Server & Application Monitor 5.5 Release Candidate has been available for a few weeks, and now RC3 is available for download through the customer portal for all existing SAM product owners under active maintenance. Throughout the beta process I've written about several new features that expand SAM's capabilities beyond simply monitoring applications. Another example of this, is newly added support for monitoring network interface performance of Windows servers via WMI. Once an exclusive feature of Network Performance Monitor, known primarily for monitoring switches, routers, firewalls, network load balancers, and other network gear, NPM has been the industry’s de facto standard in network performance monitoring for a generation of network engineers the world over. Now SAM 5.5 gains some of this NPM goodness by providing users visibility into their Windows servers network performance, and allowing them to diagnose and troubleshoot server network issues that commonly result in latency, packet loss, and overall poor application performance.

 

When you add a Windows Node to SAM via WMI, or List Resources on an existing WMI managed node, a listing of network interfaces installed in the server is presented. Select the interfaces on the server you want to monitor and you're done. It's just that simple, with no need to enable or configure SNMP.

List Resources WMI Interfaces.png

  • The listing of interfaces you see in SAM mirror those shown in the Windows Network Control Panel of the server being monitored.

Windows Network Interfaces.png

  • Once monitored, a listing of these interfaces and their current utilization is shown on the Node Details view of the managed Windows host in SAM.

Current Percent Utilization.png

Interface Details.png

 

Clicking on any interface in this resource takes you to the Interface Details view, where general information about the selected network interface, such as MAC address, interface type, and link speed can be found. In this view you'll also notice a plethora of network interface performance information. Interface utilization, Min/Max/Average bits per-second, packets per-second, as well as errors and discards, both current and historical, are all available to help aid in diagnosing Windows server and application performance issues.

Min/Max/Average bps In/OutPercent UtilizationTotal Bytes TransferedErrors and Discards
MinMaxAvgBps.png

Percent Utilization.png

Total Bytes Transfered.png

Errors and Discards.png

 

The best news of all is that network interface monitoring for Windows machines via WMI is essentially free, as it's included as part of the node license. Now what does that mean exactly? If you're already managing a windows host via WMI with SAM, then monitoring its network interfaces does not consume any additional licenses. What does that mean for those running both SAM and NPM on the same server? Well it means you can continue to monitor your Windows network interfaces via SNMP, or opt to monitor them via WMI. The choice is yours. Windows interfaces monitored via SNMP will continue to count against your NPM licensed interfaces, while those monitored via WMI will not. If you're an existing NPM product owner nearing your interface license limit and you don't yet own SAM, this is a great way to reclaim some of those interface licenses while adding tremendous value to your organization.


The best kind of properties are custom

 

A few months ago NPM 10.4 introduced us to a radically overhauled Custom Property Editor, that made a complete web transformation from its previous Win32 underpinnings. With the release of SAM 5.5, what was once the exclusive domain of nodes, volumes, and interfaces, has now been expanded to include applications at the request of many in the community.

Application Custom Properties.png

Application Template Editing Custom Properties.png

As one might expect, these application custom properties can be used in the Advanced Alert Manager, Report Writer, Groups, filters etc, the same as other custom property types are used throughout the product.

 

Once the custom properties have been defined you can designate values to your assigned applications through the Custom Property Editor found under Settings. Similar to other custom property types, this is normally the easiest way to modify custom property values for applications en masse. Alternatively, you can edit specific applications and define their individual custom properties using the application editor as pictured on the left.

 

These are two more great new features you can begin using today by downloading Server & Application Monitor 5.5 RC3 from your customer portal. The Release Candidate can be used to upgrade your existing SAM installation, but also includes a temporary 30 day license if you'd prefer to play with these new features in a lab environment.