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Zabbix + IoT/Snappy: allows users to feel the pulse of things

This article was last updated 4 years ago.

Things around us are becoming smarter every day and many tasks we use to perform manually are becoming automated. As our dependency on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology grows, we need to make sure such devices work reliably, securely and don’t fail with the tasks we entrust to them.

Implementation of such control requires a secure platform for communication as IoT accesses much of our personal data, as well as efficient technology because IoT resources are very scarce. This is where Zabbix and Canonical come into play. Canonical, with its extensive experience and knowledge of Linux developed Snappy Ubuntu Core: a bullet-proof platform to manage applications on top of IoT devices. And Zabbix brought a tiny, resource efficient agent to reside on top of any device; whether it is a smart house sensor, vending machine, electronic device, or anything else. This agent can collect device performance, availability and status data, as well as other useful application metrics and it can communicate this information with other devices or to the cloud – thus creating true synergy between the things of the IoT.

In the past, to securely deploy new switches onto your network, you would have to manage SNMP probes or traps, along with all of the new features that take ages to implement. Then you would need to make sure your firewalls were OK with that, followed by running a lot of manual configuration to integrate those into your infrastructure. It goes without saying that remote control of those would require locally available servers.

Now, think of the very same switch currently running a secure full stack Open Source OS instead of the previous closed dummy firmware. Think of this box running the same Zabbix Agent your servers have always run, and with the very same monitoring template as any other Linux. Even better, an active template that connects directly to your servers and proxies automagically and updates the agent all by itself. Pure agent-based network discovery and management simplifies operations drastically for enterprises and datacentres by providing a much more efficient way of managing resources.

But that’s not all. Now that your switch is a computer, you can augment it with more sensors and aggregate more behavioral metrics into your monitoring system. You can discover unused resources across your network more reliably. Hence, you can start making more clever decisions for provisioning new services or balancing network routes and QoS.

Apply the same reasoning to the many devices across your network. Video Camera? No problem, the agent sends a hit when movement is detected. There will be no video transit on the network unless it is really needed. Big fans about to fail? No problem, it’s covered by locally monitoring the flow speed and average vibration. The list goes on.

With the Zabbix agent available for Snappy Ubuntu Core, vendors of IoT devices may implement their craziest ideas and achieve real interoperability of things around us, making life easier, safer and richer.

Zabbix is is an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution designed to monitor and track performance and availability of network servers, devices, services and other IT resources. Zabbix allows administrators to recognize server and device problems within a short period of time and therefore reduces the system downtime and risk of system failure. Some of the world’s largest telecommunication, financial, retail and healthcare companies use Zabbix, including several listed in the Fortune 500. Its power and affordability also make it popular with government and academic organizations. Zabbix is also the main monitoring solution for OpenStack deployments, natively incorporating the best practices and metrics for core OpenStack components.

About the author

Sergey Sorokin is Director of Business Development at Zabbix.

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