When customizing Cloud Insights to track data for your corporate requirements, you can define specialized notes, called annotations, and assign them to your assets.

You can assign annotations to assets with information such as asset end of life, data center, building location, storage tier, or volume service level.

Using annotations to help monitor your environment includes the following high-level tasks:

  • Creating or editing definitions for all annotation types.

  • Displaying asset pages and associating each asset with one or more annotations.

    For example, if an asset is being leased and the lease expires within two months, you might want to apply an end-of-life annotation to the asset. This helps prevent others from using that asset for an extended time.

  • Creating rules to automatically apply annotations to multiple assets of the same type.

  • Using the annotation import utility to import annotations.

  • Filter assets by their annotations.

Default annotation types

Cloud Insights provides some default annotation types. These annotations can be used to filter or group data.

You can associate assets with default annotation types such as the following:

  • Asset life cycle, such as birthday, sunset, or end of life

  • Location information about a device, such as data center, building, or floor

  • Classification of assets, such as by quality (tiers), by connected devices (switch level), or by service level

  • Status, such as hot (high utilization)

The following table lists the default annotation types. You can edit any of these annotation names to suit your needs.

Annotation types

Description

Type

Alias

User-friendly name for a resource

Text

Birthday

Date device was/will be brought online

Date

Building

Physical location of assets

List

City

Municipality location of assets

List

Compute Resource Group

Group assignment used by the Host and VM Filesystems data collector

List

Continent

Geographic location of assets

List

Country

National location of assets

List

Data Center

Physical location

List

Direct Attached

Indicates (Yes or No) if a storage resource is connected directly to hosts

Boolean

End of Life

Date when a device will be taken offline

Date

Fabric Alias

User-friendly name for a fabric

Text

Floor

Location of a device on a floor of a building (hosts, storage arrays, switches, and tapes)

List

Hot

Devices under heavy use on a regular basis or at the threshold of capacity

Boolean

Note

Comments associated with a resource

Test

Rack

Rack in which the resource resides

List

SAN

Logical partition of the network for hosts, storage arrays, tapes, switches, and applications.

List

Service Level

A set of supported service levels that you can assign to resources. Provides an ordered options list for internal volumes, qtree, and volumes. Edit service levels to set performance policies for different levels.

List

State/Province

State or province where the resource is located.

List

Sunset

Threshold set after which no new allocations can be made to that device. Useful for planned migrations and other pending network changes.

Date

Switch Level

Predefined options for setting up categories for switches. Typically, these designations remain for the life of the device, although you can edit them. Available only for switches.

List

Tier

Can be used to define different levels of service within your environment. Tiers can define the type of level, such as speed needed (for example, gold or silver). This feature is available only on internal volumes, qtrees, storage arrays, storage pools, and volumes.

List

Violation Severity

Rank (for example, major) of a violation (for example, missing host ports or missing redundancy), in a hierarchy of highest to lowest importance.

List

Note
Alias, Data Center, Hot, Service Level, Sunset, Switch Level, Tier, and Violation Severity are system-level annotations, which you cannot delete or rename; you can change only their assigned values.

Creating custom annotations

Using annotations, you can add custom business-specific data that matches your business needs to assets. While Cloud Insights provides a set of default annotations, you might find that you want to view data in other ways. The data in custom annotations supplements device data already collected, such as storage manufacturer, number volumes, and performance statistics. The data you add using annotations is not discovered by Cloud Insights.

Steps
  1. In the Cloud Insights menu, click Manage > Annotations.

    The Annotations page displays the list of annotations.

  2. Click +Add

  3. Enter a Name and Description of the annotation.

    You can enter up to 255 characters in these fields.

  4. Click Type and then select one of the following options that represents the type of data allowed in this annotation:

Annotation types
Boolean

Creates a drop-down list with the choices of yes and no. For example, the "Direct Attached" annotation is Boolean.

Date

This creates a field that holds a date. For example, if the annotation will be a date, select this.

List

Creates either of the following:

  • A drop-down fixed list

    When others are assigning this annotation type on a device, they cannot add more values to the list.

  • A drop-down flexible list

    If you select the Add new values on the fly option when you create this list, when others are assigning this annotation type on a device, they can add more values to the list.

Number

Creates a field where the user assigning the annotation can enter a number. For example, if the annotation type is "Floor", the user could select the Value Type of "number" and enter the floor number.

Text

Creates a field that allows free-form text. For example, you might enter "Language" as the annotation type, select "Text" as the value type, and enter a language as a value.

Note
After you set the type and save your changes, you cannot change the type of the annotation. If you need to change the type, you have to delete the annotation and create a new one.
  1. If you select List as the annotation type, do the following:

    1. Select Add new values on the fly if you want the ability to add more values to the annotation when on an asset page, which creates a flexible list.

      For example, suppose you are on an asset page and the asset has the City annotation with the values Detroit, Tampa, and Boston. If you selected the Add new values on the fly option, you can add additional values to City like San Francisco and Chicago directly on the asset page instead of having to go to the Annotations page to add them. If you do not choose this option, you cannot add new annotation values when applying the annotation; this creates a fixed list.

    2. Enter a value and description in Value and Description fields.

    3. Click Add to add additional values.

    4. Click the Trash icon to delete a value.

  2. Click Save

    Your annotations appear in the list on the Annotations page.

After you finish

In the UI, the annotation is available immediately for use.