Chapter 4. Reviewing and managing baselines

There are many things you can do when reviewing and managing baselines, such as creating, copying, editing, deleting, exporting, or comparing them.

4.1. Using facts in baselines

A baseline is a standard configuration that a group of systems must maintain. A configuration is a set of name:value pairs that you can either create or copy from an existing system configuration.

You can manage system profile baseline definitions for your organization. You can edit baselines by changing the values of facts, or you can delete the facts. You can use the drift user interface to create, copy, edit, delete, and export baselines.

Note

You can also use the baselines API to create and manage baselines. See the Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux API documentation for information about how to use the REST API to query and edit baselines.

4.2. Creating new baselines

You can use any of these methods to create a baseline:

  • Create an entirely new baseline
  • Copy an existing baseline
  • Copy an existing system
  • Copy a historical system profile

4.2.1. Creating an entirely new baseline

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Click Create baseline. The Create baseline screen opens.

    img drift create new baseline

  3. Select Create baseline from scratch.
  4. In the Baseline name field, enter a name for the baseline you want to create.
  5. Click Create baseline. The Edit screen for the new baseline opens.
  6. Click Add fact or category. The Add fact screen for the new baseline opens.
  7. If this is a category (parent fact) under which you will add subfact(s), select This is a category and only enter the Category name. Click Save.
  8. Otherwise, enter the Fact name and Value, then click Save.
  9. To add sub facts under a category, click the Options menu img drift options menu next to a category, and then select Add sub fact. You can also use the More Options menu to edit or delete a category.

    Note

    Any changes performed are saved automatically.

  10. Once you have completed adding all facts and sub facts and their values, navigate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines to view and manage the baseline you have created.

4.2.2. Copying an existing baseline to create a new baseline

You can copy an existing baseline to create a new baseline.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Click Create baseline. The Create baseline screen opens.
  3. Select Copy an existing baseline or historical profile.
  4. In the Baseline name field, enter a name for the new baseline.
  5. From the list of existing baselines, choose the baseline you want to copy and click Create baseline. The screen that opens has the newly created baseline with all facts populated.
  6. Use the More Options menu img drift options menu next to a fact to edit or delete that fact.
  7. To add a new fact or category, click Add fact or category. You can also add a value to a category.

Once you have finished adding or editing facts and their values, navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page to can view and manage the baseline you have created.

Note

Based on typical expectations about fact behavior, the drift service alerts users to facts that might require attention. It does not flag facts that differ from each other if the differences are expected, or if they are unimportant. It flags only important differences or similarities that might cause problems.

You can then address these exceptions to typical fact behavior.

4.2.3. Copying an existing system to create a new baseline

You can copy an existing system to create a new baseline.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Click Create baseline. The Create baseline screen opens.
  3. Select Copy an existing system.
  4. In the Baseline name field, enter a name for the new baseline.
  5. From the existing list of systems, select the system with the baseline that you want to copy and click Create baseline. The screen that opens has the newly created baseline with all facts populated.
  6. To delete existing facts, use the More options menu img drift options menu . This menu is located to the right of the blue Add fact or category button.
  7. To add a new fact or category, click Add fact or category. You can also add a sub fact to a category.
Note

Based on typical expectations about fact behavior, the drift service alerts users to facts that might require attention. It does not flag facts that differ from each other if the differences are expected, or if they are unimportant. It flags only important differences or similarities that might cause problems. You can then address these exceptions to typical fact behavior.

Once you have completed adding or editing facts, sub facts and their values, you can view and manage the baseline you have created by navigating to driftBaselines.

4.2.4. Copying a historical system profile to create a new baseline

You can copy a historical system profile to create a new baseline.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Click Create baseline. The Create baseline screen opens.
  3. Select Copy an existing system or historical profile.
  4. In the Baseline name field, enter a name for the new baseline.
  5. From the existing list of systems, select the system that has the baseline you want to copy.
  6. In the Historical profile column, click the Historical profile icon ( img drift hsp icon ).
  7. From the drop-down menu, select the profile you want to copy, based on the date and timestamp. After you make the selection, drift displays the timestamp of the selected profile in the Name column. If you change your mind and want to select a different historical profile, click the X next to the profile timestamp, and select a different historical profile.
  8. When you are satisfied that you have the particular profile you want to copy, click Create baseline. A screen opens with the newly created baseline, with all facts populated.
  9. To edit or delete existing facts, use the More Options menu img drift options menu next to a fact.
  10. To add a new fact or category, click Add fact or category. You can also add a value to a fact.

Once you have completed adding or editing facts, and their values, navigate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines to view and manage the baseline you created.

Note

Based on typical expectations about fact behavior, the drift service alerts users to facts that might require attention. It does not flag facts that differ from each other if the differences are expected or which are unimportant. It flags only important differences or similarities that might cause problems. You can then address these exceptions to the typical fact behavior in a baseline.

4.3. Editing or deleting baselines

You can rename a baseline and change, add, or delete facts, categories, and sub facts.

4.3.1. Editing a baseline

Procedure

  1. To edit a baseline, click the baseline name. The Edit screen opens.
  2. Click Add fact or category to add facts or categories to the baseline. The Add fact screen opens.
  3. If this is a category (parent fact) under which you will add sub fact(s), select This is a category and enter only the Category name. Click Save.
  4. To edit facts, select the item you want to edit and click Edit fact on the More options menu, located on the right side of the line that contains the fact. The Edit fact screen opens.
  5. Change the name or value and click Save.
  6. To delete facts or categories, select the items you want to delete and click Delete fact on the More options menu, located on the right side of the line that contains the fact.
  7. For fact categories, click the More options menu, located on the right side of the line that contains the fact category.
  8. Click to Add sub fact, Edit category, or Delete category. The corresponding screen opens. Enter or edit the information requested, and then click Save.

4.3.2. Deleting a baseline

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Use the drop-down checkbox to select the baseline (or baselines) that you want to delete. When you make a selection, the img drift num baselines field field indicates the number of baselines that you selected.
  3. To delete a baseline in the list, click Delete on the More options menu img drift options menu at the top of the screen. An alert opens with a reminder that deleting a baseline cannot be undone. If you still want to proceed, click Delete baseline.

4.4. Comparing system configurations to baselines

You can compare system configurations to one or more baselines to identify discrepancies in your environment and perform drift analysis.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Comparison page. The Comparison screen opens.
  2. Click Add systems or baselines.
  3. On the Systems tab, select one or more systems from the list. Alternatively, you can search for a system by name, and then select the system.
  4. On the Baselines tab, select one or more baselines from the list. Alternatively, you can search for a baseline by name, and then select the baseline.
  5. Click Submit.

Comparison results can also be filtered by baseline facts. This feature allows you to focus on the most relevant data when creating comparisons.

  1. Click the Fact Name drop down and choose Fact type.
  2. Next, click on the Show drop down and then check the box next to Baseline facts only.

At any time, you can add more systems and baselines by clicking the Add System button on the right side of the systems already added for comparison.

To remove a particular system or baseline from a comparison, click the X sign in the upper right corner of the individual system or baseline name panel.

To remove all systems and baselines from a comparison, click Clear all comparisons from the Options menu img drift options menu located at the top of the screen.

You can view the displayed comparison result and filter as necessary by fact name, comparison state, and category. To export the result and any current selections (such as filters) to a comma-separated values (CSV) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file, click Export as CSV or Export as JSON in the Options menu.

4.5. Exporting baselines

You can export all system baselines, or individual baseline facts or categories, to a comma-separated values (CSV) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file. You can then analyze them externally. If you applied any search filters to the baselines you are exporting, the filters are preserved in the downloaded CSV or JSON file.

4.5.1. Exporting individual baselines, facts, and categories

You can export individual baselines to CSV or JSON files. You can also use the same procedure to export individual facts or categories.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Select a baseline from the list.
  3. Click the More options menu for the baseline and select Edit. The Edit screen appears.
  4. Click the Export icon ( img drift export as csv icon ) and choose Export to CSV or Export to JSON.

4.5.2. Exporting all system baselines

You can export all system baselines to a comma-separated values (CSV) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux > Drift > Baselines page. The Baselines screen opens.
  2. Click the Export icon ( img drift export as csv icon ) next to the Create baseline button.
  3. Choose Export to CSV or Export to JSON.