87 Replies Latest reply: Nov 22, 2011 9:30 AM by jgervin RSS

IpMonitor: What We're Working On

christineb

Hi everyone – the IpMonitor team is hard at work developing a number of key enhancements:

1. Bandwidth monitors will separate inbound and outbound traffic. This enhancement will provide a more detailed view of bandwidth usage, allowing the ability to test incoming and outgoing data rates.

2. Use Windows credentials for IpMonitor login.  

3. Define customized device types. This will help organize data in reports. 

4. Create a monitor and settings and deploy to a list of servers. This “templatized” deployment will save time and decrease the possibility of errors when deploying the same monitors to multiple devices.

5. Configure reports with non-contiguous times.  Customize timeframes to leave out weekends, evening hours, etc.

6. Enhanced Exchange support - Support for Exchange 2010. 

7. A shiny new printer monitor

8. The ability to sort columns in reporting view

PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on these items based on this priority order, but this is NOT a commitment that all of these enhancements will make the next release. If you have comments or questions on any of these items (e.g. how would it work?) or would like to be included in a preview demo, please let us know!

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On

    Looking forward to #4.  Thanks for a great product!

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On

    #2 ! :)

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    simonpt

    Hi Christine

    Great to see these new features being worked on.

    Please also don't forget to fix the old bugs, some of which have been around for several years:

    1. Case 30707: Hour Reports don't revert to current data (ie. last 60 minutes and last 24 hours) after previously viewing custom time/date ranges.
    2. Case 37503: Discovery engine not populating contact info.
    3. Case 37698: Group Reports don't work over Default SmartGroups.
    4. Case 35984: Monitor XML tags <addr> and <target> not implemented consistently across all monitor types.
    5. GSM Alert 7-bit translation is stripping special characters like square brackets.  Peter Cooper once Re: Multitech GSM Modem that he would enter it as a bug.

    Thanks - Simon

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On


     

    2. Use Windows credentials for IpMonitor login.  

     



     

    Integration with Active Directory would be an excellent addition to IpMonitor, our company would really appreciate this addition and I would be more than happy to help with testing.

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On

    Christine,

    Great to hear about those upcoming features.  My colleague has opened a support case because we are running 8.5 and planning to upgrade to 10 but he was toald the SOAP interface was removed.  We have heavility integrated ipMonitor with our CMDB (assetr inventory) and run a nightly process to update ipMonitor from this CMB (add/delete/modify monitors based on Asset type , ...).  Is there anything else that can be used (API interface, direct access to backend DB, ...) ?

    We would be really left without options if the functionality is gone.  What is your suggestion ?

     

    Regards

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    Brachus

    Nice to see that SolarWinds is still working on ipMonitor. Ever since the buyout, I've been concerned they would phase this out to move everyone to Orion NPM/APM

     

    Brachus

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    cmgurley

    Forgive me if this is addressed elsewhere, but will Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) be supported in a future release? We are pushing to standardize on R2, but since it is only 64-bit, we are unable to move ipMonitor (based on the current documentation I've seen which states 32-bit only support).

     

    Thank you,

    Chris

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    ajl119

    2 and 4 :o)

     

    We also need more file monitoring features. For example we really need to be able to check that a folder has a file in it which is less than 24 hours old.

    For example, we need to check that nightly backups are correctly being deposited into a folder.

    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
      christineb

      Hi Aj119: 

      Have you seen this? 

      FileModifiedSince.zip

      --Christine

      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
        grodech

        Just to throw my 2 cents in - I've mentioned this elsewhere - I'd really like to see the scan come up with status monitors (up/down) for the interfaces the same way that the bandwidth monitors come up.  If an interface drops, the bandwidth just drops to zero but nothing alarms unless you have manually added all the up/down monitors.  Also, a selectable monitor for tracking interface errors (both in and out) would be cool too.  That's another one I've had to add manually to each interface I need to monitor.

        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
          simonpt

          Just to throw my 2 cents in - I've mentioned this elsewhere - I'd really like to see the scan come up with status monitors (up/down) for the interfaces the same way that the bandwidth monitors come up.

          +1.  I've also asked for this one before.  It seems crazy that a network monitoring solution doesn't by default tell you when a network interface goes down.  Almost as crazy as the length of time it takes for these glaring omissions to be rectified, if ever.

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    webcontrol


    3. Define customized device types. This will help organize data in reports. 

     



    While you are at it please dont forget to introduce custom selection of table summary: Average OR Total. At the moment you cant select this at all and e.g. monitoring power usage of 20 device shows the average as summary while you would need the total of all device but the average per month.

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    sfletche

    really looking forward to #4

    Is there any news of an approx. release date for any of the enhancements?

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    ffreire

    Hi there,

    I'm currently evaluating ipMonitor for my company (great product, by the way!), do you have any idea when the next version is coming out, and if features #4 ("templatized" deployment) and #7 (printer monitor) will be included?

    Thanks

    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
      christineb

      Hi Ffreire - thakns for your input in IpM - we are currently working on those features - but we can't speak to release dates at SolarWinds. Right now, we are planning on both those features being included, but of course, they could always get pushed back if things change throughout the development cycle. I know we can be frustratingly vague around here - but this is why

      --Christine 

      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
        christineb

        Hi all - my link was wrong. Here it is again - Fear and Loathing of Roadmaps: Why your PM won’t give you a date

        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On

          Hi Christine,

          We're on the fence now, we currently use Tembria and are evaluating ipMonitor for a switch. We are a small department in a University so we can't afford the big guns (e.g. APM, ManageEngine). ipMonitor seems promising and we love the interface, dashboards and community except it's missing some crucial features for us:

          1. Custom WMI Performance Counter Monitoring (not hard coded), Tembria does this very well!
          2. Service Availability Rollup (Group Availability)
          3. Service Availability Report (Group Report)
          4. Ability to define statuses (up, down, warning, info) for all sensors. Right now "warning" seems to just apply to time and not threshold. "Informational" statuses are only available to certain sensors. Being able to be warned when certain thresholds are breached will allow us to address before it crosses the fail threshold and affects service availability. Informational will allow us to be notified of non-critical items that shouldn't count against service availability at all (e.g. changes to AD security group)
          5. AD authentication (I read this is already on the roadmap)

          I guess we are interested in more than just up/down monitoring, we'd like to do preventative maintenance (warnings), change detection (informational) and performance trending (capacity planning) as well.

          I know these are not on your current release schedule but could they be in the future or am I just dreaming? :)

          Thanks for your consideration!

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    Term

    Christine,

    I don't think there was any release in 2010, if there is no release in 2011, how about cutting our maintenance in half to reflect the level of solarwinds commitment to the product?

    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
      christineb

      Hi Term - there is one coming - we should be announcing an RC quite soon. 

      --Christine

      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
        ffreire

        Hi Christine,

        About the RC, would it be possible for you to be a little more specific in terms of the timeframe? Are we talking a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or something else entirely?

        The reason I ask is a few months ago a did an evaluation of ipMonitor and while I was overall pleased with the product ultimately I decided against it because it fell short in some specific areas. Fast forward and now I'm just about ready to pull the trigger on WhatsUp. I would like to give ipMonitor another chance but on the other hand I can't wait indefinitely.

        Thanks,

        Fabio

        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
          christineb

          Hi Ffreire - The new version of IpM will be released in a matter of months - but the RC will be announced in a matter of weeks. If you are looking at what's up - I'd really suggest taking a peek at APM - we have it in a stand-alone version now, and it's really powerful and price competitive. 

          --Christine

          • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
            christineb

            Hi All - the RC of ipM 10.5 is ready for any customers on active maintenance interested in participating. If you are, please send me an email at christine.bentsen@solarwinds.com and we will get you set up. 

            --Christine

          • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
            laffen

            Any news about this new version?

            • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
              christineb

              We will have an RC out very soon (days or weeks, not months).  I'll post here when the new RC is available. 

              --Christine

              • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                jnelson

                I see the release candidate is up. Is there a changelog somewhere, before i download it?

                • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                  christineb

                  There is a new release candidate for 10.5 in all current customer's portals. If you have time to try it out - please let us know what you think? You can post in the RC forum or just message me directly. 

                   

                  http://thwack.com/forums/59/release-candidates/233/ipmonitor-release-candidate/

                  --Christine 

                • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                  christineb

                  Hi Jnelson - we don't do release notes until the actual GA, but I can tell you that the features that made it in from the list at the beginning of this thread are 1, 6, 7, and 8. 

                  Please let me know if I can be of additional help? 

                  --Christine 

                  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                    sfletche

                    did this make it in?

                    4. Create a monitor and settings and deploy to a list of servers. This “templatized” deployment will save time and decrease the possibility of errors when deploying the same monitors to multiple devices.

                    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                      christineb

                      Hi Sfletche - that one didn't make it into the RC. Have you had a chance to try out the RC? The features that made it in are 1, 6, 7 & 8. 

                      --Christine 

                      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                        sfletche

                        Hi Chrstine,

                         

                        I have not given the RC a try unfortunately the main feature we were looking for is #4.

                         

                        It's really to bad this did not make it in as honestly the time it takes to customize the servers / monitors has been a big deterrent in how much use this product actually gets in our environment.

                        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                          Schitti

                          Hi christine,

                          will #4 be available in GA or next release???

                          and whats about #2?

                          thx, Clemens

                          • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                            jgervin

                            Schitti, we moved to form based login from digest, removed the ability to add windows accounts.  We didn't get #4 into the release.  A work around for #4 is exporting config as xml then editing with search/replace and importing it.

                            Jason

                            • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                              Schitti

                              and can you tell my why? i believe nearly all of you customers has active directory and would like to use AD authentication ...?

                              I wonder why there are no templates since a long time - with the possibility of using a thousands monitors this would save us a lot of time ...?!

                              the mentioned workaround is nice but the lack of new (useful and wished) features isn't very funny ...

                              Clemens

                              • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                Schitti

                                next question: ipMonitor was since (i believe) version 9.06 unlimited? And now there will again a limitation of 500 monitors?!? what's this? and what does that mean for any maintenance renewal from now on?

                                • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                  Term

                                  It's a move to encourage people to stay on maintenance, and protect the market of their APM from being encroached on by the less costly ipmonitor.

                                  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                    Schitti

                                    ;)

                                  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                    jgervin

                                    @schitti - We have two products, ipMonitor and APM, which it sounds like your needs may fall into the APM category. APM is meant for enterprise customers, those that need robust features and a tool that can grow limitlessly with the organization. The 500 limit would only be placed on new ipMonitor customers or those who let the maintenance lapse (aka no longer grandfathered in).

                                    Jason

                                    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                      Term

                                      Jason,

                                      Were all aware of that at this point.  We want some features in this product, and for whatever reason APM does not work for us.  Otherwise we would be there already.  

                                      We know that APM is "more better".  If I had a nickel for every time a solarwinds person said that in response to a enhancement request, I would be rich.

                                      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                        webcontrol

                                        @term

                                        100% ack to your posts. We wrote the exakt same to solarwinds in 2009, 2010 and 2011. An we where stupid enough to renew this year because of the new beta. But solarwinds kicked us again. Thanks to the linux community there are now a couple of open source enterprise monitoring tools and we can finaly say good by to ipmonitor. Congratulations Solarwinds you managed it to loose a customer using ipmonitor since 5/2000.

                                        Michael

                                • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                  Term

                                  To wrap up the last several years of history:

                                  Solarwinds buys ipmonitor.  To their credit, a lot of initial work is done.  

                                  Solarwinds increases maintenance costs from 200 a year to 600 a year.  When asked why, they claimed their changes made it a good value.  

                                  A few changes made over the next couple of years, mostly bug fixes.  

                                  ipmonitor developer moved to other projects.

                                  ipmonitor user limit changed to unlimited.

                                  Development slows to a crawl/standstill.  SOAP interface is no longer supported.  Maybe it competes with orion?

                                  People start to drift away from ipmonitor to other products that are more actively supported.

                                  Solarwinds releases APM and offers a big discount to get people to upgrade from ipmonitor.  I tried APM, and it seemed like I couldn't do what I can with ipmonitor.  I would guess that most did not upgrade.

                                  Emails go out that ipmonitor limit will be reimposed if we stop paying maintenance.

                                  Over this period of time, a series of 3 or 4 "PMs" are shuffled through the ipmonitor project.  I put the PM in quotes because while they were all very nice, very reasonable people, they are allocated no little or no development time to DO anything.  So they are really just glorified notetakers who do their best to be active on the forums and answer questions.  They probably have the torturous job of prioritizing the huge "list" of requests for improvement, and figuring out what can be done with their 1 hour a week of allocated dev time.

                                  The only contact I really get from solarwinds at this point is when the maintenance comes up for renewal.  Those people are pretty aggressive, but the last couple of years they haven't had much to stand on/brag about.

                                  I will put in a plug here for the support guy.  Keeping him around is one of the few smart things solarwinds has done with this product.

                                  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                    Schitti

                                    i have to fully agree with you!

                                    and with the features "AD authentication" and "templates" not being in RC and release, we will take a look at the new PRTG Version (which has also smartphone support ;)) ...

                                  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                    jgervin

                                    We have some things on the horizon for ipMonitor, which should dramatically increase the value for SMB's. Feel free to contact me as I would love for your feedback as we move forward.

                                    • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                      webcontrol

                                      "some things on the horizon" .... sure .... thats what you tell us since 2008. I am not willing to trust Solwarwinds anymore.

                                      • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                        jnelson

                                        This thread got active all of a sudden..

                                         

                                        My two cents: if ipMonitor is meant for smaller shops, and APM is for a larger, enterprise environment, then development needs to be active on both. if ipMonitor is not being actively developed, and IMPROVEMENTS are so irregular, then do customers a favor, and don't restrict the number of monitors, and lower the maintenance price. Because if development is stagnating, then maintenance devolves into support/help desk. 

                                         

                                        Also, near-daily emails about your other super expensive products is annoying, and to be frank, I barely even read the titles anymore. I want to know about new offerings, but limit it to one a week, and preferably a nice simple one that takes care of notifying me of two or three offerings all at once.

                                        /venting

                                        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                          sfletche

                                          I agree with the above

                                          I was sold a basic product and thats what I need. Dont need all the bells and whistles. Bought this over WUG standard which was priced around the same. This had more features - but can tell you selling this "per monitor" would have changed my mind forsure.

                                        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                          jgervin

                                          Everyone,

                                          We have several Solarwinds employees watching the thread, so know your comments have been heard.  Honestly, it is difficult for us not to be able to respond with information/knowledge we have of early discussions behind the scenes happening with ipMonitor. That being said our hands are tied or I should say our lips are sealed. With that in mind, I’ll try to make a few statements regarding our philosophy in hopes that it illustrates our thinking, it may not change your opinion.

                                          Our approach for the monitoring product portfolio is to provide functionality that meets the needs for each segment. The advantage to our customers, using this approach, is that we can keep the cost lower for ipMonitor. Internally this means we need to keep a balance between development costs and pricing. What this means is if we increase our development resources (e.g. dev, QA, etc…) for ipMonitor then we will need to increase the price (including maintenance).  But doing so would mean raising the price on everyone, including smaller SMB’s, to deliver the features/functions that larger or more advanced customers want. This could put ipMonitor out of reach for smaller shops, which we’re not willing to do. I am sure one of you has worked for a one of these smaller shops where budgets are tight, but ipMonitor fit the need. If you been fortunate to work in shops with unlimited budgets, you are lucky, but I am sure you can sympathize with these admins at the smaller IT shops. 

                                          We fully understand, by taking this approach and offering two different products there are hitches (as some of you have pointed out above). Just know we are committed to this approach because we feel it benefits most of our customers.

                                          On a personal note, I wished Apple would release a software update for my sons iPod Touch, so it would be a fully functioning iPhone (hardware and software wise its practically 80% there anyway). I know this isn’t possible, though it is frustrating because the functionality so close. I understand Apple is a business and in order to meet the needs of all customers/segments they had to draw line.

                                          We are business and we are doing our best to meet the needs for all our customers, sometimes this is difficult to do. Again, I am sure you can understand. 

                                          Thanks, Jason

                                          • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                            Term

                                            I understand that your hands are tied, and that you can't tell us much.  At this point, actions speak louder than words.  Give us something for our money other than support and people will stop complaining.  That means you need to dust off "the list" and do several of those items every year.

                                            As for your argument, I have trouble understanding it.  It lost all its water when you tripled the price of maintenance.  You tripled my costs, and gave me 10-20% the development effort that ipmonitor received before solarwinds purchased it.  It has not added much to solarwinds overhead.  There's one part time PM, and one support guy.  Those costs are easily absorbed by the sales and marketing machine that is solarwinds!  When my maintenance was jacked way up, I doubt anyone had my small business in mind.  

                                            Somehow, ipmonitor was worked on 100% of the time when it was a stand alone company.  

                                            If solarwinds wants to pour all their effort into orion/apm, then its your prerogative.  But don't claim that developing this product further would cost too much.  If you want to talk about opportunity costs, then that's something else.  Let's see if this hits the nail on the head:  "Solarwinds chooses to forgo work on ipmonitor in favor of orion/apm, because that is the more lucrative product for us.  But hey, we will continue to pocket your $600 a year so you can open a support ticket if you need to!  And oh by the way, if you stop paying maintenance, we will drop your monitor limit down to 500 if you ever want a upgrade!"

                                            If you are serious about that position, and want to make it the official solarwinds position on ipmonitor, then how about lowering my maintenance back down to $200 or whatever it was before.  Paying $600 a year to allow me to open up a support ticket is too much.  You should also make it clear up front to new buyers that this is going to be the case from now on.  Somehow I doubt anyone is doing that.  Instead, I think our maintenance fees are instead being directed towards developing orion/apm, which doesn't do me much good.  I can't prove that, but with maybe a few hundred customers around, we are surely paying the support guys salary+fringe and much much more.

                                            As far as the ipad example:  are you paying $600 a year on a support contract for it?  I doubt it.  Its a mass market consumer device that you paid $500 for.  Not a good analogy, I think.  If you paid $600 a year for support, and apple did little or nothing as far as software updates for years, you would probably be upset.

                                          • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                            sfletche

                                            Jason

                                            I dont think anyone here is taking issue with the fact ipmon is not apm and there will be differences but rather that after so much time between releases you only got 50% of not exactly an overly ambitious list in to this new release.

                                            Instead of telling customers why we are wrong to expect more, why not show us what the future holds for a product we are investing time and money in. A clear roadmap would go a long way for managing customer expectations.

                                            • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                              mderosia

                                              I agree with the issue that ipMonitor has seen very little improvements since getting purchased by SolarWinds. I loved the product and we were always informed of enhancements and things that were getting worked on. I would help with beta testing and got instant feedback with bugs. I was extremely concerned and vocal when SolarWinds was purchased and I was assured that SolarWinds bought the product because it was a great tool and that it was going to be built upon. I have not seen that at all.

                                              I have tried APM and really did not like it at all. ipMonitor has always been very easy to create and instantly get results for monitors and devices. APM did not meet 1/2 the needs that ipMonitor does in my opinion and I quit using the trial 1/2 way though and went back to ipMonitor. I wish that SolarWinds would put some real effort into building it up to be a replacement for APM instead of the other way around. I do not plan to use APM and will eventually use another product once ipMonitor is finally killed off. I love using it and will continue to do so until that time. I use it to monitor about 400 servers and just ignore the notification that I have exceeded 5000 monitors.

                                              ipMonitor is a great tool that is very easy to use and report off. Please enhance it for the customers that rely on it to monitor their environments. I have updated ipMonitor once SolarWinds bought it and that is because only one revision has been released. If you are not going to enhance it and put more effort into it, just kill it so I can move on and not curse SolarWinds for taking away my monitor I use and have up on my computer screen all day.

                                              • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                                laffen

                                                IPmonitor user since 2002 here and I have to agree. Solarwinds might have had plans to make ipmonitor a good SMB tool but it has ended up as a reason to sell more APM and Orion in general, a totally different beast. Another tragedy is the support portal which still exists at http://support.ipmonitor.com/guest.aspx, replaced with what? a forum, some resources at the solarwinds supportsite and what else? shame on solarwinds.

                                                ipmonitor still does what we need, but as other alternatives for SMB gets more features and proper support I have started looking at replacing ipmonitor.

                                                this pretty much sums it up:

                                                searching for "ipmonitor" on www.solarwinds.com gives:
                                                Recommended Product Solution:
                                                Orion Network Performance Monitor

                                              • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                                Term

                                                Solarwinds is a publicly traded company now, so I can see why things have changed.  Development is outsourced overseas to eastern europe and india.  Their 10k statements claim that the CEO is the one making all the product decisions.  They spent ~$15M on R&D last year - I wonder how much of that was on ipmonitor.  They don't go into that kind of detail in their SEC filings, unfortunately.  He won't be coming by here to "own" his decisions any time soon, he only answers to the board of directors.    

                                                A big chunk of their business is selling orion to the govt, and they had $150M in revenue last year.  ipmonitor is a spit in the bucket "tool" to them so I don't see them making any big changes any time soon when its not a big source of revenue.  

                                                Having the govt as a customer is going to hurt them in the next few years as budgets get cut.  I steered them to a open source product myself for at least one project because solarwinds is so slow to respond to feedback.   

                                                In short, I don't see much of a future in this product.  I'll just continue to use this until I'm sufficiently motivated to jump ship to something else like prtg.  If anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. 

                                        • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
                                          jgervin

                                          @jnelson - I had mentioned this earlier to schitti, but the 500 limit would only be placed on new ipMonitor customers or those who let the maintenance lapse. 


                                          Jason

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    ShawnDimitrov

    #4 and #2 will be very helpfull, especially #4.  Even better yet (or in addition to this), it would be nice if the old functionality was restored so that new groups, devices, and monitors could be added in bulk via CSV file.

    As far as using AD/windows accounts, this would be even more valuable if you also had the ability to create basic displays for end-users (ie. remove security-sensitive info such as IP addresses from their view).  I want them to know what is down, but no configuration details.

  • Re: IpMonitor: What We're Working On
    WaltH

    I did not see it listed but is there any chance for SNMPv3 support in the next release?