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NetWorker 7.6 Enhanced Monitoring

Posted by Preston on 2009-11-21

One of the features most missed by NetWorker users since the introduction of NetWorker Management Console has been the consolidated view of NetWorker activities that had previously been always available.

For the last few releases, this has really only been available via nsrwatch, the utility available in NetWorker on Unix platforms, but sadly missing in NetWorker on Windows systems. If you’re not familiar with nsrwatch (which is possible if you’ve only recently been working with NetWorker, or mainly come from a Windows approach), it gives you a view like the following:

nsrwatch

This style of view used to be available in the old “nwadmin” program for both Unix and Windows, and administrators that came from historical releases which supported nwadmin have sorely missed that overview-at-a-glance monitoring as opposed to wading through separate tabs to see glimpses of activities via NMC. It’s sort of like the difference between looking into a building where the entire front wall is made of glass, or looking into a building where there’s 4 windows but to open one you have to close the other three.

With NetWorker 7.6, you can kiss goodbye to that blinkered approach. In all its glory, we have the overview-at-a-glance monitoring back:

Consolidated monitoring in 7.6

Is this compelling enough reason to run out and immediately upgrade to 7.6? Probably not – you need to upgrade based on site requirements, existing patches, known issues and compatibilities, etc. I.e., you need to read the release notes and decide what to do. Preferably, you should have a test environment you can run it up in – or at least develop a back-out plan should the upgrade not work entirely well for you.

Is it a compelling enough reason to at least upgrade your NMC packages to 7.6, or install a dedicated NMC server running 7.6 instead of a pre-7.6 release?

Hell yes.

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7 Responses to “NetWorker 7.6 Enhanced Monitoring”

  1. Skip Hanson said

    Preston,
    Thanks for the press. I can honestly tell you that these changes came directly from you, the customers. I have heard “nsrwatch” so many times in the last year I was going nuts ;). Keep the feedback coming, it’s the sole purpose for my existence…at EMC anyways.

    Cheers,
    Skip
    NetWorker Usability
    networker_usability@emc.com

    • Preston said

      Skip

      Thanks for listening! Longer term NetWorker users like myself have found at times that requesting changes has been pretty frustrating. These days I’m glad to say that we’re getting much more traction on RFEs than we’ve seen in the past. It’s a great turnaround. Practically speaking, not everything we want to see in a product will definitely appear, but to know that product management is actively listening and canvassing for ideas is very reassuring.

      Cheers,

      Preston.

      • Johannes said

        Hi Preston and Skip.

        You seem to be comparing this new feature in NW 7.6 to nsrwatch.

        Is this going to allow all Windows clients to detect NetWorker activity like nsrwatch does without having NMC access?

        What I want to see, is the possibility for the clients to detect if a backup is running of that particular client (and only that client please, not the whole datazone), as well as the status of that job.

        I know that you can check for save.exe processes. But that’s kind of backdoor approach.

        Johannes

      • Preston said

        Hi Johannes,

        It’s not going to be quite the same as nsrwatch – from the Unix side of things, that’s a utility in every client install, meaning it’s relatively straight forward for end-users to quickly run to see what is going on. The enhanced monitoring options in 7.6 are still within NMC, which makes it a little more restricted. It would be necessary to setup say, a basic user account in NMC and give end-users login privileges to that (or set them all up individually/integrate with AD) in order for everyone to be able to monitor this way.

        I’d still prefer to see nsrwatch available on all platforms – it makes the most sense :-)

        Cheers,

        Preston.

  2. Excellent. Finally playing with 7.4.4 this week, and though I’m extremely happy about some of the library features (from the perspective of an AlphaStor user), the loss of the old ‘nwadmin’ view has been one of the few issues I run across.

    Now I just have to wait for Sun to release new iso files of the EBS media. :)

    –TSK

  3. JoanS said

    Hi Presotn, we can use this version of NMC with a NW 7.4SP4 based Networker Server?? We think that for our operations department it will be a great help!
    thanks for your blog!

    • Preston said

      Hi JoanS – yes, you can use it with a 7.4.4 server. I’d recommend installing it on another host (mixing NMC and the server with different versions is at best difficult, and at times impossible, depending on the OS) – I’ve been told this works. Since this would necessitate having a 7.6 client backing up to a 7.4.4 server, I’d ensure that the host you install it on will be a “filesystem only” client – i.e., no modules/etc that would introduce complexity to the backup.

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