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A Tour of NetApp Cloud Insights

June 20, 2019

Topics: Cloud Insights 4 minute read

So you’ve already completed your cloud migration, and you’ve been up-and-running on the cloud for a few months. Now, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your cloud environment. Your demands aren’t lofty—less waste, more power—but they still feel out of reach. How can you best monitor your cloud environment?

Welcome to Cloud Insights, a SaaS-based infrastructure monitoring tool that gives you visibility into your entire infrastructure. Cloud Insights’ advanced data collection and analytics capabilities enable you to monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize costs across all resources, including public clouds and private data centers.

Follow along with this short and sweet tour of Cloud Insights to learn about the basic features of the service and how it can help you to optimize your cloud or on-premises infrastructure.

Monitor Your Cloud Infrastructure from an Intuitive Navigation Pane

The layout of Cloud Insights (CI) is simple, but versatile. As you can see in the screenshot below, the main menu is on the left-hand side of the pane. That menu is the gateway to all of Cloud Insight’s functions.

The “Home” option simply takes you to a dashboard or visualization that you define— your “morning coffee” view.

“Dashboards” lists all the visualizations in your environment. There are a number of use-case focused dashboards included by default, and you also have the option of modifying and creating your own.

If you navigate to “Queries”, you can access powerful filters and finders that answer questions about your environment—here and now—without creating a dashboard. For example, “Where have I provisioned large VMs that aren’t being used?”

The “Manage” and “Admin” options allow you to configure alerts, metadata, collectors in your environment, and users.

When you’re finished using the menu, you can easily hide or minimize it.

Cloud Insights Dashboards

The pane’s header bar shows the breadcrumb path of the current page and allows you to customize the time range or edit the dashboard contents. Clicking on “Edit” will allow you to change the layout of the dashboard, add new visualizations that you create or edit visualizations that are already there. It also contains a global search function, allowing you to pinpoint assets of any type by typing in a search string.

Managing Your Cloud Insights Instance

The Admin menu is the central pane that allows system administrators to manage the infrastructure and services collectors in their environment. If you’re not an administrator, this menu item won’t be available to you.

Cloud Insights operates by collecting and processing data from your on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environment, and you can control how it’sdone in the Data Collectors pages. These are the most important when you’re getting started with Cloud Insights; without them, Cloud Insights wouldn’t gather any data. An Acquisition Unit (AU) is installed within your network boundary to facilitate data collection from your resources. Data Collectors actively gather data through these Acquisition Units.

Cloud Insights

The main page shows the status of each Data Collector, and actively sorts them by the impact they’re having on your system. That intelligent sorting allows you to identify and address issues, fixing them in a timely manner to ensure consistent and successful data collection.

Note: Selecting multiple Collectors will enable the "Bulk Action" button to perform an action across multiple Collectors at the same time.

Queries, Landing Pages, and Dashboards

Queries and dashboards are two ways of viewing data in Cloud Insights. You can think of queries as an ad hoc manner of viewing data in a table format, allowing you to find a range of assets, including infrastructure (storage, virtual machines, cloud instances) and services (mongodb, nginx, Kubernetes). When you first create a query, you’ll be asked to select a type of asset. Asset types are symbolized by icons, as below:

Resource Types

  • Circle: network assets (switch or port)
  • Square: storage (pool, disk, or array)
  • Pentagon: compute resources (virtual machine or host)
  • Octagon: applications
  • Hexagon: integrations (services related data such as node, docker, and MySQL)

When you select an asset, you’ll be directed to a landing page for that asset. That landing page will give you an asset overview, including a summary, performance graphs, metadata, and other related assets. The layout of this landing page is consistent across all assets of that type, but you can modify and customize the landing page like a dashboard.

Dashboards visualize your data by way of widgets. Widgets can be, for example, tables, bar charts, and line charts. These widgets allow you to create a report that displays data in a dynamic and meaningful way. And they’re completely customizable: you simply select the variables you’d like to use to filter your data.

Note that you can set the default dashboard—the first page you see when logging on—to appear in the “Show All Dashboards” page by using the “Edit” button on the right-hand side of the table.

Managing Metadata

Under the “Manage” menu, you’re able to add information that’s relevant to your environment. Each page within the “Manage” menu offers a unique management option:

  • Annotations: Use this to tag or label your assets by type (text, list, Boolean). This metadata is useful for filtering your dashboards, queries and performance policies.
  • Annotation Rules: Use a query to select assets to apply an annotation to them automatically, eliminating the need for manual annotations.
  • Applications: Applications are more powerful than annotations; using them, you can group meaningful assets together and view them in the application landing page.
  • Performance Policies: Setup monitoring and alerting policies for your environment.

Did You Enjoy Your Tour of Cloud Insights?

Learn more by visiting us on Cloud Central, or by checking out a demo.  

Solutions Developer