Using Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL

This section describes the most common operations that can be performed with Hardware Sentry.

Performing Administrative Tasks

Enabling the KM Configuration Menus

Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL can either be used with BMC PATROL (Classic Mode) or BMC TrueSight Operations Management (CMA Mode). When the KM is used with BMC TrueSight, all the KM configuration menus (except Reporting KM commands) are disabled in the PATROL Consoles and an error is displayed when selecting a KM command:

Error Message for Disabled KM Configuration Menus

The KM main instance may not be displayed in the PCO/Classic console, even though the .kml file has been preloaded in /AgentSetup/preloadedKMs.

To enable the KM Configuration Menus, you need to force the KM to run in Classic Mode by using one of the procedures below.

This action cannot be undone. Once the KM configuration menus are enabled in BMC PATROL, the KM can no longer be configured through “Central Administration”.

Method 1: Setting the forceClassicConfigMode Variable to 1

  1. Run wpconfig.exe.
  2. Click inline to get the configuration of your PATROL Agent.
  3. Double-click the /SENTRY/HARDWARE directory to display the list of variables.
  4. Create the forceClassicConfigMode variable, set its value to 1 and click OK.
  5. Click inline to save your changes.
  6. Restart the PATROL Agent.

Method 2: Reinitializing the KM

  1. In the PATROL Console, right-click the KM main icon > KM Commands > Reinitialize KM…
  2. Check the box Force the KM to run in Classic Mode.

    Forcing the KM to run in Classic Mode

  3. Click Reinitialize.

Forcing a Discovery for a Specific Host

By default, Hardware Sentry performs a discovery every hour for all the monitored hosts to detect new and missing hardware components. You can however rediscover the hardware components for a specific host by right-clicking the Hardware icon > KM Commands > This System’s Settings > Rediscover. This KM command will delete the list of current devices (including the missing ones), remove the host instance and trigger a discovery.

The discovery process is optimized to discover all objects in parallel.

Pausing/Resuming Monitoring

In order to perform certain tasks, such as maintenance for example, it is often useful to pause the monitoring of an element or a group of elements. To pause the monitoring of a specific element or group of elements, right-click the element (or element container) icon > KM Commands > Pause Monitoring.

When in paused state, the element/group of elements is displayed with an OFFLINE status in the PATROL Console. Additionally, the mention ‘(Suspended)’ appears beside each related parameter.

To resume the monitoring of the element/group of elements, click Resume Monitoring in the menu.

Terminating the Monitoring of a Device

It may happen that information about a device is received by Hardware Sentry through two different sources. In such a (rare) case, the monitoring of the device is performed twice and the icon representing the device will also appear twice in the PATROL Console.

In order to avoid such redundancy, or, if you simply wish to stop monitoring a device, there is a simple way to terminate the monitoring of the device (or a redundant device) in the PATROL Console: right-click the instance icon > KM Commands > Remove.

The device is then removed from the monitoring process, which means that data collection for this particular device will no longer be performed, and the redundant icon representing the device will disappear from the PATROL Console.

Restoring Device Monitoring

With Hardware Sentry, it is possible to restore the monitoring of a device after it has been removed from monitoring process through the Remove option.

To see the list of the removed objects or to restore a device monitoring:

  1. Right-click the Hardware Sentry main icon > KM commands > KM Settings > Additional settings > Restore Monitoring

    Restoring Device Monitoring — Selecting all

  2. Select:

    • <All> if you want to restore the monitoring of all the devices that had been previously removed, in the PATROL Console
    • One or more objects if you only want to restore specific devices (press down the Ctrl-key to allow multiple selection)
  3. Click Restore.

Refreshing Parameters

To manually refresh parameters without waiting for an automatic polling cycle, right-click the instance icon > Refresh Parameters.

Generating Reports

This section deals with the various ways Hardware Sentry enables you to create and schedule reports on the data collected from monitored devices.

Available reports are:

Administrators can also schedule several reports by using the Scheduling Reports tool or view the Hardware Health Report of a specific hardware component.

Generating Capacity Reports

Administrators can create custom PATROL queries to generate detailed reports about the capacity of the monitored systems. These reports can, for instance, indicate the number of physical CPUs, the amount of memory, the overall size of disks and volumes, the number of connected ports, etc.

To generate these custom PATROL queries:

  1. In the main menu bar of the PATROL Console, click Actions > New Query… to create a PATROL query.

    PATROL Query - General Tab

  2. In the General tab:

    • Enter the Query name and description
    • In the Query Results Filter section, select Show Selected Objects and check the Parameters box
    • In the Additional Filtering section, select the Enable Parameter Level Filtering option
  3. Open the Parameter tab

    PATROL Query - Parameter Tab

    In the Pattern Matching section, select Like and type:

    • CPUCount for a CPU report
    • MemorySize for a memory size report
    • ConnectedPorts for a connected ports report
    • PhysicalDiskSize for a physical disk size report
  4. Click OK.

Generating a Hardware Inventory

Because IT and visualization technologies make datacenter very complex, it is critical to get an accurate hardware inventory and know precisely the nature of the elements that compose each servers. Furthermore, this information can come very handy to technical support representative to rapidly provide solutions should a hardware problem occurs.

To generate a hardware inventory report with Hardware Sentry, right-click the Hardware icon > KM Commands > Reporting > Hardware Inventory. The following pane is displayed:

Generating a Hardware Inventory Report

The Hardware Inventory report can also be scheduled.

Generating Instant Hardware Health Report

The Show Instant Hardware Health Report KM command enables you to generate an instant report on the hardware health of the selected hardware component.

To view the hardware health report of a specific hardware component, right-click the component icon > KM Commands > Instant Hardware Health Report.

Instant Hardware Health Report for a specific hardware component

This health report provides information about the monitored object (type, label, serial number, parameters, thresholds, connectors etc.) as well as a description of the problems encountered, the possible consequences, and actions recommended to solve the issues, if any.

Reporting Electricity Consumption

Hardware Sentry can estimate the power consumption of a server based on its internal components and report this information through the PowerConsumption parameter of the MS_HW_ENCLOSURE application class or the Energy Usage Report. However, on some rare occasions and mostly for older servers, Hardware Sentry may not be able to provide that information. You will therefore have to manually enter the power consumption of your servers to benefit from this feature.

Displaying the Power Consumption in a Graph

The PowerConsumption parameter available under the MS_HW_ENCLOSURE application class indicates how quickly the server is burning energy for its operation. By providing a real-time value, the PowerConsumption graph helps identify which activity consumes the most energy. The power consumption of several servers can also be compared in a single graph to determine which servers are the most energy-wise. This information is particularly useful when comes the time to purchase new servers.

To display the power consumption in a graph:

  1. In the PATROL Console, expand the tree view to display the parameters available under the MS_HW_ENCLOSURE application class.

    Energy Usage Report — Settings Definition

  2. Double-click the PowerConsumption parameter to display the corresponding graph:

    Energy Usage Report — Graph

  3. To compare the power consumption of several servers, drag and drop in the graph the PowerConsumption parameter of all the other relevant servers.

Generating the Energy Usage Report

To generate the Energy Usage Report:

  1. Right-click the Hardware icon > KM Commands > Reporting > Energy Usage Report.

    Energy Usage Report — Settings Definition

  2. Define the report settings:

    • Select the period that you wish the report to cover: number of days or hours
    • Select the interval to apply to the report data: hourly or daily
  3. Click the Show Reports button to display the graph.

    Energy Usage Report — Graph

Manually Specifying Electricity Consumption

If you know the electricity consumption for a server for which Hardware Sentry cannot automatically collect or calculate this value, you can manually enter this information. Hardware Sentry will use this information to populate the PowerConsumption parameter and generate the Energy Usage Report.

To manually enter the electricity consumption:

  1. Right-click the Hardware icon > KM Commands > This System’s Settings > Default Power Wattage.

    Manually Entering a Device Power Consumption

  2. Specify the electricity consumption in Watts for the selected system. Please note that the estimate provided by Hardware Sentry based on this information may not reflect the true power consumption and should be interpreted cautiously.

3.Click OK.

Reporting Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic

The Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report available in Hardware Sentry helps diagnose performance issues in a SAN by answering the following questions:

  • which servers are too demanding?
  • which disk array is under pressure?
  • what is the traffic caused by the backups (from the disk array to the tape library)?
  • what data can be used to optimize network traffic?
  • are the “multi-pathing” links properly configured and the load shared among the different paths?

To generate an Ethernet/Fiber Port traffic report:

  1. Right-click the Hardware icon, the Network Interfaces icon, or a port instance and select KM Commands > Reporting > Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report.

    Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report — Settings Definition

  2. Define the report settings

    • Select the data you wish to generate a report for: bytes or packet traffic
    • Select the period that you wish the report to cover: number of days or hours
    • Select the interval to apply to the report data: hourly or daily
    • Click the Ethernet/Fiber Port Selection button to select the Ethernet/Fiber port you wish to generate a report for.
  3. Select one or several Ethernet/Fiber ports and click Accept. You can select up to 32 ports to be displayed on the same report.

    Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report — Device Selection

  4. Click the Show Reports button to display the graph.

The graph below shows that one device has been transmitting 25GB, while the other ports are barely active.

Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report

By choosing the “bar-style” graph (see graph below), we can identify that actually 1 port on the switch reported an activity.

Ethernet/Fiber Port Traffic Report - Bar Style Graph

Scheduling Reports

Administrators can schedule the production of several reports every day at a specific time. The information retrieved as a text file can later be used by other tools such as BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization.

To schedule reports:

  1. Right-click the KM main icon > KM Commands > Reporting > Reports Scheduling.

    Scheduling Reports

  2. Specify the time at which you wish the report(s) to be generated in a 24-hour format (HH:MM:SS)

  3. Click OK.

Energy Usage and Ethernet/Fiber Port Activity reports(s) are generated in a csv or txt format while the Hardware Inventory report is exported in plain text. They are time-stamped and stored in %PATROL_HOME%\log for the specific time set through the history retention period parameter. The Hardware Inventory report is created per host.

The file names are:

  • Energy Usage: MS_HW_energy_usage_<PATROL Agent port number>_<year>-<month>-<day>-<HH-MM-SS>.csv
  • Ethernet/Fiber Port Activity: MS_HW_ethernet_fiber_port_activy_<PATROL Agent port number>_<year>-<month>-<day>-<HH-MM-SS>.csv
  • Hardware Inventory: MS_HW_hardware_inventory_<host>_<PATROL Agent port number>_<year>-<month>-<day>-<HH-MM-SS>.txt

Reports history is based on the history retention period that can be set from the PATROL Console or from the PATROL Agent using a configuration variable. The default collection (retention) period is one day. Whenever a stored parameter value exceeds its retention period, it is automatically deleted from the parameter history file. Refer to BMC documentation for details.