Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups Overview

As of Device42 v15.10.00+, Affinity Groups v2 has superseded the ‘v1’ iteration. Affinity Groups v2 better accomplishes the same goals as v1: assisting customers and partners with application grouping activities based on observed communication patterns.

The process, however, has been re-imagined to completely integrate all functionality into the main D42 UI; there is no longer any need to export any reports or to import any Affinity Group (AG) data.

Pinned Services

Affinity Groups v2 introduces the concept of pinned services. Pinned services represent the ‘core dependencies’ of your infrastructure, and discovered database services are automatically pinned by default. Affinity group impact charts are only created for servers with pinned services, and you are free to pin other services you consider important, as well.

After discovery has been run within your environment (we recommend a 30-day minimum time period), the detailed application dependency information that has been collected should now be ready to use with Affinity Groups. Collected information includes service names and communication details, and affinities are then calculated based on client communication to a particular service listening on a TCP or UDP port and server process. Users define services critical to their use case then affinity groups are processed. The result is a visualized grouping of communication patterns.

Using Affinity Groups – How-To

From the Device42 menu, navigate to Apps > Affinity Groups

From this screen, enter your search criteria and/or simply click the “Chart” link next of the Affinity Group you’d like to view. Affinity Groups are automatically calculated every night at 2AM for all ‘pinned’ services.

select affinity group to view

Pinning other ‘Core’ services

Affinity groups are only generated for your ‘Core services’, which are those services that have been ‘Pinned’ in Device42. If you don’t see the Affinity Group Impact Chart you’re looking for, ensure you’ve pinned the relevant services. Navigate to your critical ‘core services’ and pin them:

Pin Selected Services

Database Services – Pinned by default

Database services are considered ‘core services’ and are therefore pinned automatically. Notice the green Checkmarks indiciating they are alread pinned:

DB services pinned by default

Viewing Affinity Group Impact Charts

Simply click the “Chart” link near one or more services to see the associated Affinity Group Impact Chart:

Example Affinity Group
Note that Application Components are now displayed as stand-alone nodes, and are connected to any associated services and/or devices via dotted lines.

Affinity Group Timelines

Affinity Group timelines were introduced in v16+. Affinity Group timelines make it easy to see how a given Affinity Group changed over time. Changes to both Devices and Services are marked along the timeline, indicating when devices and/or services were added or removed from each Affinity Group. The timeline can also be used to quickly navigate to specific dates of interest, including those when changes occurred.
Affinity Group timeline

Affinity Group Calculations – Navigating up and down to next device

With Affinity Group calculations, introduced in v16, users can view an Affinity Group calculation from just about any device — Simply open the hamburger menu, and choose “Affinity Group Calculation”. Furthermore, within the Affinity Group calculation, clicking on the plus [+] button(s) next to the top or bottom most device in a chain, users can jump to view the “next level” calculation, either above or below. This allows a drill-up or drill-down navigation from a database server, for example, all the way to a client, or conversely from a client machine all the way down to the starred service originating the service being accessed.

Note the highlighted [+] plus signs in the below image:
Affinity Group calculation menuAffinity Group calculation navigation