Comtrade has released a Management Pack (MP) for Microsoft Systems Center (SCOM ) that uses F5’s BIG-IQ to monitor F5 BIG-IP devices and the applications they are helping deliver. The MP allows users to view all BIG-IP objects and see key information about their performance and health.

This management pack will be of great interest to all customers using Microsoft Systems Center.

What are the requirements for this solution?

  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 or Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1 or Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2
  • F5 BIG-IQ 4.3.0 or BIG-IQ 4.4.0
  • Comtrade F5 BIG-IQ MP requires .NET Framework version 3.5 SP1 installed
  • TCP 443 opened to the BIG-IQ devices
  • Administrator account in BIG-IQ


What is available in the MP?

  • Discovery, visualization and dynamic update of F5 BIG-IQ appliances topology
  • Discovery of F5 BIG-IQ appliance objects
  • BIG-IQ
    • Tenants
      • Catalogs – Applications
      • Virtual Servers
    • BIG-IP Devices
    • Cloud Connectors
      • Nodes
    • CPU
    • Memory
    • Disk Partitions
    • SSL Certificates

What will the MP Monitor?

  • BIG-IQ (Availability, CPU utilization, Disk partition available space, Disk partition utilization, memory utilization)
  • BIG-IP (Availability, CPU utilization, Disk partition available space, Disk partition utilization, memory utilization)
  • Cloud Connectors (Cloud connector availability)
  • Tenants
  • iApp Catalogs – Applications (Application availability status, application’s active member count)
  • Virtual Servers (Virtual server availability, server-side connection number for virtual server, client-side connection number for virtual server)
  • Nodes (Availability of tenant nodes, server-side number of connections on nodes for port 80, server-side number of connections on nodes for port general, total number of connections on nodes)
  • BIG-IQ SSL certificates (Availability and validity)

 

Statistics

  • BIG-IQ (CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk partition free space and utilization)
  • BIG-IP (CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk partition free space and utilization)
  • Tenants
    • Catalogs – Applications (application availability and active members)
    • Virtual Servers (server-side connection number on virtual servers, client-side connection number on virtual servers)
    • Nodes (server-side connection number on node port 80, server-side connection number on node port general, server-side in-packets on node port general, server-side out-packets on node port general, server-side bits-in on node port general, server-side bits-out on node port general)
  • Views (Diagram, Alert, State and Dashboard)

 

How it works – main steps?

1. Comtrade F5 BIG-IQ is installed on one SCOM Management Server. The installation provides the MP and Comtrade MPBIG-IQ Agent. The agent is used for communicating with the REST API of F5 BIG-IQ.

2. Comtrade MPBIG-IQ Agent is installed on every SCOM Management server that will participate in the BIG-IQ monitoring. SCOM Management Servers are designated trough Resource Pool in SCOM.

3. Create an SNMP based Network device discovery and include the BIG-IQ IP address. Create a new SCOM Resource Pool. Assign the discovery to the Resource Pool.

4. Create Run As account and enter the account with administrator rights for the BIG-IQ device/s. For distribution choose more secure and add the resource pool.

5. Assign the run as account to F5 BIG-IQ Appliance Action Account profile.

With these easy steps you are ready for monitoring. Here are some screenshots to give you more detailed view for the solution:

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Figure 1: Diagram View (Topology) of BIG-IQ infrastructure

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Figure 2: BIG-IP appliance and its components being monitored

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Figure 3: Tenants & Applications dashboard view

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Figure 4: View of all active alerts for BIG-IQ

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Figure 5: Alert details offers additional information about the issue

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Figure 6: On demand monitoring – Health recalculation

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Figure 7: Administration View

Here is also a good video that shows the installation and configuration steps as well as overview:

Product video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/yAhBk8cSPn0

Product page: www.comtradeproducts.com/f5

Microsoft Blog about the MP for F5:  http://www.systemcentercentral.com/sneak-peak-at-comtrade-management-pack-for-f5-big-iq/