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Supplemental Document: Performance Metric Collection and Monitoring

Original Publication Date: 08/30/2013

Note: This documentation was adapted from the F5 Management Pack Wiki hosted on DevCentral (http://devcentral.f5.com/wiki/MgmtPack.HomePage.ashx). Certain links or context described in this document may refer to content originally created on the Wiki.

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General Overview

The F5 Monitoring Pack is designed to collect and monitor metrics from big3d agents on remote TMOS-enabled devices, on preset intervals and based on a subscription model. It is possible to choose the metrics (statistics) collected and the related intervals, and view performance reports that graphically display the metric values over time. The Monitoring Service chooses these metrics based on the rules installed within the F5 Monitoring Pack. It is possible (and most sites will want) to override the default statistic rules and add custom counters based on their network availability and monitoring requirements.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • "Performance Collection and Monitoring Architecture":PerformanceCollectionAndMonitoring#Architecture
  • "Subscribing to Device Statistics: Collection Rules":PerformanceCollectionAndMonitoring#SubscribeToStatistics
  • "Monitoring Device Statistics: Threshold Rules":PerformanceCollectionAndMonitoring#MonitoringStatistics

Terminology

In the following sections we'll refer to Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager simply as "Ops Manager". Unless otherwise noted, the walk-through topics are related to Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 with Service Pack 1. We'll also use the terms "statistics" and "stats" interchangeably, basically pointing to metrics collected from and F5-device.

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Understanding standard F5 Monitoring Pack Reports

Each report detailed in this section serves a particular purpose, and this document outlines what each report covers, how it works, and what parameters you can use with the report.

LTM Nodes by Bandwidth

The Top LTM Nodes by Bandwidth report shows the LTM nodes that serve the most or least data transferred to or from a website or server over time. The activity of each LTM node is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The node activity is then ordered according to the algorithm selected, either displaying the nodes with the most or least bandwidth consumed.

Using this report

This report tracks the bandwidth activity of the nodes, allowing the administrator to interpret traffic flows and assess issues associated with bandwidth usage over time.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Algorithm shows which algorithm you selected.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, bytes in and bytes out of a particular node is displayed.

The resulting report lists the object you specified, a sample count from the object, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: This setting allows for relative or fixed dates and a time zone for which to gather the data.
  • Algorithm: This setting specifies whether the report displays the highest bandwidth consumed (Top N) or the least amount of bandwidth consumed (Bottom N).
  • N: This setting specifies the number of nodes displayed on the report.

LTM Nodes by Connection Count

The Top LTM Nodes by Connection Count report shows the LTM nodes that handle the most or least connections. The activity of each LTM node is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The LTM Nodes with the highest or lowest connection count are logged and displayed according to the date and time parameters, and algorithm selected on the report.

Using this report

This report displays statistical information about which nodes handle the most or least connections. This information can be used to determine the status and load balancing activity of the nodes.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Algorithm shows which algorithm you selected.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, the total connections to the selected server.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count from the device, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: This setting allows for relative or fixed dates and a time zone for which to gather the data.
  • Algorithm: This setting specifies whether the report displays the virtual servers that serve the most (Top N) or least (Bottom N) connections.
  • N: This setting specifies the number of nodes displayed on the report.

Virtual Servers by Bandwidth

The Top Virtual Servers by Bandwidth report shows the virtual servers that serve the most or least data transferred to or from a website or server over time. The activity of each virtual server is based on measurements collected by the corresponding Performance Rule. The virtual servers are then ordered according to the algorithm selected, either displaying the virtual servers with the most or least bandwidth consumed.

Using this report

This report displays statistical information about which virtual servers are consuming the most bandwidth or the least bandwidth, depending on the algorithm selected. This information can be used to determine the status and load balancing activity of the virtual servers.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Algorithm shows which algorithm you selected.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, bytes in and bytes out of a particular virtual server is displayed.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count from the device, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: This setting allows for relative or fixed dates and a time zone for which to gather the data.
  • Algorithm: This setting specifies whether the report displays the highest bandwidth consumed (Top N) or the least amount of bandwidth consumed (Bottom N).
  • N: This setting specifies the number of nodes displayed on the report.

Virtual Servers by Connection Count

The Top Virtual Servers by Connection Count report shows the virtual servers that serve the most or least connections. The activity of each virtual server collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The virtual servers with the highest or lowest connection counts are logged and displayed according to the date and time parameters selected on the report.

Using this report

This report displays statistical information about which virtual servers have the most or the least connections, depending on the algorithm selected.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Algorithm shows which algorithm you selected.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, the total connections to the selected server are displayed.
    The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count from the device, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: This setting allows for relative or fixed dates and a time zone for which to gather the data.
  • Algorithm: This setting specifies whether the report displays the virtual servers that serve the most (Top N) or least (Bottom N) connections.
  • N: This setting specifies the number of connections, either most active or least active, by connection count.

Unused LTM Nodes

The Unused LTM Nodes report shows the LTM Nodes that are not being used on the discovered devices. The activity of each LTM Node is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The LTM Nodes with no activity are logged and displayed according to the date and time parameters select on the report.

Using this report

This report displays the LTM Nodes that have an average of less than one (1) connection over the given time period.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, LTM Nodes with no activity are displayed.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count, minimum connections, maximum connections, and average connections.

Available parameters

  • From: This setting specifies the date on which the report will begin.
  • To: This setting specifies the date on which the report will end.
  • Time Zone: This setting specifies the time zone where the data will be gathered.
  • Use business hours: This setting specifies whether the report will run during business hours, from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Unused Virtual Servers

The Unused Virtual Servers report shows the virtual servers that are not being used on the network. The activity of each Virtual Server is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The Virtual Servers with no activity are logged and displayed according to the date and time parameters selected on the report.

Using this report

This report displays the virtual servers that have an average of less than one (1) connection over the given time period.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Report Duration shows the duration of the report, as a date and time span.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, virtual servers with no activity are displayed.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count, minimum connections, maximum connections, and average connections.

Available parameters

  • From: This setting specifies the date on which the report will begin.
  • To: This setting specifies the date on which the report will end.
  • Time Zone: This setting specifies the time zone where the data will be gathered.
  • Use business hours: This setting specifies whether the report will run during business hours, from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

LTM Node Properties

The LTM Node Properties report shows the properties and status of a specified object at a given time. The properties and status of the specified object are collected and displayed in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule.

Using this report

This report displays statistical information about the object selected. This report can be used to determine the state and health of the monitor, and view the name and target IP address of the object.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Device Name shows the name of the discovered device or object.
  • Device IP shows the IP address of the discovered device.

The resulting report lists the device's Node Names, Monitor States, Session States, and Target IP addresses.

Available parameters

  • Objects table: This table allows you to add or remove a group of objects or a single object on which to run the report.

LTM Node State Change

The LTM Node State Change report shows the state changes of a particular LTM node during a specific time interval. The activity of the node is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The state change activity is then displayed according to the time span you designate, and the flap threshold you specify.

Using this report

This report shows the state change activity of the specified node, allowing the administrator to determine the health of the devices with which the nodes are associated.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Flap Aggregation shows how often the state change data is collected.
  • Flap Count is related to the Flap Threshold parameter, and sets the minimum number of state changes incurred by a node in order to appear on the report.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, the node being monitored on the device, the IP address, flap count, current state of the node, and first and last flap timestamp in the form of a table.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: These settings allow you to specify the date and time on which you want the report to run. In addition, you can select the time zone and whether or not you want to use business hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
  • Flap Interval {Minutes}: This setting allows you to specify the number of minutes between state changes on the node you specified.
  • Flap Threshold: This setting allows you to specify the minimum number of state changes incurred by the node in order to appear on the report.

Bandwidth Over Time Report

The Bandwidth Over Time report shows the data transferred to or from a website or server over a given period of time on a specific device. The activity of the device is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The bandwidth activity is then displayed according to the time span you designate, and the data aggregation you specify.

Using this report

This report tracks the bandwidth activity of the specified device, allowing the administrator to interpret traffic flows and assess issues associated with bandwidth usage over time.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Data Aggregation shows how often the data is collected.
  • Report Duration shows the time span for the data provided, the days of the week the data is gathered, and the times of the day.
  • Histogram indicates the selected aggregation type. Possible values are none, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, bytes in and bytes out of a particular server is displayed.
    The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count from the device, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the
    average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: These settings allow you to specify the date and time on which you want the report to run. In addition, you can select the time zone and whether or not you want to use business hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
  • Objects table: This table allows you to add or remove a group of objects or a single object on which to run the report.
  • Data Aggregation: These settings allow you to specify the rate of data aggregation, the histogram you want to use, and whether or not you want the report to render in a 3D chart.

Connections Over Time Report

The Connections Over Time report shows the connections made to or from a website or server over a given period of time on a specific device. The activity of the device is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The bandwidth activity is then displayed according to the time span you designate, and the data aggregation you specify.

Using this report

This report tracks the connection activity of the specified device, allowing the administrator to interpret traffic flows and assess issues associated with connections made over time.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Data Aggregation shows how often the data is collected.
  • Report Duration shows the time span for the data provided, the days of the week the data is gathered, and the times of the day.
  • Histogram indicates the selected aggregation type, either daily by hours, weekly by weekdays, monthly by days, or yearly by years.
  • Performance Rule shows the rule associated with the report. In this instance, bytes in and bytes out of a particular server is displayed.

The resulting report lists the device or entity that is being monitored, a sample count from the device, minimum and maximum kilobytes per second, and the average kilobytes per second as a bar graph over the time specified.

Available parameters

  • Date/Time selection: These settings allow you to specify the date and time on which you want the report to run. In addition, you can select the time zone and whether or not you want to use business hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
  • Objects table: This table allows you to add or remove a group of objects or a single object on which to run the report.
  • Data Aggregation: These settings allow you to specify the rate of data aggregation, the histogram you want to use, and whether or not you want the report to render in a 3D chart.

Pool Members Configured on Device Report

The Pool Members Configured on Device report shows the pool members that are configured on a specific device. The pool member information for the specified device is collected in accordance with the corresponding Performance Rule. The pool members are displayed.

Using this report

This report shows the pool members configured on a specific device, allowing the administrator to track and monitor the number of pool members, and the virtual server and IP address of the device on which the pool members are configured. By clicking the plus sign next to each pool member, the IP address of the pool members, monitor state, session state, and enabled state information becomes available.

  • Report Time shows the date and time the report was started.
  • Device Name is the name of the device you are
  • Device IP is the IP address of the device you specified.

The resulting report lists the pool that is being monitored, the virtual server and IP address, the number of pool members and their IP addresses, the monitor state, session state and enabled state.

Available parameters

  • Objects table: This table allows you to add or remove a group of objects or a single object on which to run the report.
    Configuring reports

Using the F5 Monitoring Pack, you can run one of the standard reports at any time, or you can schedule a recurring report using a wizard.

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Running a report

Running a report requires a multiple-step process that involves the following tasks:

  • Choosing how to run the report
  • Selecting objects to include in the report
  • Setting the time period for the report
  • Setting report options

Choosing how to run the report

There are two primary ways of running reports: by using the Actions pane when you have clicked on an F5 object or by using the Reporting pane.

The Actions pane shows a section labeled "F5 Device Reports" when you have selected an F5 object in the Diagram View, State View, or any other view which allows you to select F5 objects. The reports shown in F5 Device Reports are context sensitive, meaning that the F5 device you have selected determines which reports will be available. Opening a report in this manner will often fill in some of the parameters for you automatically such as the 'objects' criteria.

The Reporting pane is not context sensitive and allows you to view and run any of the F5 reports at any time. Running the reports from this location will not automatically select objects on which to run the report. You will need to manually select the objects (next section).

Selecting objects to include on a report

  1. On the Report parameters window, to add objects, click either Add Group or Add Object.
    The Add Objects window opens.
  2. On the Add Object Window, you can use the Object name filter to search for objects:
    1. From the list box, select an option to determine how to search the object list.
    2. In the adjacent box, type all or part of the object name or IP address.
    3. Click Search.
      A list of objects that match the criteria you specified appears in the Available items box.
  3. Click an object to select it.
  4. Click Add to add an object to the report.
    The selected object appears in the Selected objects box.
  5. Click OK.
    The Report screen opens and the objects you selected appear in the Objects box.

 

Setting the time period for the report

  1. Expand the Reporting pane, then expand the Reporting folder.
  2. Under Reporting, click F5 Networks.
    The F5 Networks Reports view opens.
  3. From reports list, double-click a report to open the report.
    The Report window opens.
  4. For From, select a date and time for the start point for data to include in the report.
  5. For To, select a date and time for the end point of the data in the report.

To run a report using typical business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday), check the Business Hours select box. You can adjust the business hours by clicking the Business hours button to the right of the select box.

Setting report options

  1. On the Report screen, for Data Aggregation, select how you want to collect the data in the report.
  2. For Histogram, select whether you want to include a report histogram.
  3. For 3D Chart, select whether you want to include a graphical chart of the report data.

Running the report

On the Report screen, click the Run button.The report appears in the Report window. If you want to change the parameters of the report, from the View menu, choose Parameters.

Scheduling recurring reports

You can schedule reports to run at regular intervals using the Subscribe to a Report Wizard. To schedule reports, you must configure three parts of the wizard:

  • Delivery
  • Schedule
  • Parameters

Starting the wizard

  1. Expand the Actions pane and the Report view.
  2. Click Schedule.
    The Report Wizard opens on the Delivery Settings wizard screen.

Setting the Delivery Settings options

  1. On the Delivery Settings screen, for Description, type the name of the recurring report.
  2. For Delivery Method, select how you want to receive the report.
  3. If you select Windows File Share, you must specify details in the Settings area that appears:
    1. In the File Name box, type the name of the report file.
    2. In the Path box, type the path to the file. For example C:\F5Reports\BandwidthReports\
    3. For Render Format, select the type of document in which you want to save the report.
    4. For Write mode, select an option to determine how the system saves the file when it creates a new report: None - Autoincrement - The system adds a new sequential number to the end of the filename before saving. Overwrite - The system overwrites the existing report.
    5. In the User name box, type your user name.
    6. In the Password box, type your password.
  4. Click Next to move to the Subscription Schedule wizard screen.

Setting the report schedule

On the Subscription Schedule wizard screen, you can set the schedule for this recurring report.

  1. In the Generate the report section, select how often you want the system to create a report.
    If you select an option other than Once, additional options appear to specify how often you want to generate a report.
  2. Specify additional options
  3. For The subscription is effective beginning, select the date and time to start the recurring report.
  4. If you want this report to have an end time, check the The subscription expires on select box, and select a date.
  5. Click Next to move to the Report Parameters wizard screen.

Setting report parameters

On the Report Parameters wizard screen, you can set the parameters of the recurring report as you would for a one-time report, including selecting which objects to include and the time frame to use.

  1. For From, select a date and time for the start point for data to include in the report.
  2. For To, select a date and time for the end point of the data in the report.
  3. For Time Zone, select your current time zone.
  4. To add objects, in the Reports area, click either Add Group or Add Object.
    The Add Objects window opens.
  5. On the Add Object Window, you can use the Object name filter to search for objects:
    1. From the list box, select an option to determine how to search the object list.
    2. In the adjacent box, type all or part of the object name or IP address.
    3. Click Search. A list of objects that match the criteria you specified appears in the Available items box.
  6. Click an object to select it.
  7. Click Add to add an object to the report.
    The selected object appears in the Selected objects box.
  8. Click OK.The Report Parameters wizard screen opens and the objects you selected appear in the Objects box.
  9. For Data Aggregation, select how you want to collect the data in the report.
  10. For Histogram, select whether you want to include a report histogram.
  11. For 3D Chart, select whether you want to include a graphical chart of the report data.
  12. Click Finish to save the recurring report.
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Contacting F5 Networks

  Phone: (206) 272-6888
Fax: (206) 272-6802
Web: http://support.f5.com
Email: support@f5.com

For additional information, please visit http://www.f5.com.


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