As those of you that are active in our beta programs know, we're about to release a new add-on to Orion that does "Application Performance Monitoring". The goal here is to provide some monitoring capabilities within Orion that provides application status and performance metrics from the needs perspective of the network engineer.

One of the things that I'm constantly challenged with is users complaining that they can't get to an application (that application could be making a phone call, surfing to YouTube, accessing the intranet, Exchange, a database server - whatever) because "the network is down" or "the network is slow". This new add-on should, among other things, provide me with the ability to know first if there actually is a network problem that is affecting applications and/or if the application itself is actually down.

All that said, in many cases I'm finding that the network staff is also being tasked with maintaining servers and applications and therefore their application monitoring needs are deeper than what I first envisioned. To that end, we've extended the capabilities of this new module and we will be continuing to do so over the next several months.

I'm curious how many of you are tasked with managing or monitoring applications and for those of you that are responsible for this, what level of depth you're looking for...


I'm not sure how many of you are aware, but the SolarWinds marketing department is sponsoring a contest where you can win some cash for providing custom reports you've written for Orion. They don't need your data - just the report itself. Looks like you can win as much as $500 and I know that participation has been low so the competition should be pretty easy :)

You can learn more at:

Orion Reports Contest

I'm headed to Barcelona for Cisco Networkers next week and thought I'd send out a feeler to see if any of ya'll will be there as well. Should be a good time...

If you are in Spain next week attending Networkers, stop by our booth and tell me you read the blog and I'll snag you some goodies...



For anyone interested, I'm hosting a webinar on network monitoring for the SMB this Thursday. We'll cover several best practices for network monitoring that apply to both SMBs as well as enterprise organizations. Additionally, towards the end of the presentation Chris LaPoint (Senior Product Manager for ipMonitor) will do a sneak peak at ipMonitor Version 9.0. You can sign up at:

Also, if you have any requests for future webinars and/or content that you'd like to see in the one this week shoot me a note.




Since there was some interest on this topic and I'm still  working with this gear in the lab I thought I'd dive a little deeper into what  I've been finding and hopefully what you all might be interested in.

There definitely seems to be some value in measuring how these appliances affect network traffic and network application performance. However, there are several different ways to measure this. In my case, I'm monitoring the traffic from the ingress interface of the WAN accelerator and comparing it with the ingress interface of the adjacent WAN device. By monitoring it in this way, I'm able to clearly articulate the "before and after" effects on the traffic. Also, in some cases where I have two sites that are very similar in traffic amounts and patters, I'm able to compare the traffic of a device where we've deployed a WAN accelerator and sites that we haven't.

How would you optimally like to measure/monitor this traffic?


Since I didn't see any responses on the subject of CMDB and quite frankly it's not one of my favorite subjects anyway I've decided to write about something else...

I've recently been working with some WAN acceleration and/or optimization gear from Blue Coat, Cisco, and Riverbed. In working with this gear and with these vendors I have a need to compare the pre and post optimization traffic levels on a holistic level as well as per application, protocol, user group, destination, etc. This is completely doable with our current product set but required some manual manipulation of the data.

Having an easier way to do this analysis within the product would certainly help me and would be beneficial to the hardware vendors as it makes it easy to see the value that the appliances provides. But would it help you or is this a complete edge case?


Josh Stephens


Posted by Josh Stephens Jan 2, 2008

Recently I've been very involved in several discussions around the roles of CMDBs within different sizes of enterprise organizations. For those of you that aren't familiar, CMDB stands for Configuration Management DataBase. There's been a lot written on the subject in the last 18 months and if you're curious a Google search will provide enough reading to get you to St. Patrick's Day.

Anyhow, I'm finding that very large enterprises are implementing and/or adopting CMDB systems and practices at a quick rate. However, smaller organizations including some small, mid-sized, and fairly large organizations are either just starting about CMDB or have put it out beyond 2008 and therefore aren't really thinking about it all - or at least not in those terms. Most of the companies I've worked with are implementing features and/or procedures that would be a part of a CMDB strategy without necessarily setting out to do so.

For me personally, in working with most organizations, we rarely use the term CMDB but we commonly discuss more tactical items that fulfill the role of a CMDB. I'll talk a little more about these items and how they fit into an overall CMDB strategy within a few days. If you have an experience in this area I'd love to hear your opinon.

Flame on...

p.s. Happy New Year!!!

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