As promised in a previous post, I want to go a little deeper into a few of the steps outlined in brad.hale's great white paper, "How to Create the Ultimate Network Management Dashboard", that we've got up on our SolarWinds Resource Center. The white paper gives a brief rundown of the steps required to get a network management dashboard using SolarWinds NPM up and running, and, in this post and those following, I want to go into each step and provide a bit more detail with some links to even more detailed treatments.


The first step to creating your Ultimate Network Management Dashboard is the determination of who gets to see what on your network. Ask yourself two questions:


  1. What kinds of users do I have for my dashboard? (i.e. Who gets to see this awesomeness that I am now creating?). It's likely that you've got multiple levels of responsibility in your IT staff, and SolarWinds lets you respect variable levels of authority with correspondingly variable levels of access.
  2. What parts of my dashboard do my different users get to see? (i.e. How much of this awesomeness do they get to see?) You may have your network monitoring staff and their responsibilities divided up by geographic area, or you may want to divide your management load by domain or by IP space. Whatever your setup, SolarWinds can respect it.


Look at your staff. If you want to do so, SolarWinds can help you define the view that each one of your people gets to see. Once you've determined who gets to look at your dashboard, you need to figure out how each user is going to log on and what they'll see when they get there. Our documentation can walk you through the process of defining user accounts, but we've also got a great video on the process, too, that I'd highly recommend.


Next time, I'll go into the process of logically dividing your network so you can make sense of all the different types of devices and their relations that you've got out there.