Hardware Sentry is a hardware monitoring agent which monitors the health of the hardware of any kind of computer, network switch or storage system, and exposes the corresponding metrics to any observability platform supporting OpenTelemetry like Datadog, BMC Helix, Prometheus, New Relic, ServiceNow, Splunk, etc.

Hardware Sentry Architecture

Thanks to its internal library of 250+ Hardware Connectors, Hardware Sentry can monitor almost any system from any manufacturer (Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Oracle, etc.) through SNMP, IPMI, HTTP, WBEM, WMI, WINRM or SSH.

Hardware Sentry monitors the health of the internal electronic components of the system:

  • Batteries
  • Blades
  • CPUs
  • GPUs
  • LEDs
  • Memory modules
  • Network cards
  • Power supplies
  • Robotics
  • Sensors
    • Temperatures
    • Voltages
    • Fans
    • Power
  • Storage
    • Controllers
    • Disks
    • RAIDs
    • HBAs
    • LUNs
    • Tape drives
  • Virtual Machines
  • etc.

Hardware Sentry also reports the energy usage and costs, as well as the carbon emissions of the monitored systems.

What's in the box?

Hardware Sentry is comprised of:

  • The Hardware Sentry Agent
    • Its configuration file (hws-config.yaml)
    • The monitoring engine, with the Hardware Connector Library
  • The OpenTelemetry Collector Contrib executable
  • Hardware Sentry CLI (hws)

Internal architecture of the Hardware Sentry

Note: Hardware Sentry is shipped with Java Runtime Environment 11.

Hardware Sentry Agent

The Hardware Sentry Agent is the engine that performs the actual monitoring of the systems, based on its configuration file, which specifies:

  • Its internal polling cycle
  • The hostnames and credentials of the systems to monitor.

The Hardware Sentry Agent is responsible for:

  1. Spawning the OpenTelemetry Collector Contrib
  2. Scraping hosts
  3. Collecting metrics
  4. Pushing OTLP data to the OTLP receiver of the OpenTelemetry Collector.

OpenTelemetry Collector Contrib

The OpenTelemetry Collector Contrib is responsible for:

  1. Pulling its metrics periodically (internally)
  2. Pushing these metrics to the specified platform.

Hardware Connector Library

The library of 250+ Hardware Connectors is included in the Hardware Sentry Agent. It is the same library that powers Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL, the original and battle-seasoned module for PATROL, created in 2004 by Sentry Software and used on hundreds of thousands of systems around the world.

The platforms that can be monitored by Hardware Sentry entirely depends on this library. More details about the Hardware Connector Library are available as a separate documentation.

Hardware Sentry CLI (hws)

The Hardware Sentry CLI contains the same engine and library of Hardware Connectors as Hardware Sentry Agent, but packaged as a command line interface, that can be invoked in a shell.

This tool is particularly useful to troubleshoot the monitoring of a system, protocols and credentials.

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