Using Red Hat Insights' Drift service can help system administrators compare configs, define baselines, and ultimately perform root cause analysis of issues during troubleshooting.
As a system administrator, troubleshooting system configurations is part of day-to-day activities. In this post, we would like to introduce a new service from Red Hat Insights, called Drift, that empowers system administrators to compare configurations, define baselines, and ultimately perform root-cause analysis of issues during troubleshooting. While managing a large inventory of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems is facilitated by tools like Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite, system configurations tend to drift away from defined standard operating environments.
One of the daily tasks of system administration is troubleshooting configuration differences between two or more systems. A common example is an application that behaves differently from one system to another. The common approach to root cause analysis is to figure out differences between those systems, which can be hardware differences, operating systems differences (e.g. OS version), installed software differences (e.g. RPM version) and more. All of these could have an impact on the issue being observed.
One quick way to identify those differences is to use the Drift service provided as part of Red Hat Insights. Drift lets you quickly and easily compare two or more system configurations to identify similarities and differences. Drift also highlights areas of the configuration that are suspect or unexpected (See Figure 1). It provides filtering mechanisms to help pinpoint specific areas of the configuration where you may want to focus. Configuration facts made available to Drift for comparison are listed in the Drift documentation.
_Figure 1. Drift comparison of systems configurations_Systems can be compared despite being hosted on different infrastructure (e.g. physical, virtual, public clouds) or different environments (e.g. dev, test, prod), as long as they are part of the same account inventory.
Reports of comparisons can be exported as CSV files from the UI. This exports what you see on the screen. URLs can also be bookmarked as a way to reload a defined comparison at a later time.
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