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Zabbix server expects every returned text value in the UTF8 encoding. This is related to any type of checks: zabbix agent, ssh, telnet, etc.
Different monitored systems/devices and checks can return non-ASCII characters in the value. For such cases, almost all possible zabbix keys contain an additional item key parameter - <encoding>. This key parameter is optional but it should be specified if the returned value is not in the UTF8 encoding and it contains non-ASCII characters. Otherwise the result can be unexpected and unpredictable.
A description of behavior with different database back-ends in such cases follows.
If a value contains a non-ASCII character in non UTF8 encoding - this character and the following will be discarded when the database stores this value. No warning messages will be written to the zabbix_server.log.
Relevant for at least MySQL version 5.1.61
If a value contains a non-ASCII character in non UTF8 encoding - this will lead to a failed SQL query (PGRES_FATAL_ERROR:ERROR invalid byte sequence for encoding) and data will not be stored. An appropriate warning message will be written to the zabbix_server.log.
Relevant for at least PostgreSQL version 9.1.3