NetApp® OnCommand® Unified Manager has come a long way from just supporting NetApp ONTAP® features. With the significant enhancements to Unified Manager over the past few releases, it now provides increased flexibility with various monitoring features and solutions. So, now it’s easier than ever to get the specific data that you need to keep your system running at top performance.

 

In this blog post, I’m going to take you through some of the numerous ways that you can extract health and performance data out of Unified Manager, including:

  • Using BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tool)
  • Using Open Database
  • Extracting data directly from the UI

Let’s look at each of these features in detail.

BIRT

BIRT is integrated third-party software that provides styling (sorting, column reordering, math functions, creation of new computed columns, and so on) and scheduling with your built-in reports. The built-in reports help you export data in various formats: PDF, XLS, CSV, TXT, and HTML. These built-in reports are categorized into Capacity Utilization, Operational, Inventory, and Data Protection Reports.

The reports are extensive. For instance, the Data Protection Reports category contains four reports, and each report gives you a simplified story for your data protection scenario. It could be just knowing the overall health of your NetApp SnapMirror® or SnapVault® relationships, or it could be knowing the volume transfer rate or the status of your monitored protection relationships.

 

The best part is that you can further customize the built-in reports to present exactly the data that you want. Customizations can range from altering the columns, to deleting some columns, to applying math and logical functions, to creating new computed columns. The choice is yours!

 

For most of the customizations, you start by right- or left-clicking the various column headers. The customization that you want to do depends on what the column data is. For instance, you might perform a math calculation on number-based columns and perform name filtering on volume name columns. In the following example, I right-clicked the column header to get to the customization menu. I also have access to the quick Filter and the Sort > Ascending/Descending options.

 

After you customize the view, you can save it as a new report and use all the exporting and scheduling options that Unified Manager already provides.

In the next example, I have taken a use case where I want to create a report that shows volume utilization by customizing the built-in Volume Capacity and Utilization Report. The following screenshot shows how we customized the report with a new computed column, Used Data %.

I have presented just two examples of using BIRT. You can see many other how-tos and examples in the NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager Reporting for ONTAP technical report.

Open Database

With Unified Manager, you can create custom reports by connecting any third-party reporting solution or any integrated development environment (IDE) to the Unified Manager database over a Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) connection. In Unified Manager versions earlier than 7.3, users had read-only access to one schema: ocum_report. For advanced users, it was a bit of a problem because they could not incorporate into their customized reports all the existing views in Unified Manager.

 

Starting with the Unified Manager 7.3 release, however, NetApp has provided read-only access to almost all the schemas, so you can collect almost all the content that Unified Manager has. The following screenshot shows a list of what you can access. But that’s not all: You can also take advantage of the performance schemas to gather 5-minute and hourly samples for creating performance reports.

With a Report Schema user role in Unified Manager, you can connect third-party IDEs over a JDBC connection. The tools will have access to all the schema and table information except the ones that hold user data and cluster credentials. With this information, you can access all the objects that Unified Manager uses for its own monitoring. So, the gap of available information between built-in reports and custom reports is now bridged!

Access to Data from the UI

With Unified Manager 7.3, you also have the option to extract data directly from the UI pages, whether it’s health, capacity, or performance information. You can use the web UI to export in CSV format many of the detailed pages that relate to performance and capacity. With the 7.3 release, you can also:

  • Export top workload data as reports, including views for aggregates, nodes, volumes, and LUNs.

  • Export capacity history trending for volumes and aggregates.

  • View reports on storage efficiency from the aggregate grid and download those reports in a CSV format.

For further information about the Open Database feature, look for the updated OnCommand Unified Manager Reporting TR, which is due to be released sometime in March 2018.

Exciting Times Ahead

NetApp is developing an innovative solution that will further simplify reporting for your system. We hear you when you say that creating customized, rich reports with the BIRT platform requires a lot of time, skills, and resources. With BIRT, you need a new virtual machine, you need SQL skills, and you have to configure and set up an IDE, to say the least. We are determined to help you with a platform that will suit both traditional and modern reporting applications.

 

The idea is to equip you with the ability to extract performance and health information through reporting applications that you might already be running in your organization. With this capability, you can access health and performance information either through JDBC or through RESTful endpoints. You can also leverage the schedulers that come with these applications to autogenerate reports to your email address or to a repository of your choice. Integrate with any industry standard reporting tools with Unified Manager to create feature-rich operational reports, as shown below:

Whether you have demanding reporting needs or you are planning for a stable release with long-term support, Unified Manager 7.3 is your answer. To better visualize some of the Unified Manager features, check out my YouTube demonstrations. If you’re already motivated to upgrade to Unified Manager 7.3, contact your NetApp SE today.

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.