What is Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector?

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector is a distribution of the OpenTelemetry Collector to monitor the health of the hardware of any sort of computer, network switch or storage system, and expose the corresponding metrics to any OpenTelemetry-compatible platform: Prometheus, and other commercial observability platforms, like AWS, BMC Helix, Datadog, or New Relic, Splunk.

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector Architecture

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector is able to monitor any system using SNMP, IPMI, HTTP, WBEM, WMI or just SSH. It can monitor computers, switches and storage systems from Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Oracle and many others, thanks to its library of 250+ Hardware Connectors.

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector monitors the health of the internal electronic components of the system:

  • CPUs
  • Memory modules
  • GPUs
  • Network cards
  • Sensors
    • Temperatures
    • Voltages
    • Fans
    • Power
  • Power supplies
  • Storage
    • Controllers
    • Disks
    • RAIDs
    • HBAs
    • LUNs
    • Tape drives

What's in the box?

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector includes:

  • a standard OpenTelemetry Collector
  • Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus
  • the Hardware Connector Library
  • Hardware Sentry CLI (hws)

OpenTelemetry Collector

Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector is comprised of:

  • The OpenTelemetry Collector executable
    • The OpenTelemetry configuration file
    • The Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus
      • Its configuration file (hosts to monitor, credentials, etc.)
      • The monitoring engine, with the Hardware Connector Library

Internal architecture of the Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector

The OpenTelemetry Collector is in charge of:

  1. Spawning the internal Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus
  2. Pulling its metrics periodically (internally)
  3. Pushing these metrics to the specified platform

Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus

The internal Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus is the engine that performs the actual monitoring of the systems, based on its configuration file, which specifies:

  • its internal polling cycle
  • the hostnames and credentials of the systems to monitor

It is actually a regular Prometheus Exporter, exposing metrics through an HTTP GET /metrics request. While possible, we do not recommend collecting from the internal Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus directly. The preferred method remains to configure the OpenTelemetry Collector to expose the collected metrics.

Hardware Connector Library

The library of 250+ Hardware Connectors is included in the Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus. It is the same library that powers Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL, the original and battle-seasoned module for PATROL, created in 2004 by Sentry Software, used on hundreds of thousands of systems around the world.

The list of platforms that can be monitored by Hardware Sentry OpenTelemetry Collector entirely depends on this library. More details about the Hardware Connector Library are available as a separate documentation.

Hardware Sentry CLI (hws)

The Hardware Sentry CLI contains the same engine and library of Hardware Connectors as Hardware Sentry Exporter for Prometheus, but packaged as a command line interface, that can be invoked in a shell.

This tool is particularly useful to troubleshoot the monitoring of a system, protocols and credentials.

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