What Is Zero-Touch Infrastructure Monitoring and Why Is It Important?

by April 5, 2019

From VMs to containers to cloud, IT infrastructure is getting more and more virtual, dynamic, and abstract. System administrators tasked with monitoring such diverse IT infrastructures are increasingly looking to automate the provisioning and monitoring process. Traditional monitoring requires them to log into every device to deploy/configure the monitoring agent.  This manual and repetitive task is error prone and time consuming, and any mistake could result in a critical monitoring outage.

We are continuously working to build a monitoring solution that brings faster time to value with minimal administration, which is why we are constantly evolving our support for zero-touch setups in CA Unified Infrastructure Management. There are many benefits of zero-touch monitoring, including:

  • Zero monitoring loss, from when the system is provisioned until it is decommissioned
  • Minimal configuration errors
  • Reduced cost
  • More time for strategic initiatives
  • Support for full process automation

How Does Zero-Touch Infrastructure Monitoring Work?

This is how you can set up zero-touch monitoring in CA UIM SaaS:

  • The first step is to create a Dynamic Group to monitor filtered devices that are getting discovered post device discovery

  • The next step is to choose and create a monitoring profile using the newly discovered/onboarded devices
  • With a Monitoring Configuration Service (MCS) profile, a corresponding CA default alarm policy is automatically created out-of-box that contains our recommended threshold values
  • The next phase is the Device Discovery, where we learn about a new device being added in the computing environment. There are multiple ways that CA UIM can learn about a newly added device:
    • Our discovery agents run network device discovery by scanning IP ranges recursively at the scheduled day and time.
    • A new virtual machine is created in a VMware Center or a new server instance is created in a public cloud environment like AWS or Azure
  • Optionally, you can also choose to install a local monitoring robot on the devices. This obviously depends on the type of device ( you can’t install agents on network or storage devices for example), but also what level of monitoring is required for the type of device. Often, customers will be happy to monitor non-production systems only through the hypervisor, i.e. doing remote monitoring through the VMware API, while for production servers that typically have higher monitoring demands, a local agent is used. You can choose to run the device discovery now or schedule a recurring discovery on a pre-defined schedule.
  • If the “deploy robot’ option is selected while the scheduled discovery runs, it will also install the agent after the device discovery is completed. The discovered devices matching the dynamic group filtering criteria get added to it. The moment devices are added to the group, MCS detects the added devices automatically and deploys the group monitoring probe configuration and system generated default alarm policy to it. In the case of local monitoring where agents are installed on the discovered devices, MCS will also deploy the local monitoring probe. As a result, monitoring commences with Zero Touch.
  • Once the monitoring is in place and metrics are being collected, out-of-the-box or customer-defined alarm and threshold definitions are put in place and the metrics are baselined and monitored.

To learn more about CA IM SaaS zero-touch monitoring, join us for our webinar on April 9th at 12 PM EST.