So I got a chance to catch up on some basketball this weekend and then this morning we were all chatting about the NCAA tournament and a friend of mine told me that her husband wasn't going to shave until the Jayhawks won the tournament. Several years ago I lived in Kansas City and helped to design and deploy the network that is now Sprint PCS. One thing I learned while I was there - those people are passionate about their basketball...

Anyhow, that got me to thinking about the lengths to which people will go when they are passionate about something and since I'm passionate about Orion and I know that some of you are too I thought I'd write the "Sweet 16 Ways to Optimize your Orion Installation". Yeah, this would've been easier to do once we get down to the Elite 8 or Final 4, but those who put off until tomorrow...

Sweet Sixteen Best Ways To Optimize Your Orion Installation

16. Use the new, updated AJAX version of the All Nodes resource (and others) on your Orion web views to enhance performance.

15. Move away from RAID 5 for your SQL disk array. Stick with RAID 1+0 or some other RAID that offers higher disk I/O performance.

14. Disable any unused services on your Orion server. This includes any services that might've been installed by Orion but that you're not using (Traps or Syslog for instance) and especially any unused instances of SQL.

13. Separate Orion and SQL Server onto separate machines. Sooner or later you're going to have to do this anyway...

12. Don't use System Manager. Yes, run the System Manager to add devices, make config changes, and etc - but when you're finished shut it down (gracefully) and use the website for viewing the data. System Manager is intended to be used for administrative purposes...

11. If redundancy and fault tolerance are a concern, buy a copy of the Orion Hot Standby Engine. 

10. ICMP Packet Payload - by default, Orion includes data within the payload portion of the ICMP packets that it sends for checking node status, availability, and latency. In many cases, you can improve performance by removing this data (go to "Settings", "Network"). Caution - in some cases, network devices (especially firewalls) will block ICMP packets an empty payload. Use this power carefully young ones...

 9. Polling intervals - trust me, you don't need to poll as often as you think you do. Most people poll for status every 5 minutes and collect statistics every 15. Orion's default values are 2 and 9. If you do need to poll some devices more often, divide your devices into groups for "normal" and "critical" and then manage only the critical devices with the tighter interval.

 8. Remove unused web resources from your Orion views. You know, those resources that you never really look at anyway - they're slowing down your website and eating into SQL resources.

 7. Use the Orion website for viewing data and only use the System Manager when doing administrative tasks. Yes, this is a duplicate of number 12. I will give a free shirt to the first 5 people that catch this and comment about it. Send me your shirt size and etc via e-mail after commenting on the blog.

 6.  Tune your polling engine. Do this with the "Polling Engine Tuner" or just do the math and update the registry yourself. Either way, do it.

 5. Add Orion polling engines. If you're polling more than about 10,000 elements on your Orion server or 1500 elements per minute consider this.

 4. If following number 5 and adding polling engines consider deploying them on virtual servers vs. physical ones. This can save both time and money.

 3. Do daily database backups. I shouldn't even have to tell you this but some of you (and you know who you are) don't think this is important. Trust me, at some point that Windows server is going to burp and you're gonna wish you'd listened...

 2. Get a copy of Orion for you lab. Deploy and test new versions, significant configuration changes, and etc in the lab before you deploy them into production. In case you haven't noticed, I'm big on labs...

 1. Use the Orion Modules - this is an inexpensive and easy way to expand your Orion implementation and add new features such as NetFlow, application monitoring, and VoIP network analysis.

Some of these tips were contributed by Denny (Orion's Product Manager and all around cool guy), Dan (Orion guru and shotgun aficionado), and Destiny (Orion expert and part time ninja).

 

Flame on...
Josh