by: Steve D'Arcy
For today’s IT operations teams, the stakes keep getting higher and demands only intensify. The services these teams are responsible for managing play an increasingly critical role in the prospects of the business, which means optimizing service levels is an absolute imperative. Meanwhile, the environments in play only seem to keep getting larger, more complex, and more dynamic.
Given these factors, monitoring is a task that keeps getting more vital and more difficult. To respond, operations teams must keep finding ways to boost their operational efficiency.
DX Unified Infrastructure Management (DX UIM) offers a range of features that help teams realize maximum efficiency in monitoring configuration, deployment, and administration. DX UIM Monitoring Configuration Service (MCS) represents an important capability that helps boost operational efficiency. With MCS, teams can significantly streamline monitoring administration in large-scale enterprise environments. Following are a few of the key features of MCS.
MCS enables administrators to create a set of configuration profiles that can be applied across thousands of devices.
With MCS, teams can establish self-service capabilities, enabling end users to set up and run their own monitoring. This helps end users to get started faster and it reduces the workload for administrators. Plus, this self-service capability can be efficiently and safely employed across an organization. With DX UIM’s multi-tenancy capabilities, a single environment can support many different accounts, while ensuring individuals can only access the resources and data they’re authorized for.
Based on policies implemented, MCS can automatically deploy probes to target devices. For example, as devices are added to a group, monitoring can be automatically employed based on that group’s policies. Similarly, if a device is removed from a group, monitoring can automatically be decommissioned.
MCS features dashboards that enable teams to gain a fast understanding of the status of their deployments, groups created, and more. Dashboards can be customized to support a range of users and perspectives. Teams can categorize views by groups and profiles, and they can export data based on filters applied.
Behind every template is a deployer, which denotes how data saved in a profile will be distributed. Typically, data is saved in a new section in a probe configuration file. (In the next post, I provide more details on key MCS components, including templates.) The deployer can execute a number of commands, including deploying logic and dictating how data saved in a profile should be handled.
MCS features a template that enables application discovery. This template uses a unique deployer, which will deploy a script and a profile. These scripts can be run at any interval to determine whether a specific application is installed. For example, a script can check to see if MySQL is running. If so, it can then create a new attribute for a device, effectively defining the role as MySQL, and save that attribute to the database (Note, a device can have multiple roles, for example, if scripts identify multiple apps running.) In this way, teams can discover apps running and enable appropriate monitoring profiles to be deployed. (For more information on this topic, see my earlier blog post, “Application Discovery with DX Unified Infrastructure Management.”)
MCS offers a “For-Each” feature that enables teams to create profiles based on attribute values. These attribute values can be created as part of the app discovery process and through APIs. The number of profiles created is based on the number of attribute values. If one attribute value is detected, one profile will be created; if three values are found, three profiles will be created; and so on. (For more information on this feature, see my earlier blog post, “How to Use the For-Each Feature with DX Unified Infrastructure Management’s Monitoring Configuration Service.”)
Following is a high-level overview of the process of employing MCS:
Administrators or users first create groups that devices will be added to. Groups contain filter criteria and profiles.
Teams can elect to create static or dynamic groups. Devices are assigned to static groups manually, or programmatically through APIs. When a new device is added to either group type, monitoring is employed automatically.
To establish monitoring settings, teams define profiles.
Once created, profiles are pushed to any devices that are associated with the group, and that meet the criteria specified in the template.
Over time, administrators and users can create, modify, and delete profiles as needed to accommodate changing objectives and requirements.
Just as with profiles, groups will also be administered over time.
MCS offers a range of advanced capabilities that extend the power of DX UIM. With MCS, teams can do bulk administration of similar devices, dramatically streamlining both setup and ongoing administration. In Part 2, I take a look at the core elements that make up an MCS implementation.