Monitoring FileMaker Servers

Source: https://xkcd.com/705/

Why network monitoring?

Monitoring your FileMaker server is crucial if you want to be proactive in keeping your business applications running without interruptions. Network monitoring software surveils server processes and alerts you of a failing or slow server.

By neglecting network monitoring, you spend time reacting to fires instead of staying ahead of potential problems.

When it comes to managing FileMaker servers, you can either wait for users to send you complaints that the server isn’t performing well, or you can be proactive and use a monitoring system to alert you of problems in advance of user issues. To ensure that our servers are always at the top of their game, AppWorks monitors all our servers through Zabbix. Zabbix continuously checks if our servers are running smoothly and alerts us of any potential problems. Zabbix also helps us understand how we can optimize our servers’ performance. We can quickly troubleshoot issues by displaying all the metrics we need in order to analyze and correlate data to get to the root of the problem.

What we monitor?

We monitor 80+ metrics on our systems, and we have alerts set to notify multiple people in case of warnings or problems. Some of these metrics are:

FileMaker Performance Metrics such as the cache hit ratio, number of connected users, calls per second, number of open databases, disk read and write queue, response times, etc.

A graph in Zabbix of some FileMaker Server metrics. Notice the cache hit %.

Operating system Metrics we monitor CPU, memory, disk space, and network usage, as well as the number of logged in users on the server (RDP). 

Log files such as FileMaker’s and Zabbix agent’s log files. 

We also use a combination of intelligent threat scanners. They help us by continuously monitoring our private cloud’s network traffic flow for malicious activity. Let us know if you’re interested in learning more about these scanners.

How much does it cost?

Zabbix is Open-Source, mean that it’s completely free. The cost comes down to the server it’s hosted on in addition to the time to configure it and deploy its agents (or creating scripts to deploy it on a group of machines). It can also be complex at times, so it may take some time to get the hang of everything. We feel that Zabbix is well worth the time spent in setting it up.

Can I integrate FileMaker apps with Zabbix?

Absolutely! Anything that has an API interface can be integrated with FileMaker. Zabbix’s API documentation can be found here. We integrated our CRM with Zabbix to send monthly uptime reports to our clients. Here’s a sample uptime report generated by FileMaker:

Sample uptime report generated by FileMaker (Responsive HTML email)


How it can benefit you?

Network monitoring allows you to avoid major financial losses due to data loss and server downtimes. Losing access to your core business apps, especially during working hours, is a nightmare everyone wants to avoid. As a hosting client, you’ll benefit from our full suite of monitoring software and expertise to make sure your server(s) are operating at their best. If you need help setting up or upgrading your network monitoring infrastructure, contact us at and we’ll be happy to discuss it.

Network monitoring allows you to avoid major financial losses due to data loss and server downtimes.


Going further

  • Make sure you are monitoring your Zabbix server through a reliable third-party monitoring service, otherwise there’s no way to know if the Zabbix server is experiencing problems, which could interfere with crucial system alerts.
  • We also use Grafana to create dashboards that help us keep an eye on everything in one place. Grafana is one of the best tools to visualize data. You can aggregate data from multiple or individual servers. Grafana is great if you want to display dashboards on large TV screens.
  • You can monitor log files and system events by using Zabbix, or other tools such as AWS CloudWatch or Graylog. The greatest benefit from using a log monitor is that users can set alarms when certain events happen (such as backup failures), in addition to allowing easy filtering of events by date or keywords.
  • You can remotely execute scripts using Zabbix. This is great for quick or automatic incident remediations.
  • Detect anomalies by using plugins, or integrating with external services specialized in anomaly detection.