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The staging Integration Service is a new component in BMC ProactiveNet version 9.5. The staging Integration Service provides a single point in the environment where all newly deployed BMC PATROL Agents can register into the BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management solution stack. The staging process can leverage the Integration Service on the BMC ProactiveNet Server.

Functionality of the staging Integration Service

A staging Integration Service supports a smoother process for deploying PATROL Agents into BMC ProactiveNet environments in three major ways:

  • It eliminates the need to manage the decision and assignment of PATROL Agents to production Integration Services that are separate from the deployment process. (This assumes an environment that includes multiple production Integration Service instances.) When you leverage a staging Integration Service, this decision and the assignment is automated as part of the deployment process. 
  • It supports a smoother process for managing policies across development, QA, test, and production environments.
  • It reduces the number of BMC PATROL silent installation packages that have to be created and maintained.

BMC PATROL Agent silent installation packages are created so that the staging Integration Service is defined in the package. No other Integration Service is defined in the installation packages. Although technically possible, BMC recommends as a best practice that other Integration Service instances not be defined in the installation packages. When a package is deployed and installed, the PATROL Agent checks in through the staging Integration Service. When the PATROL Agent checks in, Central Monitoring Administration evaluates the agent selection criteria in a staging policy and uses that data to automatically assign a data collection Integration Service (or Integration Service cluster) to the PATROL Agent. The agent selection criterion can include any one or a combination of the following:

  • A tag defined in the agent configuration
  • Host name that the agent is running on
  • Operating System that the agent is running on
  • IP address or IP address range that the agent is running on
  • Agent port
  • Agent version
  • Integration Service that the agent is already assigned to (assuming it is already assigned)
  • BMC ProactiveNet Server that the agent is already assigned to (in this case it is through a staging Integration Service)

Integration Service policies are the only Central Monitoring Administration policies that are applied through a staging Integration Service. Monitoring policies are not applied though a staging Integration Service. Additionally, staging Integration Service policies in Central Monitoring Administration are only applied through a staging Integration Service instance. 

The architecture of network connections (communication protocol, ports, and so on) among the staging Integration Service, PATROL Agents, and the BMC ProactiveNet Server is technically the same as with other Integration Service instances. 

Best practices for staging Integration Services

The following are best practices for staging Integration Services:

  • Do not attempt to configure agents so that performance data and/or events are sent to a staging Integration Service. 
  • Staging Integration Services must not be mixed with data collection Integration Services. They must be configured, used, and managed separately from data collection Integration Services.
  • Configure the Integration Service on the BMC ProactiveNet Server as a staging Integration Service. Do not use it for data collection.
  • If firewall rules and security prevent you from using the Integration Service on the BMC ProactiveNet Server as a staging Integration Service, deploy a staging Integration Service into the managed zone or zones.
  • Set up a single staging Integration Service for each environment; for example, one for development, one for test, and one for production. Or, if you have a single Central Monitoring Administration instance for all environments, set up a single staging Integration Service for the entire implementation when possible.
  • Consider high availability for staging Integration Services. 

Staging process

The diagrams in the following steps illustrate the process of utilizing a staging Integration Service.

Initial agent deployment

This diagram illustrates three different Integration Service nodes and how they are used:

  • The staging Integration Service node is used strictly for introducing new agents to the BMC ProactiveNet Server. (An Integration Service has to be configured to work as a staging Integration Service.)
  • The general Integration Service is used to collect data from various PATROL Agent deployments that are installed locally on the managed nodes. The term “general” is a description of how the Integration Service is used and does not denote a configuration.
  • The domain Integration Service is used to collect data from PATROL Agents that provide large volumes of data from a single source. For example, VMware vCenter, PATROL Remote Operating System Monitoring, NetApp, and so on. The term “domain” is a description of how the Integration Service is used and does not denote a configuration.

How does the PATROL Agent introduction process work?

A newly deployed PATROL Agent silent installation package is installed as shown in the diagram. The installation package for the PATROL Agent contains configuration data that informs PATROL Agent on how to connect to the staging Integration Service. When the new agent starts for the first time, it registers with Central Monitoring Administration through the staging Integration Service. Central Monitoring Administration then applies a staging policy to the agent based on agent selection criteria in the policy. Agent selection criteria define the agents that the policy must be applied to. The staging policy only contains agent selection criteria and information that defines connectivity for a data collection Integration Service node (or Integration Service cluster). No other agent and/or KM configuration data can be defined in a staging policy.

Applying the Integration Service policy

After receiving the staging policy, the newly deployed PATROL Agent switches to the data collection Integration Service node (or Integration Service cluster) defined in the staging policy.  (The switch is represented by the blue arrow in the diagram.) The agent then receives monitoring polices that match each monitoring policy’s agent selection criteria defined in Central Monitoring Administration

Production monitoring

The PATROL Agent starts monitoring and continues to receive any updates to existing monitoring policies and new monitoring policies that match the monitoring policy’s agent selection criteria.

Note

Agents do not move from development to test, and then to production. All agents must first check in with the appropriate staging Integration Service, and then move to their data collection Integration Service. This supports the concept of creating installation packages for development and test only, separate from production.  

Related topics

Adding or editing a BMC ProactiveNet Integration Service through Central Monitoring Administration

BMC ProactiveNet Central Monitoring Administration architecture

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