Troubleshooting Operational Issues Using System Comparison

Red Hat Insights 2020-10

How to identify operational issues in systems and generate reports

Red Hat Customer Content Services


This workflow example demonstrates how to identify configuration differences between systems and generate CSV reports for analyses.
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Chapter 1. Overview

In an IT environment, two systems can behave differently even when they have been configured using the same template. The System Comparison service enables IT operators to compare the system configuration of one system to that of other systems.

To identify configuration differences between two or more systems:

  1. Access the System Comparison service.
  2. Add systems manually within System Comparison and view profiles.
  3. Filter the system facts by state to highlight differences and incomplete data.
  4. Export the filtered output to a CSV file for further analysis.

Chapter 2. Accessing the System and Baselines Comparison Service

The System Comparison service is part of Red Hat Insights. Access this service via


  1. On, in the Red Hat Insights panel, click Drift. The Comparison screen opens.

    drift comparison screen

  2. Cick Add to comparison. The Add to comparison screen opens, where you can add systems or baselines to compare.

    drift add to comparison screen

    • On the Systems tab, you can add any systems you want to compare. This screen also lists any baselines that already exist in your Insights inventory.
    • On the Baselines tab, you can create baselines. This screen also lists any baselines that already exist in your inventory.

      drift baselines screen

  3. Click Submit to add your systems or baselines for comparison.

Once you add them, you can start comparing the facts of systems and baselines in your Insights inventory.

Chapter 3. Adding Systems Manually within System Comparison

Within the System Comparison service, you can add systems registered in your Insights inventory.

Add systems registered in your Insights inventory within the {ServiceName} service.


  1. On the Insights user interface, click DriftComparison in the left-side navigation menu. The Comparison service opens to the Comparison screen.
  2. Click Add to comparison.
  3. Select the systems to compare from the list. Alternatively, enter the system name in the search box to find by name, and then select the system.
  4. Click Submit.
  • At any time, you can add more systems by clicking the Add to comparison button near the top of the Comparison screen.
  • Similarly, you can remove a particular system under comparison by clicking the X symbol on the upper-right corner of the individual system name, or you can remove all systems under comparison by clicking the options menu drift options menu located at the top, then clicking Clear all comparisons to start again.

Chapter 4. Filtering System Facts

Filter the system profiles by state to highlight any differences between the systems, and incomplete data.

  1. Click the View drop-down list and select Different to show facts that are different.
  2. Click the View drop-down list and select Incomplete Data to show facts where information is incomplete.

In the example screen capture below, you can see the system comparison data filtered by facts that show a difference across systems. Some facts, such as the fqdn, are expected to be different for each system, but the installed packages are expected to be the same. Over time, some packages have been upgraded on system 1, but not on system 2 and system 3, as shown by expanding the fact category installed_packages.

drift comparison with diffs screen

Chapter 5. Exporting System Comparison Output

The Comparison service allows you to export system comparison output, along with any current selections such as filters, to a comma-separated values (CSV) file.

Export the system profiles you filtered above by state to highlight the differences and incomplete data to a comma-separated values (CSV) file.


The exported CSV report preserves all your current selections on the system comparison output, including any filters applied. That is, it follows the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) paradigm. Therefore, you will need to expand any nested fact categories (installed_packages, for example) to be exported in the report.


  1. On the Comparison output screen for two or more systems, click the Export as CSV icon ( drift export as csv icon ), and then select either Export as CSV, or Clear all comparisons.

    export csv1

  2. Open the CSV file with the tool of your choice so that you can easily compare exported facts and analyze discrepancies in systems.

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