We are thrilled to announce that ipMonitor 10.5 has been released with some great new features. We know how dedicated and patient you ipMonitor lovers have been and we thank you for that. We took your feedback and have built in some of the features that were most requested, such as printer monitoring (Monitoring Printers). This release includes the following.    

  • Bandwidth monitors will separate inbound and outbound traffic. This enhancement provides a more detailed view of bandwidth usage, allowing the ability to test incoming and outgoing data rates.       
  • A shiny new printer monitor! 
  • Web-based login so you can login once and stay logged in.       


  • Several bug fixes.
  • The ability to sort columns in reporting view.
  • Enhanced Exchange support - support for Exchange 2010.

Also, as the new ipMonitor Product Manager, feel free to contact me about any questions you may have.


-Jason Ervin

Over the past 18 months we have expanded our product portfolio with products like Virtualization Manager and Storage Manager.  As we make these expansions, a logical question our customers have asked us is “how do I place everything into a single console or pane of glass?”  Within SolarWinds Orion, this can be accomplished very simply by following the below steps.


  1. Within the SolarWinds Orion web console go to Settings –> Manage Views.
  2. Select Network Summary Home –> edit and under Miscellaneous select Custom HTML and submit.     
  3. Within the Virtualization Manager web console, navigate to the widget you want to embed and right click on the header –> select Get Widget URL as highlighted below.     
  4. In the resulting pop-up windows, copy and paste the text from the second dialog.     
  5. Go back to the Orion Orion web console and for the newly added custom HTML resource, click edit and paste the text you just copied above and rename the title of the resource appropriately.  In this example I am embedding the Virtualization Manager Alerts widget.     
  6. Once copied, click submit and voila, there you go.  Virtualization Manager data right next to your Orion data within a single console     


Here is another example showing Top N Clusters from Virtualization Manager.





If you want to do the same for SolarWinds Storage Manager or Profiler, Brian did a blog (Adding Profiler Views to Orion) previously on this that walks you through in detail on how to do this for older Profiler customer (pre-5.0).  With the release of Storage Manager 5.0, the team created an integration plug-in for the Orion web console.  This works similar as to how the NCM integration plug-in does today.  If you want to read more on how to enable the plug-in integration, see here, but you can also view a screenshot of how this looks below.




If you own Profiler or if you have Storage Manager and prefer another method, I put together a brief example here on how to wrap a Profiler/Storage Manager view in an iframe.  You follow the same steps I walked you through above for SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, except in Step 5 you insert an iframe instead.  In Brian’s link, he provides you other URL’s to embed other Storage Manager views.


<iframe src="" width="750" height="350"   
frameborder="0" scrolling="auto"></iframe></html>




It’s as simple as that to create a single pane of glass which shows all your Network, Systems/Apps, Virtualization and Storage data all in one place.  If you own EOC or the Enterprise Operations Console, you can do the same thing as described above in Orion.

In the spirit of getting folks more excited about the next version of NPM (10.2), which is currently in Beta, I wanted to do another blog post on one of the new features coming.  We have invited folks in a couple previous posts (you can sign up here), along with highlighting some other features Orion NPM vNext Sign Up for Beta 3 & tell us what you think of improved Juniper support and many other features and improvements and Orion NPM vNext Sign Up for Beta & – Tell us what you think on the feature Multi-CPU Polling.

Over the past several months there has been tons of press over the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses and the need to move to IPv6 as soon as possible.  With this, there is plenty of debate out there as to how much truth there is in terms of the severity of this problem and I am sure we all have our respective opinions, but at some point in the future IPv6 will find its way into most networks out there.  Where we see heavy adoption and usage today of IPv6 are with Service Providers, Federal Governments and in the Asia Pacific region of the world.  With this in mind, we have been working across our different products to ensure they are ready for when folks move to IPv6.  Today, SolarWinds NCM, IPAM and Engineers Toolset have some level of support for IPv6 and now we are adding SolarWinds NPM to this list of products.

Just as you manage IPv4 devices today, you will be able to do the same for IPv6 devices.  Whether you are running them in a dual stack setup (which is the most common we hear about), or pure IPv6 mode; NPM will be able to handle it. 

  • Within NPM you will be able to add IPv6 devices manually or using the bulk upload feature within Network Sonar. 
  • Once managed in NPM, it will be presented like any other node in Orion.  As illustrated in the first couple screenshots below, you can group by IP Version now to distinguish v4 vs. v6 devices.
  • As highlighted in this next screenshot, you as the user should see no different experience from a data collection or user flow standpoint.  Only noticeable differences are in the method we communicate to the devices.
  • This will be exposed in reporting, searching, Syslog, SNMP Traps and other native features existing in NPM today.  You can reference the third screenshot as an example of search with IPv6.
  • image

Let us know what you think.  Are you moving to IPv6 yet?  When do you plan to start the transition?


Orion Architecture

Posted by fcaron Aug 18, 2011
Legacy Page

This blog was posted in 2011 and is no longer accurate.  For the latest information, check out the following resources:



SolarWinds Orion Platform Scalability Guide

Orion Platform Architecture and Deployment Options Video


This blog recaps in relatively simple terms and diagrams, the basics of Orion’s architecture.


It is obviously not exhaustive in terms of the products and the deployment combinations, but it will hopefully give you the basic rules so you can easily derive and adapt them to your particular Orion deployment.


This blog is designed to help you getting rapidly familiar with most of the concepts and terminology but does not replace the architectural considerations described in each product’s user documentation set.


It is also a good set of pointers to many excellent blog postings that have been written in the past on all these products and components. Just follow the links…


The “*” in front of the names in the diagrams below, denotes commercial products. Boxes without “*” are modules that come with the Orion infrastructure and cannot be bought (e.g. Core).


I hope you’ll enjoy it and like always, post your comments and questions here, we’ll try to respond to them and improve this blog.


Basic software architecture






Scalability: Growing an instance of Orion


  • With the Additional Web server (more users)
  • And the Additional Polling Engine (larger/more networks)





Scalability: Consolidating multiple instances of Orion


  • EOC can be used for scalability or organizational needs (e.g. regional and national responsibilities; visualization offered at both levels)





Segmented deployments


  • Avoiding VPN accesses with the Additional Web Server





Standalone products: APM, UDT, IPAM, NCM, SEUM






Standalone products (shared DB server)


  • It is possible to host several SQL Server databases on the same physical database server
  • We do not support two instances of Orion products sharing the same database, but multiple Orion database can share the same SQL Server host if it is appropriately sized
  • We recommend to run the DB Server on a physical server (not a VM)





Highly Available Architecture: Orion Fail Over Engine (Understanding the Orion Failover Engine Architecture) delivers several levels of protection






MSP-type deployment


  • Today, there are two recommended ways to deal with MSP-type deployments of Orion, where an MSP manages Customer networks that have potentially overlapping IP Addresses


NAT-based deployment: Network Address Translators translate the customer domain addresses, so that they are all unique from an Orion perspective


EOC-based deployment: a full instance of Orion is deployed per Customer and they are consolidated at the MSP level by EOC


  • NAT-based deployment


NAT eliminates overlapping IP addresses


Makes identifications of managed devices more complex because the translated IP’s don’t make sense to report readers. This can be addressed by populating custom properties with IP’s or Names that will not be affected by any translation.




  • EOC-based deployment






  • More on MSP deployment in general and multi-tenancy in particular here

In a previous post we discussed Building Reports in Profiler in Storage Manager, but I only gave one example (volume usage on hosts or VM).  A great way to leverage the reporting is to build ranking reports to identify hot spots in your environment - be it array, LUN, switch, host or VM, you can find the potential trouble points in your environment before they find you.

For example, say you wanted to identify LUNs based on different ranking criteria:  

  • Busiest LUNs on average in the  last 24 hours,
  • Busiest LUNs for one hour in the last 7 days
  • Least busy LUNs on average in the last 7 days

All can be done quickly with ranking reports, which can be combined into a single report in an email via a schedule (but more on that later).

To build a ranking report, first we need to pick a report template, so go to My Reports and press the New Report button.  In the drop downs, for OS select "Storage Array", then for Category select "Performance", then for Template select "LUN Performance". 

In the first screen, you can choose the columns for the report.  Move everything to the left by pressing the "<<" button, then select the fields "LUN ID", "Host Name" and "Total IOs/sec" from the available fields and pressing the ">" button.  Note I am leaving "Time" field out for now, more on why later.

Next, give the report a name and description, then we will edit the "Sort By".   First, clear out the Sort By text box by selecting each line and pressing the "Delete Sort" button.  Once all the default sorts are removed, then select "Total IOs/sec" in the first drop down and "Descending" in the second drop down, then click the "Add Sort" button.  When you are done with the Sort By section, it should look like this:

You can skip the Filters for now, as we want to rank all LUNs - but in the future, if you wanted to limit the list to a specific set of LUNs by name or pattern, you could do that in the filter section.  At the bottom of the page, press the "Save and Run" button  to execute your report.

When executing the report, you have the following options to choose from:

  • Groups: Which group of arrays for the report (default All)
  • Resources: Which arrays for the report (default All)
  • Data: The date rate (ex: Raw, Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly)
  • Range: The time range, with both default and customizable ranges
  • Format: The output format of the report
  • Time Zone: What time zone the report times should be shown
  • Rows Per Page: How many rows to show in the report

Depending on what you want to rank, you will need to choose the appropriate data rate and time range.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • If you want the ranking to show only one data point per LUN, then you must synchronize the data rate and time range.  For example, if you want to rank the LUNs for the last 24 hours, then choose Data of "Daily" and the Range or "Last 24 hours".  For this report, I don't need the time field since each LUN has only one row.
  • If you want a ranking report to show multiple data points per LUN over a time range, then you don't need to synchronize the data rate and time range.  For example, if you wanted to rank the LUNs by the busiest hour in the last week, you would choose Data of "Hourly" and Range of "Last 7 Days".  For this report, I want the time field so I could identify the time it was busy.

Here is an example of a ranking report identifying the busiest LUNs in the last 24 hours (no time column):

Here is an example of a ranking report identifying the busiest hour for a LUN in the last 7 days (with time column):

Here is a report that looked at the weekly average for each LUN to identify LUNs that had no/low activity on them (no time column again) - these could be LUNs that you could reclaim.

Note this technique can be applied to any performance data in Storage Manager (RAID group, switches, hosts, servers, VM, etc.) including all the arrays we support (including EMC Clariion, NetApp, HP EVA, 3par, etc.), so don't hesitate to try them as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blogs, and as always, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on Storage Manager.

Extra Curricular Activities:

As Brandon eluded to in his Orion NPM vNext Sign Up for Beta & – Tell us what you think on the feature Multi-CPU Polling, the next and last iteration of NPM vNext Beta is here!

If you are an NPM customer with active maintenance, I would strongly encourage you to sign-up here for the Beta 3. As you know, the more and the earlier we get feedback, the more tweaks and changes we can incorporate into the product, plus you get to play with the new stuff early

So, what new stuff do we have in Beta 3?

  • Juniper router native support – Memory and CPU (JUNOS & SCREENOS)
  • Juniper SSG/ISG sub-interfaces support (SCREENOS)
  • Procurve 420 support – more out of the box Wireless support
  • Interface availability reports and views
  • Dependency Improvements (Interfaces can now be placed in a Group that is a child in a dependency and will mark themselves as unreachable if their parent is down and they themselves detect that they should be down.  Prior releases ignored this relationship)

As a reminder, this is what was delivered in the first 2 betas (which is in beta 3 as well, of course)

  • IPv6 Support – ability to poll and monitor IPv6 nodes just like you can today with IPv4
  • SNMPv3 Trap Support – ability for Orion to receive SNMPv3 traps
  • Multi-CPU Polling – the ability to poll and visualize multi-CPU machine in Orion (see below)
  • Windows Server Polling (non SNMP) – since SNMP is not on by default on Windows, this now gives users the option to discover and poll Windows machines using WMI
  • Improved Topology (more accurate ConnectNow) – we are removing the dependency that Network Sonar must be used to gather topology, it will now be a polling job.  Also we have greatly improved the accuracy of L2 topology and added in L3 support.
  • Network Atlas performance improvements – faster loading of maps in the web console

Here are a few snapshots of the new Beta 3 features:

  • Juniper router native support – Memory and CPU


  • Juniper SSG/ISG sub-interfaces support 


  • Procurve 420 support – more out of the box Wireless support 


  • Interface availability reports and views 
  • Differentiated retention settings for the wireless portion of the database


Title: Creating High Availability and Fault Tolerant Environments using SolarWinds Failover Engine


Date/Time: Thursday August 18th, 2011 @ 11:00 AM CDT      


GTW link: NA Only- https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/367301032




Join us on August 18 when we discuss the SolarWinds Orion Failover Engine and how it can help you maintain 100% Orion IT management coverage through a variety of outage situations. During the session we will discuss:

  • Deployments for high availability and disaster recovery
  • Server and application protection capabilities
  • Best practices for protecting Orion services
  • Protecting Orion modules and additional pollers
  • Best practices for SQL redundancy

In a previous How many licenses will a move to vSphere 5 require?, we explored how to create a Virtualization Manager vSphere 5 Licensing Dashboard UPDATED that tracked the total vRAM pool, host CPU sockets and the number of vSphere 5 licenses required for each edition based on VMware’s recently announced vSphere 5.

Last week (presumably based on customer feedback), VMware announced a slight change to vSphere 5 licensing.  Specifically, VMware has increased the memory (vRAM) entitlements for each vSphere edition, as well as cap the vRAM at 96GB for VMs configured with more memory than that.  (haven’t seen too many VMs larger than 96GB in my travels but I guess they’re out there somewhere Smile)

Let’s compare the initial vSphere 5 licensing with the update recently announced.


Ok – it looks like we’ll need to update our dashboard in 2 main areas.

  1. We need to make sure the total vRAM calculation caps VMs at 96GB for those configured with more than that amount
  2. We need to use the new memory entitlement values to calculate the number of vSphere licenses required

Our old vRAM pool calculation was pretty simple, it simply added up the total configured memory across all Powered ON VMs.  We need to change the logic slightly to choose the minimum of the configured memory and 96GB (i.e. VMs with more than 96GB get capped at 96GB)  The updated vRAM trend now performs this logic (remember that Virtualization Manager stores configured memory in MB so we need to convert it to GB, i.e. 96GB is 98304MB)


Finally, we need to adjust the license count trends.  Let’s take a look at the Enterprise Plus case.


So we take the new vRAM calculation (with 96GB cap) and divide by 96GB instead of 48GB to reflect the new memory entitlement for Enterprise Plus edition.

Let’s take a look at the results – we’ve left the old calculation on the dashboard so it can be compared to the new.


First thing you notice is that our vRAM pool hasn’t changed- we don’t have any VMs with more than 96GB of configured RAM in this environment Smile  Subsequently, the number of vSphere 5 licenses needed in this environment falls in line with the equivalent increase in memory entitlements (e.g. the number of enterprise plus licenses needed drops in half, since the memory entitlement doubled for this edition)

Download the updated vSphere 5 Licensing Dashboard UPDATED and let us know what you think.

One of the exciting new features of the recent 4.0 release of Virtualization Manager is “Time Travel”.  The goal of Time Travel is to allow administrators to understand how the virtual environment configuration, relationships and performance has changed over time.  The reality of virtual environments is that they are dynamic – and becoming more so – with things like VMware DRS (and recently announced Storage IO DRS), enabled by vMotion and Storage vMotion.  For example, if I was experiencing slowness on a VM yesterday, there’s no guarantee that the VM in question is on the same host or datastore right now as it was when I was experiencing a problem – hence the need to be able go back in time for that VM and understand the historical performance in context of where the VM was at that time.  Let’s take a closer look.


The easiest way to see the power of Time Travel is to open the map view within Virtualization Manager.  The map view shows the different objects in the virtual infrastructure and how they are related, their alert status, and also allows sorting of performance data.  I know we were having an IO issue on one of our datastores last night – it was probably caused by VM back-ups but I’d like to understand what VMs were on that datastore and which ones were generating the most IO last night.


Firstly, let’s put the datastore in question “in context” so that we focus on that datastore and understand the other pieces of the infrastructure its related to.




When you put a single object in context like this – you’ll see a little Time Travel box appear in the top left corner of the map view.  Before we go back in time to last night, let’s see what VMs on this datastore are generating the most IO right now – simply click on the “Sort By” link and choose to sort the VMs by IOPs.  Click the “descending” check box to sort from high to low.  Looks like “Palm Beach” is our top talker right now.


If we now go back to 1AM around when our backups kick in (notice the Time Travel box has changed to a night view!) – we can see that the Miami VM was our top talker back at 1AM on this particular datastore.




“Time Travel” is also exposed in the performance analyzer (performance charting) within Virtualization Manager.  In this case – I have selected the same datastore Tick and plotted its IOPs for a time window between 12AM and 3AM in the morning – to catch again our back-up activity.




I would like to understand the VMs that were on this datastore within this time window, and which ones were generating most IO.  If I click on the related line button here – I am able to see Time Travel in action.  I am able to sort the (dependent) VMs that were on this datastore in this time window, by their peak or minimum IOPs (or any other collected metric).




This way I can now see a plot of the IOPs over time for these VMs relative to the datastore itself for the time window of interest.




So with Time Travel – you can troubleshoot what actually happened in the past without assuming the environment looked the same as it does now!

As you probably already know, SolarWinds recently acquired TriGeo Security, which sold a SIEM product.  We’ve renamed is SolarWinds Log & Event Manager.  Below is a link to a recorded webinar that gives an overview of how to use the product to meet some of your compliance goals.



Logs have to be analyzed. Regulations around compliance and security such as CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection), FISMA, and HIPAA require it. And let’s face it, log analysis is just a good practice.

During this webcast we will discuss the challenges of using log management for real-time operational performance monitoring, compliance, and security. Learn what it takes to deliver a comprehensive view of the network and correlate the massive amounts of data to proactively respond to issues at network speed with SolarWinds Log & Event Manager.

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