Zabbix 6.2 – More Powerful, Featureful, & Secure

Zabbix 6.2

The focus of infrastructure monitoring software company Zabbix has always been on innovation. Over the past 6 versions, the software company has made some necessary big and minor changes in its front end and back end to enhance usability and overall user experience.  

Just like the previous versions, Zabbix 6.0 LTS also saw many modifications and additions. Security was enhanced by allowing you to define user roles with granular permissions and enabling custom password requirement settings for front-end logins. Several scalability options and advanced problem-detection functionalities were also to the software. Various modifications were made to the Zabbix interface. Additionally, enhancements were made to the available tags and templates while a few advanced business service monitoring features were added to the software. 

As expected from the release of Zabbix 6.2, several modifications have been made and many new beneficial functionalities have been added to the monitoring tool. In this blog, we talk about the latest additions made by Zabbix in its 6.2 version. By the time this blog was published, 4 patch versions of Zabbix 6.2 were released. We will cover the patch versions in this blog as well. 

New Features Released with Zabbix 6.2

1. Single-problem suppression 

Zabbix 6.2 allows you to reorder the priority list according to priority while letting you hide issues that can be dealt with later. This is achieved by suppressing single issues for a specific time period. Problems can be suppressed via the problem update window which opens when you acknowledge a problem.  

2. Storage of sensitive information 

If you want to store some sensitive information, now you may do so in CyberArk Vault CV2. Zabbix gives only read-only access to the sensitive information in this vault. The vault, akin to Hashi Corp Vault, can be used for storing sensitive information or secrets like database access credentials and user macros. 

3. Multiple LDAP sources 

When it comes to LDAP authentication, you can now define multiple LDAP servers. This functionality will come handy when several LDAP servers are utilized for authenticating different user groups. After configuring the servers on Zabbix, it is possible to choose the LDAP server required for the user groups respectively. 

4. Dedicated template groups  

Until now, host groups had to be used for organizing hosts as well as templated. Zabbix 6.2 brings with it separate “Template groups” as a new sub-section in the Configuration menu. Basically, from now on, Host groups will contain only hosts and Template groups will be home to only templates. This means you would have to define permissions for user roles and user groups separately for template groups and host groups. 

5. Reload proxy configuration  

The latest version of Zabbix enables forceful configuration reload for proxies directly from the server. There are 2 ways to do so: 

  • from the frontend (you will find it in the proxy editing form or the list of proxies)  
  • by running Zabbix command for server runtime control  

6. Secure password hashing  

In Zabbix 5.0, the use of hashing algorithm MD5 was stopped and a more secure algorithm, bcrypt, was employed. However, to ensure seamless upgrades from past versions, MD5 cryptography was still utilized. It was used only for a small number of users at the time of first login after an upgrade. In Zabbix 6.2, MD5 cryptography support has been dropped entirely 

Passive proxies can now request configuration using the “config_cache_reload” proxy runtime control command from the server. 

7. Configuration cache  

To decrease database load and time for synchronization and at the time of configuration upgrade on a running Zabbix proxy/server, incremental configuration cache sync is now added for items, item tags, hosts, host tags, item preprocessing, functions, triggers, and trigger tags. 

8. AWS EC2 monitoring 

To allow quick deployment of Zabbix monitoring of AWS EC2, a brand-new template by HTTP has been added. This template can be found in Configurations. At the time of upgrading from the previous version, you can download the freshly added templates from the Zabbix Git repository. Then, you would have to import the templates manually in the “Templates” section in Configurations. 

9. Instant checks for newly added items  

In the earlier versions, there was no fixed time of checking new items. It was done at a random time. Zabbix 6.2 enables new items and discovery rules to be checked within 1 minute of their creation. However, if new item updates are scheduled or flexible, the case would be different. 

10. Active checks & host availability  

Active agent items in Zabbix will now also affect host availability. It can be seen in Configurations > Hosts or Monitoring > Hosts. For determining active check availability, heartbeat messages will be sent in the active check thread from now on.  

When an active check heartbeat is found to be older than 2x HeartbeatFrequency seconds, active checks are deemed as unavailable. This functionality by Zabbix works only if you are using the latest version of Zabbix agent or Zabbix agent 2. Older Agent versions do not send any heartbeats, hence the availability of their hosts continues to remain unknown. 

11. Graph widget  

The existing Graph widget in Zabbix has now been enhanced. With the improved widget, you can now: 

  • add an item list  
  • clone data sets  
  • display stacked graphs  
  • display percentiles  
  • show working time  
  • display lines for average, minimum, and maximum values  
  • show trigger lines for triggers  
  • have columns in the legend  
  • show average, minimum, and maximum item values in the legend 

12. HMAC function for JavaScript  

In another improvement, a new function is added to the JavaScript engine which allows you to revert HMAC hash: hmac(‘<hash type>’,key,string) 

This function is useful when hash-based message authentication codes (HMAC) are needed for signing requests. It supports SHA256 and MD5 hash types. 

13. Changes in the frontend 

Following are the changes made to the frontend: 

  • Previously, the minimum required PHP version was 7.2.5. Now, it has been raised to 7.4 
  • The default dashboard ”Global view” for new installations will now include the latest dashboard widgets  
  • The dashboard widget ‘Clock’ has also been updated. You now get an option to display a digital clock 
  • From now on, frontend forms will have direct links to the respective parts of the documentation 
  • Zabbix will allow you to ”Execute now” dependent items and the option to do so would be dependent on user role and host permissions settings 
  • In Monitoring pages, including Problems, Hosts, and Latest data, the current filter settings will now be remembered in the user profile. When you open the page again, you will find the filter settings to be as you had left it 

Apart from these changes and additions in functionalities, Zabbix also released some patches and bug fixes. If you want to learn more about the same, keep on reading. 

Patches & Bug Fixes Released in Zabbix 6.2 

Zabbix 6.2.1 

  1. MariaDB’s maximum supported version how now been upgraded to 10.8.X 
  1. Timescale DB’s maximum supported version is now increased to 2.6 
  1. HPE Synergy, a new template by HTTP is now available for use. It can be set up from Configurations > Templates in new installations 
  1. In extended VMware monitoring, new items have been added for monitoring VMware alarms, returning property values, and collecting tag data from various VMware components 

Zabbix 6.2.2 

  1. Previously, “month” in the frontend was abbreviated with the small ”m” which overlapped with the abbreviation of a minute. Now, “month” has been abbreviated as ‘M’ 
  1. The following new templates are now ready to use: 
  • AWS RDS instance by HTTP  
  • Azure by HTTP 
  • OPNsense by SNMP 
  • AWS S3 bucket by HTTP 
  1. Timescale DB’S maximum supported version is now 2.7  
  1. RHEL packages in Zabbix are renamed by adding the word ”release” in the name 

Zabbix 6.2.3 

  1. {ITEM.KEY<1-9>} macros will now be supported in “expression macros” SQL scripts are removed from the /usr/share/doc directory 
  1. They’ve now been moved to /usr/share in Zabbix packages 

Zabbix 6.2.4 

  1. TimescaleDB’s maximum supported version was again updated to 2.8  
  1. With Zabbix 6.2.4, PostgreSQL 15 support has been added. However, it is to be noted that, as of this version, TimescaleDB doesn’t support PostgreSQL 15 
  1. With this version, it was made possible to build Zabbix agent 2 offline. Moreover, users can still manually update to the latest modules by using “go mod tidy” or “go get commands” 
  1. New items, vmware.datastore.perfcounter[ ] and vmware.hv.diskinfo.get[ ] are now available for VMware monitoring 
  1. The updated Azure by HTTP template now includes metrics for monitoring Microsoft Azure MySQL servers out-of-the-box 
  1. In the front end, “incorrect housekeeping configuration” warnings for TimescaleDB will now be displayed in case history or trend tables has compressed chunks 

Conclusion 

Through Zabbix 6.2, many new functionalities, related to proxy configuration, secure password hashing, storage of sensitive information, and AWS EC2 monitoring were released. The patch version releases comprise a few minor but important tweaks in Zabbix. Currently, the infrastructure monitoring tool Zabbix is working on its Zabbix 6.2.5 version. Some useful and important changes can be expected from the next patch version, too. Keep reading the Zehntech blog to catch up on coming updates.

Related post

Zabbix 6.2

Zabbix 6.2 – More Powerful, Featureful, & Secure

The focus of infrastructure monitoring software company Zabbix has always been on innovation. Over the past 6 versions, the software company has made some necessary big and minor changes in its front end and back end to enhance usability and overall user experience.  

Read More »