Now that you’ve added a few different kinds of servers, let’s cover how to automate the onboarding of new infrastructure and streamlining your ongoing maintenance. There are two main methods to achieve this: templates and the Panopta Agent manifest file. Templates allow you to capture all aspects of a server’s configuration (monitoring configuration, thresholds, alert timelines, tags, etc.) and maintain it in one place. You can then apply one or more templates to a server to stamp out that configuration.

Panopta Agent manifest file

The Panopta Agent manifest file is a method by which you can apply certain features to a server, such as:
server group, templates, tags, attributes, FQDN, server name, and plugin configuration. Read more about the agent manifest file in our help docs.

Template Creation

You can build a template from scratch or clone an existing server into a reusable template. If you’re backing into using templates after your initial setup and already have monitoring in place, the templates will automatically match metrics which are of the same type to avoid any duplication.

Template View

A template looks similar to a server but has a different icon to help you differentiate between the two. Checks and thresholds can be set up on templates the same way they’re added to servers including setting options like monitoring location, alerting, etc.

Templates can also be applied to network devices using SNMP.

Server View

Once applied to a server, the template(s) will be shown in the Templates section of the Instance Details page.

You can see which of the checks, tags, and attributes were applied to the server by the template icon next to each.

Other Methods of Using Templates

Even if you’re not fully automating your deployment, you can still benefit from templates while manually adding instances or while adding discovered instances from OnSight vCollectors.

While adding a basic instance, the step appears like so:

While bulk-adding discovered instances from OnSight, you will see the following options.

Easy Template Management

If you have many variations of servers, you may find it beneficial to create a modular structure with your templates. This will allow you to layer templates based on function. One common use case for this is creating a baseline template for all OS/system related metrics and then layering on application-related metrics. This makes your ongoing maintenance of templates easier and less error-prone.


As mentioned earlier in this guide, tags can provide a dynamic method for you to query your infrastructure. You can create any number of tags to capture things like: environment, server type, application type, responsible team, or any other internal taxonomy. For example, we’ve tagged this server with web for the function of the server, Linux for the OS, and prod to indicate that it is in our production environment. Tags can also be automatically applied to your infrastructure using templates.

You can centrally view and manage all tags when you got to Settings > Tags. From there, you can merge and delete tags, which will update all the places they have been used. Selecting View applied locations on each tag will show you where it is applied.

What can I tag?

  • Servers – Helpful for organization and powerful server selection for starting maintenance windows, running reports, or generating dashboards. Heartbeat tags can also be added to Agent and OnSight-based instances. 
  • Individual checks/metrics – This is helpful when you want to pull reports or build dashboards based on checks with specific tags.
  • Network device ports – This is helpful when you want to isolate and modify ports based on their function. For example, filtering ports with an HTTP tag will allow you to see only the ports associated with the tag. To tag network device ports, see Tag a network device port.