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Red Hat performance monitoring service breaks new ground, within limits

Red Hat Insights performance monitoring SaaS mixes artificial intelligence and Red Hat expertise to get the most use out of ops data.

Artificial and biological brains are at work in Red Hat's foray into predictive analytics for IT monitoring and management.

Red Hat Insights is a software as a service (SaaS) product to help users manage critical assets in the IT infrastructure proactively.

Traditional IT monitoring systems analyze assets for known patterns. The result is a large amount of data, often so large that nobody will ever do anything with it.

This Red Hat performance monitoring as a service uses predictive IT analytics to catch issues before they become problems. The analysis is checked against the Red Hat knowledgebase, which helps to determine if a found issue is already known. Based on that information, the product can calculate the likeliness of that issue becoming a real problem. While bots do the bulk of data collection and analysis, a Red Hat expert looks at the monitoring results and translates the issues into actions for the IT team.

If you need a tool to proactively monitor and manage Red Hat systems as well as Cisco routers, AIX nodes and SUSE servers, Insights is not for you.

Monitoring results are provided as a list of action points. Every issue is translated in a procedure of tailored resolution steps that the IT organization can apply with the aim of preventing a problem.

The Red Hat performance monitoring service can be integrated with the company's other offerings such as Satellite and CloudForms. Combining intelligence and automation means that a Red Hat systems management tool can directly implement the actions suggested by Insights.

The real value that Insights adds is the analysis of events that have occurred on the assets Red Hat monitors. This analysis is done in part by artificial intelligence, but also occurs under the supervision of Red Hat's experts. Insights isn't free, but as organizations are more frequently outsourcing IT, the cost of predictive IT analytics as a service doesn't have to be an issue.

Who gets invited to the party?

Insights integrates into a Red Hat-based IT environment. As a result, it works with Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as Docker containers. The additional value that Insights provides from its knowledgebase integration is restricted to a Red Hat only environment. If you need a tool to proactively monitor and manage Red Hat systems as well as Cisco routers, AIX nodes and SUSE servers, Insights is not for you.

Test the waters

If your primary goal is Red Hat performance monitoring, start with a free evaluation of Insights on up to 10 systems. The evaluation program supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7.

The systems must be registered with Red Hat Subscription Manager, a local service that tracks subscriptions and installs, registering them on the online Red Hat Network platform for updates and patches. After registering the systems, install the redhat-access-insight software package. The Insights client will upload initial system metadata to Red Hat insights, with immediate results on an access page.

Insights introduces a new method of Red Hat performance monitoring that Linux admins might use in concert with other tools. It doesn't just monitor the servers, but also analyzes events that have happened, giving administrators a report from which it is easy to implement fixes. IT organizations seeking more proactive server management may be willing to spend the money on this SaaS tool, even with the limitation that it only monitors Red Hat servers.

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This was last published in February 2017

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