Monitoring your library management system with Zabbix

By Jake Deery

23rd May 2024 |

In this video, Jake from our Infrastructure team, talks about our server monitoring platform, Zabbix, and gives a quick demonstration of how it helps us keep Koha & Aspen Discovery running on our Debian servers.

The world of server monitoring

Computer platforms are complex creations, and your Koha & Aspen Discovery servers are no exception to this. PTFS Europe needed a robust and modifiable free open-source platform that could track server health, and tell us when services were in a degraded state.

Zabbix was chosen to replace our legacy platform in 2021, and since then our responsiveness to outages has gone from strength to strength. We can see statistics about our servers we would have previously only dreamed about, can tune alerting to a much finer art, and are in the early stages of investigating a public-facing status page so you the customer can see for yourselves the health of the fleet.

From a point on a graph, to an alert of a problem

The strength we have found in Zabbix is its clear process-flow from collecting data through to delivering alerts. A clever, powerful scripting engine allows us to write our own checks almost at will, meaning we’ve been able to write bespoke checks specific to our server configurations, in all their forms.

Not only do we have powerful tooling within Zabbix, but we also have the ability, when necessary, to point Zabbix to custom scripts on the server which can perform checks on Zabbix’s behalf. This has really been crucial for getting those esoteric checks that can only be performed by especially complex logic, to work effectively.



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