I am extremely happy to announce the release of Command Center 5.2 Maintenance Release 4!

This release brings with it a whole new set of features designed to bring customized configuration replication, sturdier administrative functionalities, improved usability and an advanced Database Monitoring support.

Let’s explore a few of the many awesome features that this release has to offer.

ADMINISTRATION

Advanced Command Center DB Monitoring:

You no longer needs to worry about the database hitting its maximum capacity and causing unexpected issues.

This feature gives you the ability to configure a threshold value for database usage and the option to send traps/email notification on a threshold breach. You can now be pre-warned and take the necessary proactive actions.

You can enable Database monitoring from: Administration >> Settings >> Database Monitoring Settings.

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By default, the size of the Command Center database is checked once an hour. You can configure the threshold either as a value in MB, or as a percentage (%) of the disk space allocated to the database. By enabling DB monitoring, the system by default generates an SNMP trap for a DB threshold breach which can be seen in the Fault Management Events and Alarms.

You can also choose to receive an email notification for the DB usage threshold breach by enabling the email notification option and providing the necessary email details.
Whitelisting based on entities for Monitoring module:

On NetScaler, an application is represented by a vserver. Giving access to an “App1” administrator for “vserver1” implies giving him access to “App1” related NetScaler configuration on Command Center.

Consider a case where “App1” admin is allocated access to “vserver1” and “App2” admin is allocated access  to “vserver2”. Although the “App2” administrator’s access is restricted to “vserver1”, he still has access to rest of the entities such as services, servers and servicegroups and can thus disable the services of “App1”. This outcome is not favourable.

Using the whitelisting “bound-entities” feature option, you can restrict a user group’s monitoring tab view to a particular vserver(s)/service(s)/service group(s)/server(s) and the entities that are bound to it.

To enable this feature, you can navigate to Administration >> Groups and select the group for which you wish to configure the authorization setting. After selecting group, you can go to advanced settings and select the entity which you wish to restrict the group’s access.

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Now when a user belonging to that group logs into command center, his/her views under monitoring tab will be restricted to the selected vserver and the entities (services, servicegroups, servers) bound to it.

USABILITY

Support for Exporting Syslog:

Ease of use takes a step forward as you can now export syslog onto your local machine and access these syslog at a later time without having to log on to the Command Center interface. This functionality applies to Fault management syslog, AppFirewall syslog as well as NetScaler Gateway syslog.

For exporting Fault syslogs, you simply need to navigate to Fault >> Syslogs >>Logs and click on the export option. If you  want to export only selective syslog, you can specify the criteria (time, severity, devices, limit on number of rows, etc). Do not specify any limiting criteria if you would like to export all the logs.

User can also export syslog views in a similar fashion.

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AUTHENTICATION

Fall back mechanism:

Who wants to risk being locked out of Command Center when the AAA server is down or otherwise unreachable? Nobody, I’m sure! You can now prevent such a situation by configuring a certain set of users as fall-back users. These users would be allowed to login to Command Center using local authentication only when the configured AAA server is down/unreachable, thus preventing lock-out.

Go to Administration >> Fallback User Settings and select among the existing users the ones that you wish to make as the fallback users.

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You can also mark a user as fallback user during the creation of the user itself.

CONFIGURATION

Customizing the DeployMasterConfig Built-in Task

The DeployMasterConfig Built-in Task helps replicate configuration from one NS to another in the most flexible manner.

We now extend its power by making it customizable. It gives you a simplified way to customize and replicate existing state of NetScaler (configuration/license/certificate or any other files) to multiple NetScalers.

The preview of this task is also enhanced to show the master configurations (commands in the nsconfig) that are to be applied on each device as well as the commands that actually constitute the custom task. This clarity in view can be a blessing to the user who can now be sure of what commands and configurations are going to be pushed on his devices.

To utilize this feature, go to Configuration >> Built-in Task >> Select “DeployMasterConfig” built-in task >> Select “Saveas”

Since DeployMasterConfig Built-in Task constitutes of taking configuration and variables as input files, after the above steps you’ll get an option to add more commands to this custom task.

With this option, you can add any kind of SSH, SFTP or SCP commands and make this built-in task custom-made according to your requirement!

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REPORTING

View more than top 20 violations for AppFirewall Reporting

You can now view a graph of up to 40 top violations in Application Firewall reports. You can also schedule an Application Firewall report of up to 40 top violations or choose to export the graphs and tables of Application Firewall violations.

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Apart from these features, many small but powerful enhancements have been introduced such as enhancing Tech Support bundle, Active Directory supporting Base DN and Admin DN and supporting TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2.

Anxious to have a look at these features by yourself? Why wait? You can try out all these exciting features and many more right now by downloading the latest release.

If you’d like to read the release notes in detail, click here.

I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below or send me an email to let me know.