ZABBIX TRAINING
This is an introductory class for Zabbix. The content is customizable to fit the audience, and is aimed to provide an introductory overview of the Zabbix monitoring system.

Zabbix is an open-source monitoring software tool for diverse IT components, including networks, servers, virtual machines and cloud services. Zabbix provides monitoring metrics, among others network utilization, CPU load and disk space consumption.


TRAINING OUTLINE
DAY 1


Zabbix architecture overview
In this module, the students will be exposed to the components making up the Zabbix infrastructure. This includes the possible deployment topology such as HA.

Installation: Zabbix server, DB, front-end, and agent
The students will be guided through the installation process for a typical single server deployment scenario. An agent will be deployed to a test server with basic configuration to demonstrate the workings of a Zabbix server-agent relationship.

Installation: Initial Zabbix configuration
The student will be guided through the initial configuration stages of a Zabbix server. This includes database initialization and user creation.

Configuration: Hosts and host groups
In this module, the instructor will explain the concepts of hosts and groups as a monitoring construct in Zabbix. The student will be then be guided through the creation of a host and link to the monitoring of its system parameters.

Configuration: Item configuration form
In this module, the student is introduced to the concept of creating a monitoring item. A monitoring item is where a specific system parameter is being set up for Zabbix to periodically fetch information about its status. This can range from CPU usage information, to an application’s operating state.

Data collection: Zabbix agent checks
A check is a standardized means for Zabbix to probe the state of a service. This includes checking on an IP address on a specific port, or standard protocol such as SSH. The student will be taught the concepts of checks and how to set up a simple check.

Lab exercises
Hands-on exercises are included as part of the class. The students will be provided with virtual machines as test servers/clients. Please bring your own laptop.

Q&A
The class is concluded with a Q&A session where students can discuss scenarios and ask questions.

DAY 2


Configuration: Triggers and dependencies
Triggers are rules which the collected data is evaluated against. The data is usually from an item, and a logical expression is used to check whether a condition is met. Several conditions can be linked by creating dependencies. For example, the health of database service is dependent on free disk space. By making the database service status dependent on available disk space, Zabbix is able to send an alert about disk space rather than database service interruption.

Configuration: Event tags
Once a trigger expression is evaluated to true, this results in an event. Events can be tagged to ease grouping, searching and management of events.

Configuration: Detecting anomalies, elimination of flapping
- Trigger expressions can be built to evaluate complex scenarios by combining multiple input values (items). This is an effective means to detect unusual events in an infrastructure, a common precursor to service interruptions.
- Hysteresis is how Zabbix addresses the common occurrence of a trigger value flapping around the threshold. Zabbix allows the construction of evaluation expressions that releases the problem only when the value is truly below the threshold.

Configuration: Using templates
Templates is a way for Zabbix to group multiple items, trigger expressions, and alert actions into a set of XML instructions. This allows standardization across the monitoring infrastructure. For example, a standard set of monitoring parameters can be created for the monitoring of web servers, and this is applied to all web server hosts.

Data collection: SSH/Telnet checks
This is an extension to the simple checks. SSH/Telnet checks are when Zabbix is configured to periodically perform a login, launch a command, fetch the result cycle on a host. This allows for agentless data collection on hosts which support SSH.

Data collection: Web monitoring
Web monitoring includes the probing of web services on a host, loading the the site and determine the HTTP error code, or even detect the presence of keywords. Load times are also collected in this type of monitoring. Students will be guided through the creation of a web monitoring scenario.

Lab exercises
Hands-on exercises are included as part of the class. The students will be provided with virtual machines as test servers/clients. Please bring your own laptop.

Q&A
The class is concluded with a Q&A session where students can discuss scenarios and ask questions.

DAY 3


Data collection: SNMP monitoring
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is the standard used to query data from network and network connected devices. This can range from the typical network equipment such as routers/switches, to SAN storage, PABX and printers. In this module, students will be guided through the process of listing the available SNMP objects and create a monitoring item for it.

Data visualization: Custom graphs
In this module, students will be guided through the process of creating a custom graph object, such as combining multiple items into a stacked graph to visualize multiple sets of data.

Data visualization: Maps
Maps is the visualization of the relationship between the monitored elements. A map can be constructed showing the connectivity of a server farm to the core switch, etc. The students will be introduced to the basics of adding elements into the map and creating links representing the connections. Rules to show alerts will be added to the elements allowing an error to be visible on the map.

Notifications: Media types, actions, operations, use of macros
In this module, students will be introduced to the concepts of alerts and actions. The relationship between trigger rules, problems, actions, alerts and actions will be explained and this forms the notification and corrective action part of Zabbix.

Administration: Managing users and user groups permissions, audit
Zabbix provide the means to limit access to functions and elements, essentially role-based access control. The students will also be introduced to the audit feature of Zabbix, which is where changes to the system settings in Zabbix is logged.

Lab exercises
Hands-on exercises are included as part of the class. The students will be provided with virtual machines as test servers/clients. Please bring your own laptop.

Review/Recap
In the final review session, the instructor will provide an overview of the topics covered, linking areas of knowledge for the students to gain a better understanding of the Zabbix monitoring infrastructure.

Q&A
The class is concluded with a Q&A session where students can discuss scenarios and ask questions.

TRAINING DETAILS