Last time we talked about our audit, we were talking about mechanisms to collect data from your infrastructure. We discussed how to leverage a couple of different collection mechanisms for your data. What we haven't discussed, is what to do with the data after you collect it.

Storing the Data

How are you planning on using the data? How much data you have and how you intend to use that data will have an impact on how you store it. If you've got a large amount of data, it may be in your best interest to use a simple database. With the MySQL storage, you can write the data out in a simple table format and manage your data relationships within the database thus giving you greater flexibility in query mechanisms.

Accessing the Data

So, the data is safe and sound in your database. What can you do with it? With every class of data that you collect you should be able to draw a relationship between the tables, enabling a large server-centric view of the data. One reason for a server-centric option for accessing your data is that your support community likely views the infrastructure from a server-centric perspective. Accordingly, when they go to look for configuration parameters they're going to want to look at the data by hostname.

Making The Data Usable

If the data that you've collected is not usable, the whole endeavor has been for naught. Massive amounts of data can be intimidating. With a little bit of forethought however, that massive data can assist you in gaining a better understanding of your infrastructure. You can identify changing configuration parameters, as well as potentially identifying data trends. Delivery of this information - standard LAMP stack via any browser you wish. All the data in your environment, configured in such a fashion improves “at a glance” data analysis, and makes it deliverable to any platform.