Today’s IT infrastructure is management differs greatly from traditional infrastructure management. Organizations today believe in automating everything possible in infrastructure operations, building a more efficient and resilient environment. Monitoring is one of the key aspects of running your operations smoothly; a healthy data center always translates to better return on investment (ROI) for your business. To achieve this ROI, you might be using a centralized monitoring solution that can consume information from any modern-day infrastructure on your data center floor. Integrating all this data from multiple devices and multiple vendors is the key to building a centralized monitoring dashboard. With the release of NetApp® OnCommand® Unified Manager 9.4 software, NetApp continues to help you with your automation goals by providing Unified Manager APIs that your centralized monitoring platform can consume.

 

Unified Manager is arguably the best monitoring software for NetApp ONTAP® systems. With its built-in health and performance analytics, Unified Manager helps you understand how you can run your ONTAP software more efficiently. Any standard dashboard that can consume APIs is able to apply all the processed health and capacity information Unified Manager provides in its GUI. With the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), you will need to invest much less time in designing a centralized monitoring platform that otherwise would have taken days or months to build. And the operations team can focus on more critical issues.

 

With OnCommand Unified Manager 9.4, NetApp introduces RESTful APIs that can be integrated into your centralized monitoring platform. These APIs let you view processed health and performance information from all the ONTAP systems on your data center floor. The best part is that you do not need to reengineer anythingit just fits in!

API Documentation

Each Unified Manager 9.4 instance comes with built-in documentation. The feature-rich, interactive documentation supplies parameters that can be used to fine-tune the search criteria for the information you seek through APIs. When you log in to the Unified Manager GUI, you can access this information from the help tab.

With a rich set of RESTful APIs that comes with various parameters that can be used to build your query, you can get almost all the Unified Manager data ported to your centralized monitoring dashboard.

 

The APIs are categorized by Unified Manager object. When you click a category, all the available APIs and relevant documentation appear.

The API endpoints allow you to perform various GET operations from the Unified Manager database. Each API comes with a lot of parameters; I have broken down a sample API description into three pictures to explain how it works.

The documentation also shows the functionality of each query through the built-in examples. The examples help you understand what the response looks like.

You can choose multiple parameters from options to narrow down your query.

You can also check the response for your API calls in the Swagger documentation. The following screenshot shows the response from your GET calls in a JSON format. Alternatively, you can use Postman or similar software to check API responses.

API Versioning Support

NetApp introduces new capabilities and options with each release of Unified Manager; this practice distinguishes newer versions of the APIs from past releases.

NetApp recommends that you always use the latest version of the API. In this example, it would be /aggregates or /aggregates/capacity-utilization. You don’t need to worry about changes in the API versions, because your code will always call the latest API available. So, if you are calling an API in your codebase where the API is aggregates, the URL for the API call in your code should be /rest/aggregates?limit=20 and not /rest/v1/aggregates?limit=20.

 

Note that Unified Manager RESTful APIs are read-only, supporting only GET calls, because Unified Manager is a monitoring solution.

Performance and Capacity Reporting with Unified Manager APIs

You can build Unified Manager APIs to create content rich Performance and Health reports and integrate with your own standard reporting tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI etc. As an example, I have a video demonstration of creating a custom report that draws health and performance data using Microsoft Visual Basic script allowing you to export the report in CSV and PDF formats; use any standard schedulers to schedule the report or just send them as email attachments

 

 

What I have not covered in this blog post is how you can use the Unified Manager database to create custom reports the same way you can use Unified Manager RESTful APIs. I plan to cover this in another post; I will also publish a technical report guiding you through the nitty-gritty details of creating content-rich health and performance reports by using the Unified Manager database, so stay tuned. If you are interested in active management, you can pair Unified Manager with the OnCommand Workflow Automation plug-in or NetApp Service Level Manager (NSLM) for any provisioning or active management requirements with your monitored ONTAP systems.

 

NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager 9.4 helps you reach your automation goals with your ONTAP monitoring solution. To realize a true modern data center monitoring solution, use Unified Manager APIs with any standard dashboard, or just use the APIs in your codebase to monitor your infrastructure as code.

Additional Resources

For more information, refer to the OnCommand Unified Manager 9.4 product documentation. If you are interested in how-to documents, videos, and technical articles, you can refer to the OnCommand Unified Manager Resources page.

Dhiman Chakraborty

Dhiman Chakraborty is a Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) at Netapp focusing on OnCommand Unified Manager. As a TME, he offers consulting services to Customers and Field Solution architects on various manageability challenges they foresee in their environment. With several years of experience, working for multiple Fortune 500 Companies in the BFSI, Insurance, Manufacturing, Media & Publishing and Utilities space; Dhiman has a deep understanding of IT infrastructure and Management both in the traditional and in the hybrid/public cloud space.