Doubling the Charting Speed of Sightline EDM

Sightline can collect data from over 7,500 different metrics across multiple OS platforms.  One of the important features of Sightline Enterprise Data Manager (EDM) is to visualize the data. Once the data is collected we use a charting tool inside EDM  to display the data in a web browser interface. It helps give IT teams a fast way to look at their server performance, spot trends or clearly see when problematic events began.

Yet, we were increasingly unhappy with the performance of our current charting tool because it would often take several minutes for our customers to view a report containing their performance data.

Recently we came across CanvasJS. It claimed to render 100,000 data points in 100 milliseconds -- just the type of performance we were seeking. After evaluating CanvaJS, we decided to include it in the next release of EDM.

Below are a few before and after comparisons to illustrate why we’re excited by EDM's upcoming new performance charting features.

Before

After

blog-chart3Only 1 chart type (zoomline) supports zoom capability.
blog-chart2EDM can now display more data without affecting performance. This increases the granularity at which we can plot the data.
blog-chart1We were forced to summarize data in order to limit the number of data points rendered in the chart. As a result the data was less granular and data spikes were not shown.
blog-chart4The majority of charts have zooming capability.
blog-chart5
To find the value for a particular point the user has to hover over the exact data point in the chart. Depending on the number of data points in the chart this was hard to do and often frustrating.
blog-chart6Charts are now more interactive. The user does not need to hover over an exact data point to view the data information.
Customers complain about charts taking too long to load.
Charts render in the UI at least twice as fast.

Sightline Power Agents for Linux and Windows Systems

Software Releases

Sightline is pleased to announce the release of the Sightline Power Agent for Linux Systems, version 6.5.6. This is the initial release of the Sightline Power Agent for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 running on Power PC systems.

This release of the Sightline software expands the enterprise-wide system coverage available from the Sightline Software Suite.
Review the Release Notes

Sightline is also pleased to announce the release of version 6.5.32.11 of the Sightline Power Agents for Windows 2008 and 2012 Systems. This release of the Windows Power Agent fixes a validation error with the Log File Interface Agent.
Review the Release Notes

To download Sightline software updates, visit the Sightline download page at supportweb.sightline.com.

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Torch 4R7G Software Release

Sightline is pleased to announce the release of version 4R7G of the Sightline Torch Capacity Manager software for Unisys® ClearPath OS 2200 Systems. Torch enables you to measure, analyze and control the capacity and performance of your OS 2200 system.

This release of Torch includes additional seasonal shift handling updates. When the time setting is changed in the middle of a log cycle, it is not immediately recognized by Torch, which can cause either negative elapsed time or an incorrect duration to be reported. This has been corrected.

This release also includes internal code updates to standardize code and improve mathematical precision.

To read the release notes and download the software update, visit the Sightline download page at supportweb.sightline.com.

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New Sightline Power Agent for Windows Systems

Sightline Systems is pleased to announce the release of the Sightline Power Agent for Microsoft® Windows 2008 and Windows 2012 Systems. This release, version 6.5.32.10, includes exciting new features as well as stability updates.

New Features

New Network Traffic Metric Group

The Network Traffic group is included in the standard metric package, and contains three event classes. A new COMPUTE section has also been added to the agent.xml configuration file to remove entries from the Event list when the values are less than 1 Kbyte/sec.

xInclude Functionality

The XML support library has been updated to support ‘xInclude’ functions.

Updates and Changes

Updates to the new Power Agent for Windows Systems include the following:

  • The IISLog-Transaction Time units has been changed from milliseconds to seconds to prevent overflowing the counter.
  • Hyper-V metric names have been modified to allow greater room for subscripts, which represent the name of the guests.
  • The SNMP API GetBulk() call has been made optional, because it can break when used against some devices.
  • The “Target” column in the IIS Logfile event data has been moved to the far right, allowing it to expand to display the full value of the data.
  • The IIS Interface Agent has been modified to force IIS to flush HTTP log files every collection interval, to prevent collection inconsistencies.

Review the release notes here

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Automated Capacity Planning with Sightline

Information technology executives must analyze current and future capacity of the IT infrastructure on a regular basis to avoid critical failures and to make informed purchasing decisions. You may also need to generate periodic capacity reports to meet compliance goals as required by risk management guidelines such as Basel III and Sarbanes-Oxley.

The complexity of a capacity study makes it an arduous task, requiring a team of analysts with both technical and statistical skills. Preparing a capacity study involves:

  • reviewing current capacity and identifying immediate capacity issues
  • collecting historical data from thousands of servers
  • creating capacity forecasts based on historical data
  • identifying future capacity issues.

Manually prepared capacity studies are expensive, and the process is not easily repeatable. So, how can you achieve your capacity planning objectives while cutting costs and ensuring a consistent, repeatable capacity planning process?

Sightline ForSight automates the capacity planning process, and reduces the number of people that you must dedicate to planning. ForSight immediately transforms your organization’s planning process from no planning or ad hoc planning to a completely automated capacity planning process.

With Sightline ForSight you get:

  • reduced cost of capacity planning and reporting
  • a repeatable and automated capacity planning process
  • early warning of future capacity issues so you can proactively manage risk
  • the ability to make informed IT purchasing decisions.

Read more about Sightline ForSight here. If you would like to schedule a demo or obtain a trial copy, contact us today!

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Sightline Highlights – February 19, 2015

Sightline Systems recognized on CRN’s 2015 Data Center Top 100 

021915_aSightline Systems has been recognized in CRN’s 2015 Data Center 100 list as one of the 20 Top Data Center Tool Providers. The CRN editorial staff reviews thousands of IT vendors and manufacturers each year to create this annual list, and being selected is a notable achievement.

CRN was established in 1982 and has been a consistent voice and authority ever since. Today, CRN is considered the gold standard for IT channel news and information, and remains the global media leader in the IT channel.

021915_bCRN’s Data Center Top 100
Building a data center and making it work effectively and efficiently can be two very different things. Making it work requires a variety of tools, primarily software applications that help monitor data center functions and serve both internal and external customers. Some tools ensure power, cooling and other variables are as expected. Other tools warn of potential problems and may offer recommendations to fix those problems or, increasingly, automatically make the required fixes.

Why Sightline?

Sightline’s technology uses analytics, root-cause analysis and correlation of data from multiple sources including IT systems, applications, and storage to provide real-time operations intelligence for data center users to discover comprehensive insights into computer systems and their interdependencies. Providing your team with a tool that can alert, report, correlate and plan across the entire environment is imperative in today’s ever changing IT landscape. Why implement multiple tools that all do the same thing? Use the most trusted name in Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning – Sightline.

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The Sightline Software Suite: Where Does EDM Fit?

We spend a lot of time telling you about Sightline EDM, so this week we’ll provide an overall description of exactly what it is, what it does, and where it fits into the big picture of the Sightline Software suite.

Sightline provides for data collection from a multitude of sources: operating systems, applications,databases, virtualization, and more. Sightline uses a combination of agent-less and agent-based data collection to obtain the most in-depth set of metrics available in the market today. Once collected, performance data is centrally stored at both raw and summarized intervals. Once collected, this data repository can be used for alerting and reporting, capacity planning and forecasting, automated root cause analysis and automated configuration enforcement.

Sightline Enterprise Data Manager (EDM) is at the center of the Sightline Software Suite. EDM is a state-of-the-art J2EE application comprised of two components: the Data Collector Service (DCS) and the web-based EDM user interface. Together, these two components provide central control and management for data collection and maintenance, agent configuration/management, alert processing, reporting, a browser-based user interface, and more.
0202_a

EDM provides central administration through a single interface to aggregated information regarding all of the components within your IT infrastructure.

EDM gathers Sightline performance data from hundreds or thousands of monitored systems and data sources, using both agent-based and agent-less data collection methods.

EDM manages the data repository and archive of performance data. Data archival and summarization is performed automatically as the data is collected, so the data you need is available when you need it, where you need it, and at the granularity required to answer the question at hand.

EDM provides Sightline Agent configuration capabilities – configuration and management for all Sightline data collection can be performed from the web-based EDM console. With EDM, you no longer need direct access to the system to update workload definitions, view log files, or even restart the Agent.

EDM includes ForSight for automated forecasting. Using ForSight you can perform both scheduled and ad hoc forecasting based on any metric stored in the Sightline data repository. Sightline provides accurate, automated and easy-to-read utilization reports to document current usage and requirements; with Sightline ForSight, you can forecast future requirements based on current utilization. Informed decisions can be made without relying on information from others. EDM lets users extrapolate current usage rates and predict future performance and capacity issues before they occur.

0202_b

Sightline ForSight Forecast Report

EDM simplifies reporting and visualization of system information, with browser-based display enabling the dissemination of data to users regardless of physical location. EDM provides the most robust reporting capabilities available from a performance management solution today. Reports can be customized by user, and can be automated to run at the user’s convenience.

Current Alert Status

Current Alert Status

EDM’s advanced alerting capability allows management tos et complex rules alerting to potential system issues before actual system outages occur. As data is collected, user-configured alerts are evaluated, andpredetermined actions are taken. Send an email, execute a command, or send anSNMP trap to a third-party framework. Alerts are tracked and their status is available both during and after the threshold violation occurs. You can send an email or SNMP trap when any active alert has been cleared,providing an extra layer of convenience and tracking to your system administrators.

EDM’s correlation engine compares the behavior of your target metric to all the other metrics on the system, and all the metrics on any other monitored systems. Similar behavior is detected regardless of the units or scale of the other metrics, and the time range can be shifted to allow for possible delays in the appearance cause-and-effect relationship between systems.

Sightline Clairvor report

Sightline Clairvor report

EDM includes Clairvor,Sightline’s automated root cause analysis engine. Clairvor helps analyze issues in minutes across the environment by providing automated correlation and reporting capabilities when configured threshold values are exceeded. When an application is using several different resources across multiple platforms, it can take hours or days to analyze problems. WithClairvor, once an alert is triggered the correct team can be notified immediately and be provided with a report showing where problem might be. This keeps your business running smoothly and saves money by preventing outages and downtime.

EDM includes ACE, for Automated Configuration Enforcement. With ACE, you can be sure that IT best practices are beingfollowed, ensuring the hardening of your systems and protecting against unwanted threats. Sightline ACE offers continuous monitoring to detect, audit and alert on everything in your IT environment so you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself. ACE includes over 7000 policyrules including standards from DISA, NIST, SOX, HIPAA and others. ACE lets you ensure the configuration of your OS instances remains consistent and be alerted to changes. ACE provides direct access to change information from the Sightline dashboard and Clairvor to accelerate root cause analysis and problem resolution.

Sightline EDM provides a Web Service API for interaction with the system without using the web login. This is useful for automation, and integration with existing infrastructure.

The Sightline interface is mobile. The Sightline solution is web-based; using Sightline on a laptop, tablet or Smartphone, users can monitor the environment. Alerts can be sent via email or text so that they can be viewed on your smartphone. Users can access the Sightline dashboard and reports to diagnosis problems from afar and create solutions for on-site personnel, so that issues are addressed proactively. In today’s work place it is critical to maintain the flexibility to ensure employees have the capability to work from anywhere.

The Sightline solution, with EDM at the center, provides a broad range of benefits including:
♦ Ease of Use – the Sightline solution provides a single console component to manage a mixed installation of disparate hardware types, while still providing a unified and consistent view of each system. As a result, users only need to learn to use a single tool, and the organization can preserve hard and soft IT investments as hardware configurations evolve.
♦ Low Overhead – the Sightline data collection has a small footprint, while delivering an unparalleled depth of data. With Sightline, data is collected once and stored in a central repository to meet multiple needs, including performance measurement reporting, problem detection and analysis, trending and capacity planning.
♦ Ease Regulatory Compliance – implementing Sightline ACE helps organizations to meet a number of industry and government regulations regarding system configuration and security by providing continuous configuration monitoring.
♦ Improved Business Efficiency – the Sightline solution provides productivity improvements for business managers and the IT department by automating performance monitoring and capacity planning processes.
♦ Flexibility – Sightline offers the capabilities of a large corporation while retaining the flexibility of a small business. Sightline develops and maintains the Sightline software and is quick to adapt to customers’ needs and develop new features based on customer request.

Why Sightline? Providing your team with a tool that can alert, report, correlate and plan across the entire environment is imperative in today’s ever changing IT landscape. Why implement multiple tools that all do the same thing? Use the most trusted name in Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning – Sightline.

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Sightline Highlights: Monitoring your vCenter Environment

Sightline in the vCenter Environment. The Sightline Performance Management Solution is a perfect complement to your organization’s vCenter implementation. When used together, Sightline can save you time and money, while providing the peace of mind that your systems are running smoothly.
Read about Sightline in the vCenter Environment

Monitoring VMware vCenter. Being able to correctly predict what your infrastructure is going to do in the future can be a truly monumental task. Using the capacity planning functionality within Sightline you can easily create supporting documentation to provide the necessary information to accurately determine what your infrastructure should look like in the weeks, months and years to come.
Read about Capacity Planning with EDM

Using the VM Count metric from vCenter. We’re often asked about the metrics we collect, whether we collect certain information, or how we would represent a specific situation. An interesting metric collected from vCenter is VM Count. Is there a metric that you’re interested in? Let us know, and we’ll investigate!
Read about VM Count

Your environment under a single umbrella — Sightline. As your organization evolves, so does the IT environment. It is critical that theIT team can intelligently monitor all physical, virtual and cloud components,with accurate information available to correct situations as they occur. Oncecollected, information can be used to assist with migrating business criticalapplications to different platforms and ensure that the environment iscorrectly sized to maximize efficiency and limit spending. Sightline providesall this and more – all under the same umbrella.
Read about the Sightline Unified Monitoring Solution

Data visualization in Sightline EDM: who you are influences what you want to see. Visualization of data sounds like an easy proposition; collect data and display it. But there’s a lot more to it than that! What data should be displayed? How much data? And in what format? With the depth of data available from Sightline data collection agents, and the versatility of Sightline’s display interface, we can show you whatever you need to see.
Read about Data Visualization in EDM

Maximize performance monitoring of your VMware environment using Sightline. Sightline offers in-depth monitoring of your entire VMware environment. We use two different strategies to provide you with the best overall view of your virtual environment. First, we look at the vCenter servers to provide basic monitoring of the virtual space; then, we utilize Power Agents and Interface Agents to provide in-depth data collection for your mission-critical systems and applications. You decide just how deep you want to go into each instance in the environment.
Read more about Sightline in your VMware environment

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The year in review — 2014 at Sightline Systems

Wishing you a very Happy New Year from Sightline Systems

As we approach the end of 2014, we’d like to look back at some of the topics we’ve presented through the year. If there’s a subject you’d like to see in the newsletter, just let us know.

Capacity planning made easy with Sightline EDM. Being able to correctly predict what your infrastructure is going to do in the future can be a truly monumental task. Using the capacity planning functionality within Sightline you can easily create supporting documentation to provide the necessary information to accurately determine what your infrastructure should look like in the weeks, months and years to come.
Read about Capacity Planning with EDM

Data visualization in Sightline EDM: who you are influences what you want to see. Visualization of data sounds like an easy proposition; collect data and display it. But there’s a lot more to it than that! What data should be displayed? How much data? And in what format? With the depth of data available from Sightline data collection agents, and the versatility of Sightline’s display interface, we can show you whatever you need to see.
Read about Data Visualization in EDM

The Sightline Solution for Performance and Security Monitoring. At Sightline we specialize in performance data management. But you can do so much more with performance data than just monitor the performance of your infrastructure. With that in mind, we’ve developed the Sightline Knowledge Quadrant — an in-depth look at what you know and what you don’t know.
Read more about Monitoring and the Sightline Knowledge Quadrant

Sightline in the vCenter Environment. The Sightline Performance Management Solution is a perfect complement to your organization’s vCenter implementation. When used together, Sightline can save you time and money, while providing the peace of mind that your systems are running smoothly.
Read about Sightline in the vCenter Environment

Alerts Post-Processing in EDM. Sightline EDM provides a powerful alerting system, enabling you to send notifications based on threshold conditions that meet the needs of your environment, as well as tracking of active and resolved alerts. EDM also provides notification when an alert has been resolved and cleared. You can send an email or SNMP trap when any active alert has been cleared, providing an extra layer of convenience and tracking to your system administrators.
Read about Alerts and Post-Alert Processing

Using the VM Count metric from vCenter. We’re often asked about the metrics we collect, whether we collect certain information, or how we would represent a specific situation. An interesting metric collected from vCenter is VM Count. Is there a metric that you’re interested in? Let us know, and we’ll investigate!
Read about VM Count

Comparing Data Sets Using Sightline EDM. Using Sightline EDM, there are multiple methods available to compare two or more sets of data. In this example, we’re using the data from test systems in the Sightline office, but the data sets could come from any system type.
Read about Data Comparison using Sightline

Integrating with EDM using the Sightline API. Sightline EDM provides a Web Service API for interaction with the system without using the web login. This is useful for automation, and integration with existing infrastructure. You can use API from any client, using the WSDLs from EDM, to add and update connections, change systems settings, retrieve data and much, much more.
Download the Sightline API documentation

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Alerts Post-Processing in EDM

Sightline EDM provides a powerful alerting system, enabling you to send notifications based on the threshold conditions that meet the needs of your environment, as well as tracking of active and resolved alerts. EDM also provides notification when an alert has been resolved and cleared. You can send an email or SNMP trap when any active alert has been cleared, providing an extra layer of convenience and tracking to your system administrators.

Configuring Alert Post-Processing

1215_aAlert post-processing is configured in the Actions on Alert Cleared tab in the Configure Alert dialog box. To use alert post-processing, check Enable actions when an alert clears and configure the email and/or SNMP trap to be sent, or even an sound file to be played. Just as SNMP traps can be sent from EDM to third-party systems (such as Tivoli) to create tickets, an SNMP trap can be sent to monitor tickets related to the triggered alert. Once the alert has been cleared, the cleared-alert trap sent will contain a severity level of 0, prompting the third-party system to close the ticket.

Click here for a more in-depth discussion of alert post-processing in EDM, with examples and OID descriptions.
Read more here

Sightline Power Agent 7R8A for ClearPath OS 2200 Systems

Sightline is pleased to announce the release of the Sightline Power Agent for Unisys ClearPath OS 2200 Systems. Version 7R8A of the Power Agent includes an update to correct an invalid tdate reference when monitoring UDS applications.
Review the release notes

Torch 4R7F for ClearPath OS 2200 Systems

We are also pleased to announce the release of Torch Performance Management System version 4R7F. Torch 4R7F includes updates to Torch/System, Torch/Alog and Torch/MICS.
Review the release notes

For more information, contact your Sightline representative today!

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