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Use UDCs to Collect Devices by Name Pattern in VirtualWisdom

awk, How to, Nickname, UDC Add comments

Virtually all SAN devices that are zoned for traffic have names (in fact, if you have nicknames/aliases in your zone files, then you can directly convert zone info to nicknames). VirtualWisdom’s filtering capabilities allow you to restrict a Dashboard, Report, or Alarm Policy Ruleset to a specific datacenter or business unit, but often creating those UDCs can be cumbersome.

A recent customer created UDCs with 192 values across three metric sets, allowing him to group data by specific servers, storage, and virtualizers automatically; this “how-to” is intended to show how you can do the same.

Process Overview

For this process, we need only a set of nicknames; the simpler old-format nickname file looks like:


(Notice: WWN first, no spaces, optional quotes for safety)

Generate UDC Values from Nickname Pattern

Our flow for this process or pipeline looks like the following diagram:
Flow of a UDC generated by pattern from Nicknames

The tool we use here is “awk”, or “awk.exe”, or “gawk.exe”; in Solaris, look for “nawk”. It’s on virtually every non-Windows system, Microsoft has a version in its tools for UNIX, or Google may help you find a copy. As well, UnxUtils has a version.

Awk is an interpreter, so needs a script or program, and for that, we use TransformUDC.awk which takes the following parameters:

parameter Meaning
COL What column in the CSV input is the Nickname? (default: 1)
NAMEFCX_LINK Name of the ProbeFCX::Link UDC
NAMEFCX_SCSIINIT Name of the ProbeFCX::SCSI UDC, matching Initiators only
NAMEFCX_SCSITARG Name of the ProbeFCX::SCSI UDC, matching Targets only
NAMESW Name of the ProbeSW::Link UDC (default: Transformed_UDC)
TRANSFORM Transform (basically the ‘s/x/y/g’ in a “sed -e ‘s/x/y/g’” command) (default: remove last two _sect_sect: DC_Serv1_fcs0_SW12P121 –> DC_Serv1)
UDCDEFAULT Default value for UDCs (default: Unknown)

A simple command such as the following will generate our results:

gawk.exe -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv

In our nickname file, the older format (first and second variant up to VW-3.1) gave us the nickname as the second parameter, so let’s tell the script that the nickname is in column #2:

gawk.exe -v COL=2 -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv

The problem is: how do we want the UDC values defined? If you’ve used “sed” or “awk” before, there’s a basic replacement term that looks like s/dog/cat/g or gsub("dog","cat",$0) … this part really depends on your nickname format, but looking above, we have nicknames that look like:


We see how, in this example, chopping off everything after the “_” gives names such as “Billing43″ and “DMX1927″. In see and awk, we would write: s/_.*$//g so we’ll use that as our transform. How can we test this?

Trim Quotation Marks

We could trim off the quotation marks around the second field using this: (“,” as field-separator, convert (“) to (), an empty replacement)

gawk -F, '{gsub(""","",$2); print; }' Nicknames.csv

… unfortunately, we need to use quotation marks for the script, and then we need a bunch of “” escape sequences, so it looks much more complex running it:

gawk.exe -F, "{gsub("\"","",$2); print; }" Nicknames.csv

… which looks like:

awk Transforms: Trim Quotations

Truncate All After “_”

Based on the example above, we can now test whether our transform (“s/._*$//g”, or gsub(“._*$”,””,…) ) gives us the results we want, such as (notice: “print $2″, so we’ll only see the second field):

gawk.exe -F, "{gsub("\"","",$2); gsub("_.*$","",$2); print $2; }" Nicknames.csv

… which looks like:
awk Transforms: Trim Quotations, Trim Nickname

This means our transform works, so let’s use it in the script:

gawk.exe -v TRANSFORM="s/_.*$//g" -v COL=2 -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv

Unfortunately, “4241″ is not worthwhile to us because it’s only one matching name, so let’s trim that one off by saying “minimum of 2 matching names per UDC value”:

gawk.exe -v MIN=2 -v TRANSFORM="s/_.*$//g" -v COL=2 -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv

Finally, What do we want to call the UDC? The tool always generates a ProbeSW::Link UDC, and if unnamed, defaults to “Transformed_UDC”. The Name of the UDC is limited to 32 characters, and values themselves to 24 characters; the name of the UDC becomes the name of the “metric” or context that we are generating. Suppose while working at XYZ Cheese and Dairy Distributors, we want a UDC called xyz-SW-BizUnit (we need to use “_” rather than “-”):

gawk.exe -v NAMESW="xyz_SW_BizUnit" -v MIN=2 -v TRANSFORM="s/_.*$//g" -v COL=2 -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv

Let’s run this with a redirection (“>”) to store the results to a file:

gawk.exe -v NAMESW="xyz_SW_BizUnit" -v MIN=2 -v TRANSFORM="s/_.*$//g" -v COL=2 -f TransformUDC.awk Nicknames.csv > VirtualWisdomDataUDCImportxyz-UDCs.udc

Running this as a command in cmd.exe is relatively quiet because this is a non-interactive command. It tends to look like the following:

gawk -f TransformUDC Nicknames.csv to xyz-UDC.udc

Importing this example, we see the following (you’ll note: the default has also been set using “-v UDCDEFAULT=Other”) :

Generated UDC values as viewed in VW Views

Schedule UDC Import

Creating the schedule is relatively straight-forward: although there is some strong guidance in the VirtualWisdom User Guide, a complete example would like like the following:

  1. Views Application, Setup tab: Views Application, Setup Tab
  2. “Schedules” page, roughly 5th item down: Views Application, Setup Tab, Schedules page
  3. Create a new Schedule, with the action “Import UDC configurations”: Import xyz-UDCs Schedule in Views
  4. …and configure it to use a new UDC Importing Configuration, as follows. NOTE we only use a local filename, all files are in the UDCImport directory of your VirtualWisdomData folder:Vies Application, Setup Tab, UDC Import Configuration (shortened)

The benefit here is that the UDC always replaces existing values without prompting. As well, after import, a UDC re-calculates values for both past summaries and new summaries. This allows you to “fix history” if your UDC is not quite correct the first time.

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