Introduction to Hyperic Monitoring

Topics marked with * relate to features available only in vFabric Hyperic.

Hyperic provides proactive performance management with complete and constant visibility into applications and infrastructure. It produces more than 50,000 performance metrics on more than 75 technologies at every layer of the stack. At startup, Hyperic automatically discovers and adds new servers and VMs to inventory; configures monitoring parameters; and collects performance metrics and events. Hyperic helps you reduce operations workload, increase your company's  IT management maturity level, and drive improvements in availability and infrastructure health.

Main Components

Main components of Hyperic include Hyperic Server, Agent, Database, and the Hyperic User Interface, also known as the Hyperic Portal.

Hyperic Agent

You run a Hyperic Agent on each physical or virtual machine that you want to manage with Hyperic. Agents auto-discover the software components running on the machine, and periodically re-scan the platform for changes in its configuration. Hyperic Agents gather performance and availability metrics; perform log and event tracking; and allow you to perform control functions, such as starting and stopping servers. Agents send the inventory and performance data they collect to a central Hyperic Server.

Hyperic Server and Hyperic Database

The Hyperic Server receives inventory and metric data from Hyperic Agents and stores it in the Hyperic database. The server provides facilities for managing your software inventory. It implements the Hyperic inventory and access model, which allows you group your software assets in useful ways that ease the process of monitoring and management. The Hyperic Server detects when alerts fire, and performs the notifications or escalation processes you define. It also processes actions that you initiate through the Hyperic Portal or Hyperic Web Services API. Hyperic Server also provides authentication services, using an internal engine or an external authentication service.

Hyperic User Interface (Hyperic Portal)

The Hyperic browser-based user interface, sometimes referred to as the Hyperic Portal is a configurable, extendable user interface for monitoring and analyzing performance and availability. Key features of the user interface include:

  • Dashboard. The Dashboard is the first page you see when you open the Hyperic user interface. The Dashboard contains multiple portlets — Recent Alerts, Availability, Problem Resources, and so on — each of which presents a summary view of events and resources of interest. You can tailor the Dashboard on a per-user basis. You can remove and rearrange portlets on your Dashboard, and tailor what data a portlet presents.

  • Resource Hub.You go to the Resources tab, often referred to as the Resource Hub, to browse to specific resources, view resource properties, view metric data and charts, and initiate resource control actions. Hyperic administrators use the features of the Resource Hub to configure resources for monitoring and set up alert definitions.

  • Global Monitoring Views .The Hyperic user interface contains the following pages that present deployment-wide resource monitoring results:

    • Operations Center. Broad view of deployment health, including alerts, events, and currently down resources.

    • Alert Center. Deployment-wide view of alert activity and alert definitions.

    • Event Center. Deployment-wide view of log events, configuration events, and and alerts.

    • Nagios Data. Available in deployments that have integrated Hyperic with Nagios.

    • Currently Down. List of currently unavailable resources.

  • Resource Type Views. Some pages in the Hyperic user interface are specific to a particular resource type; for example, the vSphere View for vCenter and vCenter-managed resources, and the GemFire View for monitoring components of a vFabric GemFire distributed caching environment.

Hyperic Monitoring and Management Features

Hyperic includes the following key monitoring and management capabilities:

  • Resource discovery.The Hyperic Agent managing a platform automatically discovers the resources and software on the platform. The agent discovers key platform properties, such as architecture, RAM, CPU speed, IP address, and domain name. The agent uses resource plug-ins to discover software products — for example, Web servers, application servers, database servers, and so on ---- running on the platform. Hyperic categorizes the resources it discovers into inventory types. Hyperic's inventory model is fundamental to how Hyperic makes sense of a large number of software resources and presents information about software resources components in a useful way. Discovered resources are presented in the Hyperic user interface; an authorized user explicitly imports them into inventory.

  • Metric collection. After a resource is added to inventory, and (if necessary) configured for monitoring, the Hyperic
    Agent starts collecting metrics for the resource. Agents collect a stardard set of metrics that reflect availability, performance, utilization, and throughput for each supported resource type. An authorized user can tailor metric collection from the Hyperic user interface.

  • Event tracking. Hyperic can monitor log and configuration files and record events of interest for most server types. For example, you can track user logins, Windows registry key changes, error logs, configuration files, and so on. You configure event tracking for an individual resource.

  • Resource control.You can use Hyperic for remote control and administration of your software resources. Available control actions vary by resource type. For example, for an application server, you can perform tasks such as starting, stopping, and garbage collection. For a database server, you can perform analysis or housekeeping functions.

  • Alerting and notification.You can set alerts on metrics and configure actions for Hyperic to perform when an alert fires. When an alert fires, Hyperic can respond in a variety of ways: it can issue email notifications, set SNMP traps, perform a control action, or issue a communication to another management system. You can define a sequence of responses to a fired alert — an escalation scheme — to ensure that problems do not escape notice.

  • Live data. Hyperic provides Live Exec views for all platform types. You can run a variety of real-time system commands to obtain live system status.

Key Hyperic Facts for the New User

The resources you can view and your permission levels are governed by your role.

Some resources need to be configured for monitoring. Although Hyperic starts monitoring most resources as soon as they are added to inventory, for certain resource types, some configuration is required to enable the agent to start collection metrics. For example, the JMX URL and credentials have to be defined in Hyperic for the agent to be able to monitor via JMX.

The metric collected for a resource are governed by the default metric collection setting for the resource type.