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New Instana Sensor for IBM Power Systems® performance monitoring

By Bipin Chandra posted Tue March 01, 2022 07:58 AM

Author: Bipin Chandra, Ashish Sharma, Priyanka Oruganti,Shivangi Mehra
Modern teams need advanced application performance monitoring and observability capabilities to ensure the operation of the software they develop. IBM Power® Hardware Management Console (HMC) Instana Sensor is a new addition to the list of Instana integrations. This article takes you through the details of this sensor, its configurations and capabilities.
IBM Power HMC Instana sensor
IBM Power System’s Hardware Management Consoles (HMCs) provides systems administrators with a tool for planning, deploying and managing IBM Power servers. An enterprise may have a multiple Power servers being managed by an HMC or through multiple HMCs. HMCs also provides interfaces to monitor utilization of physical and virtual resources on the Power system. These are REST API interfaces for Performance and Capacity Monitoring or PCM.
Fig. 1 IBM Power HMC
Instana sensor makes use of these REST APIs to collect the PCM data, visualize it and processes it to determine whether there are any performance problems, and notify the stakeholders through different available alert channels. These alert channels help correct the causes of those performance problems. 
Power HMC Instana sensor is designed to enable your teams to:
  • Gain quick visibility with minimal effort
  • Quickly make sense of large amount of performance metrics data
  • Quickly identify and solve performance issues
IBM power HMC Instana sensor uses aggregated metrics. The default metrics poll rate for aggregated metrics used here is 300 seconds.
IBM power HMC Instana sensor architecture
Fig. 2 IBM Power HMC Instana Sensor Architecture
IBM power HMC Instana sensor is a remote sensor. Based on a few configurations, Instana agent discovers and enables the sensor. Sensor attempts to connect to one or more HMCs based on the configuration.
Once the HMC Instana sensor is enabled, it tracks the performance of the managed systems and its resources. It uses aggregated performance metrics of these components for comprehensive visualization.  These performance metrics are analyzed to identify any performance bottlenecks and send notifications through available alert channels for any anomalies found.
HMC Instana sensor can  also be used to proactively detect potential CPU and memory resource contentions, monitor the overall system health, take action faster by receiving more effective alerts and troubleshoot problems quickly with all available context, guidance and in depth visualization.
Monitoring resources and metrics details
  • Managed system [processor, memory, network utilization]
  • Shared processor pools [processor utilization]
  • LPAR [processor, memory, network and storage utilization]
  • Network and storage adapters
Complete list of metrics can be found here.
Enabling performance and capacity monitoring data collection
In HMC, data collection is disabled for all managed servers by default. Server resource utilization monitoring starts after you enable data collection and continues until you disable it. All utilization data is stored on the HMC hard disk drive (HDD).
  • API Authentication error
      - Check if the API access is enabled for this Power HMC.
  • Time out
      - Check whether the configuration YAML file is configured with correct HMC host name, user id and password.
  • Permission error
       - Check whether the Power HMC user has required permissions to collect the metrics.
Reporting issues
  • Click here for HMC Support related issues.
  • Clieck here for Instana Support related issues.