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Manikandan Srinivasan, Sr. Director, Products

Clusters on Cruise Control with OpsCenter 6.0

By Manikandan Srinivasan, Sr. Director, ProductsJuly 5, 2016

DataStax OpsCenter is an easy-to-use, visual management and monitoring solution enabling administrators, architects, and developers to quickly provision and monitor DataStax Enterprise (DSE) clusters with ease. Today, I am pleased to announce the general availability of DataStax OpsCenter 6.0, supporting DataStax Enterprise 5.0. Let me provide a quick tour of some of the enhancements found in OpsCenter 6.0.

A Powerful New Graph Database

OpsCenter 6.0 fully supports DSE Graph, which is a new, powerful graph database. Using OpsCenter, you can provision Graph clusters and monitor the health of the clusters. Furthermore, Graph workloads benefit from all core automated services such as backups and repairs.

New and Improved Cluster Alerts

Mission-critical applications that run on DSE require you to have granular notifications on the health of your clusters. Configuring the right types of alerts can result in significant cost savings, proactive database maintenance and increased DBA productivity. In this release, OpsCenter has improved the alerting functionality extensively by adding a number of features outlined below:

  • SNMP alert support enables administrators to send SNMP traps alongside email and PostURL event plugins to better integrate with enterprise infrastructure management systems.
  • PostURL allows event notifications to contain custom fields – static or interpolated by OpsCenter to include various event data sent in a variety of formats including JSON. For example, OpsCenter can post event notifications to HipChat rooms or any other service that exposes a RESTful API.
  • Email expansions allow for custom fields and messages within emails, enabling the inclusion of helpful information such as alert-triggering threshold, OpsCenter event fields, triage instructions for support staff, and more.
  • All alerts can be configured per cluster or multiple clusters, which allows much finer granularity for when and how you get notified. For example, from a single OpsCenter server, a development cluster can be configured to simply send an email, while a production cluster can be configured to send HipChat notifications and SNMP traps.

Flexibility With DSE Tiered Storage

DSE Tiered Storage lets you decide how your data is split across different storage media.  The new Deploy feature in DataStax OpsCenter Lifecycle Manager gives you flexibility when configuring these options for your DSE clusters.  In addition, you will now have access to OpsCenter metrics such as data density, number of sstables, and timestamp of the data per tier providing you granular control of your DSE clusters.

Simplified, Robust & Automated Enterprise Deployment

The new Deploy feature in OpsCenter Lifecycle Manager transforms the manual and complex provisioning process into a simplified, robust, and automated task. You can now automatically deploy and manage DSE clusters on premise or in the cloud.  This feature follows a persistent declarative model that adheres to best practices to ensure provisioning is done correctly regardless of your cloud and system admin experience.

In this release, DataStax introduced several key features and enhancements to simplify your deployment experience:

  • Centrally-managed configuration profiles
  • Custom repository support for offline installs
  • Improved usability
  • Improved robustness and auditability
  • Turnkey security


Fig 1: Lifecycle Manager – Deploy

Improved Backup Destination

In OpsCenter 6.0, you now have the ability to store backups in a custom user-defined directory. The Local File System (FS) option gives you the ability to store backups in a location separate from your node’s data directories. For example, now you can use Network File System (NFS) to store your backups separately from your DSE nodes without any data loss.


Fig 2: Local Backup Destination

Integration with Graphite Monitoring Application

If you are using Graphite as a centralized monitoring tool, OpsCenter agents can push the metrics directly to the graphite server. After you enter the Graphite host, port, and the prefix to identify OpsCenter-specific metrics, the OpsCenter daemon automatically pushes OpsCenter rollup metrics. This greatly simplifies your manual setup process and also enables you to get reliable OpsCenter metrics to check the health of your DSE clusters.

# Setting graphite_host enables the forwarding of metrics to a graphite server at the given address. Blank disables it.

graphite_host =
# Port for graphite’s plaintext protocol
graphite_port = 2003
# A prefix to insert metrics under
graphite_prefix = opscenter

Fig 3: Graphite Configuration

Improved Agents Architecture

In this release, DataStax has greatly simplified the OpsCenter agent installation and deployment process by leveraging the power of the new Deploy feature in OpsCenter Lifecycle Manager. You now have the ability to granularly track the state of an agent on a DSE node. Further, OpsCenter can provide a detailed diagnosis of agent issues and suggest ways to correct them. The new agent architecture along with the Agent Status Details page will help significantly reduce the time to setup and troubleshoot agent connectivity issues.


Fig 4: Agents Details Page

In summary, OpsCenter 6.0 provides you with a wealth of new features and enhancements that make it easier to provision and monitor DSE clusters with ease.  For more information on OpsCenter 6.0, see our online documentation. To try OpsCenter 6.0 in your own environment, download a copy today and be sure to let us know what you think.



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