It goes without saying that the SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) team is fired up about our recent support pack release. With this in mind, we’re going to explore the new features of SAP IT Operations Analytics 2.0 SP04 through blogs in the upcoming weeks. To kick it off, we’ll start with data acquisition management, a topic that sounds about as dry as toast but is crucial to not only getting the right data into SAP ITOA but also ensuring the right people have access. Solid data acquisition management is critical to enabling a holistic view across the IT landscape.
Before we get going, I’d like to define a few terms so everyone is on the same page moving forward.
A collector accesses one or many servers to collect information. Makes sense. The collector reads and transforms the data based on a pre-defined profile. The collector then publishes the data to one or more servers. For example, the metric data collected by the SAP Host Agent is “pulled” into SAP ITOA using a collector.
A receiver listens for data on a specified port and transforms the received data based on, you guessed it, a profile. Once in the designated form, the receiver publishes the data to one or more servers. Syslogs are brought into SAP ITOA from receivers that have the information “pushed” to them from IT devices.
A profile defines the data acquisition task. Depending on your use case, you can use the standard profiles available out-of-the-box in SAP ITOA or create your own.
This one is more obvious. For our purposes a server is defined by the connection type, location, and access credentials.
In graphical form, the relationships look like this:
One of the most obvious improvements to data acquisition management in Support Pack 04 is how the specific pieces are accessed. Both Collectors and Receivers menus are available at the top of the sidebar on the left-hand side of the screen. This means that you don’t have to dig through layers of system settings and menus to configure the data streaming into SAP IT Operations Analytics.
In the Collectors menu, we find a list of collectors that are available. From this screen, we can see the status of existing collectors, activate or disactivate the individual collectors with a toggle, or add a new collector by defining the source, the profile, and the destination server and schema for publication.
We can also easily drill down into a specific connector by clicking on it. The resulting screen gives information about the configuration of the collector as well as statistics on data collection. The collected data can be previewed by selecting a specific table from the schema in the Data Preview tab. In this example, the SAP Host Agent is gathering traditional metrics about CPU usage, memory, and network packages among others.
Sharing the schema for a collector with a specific user or role is also possible from the Data Preview tab. Simply select the schema you’d like to share, click the share icon then the add icon, and select the user or role from the list. Sharing a holistic view of your entire IT ecosystem has been greatly simplified. And as we’ve mentioned before, sharing of data through role-based permissions helps keep your data secure in SAP ITOA.
Akin to the Collectors menu, the Receivers menu lists the receivers that have been added to the SAP IT Operations Analytics system. The same status information is available, as well as the ability to add a new receiver. Referring back to the Key Terms and diagram, a port must be defined when adding a new receiver so it knows where to listen. Rules for how the syslog message should be parsed and which pieces should be used, defined using the Attribute Editor, can be selected at this time.
Clicking into an individual receiver shows the destination server for publication, which rules are being used for parsing, and statistics about the messages received and loaded.
As syslog messages tend to be longer and more complicated than metric data, the Data Preview tab can have huge blocks of text or many, many columns. For instance, our demo system is collecting 65 different event attributes from data streaming in from Lenovo Xclarity!
To explore, search, manipulate, relate, and analyze the data presented in the preview, I recommend using the Buckets feature in concert with the Analytics Builder, two SAP ITOA topics that we’ll tackle another day. We will also leave the third piece of the Data Acquisition Management functionality, Retention, to be discussed in its own blog.
For more information about Data Acquisition Management, check the SAP ITOA 2.0 SP04 User Manual. Be sure to stay tuned for more information about what’s new in the upcoming weeks.