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Manual Chapter: Enterprise Manager Administrator Guide: Monitoring and Alerting
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7

Monitoring and Alerting


Monitoring device status

When you use Enterprise Manager to manage devices in the network, you can get a general overview of the status of devices from the device list screen. You can view the device list by clicking the Devices link in the Enterprise Management section of the Main tab on the navigation pane.

If you need to notify individuals in your organization about certain conditions in the network, you can configure custom alerts for managed devices in the network. This can help you improve response time when a certificate expires on a managed device, or if a managed device becomes unreachable. Additionally, you can configure these alerts to work with any existing network management servers in the network.

Understanding status icons in the device list

Status icons offer the quickest insight into the state of managed devices in the network. The icons indicate whether Enterprise Manager can successfully communicate with managed devices and, if the devices are part of a high availability system, their active or standby failover state.

If Enterprise Manager might not be able to communicate with a managed device, the status icon changes so that a red X appears in the middle of the device icon. There are a variety of reasons that Enterprise Manager might not be able to communicate with a managed device: the device is rebooting, the management cable became disconnected, or the iControl port was closed or blocked. If you notice a device unreachable icon, you can try to remotely log into the device to further investigate the device's status.

 

Table 7.1 The three types of status icons provide a basic overview of device status in the device list
State
Status Icon
Enterprise Manager can contact the device, and the device is in Active Mode

 

 

Enterprise Manager can contact the device and the device is in Standby Mode

 

 

Enterprise Manager cannot currently contact the device

 

 

 

Monitoring management tasks

One of the advantages of using Enterprise Manager as a device management appliance is that you can monitor the progress of several management tasks at once. You can use the task list to survey the status of running, completed, and pending tasks.

You can also use the task list as a starting point to finding additional information about a particular task, or for setting up new tasks such as a software upgrade or rotating archive schedule.

Using the task list

The task list provides an overview of all tasks initiated by Enterprise Manager. You can also use the task list as a starting point for software upgrades and for scheduling rotating archives.

To open the task list

In the navigation pane, expand Enterprise Management and click Tasks.

 

 

Figure 7.1 The task list provides an overview of running and completed tasks

The task list provides information relevant to the task, including the overall progress of the task, and the task initialization time. If you click the name of a task, the task properties screen opens to provide additional task details and options.

When a task completes, a record remains in the task list to assist you in tracking when upgrades, device discoveries, and configuration archive management tasks occurred. These records remain in the list until you delete them.

To remove a task from the task list

Check the Select box to the left of a completed task name, and click the Delete button below the list.
Enterprise Manager deletes the task from the Enterprise Manager database, and removes the task from the task list.

Note

Although deleting a task from the list removes the record, Enterprise Manager maintains the audit record of all tasks initiated by Enterprise Manager.

Working with the task properties screens

When you click a task name in the task list, the task properties screen opens. This screen gives you additional details about the task you selected. Depending on the type of task you are looking at, the task properties screen can display the status of each individual device in a discovery task, software upgrade, or hotfix installation.

If errors occur in the task, you can click the Details link in the Task Summary table to view even more detailed information and find suggestions about a particular job.

If there are pending jobs in the task, you can cancel any pending jobs by clicking the Cancel Pending Items button below the Task Summary table.

Configuring custom alerts

Using Enterprise Manager as your network management appliance gives you custom alerting options to help you better maintain the health of your network. You can configure custom alerts to notify you or others if a device becomes unreachable by Enterprise Manager, the completion or failure of a software or hotfix installation, and if a device system clock differs from the Enterprise Manager clock.

When you configure custom alerts, you can apply them to individual devices, or to a device group.

You can also create alerts for the Enterprise Management device itself so that you can maintain the health of your management system.

Setting up alert defaults

Before you create alerts, you can configure alert defaults for an alert email recipient and you can specify the address of a remote syslog server for alerting.

When an alert is triggered, if you define a default email address, Enterprise Manager can send an alert notification to this address. Optionally, Enterprise Manager can send a syslog event to a remote syslog server that you specify when an alert is triggered.

Important

For information on setting up system settings required to enable alerting features such as sending email messages or SNMP traps, see Setting alerting system options, on page 3-12 .

To set alert default options

  1. In the navigation pane, expand Enterprise Management, and click Alerts.
    The Device Alerts list screen opens.
  2. On the menu bar, click Options.
    The Alert Options screen opens.
  3. In the Email Recipient box, type the default email address to use when you select email as an alert action.
    Note: You can specify an email address different from the default when you create a custom alert.
  4. In the Syslog Server Address box, type the IP address of the remote syslog server if you want to use syslog events for alerting.
  5. In the Alert History box, type the number of history entries that Enterprise Manager stores in the Alert History list.

Tip


If you want to send email to more than one person when an alert is triggered, you can use an alias as the default email address, then you can configure multiple addresses on your mail server.

Configuring system alerts

To help maintain the health of the Enterprise Manager device, you can configure system alerts to notify you when CPU, disk, or memory usage meets or exceeds a particular threshold. You can set these options on the EM Alerts screen.

To set system alerts

  1. In the navigation pane, expand Enterprise Management, and click Alerts.
    The Device Alerts list screen opens.
  2. On the menu bar, click EM Alerts.
    The EM Alerts screen opens.
  3. Depending on which metrics that you want to track with alerts, change the values in the CPU Usage, Disk Usage, or Memory Usage boxes.
  4. In the Action box, select the type of action that you want Enterprise Manager to take when the values you specified in the CPU Usage, Disk Usage, and Memory Usage boxes are met or exceeded.
Note

Because the CPU or memory usage may spike repeatedly during certain Enterprise Management tasks, many alerts may be triggered, which could result in multiple emails, SNMP traps, syslog events, or alert history entries.

Understanding the types of device alerts

Enterprise Manager can take actions on a wide variety of alerts that can assist you in managing your F5 Networks devices. The alerts that you can set include:

  • Device unreachable by Enterprise Manager
  • Certificate expired or near-expiration
  • Completed software installations or hotfix upgrades
  • Failed software installations or hotfix upgrades
  • Clock skew between the Enterprise Manager and managed devices
  • Failed rotating archive creation

Alerting for Device Unreachable

If Enterprise Manager loses the connection to a managed device, the status icon in the device list changes to indicate this problem. However, if you need to immediately notify someone as soon as Enterprise Manager loses a connection to a managed device, you can configure a custom alert to notify you or others. Recipients of this alert email can then take the necessary action to get your managed device back online. This is a continuous alert that checks the connection every 10 minutes and triggers another alert if the device is unreachable.

Because Enterprise Manager authenticates itself to managed devices on the iControl port through a certificate that it creates when it first discovers a device in the network, there are a variety of reasons that the connection could be interrupted.

The connection could be interrupted if the managed device is rebooting, or if someone closed the management port or removed the management cable. It is also possible that a system clock differential between Enterprise Manager and a managed device caused the management certificate to expire.

Note

The device refresh interval takes precedence over the continuous checking done by this alert. That is, if the refresh interval is set higher than 10 minutes, this alert checks for a connection within the refresh interval.

Warning of expired or near-expired certificates

Because it is likely that you have a large number of certificates defined on managed devices in the network, you may want a way to automatically monitor these certificates and warn you when they near expiration.

Although you can use the certificates list to view a broad overview of certificates on devices in the network, you can create a custom alert to notify a specific user when a certificate expires or is within a specific number of days of expiration.

When you define the alert, you can specify a notification to repeat at specified intervals until the certificate expires.

Notifying of completed installations and upgrades

When you start a software upgrade or hotfix installation task, you may not be able to monitor the overall status of the task. If you start an upgrade of multiple devices, it may not be feasible to manually check to see if a particular device is upgraded. You can create a custom alert to notify you or others when a device completes an upgrade or installation task.

Alternately, you can use the Task List to get a broad overview of all running tasks. If you click the name of a task on the task list, it opens the task properties screen where you can view detailed information about devices involved in the task, including which devices have completed the upgrade or installation.

Alerting on failed installations and upgrades

Because you can upgrade multiple devices in a software upgrade or hotfix installation, you may not be able to closely monitor each job. You can create a custom alert to notify you or others if an upgrade or installation job fails. The user that receives the alert email can then investigate why the upgrade or installation failed, make corrections, and schedule a new task.

You can also use the Task List to find running tasks that encountered errors during an upgrade or install process.

Warning of clock skew between the Enterprise Manager and managed devices

When Enterprise Manager adds a device to the managed device list, it creates a certificate that it uses to authenticate itself to the managed device. If the system clock of Enterprise Manager gets too far out of sync (15 minute difference between system clocks) with a managed device, this invalidates the management certificate, and can result in Enterprise Manager losing management privileges on a device.

To prevent this scenario, you can set an alert that will notify you or others whenever the Enterprise Manager and managed device system clocks skew too far out of sync. Then, whoever receives the alert can log on to the managed device and make sure the system clock is closely matched with Enterprise Manager. This is a continuous alert that checks the clock skew every 10 minutes, and triggers another alert if the systems clocks are out of sync.

Notifying of a failed rotating archive creation

When you configure a rotating archive schedule, Enterprise Manager creates a device configuration at the interval you specified. Because this is an automated process, you may not know if the configuration archive was created properly.

You can create a custom alert to notify you or others whenever a scheduled configuration archive process encounters an error. A user who receives an alert email can investigate why an archive was not created or can manually create a configuration archive.

Creating alerts for devices or device groups

Creating an alert for a device or device group involves naming the alert, defining the alert condition, setting the alert action, and assigning the alert to one or more devices. You can do this from one screen, the New Alert screen.

 

 

Figure 7.2 Defining the alert type and actions, then assigning devices to the alert on the New Alert screen

To create an alert for a device or device group

  1. In the navigation pane, expand Enterprise Management, and click Alerts.
    The Device Alerts list screen opens.
  2. Above the alert list, click the Create button.
    The New Alert screen opens.
  3. In the General Properties section, in the Name box, type a name for the alert. Once you create the alert, you cannot change the name.
    The name appears in the alert list on the Device Alerts screen.
  4. In the Configuration section, in the Alert Type box, select the alert condition.
    Depending on the type you select, the section may change to provide additional options.
  5. If the alert type requires a threshold, in the Condition box, specify a threshold value.
  6. For Action, check the box next to the actions that you want Enterprise Manager to take when the alert is triggered.
  7. If you selected to send an email, then for Email Recipient, you can choose to use the default email recipient, or type the email address of a specific user:
    1. To send an email to the default email recipient listed on the Alert Options screen, check the Select box.
    2. To send an email to an alternate recipient, clear the Select box and type a new email address.
  8. If you selected to log a remote syslog event, then for Syslog Server Address, you can choose to use the default syslog server address, or type the server address of a different remote server:
    1. To log an event on the default syslog server listed on the Alert Options screen, check the Select box.
    2. To log an event on an alternate server, clear the Select box and type a new syslog server address.
  9. In the Alert Assignments area, assign this alert to devices or device groups:
    1. In either the Devices or Device Groups box, click a device or device group in the Available box to select it.
    2. Click the Move button (<<) to move the selected devices or device groups to the Assigned box.
      The alert now applies to devices and device groups listed in the Assigned box.
  10. Click Finished.
    The Device Alerts screen opens, and the new alert appears in the list.

Modifying or deleting alerts

Once you create an alert, the alert definition is flexible enough to easily apply to additional devices and device groups. Conversely, you can remove devices and device groups from a particular alert. You can also change the alert actions or email recipients of an alert, on the alert properties screen. From the Device Alerts screen, clicking the name of an alert opens the alert properties screen.

To modify an alert

  1. In the alert list, click the name of the alert that you want to modify.
    The Alert Properties screen opens.
  2. Change any of the values in the Configuration section, or add or remove devices and groups from the alert in the Alert Assignments sections.
  3. Click Save Changes to save your changes.

See the online help for additional details about changing specific properties of an alert.

If you no longer need an alert, you can delete the alert using the Device Alerts screen. Once you remove an alert from the alert list, it no longer applies to any devices or groups that you assigned.

To delete an alert

From the Device Alerts screen, in the alert list, check the Select box to the left of an alert, and click the Delete button below the list.




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