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SolarWinds has a new free tool out this week – Storage Response Time Monitor.

 

Here’s the scoop:

 
      
  • Get at-a-glance insight into the host to datastore connections with the worst response times and the busiest VMs using those connections
  •    
  • See a breakdown of the datastore including type and device versus kernel latency
 

Download it here – and please review it and let us know what you think.

 

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As we posted SolarWinds APM–What’s on tap for vNext? a couple of months back, there is a slew of new features we have in store for the next release of APM. Many of these new features center around providing greater visibility into common areas of the underlying server health and performance.

If you’re an existing APM customer under active maintenance, I strongly encourage you to sign-up to participate in this beta. As you’re probably already aware, the more people who participate, and the sooner we receive your much needed feedback, the more tweaks and changes we can incorporate into the product. As an added bonus you get to play with all the cool new features before anyone else!

Here are a couple of the great new features included in this beta.

Real-Time Process Explorer – Gain valuable real-time insight into what’s affecting your servers performance.

 

SolarWinds Application Performance Monitor 5.0 Beta Real-Time Process Explorer

    

 

Hardware Heath Monitoring – Vital hardware heath status metrics for HP, Dell, and IBM Servers have been added to the Node Details page.

Hardware_Details_and_Health FanHardware_Chart

In addition, this beta includes full support for IPv6 as well as adding via WMI, removing any requirement to install or configure SNMP for Windows nodes.

WMI_Node 

IPv6

We understand that not everyone has either the time or resources available to them to participate in the beta. Rest assured that we still value your input. Feel free to post your comments and questions below and we’ll make every attempt to respond to them in a timely fashion.

Apollo Lunar Excursion ModuleThe Log & Event Manager team is proud to announce General Availability of our 5.3 version. All customers can download the upgrade via the SolarWinds Portal. We think there's a bunch of features that make LEM 5.3 as cool as a Lunar Excursion Module, but here's the rundown so you can decide for yourself!

Download a Free and Fully-functional 30-Day Evaluation!

One of the cool new features of LEM is the ability to download a trial and see it for yourself. The evaluation of LEM is 30 days of 100% fully featured Log & Event Management goodness, packed into the exact same virtual appliance you deploy in production.

  • Guided setup, an awesome Quick Start Guide, and in-product Getting Started content helps walk you through the appliance deployment, software installation, and first time use. 
  • Simulated data gives you the ability to see what Log & Event Manager's all about before you decide to deploy to your own environment. Simply turn it off and disable it when you're ready to see some of your own data.
  • Simplified deployment to first logon process makes it easy for you to try LEM without jumping through hoops.

Keep Track of All Data Sources

We've added the ability to see all your data sources in the LEM Console, rather than just agent nodes. This makes it easy for you to keep track of additional devices and get an accurate count of your license. And, for existing customers, we've made it so that you don't have to mess around with "Open Licenses" anymore, things Just Work(tm). When you get close to your expiration date or license limit, you'll see warnings in the Console that let you know.

For all LEM customers, when you upgrade you'll want to download your new license from the Portal and apply it. Legacy TriGeo SIM customers are grandfathered using their legacy SIM node licenses and the same enforcement policy.

Updates for Agents

By popular demand from current LEM customers, we've done a bit of a facelift for our agent, rolling up several improvements into a single update. This update includes:

  • An updated Java Runtime Environment
  • Improvements to Windows Event Log SID/GUID processing on Windows Vista/7/2008
  • CPU utilization improvements for virtual and lower resource environments
  • Improved support for agent-based connectors, including extended database-driven collection
  • Support for a native 64-bit (x86-64) Linux installer

Configurable nDepth Export Formatting

Our initial nDepth Export release was functional, but pretty fixed - it wasn't possible to change the layout or control which items appeared in the export. The new export lets you:

  • Customize and save different export layouts
  • Rearrange and select different graphs, charts, and detailed content for inclusion in exports
  • Drag and drop components from available options
  • Change pages from portrait to landscape

Support for Kiwi Syslog Server

We've extended our support for Kiwi to allow customers to use Kiwi as a syslog collector. Instead of forwarding from Kiwi to LEM and duplicating data across the network, you can deploy a LEM Agent to your Kiwi server and pick up the syslog data using existing LEM connectors directly from the Kiwi-formatted files on disk. Syslog collectors are often useful to offload processing from the LEM appliance and to extend your LEM installation into remote networks where sending syslog data over the WAN/VPN would be unreliable or insecure.

Repackaged Downloads

Previously, we provided the LEM upgrade as a single downloadable zip file or ISO, which was nearly 1.2 GB in size. We've taken a different approach this time, and that's to separate all the downloads into individual components. The upgrade download includes the appliance upgrade, Console, and upgrade documentation - the minimum needed to get you going on the new version. For agent upgrades or new installs, you can download individual agents from the Portal, or distribute the upgrade from the appliance. We're still thinking about offering a full packaged download after hearing customer feedback, so if you prefer it one way or the other, that feedback will definitely help!

LEM Downloads

The LEM upgrade will only take a few minutes to install, but customers should be sure they're running at least version 5.2 first. If you need assistance upgrading, we're happy to help; if you've got any questions, feel free to post them!

Hey All,

With the recent release of Log & Event Manager 5.3 (read more about that on the blog Log & Event Manger: LEM 5.3 has Landed), our development team is working on some pretty great features requested by a lot of customers.

Hyper-V Virtual Appliance Support

It's hard to ignore Microsoft's increased presence in the virtualization market, and Hyper-V is starting to pick up some great marketshare as it's evolved from what was Virtual PC. With Microsoft planning on including Hyper-V support natively in Windows 8, it's just going to get more and more common.

We're planning on providing our virtual appliance evaluation for Hyper-V and fully supporting it in production, including the ability to synchronize time with the host, take snapshots, and perform clean shutdowns (similar to VMware).

SolarWinds Orion Platform Product Integration: Raising Events to LEM for Correlation & Response

We'll be adding a couple of features related to extending our integration with other SolarWinds products - thanks to customer feedback and input. The first of these features will be receiving SNMP trap alerts from your Orion platform products, enabling you to:

  • Correlate those events with other LEM log & event data and using additional LEM real-time correlation features - time & frequency, field-based correlation, multiple-event correlation, and more.
  • Search events in the context of other LEM data for troubleshooting - sometimes performance and availability data can provide the missing key to a security or operations issue, being able to see that data in context together could bring something to light that you might not have otherwise noticed.
  • Respond with your LEM active responses - restart a service, disable an account, block an IP, or just send a popup message in response to correlated data OR interactively.
  • Report on events enterprise-wide for compliance, auditing, and peace of mind.

SolarWinds Orion Platform Product Integration: Escalating Events from LEM to Orion via SNMP Traps

Since we're in the business of what makes sense to customers, we're also adding the ability to go the other direction and share events from LEM upstream to Orion via SNMP traps. This feature can also be use to escalate to non-SolarWinds products - if you've got a trouble ticketing system or other network management system that accepts SNMP traps as alerts, you can escalate LEM events up to those systems as well. Some of the ways this can be useful are:

  • Use log data to detect a problem, and automatically raise a condition in Orion to take advantage of workflow you've already built.
  • Share knowledge from LEM to Orion without providing access to all of your sensitive security and operations log data. 
  • Take advantage of LEM's log data parsing to forward only log events of interest to Orion, instead of asking Orion to store 100% of log data for that one or two events you're interested in in that context.

Active Directory Authentication

We'll be extending our integration with Active Directory to authentication, allowing you to use your existing domain credentials to log in to the LEM console rather than just the built-in LEM users.

Improved Documentation

We're investing in our Log & Event Manager Knowledgebase, releasing articles that help you get LEM deployed and solve problems easier. We've also added a bunch of videos to the Resource Center, and improved the LEM Documentation Page on Thwack. These efforts will continue, along with a revamped Admin Guide that's more oriented around how you get tasks done than the pure reference manual that it is today.

And, finally.....

Access the Log & Event Manager Console from your Browser

While we'll continue to offer the Log & Event Manager Console as an installable AIR package for customers that want to take advantage of the desktop experience, we'll also offer the ability for you to access the SAME Console from inside your browser. With the popularity of laptops in the workplace and systems that aren't "always on" sometimes a web accessible Console makes the most sense. The new LEM browser-enabled Console will let you:

  • Access LEM from Flash-enabled browsers and devices (primarily IE 7+ and Firefox 4+)
  • Monitor, configure, search, and respond over HTTPS (HTTP for evaluation customers) from anywhere you can connect to the appliance
  • Quickly evaluate or get LEM up and running from anywhere, without worrying about administrative credentials to install software

It's worth noting that LEM Reports will still be an installed desktop application, but many customers have chosen to install reports on a single always-on system for scheduling and running reports, while the Console is accessed by multiple team members.

And Beyond....

Some of the other items on our roadmap include:

  • Simplifying product implementation - helping you get value out of your investment quickly

And, for our standard disclaimer: The LEM team continues to work on additional features that we think will help improve our customers' day to day Log & Event Manager needs, and while these are generally our "highest priority" features, this is not a commitment or guarantee that these will be released in the next revision. Sometimes priorities shift or customer feedback encourages a change in direction.

Questions about how these features would work? Willing to participate in a release candidate of any of these features? Any other comments or feedback? Let us know with a reply here, or feel free to contact me directly.

With our release Orion APM 4.2, we have added some awesome new features, and Josh Stephens and I couldn't wait to show them off. These features are all added with the central theme of making your life easier. From supplying you with new ways to monitor applications to making it easier to work with the information you collect. During this 60 minute webinar we discuss:

• Java Monitoring Capabilities such as JBoss, GlassFish, Apache Tomcat and more
• New Expert Templates including SharePoint® 2010, Citrix™ XenApp 6.0, MySQL and many more
• New Template Options
• New Ways to Sort and Combine Statistical Data

View Here:  http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/webcasts/apm-4-2-customer-training.html

Last week Storage Manager, powered by Profiler 5.1 was released.   For STM and Profiler customers, this release has many of the features you have clamored for, and we think you will be pleased. The release focused on improving usability, supporting new devices, and integrating with  (also released last week).

 

Integration with Virtualization Manager

Storage is an integral part of your virtual infrastructure, and SolarWinds award winning Virtualization Manager covers virtualization, but what happens when you need to look beyond the virtual layer and take a deep dive into storage?  You can now do this with a single click, drilling from an object in Virtualization Manager to the associated storage target (LUN) in Storage Manager, where you able to see and diagnose storage bottlenecks in your virtual infrastructure in a single view.  See the  post for more details on the integration.

 

Target View (aka LUN View)

The Target View unifies all the information about a LUN into a single view so you can immediately see the cause of performance issues and drill down for further investigation.  Highlights of this view are:

  • Target Details - the array information about the target
  • Target Mapping - information about the datastore and what it is connected to
  • Targets on this Group - this is a ranking of LUNs on this Raid Group, allowing you to quickly see if there is cross LUN contention
  • Top 10 VM - ranks the VMs on this target by IO

What the Target View allows you to do is quickly determine if your IO bottleneck is being driven by a VM on that target, or if it is being caused by another target that shares the same physical disks --- and all in a single view.

Extensive Linking to and from the Target View

The new target view would be useless if it was hard to get to, but we have made it extremely easy by adding links in every report that has a LUN identifier to the LUN View.  This means you can be almost anywhere in the product - on an Array, VM, ESX server - and get to the Target view in a single click.  Even better, the LUN view allows you to drill back to other objects with a single click as well.  All of these links simplify navigation through the product, turning 5-10 clicks into 1 or 2 clicks.

Top Ten LUNs

On the main console and on each array, you now have reports that rank LUNs by Total IOPS, Latency, Reads and Writes, so you can quickly identify which LUNs are busiest. And, you have a link right to the Target View, so you can quickly determine the cause of the issue.

Support for IBM XIV and HDS VSP

One of Storage Manager's benefits has always been array support, and we continue with that tradition with full support for XIV and VSP.  The addition of XIV is especially significant for IBM customers, because this allows you to monitor the full line of IBM arrays (DS, SVC, V7000, XIV, N-series and ESS) from a single product.

Odds and Ends

Additional features and capabilities that made it into this release:

  • Support for VMware to SVC End to End Mapping
  • Improvements to Speed and Scalability
  • Storage Profiler 5.1 and Backup Profiler 5.1 were also released
  • Backup Profiler adds support for NetBackup 7.0 and Backup Exec 2010

All in all, this is the most significant release for Storage Manager since the acquisition, adding support for two new devices and taking a tremendous step forward in usability by leveraging the integration of SolarWinds technology into the core of Storage Manager - and this is only the beginning.

Last week, Virtualization Manager 4.1 went GA.  The big focus of this release was in providing integration with SolarWinds Storage Manager 5.1 - The Release You've Been Waiting For but there were also a number of other notable improvements.

Storage Integration

As we talk with customers, Storage IO performance contention continues to be one of the major (if not THE major) challenges to virtualizing mission critical applications.  While VMware has done a great job of making storage instrumentation available in their platform (storage IO, latency metrics), and we provide multiple innovative ways (e.g. alerting, time travel, performance analyzer) to navigate this information in Virtualization Manager, you sometimes need to go beneath the virtualization layer to understand what is happening at the physical array level.  For example, are these datastores and LUNs sharing a RAID group and contending for resources on the physical array?  SolarWinds Storage Manager helps you answer these questions.  In Virtualization Manager 4.1,you’ll notice that whenever you drill into an object detail view for a VM, Host, datastore or cluster, you’ll get a list of LUNs that this particular object is related to.  If you configure Storage Manager integration, the relevant LUN links will have links to launch into the Storage Manager product.  Maybe I’m troubleshooting a slow VM for example – clicking on that VM allows me to understand the LUN (or possibly LUNs) that back this VM.  Clicking on that LUN allows you to launch in to Storage Manager in context of that LUN and access physical array performance data for it.

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Dashboards

The look and feel of the dashboards has been improved and some of the dashboard controls have been moved to the top of the screen for better accessibility.  The widget controls have been unified for consistency.

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New Widgets

There are a couple of new widget types, these being the map widget and the performance graph widget.

Map Widget

The new maps widget allows you to visualize a subset of your virtual infrastructure, and the alerts relevant to it, right there as a widget on your dashboard.  Maybe you have a production cluster, or a cluster running VDI for example, and you just want to get alerts relating to that cluster.  You’ve always been able to do this in the map view, but now you can encapsulate that view in widget form.  And just like all dashboard widgets, you get right click sharing capability to embed that widget in an external web page or portal.

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Performance Graph Widget

Now pick any performance metric for any object in the system and plot it on a graph (just like you can select graphs in the “performance analyzer” view)

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Improved Map View

The map view has been improved to allow for higher density of information, and will now expand to fill the screen on your large screen monitor!

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That’s it until next time.

bshopp

An IPv6 State of Affairs

Posted by bshopp Nov 10, 2011

THIS POST CONTENT IS NOW UPDATED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE BASE ARTICLE.

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