Configuring usage data collection
To help BMC Software better understand the ways in which BMC Atrium Discovery is used in customer environments, the Usage Data Collection feature enables submission of anonymous usage data to BMC Software.
Usage data submission
By default, usage data collection is not activated on the appliance. On activation, the appliance submits usage data once every seven days through the customer's web browser. Ten seconds prior to an attempted submission, the Discovery user interface (below the Logout button) displays a message showing the time remaining until the next submission.
To postpone the submission for a day, click not today. Click more info to pause the countdown and show the data to be submitted.
The data sent to BMC Software is totally anonymous. An appliance ID is used, but the appliance cannot be identified from the appliance ID, it is only used to group submissions from the same appliance. The webserver to which the data is sent is configured not to record the source IP address of submitted data.
BMC Atrium Discovery is a high risk system that has access to some very sensitive data in my data center — why does BMC have functionality to share information from BMC Atrium Discovery across the internet?
The critical point to notice here is that BMC Atrium Discovery is not sharing any sensitive data — there are no details in the data about your environment or IT, and there is nothing in the data that can identify its source. Even the web servers at BMC that receive the submissions of the data are configured to discard (that is, to not log) the originating IP addresses, so that we at BMC would be unable to tie a submission to the customer that submitted it even if we wanted to.
The reason that we have this functionality is so that we can see how our customers use the software, and how to optimally make improvements to it — this will be to your direct benefit, as we can ensure we cater to environments of your size.
What is and what can be sent to BMC?
The data that is communicated back to BMC falls into two categories:
- Statistical usage information: this is information such as the version of BMC Atrium Discovery, the number of discovery runs configured in BMC Atrium Discovery, the number of credentials, which reports are used, the number of different types of items discovered (that is, the server count, switch count, and so on) and how many of those are synchronized to a CMDB.
- SNMP Recognition Rules: you can enable or disable this item as required. When you associate a sysOID with a device vendor and model name using the new SNMP recognition rules functionality, that data is sent to BMC for us to include in our content. In this way, other customers will benefit from your capturing this information, and you will benefit from all of the work that they do.
One of the items we send back is the "applianceID" - this is the consolidation ID that is generated by your appliance, and we use it to tell when we have received multiple submissions from the same BMC Atrium Discovery appliance. We cannot use the ID to identify you, as we never receive that ID from you through any other avenue.
Isn't this a half open backdoor that could be exploited further?
Absolutely not. The data to be sent is hard-coded and displayed in its entirety in the UI. The phone-home logic gathers the data it was written to gather, and then it makes an HTTP POST to the BMC webserver to submit it (using a form submission). It does not receive any result from BMC that it then processes, and there is no facility for BMC to instruct the appliance on what data to send.
How can I ensure that this functionality is not switched on by mistake?
We hope that, having read this FAQ, you'll be happy to switch it on deliberately! If you decide not to participate then you can turn the feature off and it will never ask again to be turned on. Further, only somebody with System permissions can enable this feature which protects you from unauthorized staff switching it on.
Managing usage data collection
You can manage data collection from the Administration > Configuration > Usage Data Collection tab. The following table describes the fields and their corresponding functions on the Usage Data Collection tab:
Displays whether usage data collection is activated or not, who made the previous change, and when.Activating this option adds an unobtrusive feedback button to every page. The feedback button opens a User Feedback page. Feedback is submitted anonymously and contains minimal additional information, such as UI page, Product, Edition and Version.
|Displays the data submitted by the appliance. The submitted data includes the following:|
• Request Type: The type of the request. This field is displayed as ADDM Usage Data.
• UDC version: UDC version.
• Request Id: The appliance ID. The appliance cannot be identified from the ID; it is only used to group submissions from the same appliance.
• Product: Name of the product used. The product name is displayed as Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping.
• Edition: The edition of BMC Atrium Discovery used (for example, Enterprise edition or Community edition).
• Version: The version number of the BMC Atrium Discovery product.
• Release: The corresponding release number.
• Timestamp: The time stamp of the request.
• Fault Tolerance: Flag stating whether fault tolerance is enabled or disabled.
• Cluster Size: Number of appliances in the cluster.
• TKU Packages: Active TKU packages.
• Node Counts: The number and type of nodes.
• Relationship Counts: The number and type of relationships.
• Unknown Devices: Reported SNMP SysOID and SysDescr of any unknown devices.
• LDAP Enabled: Whether LDAP is enabled.
• SI Count: Count of SIs in the datastore.
• Versioned SI Count: Count of versioned SIs in the datastore.
• Report Usage: The reports that have been used. The actual data in the reports is not submitted.
• Credential Counts: The types and numbers of configured credentials.
• Scheduled Runs: The number of scheduled discovery runs configured.
• Weekly Logins: The total number of logins for the week and the number of unique users.
• Local Users Count: The number of locally configured (non-LDAP) users.
• Coordinator UUID: Unique identifier of the appliance which acts a cluster coordinator.
• CMDB Sync Status: Current status of CMDB Sync for example whether CMDB Sync is in Continuous Sync mode or has been paused, and so on.
• CMDB Sync Counts: The total number of CIs and relationships pushed to CMDB.
• SNMP Recognition Rules: If enabled (see below) this is the number of SNMP recognition rules and the actual rules configured.
• Consolidation Role: Is the appliance in a consolidating or scanning role.
• Kickstart Version: The kickstart version number.
• OS Revision: The OS revision number.
• Kickstart Foundation Version: The kickstart foundation version number.
• Appliance RAM MB: The amount of RAM available on the appliance, in MB.
• Appliance SWAP MB: The amount of SWAP space available on the appliance, in MB.
• Appliance Cores: The number of CPU cores available on the appliance.
• Appliance ECA Engines: The number of ECA Engines running on the appliance.
• FIPS mode: Flag stating whether FIPS mode is enabled or disabled.
• Disk Sizes: A list of disk and filesystem sizes. The output of the
• Datastore size: The size of the datastore on disk. The output of the
• Consolidation ID: If it is part of a consolidating system, (a scanning or consolidation appliance), the consolidation ID.
• Consolidating To: If it is a scanning appliance, the IDs of the consolidation appliances it is sending data to.
• Consolidating From: If it is a consolidating appliance, the appliance IDs of the scanning appliance or appliances.
Include SNMP Recognition Rules — Select this check box if you want to submit data on SNMP recognition rules.
Recent Submission History
The previous ten data submission history and links to the corresponding audit report.
Activate, Deactivate, and Cancel
To activate usage data collection, click Activate.
Activating and deactivating the Usage Data Collection feature
To activate or deactivate usage data collection, you must have permissions to write system settings (
system/settings/write). After the initial deployment, when you log on to BMC Atrium Discovery, a Usage Data Collection popup window asks you to activate the feature. Select one of the following options:
- Activate — Activates the feature and allows submission of anonymous usage data.
- Not now — Postpones the decision to activate the feature until later. The popup window prompt will continue to appear until you activate or deactivate the feature.
- here — Displays the Usage Data Collection tab which shows the data that would be submitted on activation.
Subsequent activation and deactivation of the Usage Data Collection
You can choose to deactivate the feature from the Usage Data Collection tab by clicking Deactivate. If you want to active the feature again, click Activate.