Introducing IP Fabric V6

As enterprise networks grow in complexity, the need for reliable and efficient network monitoring tools is more vital than ever. Network monitoring tools allow businesses and organizations to monitor their network performance, detect potential security threats, and ensure that their network is functioning properly. We've covered their importance in previous blog posts.

Zabbix is a popular open-source network monitoring tool that provides real-time monitoring and alerting for network infrastructure. On the other hand, IP Fabric is a network assurance platform that provides end-to-end visibility into network infrastructure, automates network analysis and troubleshooting, and enables network administrators to optimize network performance and security. While Zabbix is a powerful tool for detecting network issues in real-time, IP Fabric can complement Zabbix by providing additional insights and capabilities. In this blog post, we'll explore how IP Fabric's comprehensive network discovery capabilities can be used to populate the hosts list, and how IP Fabric can provide assurance information to create problem records for non-compliant issues.

Zabbix Template

We're excited to announce the release of our new Zabbix template for IP Fabric. With this template, you can easily pull metrics and devices from IP Fabric and streamline your network monitoring efforts. Zabbix templates are pre-defined monitoring configurations that allow you to apply the same monitoring settings to multiple devices or services at once. By using our Zabbix template, you'll save time and effort while ensuring consistent monitoring across your network. Our Zabbix template for IP Fabric includes everything you need to monitor your network devices and services effectively. Simply apply the template, and you're ready to go. Whether you're a small business or a large enterprise, our template makes network monitoring simple and efficient.

Using the Template

Prerequisites

To configure the template effectively, you need to provide two pieces of information to IP Fabric.

  1. Firstly, you need to configure SNMP to ensure its proper functioning. You can find the documentation on how to do this here.
  2. Create an IP Fabric API token.

Import Zabbix Template

Download the IP Fabric Zabbix Template and navigate to Zabbix Data collection -> Templates -> Import.

Zabbix 6.4 Template Import Popup
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 1
Zabbix 6.4 Template Import
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 2

Select Import

Create IP Fabric Host

Navigate to Monitoring -> Hosts -> Create Host

FieldValue
Host NameIP Fabric
TemplatesIP Fabric Template
InterfacesType: SNMP
IP Address: Address of IPF VM
SNMP Community: Value configured previously
MacrosMacro Name: {$IPF_URL}
Macro Type: Text
Macro Value: https://<IP_ADDRESS>/api/v6.2/

Macro Name: {$IPF_TOKEN}
Macro Type: <token created earlier>
Zabbix create host
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 3

Enter the IP Address and SNMP community string.

Zabbix create macros for host
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 4

Enter the macros stated above for the IP Fabric API and API Token. Once completed select Add.

Verify

The IP Fabric VM should now be monitored via Zabbix. The IP Fabric template includes the Linux SNMP monitoring template. This enables the monitoring of VM vitals, as well as information regarding snapshots and more.

Zabbix hosts table
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 5

After some time Zabbix will have auto-populated hosts collected from IP Fabric.

Zabbix hosts table with all devices imported from IP Fabric
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 6

Intent Rules

Within Zabbix, upon navigating to Monitoring -> Latest Data IP Fabric intent verification rule results will be present for each rule and color specified.

Zabbix host items
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 7

This is interesting as it allows triggers to be created when intent verification rules go above a specific threshold. By default the template ships some basic triggers which can be customized but if we look into problems within Zabbix and see what has been created.

Zabbix Problem Table
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 8

Dashboard

With all the data the IP Fabric Zabbix template collects dashboards can be created to present a large amount of information in one view. See the image below as an example.

Zabbix dashboard with IP Fabric information.
New Zabbix Template for IP Fabric: Streamline Your Network Monitoring Efforts 9

Adding assurance capabilities to your network monitoring tool means faster incident resolution, less time wasted on unimportant alerts, and ultimately, more value out of your existing network tools. If you need more information on the above template or processes, please reach out to our team and we'd be happy to help you out.

If you are not yet using IP Fabric and want to see what it could do for your network team, take a look at our Free, Self-Guided Demo or check out our ROI calculator.

The IP Fabric platform provides a standard Application Programming Interface (API), and this interface allows to integrate IP Fabric platform with any 3rd party software or build any custom scripts. See the official documentation for details on how to use our API.

Thanks to a unique discovery algorithm, IP Fabric is capable of collecting data about all active network devices automatically. It collects more than 1000 parameters from each individual device and provides the data in a standardized form. Those data can be viewed in GUI or accessed via API. Hence all available data serves as a perfect baseline for any automation or API integration efforts.

The goal of this article

This article demonstrates how to add devices to Zabbix monitoring software. Zabbix uses the SNMP protocol for monitoring; therefore, we have to check if a device has SNMP configured and if no, then we will configure it automatically using the Ansible tool.

Where to get API information in IP Fabric

The IP Fabric is a very flexible tool when it comes to getting information. The same applies to well-documented API fetch points. In every technology table, including the main device inventory, there's table description, that appears on request.

apiInventory
API Integration: URL for device inventory

The full device inventory can be accessed with a POST request to https://ipfabric.domain.com/api/v1/tables/inventory/devices. The response can be filtered by any column.

So let's say that we want to get all Cisco IOS, IOS-XE devices, the following code snippet will accomplish just that:

curl -k -s https://ipfabric.domain.com/api/v1/tables/inventory/devices \
   -u 'username:password' \
   -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
   --data-binary '{"columns":["sn","hostname","loginIp","loginType"],"filters":{"or":[{"family":["eq", "ios"]},{"vendor":["eq","ios-xe"]}]},"snapshot":"$last"}'

Access the SNMP data from the IP Fabric

All data related to SNMP configuration for all discovered devices is presented in a different technology table related to SNMP. If in doubt, there's always the search box that will help with finding a specific target. Let's say we are looking for SNMP information, let's just type 'SNMP' and see results. The platform will provide us with information about tables, including SNMP information. We will navigate to SNMP Summary, where we again collect API link.

apiSnmp
API integration with Ansible and Zabbix 10

In the same way, we collected full device inventory, filtering IOS and IOS-XE, we can collect all devices with that has no SNMP community configured.

curl -k -s  https://ipfabric.domain.com/api/v1/tables/management/snmp/summary \
     -u 'username:password' \
     -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
     --data-binary '{"columns":["id"],"filters":{"communitiesCount":["eq",0],"sn":["eq","'"$sn"'"]},"snapshot":"$last"}'

By comparing Inventory with IOS or IOS-XE devices and SNMP summary table information, where we can find devices with no configured SNMP community, we will get the full list of devices that need to be added to Zabbix and configured with Ansible.

The entire bash script can be seen in our public repository.

Ansible automation

YAMLCodeLogo 1
API integration with Ansible and Zabbix 11

Ansible is an open-source configuration management and application-deployment tool. It helps to automate configuration updates with templates called the 'playbooks' with various network vendors, including servers.

We used the Ansible version 2.5.1. Our simple Ansible playbook will add a new SNMP community and trap the host server as well.

Please note, that you may want to modify the YAML file to fit your environment, we only used 'dummy' SNMP server IP, which may be the Zabbix IP address and SNMP community as an example. The following snippet may need an update per case.

     - name: Add SNMP config
      ios_config:
        lines:
        - snmp-server community newCommunity ro
        - snmp-server host 10.10.10.10 version 2c snmpCommunity
      notify:
      - Save Configuration 

The entire Yaml file can be seen in our public repository.

Zabbix automation

ZABBIXCodeLogo
API integration with Ansible and Zabbix 12

The Zabbix configuration is updated with the help of powerful Zabbix-CLI, which was originally developed by members of the Department for IT Infrastructure at the Center for Information Technology at the University of Oslo, Norway. It's a very user-friendly and powerful solution for connecting to Zabbix's API.

The connector needs to be preinstalled and configured accordingly. For the full installation process, please, follow the documentation.

Thank you for reading!

If you have found this article helpful, please follow our company’s LinkedIn or Blog, where there will be more content emerging.

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