2020 Vision – the power to make on the ball decisions

Wouldn’t we all like to read the future? 

Hmm we don’t have the data, do we?  cool

Some promise that that AI could bring that possibility.

Be nice wouldn’t it. Proactive, predictive. Promises.


When I was at uni our profs talked about and tried to encourage us to define AI 


Now decades later this term seems to be in every marketing circular.

Like most technologies it defines a journey, transformation of IT processes and proven methods doesn’t come easy.

As a term AI is probably here to stay but is more than likely over used today, even trending towards becoming banal, the word not the technology when it is put to good use. We’ll see if it brings real value over time.
Personally I don’t feel like I want to go anywhere in a AI driven autonomous anything anytime soon.

I remember wise advice when I started my career, “you can’t manage what do you don’t measure”.  and similar “garbage in garbage out“.
I don’t know how much “AI” tilts your ears back, but it’s common sense that no amount of spend on analytic
s and AI is going to bring value if the data they work on is fluffy at best.

I mean OK powerful search engine solutions can surely find issues faster than any human.
If you know where and how to tell them to look.

You might also need a dollop of notes and skilled people to even start with AI, let alone the hardware for that Big Data store they mention in passing.

I have to wonder at the wisdom (and the $$) people spend doing that and yet still face business disruption.

Have you got your event stream right?

I can remember one of my customers in a large multinational complaining about the time and money he had to invest to get result having tried such AI solutions .
So for those of us who don’t have time, nor skills, no hardware, nor money, what do you do?

Do you have simple tools that are ok but not easy to extend, customize and leave with un-managed resources. ?

Maybe like many you have accumulated dozen of tools.

Maybe you depend (too much) on services from providers that provide zero visibility where its needed.
Maybe you have remote offices but nobody there to keep an eye on vital resources.

If you’re nodding at any of these know that you’re not alone there’s millions of us.
But some have found simpler and cheaper lego to get to the data that shows where issues in business lie.

Free “lego” at that.

Nothing’s free I hear you say,.
True enough, but last year showed me just how far open source solutions have come when I gained Zabbix certification and I started networking to the vast worldwide community that’s constantly feeding it.

Eye opening stuff covering bang up to date technologies.

I decided to visit their user conference.

Apart from tasting Black Balsam and delighting in the Riga city sights (lovely place add it now to your destinations short list), I was totally blown away to see big ticket brands like Red Hat and Intesa SanPaolo Bank and others presenting how they use it.
Go here to see some of the presentations from the last few years and this for a presentation one of the best implementations  I’ve seen so far.

In Riga users explained how their implementations spin in clusters in public cloud !!
Resiliant, robust? Yup

Their engineers presented IoT use cases, how they subscribe and extract data from Kafka, integrate with Prometheus and distribute Grafana dashboards that look even prettier than Riga traditional dress.
Bang up to date? Yup.

One user presented how they manage 65000 different resources and I learn that’s NOT exceptional !!
Scaleable? yup.

Results that create the value that I saw in those Riga sessions I believe means  this 202* decade is going to be a turning point.
OpenSource has taken off big time and Zabbix has come of age. Early in 2020 will see a major version emerge that I for one look forward to solving problems with.
Oh and did I say its free software.

That 2020 I mentioned is me playing with words (numbers 😊)







Yup I should probably say happy new year (nay decade) to you in this blog.
There its done.

Getting 2020 vision of what’s going on means having the right data to work on, and that’s what Zabbix excels at.
Sure nothing’s free but as Zabbix is a free download, its easy to see the BIG license dollars you currently pay, can re-purposed to stickier issues.

Don’t think that support is best effort. If you need it, Nobius provides various levels of Zabbix support all the way to enterprise level support contracts.
If you’re in the UK or Ireland then Nobius can help you with this and anything else concerning your usage of Zabbix.

I have long been a believer that 20/20 vision in real time is a very strong enabler. The truth is IT holds a lot of VERY useful information. Put it in the right hands in the right way and decisions become more accurate and making them is accelerated.

Zabbix has often praised discovery methods, it can then present information not only of the availability and performance of any object and the dependencies between them. Its capability to collect metrics from its own agent and agent less  monitoring with extensive pre-processing to limit network bandwidth and useless data, is very easily extended with web service, SQL, JSON and many more integration methods.

Getting the data into the eyes of those that can understand it is vital and Zabbix has already greatly improved its own service views and dashboards, especially in the current version 4.4 and this will improve.


Using Grafana with the data collected as in the above from a VM example brings another dimension of amazing visibility to business and IT staff alike. Such insight is more than half the battle to understanding issues and then solving them.

I always remember one customer telling me how he uses such dashboards to collaborate with his MSPs and other contractors.

What they see in our dashboards is exactly how they are impacting our business. That makes it easier for us to get them to focus faster on any issues they may have that can impact us.

Clever? Yes.
Essential? What do you think?
How do you see if your service providers are adversely impacting you?
How do they see if they are?



I remember another customer telling us their CEO realized how he could govern customer satisfaction better by building dashboards sharing IT and business data with IT and business staff.
Clever? Yes.
Essential? What do you think?
Would it make your IT staff become more business focused?

 So if you were dismissing Open Source solutions thinking they are old fashioned or limited in coverage, then I recommend you think again

RoI calculations can show amazing savings and I’ll be happy to discuss them with you.

if your concerns are about security, that open source isn’t compatible with being safe, then consider that some of 300 000++ installations worldwide include for example some of the largest banks.
Possibly yours !!
DB encryption, high degrees of authentication, encyprted data between monitoring sources and the Zabbix system and more all serve to lock down any such issues

It doesn’t matter which industry as there are examples galore from telcos, government agencies, retailers, logistics and transportation, healthcare. There’s hundred of thousands of  small and large examples across the world. You can see a handful of examples on our YouTube channel and web page covering implementations in transportation, blockchain monitoring, APM and container monitoring, MSP and others.
I’m not suggesting you necessarily watch them all , but I do think they help to see why I say that Zabbix has come of age and who agrees.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as I post others over time.

This and other blogs my colleague David Collier and I have written are intended to introduce you to Nobius and the services offered to help you evaluate and adopt Zabbix. Please see our video and reach out if you are interested.