Downloading and installing data collectors

Deploy one or more data collectors to collect key capacity, configuration, and performance metadata about your monitored storage resources. The metadata is then mined, analyzed, and displayed to help you gain valuable insights into the performance of your storage systems and their internal resources, such as pools and volumes. Key asset, configuration, status, and performance metadata is also collected about fabrics and switches.

Before you begin

Why install a data collector?
  • Metrics, metrics, and more metrics. Use the metrics that are collected by data collectors to measure the capacity and performance of your storage resources. With a data collector, IBM® Storage Insights Pro subscribers get access to over 125 metrics to help them monitor capacity trends and depletion, track dips and peaks in performance over time, and determine the root causes of performance bottlenecks. And you can use the metrics that are collected for switches to investigate the performance of switches and their ports.
  • Logs are easy to upload so you can get help quickly, when you need it. With a data collector deployed, you can upload logs for your IBM block storage systems so that IBM Support can efficiently investigate, respond to, and close the tickets that you open or update.
  • It's lightweight and secure. You need only a few minutes to install a data collector and start streaming metadata. That metadata flows in one direction, out of your data center to your instance of IBM Storage Insights. To keep the metadata package safe on its journey to the cloud, the data collector uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which encrypts the metadata and sends the metadata package through a secure channel to the IBM Cloud®. When the package is delivered, the metadata is decrypted, analyzed, and stored.

    The security of your network and devices are critical to us. When you add devices for monitoring, you must enter credentials for IBM Storage Insights to use when connecting to the devices. Those credentials are only used by the data collector and are only used to collect metadata about the devices. No application, personal, or identity data is ever collected. For more information about security and data collectors, go to Security.

Monitoring IBM Storage Virtualize storage systems without a data collector: To monitor an IBM Storage Virtualize storage system without a data collector, you must enable Call Home with cloud services on that storage system. After you enable Call Home with cloud services, you can connect the storage system directly to IBM Storage Insights without a data collector. With this supercharged integration, you can collect the same metadata as a data collector and send it securely to IBM Cloud for analysis and reporting in IBM Storage Insights. For more information, see Enabling Call Home with cloud services.

About this task

You can install one or multiple data collectors. If you install one data collector, the metadata that is gathered about the storage systems in your data centers is sent through that data collector to be analyzed and shown in IBM Storage Insights.

If you install multiple data collectors, you can assign specific data collectors to gather metadata for each of the storage systems that you add. In addition, if the collection of asset and capacity or performance metadata fails, the procedure is as follows:
  1. The next available assigned data collector is activated to collect the metadata.
  2. The data collector is run again to collect the asset and capacity metadata.
  3. The data collector collects the performance metadata at the next scheduled run of the data collection.

Watch a short video about how to download and install a data collector.

  • You need to be a administrator for deploying a data collector.
  • To ensure the availability of metadata collection and to help balance workload, deploy two or more data collectors on separate servers in each of your data centers.
  • The servers or virtual machines where you install data collectors must be able to access the devices that you want to monitor. Because data collectors connect directly to the devices, the servers or virtual machines must be able to support these connections.
  • Your organization's firewall must be configured to allow the servers or virtual machines where you install data collectors to send outbound traffic on port 443 over TCP to IBM Storage Insights.
  • When you install data collectors, you can connect to a server or a proxy server.
  • The AIX-based data collector requires the installation of the IBM® XL C/C++ Runtime for AIX or later, on the operating system.
Pro tips:
  • Schedule OS updates and restarts at different times on the servers or virtual machines where data collectors are installed. By staggering when these updates occur, you can better avoid interrupting metadata collection across all your monitored devices.
  • You can install data collectors on virtual machines in a cloud environment if they meet the previous requirements. If your data collectors are installed in the cloud, it's recommended that you also install at least one data collector in your network for redundancy.
  • It's recommended that you do not install a data collector on a laptop or personal workstation. Shutting down a laptop or personal workstation or putting it into sleep mode will interrupt data collection. The server or virtual machine where you install a data collector must be available 24X7.
  • Don't install the data collector to a file system that was mounted or mapped under a user login session. These file systems can be temporary and might not persist after the user logs out of the network. Note that you can install a data collector to a system-mounted or mapped file system because those file systems are typically more permanent.
  • Avoid using system-reserved directory paths to install or extract the data collectors. Always create a new directory to install the data collectors.
  • If server change control is implemented within your organization, ensure that your server team has a process for updating data collectors. This process must include the ability to download the data collector package from IBM Storage Insights and deploy it within your environment.