It is my pleasure to announce the release of NPM 11.5! This release includes:
Wireless Heat Maps
Web Based Alerting
We're confident these features will meaningfully increase your visibility and automate common tasks so you can get back to working on the interesting stuff.
The wait is over. Get NPM 11.5 now on the Customer Portal!
Thanks to the great feedback regarding UDT node discovery, we found several ways we could streamline importing nodes into UDT. As many customers prefer manually adding nodes already present in Orion database, we wanted to make it easier to do so, in addition to the existing Network Sonar option. Below we'll walk through the new flow to add existing Orion managed nodes into UDT, regardless if they are NPM, NCM or devices managed by other Orion products.
As the primary reason for adding nodes is the port monitoring, we decided to make this flow start at Port Management page under UDT settings.
A new drop down menu allows you to work with existing monitored ports and nodes already managed by UDT in addition to selecting those managed by other products.
Once selected from the list of unmanaged nodes, you can continue the import by clicking on new button: Monitor Node by UDT
New nodes will be imported in the background so you can keep working without the need to wait until the process is finished.
Apart from adding this new import option, we are also looking at future improvements to the Polling of VLANs. Newly, suspended VLANs will not be polled, saving system and node resources especially in bigger and more complex networks with more VLANs.
I am happy to introduce our latest free tool, Event Log Forwarder for Windows. If you own an Orion family product or Kiwi Syslog, you may already be familiar with this tool, as we previously offered this as a free add-on or application you had access to as a customer. Based on feedback from our customers and how much people love this tool we decided to make it free to all.
Many folks have dozens, if not hundreds of Windows Servers. Trying to monitor the Windows Event Logs for specific errors, warnings, etc. is a pain point to ensure the servers and apps on it are running well. Many folks may be running a Syslog server (like Orion SAM/NPM or Kiwi Syslog) for gathering Syslog messages from your network equipment as an example or have a log management solution (like Log & Event Manager) for centralizing and analyzing all of your logs. Event Log Forwarder for Windows helps these folks and is a lightweight app or agent you install on Windows machines which you care about looking for specific events.
A very basic example is failed login attempts to a Windows Server. Someone mistypes a password and you get one or two here and there, no biggie. However, if you see a spike and consistent pattern of failed login attempts, you are going to want to dig a bit deeper.
Simply define a subscription or what are the key events you care to know about and look for, as shown in the dialog below.
When we find a match, we take that Windows Event and wrap it up as a Syslog message and based on the defined Syslog Facility you define to categorize this event, we send it off to one or more defined Syslog servers. Depending on your environment we can send it as a standard UDP message or you can set it to use TCP as well for reliable delivery.
That’s it, simple and easy. Install on one Windows box or a thousand, it’s up to you. SolarWinds Event Log Forwarder for Windows is another free tool from SolarWinds we hope everyone can use and enjoy and you can download it here. If you have any questions or comments about this free tool, head on over to our thwack forum for this free tool.
In my last post, I told you about some new features that provide a dashboard style summary view of your database environment when you integrate Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) with Server Application Monitor (SAM). I also explained a little bit about database wait time. I'll expand upon that in this post as I tell you about ways DPA can help you inspect your database instance for performance bottlenecks. Please note that we have also just made DPA 9.1 Release Candidate available for download. As you can see, we've been very busy at Solarwinds with back to back releases running in parallel development! I hope you like what I'm about to show you and invite you to consider joining The Beta which is open to customers with both DPA and SAM currently on active maintenance. To try it out, please fill out this short survey.
In this 3 part series, I'm going to tell you about :
NOTICE : This is BETA, so there is no promise that what you see here will be delivered as is.
In the first part of this post I'll describe the integration process. It's designed to be very automagic but provides flexibility to tweak a configuration to meet the needs of more complex environments. After you've completed the Integration Wizard, Orion implements your integration as follows :
Getting Started: The Integration Wizard is designed to streamline the integration of DPA with Orion. The process of integrating DPA to Orion begins on the DPA Settings screen. *NOTE* that these instructions are assuming you've installed and configured both DPA and SAM to monitor your database instances. Once that is done, to start the integration :
Turning on Integration : For the most part, to integrate, you tell Orion where DPA is, how to log in, and then your job is mostly confirming the mappings we'll suggest but you will have opportunities to manually tweak these mappings.
To turn on integration you need the following information :
Once done, you can test the connection then submit and start the wizard. When you submit, DPA and SAM will compare notes and present you with the first mapping screen.
Mapping Database Instances : In order to attach DPA functionality to all the right nodes in Orion, during the configuration of DPA integration, we ask you to confirm that we have mapped the right nodes in Orion to the database instances registered in DPA. This enables us to add functionality to database instances you're already monitoring by adding a sub-view. If you aren't already monitoring that database instance, the wizard will show no relationship for that database instance and upon completion of the wizard, the same DPA information will be presented in a default view for that database instance. You can see the sub-view and it's benefits below, where I describe The Database Instance View.
Mapping Database Clients : The next step of configuration is to confirm that we have accurately mapped database clients per DPA to the applications you monitor in SAM. We do this by mapping the IP of the database clients DPA sees to the IP addresses of nodes where your applications reside. How do we do this? Well when an application connects to a database, the database obviously knows which host just connected and DPA keeps track of which queries came from that host. It is this database client mapping that enables the 2 powerful features I'll talk about in my next post! Wink, wink... It's pretty cool so check back for my third post. :-)
So now you're ready to find needles in the haystacks! This is where "the magic" happens.
The Database Instance View provides greater detail of what your database is doing and how that's affecting your resources. If you use AppInsight for SQL also, DPA creates a sub-view so it's easy to use both tools to analyze the database instance.
Pivoting Wait Time is one of my favorite troubleshooting techniques. When you click into a Database Instance, you will see a more detailed and powerful analysis of wait time in the Database Response Time resource.
This resource provides multidimensional performance analysis:
This is useful because sometimes the root cause is an individual query and sometimes it's several queries from an application or a resource constraint affecting all.
In the first pivot (1st image) of wait time, I can see that there is no one SQL that is the cause of most of the wait time because the queries with the most wait time are very small relative to all remaining queries.
In the second pivot (2nd image), I've pivoted by wait type. I can see that Memory and CPU are the most significant wait type. That means real work is happening as opposed to waiting on storage or locks. Now you may not know all the hundreds of wait types you'll see, but DPA does.
When it comes to wait types, click on the (2nd image) and DPA tells you (3rd image)
In the third pivot (4th image), I've pivoted by application and see that "Ignite" is the application with the most significant waits and ".NET SQLClient Data Provider" is a distant second. Note that ".NET SQLClient Data Provider" is the default name you will see if your .NET developer did not specify an application name in the database connection string.
Now since I want to find something to tune, I pivot back to SQL and exclude "Remaining queries" by un-checking it (5th image). Now I know the 5 queries causing me the most wait time and that is something we can work on. Of course none of these examples show a lot of wait time. I'm only doing this to demonstrate how I would use this resource. What if you wanted to know more about a query? Click on it and you will see a nice report analyzing historical performance of this one query (6th image).
So with wait time analysis, AKA response time analysis, you can find needles in the haystack:
And just to reiterate, you don't need to know what all of those wait types mean. When you don't know, click on the icon and DPA will tell you what it means, what can be done about it and who would typically do that. This is so huge, I had to say it twice. :-)
And because wait time analysis may be new to you, here's some information on the technique.
Stay tuned! My favorite features are coming up in the next post.
The Database Performance Analyzer team has been very hard at work to provide you with some great features that will not only help you with your current monitoring; Database Performance Analyzer is now in the Amazon cloud. This RC for DPA 9.1 is now available in the Customer Portal to download for customers on active maintenance through March 31, 2015. The RC can be installed on your production system. For any questions or comments, we'd love to hear your feedback at The specified item was not found.
Now if you are thinking of moving to the cloud, DPA can move with you.
You will have to wait a bit to see and enjoy this feature, it won't be available initially for RC, stayed tuned for dates.
You can now register a RDS instance, SQL Server and Oracle, just like on-premise.
RDS is Amazons version of a DBaaS or database as a service. Because it is a service, we have had to adjust DPA so we can collect as much as the same as we do with on-premise instances. There are a few items not available, mostly around metrics and alerts. You can always explore and add additional metrics through Custom Metrics and additional alerts through Custom Alerts. See the Administrators guide for more detail.
Have you ever wanted to track performance before and after you added an index or deployed code? Now you can! Add comments directly in the timeline within DPA, providing an easy method log changes to SQL code, database configuration, and server resources for future reference. You can choose to have these annotations included when you select to mail the screen making it easy to share your findings.
The new Oracle plan display from the Plan text tab enhances your insights into the inner workings of a plan including Predicates and an updated tree display. You can see that there are magnifying glass icons on the screen. When that icon is selected, you will see the associated predicates as well as the type of predicate (access or filter).
We are happy to bring our number one customer requested enhancement to a feature in DPA! With the Exclude SQL feature, you can mask SQL statements from the month and day trend views, letting you focus on less significant statements in the vertical bar graphs, that were previously dwarfed by one or more statements that take significantly more time.
Now that runaway SQL won't dominate your trend screen all you have to do is select a SQL from the legend on the right of the graph
Click the check box 'Exclude this SQL from Performance-side Trend charts' and the graph is refreshed without that pesky SQL.
Once one SQL is excluded you will know by looking at the bottom of the trend graph and seeing 'There are SQL Statements that may have been excluded from this chart. View Excluded SQL'
I am very happy to announce that DPA now defaults to a 64 bit installation. Never fear, if you still need a 32 bit installer, you just need to contact our support team!
Many of you have had to go through new processes that in some cases were a bit odd and confusing before DPA 9.1. We have addressed all this confusion by fully going to instance based licensing in DPA 9.1. You will need to go to your portal to download new keys for the RC and later for GA. However, all these keys are now in the portal which means no more calls to support to help find the key(s).
To download the DPA 9.1 RC, just log into the Portal to get your DPA RC 9.1 bits and your RC license keys here.
Again, if you have any questions or just want to chat about how great this RC is, head over to The specified item was not found. area.
Thank you very much for your participation. We are looking forward to hearing from you!!
If you missed the 11.5 beta, you may not have noticed a subtle, but important new feature in the Quality of Experience dashboard: Application Discovery.
Application Discovery allows QoE sensor to automatically detect ~1400 known applications as well as perform URL parsing for HTTP applications:
So why is this a big deal? Previously you had to define which applications to sniff for. Now besides simplifying the sensor process, in combination with the new alerting engine in 11.5, you can now detect and alert on malware or unwanted cloud applications:
Perhaps a little bit of cloud-storage provider activity is permissible in your environment, but if a couple gigs leave it could trigger data ex-filtration concerns? Done:
URL parsing also has interesting security implications. Perhaps there is new botnet C&C we want to validate our servers aren't checking in with. A quick report can give us piece of mind:
To deploy QoE agents, simply define the endpoints you want to monitor as managed nodes. For DHCP client ranges, you would likely want to setup scheduled discoveries, and would need to add clients on a recurring basis.
Once managed, you could either deploy sensors to the endpoint, or monitor via SPAN/Tap. Would the constraint of clients having to be managed prevent you from deploying? Please let us know in the comments below. If you're not familiar with QoE agent deployment, check out the deployment guide here.
If you're not yet on 11.5 RC, and are on active maintenance- log into your Customer Portal to download.
Storage Manager (STM) and Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) v6.0 Release Candidates are now available in the SolarWinds Customer Portal for customers on Active Maintenance through April 1st, 2015. Release Candidates can be installed on your production systems and are fully supported. The Product Team is eagerly awaiting your feedback in the Storage RC Forum. The Product Team would also love your feedback about your storage environment on our short survey so we know how to plan our future releases. Before I go on, I want to take this space to thank all of our early UX feedback participants and all of our Beta participants for helping us to build the product you wanted! We couldn't have done it without you!
On to the meat!
In short, Storage Resource Monitor (or SRM for short) is SolarWinds storage monitoring product.
The details that matter for you probably depend on whether or not you are an existing Storage Manager (STM)/Storage Profiler (PL) customer or looking at a storage monitoring tool from SolarWinds for the first time.
When you purchase SRM, you will get two modules - the SRM Orion Module and the SRM Profiler Module (formerly Storage Profiler). This will allow you to get the full breadth of monitoring of SAN and NAS devices that SolarWinds supports in one product offering. As we improve our offerings, you won't have to worry that you "chose the wrong platform" as you get them both! SolarWinds - keeping it simple. For the astute Product Blog reader, you may notice that this is very similar to how we are delivering Virtualization Manager as described in this post: VIRTUALIZATION MANAGER (VMAN) 6.2 RC IS NOW AVAILABLE!
As I hinted at in my original Beta blog post, if you are an existing Storage Manager (STM) and Storage Profiler (PL) customer, you are coming along for the ride. If you are on Active Maintenance through GA you will get the new SRM Orion Module as part of their Active Maintenace on STM and PL. The one change you will notice is that the STM/PL bits have been lightly rebranded as the Storage Resource Monitor Profiler Module. When you install the SRM Profiler Module v6 (or upgrade your existing STM or PL system) and apply your new v6 key, this will work the same as your previous STM/PL install albeit some improvements we made for v6.0. Note that nothing is being taken away from you with this release, you can keep running your STM/PL server as you do today and you will retain that functionality on upgrade to v6.0.
There are extensive differences in the core platforms of each module, which I'm not going to enumerate here. For the most part, they both contain features you would expect out of a monitoring tool - alerting, reporting, device collection - most done in different ways. However, I will call out two of the key differences worth noting:
The SRM Profiler Module has about a 10+ year head start on the Orion Module in device support although the team is planning on closing that gap quickly (keep your eyes on the Storage Manager - What We Are Working On post for updates coming soon!). Right now, the SRM Orion Module supports the following devices:
The SRM Profiler module device support is approximately 25 device families at last count and can be seen on SolarWinds website for more detail.
It's hard to say more than has already been said in aLTeReGo great AppStack post All New AppStack Environment View and an Opportunity to Earn $100.00 Plus 2000 Thwack Points. With the AppStack Environment View, you can now see infrastructure performance and availability at every level in relation to the application and other supporting infrastructure. If our early feedback on this is any indication, this should greatly help reduce mean time to resolution for any IT Pro. Note that in order to use the SRM Orion Module with other AppStack enabled products, you will need the latest versions of those modules, notably SAM 6.2, VMAN 6.2, and WPM 2.2. As I mentioned in the Beta blog post, we really believe in a vision of Application-centric IT infrastructure management and the AppStack Environment view is the most tangible outcome of that vision. In the picture to the right, you can see SAN and NAS device information in the AppStack - brought to you by the SRM Orion Module.
So if you are a STM/PL customer today, you have a few options for upgrading
If you are installing the SRM Orion Module with the following Orion Modules, you will need to also upgrade those modules:
One note for existing customers that had Storage Manager's previous lightweight integration module installed on Orion, the new SRM Orion Module consumes all of the previous functionality of that lightweight module and effectively replaces that module. It is recommended that you uninstall that module before proceeding with install of the SRM Orion Module.
The shared SRM licensing is important and deserves some clarification. We strove to make the licensing flexible for existing and new customers. The first thing to understand is that both modules collect data independently. That said, if you are monitoring the same device from both modules, and you've enabled integration between them, the device will only be counted once against your license. An example should help:
In the picture to the right, we have both the SRM Orion Module and the SRM Profiler Module deployed. Together they are monitoring 3 arrays: a Hitachi Data Systems device, a Dell MD3xxx device, and a NetApp Cluster-Mode device. In this case, the Dell MD3xxx is being monitored independently as far as data collection by both systems, but the integration and exchange of licensing information ensures that you are only charged for the MD3xxx's 100 disks one time. Therefore, for this system the license count math is:
Finally, in this integration scenario, the single key needs to reside on the Profiler Module. For existing customers, it should be no muss, no fuss, as your key is already there an if you're online, your new version 6 key should update automatically at the next license sync. Alternatively, if you wanted to run either module stand-alone, you would activate the key directly on that module's server - both modules are not required to run if you only want to use one or the other.
There's obviously a bunch here that I haven't talked about, but that should address most of the frequently asked questions I've received so far. The team is eagerly awaiting your feedback in the RC Forum!
For about a year now, The Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) team has been planning how we'll integrate DPA into the Orion suite. One of the first questions was, “where will DPA content be presented in Orion?” And we felt that since Server Application Monitor (SAM) provides the Applications tab, DPA should add a Databases tab. But since SAM also monitors databases, we decided the Databases tab should be a home for all things database whether they come from SAM or DPA. In this post I’ll show you the Databases Summary view. I hope you like what you see and invite you to consider joining The Beta which is open to customers with both DPA and Orion products, like SAM, in active maintenance.
To try it out, please fill out this short survey.
In this 3 part series, I'm going to tell you about :
NOTICE : This is BETA, so there is no promise that what you see here will be delivered as is.
DATABASES TAB IN ORION! Based on conversations I've had with Solarwinds customers showing interest in DPA, those 4 words may be all they wanted to hear. Integrating DPA with Orion will add a "Databases" tab. And it's not just for DPA! We're making this a home for all of your database monitoring. So if you also use SAM to monitor some databases, clicking the Databases tab will take you to the Databases Summary View which provides a dashboard style glance at database performance across your organization. And if you also use AppInsight for SQL to monitor your databases, you can get to it from here too!
Database Instances : This is one of the most prominent resources on the Databases Summary screen. The red and yellow boxes summarize the number of critical issues and warnings detected. They are also buttons that allow you to filter your list of database instances to reveal the instances with critical and/or warning status in either SAM or DPA. DPA reveals KPIs on the right which indicate potential problems i.e. wait time, query advice, cpu, memory, disk and sessions. SAM reveals it's status on the icon at the left of each row, and of course you get to see the node status like you are accustomed to in Orion. So if you monitor a database instance with SAM and DPA, you get a health perspective and a performance perspective. Clicking on one of the instances takes you to the Database Instance View. We'll cover that view in my next post. Clicking on the KPIs from DPA on the right takes you to DPA's Database Instance View, which will be a sub-view if you are also monitoring with AppInsight for SQL.
Advisors : One of the most popular features for people that are new to DPA are the Advisors. Every instance monitored by DPA receives hourly analysis that provides information about queries that DPA thinks you should look at. So this is a place you can find ideas for improving performance that you might not have noticed. Advisors are either critical, warning or informational. When you click on an advisor message, it will open a detailed analysis in a new window.
They will tell you things like:
Instances With Highest Wait Time : Something that may be new you, is the concept of database wait time analysis AKA response time analysis. Expert DBAs have used this technique for over a decade to accurately identify why queries are slow and what can be done about it. This isn't a dissertation on wait time so I've provided links to more detail below. For now, let's just say you can ask a database instance why queries are slow, and it will tell you! DPA continuously polls database instances, recording all of those answers so it can produce this histogram that tells you which of your database instances are causing the most end user wait time over the past 2 weeks.
Information about "Response Time Analysis" AKA "Wait Time Analysis"
In my next post, I'll show you some cool ways you can identify performance bottlenecks at the instance level. And keeping with tradition, I'm saving the best for the last post! Stay tuned.
The Log & Event Manager team is pleased to announce the official release of LEM 6.1. Features included in this release:
Here's a handy video about adding rules with the new Rules configuration wizard:
For even more details, be sure to check out the LEM Release Candidate blog post: Check Out Quicker & Easier Config with the Log & Event Manager v6.1 Release Candidate - Now Available!
And, as always, the Release Notes with all the juicy details can be found here.
Customers on active maintenance can download LEM v6.1 from their Customer Portal.
New to LEM and want to see what it's all about? Check out our product page and download a free (fully functional) trial right here on solarwinds.com.
The Virtualization Manager 6.2 Release Candidate (RC) is now available in the Customer Portal for customers on active maintenance through 04/01/2015. Release Candidates can be installed on the production system you have running today and you can contact support with any Release Candidate issues you may encounter. The Product Management team would love to hear your feedback on the RC at the Virtualization Manager RC Forum on Thwack. We also ask that you fill out the following survey to provide us some information regarding your virtual environment.
The latest release of Virtualization Manager (VMAN) is full of new features, some of which were covered in the following post:
With all the talk of integration with Orion, those customers that only own Virtualization Manager are probably asking "what about me?!!" The answer is a stand-alone Orion Virtualization Manager Module that integrates with the VMAN virtual appliance. This stand-alone module does not require NPM or SAM to be installed and provides access to all the goodness we have baked into VMAN for Orion such as baseline thresholds, web based reporting, advanced alerting, and role-based access control to name a few.
The goal of integration with Orion is not to simply have virtualization tabs in Orion but to improve on ease of use and reduce the time to resolution by providing tools available in Orion today. Your feedback has made it clear that ease of use is paramount and we are addressing this by implementing features in the Orion platform which improve usability. Whether you are an administrator wearing many hats (network admin, sys admin, desktop support) and managing small virtual environment or a virtual administrator trying to get your arms around performance issues of thousands of VMs across multiple data centers, VMAN provides a simple and easy to use interface that will help you diagnose current issues and provide you with useful data to get ahead of future performance problems.
A new hotfix implementation method has been added to the Virtualization Manager appliance. First Step - Navigate to https://ipaddress:5480/ where IPaddress is the address of the virtual appliance server management page. Once logged in select the SolarWinds Mgmt tab and choose HotFix install. The hotfix install will let you browse to the install package and install the hotfix automatically. It is that simple; no more logging into the appliance console and manually typing in command parameters to install a hotfix.
|Virtual hosts are not linked properly to Orion nodes.||666113, 735396, 706484, 676201|
|Host to vCenter mapping does not work correctly.||712659|
|ESX host is displayed as down even when it is running.||333590, 395330|
|Dashboard reports are created with incorrect time frames.||566645|
|Labels cannot be removed from Virtualization Manager.||694726|
|No latency information is collected for Hyper-V CSV datastores.||-|
|Issues with local datastores.||630786, 677971|
|The alert history of a configuration items gets cleared incorrectly.||642124|
|Incorrect information is displayed in Virtualization Manager about connected media devices.||576193|
|Issue with data segments not being displayed on Virtualization Manager charts.||585989|
|Incorrect values are displayed as VM Tools status.||610075|
|When multiple trends are added to a widget, a flat line is displayed for some trends.||621536|
|Sorting on the Trend widget does not work properly.||621811|
|Issues with filtering results by VMware Tools status in Virtualization Manager.||625185, 625346|
|The fitment widget report does not work with custom Resource Containers.||619730|
Don't forget to leave your RC Feedback at Virtualization Manager RC Forum on Thwack.
The Web Performance Monitor (WPM) 2.2 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is now available! To participate in the RC, simply fill out the survey in the link below to get started.
Improvements in WPM 2.2 include all the new features we mentioned in our beta blog post, as well as:
Our beta post mentioned how excited we are about WPM 2.2's integration with the new SolarWinds AppStack. This integration will power an additional new feature in WPM - the AppStack Resource. With this resource, you'll have the same easily digestible view of your environment right in your transaction details page, but with the focus only on those resources associated with that transaction. This view, powered with our new step dependencies, means that you'll have transaction diagnostics as well as statistics on resource dependencies all in in the same place. With all this information together on one page, you'll be able to diagnose issues in transactions more easily than ever. Check out the screenshot below and make sure to download WPM RC1 to get started with it.
Release candidates are fully supported and are made available to existing customers prior to formal release in order to generate feedback on new features. Take the survey through the button below to make sure you qualify. If you have any problems with the RC1, you can file a ticket with Support just as you would for any GA version of the product.
And don't forget to leave any feedback you have in the RC Forum!
- the WPM product team