ZABBIX 2.4.0

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11 September 2014

Zabbix SIA is pleased to announce the availability of Zabbix 2.4.0.

Zabbix is an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution. Zabbix is released under the GPL, thus it is free of charge for both commercial and non-commercial use. A complete text of the license is available at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.txt.

This document contains the release notes for Zabbix 2.4.0. Download it from http://www.zabbix.com/download.php.

This release introduces new major features along with numerous improvements. A nice overview of the new functionality is at https://www.zabbix.com/documentation/2.4/manual/introduction/whatsnew240.

Upgrade notes

Please read Zabbix 2.4.0 upgrade notes and upgrade procedure for migration details.

The following sections describe the release in details and provide late-breaking or other information that supplements its main documentation.

What's New in 2.4.0

:: Multiple filters for low level discovery

The filter section in low level discovery rule definition has been split out into a separate tab and, most importantly, allows to define several filters as well as to define the calculation rules between the filters.

:: Node-based distributed monitoring removed

Previously Zabbix supported two options for distributed monitoring - using nodes and proxies. In Zabbix 2.4.0 the support of node-based distributed monitoring has been discontinued due to existing limitations and potential problems with reliability in large environments.

While a new version of distributed monitoring may be considered and developed in the future, for the time being using proxies becomes the main distributed monitoring option in Zabbix. Furthermore, the proxy solution has proven itself over time as reliable, while also being easier in configuration and maintenance. Many users who initially had node-based distributed monitoring have switched to proxy-based setups.

:: One-click creation of ad-hoc graphs

Implemented the ability to quickly display items on a graph from the latest data page.

:: More advanced WEB monitoring

WEB monitoring was extended to support custom headers, configurable number of retries as well as access to SSL related options. It makes possible efficient monitoring of APIs based on XML (SOAP) and JSON protocols.

:: More details about unsupported agent items

Zabbix agents now provide detailed information on why items become not supported, instead of the generic “Not supported by Zabbix Agent”.

:: More efficient JSON formatting

The formatting of JSON objects (with tabs and new lines) has been removed, which allows the traffic to be reduced by 20-30% when data is sent between Zabbix services. Additionally, the escaping of forward slash or solidus (/) has also been removed.

:: Macro improvements

User macros {$MACRO} now are available in notifications and commands. Two new macros - {HOST.DESCRIPTION} and {PROXY.DESCRIPTION} are supported for use in notifications and commands. {HOST.DESCRIPTION} can also be used in map labels. Host level macros - {HOST.HOST}, {HOST.NAME}, {HOST.IP}, {HOST.DNS} and {HOST.CONN} along with user macros {$MACRO} are available in simple low-level discovery rule filter regexps.

:: Control of SNMP bulk requests

It is possible to control use of SNMP bulk requests per host interface.

:: Better syntax for trigger expressions

Zabbix supports new operators '>=', '<=', 'and', 'or' and 'not'. Existing operators '&' and '#' are no longer supported. Also formatting of trigger expressions is preserved for multi-line expressions.

:: API improvements

Support of the “refer” value for get method “output” parameter has been removed. Instead it's recommended to use arrays of specific properties.

Performance was significantly improved for a number of API calls.

:: Unified date and time format

Date and time format has been unified across Zabbix frontend according to the ISO 8601 standard of YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss. The new format is implemented everywhere except graphs.

:: Global search by technical name

In recent Zabbix versions, hosts and templates could only be searched for by their visible name. Now they can be searched by technical name as well. If a match is found for the technical name, it is displayed in parenthesis below the visible name.

:: Application filter for maps

A new “Application” filter has been added for host and host group map elements in maps.

:: Screen-related improvements

In screens, URL now is a dynamic screen element.

Also implemented new screen element types - "Graph prototype" and "Simple graph prototype".

:: Responsible action shown in action log

Now the Action log/Action log screen element have gained a new Action column showing the name of the responsible action as well.

:: Description field added

A new description field has been added to host, template and proxy configuration. The field may be used to provide details on how to install and use a template, have links to external resources, list user parameters, etc.

:: Trigger dependencies shown as links

Now the trigger names are displayed as links leading to the trigger configuration. Links are green for enabled triggers, while red indicates that the trigger is disabled.

:: Option to see problems only in trigger status page

A third specific filtering option is now available showing only those triggers that still remain in problem status - this option now is called Problem.

:: More filtering options in trigger status page

Filtering of triggers in the Monitoring → Triggers section can now be done by two new options - by application and by host inventory fields.

:: Maintenance period sorting

Maintenance periods can now be sorted by two new columns added to the list - Active since and Active till.

:: Host menu changes

The host menu has gained a new entry for quickly accessing host graphs. Unavailable links that previously were hidden now are shown as disabled - meaning greyed out and not clickable. The menu available for hosts in Monitoring → Maps has been synchronized with other host menus to display the same selection of links.

:: Dropping green status icons in listings

Previously, green status icons were displayed in the last Error column of the item and trigger listings, for error-free entries, which could be misunderstood as if, on the contrary, the entries had errors. Now the green icons are displayed no more and, additionally, the column is renamed to Info.

:: Changing uploaded image type disallowed

The option of changing image type has been removed and the image upload form has been separated into two forms - one for icon and one for background upload.

:: Ability to include specific files from Include directory

Pattern matching has been introduced in the Include directives of Zabbix daemon configuration files, using the asterisk wildcard character. Thus, to only include relevant files in the specified directory, something like /path/to/config/files/*.conf may be used.

:: Log file handling

At DebugLevel=0 only basic information is printed to the logfile/syslog. For agents it is Zabbix version, used config file, started/stopped Zabbix processes. For proxy and server - Zabbix version, enabled features, used config file, DB version, started/stopped Zabbix processes. The logging is also consistent on Linux and Windows machines now.

:: Handling automatically discovered hosts

Hosts created by a network discovery rule will be deleted automatically if a discovered entity is not in the rule's IP range anymore. Hosts are deleted immediately.

:: Clear separation of operations in the front-end

Added strict separation between 'add' and 'update' operations in the WEB front-end.

:: Additional options for XML import

Added ability to remove resources missing in imported XML file.

:: Flexible action conditions

Added support of custom formula for calculation of action conditions.

:: Increased size of host-related fields

Increased size of "Host name", "Visible host name" and "Proxy name" fields to 128 characters.

:: Runtime control of log level

Added functionality for changing log level at runtime, added new trace log level for extended web and vmware monitoring.

:: Delayed execution of housekeeper

Housekeeper execution is delayed for 30 minutes after Zabbix Server and Proxy startup.

:: Automatic discovery of CPUs

Agents for all platforms are enhanced to support low level discovery of CPUs.

:: More strict validation of configuration parameters

Server and proxy will refuse to start if StartPollersUnreachable=0, but other pollers are started.

Installation and Upgrade Notes

Installation

See Zabbix Manual for full details.

Upgrade

Recompile Zabbix binaries and update front-end PHP files. Execute a database patch if migrating from Zabbix 1.8.x. See Zabbix Manual for a detailed upgrade procedure.

Development Services

Many existing Zabbix functionalities, configurations and options were implemented and now are available to the community thanks to development orders sponsored by our clients, partners and Zabbix fans.

Development Services are designed to deliver a complete end-to-end development to address some specific requirements of your business and to help you achieve the most from your Zabbix implementation.

Commercial support

Zabbix Company provides a full range of professional services. We also provide trouble-free upgrade service for easy migration from earlier versions to Zabbix 2.4.x. Please contact Sales for pricing and more details.

References

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