Zabbix – monitoring multiple NICs on a single host

Zabbix is a wonderful monitoring system, that comes for the best price you can have out there – for FREE. Possibilities of Zabbix are so broad, one can get lost in all the configuration stuff that can be necessary.

Lately I had a problem with one interface on our virtual machine – from no reason the para-virtualised adapter in the Windows went silent… No incoming traffic, no outgoing – network was up, but didn’t respond on ping (from outside) and packet statistics were stuck. This is a problem, because this interface is used for WSUS.

Well as the last resort, it would be nice to have -at least- the interface under monitoring… But wait! We have the server under monitoring, how come it doesn’t monitor the second interface? Well it doesn’t monitor it… Zabbix monitors just the interface through which the agent communicates with the server – by default.

Now there are two ways how to do it and you are forced to choose the first one, if your Zabbix is 1.8 or older.

First option is to simply add the current host as a new host through the second interface (I haven’t tried this one).

The second option is to create a simple check action – this can be achieved in many ways, but the simplest one I have found is:

    1. In “Configurations” -> “Hosts” select the host for which you would be creating a monitoring of the second interface.
    2. Click on “Items” and select “Create item”.
    3. Select “Simple check”
    4. In “Key” you have the possibility to select more than one thing to test with ICMP, but let’s guess you would like to monitor if the interface is alive, so select icmpping. (I won’t described all of them, because everything is described here).
    5. The key icmpping comes with customizable parameters – icmpping[<target>,<packets>,<interval>,<size>,<timeout>]. For basic functionality just an IP address is enough:
    6. img
    7. Fill name and adjust rest of the general parameters for the whole action according to your needs.

Note: host interface is irrelevant, critical is to properly configure the key. Zabbix for this type of monitoring uses external binary called “fping” (potential hint for tshoot, if this way doesn’t work for you – maybe fping is not installed).

Now you can monitor the availability of this interface under your host in group “Services”.

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