One of the most important aspects of running a healthy data center is to have a system that alerts you about anything that needs your attention. Most critical resources are driven by specific business needs, so every organization will require a different alerting system. NetApp understands these unique requirements and has designed OnCommand® Unified Manager to satisfy these set of needs.

 

The following figure shows the OnCommand Unified Manager event lifecycle. The flow depicts the stages that each event traverses to be marked as either Resolved or Obsolete.

 

 

Notes: Acknowledge and Resolved are user-triggered; the user has to take these actions manually in the system for each event. Resolved and Obsolete are terminal states. When an event is marked either Resolved or Obsolete, a new event is generated.

 

The user then creates an alert by associating one or more relevant events to it. This alert can also be enhanced by attaching it to a possible auto-remediation action by associating the alert to an alert script.

 

In Unified Manager, health and performance data is traditionally collected by polls. As shown in the following figure, Unified Manager uses two mechanisms to collect this data.

 

However, ONTAP® continues to add new events with every release, which makes it difficult for any monitoring solution to catch up and produce a matching native event in the software. In addition, it’s difficult for NetApp to determine which alerts are applicable to your particular environment. To bridge this gap, a new solution in Unified Manager allows users to subscribe to any ONTAP EMS events and showcase them as native events in the Unified Manager GUI. You can set up alerts on these events in the same way you configure alerts for built-in events in Unified Manager.

 

 

However, for this solution to work well, you need to know which ONTAP events to subscribe to, and you need to manually subscribe to each of the events for Unified Manager to pull information for them. This procedure can get cumbersome when you need to subscribe to many events from ONTAP. What if all the ONTAP events get auto-subscribed without you doing anything! The “foreign” events are there in Unified Manager for you to pick relevant ones and configure alerts for them. NetApp is moving in the right direction by introducing real-time event infrastructure in the Unified Manager 9.4 release.

Real-Time Event Infrastructure

Unified Manager 9.4 gives you more flexibility than ever with your ONTAP events. Unified Manager provides real-time events by consuming ONTAP REST APIs pertaining to EMS events. To get the event, Unified Manager registers with ONTAP, thereby registering RESTful targets in ONTAP so that ONTAP can POST EMS events via its REST APIs instantly when the EMS event occurs. During this operation, Unified Manager converts the EMS message to a Unified Manager event. From then on, the event lifecycle is similar to the “foreign” events; you can also attach an alert to it and even associate an alert script, just as with the built-in events in Unified Manager.

 

In Unified Manager 9.4, NetApp has made the following ONTAP events available in your Unified Manager instance.

 

Notes: Manually-subscribed events and auto-subscribed events (via ONTAP APIs) should not co-exist. User should remove manually-subscribed EMS events from UM in case of overlap. User still need to create an alert for notification of an auto-subscribed EMS event (received via RESTful API). Notification is one of the keys for this new feature – to reduce the time to notification of a potential problem.

 

You can gain a lot of benefits from the new way of registering ONTAP events in Unified Manager. The following table summarizes the benefits from real-time events compared to the existing solution, EMS subscribed events

 

The idea is to introduce as many ONTAP events as possible via RESTful APIs in future releases. NetApp will introduce many more similar events in the next release. In the Comments section below, please tell us about the ONTAP events you would like to see in Unified Manager.

Additional Resources

For more information, see the Unified Manager Resources Page for product documentation.

 

You can also use the following Technical Reports to understand Unified Manager better:

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.