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How Hardware Sentry™ Recognizes HP ProLiant Servers, Brocade SAN Switches, or any Other System for Monitoring Purposes

A powerful detection mechanism to recognize them all

Quick reminder for newbies...

Hardware Sentry ™ is a hardware monitoring solution which collects the hardware health and performance of any server, storage system or network device available in a data center and exposes this information to Datadog, BMC Helix, Prometheus, Grafana, etc. No hardware devices are left behind. Detailed information is provided for fans, temperature sensors, CPU, disks, memory modules, ports, power consumption, etc.

...before diving into the core architecture...

Simply said, Hardware Sentry ™ is composed of an engine and a knowledge library. The knowledge library is the brains of the product: it is the component which makes the detection of any system (HP ProLiant servers, Dell Compellent storage systems, Brocade SAN switches, etc.) possible. Let's found out more about it.

The Knowledge Library, also known as the Hardware Connector Library™, contains the collect instructions:

  • the protocol to use (SNMP, REST, WBEM, WMI, SSH, IPMI)
  • the requests to be executed to obtain information about hardware devices
  • and how to process the result output.

Instructions are grouped by manufacturer and protocol in files called Connectors. The 250+ connectors currently available allows extensive hardware observability by supporting more than 100 platforms, from the oldest to the most recent. Support for new platforms is regularly added.

...and learning more about the detection mechanism

Hardware Sentry ™ leverages a powerful detection mechanism to identify which connector(s) to use to collect hardware information about a specific platform. The mechanism checks whether the detection criteria are met. Detection criteria can be the OS type, whether a specific service or process is running, if an SNMP query, a WMI/WBEM request, or an OS command returns the expected result, etc.

Hardware Sentry ™ sometimes combines several connectors to collect as much information as possible about the monitored platform. Once the connectors to be used have been identified, the collect instructions are executed.

This mechanism is automatic and enabled by default. It helps guarantee that the most suitable connectors are used for a system. However, advanced users can decide to manually select or exclude connectors. In that case, the Hardware Connector Library should be their bible!

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