APM 4.0 is currently in the RC phase, and GA is right around the corner.  In addition to the Virtual Infrastructure Monitoring we released with NPM 10.1, APM 4.0 will also include a new VMware component monitor.  Where the Virtual Infrastructure Monitoring in NPM 10.1 gives you basic performance statistics about your virtual infrastructure, the new APM VMware component monitor will allow you to monitor almost any statistic that’s available via the VMware API.  Because APM is exposing statistics directly available via the VMware API, this new component monitor will give you tremendous breadth in terms of what you need to monitor in your VMware virtual infrastructure.  Let’s take a look.



For those of you familiar with building your own templates using the Process Browser in APM, you’ll find a new component monitor type available for selection.  Select VMware Performance Counter Monitor and click Next.


Next, you’ll select a target machine which APM will use to browse the VMware API.  The target machine should be a vCenter server or an ESX host.  APM will know which one you’ve selected, and expose the appropriate performance counters on the next screen.  Select a vCenter or ESX host then click Next.


Next you’ll select whether you want to apply this monitor to a single machine or multiple machines.  This selection is necessary to determine which performance counters are available for the monitor.  Selecting ‘Multiple Systems’ will expose generic counters that are available on any VMware system; selecting ‘A single system’ will expose counters for a specific virtual machine, host, or vCenter.  In this example I’ve selected Multiple systems, which will give me a generic list of counters from which to choose.  On this page you’ll also select the VMware Entity type (e.g. VM, ESX host, resource pool, etc.).


Last you’ll select the Performance Object you’d like to monitor.  In this example I’ve selected Memory, which exposes the counters in the screenshot above.  Select the counters you want to monitor and click Next.


In the next set of steps you’ll confirm the components that will be monitored, and decide if you want to create a new monitor or template, or add these components to an existing monitor or template.  Last, you’ll assign the monitor to the appropriate nodes in APM.

For those of you participating in the APM 4.0 RC, the latest build that includes this new component monitor is in your customer portal if you haven’t already downloaded it.  Check it out; we’d love to hear your feedback.

Hey folks,


We have a new webcast.  It’s on-demand, so no scheduled time.  Just click through and you can get a detailed walkthrough of the new features in NPM 10.1.  We jammed a lot of features into this release, so there’s lots to learn.  Check it out.




Topics include:


•         Complete Active Directory® authentication integration


•         Dynamic service groups and dependencies


•         Multi-object stacked charts


•         PDF export of reports and views


•         Mobile device aware alert management

At long last, the RC is out and available to customers with active maintenance. If you are interested in participating - drop me a note with your SWID and we'll get you set up. 

Things to try out/look for in this RC: 

  • Improved Policy Reporter – interface-level policy checking, improved performance, and a completely new web interface and workflow. Import and export reports to your hard drive plus thwack integration enables sharing both inside and outside the organization. Additionally, a syntax checker allows you to see how rules will be applied to a chosen config.  What we're working on... the live edition: NCM Improved Policy Reports
  • Support for multiple config types – backup and restore configs of whatever type you prefer.
  • Comprehensive Ipv6 support.
  • Improved inventory management – performance has been greatly enhanced (our internal tests showed an over 8x improvement).
  • Additional device templates  - Motorola WS5100 WAP and ES3000 switch devices, Ericsson switches, Meru network controller, and many others are now supported.
Again, simply send me a message if you are interested, and we'll get you set up. The RC is a fully-supported version. 
Happy Holidays!

Holiday Schedules

Posted by bmrad Employee Dec 19, 2010

As you wind down for the holidays, you want to get away from it all - as long as you feel secure nothing bad will happen while you are wrapping presents and drinking eggnog!  Orion does quite the trick with the new Meet the Features of NPM 10.1 - Mobile Device Views and Alert Management Enhancements, but what about your storage? You want to make sure there are no Grinches stealing all your space on Christmas Eve.

Although you could view Profiler on your phone while dashing through the stores, scheduling reports to come to you is often a better way to go.  Any Profiler report (pre-defined or custom) that can be run on demand can also be scheduled with all the same options - and setting them up is easier than finding a red-nosed reindeer in winter fog.

To start, go to Quick Reports > Report Schedules.  If you have created schedules before, they will be listed here.  Click the New Schedule button.

The schedule screen allows you to define:

  • When the schedule should run.
  • Who should receive a copy of the schedule reports.
  • Which reports should be included in the schedule.
  • How the emails should be delivered.

Note you can deliver the reports to multiple recipients, and you can embed the reports in the email, attach them as a file, or publish them and just include a link.    Once you have defined the schedule, press the Save button.  This will take you back to the schedule list, so click the edit icon for the schedule you just created, and now you can add reports to the schedule.  Yes, the flow is a little clunky, but its still better than sticking your tongue to a frozen pole in the schoolyard.

Next you can choose the reports you want to add, by clicking the Add button in the reports section.  A report list will appear allow you to select any you want and then click the Add button to add it to the schedule.  

The options that come up for that report are the same as when you execute the report on demand. 

Once you have added all the desired reports, press the Save button and you will be returned to the Schedule list. You can test the schedule by clicking the Run icon (this will send the scheduled report to all recipients).

So now you have your reports emailed to you just when you need them, so you can sleep more soundly during the Holidays.

How do users leverage Profiler schedules?

  • Identify full or fast growing storage
  • Storage usage per department by leveraging Profiler grouping
  • Identify where storage can be reclaimed.
  • Show the busiest LUNs, VM, vDisk, etc.
  • Publish data that internal applications can consume

    So before the in-laws arrive and park their RV in your front yard, better make you schedule all the Profiler reports you think you'll need to survive the Holidays. 

    And remember, even if it gets stressful at times, it's a wonderful life.

    Merry Christmas!

    The APM RC has been in the wild for a few weeks now, and we'd love to  get your feedback.  A handful of customers got early access, and we  gave access to all of the ALX customers earlier this week.  If I  notified you directly, or you're an ALX customer, you should have the  4.0 RC bits waiting in your portal.  If you're the least bit nervous  about installing the RC, don't be.  Release Candidates are fully supported production builds.  In addition,  Development and Product Management are paying close attention to any  issues or feedback you may have.

    If you're interested in installing the RC and want to know what's in it, check out the What We're Working On post for APM If you're curious as to what we're working on....  One last thing; if you install the RC, please post any feedback you have in the RC forum here.

    Looking forward to your feedback!


    As you can see in It’s Showtime!  Orion NPM 10.1 is officially GA! post Chris wrote, we have discussed a handful of the features already in NPM 10.1.  As part of the next installment of this “Meet the Features” series, I wanted to walk through a handful of new related features, which I have listed out below.

    • A dedicated alert view made for mobile web browser to allow you to view and acknowledge alerts from your phone
    • Receive an email alert notification and directly from your email whether on your PC or mobile device, acknowledge that alert by clicking on a link
    • Enable, disable, and delete Advanced Alerts in the web console
    • Ability for users to add notes to alerts in the web console
    • Just like in Report Writer, you can use SQL to create advanced alerts you cannot create through the built-in trigger creation interface

    Mobile View:

    We heard many times from users, “hey, why don’t you have an iPhone app"?”.  My reply is, I am an Android user, so no way we are just doing an iPhone app. :)  Kidding aside, we wanted to provide a method for users of all phones to be able to leverage Orion and not just limit it to one vendor, NPM is after all multi-vendor network monitoring right? 

    In your web browser just put in the url to your Orion server.  If for some reason your phone does not auto-detect that is is coming from a mobile browser, then all you have to do is at the end of the URL add ?ismobileview=true.  Here is a URL from my Orion install,

    Mobile Network Monitoring Views

    Acknowledge alerts via email:

    Continuing on the phone discussion topic, most of us monitor and respond to emails on our phones.  It is much easier to take a phone with us when we go to meetings or are out to lunch, etc.  Many folks are also connected via WiFi to their internal wireless network or have a VPN client loaded on their phone, so they never even need to boot up their laptop to do some things. Now on top of having a mobile views to acknowledge an alert in Orion, you can also do this via your email as well.

    To set this up, follow these steps.

    1. Edit an existing or create a new Advanced Alert
    2. Select the Trigger Actions tab
    3. Choose Add New Action and select Send an Email/Page
    4. Click on the Message tab and select Insert Variables
    5. Select the General Category and there will be a variable in there called AcknowledgeURL
    6. Select Build Selected Variable and in the message body of the email you will see a variable that looks like this ${AcknowledgeURL}.
    7. Now when you receive an email alert, there will be a link you can click which says “Click here to ack this alert”

    Enable, disable, and delete Advanced Alerts in the web console:

    As many of you know, to add, edit and delete alerts in Orion, you have to RDP to the Orion server.  You have thoroughly beat me up on this on thwack and will continue to into the future, however, we did do some things in 10.1 to start to make this better.

    If you navigate to the Settings page, there is a new section to manage Advanced Alerts, see below screenshot.


    You have the ability to enable or disable an existing alerts, delete an alert or edit some basic setting within an alert.  To be clear, what you still need to RDP to the server to perform is to create a new Advanced Alert, change the trigger/reset conditions or alert actions.


    While we are not all the way there and you still need to RDP to Orion to perform some functions, you can see here we are making forward progress on bringing more to the web console for ease of use and management.

    Ability for users to add notes to alerts in the web console:

    With the launch of NCM 6.0 we started this feature and finished it off in 10.1.  We heard from many folks, when an alert fires, I want to be able to append information to that alert for the engineers to help the research the issue, but also to put general notes on what they have done to investigate the issue and what the resolution was.  If you have NTA, you can put Top Talker information into alerts now or if you have NCM you can have a show command be run on the device when an alert triggers and the output put into the notes section of the alert.  This gives engineers more data at their fingertips much quicker to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.  If you click on the alert name you will now get a popup in which you can enter text as you can see in my below example.




    Advanced SQL Advanced Alerts:

    Whew, had to say advanced twice in the title of this section, must be a powerful feature then huh? :)  The native Orion interfaces provide a lot of flexibility in creating Advanced Alerts, just like we do in Report Writer and can solve most of their use cases that way.  However, we hear from folks of the desire to do use cases, which the native UI can’t construct today.  So what we have added to Advanced Alerts is what I call an “escape hatch” to handle more of those complex use cases you can now create your own SQL queries to do checks on the Orion data.

    1. Create a new Advanced Alert and under the Trigger Conditions tab select the dropdown at the top of the dialog and at the bottom of the list, there is a new option called “Advanced SQL Alert”.  See below screenshot for further reference.    
    2. image

    3. You can select against which element you want to inspect; node, volume, etc. and define the SQL query    

    That’s it, easy to setup.  And don’t worry, we have also added a fail safe for this feature.  If someone writes a SQL query that is completely horrible and hammers the SQL database and take longer than 60 seconds by default, then we automatically kill the thread, disable the alert and log a notification to the Orion Event Log.  This timer is configurable on a global basis under the Polling Setting option in the Setting page.

    A lot of content in this post, but I am just too darn excited about the NPM 10.1 release to break this out into 4 posts and string you along.  I want to get as many of you folks as possible upgraded to 10.1 and checking these features out and giving us feedback on what we did right and anything we did wrong (hopefully nothing :)).

    There is a NPM 10.1 Features Highlight webinar on Thursday, December 9th where you can learn more.  You can read about it Orion Training session: Orion NPM 10.1 New Features in a post Denny wrote and sign up.   

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