What is a CacheFlow Heartbeat?

Solutions ID:    KB4469
Version:    1.0
Status:    Published
Published date:    07/05/2011

Problem Description

CacheFlow heartbeats are diagnostic reports that are sent to Blue Coat to allow proactive support of your CacheFlow 5000.  In this article we will answer the following questions

  • What data is contained in a heartbeat?
  • How is the data used?
  • How often are heartbeats sent?
  • How big are heartbeats?


CacheFlow heartbeats are diagnostic reports that are sent to a server at Blue Coat. Heartbeat reports are sent in the following situations:

  • every 12 hours by default. The frequency can be increased to every 2 hours or 15 minutes.
  • when the appliance is rebooted
  • user-initiated by the administrator of the CacheFlow appliance

CacheFlow heartbeats allow Blue Coat’s technical support teams to quickly address issues observed in customer deployments. The automatic upload of data means that most of the information necessary to solve the issue is already available to the support team when you raise a Service Request. Additionally, heartbeats contain operational statistics which help the engineering teams improve the CachePulse service and the overall product effectiveness

A heartbeat report is encrypted and securely uploaded to a Blue Coat server using HTTPS. Each report currently results in about 200-400Kb of data being uploaded to the server. The amount of data uploaded may increase in the future, but it is not expected to be significant.

Heartbeat data does not contain any private information. It consists of the following:

  • Serial number and primary IP address of the appliance
  • Product name and version number
  • Basic appliance configuration
  • Health information for any monitored entity that is in “Warning” or “Critical” state
  • Aggregate statistics for the following:
    • Appliance network utilization
    • Bandwidth used by HTTP services
    • HTTP request/response attributes and response times
    • Operation of the object cache (per-disk and overall)
    • Raw system resources such as: per-cpu usage and memory pressure, and calculated resources such as: resource load, bandwidth savings
    • Software subsystem effectiveness
    • Hardware diagnostics reporting (disks, memory, networks interfaces, and power supply)
    • CachePulse feedback consisting of domain popularity and caching effectiveness

Heartbeats generated following a reboot of the appliance also include the following information:

  • The reason for the restart
  • Software traceback information, in case of an unexpected software crash. This data allows for preliminary software crash analysis, before a more detailed (and larger) context core file is uploaded to Blue Coat.
  • Core image summary, specifically detailing the number of core images on the appliance

Heartbeats are required and cannot be disabled. 

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