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Zabbix “became not supported” – solved

I think I’ve found one of the answers to a long-annoying Zabbix issue related to SNMP items “flapping” from “became supported” to “became not supported”.

TL;DR – using an SNMPv1 query against an SNMPv2 device will confuse Zabbix. You’ll see intermittent failures of different tests as the device flaps between OK and “unknown”. This can be hard to track down, as its’s not a hard repeatable failure. It’s not the only cause of this error, but fixing this will solve many of the issues.

Details:

While looking through our Zabbix server logs I found LOTS of these:

2031:20161027:111122.224 item "netapp-cluster.thuktun.com:netapp.disk.prefailed.count" became supported
 2028:20161027:112119.172 item "netapp-cluster.thuktun.com:netapp.disk.prefailed.count" became not supported: SNMP error: (noSuchName) There is no such variable name in this MIB.
 2030:20161027:120146.448 item "netapp-cluster.thuktun.com:netapp.disk.prefailed.count" became supported
 2028:20161027:122120.026 item "netapp-cluster.thuktun.com:netapp.disk.prefailed.count" became not supported: SNMP error: (noSuchName) There is no such variable name in this MIB.

All of these referred to a NetApp in cluster mode, but I found a few similar messages related to some “NetBot” cameras around as well. Additionally, the actual test item varied; there were about 6 different tests that were all failing intermittently. The failing tests were:

  • netapp.disk.prefailed.count
  • netapp.disk.cfe
  • netapp.disk.name
  • netapp.disk.version
  • netapp.disk.failed.count
  • netapp.disk.spare.count

A few Google searches returned some items related to this kind of issue, back to 2013

All of these are talking about Zabbix trapper vs Zabbix agent, that is using the wrong type of check for the test item, but no mention of SNMP.

Let’s look at the Zabbix configuration. Are we using the trapper or the agent for these test items?

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-8-01-56-am

Note that the NetApp template doesn’t use the Zabbix trapper or agent, it uses SNMP. But, some tests are SNMPv1 and some are SNMPv2. This is likely due to the fact that some versions of NetApp have had varying support for v1 and v2 over the years, and whoever created the template originally started with just v1. Over the years, as more test items were exposed, new tests were added, but using SNMPv2 and the old tests were left at SNMPv1?

Interesting. All of the failing tests are using SNMPv1. Not all v1 tests are failing, but all failing tests are using v1. There’s nothing here about Zabbix trapper or the Zabbix agent, but there is a (potential) mismatch. This shouldn’t be a problem, but let’s find out.

Over the next few hours, as each failure showed up in the Zabbix logs, I switched that particular test to SNMPv2. After being changed, that test never again “flapped”.

It seems that the keys to solving this were:

  1. LenR’s comment from 2013 about incorrectly defined items (although he was mentioning the zabbix-sender, not SNMP)
  2. Realizing it wasn’t a problem with the trapper vs agent, or an incorrect item definition in the agent, but that it was a mismatch in the server’s definition in the test item.
  3. That SNMPv1 and V2 are being treated differently in the Zabbix server, and that usually doing a v1 test against a v2 device will usually work, but not always.
  4. The “soft” failure of the v1 test against the v2 device “presents” as a MIB problem (“SNMP error: (noSuchName) There is no such variable name in this MIB.”), not a protocol failure.

I changed all of the failing NetApp tests to SNMPv2 last week. Since then all the tests that were changed from SNMPv1 to SNMPv2 have been fine. There have been none of these errors in the logs for 5 days.

Next: What about those NetBotz? Or maybe Zabbix meets IPv6 🙂

 

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