Maybe a little over-engineered?
Photo: Jakob Montrasio

Some time ago, BMC Software made a bundle available for download on their Electronic Product Distribution site (EPD) which has caused some confusion for our users, so we decided to investigate.  The bundle is called BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management with Sentry Software KM for Cisco UCS Server.  Read on for an explanation of what it is, why it’s a problem, and what to do about it.

Monitoring for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is supported by the hardware monitoring solution from Sentry Software, Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL, the latest release of which is 1.8.01 at the time of this writing.  It’s available for download at sentrysoftware.net.

There is also a download available on the BMC Electronic Product Distribution (EPD) website that is labeled BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management with Sentry Software KM for Cisco UCS Server, as shown below:

cisco3

 

The download from BMC is about 1GB, while the download at Sentry Software‘s web site is only 81MB.  What’s the difference?  Do you need both?

Here are some of the differences:

The KM download from Sentry doesn’t include the installer. The larger EPD package contains the installer, which is a new trend with some of the solutions on the EPD website.  Many of us in the BMC community are familiar with the separate installer, a benefit of which is that the smaller KM packages are easier to download.

When you install the download from the BMC EPD site, the product list reveals more than just the Sentry KM, depending on whether the install is done on a Managed System or Console System:

 

Console System:

console1

Managed System:

managed1

Therefore this 1GB package contains a number of items:

  1. Hardware Sentry KM
  2. Patrol Agent for Windows
  3. Patrol Classic Console

Inspecting the Hardware Sentry KM files after installing the EPD download reveals that the bundle contains version 1.7.01.

In addition, the actual download of the bundle from BMC’s EPD site has a “kml” file that consists of two entries: SEN_UCS_ALL_COMPUTERS.km and MS_HARDWARE_SENTRY1.kml.  The KM file replaces the menu commands at the host level controlled by ALL_COMPUTERS.km or all_defaults.  In my opinion, moving those menu commands to the host level instead of the application class makes the bundle more disruptive than necessary for most users.

Bottom line

Our guess is that BMC Software created the bundle for Cisco customers who wanted a single download with everything they need to monitor their UCS servers without worrying with multiple BMC components.

Since 1.8.01 is available from Sentry Software directly, and is no different than the regular Hardware KM, we’d recommend that most BMC customers go with the direct download from Sentry.

Don’t worry — despite the wording in the screenshot above and the mysterious change to the menu commands, there is no UCS-specific version of the Hardware Sentry KM.  Hardware Sentry has always been effective for monitoring UCS.

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