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Author Topic: Monitoring tools  (Read 1315 times)

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    Topic Starter


    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Windows 7
    Monitoring tools
    « on: April 12, 2017, 03:56:23 AM »
    Good Morning All,

    I am new here, I am James Shaw - 26 and currently training on a service desk. I have been tasked with finding and comparing features of Zabbix and PRTG and I am unsure if this is in the correct forum to post in to as well! (Please accept my apologies if not)

    We use a number of monitoring tools for each customers needs but we are looking to further expand in to Zabbix, and remove PRTG as whole. I have attached a zip file with an excel document of a table with features of Zabbix to compare PRTG against them.

    Now as you guess with this post I have no idea about either, and before asking anyone in work for help I would rather at least ask on line as I guess it would look better to - in attempting to gain the information required to compare.

    I wonder if anyone could help me compare the two and if I have missed features out that can also be compared against each other to advise me on them (E.G on the list of Zabbix features, it doesn't say if it can monitor temperatures so can it? I know it can be done from add-ons) and PRTG website, well that is just an absolute pain to operate around in my own personal opinion and if an expert on here has used both, it would be better to have their help I guess than just reading "features"

    I do want to become more competent in the use of Zabbix and learn more and this is just one small step as I will also have the chance sit down with the engineers and start implementing this.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    And look forward to reading through this forum as a whole as it looks like it could be really helpful in the long run!

    Kind Regards,

    James Shaw

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    Re: Monitoring tools
    « Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 07:16:02 AM »
    I've done a fair bit of research into different monitoring systems and use Zabbix a fair bit so happy to discuss it although I'd rather not be downloading random Excel files from forums, if you can put the list of features directly in the thread (or include a screenshot) then I'd be happy to take a look at it.

    As far as monitoring things like temperatures, you are correct in that Zabbix doesn't monitor everything like temperatures out of the box, what you would do is add custom "User Parameters" to the Zabbix agent configuration to fetch values such as the temperature then configure Zabbix to read this value and graph/alert based on it.  This is one of the things that I really like about Zabbix - How flexible it is for monitoring different things.  It can be a bit of a pain to configure these if you have tonnes of machines although at that point I'd probably be looking into setting up some sort of configuration management tool (Puppet, Ansible.etc) to manage the Zabbix agent configuration on each host.  I've used custom User Parameters extensively to read SMART health data from the drives in a system.

    If your machines have built in management controllers (Dell iDRAC, HP iLO, Supermicro BMC.etc) you can set up Zabbix to talk to those over protocols such as SNMP to pull out health values such as temperatures without relying on the agent.

    Sure Zabbix is a bit of a pain to configure initially but after getting it up and running (Which probably took about a day to get a reasonable level of monitoring working) I'm very happy with how reliable and flexible it has been.


      Topic Starter


      • Experience: Beginner
      • OS: Windows 7
      Re: Monitoring tools
      « Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 08:34:30 AM »
      Yes I totally understand what you mean, security and all that. All it is a table of Zabbix features which I was going to compare between each other - unfortunately I find PRTG's website rather inconclusive to compare the 2 against each other.

      I understand there is reviews etc all over, but this wouldn't really fit the needs and comparisons I was looking for. I do believe PRTG is much easier to install than Zabbix, and I believe we do use an agent for Zabbix over a wide infrastructure.

      My excel sheet just compromised of 2 columns, one has Zabbix features which I was then in the second column put a yes or no to whether PRTG could do this.

      I know the internet is a large place, but not everyone review site actually compares the features down to the bone against each other so I thought I would post somewhere and see if I could get help.

      Is there features I am missing? Anything that could be added to my Zabbix table I am missing that could be compared against PRTG? The more information I gather to compare against each other. The better.

      Here is what I gathered from Zabbix website. ( Yes I cheated getting all this information :P )

      PRTG vs Zabbix   
      Zabbix 3.4 Feautres
      Data gathering:
      availability and performance checks   
      support for SNMP (both trapping and polling), IPMI, JMX, VMware monitoring   
      custom checks   
      gathering desired data at custom intervals performed by server/proxy and by agents
      Flexible threshold definitions:   
      you can define very flexible problem thresholds, called triggers, referencing values from the backend database

      Highly configurable alerting:   
      sending notifications can be customized for the escalation schedule, recipient, media type   
      notifications can be made meaningful and helpful using macro variables   
      automatic actions include remote commands

      Real-time graphing:   
      monitored items are immediately graphed using the built-in graphing functionality   

      Web monitoring capabilities:   
      Can follow a path of simulated mouse clicks on a web site and check for functionality and response time
      Extensive visualisation options:   
      ability to create custom graphs that can combine multiple items into a single view   
      network maps   
      custom screens and slide shows for a dashboard-style overview   
      high-level (business) view of monitored resources   

      Historical data storage:   
      data stored in a database   
      configurable history   
      built-in housekeeping procedure
      Easy configuration:   
      add monitored devices as hosts   
      hosts are picked up for monitoring, once in the database   
      apply templates to monitored devices   

      Use of templates:   
      grouping checks in templates   
      templates can inherit other templates   

      Network discovery:   
      automatic discovery of network devices   
      agent auto registration   
      discovery of file systems, network interfaces and SNMP OIDs   

      Fast web interface:   
      a web-based frontend in PHP   
      accessible from anywhere   
      you can click your way through   
      audit log   

      Zabbix API:   
      Zabbix API provides programmable interface to Zabbix for mass manipulations, 3rd party software integration and other purposes.
      Permissions system:   
      secure user authentication   
      certain users can be limited to certain views
      Full featured and easily extensible agent:   
      deployed on monitoring targets   
      can be deployed on both Linux and Windows   

      Binary daemons:   
      written in C, for performance and small memory footprint   
      easily portable   
      Ready for complex environments   
      remote monitoring made easy by using a Zabbix proxy