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Data collectors are responsible for actually collecting your data, indexing it, and making it available for search. The Data Collectors tab allows you to configure data collectors for collecting data from particular data sources depending on the data pattern used.

This topic contains the following information:

What kind of data can I collect?

You can collect the following kinds of data:

  • Any kind of machine data such as logs and events from applications (including web servers, databases) and servers
  • Historical data and data generated continuously


  • You can collect data with UTF-8 character encoding only.
  • You cannot collect data that contains non-English characters appearing as the time stamp.

You can collect data for one-time or continuous monitoring.

When you create a data collector, at a minimum, you need to specify information about:

  • Your data source (for example, target server where the data is located and file location)
  • How you want to index the data (for example, data pattern to use)
  • How frequently you want to collect the data (for example, poll interval)

This information is used by the Indexer to index data and make it available in the form of events that can be searched immediately. If the manner in which the data was indexed is not as per your requirement, you can modify the data pattern and see if the results match your criteria.

Where is my data?

The data that you want to collect can be on the same computer on which the Collection Station (or Collection Agent) is installed (local data), or it can be on a different computer (remote data). You can collect data remotely by creating an SSH connection or connecting to a shared network drive on a Windows computer.

For more information, see Local and remote data collection.

Which collection mechanism to use?

You can collect data by using one of the following collection mechanisms:

  • Collection Station—An entity that is automatically installed when you install the product and is responsible for actually collecting data and providing it to the Indexer for further processing.
  • Collection Agent—Another entity that can be used for collecting data, but for this you must configure the BMC PATROL Knowledge Module for IT Data Analytics.

The Collection Agent is useful in the following scenarios:

  • You already have the BMC PATROL components installed in your environment.
  • You have a company policy that restricts direct communication from the Collection Station to the target host. For example, if you cannot open up the target host's firewall ports, the Collection Station cannot communicate with the target server.

To understand how to choose a data collection mechanisms for your environment, see Data collection mechanisms.

For information about setting up the Collection Agent, see Setting up Collection Agents.

Data retention and deletion

After creating a data collector, data collection starts when the first poll happens. Data starts getting collected from the time when the first poll happens. Supposing you want to monitor a file in which data is being continuously added. After creating the data collector, data starts getting collected from the point when the first poll happened and the previous data available in the file is ignored. By default, the product defines the data retention period as seven days. This period defines the maximum duration of time for which data must be retained in the system. You can change the default setting by navigating to Administration > System Settings.

The data retention period acts as a moving window (depicted in green in the following figure).

Consider that on the following scale of time, you created a data collector at time T1, now data collection starts from T1 when the first poll happens. Data collected at T1 remains in the system until T1+7. As time passes, the data older than the seven days period starts getting deleted and is no longer available for searching.

Data retention period has implications on the Read from Past (# days) function which defines the maximum limit (of time) for collecting data older than the current time. This setting is available for the following data collectors:


After the data collector is created, it might take some time (approximately 1 minute) for the first poll to happen. The first poll is used to make the data collector ready for data collection. The data is fetched only from the second poll.

Expected time delay (to see the first set of data for a search) = (Time for first poll) + (Poll interval set for the data collector).

Kinds of data collectors

Depending on the data sources and whether you want to perform local or remote collection, data collectors can be categorized as follows:

Data sourcesDescriptionData collectorsLocal / remote?
Files and directories

Collect data that comes from various files and directories.

Note: The Upload File data collector can be used to upload a file for one-time collection of data.

Monitor file on Collection Agent

Monitor file over SSHRemote
Monitor file over Windows shareRemote
Upload fileRemote
Script outputsCollect data that is generated as a result of running a script.

Monitor script output on Collection Agent

Monitor script output over SSHRemote
Windows eventsIndex and search Windows events.Monitor Windows eventsRemote
Events from external systemsCollect events directly from supported external systems such as BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management.

Monitor using external configuration

Syslog eventsCollect Syslog events over a TCP or UDP connection.

Receive over TCP/UDP


Functions available while creating data collectors

  • Specify a rollover pattern for collecting rolling logs.
  • Read data from subdirectories of a parent directory.
  • Create a host containing details about the target and the collection host, and reuse this information while creating a data collector. For more information about creating hosts, see Managing hosts.
  • Create a credential profile containing credentials to connect with the server where the data is located. You can reuse this credential profile while creating a data collectors for the Windows operating system. For more information about creating credential profiles, see Managing credentials.
  • Specify group access permissions so that particular user groups can access and search the data coming from particular data sources.
  • Add tags that can later be used for effectively searching the data from particular data sources.
  • Filter the relevant data patterns (by using the Filter relevant data pattern icon available next to the Pattern field) to automatically detect the data patterns that match your data file.
  • Select a data pattern that you think might be most appropriate and use the preview option (by using the Preview parsed log entries icon next to the Pattern field) to see how the parsed data records look. If the selected data pattern does not satisfy your needs, you can select another data pattern and again see a preview of the data records, until you are satisfied with the results.
  • If none of the filtered data patterns suit your needs, you can add a new data pattern.

Collecting product metrics

You can collect and analyze metrics (or logs) generated by the BMC TrueSight IT Data Analytics product for the Collection Station and Search components. You can also view events indexed in the last week by adding a graph in one of the four quadrants on the Search tab.

For more information, see Monitoring the product metrics files.

Viewing and searching configured data collectors

The Data Collectors tab allows you to manage data collectors. To access this tab, navigate to Administration > Data Collectors. From here, you can perform the following actions:

Add Data Collector

Add a new data collector.

You can add one of the following types of data collectors:

Edit Data Collector

Edit the selected data collector.

You can modify the same details that you provided while adding a data collector.

Note: You cannot modify a data collector if:

  • The data collection is running.
  • The data collector is of the Upload File type.
View Data Collector
 View details of the selected data collector
Delete Data Collector

Delete the selected data collector. Optionally, select the Delete data for this Data Collector check box if you want to delete all the data collected by that data collector so that it is no longer available for searching.Click OK to confirm your action.

Note: There might be some residual data remaining in the system that was still being collected when you decided to delete the data collected by the data collector. Such data is deleted from the system when the data retention period is over.

Clone Data Collector

Make a copy of the selected data collector.

Last 10 Polls Status of Data Collector

View the overall status of the selected data collector. The overall status consists of information about the last 10 polls for that data collector.

Note: The overall status is not available in the following scenarios:

  • For the Upload File data collector. This data collector is expected to do a one-time data collection of the uploaded file.
  • The poll interval for a data collector is set to zero, in which case the poll status is seen only one time.

Search for a data collector by entering appropriate text in the search bar at the top-right side of your screen.

Searching is supported only for the Name, Path, and Host columns.

The Data Collectors tab provides the following information:




Name of the data collector configured.

PathFile path of the data file used while creating the data collector.
HostHost name of the server on which the data exists.
TypeType of the data collector.
Data PatternData pattern used for creating the data collector.

Individual polling status for the data collector, as follows:

  • The green square indicates that polling was successful.
  • The yellow square indicates that polling was unsuccessful.
  • The red square indicates successive unsuccessful polling. If your data collection fails more than four times consecutively, the status changes to red.
  • The square with no color indicates that the polling status is unavailable.

If the individual status of the data collector has changed to red but the next data collection happens successfully, the status changes to green.

You can view details of the overall status (for the last 10 polls) by selecting the data collector and clicking Last 10 Polls Status of Data Collector .

  • Click Start Data Collection to manually start data collection.
  • Click Stop Data Collection to stop in-progress data collection.

When the data collection is successful, you can see Data Collection Completed .

For the Upload File data collector, the Start Data Collection and Stop Data Collection icons are not relevant.

If you want to avoid data collection during a particular time period (for example, during your maintenance window), you can stop the data collection. No data is collected during this time. The next time you start data collection, it begins from that point onward.

Managing data patterns

Understanding fields and tags

Managing hosts

Using the command line to export a data collector

Using the command line to import a data collector

Using the command line to list data collectors

Using the command line to start collection of a data collector

Using the command line to stop collection of a data collector