Chapter 6. Comparing systems and system profiles

You can compare systems to each other, to profiles, and to a reference point. When you have selected all the systems you want to compare, you can use the Comparison screen to compare the facts in the systems.

6.1. Comparing system profiles

After you have added to your inventory all the systems you want to compare, use the Comparison screen to compare the facts in the systems.

6.2. Comparing systems to a reference point

In some cases, you might want to compare all systems to a single reference point, rather than compare all systems with each other, or compare them as a group. For example, you might need to compare all systems to a baseline so that all systems are calculated against that baseline. You can also compare a system against time-stamped profiles to understand where and when changes have occurred.

You might also want to invert a comparison. For example, instead of comparing profiles with old timestamps against the latest profile, you might want to compare all profiles against the oldest known working version of a system. Such a comparison enables you to identify changes that deviate from the reference point.

6.2.1. Comparing systems to a single point of reference

You can compare multiple systems, or all systems, to a single reference point.

Procedure

  • On the Comparison screen, click the star icon ( img drift set reference point icon ) on the system header.

The drift service compares each of your selected systems with the fact values in the reference system. The reference values are displayed in the first position column, with the column header highlighted in blue.

The fact values are displayed with every difference highlighted in red.

Note

A fact category with multiple values has no highlights until you expand the fact to view details. When you do so, drift shows the specific fact details highlighted in red.

6.3. Using the history of system profiles

Every time you submit a system for comparison, the submission checks in the profile and marks it with a timestamp. By examining the different profile versions, you can view the system over time.

Note

On the Choose systems screen, if a system is marked with a time stamp img drift clock icon icon, you might be able to open that system directly. Otherwise, add the system you want to compare into drift before comparing systems.

6.4. Exporting system comparison output

The drift service allows you to export system comparison output, including any current selections (such as filters), to a comma-separated values (CSV) file or a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file. You can then open the CSV or JSON file with the tool of your choice to compare exported facts and analyze discrepancies in your systems.

Note

The exported CSV or JSON report preserves all your current selections on the system comparison output, including any applied filters. To see all the facts in nested fact categories (such as installed_packages), expand all the nested fact categories before exporting the system comparison output to the report.

Procedure

  1. On the Comparison output screen for two or more systems, click the Export icon img drift export as csv icon , and then select either Export as CSV, or Export as JSON.
  2. Open the CSV or JSON file with the tool of your choice so that you can easily compare exported facts and analyze discrepancies in systems.

6.4.1. Exporting system comparison output to a CSV or JSON file

You can export your system profile output, along with any filters you used, to a comma-separated values (CSV) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file. The filters highlight the differences and and incomplete data in your system profiles. You can use this information for researching characteristics about your systems, and troubleshooting any issues you discover.

Procedure

  1. On the Comparison output screen for two or more systems, click the Export icon
  2. img drift export as csv icon , and then select either Export to CSV or Export to JSON.