Announcing InMon Traffic Sentinel 8.0

May 2016: InMon Traffic Sentinel 8.0 is now available for download. This is a free upgrade for customers who have purchased annual maintenance.

Previous release: 7.0

New features include:

  1. Unified Traffic History
  2. Scriptable Dashboard Builder
  3. Query Cache Performance Boost
  4. Monitoring Docker Containers
  5. Monitoring Cloud Servers
  6. Optical Network Monitoring
  7. User-Defined Metrics
  8. Installation on Debian/Ubuntu
  9. Enhanced sFlow/NetFlow/IPFIX Forwarding
  10. Removed: Signatures Feature
  11. Removed: Quota Controller
  12. Requires 64-bit OS
  13. Requires Java 1.8 Or Later

Unified Traffic History

No more Recent and Historical views! In Sentinel v8 every field is kept for the full duration of the history. This helps troubleshooting, simplifies the UI, and allows even the interactive tools to access the full history:

Scriptable Dashboard Builder

The Home>Dashboard page can now be defined using a powerful extension to the REST API builder. See tutorial.

Query Cache Performance Boost

Partial query results and de-duplication analytics are now held in a cache on disk. This results in a dramatic performance boost for queries that repeat or overlap. Such as in dashboards and periodic reports.

Monitoring Docker Containers

Extend visibilty down to the container level by running the host-sflow agent on your servers. Even if transient containers are coming and going in large numbers Traffic Sentinel offers container, server and cluster-wide visibility into performance metrics and traffic patterns. The new lightweight macvlan adaptors can be monitored for traffic too.

Monitoring Cloud Servers

When you migrate servers into the cloud you have no access to the switches or virtual-switches they connect to. This can mean that you lose visibility into the traffic patterns. However the free host-sflow agent can now generate sFlow with near-zero overhead connecting only to the virtual adaptor that is still accessible to you. Traffic Sentinel has the scalability to accept this feed from thousands of servers.

Optical Network Monitoring

Traffic Sentinel 8 supports the new optical monitoring extension to the sFlow standard, and will also try to populate those metrics from vendor SNMP MIBs. Sinking values for ifcounters.mod_rx_power can forwarn you of emerging problems with a fiber-optic cable, and a sharp drop can indicate that the cable was bent or tapped.

User-Defined Metrics

User-defined counters, gauges and string-values can be sent to Traffic Sentinel as rtmetric messages via any host-sflow agent as described here. The results are accessible to the scripting API under view="rtmetric".

Installation on Debian/Ubuntu

Installation on Debian or Ubuntu servers is supported via a separate download (.deb package).

Enhanced sFlow/NetFlow/IPFIX Forwarding

The File>Forwarding page now allows selective forwarding of sFlow or NetFlow/IPFIX feeds to other collectors, with greater flexibility than before. The EnableUDPForwarder and CCSFlowHost1 options in the global.prefs file are therefore no longer supported and will be ignored.

Removed: Signatures Feature

The Signatures feature has been removed. If you were using this then please contact InMon support for suggestions on how to accomplish this in other ways, such as scripted multi-queries.

Removed: Quota Controller

The Quota Controller feature has been removed. If you were using this then please contact InMon support for suggestions on how to accomplish this in other ways, such as the REST API Builder.


Upgrade Requirements

Requires 64-bit OS

Sentinel v8 requires 64-bit Linux. To check your server, run: uname -a and look for "x86_64". For example: # uname -a Linux bagel 3.13.0-32-generic #57-Ubuntu SMP Tue Jul 15 03:51:08 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Requires Java 1.8 Or Later

Sentinel v8 requires Java 1.8 or later to be installed on the server. Previous versions of Traffic Sentinel installed a java runtime package but it is better from a security perspective to always run the latest java available for your Linux OS. So Sentinel v8 will look for java in the normal search path. That means you can control which version runs. If you follow the install instructions you will run one of these commands:

  • with yum (RedHat/CentOS)
    sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk
  • with dnf (Fedora)
    sudo dnf install java-1.8.0-openjdk
  • with apt-get (Debian/Ubuntu)
    sudo apt-get install default-jre
To test that it worked, run: java -version If you see that the version is now Java 1.8.0 or later then you can install Sentinel 8. However, if you are upgrading from Sentinel 7 or earlier you may see something like version 1.6.0_38. That older java should probably be removed...

Removing Java 1.6.0

The Java 1.6.0 that was installed by Sentinel 7 or earlier forced /usr/bin/java to point to the Sun/Oracle java 1.6.0 under /usr/java/. This takes precendence over the java-1.8.0-openjdk package which uses the "/etc/alternatives java" approach to manage different versions. So to switch to the new scheme we recommend these steps:

  1. Remove 1.6.0 jre sudo rpm -e jre-1.6.0

    It may be necessary to repeat this to remove multiple jre 1.6.0 versions:

    sudo rpm -e jre-1.6.0_37 sudo rpm -e jre-1.6.0_18
  2. Put in the link to /etc/alternatives/java sudo ln -s /etc/alternatives/java /usr/bin/java
  3. Ensure Sentinel 7 will still run

    Use a text editor to add a line "java.exec=java" to /usr/local/inmsf/etc/config/global.prefs, then: sudo service inmsfd restart before proceeding with the upgrade to Sentinel 8, either manually or via the File>Upgrade page.

Managing future Java upgrades

From now on you can control the java version that is used on your OS by running:

sudo /etc/alternatives java

If you install new versions of java they will appear here. By default the latest version will be selected automatically, but that is under your control. Run:

man alternatives

for details.

Previous Release: Announcing Traffic Sentinel 7.0