I am pleased and excited to announce the latest addition to the SolarWinds product family on the Orion® Platform, Server Configuration Monitor or SCM. For those of your that are familiar with our Network Configuration Manager product or NCM, this new product is its sibling with a focus on systems and applications.

With this new product, SolarWinds continues to deliver on our unexpected simplicity promise of building simple, powerful, and affordable products.  SCM, built on the Orion Platform, is designed to enable you to capture, visualize, and understand changes in your environment in near real-time.

With this first version, we are focused on Windows systems and enabling customers to version and diff the following elements.

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Registry
  • Files
  • Microsoft IIS

 

While we have already delivered v1, the team is hard at work to continue to advance and expand this product as outlined in our “What We Are Working On” post.  SCM is licensed by nodes, a simple-to-understand model, and pricing is affordable to many.  Let’s walk through a couple of use cases of how you could use the product.

 

Web Application Outage:

At the same time that you receive an alert from Server & Application Monitor indicating a critical web application is down, you also begin to receive calls from users indicating they cannot access it.

 

Where do you start investigation to determine where the problem lies? 

  • Is this a networking problem?
  • Is the hardware having a problem?
  • Is this a storage or database problem?
  • Is this application running on your virtual platform and is that having an issue?

 

While investigating each of these areas, the clock is ticking and you are getting more and more calls. 

Using the SolarWinds® PerfStack dashboard for a real-time view into multiple different metrics and parameters, as highlighted in the below screenshot, I can see that right before the web application went down, a configuration change was detected.

 

 

In the data explorer, I click on the web.config link and I am immediately taken to a comparison or “diff” page showing me what changed here.  As you can see, someone went in and made some edits to this config file and now the XML structure is broken, which took down your web application.  Now you can quickly remote desktop into that machine and change this back, save the file, and get the web application back up and operational.  So, what may have taken 30-60 minutes to investigate the infrastructure and root cause was isolated and addressed typically in minutes with SCM.

 

 

Let’s briefly touch on a couple of other use cases for Server Configuration Monitor.

  • Unauthorized Software
  • Malware Security Incident
  • Hardware Change

 

THE ARCHITECTURE

So how does it work? It all depends on what you want to monitor. If you are only interested in hardware and software versioning, we can do this without an agent. However, if you want to monitor files for changes, registry, or Microsoft IIS, then you will need to deploy the Orion Agent onto this machine. If you already have the Orion Agent deployed on your machine (for example, for monitoring in SAM) SCM is an add-in package in the Orion Agent that just needs to be enabled. The key point I am making here is this is not a separate agent.

 

 

WHAT ELSE?

Don't see what you are looking for here?

 

Visit the SolarWinds Server Configuration Monitor forum.

Check out the What We're Working On for SolarWinds Server Configuration Monitor post to see what our dedicated team is already looking at.

If you don't see everything you've been wishing for there, add it to the SolarWinds SCM Feature Requests.

 

We are excited to get this out there and begin to gather input and feedback. Don’t forget you can quickly and easily install a free, fully featured 30-day trial to kick the tires yourself.

 

The SolarWinds trademarks, service marks, and logos are the exclusive property of SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.