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Manual Chapter: Monitoring Object and Device Performance
Manual Chapter
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10 
You can use the Enterprise Manager system to monitor the health, performance, and status of the F5 Networks® devices in your network at the device and object level. This can assist you in determining when you need to add new devices and help you identify any systems that are not performing at full capacity.
The Enterprise Manager system uses its Data Collection Agent, big3d, to gather this information. When you enable statistics collection, Enterprise Manager checks each managed device to verify the installed version of the Data Collection Agent. Once the version is verified, Enterprise Manager starts building a statistics database for all devices, according to the default statistics profile.
If the version is not compatible, the Data Collection Agent wizard manually initiates a task to push a new version of the Data Collection Agent to your managed devices.
Important: Due to the processing power required to collect and store statistical information, data collection is available only for Enterprise Manager 3000 and 4000 platforms. If you upgraded to the current version of Enterprise Manager from a version prior to 1.7, you must re-license the system before using the data collection features.
The statistics collection feature is disabled by default. To mitigate any potential traffic interruption, we recommend that you enable statistics collection during a network maintenance window when the effect on production traffic is minimized.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
From the Options menu, choose Data Collection.
The Data Collection options screen opens.
3.
From the Collect Statistics Data list, select Enabled.
4.
Click Save Changes.
When you enable statistics collection, Enterprise Manager checks each managed device to verify that it has a compatible version of the Data Collection Agent. If a device requires a more recent version, Enterprise Manager marks that device as Impaired on the Device List screen, and displays a message indicating that an upgrade is required.
To upgrade and install the Data Collection agent on one or more devices, use the Data Collection Agent Installation wizard. The Data Collection Agent Installation process involves three main tasks:
Warning: BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager systems also use the Data Collection Agent to report performance information. When a new version of the Data Collection Agent is pushed to the managed Global Traffic Manager devices in your network, they may experience a single network traffic interruption of up to 60 seconds between synchronization group members. During this time, Global Traffic Manager clients may not respond to DNS requests with optimal routing information.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Tasks.
The Task List Screen opens.
2.
Click New Task.
The New Task screen opens.
3.
For the Software Installation setting, click Install Data Collection Agent, then click Next.
The Data Collection Agent Installation screen (Step 1) opens.
4.
In the Device Group box, select an option to filter the list of devices.
The Compatible Devices table changes according to the group you select.
5.
In the Device Filter area, select an option to narrow the Compatible Devices displayed.
Devices with data collection enabled in Standby Mode or Offline requiring update: Displays only devices that are in standby or are offline, and have data collection enabled.
Devices with data collection enabled in requiring update: Displays all devices that require an update.
Devices with data collection enabled with correct version: Displays only devices that have the correct version of big3d agent installed.
Devices with data collection disabled: Displays only devices on which data collection is disabled.
6.
In the Compatible Devices area, check the box to the left of a device that you want to upgrade.
7.
Click Next to move to the screen where you set task options, Step 2 of 3.
On the Step 2 screen of the Data Collection Agent Installation wizard, you select the configuration archive format and the device error behavior.
1.
From the Configuration Archive list, select whether an option to include or exclude private SSL keys in the configuration archive.
Continue task on remaining devices: The system continues installing the upgrade for selected devices on which an error was not encountered, until the task is finished.
Cancel task on remaining devices: The system immediately stops the task if an error occurs, and does not install the upgrade to any pending devices.
3.
Click Next to continue to the screen where you review the settings and start the task.
On the Step 3 screen of the Data Collection Agent Installation wizard, you can review the task options and start the Data Collection Agent installation.
1.
In the Task Name box, you can type a new name to change the task name as it appears in the task list.
2.
Click Start Task.
The Task Properties screen opens.
A statistics profile specifies the type of information that you want Enterprise Manager to collect. These statistics can include such things as bytes and packets in and out of the device, connections made on the device, CPU utilization, memory, and disk usage. The statistics profile types correspond to the type of object you want to monitor: device, virtual server, pool, pool member, or node.
When configuring monitoring for your devices you can use the following statistics profiles, or a combination of both, for the objects in your network.
Standard statistics profiles
These profiles contain default metrics to collect and threshold values optimized for specific objects. You cannot modify standard statistics profiles. The default data collected is: Device Global, Device Chassis, Device CPU, Device Disk Space, Device UDP, Device TCP, Device HTTP, Device Client SSL, LTM Virtual Server, LTM Pool, LTM Pool Member, and LTM Node.
Custom statistics profiles
These are profiles that you create and for which you define metrics and optional threshold values. By enabling or disabling data collection on certain metrics, you can prioritize the information you are collecting, ensuring that your system resources are allocated appropriately. For information about custom statistics profiles, see Using custom statistic profiles.
The standard profile contains default threshold values that represent the known minimum or maximum values for certain device statistics. You cannot modify or delete a standard profile.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and under Devices, click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar click Device Profiles, Virtual Server Profiles, Pool Profiles, Pool Member Profiles, or Node Profiles, depending on the object profile you want to view.
The profile screen of the object type you selected opens.
3.
Click the profile name containing *Standard to view the standard profile for the object type you selected.
The threshold information for the standard profile you selected appears.
You can assign the same statistics profile to a several of objects in the same object class, or a number of devices. By doing so, you can make a change to the statistics profile that affects devices and objects assigned to that particular profile. This makes managing larger groups of objects or devices more efficient.
Note: When you apply a new custom profile to a device or network object, you receive a message alerting you that the profile is being reconfigured. Statistics collection continues when additional metrics data is received.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Devices.
The Device List screen opens.
2.
3.
From the Statistics menu, choose Configure.
The device selection and monitoring profile information appears.
5.
Specify whether you want to enable or disable statistics collection on the device, by selecting either Enabled or Disabled from the Collect Statistics Data list.
6.
From the Object Type list, select Device.
7.
In the Device Name table, from the Associated Profile list, select a profile that you want to assign to the corresponding device.
8.
Click Save Changes to save the configuration.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Devices.
The Device List screen opens.
2.
In the Device Name column of the Device List table, click the link for the device to which you want to assign a performance monitoring profile.
The Device Properties screen opens.
3.
From the Statistic menu, choose Configure.
The device selection and monitoring profile information appears.
5.
Specify whether you want to enable or disable statistics collection on the object, by selecting either Enabled or Disabled from the Collect Statistics Data list. The statistics are marked Enabled by default.
6.
From the Object Type list, select the type of object to which you want to assign a performance monitoring profile.
The screen displays the appropriate object type table, listing the names of the objects and their associated profiles.
8.
From the Associated Profile list, select the statistics profile to which you want the corresponding object associated.
Tip: To assign the same profile to all of the objects in the object list, click the Copy to List button. The profile you select for the first object populates to all other objects in the list. If the list of objects spans multiple screens and you want to use the Copy to List feature for all the objects on all screens, you must assign the profile on each of the screens separately.
9.
Click Save Changes.
To monitor new devices from the moment Enterprise Manager discovers them in your network, you can assign a default statistics profile.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and under Devices, click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
Click Device Profiles, Virtual Server Profiles, Pool Profiles, Pool Member Profiles, or Node Profiles, depending on the type of object for which you want to collect data.
3.
From the Profile Name list, select the profile that you want to assign to newly discovered devices.
4.
Click Save Changes.
In most cases, the standard statistics profile is best for monitoring the performance of F5 devices in your network. However, you also have the option to create and use a custom profile. With a custom statistics profile, you can select from a number of hardware, traffic, and connection related areas, designating minimum and maximum thresholds for the data that you want to collect.
When you create a new custom profile, you can base it on an existing profile (including a standard profile), changing the collected metrics and thresholds as required.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
Depending on the type of custom profile you want to create, on the menu bar, click Device Profiles, Virtual Server Profiles, Pool Profiles, Pool Member Profiles, or Node Profiles.
The profile screen of the object type you selected opens.
3.
Click Create at the top of the profiles table.
The New Profile screen opens.
4.
From the Profile Source list, select an option based on your intent:
To use an existing profiles metric collection settings as a template for a new profile, select a profile name from the list.
The profile metrics appear for the profile source you select.
5.
In the Name box, type a name for the profile.
6.
In the Description box, type a description for the statistics profile.
7.
From the Collection Interval list, select the interval at which you want the data collected for the profile.
Note: Frequent data collection requires more storage space, which reduces the total amount of historical data you can store.
8.
In the Profile Metrics table, check the Collect Data box for the metrics you want to collect.
9.
To specify thresholds, type a value in the Minimum Threshold and Maximum Threshold boxes.
Note: You can specify thresholds for the metric, or leave the threshold information blank. If leave the box blank, the system does not apply threshold values for that metric.
10.
Click Finished, located at the bottom of the list.
The Device Profiles screen opens, displaying the new performance monitoring profile.
To view the properties of the custom profile you created, click the profile name link in the Profile Name column of the profiles table.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, click Statistics, and then Device Profiles.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
In the object profile table, check the box next to the Profile Name of the profile you want to delete, and click Delete.
3.
Click Delete, located under the Delete Confirm table to complete the deletion process.
Once you assign statistics profiles to objects, you can access a graphical representation of the information statistics collected. You can view the collected statistics information in a summary or a detailed graph format to determine the health and activity of your network objects and devices at a glance. Data refreshes at 60-second intervals.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Devices.
The Device List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Statistics.
The Statistics screen opens.
3.
In the Object Type list, select the object type for the statistics you want to view.
The screen refreshes to display the information related to the object type you selected. Statistics appear in a summary graph. If there are no statistics for the object type you selected, the Data column in the device name list table shows No Data.
4.
From the Time Span list, select a time range to display as much data as needed. The system limits the display to the most recent data collected.
5.
To review details about the utilization of a device, move your cursor over a graph.
A box displays additional information about the device.
6.
To view a detail graph for each summary data graph displayed, click a summary data graph.
The detailed graph view displays the monitor name, the object instance that the system monitors, and a graphical representation of the statistical data according to the value you selected as a time span for statistics collection.
By default, Enterprise Manager displays up to 8 records per screen. If there are more than 8 graphs, the screen displays a link to the graphs, where you can view up to 11 graphs.
Tip: To change the number of devices displayed, in the navigation pane, click System, then click Preferences and change the Records Per Screen setting. This is a global setting and changes affect all list screens on the Enterprise Manager system. Note that performance could be affected if you select a large number of items to display on a screen.
On the Statistics screen, you can specify what you want displayed in the summary graphs by selecting an option from the Rule list. For example, if you select Device Health, the graphs change to display a set of graphs that display statistics related to the physical health of the device such as chassis temperature, CPU fan speed, and processor utilization percentage.
Table 10.1 outlines the viewing options available from the Rule list.
2.
Select a rule from the Rule list in the Statistics Selection table.
3.
For Time Span, select a time range for viewing collected data.
The data displayed is limited to the most recent data collected.
Enterprise Manager stores statistical data until the system reaches the storage capacity that you define. When that capacity is met, the oldest data in the system is replaced with new data, up to the storage limit you set. If you decrease the allocated statistics storage capacity, the system removes the oldest data to reduce the amount of stored statistics to meet the new limit.
When you enable statistics collection, it affects the overall performance of Enterprise Manager. Therefore, it is important to plan for your systems database storage needs by understanding your systems capacity and estimating your storage requirements in order to maximize the value of the statistics features.
The Enterprise Manager systems default value of 1 GB for statistics data storage is intentionally low, allowing you to establish a reasonable value based on your environment. Once you have estimated the availability of storage on your system, you can change the default database maintenance storage capacity setting of 1 GB, using the procedure To configure statistics data storage. Increasing the default setting is essential to monitoring statistics data over time.
There are a number of ways to manage your storage needs, including estimating your storage capacity, creating remote backups of the information you no longer need, setting statistics storage limits, and creating alerts to warn you when you reach a storage capacity threshold on your system.
The statistics database shares drive space on the Enterprise Manager system with software images, attack signature files, system logs and backups, and so on. Depending on how many devices and objects for which you want to collect statistics, the size of the statistics database may be limited by how many other parts of the Enterprise Manager system are using the shared file system. The size of the database affects how long you can store statistical data, and how you use graphs over time to identify trends.
To determine how the system is allocating disk space, you can use the System Information screen. Additionally, you can create a system alert to notify you when you meet a threshold for statistics data storage. For information about creating an Enterprise Manager system alert, see Creating alerts for Enterprise Manager.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click System Information.
The System Information screen presents both visual and textual representations of how Enterprise Manager allocates disk space.
Enterprise Manager provides information about the amount of space available for the storage of statistics, the amount of space currently in use for statistics data, and the estimated number of days of storage with the current data allocation.
To determine the allocation of resources on the drive, as well as estimate the storage capacity, you can recalculate the estimated days of storage without committing the change. When you have determined that you are satisfied with the storage space value, you can opt to save the changes.
Important: If you change the Allocated Statistic Storage Space setting to a value less than the current value, Enterprise Manager removes statistics data from the database, starting with the oldest, until it reaches the new lowered storage limit. If you want to retain your older statistics, perform a database backup before you reduce the allocated statistics storage space. See Backing up and restoring the statistics database, for information about backing up your statistics database.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
From the Options menu, choose Data Storage.
The Data Storage screen opens.
3.
Review the available statistics storage space, statistic storage currently in use, and the estimated statistic storage space with the current settings.
4.
To determine the allocation of resources that best suits your performance needs, select a value from the Allocated Statistic Storage Space list.
5.
Click Recalculate.
The system recalculates statistic storage based on the change, without saving the configuration.
6.
When you are satisfied with the allocation of statistic storage, click Save Changes to commit the configuration changes.
If the Enterprise Manager system is configured as a high availability system, you can back up your systems monitoring information by regularly running the ConfigSync task. See Configuring Enterprise Manager as a high availability system, for more information.
In the high availability configuration, you can schedule and configure the inclusion or exclusion of statistics data on the Enterprise Manager system. For more information about this process, see Setting up a high availability Enterprise Manager system.
em-backup-extern <user@host.com>:/<full_file_path_for_backup_file>
The default file name is f5em_extern-<date stamp>.
em-restore-extern <user@host.com>:/<full_file_path_for_backup_file>
You also have the option configure the Enterprise Manager system to allow remote access to the statistics database (MySQL database) from a third-party database browsing or editing tool, and then schedule a regular backup interval.
The MySQL database listens on port 3306 of your Enterprise Manager system when data collection is enabled (see Enabling statistics data collection). You can query database information, review overall system statistics, create your own graphs and reports, and save the data outside of Enterprise Manager before database maintenance occurs.
Username: f5em_client
Password: default
Database name: f5em_extern
Important: Remote database access is available for data stored on the local database only. If you have configured an external database to store statistical data, Enterprise Manager cannot run scheduled backups.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Statistics.
The Device Profiles screen opens.
2.
From the Options menu, choose Remote Access.
The Remote Access Options screen appears.
3.
In the Statistics Database Remote Access table, check the Allow Remote Access box.
Additional options appear.
4.
For Password, change the password, default, to a new password.
5.
In the Confirm Password box, type the new password again.
6.
Click Save Changes to save the remote access configuration.
The system uses the user name f5em_client and the password you provided to access the remote database.
Once you have remote access to the statistics database, you can schedule regular remote statistics database backups to maximize your storage availability. You can schedule a regular backup of the statistics database to a remote server on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule at a specific time of day that you specify.
Enterprise Manager uses an rsync process to send the statistics database to a remote server. Before you configure a backup schedule, you must first perform a manual key exchange between Enterprise Manager and the remote system to which you want to back up the data.
This creates two files, /root/.ssh/id_dsa and /root/.ssh/id_dsa.pub, on the Enterprise Manager system, which are the private key and public key, respectively.
3.
Copy /root/.ssh/id_dsa.pub to the destination server by typing the following command, where <destination IP> is the IP address of the remote server:
5.
To create the /home/em_backup/.ssh directory on the remote server, type the following commands, and press Enter after each:
cat /home/em_backup/id_dsa.pub >> /home/em_backup/.ssh/authorized_keys2
7.
Depending on the version of OpenSSH included, you may need to type the following commands, and press Enter after each:
cat /home/em_backup/id_dsa.pub >> /home/em_backup/.ssh/authorized_keys
8.
On the Enterprise Manager system, at the command line, test the connection using SSH with the following command, where <destination IP> is the IP address of the remote server:
1.
On the Main tab, expand Enterprise Management, and click Tasks.
The Task screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Schedules.
The Task Schedules screen opens.
3.
From the Backup Data list, select an interval to back up the statistics database.
Additional boxes for Day of the Month or Day of the Week, and Start Time appear depending on the option you choose for backup.
4.
For Day of the Month or Day of the Week, select a day on which you want Enterprise Manager to back up the database.
5.
For Start Time, set a time for the system to back up the database.
6.
For Username, type the user ID that you use to log on to the remote system
7.
For Hostname, type the FQDN of the remote system where you plan to back up the statistics database.
8.
For Path, type the file path on the remote system.
9.
Click Save Changes.
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