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BMC PATROL data collection is the standard for collecting data in a BMC ProactiveNet deployment.

BMC ProactiveNet native monitors are not recommended and should not be used.

Overview of BMC PATROL data collection with BMC ProactiveNet

Note

This section contains a high-level overview of BMC PATROL data collection in the context of BMC ProactiveNet and PATROL integration. It is not intended as a substitute for technical training on BMC PATROL. Before any deployment is planned, sufficient training on PATROL Agent and monitoring solution data collection is critical.

Data collection using PATROL Agents

PATROL Agent setup and configuration are controlled through an implementation of rules and rule sets stored in a binary data file referred to as the pconfig database, which is located where the PATROL Agent is installed.

Data collection is managed via the BMC PATROL Configuration Manager User Interface, which is accessible from the Tools menu of the BMC ProactiveNet Admin console.

Event integration using PATROL Agents

PATROL Agents must be configured to forward events for availability parameters to the data collection nodes where Integration Services and event management cells are installed. If you have an environment that existed before version 9.0, you might have PATROL Agents configured as Notification Servers. Events from Notification Servers and PATROL Agents running on managed nodes are forwarded to the event processing cells using BMC Impact Integration for PATROL. It is recommended that you use PATROL Agents version 9.0 (or higher) and configure them to send events directly to the lower-tier event management cell. 

Note

PATROL Agent versions earlier than version 9.0 do not support sending events to the lower-tier event management cell. If you must use PATROL Agent versions earlier than 9.0, follow the BMC ProactiveNet version 8.6 best practices.

Installing PATROL Agent

There are various ways to install PATROL Agents and Knowledge Modules on the managed servers for which they collect data and events:

  • Local installation
    Local installation is supported through an interactive installation utility. During installation, basic configuration items are completed by the installing user.
  • Downloadable images
    BMC ProactiveNet supports the creation and packaging of installable PATROL Agent package images on the BMC ProactiveNet Server. These images contain the responses required for successful installation of specific PATROL Agent and monitoring solution packages. For more information, see the BMC ProactiveNet Installation and Configuration Guide.
  • Provisioning automation
    Provisioning technologies such as the BMC Server Automation product can deploy a silent installation package.

PATROL Agent monitoring

The PATROL Agent performs specific monitoring tasks using BMC ProactiveNet Monitoring Solutions. Each monitoring solution contains instructions in the following major areas:

  • Discovery
    Provides the scheduled routines that the PATROL Agent runs to determine the existence of resources related to the monitoring solution and how to discover each instance of those resources on the managed node. For each instance discovered, an object structure is created in the PATROL Agent to collect, store, and retrieve data.
  • Data and event collection
    Provides the scheduled routines to collect metrics and events from resources related to the monitoring solution and how to organize and display the metrics to users.

Connecting PATROL Agents to the BMC ProactiveNet Server via the Integration Service

PATROL Agents connect and send performance data (metrics) to the BMC ProactiveNet architecture through one or more remote BMC ProactiveNet Agents (represented as the Integration Service in the diagrams, Single-server deployment and Multiple-server deployment, in this section). Note that the BMC ProactiveNet Agent and the PATROL Agent are distinct and different components in the architecture. The BMC ProactiveNet Agent is used as an integration point (for performance metrics) to the BMC ProactiveNet Server and the PATROL Agent is used as the actual data collector.

Each remote BMC ProactiveNet Agent consists of the following sub-components:

  1. PATROL Integration Service,a process component that consolidates data from multiple PATROL Agents (receives connections from PATROL Agents).
  2. Remote BMC ProactiveNet Agent, a process component that provides the BMC PATROL Integration Service connectivity to the BMC Proactive Server.
  3. Event-receiving cell, an entry point for receiving events from external sources (including BMC PATROL events) which are then forwarded to the BMC ProactiveNet Server (separate connection from the BMC ProactiveNet Agent).

PATROL Agent, monitoring solution, and BMC ProactiveNet Server thresholds

Thresholds are an important part of any event and data monitoring and collection strategy. BMC ProactiveNet Server, PATROL Agent, and monitoring solutions support setting thresholds, and the mechanisms that they use are different.

PATROL Agent thresholds are based on the traditional approach for thresholds (value x above or below some threshold for y amount of time). The evaluation of the threshold is performed on the PATROL Agent (at the source of where the data is collected) and an event is generated at that same location. PATROL Agent and monitoring solution thresholds are set via the PATROL Configuration Manager (PCM) tool.

BMC ProactiveNet Server “intelligent” thresholds use the baseline pattern as an additional filter on top of the specified threshold value. This additional filter helps reduce the number of false and insignificant alarms generated. The evaluation of the threshold breach is performed on the BMC ProactiveNet Server (after the data comes into the BMC ProactiveNet Server); the event is not generated at the collection source location. BMC ProactiveNet Server thresholds are set via the BMC ProactiveNet web console.

Note

BMC ProactiveNet “intelligent” thresholds are BMC ProactiveNet Server “absolute” thresholds (thresholds that use a static value as the threshold violation trigger) that are enabled to additionally check if the metric is also within the baseline (as part of the threshold violation check). “Signature” thresholds are a different type of threshold that uses the baseline pattern as the primary threshold violation trigger (versus a static value). Signature thresholds are recommended for use only with advanced training.

PATROL Agent automated workflow

PATROL Agent data is brought into the BMC ProactiveNet Server via an Integration Service (running on a remote node) that acts as a proxy on behalf of the PATROL Agents. In earlier releases, both the Integration Service and a PATROL Adapter (running in the BMC ProactiveNet Agent on the same host as the Integration Service) needed to be manually configured before the PATROL Agent started sending its data to the BMC ProactiveNet Server. With the automated workflow feature, this manual configuration is not required.

Automated workflow imports monitor types and automatically creates a BMC PATROL Adapter instance when a remote BMC ProactiveNet Agent configured with the Integration Service is added to the BMC ProactiveNet Server. You only have to configure the PATROL Agents to connect to the Integration Service and add remote BMC ProactiveNet Agents to BMC ProactiveNet Server.

In some cases, subsequent manual editing of the BMC PATROL Adapter is required when filtering of data is required at the BMC PATROL Adapter level. This is useful when not all data from the PATROL Agent is needed in the BMC ProactiveNet Server (for performance reasons primarily).

Tuning the BMC PATROL Agent for remote data collection

The following videos are a two part series that explain how to tune the remote BMC PATROL Agent for data collection.

Part 1

Use player to increase quality or switch to full screen | YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yDwzldCMt4

Part 2

Use player to increase quality or switch to full screen | YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13FCrT9t5o