Device Modeling

This section will cover creation of a custom Device subclass and modeling of device attributes.

For purposes of this example, we’ll add a temp_sensor_count attribute to NetBotz devices. We’ll walk through adding the attribute to the model, modeling it from the device, and displaying it in the overview screen for NetBotz devices.

Starting in this section we’ll be working with files within the NetBotz ZenPack’s directory. To keep the path names short, I’ll assume the $ZP_TOP_DIR and $ZP_DIR environment variables have been set as follows.

export ZP_TOP_DIR=$ZENHOME/ZenPacks/
export ZP_DIR=$ZP_TOP_DIR/ZenPacks/training/NetBotz

Create the NetBotzDevice Class

A Device subclass should not be confused with a device class. In the previous section we created the /NetBotz device class from the web interface. Creating a Device subclass means to extend the actual Python class of a Device object. You’d do this to add new attributes, methods or relationships to special device types.

Use the following steps to create a NetBotzDevice class with a new attribute called temp_sensor_count.

  1. Add zenpacklib to the ZenPack.

    cd $ZP_DIR
    chmod 755
  2. Modify $ZP_DIR/ to load a YAML file. Replace anything that’s already in the file.

    from . import zenpacklib
  3. Create $ZP_DIR/zenpack.yaml with the following contents.

        base: [zenpacklib.Device]
        label: NetBotz
            type: int
          zSnmpMonitorIgnore: false
            - training.snmp.NetBotz
            - zenoss.snmp.NewDeviceMap
            - zenoss.snmp.DeviceMap
            - zenoss.snmp.InterfaceMap
    1. The name field is mandatory and must match the full Python module name of your ZenPack.

    2. The classes section is where we define extensions to the standard Zenoss model. In this case we’re creating a special device type called NetBotzDevice because we want to add a new property called temp_sensor_count. See Classes and Relationships for more information on defining classes.

    3. The device_classes section allows us to also configure the /NetBotz device class in YAML. Note that we’re configuring the same options that we already set through the web interface. You can set them either way, but once you add a device class to zenpack.yaml you’ll likely find its easier to maintain all of the information in one place.

      The most important property we’re setting on the /NetBotz device class is zPythonClass. This is required so that the new NetBotzDevice class we’ve defined will be used for devices in this device class.

      You’ll also note that we’re adding training.snmp.NetBotz to the list of modeler plugins (zCollectorPlugins) even though it doesn’t yet exist. This is safe to do, and we’ll shortly be creating the modeler plugin.

  4. Reinstall the ZenPack to have the device class changes made.

    zenpack --link --install $ZP_TOP_DIR
  5. Restart your zopectl process so the web interface can load our new module.

  6. Reset the Python class of our existing device.

    Run zendmd and execute the following snippet.

    device = find("Netbotz01")
    print device.__class__

    You should see <class ‘Products.ZenModel.Device.Device’>. We see this instead of the Python class we just created because the zPythonClass property is only used when a new device is created in a device class, or when a device is moved into a device class with a differing zPythonClass value.

    So we have two options for getting our NetBotz device to use the new Python class we created. We can either delete the device and add it back, or move it to a different device class and back. Actually, there’s a third option that I use most frequently to solve this problem. I move it into the same device class using zendmd. Execute the following snippet within zendmd to reset the device’s Python class.

    dmd.Devices.NetBotz.moveDevices('/NetBotz', 'Netbotz01')
    device = find("Netbotz01")
    print device.__class__

    Now you should see <class ‘’> printed. This confirms that our Device subclass works, and that we’ve configure zPythonClass correctly for the /NetBotz device class.

Find Temperature Sensor Count

Before we can write a modeler plugin to populate our new temp_sensor_count attribute, we need to figure out how to get the information. There are a few ways we could approach this. One way is to use that NETBOTZV2-MIB as a reference to see if we can find anything about temperature sensors specifically.

Zenoss comes with a tool called smidump that makes finding information in MIBs much easier. There are a lot of MIB browser tools out there that make this even easier, but I primarily use a Mac and haven’t found very good options there.

Find temperature information in NETBOTZV2-MIB using the following command.

smidump -f identifiers /usr/share/snmp/mibs/NETBOTZV2-MIB.mib | egrep -i temp

You should see the following in the output:

NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorTable        table
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorEntry        row
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorId           column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorValue        column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorErrorStatus  column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorLabel        column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorEncId        column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorPortId       column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorValueStr     column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorValueInt     column
NETBOTZV2-MIB tempSensorValueIntF    column

You’ll also see another node and a bunch of notification entries. These are related to SNMP traps, and not relevant to what we’re interested in polling right now.

What we see here is that there isn’t a single OID we can request that will tell us the number of temperature sensors. We’re going to have to do an snmpwalk of the table then count how many rows are in the response. Specifically we want to remember the name and OID for the row: tempSensorEntry. Due to the hierarchical nature of a MIBs representation this is the most specific OID that will return the data we need.


You’ll see a lot of output that starts with:

NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.21604919 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1095346743 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_0_TEMP
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714817 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP1
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714818 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP2
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714819 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP3
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714820 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP4
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714833 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP1
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714834 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP2
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714865 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP1
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714866 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP2
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714867 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP3
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.1382714868 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP4
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.2169088567 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP
NETBOTZV2-MIB::tempSensorId.3242830391 = STRING: nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP

What you’re seeing above is the tempSensorId column for all 14 rows in the tempSensorTable. Continuing on you will see 14 rows for each of the other columns in the table.

Create a Modeler Plugin

The next step is to build a modeler plugin. A modeler plugin’s responsibility reach out into the world, gather data, and plug it into the attributes and relationships of our model classes. In this example, this means to make the SNMP requests necessary to determine how many temperature sensors a NetBotz device has, and populate our temp_sensor_count attribute with the result.

Use the following steps to create our modeler plugin.

  1. Make the directory that’ll contain our modeler plugin.

    mkdir -p $ZP_DIR/modeler/plugins/training/snmp

    Note that we’re using our ZenPack’s training namespace, then snmp. This is the recommended approach to make it clear what protocol the modeler plugin will use, and to avoid our modeler plugin conflicting with one from someone else’s ZenPack.

  2. Create or dunder-init files.

    touch $ZP_DIR/modeler/
    touch $ZP_DIR/modeler/plugins/
    touch $ZP_DIR/modeler/plugins/training/
    touch $ZP_DIR/modeler/plugins/training/snmp/

    These empty files are mandatory if we ever expect Python to import modules from these directories.

  3. Create $ZP_DIR/modeler/plugins/training/snmp/ with the following contents.

    from Products.DataCollector.plugins.CollectorPlugin import (
        SnmpPlugin, GetTableMap,
    class NetBotz(SnmpPlugin):
        snmpGetTableMaps = (
                'tempSensorTable', '', {
                    '.1': 'tempSensorId',
        def process(self, device, results, log):
            temp_sensors = results[1].get('tempSensorTable', {})
            return self.objectMap({
                'temp_sensor_count': len(temp_sensors.keys()),
    1. Start by importing SnmpPlugin and GetTableMap from Zenoss. SnmpPlugin will handle all of the SNMP requests for us and present the results in a format we can easily work with. GetTableMap will be used here because we need to request an SNMP table rather than specific OIDs.

    2. Our NetBotz class extends SnmpPlugin. Note that the NetBotz class name must match the filename (module name) of the modeler plugin.

    3. By defining snmpGetTableMaps as a tuple or list on our class we can add a GetTableMap object that requests that row OID and specify that we only want to get the first (.1) column and name it tempSensorId.

    4. The process method will receive a two-element tuple containing the SNMP request results in the request parameter. The first elememt, results[0], of this tuple would be any direct OID gets of which we didn’t request any in this plugin. The second element, results[1] will contain a dictionary of the table results. In this case results[1] would look like the following.

          'tempSensorTable': {
              '21604919': 'nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP',
              '1095346743': 'nbHawkEnc_0_TEMP',
              '1382714817': 'nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP1',
              '1382714818': 'nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP2',
              '1382714819': 'nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP3',
              '1382714820': 'nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP4',
              '1382714833': 'nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP1',
              '1382714834': 'nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP2',
              '1382714865': 'nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP1',
              '1382714866': 'nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP2',
              '1382714867': 'nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP3',
              '1382714868': 'nbHawkEnc_1_TEMP4',
              '2169088567': 'nbHawkEnc_3_TEMP',
              '3242830391': 'nbHawkEnc_2_TEMP',
    5. We then extract just the tempSensorTable results into temp_sensors to make the next return line a bit easier to understand.

    6. We then return a dictionary that sets the temp_sensor_count key’s value to the number of keys in temp_sensors. Actually we return a dictionary that’s been wrapped in an ObjectMap by the modeler plugin’s objectMap utility method.

      The process method within all modeler plugins must return one of the following types of data.

      • None (makes no changes to the model)
      • ObjectMap (to apply directly to the device that’s being modeled)
      • RelationshipMap (to apply to a relationship within the device)
      • A list containing zero or more ObjectMap and/or RelationShipMap objects.

      An ObjectMap is simply a dict wrapped with some meta-data. A RelationshipMap is a list wrapped with some meta-data and containing zero or more ObjectMap instances.

  4. Restart zopectl and zenhub to load the new module.

Test the Modeler Plugin

Now that we’ve created and enabled a basic modeler plugin, we should test it.

  1. Remodel the NetBotz device.

    You can do this from the web interface, but I usually use the command line because it can be easier to work with if further debugging is necessary.

    zenmodeler run --device=Netbotz01
  2. Execute the following snippet in zendmd.

    device = find("Netbotz01")
    print device.temp_sensor_count

    You should see 14 printed as the number of temperature sensors.

Change the Device Overview

The next step will be to show the number of temperature sensors to users of the web interface. We’ll replace the Memory/Swap field in the top-left box of the device overview page with the count of temperature sensors.

Follow these steps to customize the device Overview page.

  1. Create a directory to store our ZenPack’s JavaScript.

    mkdir -p $ZP_DIR/resources
  2. Create $ZP_DIR/resources/device.js with the following contents.

    Ext.onReady(function() {
        var DEVICE_OVERVIEW_ID = 'deviceoverviewpanel_summary';
        Ext.ComponentMgr.onAvailable(DEVICE_OVERVIEW_ID, function(){
            var overview = Ext.getCmp(DEVICE_OVERVIEW_ID);
                name: 'temp_sensor_count',
                fieldLabel: _t('# Temperature Sensors')
    1. Wait for Ext to be ready.
    2. Find the overview summary panel (top-left on Overview page)
    3. Remove the memory field.
    4. Add our temp_sensor_count field.

    Zenoss uses ExtJS as its JavaScript framework. You can find more in ExtJS’s documentation about manipulating objects in this way.

Test the Device Overview

That’s it. We can restart zopectl and navigate to our NetBotz device’s overview page in the web interface. You should see # Temperature Sensors label with a value of 14 at the bottom of the top-left panel.