licenses.

What other advice do I have?

Just go for it. The possibilities are endless and very large.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have teamed up with Zabbix and have become a partner.
ITCS user
System Integrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Scalability is extremely valuable.

What is most valuable?

Scalability, everything can be monitored.

What needs improvement?

Reporting is weak, if you want something better you must write your own SQL scripts/

For how long have I used the solution?

3 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, web-page Zabbix server, database can be separate machine.

How are customer service and technical support?

Never used the technical support.

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

Yes, previously used Cacti or Nagios but Zabbix has node communication.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, if you understand basic things about databases or web services, it's easy.

What other advice do I have?

What is most valuable?

Scalability, everything can be monitored.

What needs improvement?

Reporting is weak, if you want something better you must write your own SQL scripts/

For how long have I used the solution?

3 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, web-page Zabbix server, database can be separate machine.

How are customer service and technical support?

Never used the technical support.

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

Yes, previously used Cacti or Nagios but Zabbix has node communication.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, if you understand basic things about databases or web services, it's easy.

What other advice do I have?

All data is stored in the database. If you have more than 200 hosts you need a fast disk or good tuning of the OS/database.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consulting System Engineer at ENEA
Real User
We value the auto-host discovery, template import, and bulk import/export features.

Pros and Cons

  • "We value the auto-host discovery, template import, bulk import/export features. Newer versions also add nice features, such as multi-IP per host."
  • "We had some scalability issues with a large number of nodes."

What is most valuable?

We value the auto-host discovery, template import, bulk import/export features. Newer versions also add nice features, such as multi-IP per host.

How has it helped my organization?

We operate an HPC cluster. On several occasions, the datacenter(s) counted above 1000 hosts. An easily scalable solution is most valued against other solutions which are simpler to operate and have a smoother learning curve, such as Nagios.

The design of Zabbix allows the user to change metrics and check on the server side, instead of changing them on the client side, via a configuration file.

What needs improvement?

I use an older version of the product, so I cannot answer this question.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The underlying database needs proper tuning and maintenance to avoid table fragmentation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had some scalability issues with a large number of nodes. It was as if the underlying relational database is on the same machine and has fragmented tables. The server CPU could ramp up to 100% and the metrics are not refreshed properly.

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

We switched in order to get the benefit of the ability to redefine metrics server-side, nested templates, and the really powerful graphs available at the time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really straightforward. However, as soon as you reach 100 monitored clients, the default MySQL configuration doesn't scale up. I'm sure that a newer Zabbix version relies on better backend solutions for data storage.

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

It's free software released under the GNU/GPL license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Nagios.

What other advice do I have?

It is unnecessary if you have below 100 hosts. Otherwise, it's a great tool, with a nice web interface.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Gonzalo Brandán
IT Administrator at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The dashborad helps us to anticipate problems.

What is most valuable?

Dashboard and the customization of the items and triggers are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

With just one look at the dashboard every morning, we can anticipate problems.

What needs improvement?

It should be easy to modify the front end.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for five years (started out with v1.8).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

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

Previously, we were using Nagios. The front end was poor so we switched over to Zabbix.

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

What is most valuable?

Dashboard and the customization of the items and triggers are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

With just one look at the dashboard every morning, we can anticipate problems.

What needs improvement?

It should be easy to modify the front end.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for five years (started out with v1.8).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

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

Previously, we were using Nagios. The front end was poor so we switched over to Zabbix.

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

The product is an open source and free solution.

What other advice do I have?

It's a complete solution. There is a learning curve but it is worth it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Associate Solutions Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
By proactively monitoring, it helped us to fix problems before any major disaster. Dashboards and reports can be improved.

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides high scalability, alerting, notification, templating, and end-to-end security."
  • "There are a lot of areas for improvement, specifically in the dashboards and reports functionalities."

What is most valuable?

It monitors almost everything.

It provides high scalability, alerting, notification, templating, and end-to-end security.

How has it helped my organization?

By proactively monitoring, it helped us to fix problems before any major disaster.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of areas for improvement, specifically in the dashboards and reports functionalities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I haven’t used technical support yet.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a bit complex, as lots of things need to be planned carefully during the implementation of the solution, such as the hardware sizing, customizing templates for monitoring the customer's environment, and much more.

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

It is a true open-source solution, so there are no licensing costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated many products such as HPE SiteScope, Nagios etc.

What other advice do I have?

An in-depth knowledge of the product is needed to customize it, according to your customer's needs.

It is advisable to hire a consultant and do a PoC (proof of concept) before arriving at conclusion.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
HyunWoo Jo
IT Infrastructure Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
I like its versatility the most. Its template is another valuable feature as hosts can be easily added.

Pros and Cons

  • "It not only provides the preconfigured item monitoring feature, but it is also easy to configure custom items."
  • "Even though it’s such a powerful monitoring system, it would be more helpful if it had a flexible UI."

What is most valuable?

It has various features, I like its versatility the most.

It not only provides the preconfigured item monitoring feature, but it is also easy to configure custom items.

The template is another valuable feature, because hosts can be easily added.

How has it helped my organization?

My organization can get a proper alarm when some issues occur on a system.

What needs improvement?

Even though it’s such a powerful monitoring system, it would be more helpful if it had a flexible UI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues experienced, it’s so stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I’ve never used technical support because it is free.

How was the initial setup?

I did the setup by referring to its documentation and that was enough.

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

It’s free of cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I checked Nagios, but I didn’t seriously evaluate it.

What other advice do I have?

The documentation has all the information you need.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user685347
Linux System Administrator at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The solution allows us to monitor critical parts of our systems, track performance and utilization, and prevent outages.

What is most valuable?

Zabbix is fully open-source - no paid features/versions, so you get everything for free. Great, totally free product:

  • It is very customizable and flexible - you can monitor almost everything.
  • It has many great options - like auto discovery/registration, many types of alerting and templates provided by the vendor.
  • It is easy to implement, easy to use for technical people.
  • It is very stable, flexible and scalable.
  • It has many great features ready to use right after installation.
  • It is a little hard to understand for the non-technical user.

How has it helped my organization?

Zabbix allows us to monitor critical parts of our systems, track performance and utilization, and prevent outages.

It allows us to monitor specific parts of the system as well as control how the whole environment is doing.

With the great alerting system we always know which component might fail and can prevent it.

Adding new hosts/items is easy and quick and the great function for mass updating many components at once is very helpful as well.

What needs improvement?

Zabbix is a great tool and fairly easy for a technical person but it could be more friendly for non-technical staff.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability. Zabbix is very stable. I can't remember a Zabbix server ever failing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never contacted Zabbix technical support. I had no need to. The Zabbix forum was enough for my issues.

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

I switched from Nagios to Zabbix. For me Zabbix is more intuitive, flexible, offering more options out-of-the-box.

How was the initial setup?

I didn't have troubles implementing it. The official documentation is more than enough.

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

Zabbix is free - no hidden costs, no paid features. Just download, install and enjoy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I had the option to stay with Nagios or switch to Zabbix. I switched.

What other advice do I have?

Make a plan for components you want to monitor, how these components are related, what groups and templates you want to create.

Also at the beginning don't be afraid to use templates provided by Zabbix - it will help you start. After that you can slowly tweak them or add new ones.

Make the database backup - that should be obvious.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Anton Kasimov
Consultant with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
My extended experience with Zabbix or how to cook toasts
Hi everyone, I want to share a story about cooking toasts and tell you how we were expanding the functionality of Zabbix by a coil of wire and an integrated circuit Open Source solutions. First things first. Imagine, you work in an organization (and it can be yours) where its business process is supported by one or more IT systems. There is a monitoring system. Then a little blurred vision, and it is not clear whether /the industrial system is free or Open Source. However, there aresituations when all the sensors aregreen, but the business process gives unexplained setbacks, showing a decrease of key indicators. Matter-of-factly, the situation is out of control and your intervention is required. It’s quite a common case. A systematical approach for solving this problem will provide a…

Hi everyone,

I want to share a story about cooking toasts and tell you how we were expanding the functionality of Zabbix by a coil of wire and an integrated circuit Open Source solutions. First things first.

Imagine, you work in an organization (and it can be yours) where its business process is supported by one or more IT systems. There is a monitoring system. Then a little blurred vision, and it is not clear whether /the industrial system is free or Open Source. However, there aresituations when all the sensors aregreen, but the business process gives unexplained setbacks, showing a decrease of key indicators. Matter-of-factly, the situation is out of control and your intervention is required. It’s quite a common case. A systematical approach for solving this problem will provide a drafting services model.

Tom Wujec who provides services for the visualization of the processes occurring in the companies (not just IT), carried out a curious study. He asked different people to draw the process of toasting. See below for some results of this work.

What do we see on this pictures? Right you are. You can see objects and links presented in any system. The more you see them , the more the approach will be systematical. The correct degree of granularity will more accurately monitor the "health" of business system. To construct a circuit, you can try to use the Visio, but much more interesting is to take a marker to draw connections, adhesive sheets for objects and to portray your system on the whiteboard. The more is the quantity of yellow leaves, the more are the links, the higher is the chance to determine the maximum number of monitoring points for right resolving of the problem.

And now it's high time to tell you about our experience in the field of expansion of standard functional Zabbix and of systematical approach described above. There are exactly two of them.

The first is Mapping systems and the installation of thermal services’ card. In view of our considerable experience in the monitoring of the banking business processes, we give an example of exactly this area. Let’s consider three of the most common banking systems. If there is a more typical system in your bank it will not be considered here.

Home banking (online banking):

Enterprise serial bus (ESB):

Decision-making system (Credit convey):

In our application, it will look like this (yes, the structure is somewhat broken, but visibility still persists):

You can go to a lower level in case of need. And, last but not least, when you move the object pops up pop-up window with the description of the event and with a link to the graph in Zabbix

Through this approach, and given the level of details, we get friendly dashboards in the output, and at the same time a simple problem of localization tool. A few words about the features of our system:

- Visualization of the dependencies among enterprise systems;
- Set up of the degree of mutual components’influence (due weight);
- Integration with Zabbix (objects on the heat map are associated with flip-flops);
- Pop-up windows with text events when you hover over the event object;
- Visual Interface Communication Configuration objects;
- Visual communication setup interface of objects with triggers Zabbix.

As an example, some already developed interfaces.

Adding objects to a heat map:

Adding integrations from Zabbix:

Connecting Zabbix triggers to objects on the heat map:

The system is based on Google Charts and Bootstrap. While this is an alpha version, we plan to develop it further, adding useful pieces of industrial systems, which have been working successfully for many years. I will try to keep you in touch and to publish posts on the basis of practices developed.

The second experience is the integration with Zabbix and heat maps of synthetic transactions functionality. In fact, it’s a continuation of the heat map, and the look from the other side. Definitely controlling the system only from the application and infrastructure, you will not have the necessary information completeness. Synthetic transactions will allow having a look as a user and isolate the problem even before the first user requests to the Help Desk.

Synthetic transactions are based on the framework phantom.js (but nothing prevents you to go to casper.js, to pure selenium or anything else on your liking). In our test lab the execution of scenario is configured through cron and then the data are transferred to Zabbix by Zabbix trapper. As an example, the test scripts are logged into the MTS (Russia's mobile operator) personal account and receive money from the demand balance and the traffic in the Internet package (I can send it to you if you interested in this script). In the banking community, the most likely use of this tool can be, for example, online banking. Nobody will prevent you to log into the system and flip 1 dollar from one account to another.

Collected items from our example are as follows:

Each has its own schedule.

I do not want to say that the use of Open Source solutions monitoring is a tablet from all troubles. I will reveal an open secret: as in physics, there is the law of conservation of money and effort. The more money you invest into a finished product, the less effort for improvement, and vice versa. Always should be guided by common sense, the available budget and the human factor: ready to be your team to throw in the recess of business monitoring on the first call?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user2652
Project Manager at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Top 20Popular
Highly recommended open source monitoring software for servers and network monitoring
Zabbix provides flexible functionality over Nagios and other open source monitoring softwares like opennms, zenoss etc. It is widely used in market these days due to its easy administration and configuration. Pros:-  1. Zabbix provides a user friendly GUI interface for administration and configuration for monitoring servers and network.  2. Zabbix is open source software, so no licenses needs to be purchased.  3. Zabbix clients can be configued easily by installing Zabbix client software on client machines on the network. Zabbix client machines can be of either windows, linux or any unix machine.  4. User parameters can be configured for customized scripts.  5. Configuration/administration documentations are available on official web site of Zabbix and…

Zabbix provides flexible functionality over Nagios and other open source monitoring softwares like opennms, zenoss etc. It is widely used in market these days due to its easy administration and configuration.

Pros:-  1. Zabbix provides a user friendly GUI interface for administration and configuration for monitoring servers and network. 

2. Zabbix is open source software, so no licenses needs to be purchased. 

3. Zabbix clients can be configued easily by installing Zabbix client software on client machines on the network. Zabbix client machines can be of either windows, linux or any unix machine. 

4. User parameters can be configured for customized scripts. 

5. Configuration/administration documentations are available on official web site of Zabbix and videos/additional documentations are also available on other popular websites like youtube etc.

Cons:- 1. Installation is little complex, tedious, time consuming and prone to user errors. However, once installed, it provides user friendly interface for all administrative tasks. 

2. Some scripting knowledge is required in order to make changes to configuration files. 

3. Adding custom services requires reloading the config or restarting the service.

Alternate Vendors:- Nagios, Zenoss, Cacti !!


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Popular
Nagios vs. Zabbix vs. PRTG vs. Spiceworks vs. Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor
I have researched a quite a few network monitoring tools which can be used for various monitoring purposes of not only the servers, but the intermediate routers as well. There are majorly three types of these softwares. Ones which are completely open-source, you can do almost anything you want using these, but they require quite some expertise before you can use them. Then there are the ones that are not open source, the enterprise softwares and cost you some money, but on the other hand, they are extremely easy to set-up and learn. You can have them up and running in a matter of minutes. And then there are those which are completely cloud based. They can be free of cost or charge some money depending on the software. The good thing about these is that you don’t have to install any…

I have researched a quite a few network monitoring tools which can be used for various monitoring purposes of not only the servers, but the intermediate routers as well. There are majorly three types of these softwares. Ones which are completely open-source, you can do almost anything you want using these, but they require quite some expertise before you can use them. Then there are the ones that are not open source, the enterprise softwares and cost you some money, but on the other hand, they are extremely easy to set-up and learn. You can have them up and running in a matter of minutes. And then there are those which are completely cloud based. They can be free of cost or charge some money depending on the software. The good thing about these is that you don’t have to install any extra software, and it can be managed completely online but then again these have limited features and you cannot exploit them to the full extent as you can do with the open-source and to some extent the enterprise software, so I won’t suggest you to use these, because these are generally not the complete solutions and require other support software to achieve the same. Below I have listed the outstanding pros and cons of the various Network analyzers that you can look into.

Nagios

Pros:

  • Nagios offers an extensive set of collector plug-ins that allows users to gather performance and availability data from a broad range of operating systems, including  Windows and Netware
  • Nagios has a web interface that helps users check network health from anywhere
  • Creates reports on trends, availability, alerts, notifications — via the web interface
  • Monitors network redundancies and failure rates

Cons:

  • Web GUI is not good
  • Steep learning curve is required for managing config files to run devices and tests

Zabbix

Pros:

  • Zabbix is fully configurable from its web front end and so it is easier to use Zabbix
    than the popular Nagios — whose configuration requires several text files
  • Further, Zabbix combines both monitoring and trending functionality, while Nagios
    focuses exclusively on monitoring
  • The Web monitoring function of Zabbix allows users to monitor the availability and
    performance of web-based services over time. Moreover, this functionality allows
    Zabbix to log into a web application periodically and run through a series of typical
    steps being performed by a customer
  • It’s open-source and has a well-designed Web GUI and overall concept
  • Zabbix offers good alerts, dedicated agents and an active user community

Cons:

  • Zabbix is not suitable for large networks with 1,000+ nodes, due to PHP performance
    and Web GUI limitations
  • A lack of real-time tests, as well as complicated templates and alerting rules

Solarwinds

Pros:

  • SolarWinds’s ConnectNow Topology Mapping allows users’ environment to be mapped
    in real time automatically. This provides graphical visibility into users’ networks,
    requiring no additional work or tools
  • SolarWinds’s Integrated Wireless Poller monitors wireless devices for security and other issues and reduces the difficulty in managing these items, allowing more widespread use of wireless technologies
  • Excellent UI design
  • Customizable, automated network mapping
  • Great community support provided by Thwack
  • Mobile access
  • Native VMware support

Cons:

  • Unable to configure alerts from the web-console
  • Clumsy “Group Dependency” configuration
  • Reporting module needs better ad-hoc reports
  • No native support for Microsoft Hyper-V.  Features SNMP only

PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler has completely redesigned its Web interface to make it simpler to use. In addition, the company has added support for a mini-HTML interface for mobile devices, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids and Windows Mobile devices. What’s more, with the iPhone app — available through the iTunes App Store — IT managers can not only receive alerts about network status, they can also take action.

Pros:

  • Google Maps integrated with the Web interface, allowing monitoring software to display
    geographical maps
  • Functions of advanced maps for creating custom network views
  • Real-time availability of up to a year of actual historic data, not aggregated data
  • Integrated native Linux monitoring functions
  • Monitoring of virtual environments, including VMware, HyperV, Xen and Amazon Cloud Watch
  • Installation of reliable alarm system enabling alerts via e-mail, SMS, instant
    messenger, pager message, HTTP request, syslog, etc.
  • A variety of new sensors and remote probes to monitor distributed systems, including
    xFlow sensors for monitoring via NetFlow or sFlow.
  • Very easy setup, 
  • broad  range of sensors,
  • self-contained design

**I did not find any cons!

Spiceworks

Spiceworks is a network management and monitoring, Help Desk, PC inventory and software reporting solution for handling IT in small and medium-sized businesses.

Pros

● Fast installation
● Main dashboard completely configurable
● Easy to use monitoring console
● Active user community, with forums, ratings and reviews, how-tos and whitepapers
● Free
● Easy to install and configure for Windows environments
● “All in one” solution for Inventory, Monitoring, and Help Desk
● Great starting point for IT management

Cons

● On larger networks, performance can be slow
● Limited scalability
● Does not facilitate managing control of monitored devices
● Some initial device configuration is required to be recognized by Spiceworks
● VMWare and Unix systems not discovered nearly as easily as Windows
● Does not provide the same depth of monitoring and control as enterprise-level
   products

Software Faster Config Process Good web interface Compatible to leading OS Better Graphics and Navigation Cost Effective Free? Mobile Access Integrated Maps
Nagios No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No
Zabbix Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Solarwinds Orion Network Performance Monitor No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Yes

Paessler NetworkMonitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Spiceworks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No

Inputs

If you want to try out an open-source software, which is absolutely free, you should opt for Zabbix. You can also try out the PRTG Network monitor as it is free for up to 30 sensors. Considering the fact that currently we do not have a lot of servers, you can opt for the PRTG monitor as it is much simpler than Zabbix with almost all the same features and actually much better GUI. Like Zabbix it also has excellent community support and once you feel that you need to add more sensors you can opt to pay for those using the PRTG Network monitor or go for Zabbix. The problem with softwares like Zabbix and Nagios is that they require a very steep learning curve and unless you devote a person for that purpose it would be really time (that implies money) consuming. So basically its just the same. I would suggest to give the PRTG Network Monitoring System a try.

Important links

PRTG Network Monitor download link : http://www.paessler.com/prtg/download
Zabbix Download link : http://www.zabbix.com/download.php

PRTG System Requirements : http://www.paessler.com/prtg/detailedrequirements
Zabbix Systems Requirements : http://www.zabbix.com/requirements.php

PRTG Support : http://www.paessler.com/support/manuals
Zabbix Support : http://www.zabbix.com/documentation.php

PRTG Community and Blog : http://www.paessler.com/blog
Zabbix Community and Blog : http://www.zabbix.com/community.php

Extended Feature Comparison of the Network Analyzer tools

Name IP SLA Reports Logical
Groupings
Trending Trend Prediction Auto-Discovery Agentless SNMP SysLog Plug-Ins
Zabbix Yes Yes Yes No Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
Solarwinds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
PRTG Network Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Supported Yes Yes Yes
Nagios via Pliug-in Yes Yes No via Pliug-in Supported via Pliug-in via Pliug-in Yes
Name Triggers/ Alerts WebApp Distributed Monitoring Inventory Platform Data Storage Method License Maps
Zabbix Yes Full Control Yes Yes C, PHP Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, SQLite GPL Yes
Solarwinds Yes Full Control Yes Yes .NET SQL Commercial Yes
PRTG Network Monitor Yes Full Control Yes Yes Unknown Proprietary Freeware and Commercial Yes
Nagios Yes Yes Yes via Pliug-in C, PHP Flat file,SQL GPL Yes

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Flexible but the UI is hard to get used to.

Valuable Features:

Zabbix is very flexible and scalable.

Room for Improvement:

The UI is hard to get used to.

Use of Solution:

2 years

Valuable Features:

Zabbix is very flexible and scalable.

Room for Improvement:

The UI is hard to get used to.

Use of Solution:

2 years

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Zabbix sends alerts which are useful to prevent server outages.

What is most valuable?

The e-mail and SMS alerts are two features I have found valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

Zabbix sends alerts e.g space on drives etc... which is useful as a prevention of server outage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 3 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

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

We previously used Spiceworks.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was…

What is most valuable?

The e-mail and SMS alerts are two features I have found valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

Zabbix sends alerts e.g space on drives etc... which is useful as a prevention of server outage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 3 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

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

We previously used Spiceworks.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward, monitoring simple environment.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented in-house.

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

1 virtual server equals 1000 USD.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Spiceworks.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Owner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
ZABBIX is a 'all-in-on' and 'true opensource' monitoring solution but needs needs improved reporting functions

What is most valuable?

This software is the most powerfull monitoring tool that I know. Actually since 2005, when I started to work with ZABBIX, this software keeps growing and growing. Each new version ZABBIX SIA company (who maintain this software) delivers improvements and new features that help IT professionals to take care of their infrastructure. Some of the main features:
  • Automated network discover (ICs, servers, switches, routers, etc)
  • Automated item/metric discovery (partitions, network interfaces, users, databases, virtualhosts, etc)
  • Flexibility to 'learn' things (is trivial to extend ZABBIX features)
  • All things (historical data, configuration, etc) are in database
  • Automated inventory hosts (hardware and software)
  • Web monitoring (a robot to check websites)

ZABBIX is a 'all-in-on' monitoring solution. We don't need any other monitoring tool since we use ZABBIX.

How has it helped my organization?

Actually we are ZABBIX partners (premium and training) to Brazil and LatAm and our goal is to help other companies using ZABBIX.

What needs improvement?

I think ZABBIX needs improved report functions. Since ZABBIX version 1.8 we are using the ZABBIX API to integrate ZABBIX data with others tools (Pentaho, QlikView, etc.) when ZABBIX built-in reports are not enough.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using ZABBIX since 2005.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In some scenarios/projects we need to adjust ZABBIX components (agents, proxies, nodes, GUI, database, etc) in line with each one. What I mean is that we need to know ZABBIX and also know the customer's environment to have a successful deployment without stability and scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: ZABBIX SIA has almost 70 partners around the world and services are delivered in local customer languages :)Technical Support: ZABBIX SIA partners has levels (Reseller, Certified and Premium) and Premium partners are the best ones :)

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

Yes, we used a lot of other monitoring tools (6 at the same time with distinct functions). We switched to ZABBIX because:
  • ZABBIX is a 'all-in-on' monitoring solution
  • ZABBIX is 'true open source'
  • ZABBIX is 'Commercial/Professional' supported
  • ZABBIX has a 'centralized' approach. All things are done using the ZABBIX GUI

How was the initial setup?

Its depends, if the customer environment is complex, the initial setup will be same. Here (at Unirede) the initial setups are always straightforward because we already have good expertise with ZABBIX and infrastructure areas.

What about the implementation team?

In-house team.

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

Our setup was done with a in-house team and the costs are a 'ZABBIX Certified Specialist' to take care. But we are a ZABBIX Premium Partner and our customers choose ZABBIX (instead other commercial softwares) mainly because a ZABBIX deployment is not too expensive ;)

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Of course. We need to check other oprions all the time. Some software we evaluated: Nagios, Zenoos, HypericHQ, PandoraFMS, BigBrother/Quest.

What other advice do I have?

People need do a POC (Prove of Concept) to check if ZABBIX will fit in their needs. We also have a lot of blogs talking about 'Monitoring Solutions' and a lot of 'comparisons', but I think the best way to start is to choose to work with a ZABBIX Partner around the world and talk about your needs.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Easy product with all the features you need but it would be nice if it had predictive trending.

What is most valuable?

Low Level Discovery is imho the best feature in Zabbix. It will do some auto discovery of network devices, filesystems and snmp oid's.

How has it helped my organization?

If you are serious about your infrastructure then you have to know what is going on. With Zabbix we know when servers are using to much cpu, memory, disk IO, etc. Besides getting notified when something goes wrong, we are also now aware of how good our infrastructure scales, something that can save us money and frustrations.

What needs improvement?

Zabbix has it all except for predictive trending. This would be a nice extra feature. Also the SLA (it services) part can use some improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the product for about 2 years now, the company I work for was using it already before I joined. About a year ago I passed the Zabbix training course.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment of Zabbix is easy and very straightforward. The only thing to do is install clients on your devices that you want to monitor. And even that is not always needed. It is also possible to do some checking from the server side. Also, it runs on almost every platform available on the market today.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Zabbix is written in C, developers have high standards before accepting code from the community. Zabbix itself uses little resources and is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If it scales then it is Zabbix. The only thing that can be in your way is the database and the hardware it runs on. As Zabbix uses a database you need descent hardware and a good DB if you have alot of machines to monitor with lots of items to check.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: For us, as partner the support we get from Zabbix is great. We get answers quick and they always take our issues seriously.Technical Support: There is professional support from Zabbix SIA that can be bought. They even offer to develop custom features in Zabbix if you like. Of course there are also the Zabbix partners like the company I work for that can provide support.

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

Before I knew about Zabbix I was working at another company where we where using Nagios (opsview). Glad I had a chance to learn Zabbix, there is just no way to compare Zabbix. This is real time monitoring :)

How was the initial setup?

Setup of Zabbix is easy. There is a great manual how to install and use it on most of the systems be it with rpm or deb or from source. It's probably the easiest open source monitoring platform to install. Also there are almost no dependencies needed that are not in the os already.

What about the implementation team?

As a Zabbix partner and official trainer we of course did the setup on our own.

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

The product self is free there is no hidden cost or no cost for a enterprise version or some features that get disabled later. The product comes 100% free and it stays that way.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In our company we are always following the latest trends on the market so we try to follow them all as much as needed. Our preference goes mostly out to Zabbix of course.

What other advice do I have?

Tweak the standard templates and make sure you don't run the DB on a virtual platform.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user82719
Engineer at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Chose Zabbix over Nagios but wouldn’t suggest an in-house Zabbix implementation without a technical staff

What is most valuable?

Open Source: All the sources for all the products are Open Source, so you can use a complete product from the start. There are no "premium" features with additional cost.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives you visibility over your infrastructure, so you are able to know the health of your services and it's dependencies every moment (and even to react automatically to problems). For example, in one organization I worked for, before Zabbix the problems were normally reported by the clients using the call center, so the Operations team was always working against the clock and with high levels of stress; after a successful implementation of Zabbix, putting the right monitors in place and a period of stabilization, the Operations team had the information to prevent the problems before the clients were affected. This resulted in a Operations team with lower levels of stress, more time to work on important projects and client satisfaction by lowering the number of problems visible by the client.

What needs improvement?

The low discovery functionality is still very young so this feature has a lot of room for improvement. The graphics generated by the system can be improved and also the web interface. At this point in time it's possible to archive a good level of security by using external tools, but it would be nice if this level of security could be archived out of the box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since version 1.4 which was around 2008, so I've been using the product for six years now.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Having the right knowledge, the installation and implementation of Zabbix it's very simple, even the principal Linux distributions already have a Zabbix version in their repositories. A successful implementations requires the knowledge of what it's necessary to monitor and the way to do it, but this is true for all monitoring products.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, the software is very stable as well as the the components it depends on (in my case Linux, Apache, MySQL).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, Zabbix is very scalable and well programmed, also gives you elements to identify when the performance could be a problem and can be configured in a very granulated way. Also, the principal components can be separated and gives you options to distribute the monitoring (archiving horizontal scaling).

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I don't have first hand experience with the Zabbix SIA support, but the support the community provides it's great.

Technical Support:

Based on the information I can see in the Zabbix forums and social networks I would say Zabbix SIA have engineers with an excellent technical level.

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

Yes, the principal reasons to switch to Zabbix were: Flexibility (Zabbix allowed the monitoring of something the other product does not), cost (no license costs, it was possible to monitor something with no extra costs, the hardware necessary for Zabbix was much lower) and in the tests Zabbix outperformed the other products evaluated.

How was the initial setup?

The first time I installed the product (back in 2008) my initial impression was the software was complex to install, basically because at that time the repositories of my Linux distribution had an old version of the software and I wanted the most recent so I installed the software by compiling the sources; but once you understand, document and become familiar with the process it's pretty easy. Also, at the beginning understand the philosophy behind Zabbix was a little complicated but equally once you have the knowledge it all become easy and natural. Another aspect you can consider complex in Zabbix it's the lack of detail in some templates, so if you only use the out of the box templates (without changes) you ended up with a basic monitoring, most of the time you will need to extend the template to adjust it to your specific needs and obviously this will require knowledge of several aspects (this can be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage).

What about the implementation team?

I've been responsible for about 4 Zabbix implementations and always was in-house job.

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

In this case, again, I don't have numbers. In the last implementation, the original cost was only the cost of the hardware plus the salary of the sysadmin responsible of the system, the day to day cost it's only the salary of the sysadmin. No fees for licenses and no fees for support at this time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. Nagios: This product it's the de-facto for open source network monitoring. System Center Operations Manager: The monitoring solution of Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is that its good to have a clear understanding of the goals you are looking to fulfill with the monitoring system, the objectives must be clear, also the environment in which the system will be implemented and the capacities (hardware, people, time, etc). There are a lot of aspects to take into consideration when choosing and implementing a monitoring system so invest as much time as possible in planning carefully. Zabbix is a great product, with great flexibility and I'm sure can be adequate to most of the situations, but maybe it's not the best choice in some scenarios, so plan carefully before choosing and implementing any product. For example, I would not suggest an in-house Zabbix implementation to a company without technical staff.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user67692
Manager of Development at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
No comparison between Nagios and Zabbix. Zabbix wins hands down.
IMO there is no comparison between Nagios and Zabbix. Zabbix wins hands down. Having worked with Zabbix since 1.4 it has evolved into a great product and the features coming into 2.x are amazing. Some features that Zabbix has that Nagios is lacking: - Auto Registration - Auto Discovery (agent devices, snmp, etc..) - Aggregate Graphs (this is very useful when looking at the overall picture) - Distributed Monitoring - Windows Service Discovery (coming in 2.x) - Native JMX Support (coming in 2.x) There are many other features that Nagios just doesn't have, not to mention the ease of use.

IMO there is no comparison between Nagios and Zabbix. Zabbix wins hands down. Having worked with Zabbix since 1.4 it has evolved into a great product and the features coming into 2.x are amazing.

Some features that Zabbix has that Nagios is lacking:

- Auto Registration
- Auto Discovery (agent devices, snmp, etc..)
- Aggregate Graphs (this is very useful when looking at the overall picture)
- Distributed Monitoring
- Windows Service Discovery (coming in 2.x)
- Native JMX Support (coming in 2.x)

There are many other features that Nagios just doesn't have, not to mention the ease of use.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Engineer at DevScope
Vendor
Top 20
Great for monitoring several network services but reporting capabilities has room for improvement
For how long have you used this product? - Approximately since Jan/2012 Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - The ability to monitor IT Services (SLA) as a whole and not just counters on particular systems. Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions? - It provided us with the ability to monitor on a reliable way service levels acquired from several network services provided by interconnect devices. What areas of this product have room for improvement? - With no doubt one of the areas that has a lot to improve is the reporting capability. Zabbix is a fantastic system for technicians but not as good as the competition to build reports, specially reports for management/not technical. Did you encounter any…

For how long have you used this product?
- Approximately since Jan/2012

Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
- The ability to monitor IT Services (SLA) as a whole and not just counters on particular systems.

Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions?
- It provided us with the ability to monitor on a reliable way service levels acquired from several network services provided by interconnect devices.

What areas of this product have room for improvement?
- With no doubt one of the areas that has a lot to improve is the reporting capability. Zabbix is a fantastic system for technicians but not as good as the competition to build reports, specially reports for management/not technical.

Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?
- The current version has more detailed documentation but when we first deployed Zabbix (version 1.4) some areas were not very well documented and we had some issues. Nothing that prevented us from deploying the solution but made it a bit harder to do, in particular to configure the agents on Windows servers and configure the needed counters.

Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch?
- I've used several other solutions in the past, from the "standard" Nagios to Cacti, Solarwinds, Spiceworks, Zenoss, etc.

Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones?
- I really knew well other solutions and if Zabbix wouldn't do what we needed, I had other options. Nagios or Cacti would be the chosen ones.

How would you rate the level of customer service and technical support?
- I've never needed to contact customer service or technical support but used the Community Forum to answer some questions/implementation difficulties.

Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways?
- The first installation was a bit complex due to lack of proper/extensive documentation. Subsequent upgrades have gone smother due to improvements on the documentation and hands-on experience with the Zabbix particularities.

Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
- The implementation was done 100% in-house as I have a good expertise level on such systems.

What is your ROI on this product?
- Zabbix is Open-Source and because we did an in-house implementation the costs can be summarized to a part of one server, due to the implementation on a virtual environment.

What was your original setup cost for this product and what is your day-to-day cost of using this product?
- The setup cost was only the man power hour costs and it really has no day-to-day costs.

What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
- My advice would be to plan well what you need to monitor first - define which systems and which counters you really need to monitor - and start slow, one thing at a time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Manager of Engineering with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Top 20
Extremely powerful and flexible but the auto-discovery function has room for improvement
On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products? - In my experience there are two classes of network management systems, Open-source systems that are generally free, and commercial systems complete with support as well as some advanced self configuring features. Zabbix actually fits into both classes, but in my view it has more in common with the open source systems. - Compared to SIMILAR products, I would give it a 5. This means as compared to similar open-source tools that do not have a strong network auto-discovery feature. - By network auto-discovery, I mean features found in tools like SolarWinds, NetMRI and other commercial products that have part of the configuration work done in advance. For example, when I…
On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products?
- In my experience there are two classes of network management systems, Open-source systems that are generally free, and commercial systems complete with support as well as some advanced self configuring features. Zabbix actually fits into both classes, but in my view it has more in common with the open source systems.
- Compared to SIMILAR products, I would give it a 5. This means as compared to similar open-source tools that do not have a strong network auto-discovery feature.
- By network auto-discovery, I mean features found in tools like SolarWinds, NetMRI and other commercial products that have part of the configuration work done in advance. For example, when I plug in NetMRI and give it a list of login/password combinations and an IP range, it is able to self-configure, finding most of my network gear automatically. Network discovery is a useful feature that can reduce the amount of time it takes to integrate a system.
- Zabbix does have a discovery feature, but it is configured by the user. Zabbix is extremely powerful, and I got the network discovery tool working in just a couple hours after my first installation. The advantage is that it can be used to detect and configure non-standard devices.
- The self-configuring systems like SolarWinds and NetMRI seem like they have an advantage, however there is a cost associated with that advanced function. The largest one being that they only support a small set of big-names, like Cisco. Not everything on a network is a Cisco, so that advantage quickly becomes less important.

For how long have you used this product?
- Over 6 years.

Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
- It is the flexibility of the system that I enjoy the most. I can make it do things that are unique to me, such as do deep analysis of a custom device that I built. Or non-standard hardware that require unique test methods. Of course it also does the standard stuff very well. I have Zabbix monitoring Servers, network components, Air conditioners, etc. I have it alerting field installers for an ISP, to let them know that they have made an error in configuring an end-user router.
- It can do anything I can imagine doing. I even keep an eye on my BBQ smoker at home with Zabbix.

Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions?
- The best examples are in an ISP and in a large network of Hospitals.
- In an ISP, it allows the network operators to track the performance for each customer, and know about outages before the customers do. It allows the operators to track network quality so that problem trends are detected before customers are impacted. It also watches for new devices being connected to the network, and tracks environmental conditions in field. If we discover a new condition to watch for, it takes only seconds to add new tests to thousands of devices.
- In a hospital network where there are many mission critical systems, I can use it to track and report on SLA's as well as monitor unique medical devices that you are not going to find supported by a system like SolarWinds. It allows me to create dash-boards for executives, giving each management user a front page view that is specific to their needs. So each user sees what they need, and nothing that they don't need. With the discovery engine, I can take common network components, and create a template for the desired configuration. Then I can have the system scan the entire network and automatically identify and add each different type of equipment to the system.

What areas of this product have room for improvement?
- The auto-discovery function could be improved to include more hands-off automation. The current system is great for experts, but it could be improved so that a novice could use it as well.

Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?
- In the early versions, there were some scaling issues, but there have been several large improvements in that area, and in general the system is much more scalable than most systems, such as SolarWinds.

Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch?
- I have used many different systems over the years. As time passes, each system was replaced by a different competing system. Each new system was better than the ones before it, with improvements in ease of use, scalability, depth of function, and flexibility all seeing improvement as I progressed from one system to another.

Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones?
- HP Openview, Ipswitch whats up, Big Brother, Nagios (was Net Saint), MRTG, RRD, Cacti, Zenoss, GLPI, Solar Winds, NetMRI, LiveAction... and I'm sure there have been others that I left out, as well as many home-grown systems.

How would you rate the level of customer service and technical support?
- I have never used the official technical support channel for Zabbix, however I have engaged the community by using the support forums. And in the forums I was able to get help directly from one of the Zabbix developers when I found specific issues I needed help with.

Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways?
- There was a steep learning curve. I have found nearly all systems to have steep curves. The easiest systems were the expensive commercial systems, although even those had some difficulties when you wanted to do something non-standard. Zabbix was not the worst system, and was far from the easiest. However the need to learn something complex is rewarded by the capabilities gained. I'm an expert as implementing monitoring systems, but someone with fewer years of experience will probably find it even more challenging, and may feel the need for training, which is available.

Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
- I am an army of one!

What is your ROI on this product?
- Because I focused on an unsupported free version, my main investment is time. Because of my experience level, and the automation featured I used on day one, I found an immediate ROI half-way through the first day of use. I was able to get done in 4 hours on Zabbix what was going to take many months on the system I had been using before (a combination of Nagios and Cacti).

What was your original setup cost for this product and what is your day-to-day cost of using this product?
- The original set-up cost was an open-source OS deployed in a virtual environment... so about 1/4th the price of one server, and about half a day of labor.

What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
- This is a system designed for professionals, and is most advantageous when used by someone with some training or a lot of experience. A novice can learn to use the system, but be prepared to work hard to learn a fairly complex system.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user3579
Consultant at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Nagios vs Zabbix
Everyone is familiar with the product Nagios, which is often considered the de-facto standard for monitoring. The other tools in that general category are OpenNMS, Zenoss, Groundworks, HyperIQ and others. I am only talking here about tools that would qualify in the NMS category: something that really tracks different systems and devices across the entire infrastructure. A couple of years ago, I was so tired of Nagios that I was ready to try something new. A couple of tools didn’t make the list, simply because of the “fremium” model. The basics are there, but anything more typically carries a hefty price tag. I decided to try Zabbix and I have pretty much been a fan ever since. One caveat here, is that I am talking about version 1.8.x. Version 2.0 just came out and offers a few notable…

Everyone is familiar with the product Nagios, which is often considered the de-facto standard for monitoring. The other tools in that general category are OpenNMS, Zenoss, Groundworks, HyperIQ and others. I am only talking here about tools that would qualify in the NMS category: something that really tracks different systems and devices across the entire infrastructure.

A couple of years ago, I was so tired of Nagios that I was ready to try something new. A couple of tools didn’t make the list, simply because of the “fremium” model. The basics are there, but anything more typically carries a hefty price tag.

I decided to try Zabbix and I have pretty much been a fan ever since. One caveat here, is that I am talking about version 1.8.x. Version 2.0 just came out and offers a few notable improvements, which I haven’t tried out yet. A couple of things that look very promising are: Direct JXM support, multi-homed hosts, and mounted filesystem discovery. Full list of changes is here

As an overview, Zabbix offers the following benefits:

Relatively quick & simple install on a variety of platforms Agent-based, but available agentless options. A fairly vibrant community A large amount of templates covering most popular software Integrated graphs Escalation management

More specifically:

Graphs

There are a lot of graphic front ends for Nagios. In general, they are bolt-ons of varying quality. On the other hand, graphs are probably one of the stronger features of Zabbix. Typically, templates will have a few graphs predefined, but more can be added fairly easily. Any item that’s being collected can also be graphed on-demand. The one small drawback is the inability to save pics on the fly, which is sometimes useful for distribution. A workaround for that is described in this thread.

Graphing performance is decent if not spectacular. That will largely depend of data volume, your hardware and range of time. What I found especially valuable is something zabbix refers to as “screens“. Generally, the entire point of graphing or visualizing something is to be able to easily identify trends and correlations. “Screens” allow you to group disparate items together. For example, if you wanted to see the correlation between your requests per second, queries per second, response time, network traffic and read/write percentage, it’s fairly trivial to put it together. Besides that, I’ve tended to use screens almost as targeted dashboards. Something like putting all the MySQL relevant information on the same screen (disk IO, queries per second, replication lag, cpu/mem, cache hits, etc) can let you know the health of your MySQL infrastructure almost immediately. Same can be done on the web side and other areas.

Performance Performance will vary quite a bit. I’ve ran Zabbix on a large instance at EC2, backed by a 4-volume EBS RAID set and was able to receive 600-800 values/second without much of a problem. However, with that setup, the screens (particularly the ones with with a lot of metrics) would load in 2-5 seconds and the lag was noticeable. One key tweak that is absolutely necessary is the polling frequency. Most of the default (and 3rd party) templates will have the polling frequency too high. You generally don’t need to poll for free space every 5 seconds and there are plenty of examples like this. The data retention period also needs to be adjusted in a lot of cases. Reducing those intervals to something more reasonable is going to give a significant performance boost. It will behave better because you’ll reduce the volume of incoming values, but it will also reduce the amount of data you store and query against in the database. You likely don’t need precise-to-the-second numbers for every metric you collect going back a year. Historical data is still available, though in a somewhat less detailed form, which is generally sufficient for trend information. If the data volume gets too large, the clean up process might start failing. I’ve noticed that around 150GB of data it would start having trouble. At that point there aren’t very many good options and they tend to be quite hairy. It’s best to avoid getting into the situation in the fist place.

There are also a couple of options for distributed monitoring, if the performance requirements exceed the capability of a single node. There is a lot of documentation about it on their site, but it generally boils down to a choice between proxy or a node. I tend to prefer a proxy because of easier setup and maintenance. In a more specific example, I’d use proxies in an AWS environment which was spread across different regions. Another good use case in AWS is if you have a mix of a VPC and regular EC2 and you’d place your proxy in the VPC. This method can allow for significant scaling capabilities, though you would still need a very capable central master. The one significant benefit to a node approach is that they can be queried independently and support a hierarchical approach. However, in an environment with 1000s of devices that support different applications, nodes are likely a better approach.

Monitoring It’s a fairly standard feature set that is generally similar across other NMS systems. A couple of things worth noting:

Web Monitoring – it has a built in web transaction monitoring. It’s decent if not spectacular and doesn’t really compare against sophisticated transaction monitoring systems that are out there. It does support multiple steps and it’s based on curl, though it doesn’t expose all of curl’s functionality. That will present a problem if you need to do extensive cookie manipulation and/or variables. It’s also useless for heavily AJAXed pages and the ones that use flash. Still, it’s decent for basic monitoring and more then most other systems offer. IMPI support is worth noting, but I’ve personally never used it. Log Monitoring – this isn’t going to work well for high traffic web logs, but it does a pretty solid job at picking up exceptions and errors in various files. It does support a full regex engine for pattern matching. I’ve had it monitoring files that received ~500 lines per second and it had no issues with that. Templates – this is the core approach to monitoring in Zabbix. All your monitoring definitions are ideally grouped in templates. When a new server/instance shows up, you simply apply the template to it or add it to a group to which this template is assigned. There are a few templates that come out of the box of varying quality and there are a lot of user-generated templates for a variety of applications. A lot of them will have a script (PHP/Perl/Python) that polls the application and sends the data back. Typically you’ll have to make a few tweaks that are specific to your environment. Some of the ones that I found useful and better then others are: This is the “default” MySQL template for Zabbix and it’s based on a PHP script. The description says it wasn’t tested on 5.1, but I didn’t seem to notice any issues. There are range of values that have to be tuned in order to avoid false alerts. If you’re used to the Cacti templates for MySQL and the data those provide, this is a port to Zabbix. If I remember correctly, this template required a few tweaks to the PHP script, in order to get it working. This is another decent template for MySQL, but you don’t get InnoDB information out of the box. It is good for monitoring multiple MySQL instances on the same box though. The other templates would require modifications in their polling scripts. For Haproxy, I’ve used this template. It’s better than others, since it allows you to look and compare statistics of individual servers behind Haproxy. The downside is that it won’t automatically discover changes. That can be scripted, but it might get a little hairy. For Nginx, this is more than sufficient for most needs. Another one that is useful for Nginx, though the site is in Russian. Google translate does a pretty good job there. There are a few other templates on that site, but I’ve never tried them.

Misc

It does have an API for automation. I think it was improved in 2.0, but in 1.8 it was already solid. There is a decent CLI tool written in Ruby that will interface with the API, called zabcon There isn’t a great way to control alert floods. You can control trigger dependencies, but if something really goes haywire you might be manually clearing SQL tables after that. Alert escalations are a little wonky, but they work reasonably well. It is pretty trivial to port existing Nagios plugins or other scripts into Zabbix. JMX monitoring was done via zapcat. It wasn’t great, but for the lack of better options this was the only thing to work with. Version 2.0 does it natively and if they did it right, that’s probably one of the biggest improvements.

In summary, from what I’ve seen, Zabbix is easily one of the top NMS systems out there, though it’s probably somewhat less popular than others. If you’re fed up with Nagios or doing a brand new deployment, taking a serious look at Zabbix will be worth your while.

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