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SolarWinds Server Health Monitor Quick Reference Guide

The SolarWinds® Server Health Monitor (SHM) is a free diagnostic tool that provides basic-level health status server monitoring for up to five servers in a corporate enterprise. You can download it from SolarWinds pages here.

Using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and Common Information Model (CIM) calls to your network frameworks and application servers, the tool polls the basic system components in each configured server (such as the power supply, temperature, and fan) and displays a server health overview of all monitored servers in the Dashboard tab. The tool is supported on selected VMware® hypervisors and Dell™, HP®, and IBM® servers.

If you need expert-level health status server monitoring for over 200 applications and 1000 servers in a corporate enterprise, see the SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor.

 

 

Installation requirements

 

Component

Requirements

Operating system

Microsoft® Windows® 7

Windows 8

Windows 10

Windows Server® 2008 R2  Windows Server 2012 R2

System details

Processor: 2 GHz

RAM: 1 GB

Disk Space: 100 MB

.Net: 4.0

 

Systems supported for monitoring

 

Component

Model

Servers

Dell PowerEdge™ HP ProLiant™

IBM eServer™ xSeries

Blade enclosures

Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Enclosure HP BladeSystem c3000 Enclosure

HP BladeSystem c7000 Enclosure

Hypervisors

VMware vSphere® ESX Hypervisor  VMware vSphere ESXi™ Hypervisor

 

Hardware monitoring agent software

Each computer hardware vendor installs hardware monitoring agent software on their systems, which includes a Web server that operates on a unique port.

Remote servers include the hardware monitoring agent software for both SNMP and WMI.

Note: The blade enclosures do not use hardware monitoring agent software.

To ensure that the hardware monitoring agent software is installed on your system, open a Web browser and navigate to the following URL:

https://<remote_ip_address>:Port

where remote_ip_address is the remote server IP address and Port is one of the following ports:

 

HP: 2381

Dell: 1311

IBM: 423

 

Install the tool

 

  1. Download and install the SolarWinds Server Monitor from the SolarWinds Free Tools website.
  2. Double-click the installer icon. The SolarWinds Server Health Monitor Setup Wizard appears.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Follow the prompts on your screen to complete the installation.

 

Add your monitored servers

 

  1. Click the Configure tab. The Configure Tab screen appears.
  2. Click  . The Server and Credentials box appears.
  3. In the top field, enter the IP address or host name of the server you want to monitor.
  4. Click the drop-down menu and select the method used to poll the server and gather health monitor details.
  • You can poll the following servers using SNMPv2 or SNMPv3.
    • Dell PowerEdge servers
    • HP ProLiant servers
    • Note: Array and Battery information requires WMI polling.

 

  • You can poll the following servers using WMI:
    • Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Enclosure
    • HP BladeSystem c3000 and c7000 Enclosures
    • HP ProLiant servers
    • IBM eServer xSeries

 

  • You can poll the following hypervisors with no required polling setup:
    • VMware vSphere ESX
    • VMware vSphere ESXi
    • These hypervisors use the CIM protocol that should be enabled by default after you install the ESX or ESXi hosts.

Configure polling using SNMPv2

 

  1. Ensure that SNMP is enabled on the monitored server. See your server or VMware documentation for information about configuring SNMP.
  2. Click the drop-down menu and select SNMPv2.
  3. In the Community String field, enter your SNMP credentials.
  4. Click . The monitored server connection is configured, and the tool automatically polls the server for server health data. The polling process may require several minutes to gather the server data.

Configure polling using SNMPv3

 

  1. Ensure that SNMP is enabled on the monitored server. See your server or VMware documentation for information about configuring SNMP.
  2. Click the drop-down menu and select SNMPv3. The Server and Credentials box appears.
  3. In the Username field, enter the IP address or user name of the server you want to monitor.
  4. In the Context field, enter your SNMP credentials.
  5. In the first drop-down menu, select an encryption algorithm for the polling connection. MD5 (Message Digest) provides a 128-bit hash algorithm. SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm) provides a 160-bit hash algorithm.
  6. Click the second drop-down menu and select an encryption cipher for the polling connection.
  7. In the Password field, enter an authentication password.
  8. Select the Password is a key check box to select the algorithm of the encryption. Note: If you select this check box, leave the Context field blank.
  9. Click . The monitored server connection is configured, and the tool automatically polls the server for server health data. The polling process requires one to two minutes.

Configure polling using WMI

 

  1. Ensure that WMI is enabled on the monitored server. See your server or VMware documentation for information about configuring WMI.
  2. Click the drop-down menu and select WMI. The Servers and Credentials box appears.
  3. In the Username and Password fields, enter your WMI user name and password.
  4. Click . The monitored server connection is configured.

 

 

View your server health

When you click the Dashboard tab, the tool polls the monitored servers and displays a health status overview of all servers. The overview includes a pie chart, node count, and summary information of all monitored servers.

The polling process requires up to two minutes to complete, depending on your network configuration. During the polling process, Processing appears at the bottom of the window.

The Node Count lists the number of monitored nodes and the corresponding status. The Summary lists all monitored servers and their corresponding status.

The following table provides descriptions of each status.

 

 

 

Status

Definition

Up

All monitored components are functioning properly.

Warning

One or more components are in working condition, but a failure may exist.

Critical

One or more components failed, requiring imme- diate attention.

Undefined

One or more components have a status that the tool cannot recognize.

 

View server details

When you click an IP address (or host name) in the Dashboard tab, the Server Details window appears. This window displays the IP address (or host name), current health status, and additional information about the selected server.

 

The Current Server Health section lists the sensors polled by the tool. Maximize a sensor name to view the status and corresponding value. The server and current health details listed in the window may vary for each server.

To return to the Dashboard tab, click Back to Summary.

Update the polling interval

The Update Polling Interval setting in the Configure tab allows you to select the time interval (between 5-60 minutes) when the tool polls the monitored servers for health status information.

 

 

 

View additional resources

The Resources tab provides links to resources for managing your corporate enterprise.

 

Troubleshoot error messages

The following table lists error messages that may appear after you configure your devices in the Configure tab.

 

 

 

Error Message

Description and Resolution

Unable to resolve the host name. Please use the IP address

The host name is spelled incorrectly or DNS could not resolve the host name to an IP address.

To resolve this issue, ensure that:

 

  • The host name in the Configure tab is correct.
  • The DNS server is configured properly with corresponding host name and IP addresses.
  • The IP address is entered in the correct format.

An unknown error occurred.

The tool experienced an issue with monitoring the targeted server.

To resolve this issue:

 

  1. Open the %ALLUSERPROFILE% directory.
  2. Navigate to the following directory: SolarWinds\ServerHealthMonitor
  3. In the directory, locate the followin file. ServerHealthMonitor.log
  4. Open the file in a text editor (such as Notepad) and search for an error (for example, a disabled WMI service).

Not a supported server type. For a list of sup- ported server types, see Help for details.

The targeted device is not supported by this tool.

See Hardware requirements for a list of supported servers, blade enclosures, and hypervisors.

Different polling method required.

The tool could not poll the device based on the selected polling method specified in the Configure tab.

To resolve this issue, select a different polling method that is appropriate for the targeted device.

The user credentials are wrong.

The user does not have remote access to the computer through a DCOM

The tool does not have Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) permissions to access the targeted Windows server. WMI uses the DCOM protocol to communicate directly over a network with Windows-enabled servers.

To resolve this issue, ensure that:

 

  • The server credentials are entered correctly in the Configure tab.
  • DCOM is enabled on the targeted server.

See the Microsoft TechNet website for information about enabling and disabling DCOM on servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 R2 operating systems.

The computer really doesn't exist.

The Windows Firewall is blocking the connection.

To resolve this issue, ensure that:

 

  • The targeted server is running and connected to the network.
  • The Windows Firewall is deactivated on the targeted server.

Polling of chassis (CIM_Chassis class) failed. Unable to estab- lish session with all provided credentials.

The VMware credentials are incorrect.

To resolve this issue, ensure that the VMware server credentials in the Configure tab are correct.

Polling of chassis (CIM_Chassis class) failed. Unable to con- nect to the remote server.

The selected polling method is not supported on the targeted server.

To resolve this issue, ensure that the selected polling method in the Configure tab is correct. If the

issue still exists, change the polling type method and poll the server.

Unable to find the server type. Could be due to incorrect cre- dentials or the server type is not supported.

The credentials in the Configuration tab are incorrect or the server type is not supported.

To resolve this issue, ensure that:

  • The server credentials in the Configure tab are
  • The server is listed in the hardware requirements as a supported server.

 

 

 

 

 

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Understanding network bandwidth content is one of the essentials for each IT admin who needs to ensure the business traffic has always the priority over someones private Youtube streaming during a lunch break. SolarWinds Network Traffic Analyzer has been used many years for its ability to finger point at IP address which was behind suspicious high-volume data transfer. NTA historically used widely used port-based application detection known as NetFlow (used in protocols NetFlow v5, v9, IPFIX, sFlow, jFlow, Huawei Netstream).

 

As many of you know, port-based application detection works effectively if each application you care about communicates via its own, specific, port (SNMP, SQL, DNS, etc.). As a natural reaction to block unwanted traffic you may create firewall rules and allow specific ports only. This works unless the owner of the application change its protocol to HTTP or even better HTTPs and port-based categorization is not as useful anymore (as firewall rules based on ports only). Most of the traffic will look like "WEB" or "Encrypted".

At the end of a day, it's still better than knowing nothing but it leads to the further inspection by using firewalls and logs or user browsing history or Wireshark hunt.

 

But we all would like to have better visibility into the corporate network traffic and understand if business traffic or video call is not negatively impacted by somebody's web browsing or media streaming. Many network-gear vendors are aware of that problem with "tunneling" over ports 80 or 443 to various cloud storage apps, SaaS or social networks. Cisco, Citrix or PaloAlto introduced "Application Flows" known as NBAR2, Citrix AppFlow and Palo Alto App-ID in IPFIX. All these names have one common element - advanced application classification technique using application signatures database and deep packet inspection. This is all done directly within your network gear (Routers, some L3 switches, firewalls and Wireless Controllers).

 

The advantage of "AppFlow" technology is obvious. It gives you better application classification even though applications are using the same port (for example port 80). It gives you visibility (even though limited) into encrypted traffic (port 443) and it gives you that without need of additional probes, spanning ports and other complicated things. Palo Alto, Cisco and Citrix keep their application signature databases up to date and usually offer new device updates every month as a classic software update for your gear. As example look at this page NBAR2 (Next Generation NBAR) Protocol Pack FAQ - Cisco which list NBAR2 supported devices and also typical Protocol Pack update time-lines.

 

Many of you already have Cisco ASR 1000 or ISR-G2 devices and if you haven't, you can use SolarWinds NTA (beta) now and get better application visibility of your bandwidth. NTA 4.2 beta brings support for Cisco NBAR2 as a first (but not last) implementation of Application Flow information. NTA still uses flow-based technology to read app-flow and is quite easy to enable NBAR2 on your devices and let NTA to tell you who deals to much with Youtube over SSL, Google cloud application or torrents.

 

I know you're interested to try this out and takes you just few steps:

 

1) Enable NBAR2 as part of Flexible NetFlow (if you haven't yet)

 

flow record SolarwindsNetflow

match ipv4 tos

match ipv4 protocol

match ipv4 source address

match ipv4 destination address

match transport source-port

match transport destination-port

collect transport tcp flags

collect interface input

collect counter bytes long

collect counter packets long

collect timestamp sys-uptime first

collect timestamp sys-uptime last

collect application name

 

flow exporter SolarwindsNetflow

destination 10.140.27.226

source GigabitEthernet0/1

transport udp 2055

template data timeout 60

option application-table timeout 60

option application-attributes timeout 300

 

flow monitor SolarwindsNetflow

exporter SolarwindsNetflow

cache timeout active 60

record SolarwindsNetflow

2) Configure the interface from where you want to monitor Netflow (with NBAR2) - this part is the same as you do when configuring classical port-based NetFlow (in my example GigabitEthernet 0/0/1)

 

interface GigabitEtherent 0/0/1

ip flow monitor SolarwindsNetflow input

ip flow monitor SolarwindsNetflow output

 

3) Check NBAR2 support & configuration by runing  "show ip nbar version" command

 

You should get output similar to this:

NBAR software version:  20

NBAR minimum backward compatible version:  20

 

Loaded Protocol Pack(s):

 

Name:                            Advanced Protocol Pack

Version:                         14.0

Publisher:                       Cisco Systems Inc.

NBAR Engine Version:     20

Creation Time:                 Wed Mar 25 13:17:24 UTC 2015

File:                                flash0:pp-adv-isrg2-154-3.M2-20-14.0.0.pack

State:                             Active

 

 

4) Subscribe to NTA 4.2 Beta program (available for those who have NTA commercial license)

button(1).png

 

5) Install NTA Beta on the non-production server and add NetFlow source Node into NTA (same process as you adding classical NetFlow source).

 

Once you start getting the data in NTA you will see a switch in a top right hand corner on a summary page in the "Top 5 Applications" resource. Use it to select between NetFlow - port based and NBAR2 - AppFlow data view. This switch is available everywhere in NTA for the charts which show some application classification. NBAR2 is automatically detected and if device doesn't support NBAR2 you'll be not able to use that switch.

 

Let's demonstrate the added value of App-Flow NBAR2 comparing classical NetFlow v5 and NBAR2 data classification for the situation where some IP address watch Youtube over SSL:

 

NBAR2NetFlow v5

 

I would very happy if you - SolarWinds users - can try this beta and help me to collect feedback on two main questions:

 

1) What version of your protocol pack you have on your devices (step #3 from the list above)

2) Does NBAR2 in NTA helps you to see better data than the current port-based flow?

 

As always, I appreciate all your effort and enthusiasm you spent with this Beta version of NTA. I'd like to hear to any other comments and feature request you may have around this theme such as reports, alerts, etc.

 

We do not want to end support with NBAR2 on ASR or G2 devices, but also working on WLC support and to the future Citrix and PaloAlto AppFlows. If you have other app-flow capable device, let us know.

 

button(1).png

I’m thrilled to announce that Dameware 12.0 is now publicly available. In this release we focused all our efforts to finalise the remote support story with unattended over the internet sessions. Dameware now allows to assist remotely without presence of the end-user, who is not in the intranet but travelling. Technicians can now support end-user in company network as well as in Internet anytime.

 

This release brings several bigger and smaller improvements, so let me highlight a few of them:

 

  • Over the Internet (OTI) unattended sessions for Dameware Centralized users
    • Allows you to remotely support users on the move, and assist remotely without the presence of the end user
    • Deploy agents with OTI unattended support to end-points
    • Manage agents for OTI unattended sessions to maintain high security and control
  • Search Hosts in Mini Remote Control
  • Support for Windows 10
  • Ability to switch between the Standalone and Centralized versions without reinstallation
  • And many other improvements and bug fixes

 

Dameware 12.0 is available for download on your customer portal for those customers under current maintenance.

 

If you are not a Dameware user yet, now go and download new version from www.dameware.com now!

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