eG Enterprise Support for IaC and automation – APIs, CLI and Power BI Integrations

The majority of monitoring and management solutions used in enterprises provide their customers with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and a CLI to facilitate DevOps type workflows. With IaC (Infrastructure as Code) becoming de facto and ubiquitous, decent APIs have long been a must have on product evaluation checklists; there are of course a few exceptions – namely products aimed only at SMB (Small and Medium Business), immature startups, or freeware. An IaC strategy involves declarative methodologies whereby IT infrastructure (and often its behavior e.g., autoscaling) is defined in code or in templates, and automation can be enabled. Product installation package setup and configuration parameters alone are no longer sufficient for those adopting IaC and associated DevOps workflows, and increasingly, we see customers evaluating the quality of our APIs and similar interfaces. So, for those new to eG, today’s blog is a quick overview.

You may find this Computer Weekly blog covering factors affecting the automation of monitoring functionality in IaC workflows a useful pre-read: Infrastructure-as-Code series: Practical monitoring in an IaC universe – CW Developer Network (computerweekly.com).

The eG Enterprise CLI (Command Line Interface)

eG Enterprise has long supported a CLI (command line interface) whereby admins can execute commands to perform critical configuration tasks without logging into the eG Manager. This integration minimizes user intervention in the configuration of the monitoring system. In addition, since commands can also be executed in bulk using the CLI, it significantly reduces the time required to perform simultaneous tasks. Administrators can also construct scripts (using any common scripting language) that use the CLI to automate routine administration tasks.

To find out details of the eG Enterprise CLI, please see our documentation covering:

The eG Enterprise REST API

For a number of years, eG Enterprise has also included a richly featured REST API, enabling DevOps and administrators to develop programs and code to automate their monitoring deployments and data retrieval and integrate with other enterprise products. Commands can be executed in bulk using the eG REST API.

What can be Achieved using the REST API

The REST API Enables tasks such as:

  • Ability to automate admin activities (e.g., auto provision monitoring when a VM (Virtual Machine) is spun up)
  • Extract and analyze performance metrics automatically
  • Integration with other management portals to provide a seamless user interface
  • Integration and consolidation with asset/configuration tracking systems

We broadly categorize the API commands available into:

  • Orchestration/Admin: Supports operations including: Add/delete components; Add delete external agent and remote agent; Add/delete group and zones; Add/delete maintenance policy; Add/delete user; Assign agents and maintenance policy; Enable/disable tests; And more (see documentation for more details)
  • Analytics: Supports operations including: query and pull data, such as threshold levels, alarm counts, top N applications, historical resource usage, diagnostic, and root-cause data (see documentation for more details)
  • Misc. Services/Meta Information: A collection of data that supports querying the topology of your infrastructure and the way in which it is segmented and managed by eG Enterprise – exposes information about Zones, Groups, Segments, Services, etc. (see documentation for more details)

Bulk API Actions

The API supports customized bulk calls. For example a .csv file can be configured on the manager to add multiple components (to support deployment via IaC workflows), and those actions can be run remotely and from other applications.

API Usage screen

More information regarding API usage for bulk operations is available in our documentation.

Access the eG Enterprise REST API Using CURL

cURL, which stands for client URL, is a command line tool that developers use to transfer data to and from a server using URL syntax. As such, it is particularly useful for interacting with and validating REST APIs and other web resources. cURL provides a libcurl and command-line tool (curl) for transferring data using various network protocols. Read more about cURL and the protocols it supports, which include DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMB, SMBS, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET, and TFTP.

Orchestration example

Figure 2: Creating a new user in eG Enterprise using the REST API cURL adduser

Alarm count example

Figure 3: The getAlarmCount REST API cURL delivers the Critical, Major and Minor alarm count of all the
components configured for the user of eG Enterprise.

The eG Microsoft Power BI Integration

Many of our enterprise customers have adopted Microsoft Power BI across their organizations to provide business analytics across the whole of their businesses and workflows far beyond and above IT applications and infrastructure. Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics solution providing interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities from data and provides an interface that is simple enough for admins to create their own reports and dashboards. Data inputs to Power BI can come from multiple sources – Excel worksheets, CSV files, database tables, log files, the web, etc. It then employs smart visualizations and built-in AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies on that data to turn it into interactive insights.

By providing a fully featured Power BI integration eG Enterprise enables organizations to fully leverage the available data about the performance and availability of all their applications and IT infrastructure within the wider business. You can read more about the eG integration on here our website Microsoft Power BI Integration | eG Innovations or by watching a recording of a discussion with one of our customers already leveraging our Power BI integration here: Lessons from Experts: How you can create a Great Digital Workspace Experience for Employees.

Alerts Distribution Dashboard

Figure 4: An Alerts Distribution dashboard built at one of our customers using eG data on Power BI, enabling
in-depth event analysis that confirms with the organizations standard internal reporting guidelines.

Final Thoughts

We are seeing many customers now implementing automation frameworks and tools to implement IaC workflows. Products such as Terraform, Packer, BICEP and Nerdio (Azure only). Some of which we touched on in a recent blog: IaC for Azure – Infrastructure as Code on Azure.

My colleague, Barry Schiffer, has authored a great article that covers our wider capabilities for “Extending and Integrating the Monitoring System with Automation and Scripting”, which covers how administrators can implement automated remediation within eG Enterprise.

In the next few weeks/months, I’m hoping to find the time to put some more articles together (probably a how-to-guide) about how our customers leverage Terraform to deploy eG Enterprise particularly at large scale.

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