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30 Posts authored by: mavturner Employee

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the End of Life of SolarWinds Alert Central. Alert Central was an attempt to build on something that you, our users and customers, knew us well for, free tools. The idea was to expand on the free tools concept and build something much bigger, an entirely free product.

 

When we were building Alert Central, cloud based applications were still few and far between, more marketing than reality. So we built Alert Central as a virtual appliance. This was great if you were familiar with that technology or worked closely with your virtual administrator. The experience was very similar to what you would get with SaaS; no need to worry about dependencies or install failures, just start it up and go. Obviously there has been a lot of change in this market over the last 3-5 years. Both in the underlying cloud services available to build applications, but also general acceptance from the market on cloud based applications.

 

If we were building this product today, we wouldn’t be asking your thoughts on virtual appliances as a deployment mechanism, we would be asking you about cloud or on-prem. We believe this use case is best fulfilled by a cloud based solution. This is a large factor in our decision to both stop development of Alert Central and also where the silver lining is. When we surveyed the market and worked with our IT Operations team, we quickly realized that there was company that stood above the rest, OpsGenie.

So I’m pleased to announce, SolarWinds and OpsGenie are partnering!

 

OpsGenie is a cloud based alert and incident management solutions for dev and operations teams. We believe OpsGenie has done a great job at solving these problems. In fact, they’ve done such a great job that our internal IT Ops team has already moved to them. Our free product was good and had a lot of fans, but we want to make sure our customers have the right long term solution, and that’s OpsGenie.

 

If you are using Alert Central today, what does this all mean for you? Well, for starters, nobody is going to come in and take away Alert Central from you. Since it’s a free product, there is no licensing or code that will turn off or stop working. However, OpsGenie has gone to great lengths to make sure that existing Alert Central customers will be taken care of, so we recommend switching sooner rather than later. They are aware that many of our customers are using a free product today so don’t necessarily have budget to buy a replacement solution. To that end, they have agreed to offer a special free tier for existing SolarWinds Alert Central users.

 

SolarWinds Lite Plan (Free)

  • Up to five (5) users
  • Email and SolarWinds NPM integrations
  • Email, mobile push notifications
  • 10 SMS notifications per user per month
  • Heartbeat monitoring

 

There will certainly be some customers that are larger shops or see the value in the advanced functionality that comes with the full OpsGenie platform. For those users, OpsGenie has created special pricing as well.

 

SolarWinds Pro Plan ($120/user/year or $12/user/month)

  • Email, SolarWinds NPM and chat integrations
  • On-call schedules, teams and escalations
  • Email, mobile push notifications
  • 100 SMS and phone notifications per user per month (U.S. only)
  • 25 SMS and phone notifications per user per month (International)

 

I’m guessing you can see why we were so happy to partner with OpsGenie. Not only do they have a great product, a product that our internal team loves, but they also understand what it means to take care of our customers.

 

We will be hosting a webinar on January 18, 2017 at 2:00pm EST where our Director of IT Operations will show you how our internal team migrated from Alert Central to OpsGenie. We will show you how things were done in Alert Central, and how you will do them with OpsGenie. We will also be providing documentation that should help with this transition at  https://www.opsgenie.com/solarwinds-alert-central

 

Saying goodbye is always hard so we hope saying hello at the same time will make it easier. Ultimately, we believe you will be much happier and more productive with this solution so let us know how we can help with this transition.

Register for webinar here: http://opsgenie.com/webinars/solarwinds-alert-central-transition-to-opsgenie

We have reached the Release Candidate (RC) status for Log & Event Manager (LEM) 6.3. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else.

 

The RC contains the following enhancements:

  • Single sign-on (SSO)/smart card integration.
  • Update to Java 8
  • SNMP v3 Monitoring of LEM virtual appliance
  • New configurable alerts for disk utilization
  • Fixes for security vulnerabilities and multiple supportability enhancements

 

Single Sign-On / Smart Card Integration

 

LEM now supports SSO to log in to the LEM console. This means you can leverage your existing single sign-on infrastructure to authenticate and authorize activity in the LEM web console. We are developing a comprehensive document to configure SSO, but below are a few quick tips for configuring Kerberos based SSO for MS LDAP.

  1. Ensure an A record exist in DNS with the FQDN for your LEM server.
  2. You need to setup a Service Principal Name (SPN), a service account for Kerberos authentication. If this account expires, you will need to re-create a new one so make sure to keep an eye on that. Generate a keytab file based on that SPN.
  3. Create AD groups for each of the LEM groups. See the below table.

    

Header 1Header 2
ROLE_LEM_ADMINISTRATORSadmin_role
ROLE_LEM_ALERTS_ONLYalerts_only
ROLE_LEM_AUDITORaudit_role
ROLE_LEM_GUESTSguest
ROLE_LEM_CONTACTSnotify_only
ROLE_LEM_REPORTSreports_only

 

4. Ensure browser security settings trust the LEM appliance's address. In IE, the simple way to configure is to add it to the Trusted Sites. If you configure IE security settings they will flow through to other browsers such as Netscape (just kidding), Firefox and Chrome.

5. SSH to the CMC and import the keytab generated in step 2. Type 'import' from the main CMC screen.

6. Before you can configure SSO, you must have at least one LDAP account configured.

 

Update to Java 8

Since the LEM appliance is a secured hardened virtual appliance, it's difficult to practically exploit many of the vulnerabilities in the packages we use. Every time we ship a new version, we update those packages to include the most current and secure versions. When new exploits are announced, we evaluate the severity of the exploit and whether that exploit can be used against the LEM appliance. Sometimes the exploit requires root access which isn't really relevant because if you already have root access, you can do whatever you want, so we make sure to focus on the critical issues like remote exploits.

 

SNMP v3 Monitoring of LEM virtual appliance

You can now monitor the LEM appliance just like any other node in your network. You need to configure the SNMP service in the CMC. From the main CMC prompt, type 'service' then 'snmp'. The CMC will prompt you through the next steps. Make sure you record this information as you will need it when you configure your monitoring server, hopefully SolarWinds NPM! This will provide you base metrics such as CPU, Memory, and Disk utilization.

 

New configurable alerts for disk utilization

While previous versions of LEM contained a system audit event when a disk partition reached 90% utilization, many customers needed more granular control for regulatory reasons. You can now configure percent utilization or absolute availability in the CMC. From the appliance menu type 'diskusage' to see current utilization then 'diskusageconfig' to define the limits you need. When a threshold is met or exceeded, you will see it in the Monitor UI on the web console. You can also configure alerts and other actions based on these events.

 

If you are an existing customer on active maintenance the RC should be available in your portal now! After you upgrade, post below and let us know how it went and what you think of the updates!

Individual User Profiles Release

 


On August 14th, SolarWinds will be offering a subset of our customers the opportunity to create an individual user profile for their customer portal experience. We will continue to roll this feature out across our entire customer base within the next month. You will be automatically prompted to create the individual user profile when your SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID) is included in this rolling release.


During this month-long rollout period, customers will be given the choice to continue using the legacy SWID & Password experience or create their individual user profile. By the end of the month, we will require all customers to enter the customer portal via their individual user account.

 


Frequently Asked Questions About Individual User Profiles:


 

Will I still log in with my SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID)?

Until you create your individual user profile, you will continue to login with your SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID) and password. After we complete the release of individual user accounts and you have created your individual profile, you will no longer be able to log in to the Customer Portal using your SWID.

 

Do I still need my SWID?

Yes, your SWID (SolarWinds Customer ID) is still used to identify your account with SolarWinds. When logged into the portal, you will be able to see your company name and SWID at the top of the page.

 

What is the new individual user profile, and why do I have to create one?

For purposes of logging in, changing/resetting passwords, managing account information, and more, you will now use a login based on your email address instead of a shared SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID). This will make is much simpler for you to manage your account, and more secure for you as well, because you will no longer have to share credentials among multiple team members.

 

Help: I can't create an individual account?

In order to create an individual account, you will need to already have a SolarWinds ID (SWID) and be a SolarWinds customer. You will use your SWID and password to create your user profile. If you do not have a SWID, but are a customer, contact customer service to get this. If you do not know your password, use the SWID password retrieval links on the Customer Portal log in page to retrieve these. You need to be listed as your account's primary contact in order to recover these credentials.

 

What are the different types of individual account? How do I know which one I have?

Currently, there are two types of accounts. Standard Access and Account Administrator. Standard access allows you full access to the customer portal as you know it today. Account Administrators have access to additional account administration functionality within the portal and can modify contact types and roles for other users on the SWID.

 

Are there plans to add more roles?

Yes, we are planning to add additional roles and more granular access levels in the future.


I am the main contact on my account. Can I add other users to the account?

Yes, you can add contacts and users to the account. You will need to do this from the Company Account Settings screen. The only way to access this page is to be listed as an Account Administrator.

 

How do I become an account administrator for my company?

When you create your individual user profile, if you are already listed as the business or billing contact on your account, you will have admin access the next time you log in to the portal. Otherwise, in order to request this role, please submit a support ticket for customer service - http://www.solarwinds.com/support/ticket/serviceticket.aspx.

 

I have access to several different SWIDs. Do I need different user profiles for each SWID's Customer Portal I need to log in to?

You will only have one user profile for your email address. This profile can be linked to access multiple SWIDs.

 

How do I link different SWIDs?

You can link your user profile to additional SWIDs by going to your User Profile Settings page after logging in to the Customer Portal. In order to link to an additional SWID, you will need to the SWID and Password for the account that you wish to link to. Your user profile will be linked to the additional SWIDs. The account must be associated with the same email address you used to setup your user profile. You will use one user profile to log in to multiple accounts using this method.


Can you help me create an individual user profile?

Please refer to the tutorial below on how to create your user profile for the first time. We tried to make the process as simple as possible, but if you do experience issues while creating your account, this tutorial should help.

 

Can I change my password for my user profile?

Yes, you can change your individual user profile password from within the customer portal on your profile page.

 

What if I forget my password?

You can get a temporary password and reset it to a new password using the Forgot Password link on the SolarWinds Customer Portal login page.

 

What if someone else in my organization forgets their password?

The user who has forgotten their password will need to reset the password themselves.

 

Will Customer Service give me my password if I forget it?

No, for your security, SolarWinds Customer Service will not have access to your password. You will need to retrieve and change your user profile password yourself. 


How do I make updates to my company’s information that is on file with SolarWinds?

On the Company Account update page (accessible by the account admin), users can download and submit the Account Information Update form and submit this to customer service via email to be updated.

 

What if I need the password for my shared account in order to create a user profile?

The person who is listed as the primary account contact with SolarWinds can retrieve this information using the Forgot Password dialog and clicking I need to retrieve account information for a SWID. This will allow the primary contact to retrieve the shared credentials that are needed in order to create an individual account.

 

 

 

How to create and features of Individual User Profiles - Version 2


 

When you come to the Customer Portal, you will use your SWID and password as you have in the past if you have not created your user profile. If you have created a user profile already, log in with your email address and the password you selected.

 

cp log in page.png

 

After logging in with the shared credentials, you will be taken to the following page to create an individual user profile. Click get started, and head to the form. If you have already done this, click I'm already set up and log in. If you choose to setup your individual user profile later, click I'll setup later

 

 

Fill out all fields on the form to create your account.

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 2.21.13 PM.png

 

After filling out this form, click Create Account and you will immediately be logged into the customer portal. After your initial log in, you will receive an email to the account provided with a link to confirm your account. You are required to click on the link before your next log in to the customer portal. If you do not confirm your account, you will not be able to log in.

 

confirm account modal.png

 

If you return to the portal and re-enter your shared SWID credentials, you will be prompted again to create a user profile. If you have already created an user profile, simply click on the Log In button. We recommend that if you have access to more than one SWID, that you link your user profile to the other SWIDs, so that you only have to remember a single set of credentials. To do this, log in to your account and navigate to the user profile settings page:

 

home page unconfirmed account.png

On this page, you will have the option to link to another account. You will need the SWID and password of that account in order to link it to your user profile.

 

link profile screen.png

If you are the administrator for your account, you can also access the company profile settings screen where you can view users who have access to the Customer Portal for your company, add users, assign roles and contact types and review other information related to your account.

 

company profile settings page.png

 

manage user interface.png

 

If you have any questions regarding your individual user profile, please reach out to customer service

UPDATE:

This content is outdated and has been updated here.

 

In the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a big change to the SolarWinds Customer Portal, adding individual user profiles to be used for login and account management moving forward. For purposes of logging in, changing/resetting passwords, managing account information, and more, you will now use a login based on your email address instead of a shared SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID).

 

Changes will be immediately obvious the next time that you log in to the Customer Portal.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Individual User Profiles:

 

Will I still log in with my SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID)?

No, you will no longer be able to log in using your SWID. You will need to create a user profile in order to log in to the Customer Portal

 

Do I still need my SWID?

Yes, your SWID (SolarWinds Customer ID) is still used to identify your account with SolarWinds. When logged into the portal, you will be able to see your company name and SWID at the top of the page.

 

What is the new individual user profile, and why do I have to create one?

For purposes of logging in, changing/resetting passwords, managing account information, and more, you will now use a login based on your email address instead of a shared SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID). This will make is much simpler for you to manage your account, and more secure for you as well, because you will no longer have to share credentials among multiple team members.

 

Help: I can't create an individual account?

In order to create an individual account, you will need to already have a SolarWinds ID (SWID) and be a SolarWinds customer. You will use your SWID and password to create your user profile. If you do not have a SWID, but are a customer, contact customer service to get this. If you do not know you password, use the SWID password retrieval links on the Customer Portal log in page to retrieve these. You need to be listed as your account's primary contact in order to recover these credentials.

 

What are the different types of individual account? How do I know which one I have?

Currently, there are two types of accounts. Standard Access and Account Administrator. Standard access allows you full access to the customer portal as you know it today. Account Administrators have access to additional account administration functionality within the portal and can modify contact types and roles for other users on the SWID.

 

Are there plans to add more roles?

Yes, we are planning to add additional roles and more granular access levels in the future.

 

I am the main contact on my account. Can I add other users to the account?

Yes, you can add contacts and users to the account. You will need to do this from the Company Account Settings screen. The only way to access this page is to be listed as an Account Administrator.

 

How do I become an account administrator for my company?

If there is an existing account administrator for your company’s Customer Portal, they can change the roles of other users and make them account admins. If no one is an account administrator, a support rep can assist you in becoming an account administrator. In order to request this role, please submit a support ticket for customer service - http://www.solarwinds.com/support/ticket/serviceticket.aspx.

 

I have access to several different SWIDs. Do I need different user profiles for each SWID's Customer Portal I need to log in to?

You will only have one user profile for your email address. This profile can be linked to access multiple SWIDs.

 

How do I link different SWIDs?

You can link your user profile to additional SWIDs by going to your User Profile Settings page after logging in to the Customer Portal. In order to link to an additional SWID, you will need to the SWID and Password for the account that you wish to link to.

 

Can you help me create an individual user profile?

Please refer to the tutorial below on how to create your user profile for the first time. We tried to make the process as simple as possible, but if you do experience issues while creating your account, this tutorial should help.

 

Can I change my password for my user profile?

Yes, you can change your individual user profile password from within the customer portal on your profile page.

 

What if I forget my password?

You can get a temporary password and reset it to a new password using the Forgot Password link on the SolarWinds Customer Portal login page.

 

What if someone else in my organization forgets their password?

The user who has forgotten their password will need to reset the password themselves.

 

Will Customer Service give me my password if I forget it?

No, for your security, SolarWinds Customer Service will not have access to your password. You will need to retrieve and change your user profile password yourself.  

 

How do I make updates to my company’s information that is on file with SolarWinds?

On the Company Account update page (accessible by the account admin), users can download and submit the Account Information Update form and submit this to customer service via email to be updated.

 

What if I need the password for my shared account in order to create a user profile?

                The person who is listed as the primary account contact with SolarWinds can retrieve this information using the Forgot Password dialog and clicking I need to retrieve account information for a SWID. This will allow the primary contact to retrieve the shared credentials that are needed in order to create an individual account.

 

When you come to the Customer Portal, you will use your SWID and password as you have in the past if you have not created your user profile. If you have created a user profile already, log in with your email address and the password you selected.

 

cp log in page.png

 

After logging in with the shared credentials, you will be taken to the following page to create an individual user profile. Click get started, and head to the form. If you have already done this, click I'm already set up and log in.

 

modal.png

 

Fill out all fields on the form to create your account.

 

form page.png

 

After filling out this form, click Create Account and you will immediately be logged into the customer portal. After your initial log in, you will receive an email to the account provided with a link to confirm your account. You are required to click on the link before your next log in to the customer portal. If you do not confirm your account, you will not be able to log in.

 

confirm account modal.png

 

If you return to the portal and re-enter your shared SWID credentials, you will be prompted again to create a user profile. If you have already created an user profile, simply click on the Log In button. We recommend that if you have access to more than one SWID, that you link your user profile to the other SWIDs, so that you only have to remember a single set of credentials. To do this, log in to your account and navigate to the user profile settings page:

 

home page unconfirmed account.png

On this page, you will have the option to link to another account. You will need the SWID and password of that account in order to link it to your user profile.

 

link profile screen.png

If you are the administrator for your account, you can also access the company profile settings screen where you can view users who have access to the Customer Portal for your company, add users, assign roles and contact types and review other information related to your account.

 

company profile settings page.png

 

manage user interface.png

So it is still very early in the development cycle but we thought you all would be excited about the new work we have done and want to get started testing the latest version of NPM. We have just completed the first development iteration so we still have a lot more planned to work on in the release, but we want to get your feedback on several new big features:

  • Custom Property Enhancements
  • De-duplication of nodes
  • Subviews
  • F5 BIG-IP Support
  • Universal Device Poller (UnDP) Improvements
    • Multiple UnDP in a single chart
    • UnDP Parse Transform function
    • UnDP Polling and Retention settings

 

If you are interested in participating in the beta and are a current NPM customer on active maintenance, simply fill out this survey and we will include you.

SolarWinds NPM 10.4 Beta Survey

 

Custom Property Enhancements

The big change you will notice here is that custom properties have been moved to the web. You can now create, update, and delete custom properties directly from the web interface. We will be removing the Win32 app now that all functionality has been ported to the web. Because of this we want to get more of your feedback. You can access Custom Properties by going to Settings, Manage Custom Properties.

CPE.PNG

CPE NEW.png

 

While we were porting this feature, we also expanded it and addressed a long standing request - predefined values for custom properties! Now you can avoid fat fingering those values and simply select from a drop down list.

 

CPE NEW 2.png

CPE 4.png

 

De-duplication of nodes

Now when you run discovery we look at the SysName, MAC Addresses, and DNS Names to see if we are already monitoring this node. This helps prevent the situation where you do a discovery and a node gets added multiple times because it has interfaces in multiple networks. This feature has been added to discovery and add node (although slightly different process is used for each).

 

Subviews

Many of the people reading this blog will be familiar with this feature because we have reached out to a lot of you to get feedback on this new feature. It is a fairly large change to how the the views are presented and should help organize how the views are presented and decrease page load times (since less resources need to be loaded). Essentially we introduced a left navigation menu (similair to the Flow Navigator in NetFlow) that allows you to quickly go to different views for a node. Subviews allow you to create several views for different purposes and quickly switch between as needed.

 

You can enable subviews by clicking Customize Page then the "Enable left navigation" button.

Subview 1.PNG

 

Subview 2.PNG

 

Once the left navigation is enabled you can create tabs and add the desired resources to those tabs.

 

Subview 3.png

 

F5 BIG-IP Support

In addition to the standard CPU and Memory support we are also polling connections and other critical information for these devices.

 

F5 Status.PNG

F5 Connections.PNG

 

 

 

 

Universal Device Poller (UnDP) Improvements

 

Multiple UnDP in a single chart

You can now have up to 10 different UnDPs that are assigned to the same node to be graphed on a chart. Below you can see a chart that is graphing in and out octets. The second screenshot shows how this can be configured.

UNDP Multiple.PNG

 

UnDP Multiple 2.PNG

 

UnDP Parse Transform function

This is a more technical feature to use. Sometimes you have custom pollers that return a text string and you need to parse the text string to remove the number and use it in a transform. To use this, go to the UnDP application on the server, click Transform Results and create the necessary transform.

For the formula, use the following syntax parse((REGEX), {POLLER}). The exact regular expression you need will depend on the string you are trying to parse.

 

For example if you have a poller called TempPoller that returns the string "Current temperature is 55", you would put parse((?<result>\d+),{TempPoller}) in to the Formula line. In the below screenshot, the poller name is ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusValue.

UnDP Transform Parse.PNG

 

UnDP Polling and Retention settings

Just what the name says. You can now specify how often the custom poller runs and how long to store UnDP data. The polling interval is for each poller type. For example if you have a temperature poller and apply it to 5 devices, all devices will be polled with the same interval (although probably not at the same time). The retention setting is a global setting for all custom pollers. If you have a temperate poller polling every 5 minutes and a fan status poller polling every 1 minute the data they return will be stored for the same amount of time. By default detailed statistics are stored for 7 days, hourly summaries for 30 days, and daily summaries for 365 days. Of course the whole point of this new feature is you can change them! Some people will want to decrease these settings to lower the impact of custom pollers on their database, while other customers may have the resources and need to store the data for longer.

 

UnDP Retention Settings.PNG

Ok so the post title might be a little dramatic. The IP SLA Manager that you know and love is still alive and well, it's just the newer, better version. IP SLA Manager was primarily focused on network quality by leveraging Cisco's IP SLA operations. It also had a very small amount of voice information (number of registered phones and gateways). Many customers were able to manage their IP Telephony environments by using the VoIP operations to get more information about Jitter, Latency, Packet Loss, and MOS. However, we got many requests to expand this support to provide more insight in to the actual calls in the network. We have done that by leveraging Call Detail Records (CDR) and Call Management Records (CMR). As part of these new significant changes we are also taking the time to change the name to better indicate what the product actually does and how we plan to continue to develop and expand its functionality.

 

So let's get down to what this means exactly for you.

 

If you are an existing IP SLA Manager customer all you need to do is download the new version when it is available and update the license. This has been true for most major releases of Orion based products, major versions requires you to update your license (just like you do every year when your maintenance is renewed). Go to your customer portal, copy your new license key, go to License Manager on the server and put in this new license. The license levels for VoIP & Network Quality Manager are exactly the same as they were for IP SLA Manager. If you had an SLA5, you still can source operations from 5 devices. If you have an SLAX, then you can still run unlimited IP SLA operations. The change is we have expanded the license to cover the new voice functionality. The table below indicates how many phones each old license level entitles you to. Some customers may need to upgrade their license if they need to track more phones.

 

Current TierNew TierIP SLA Source DevicesIP PhonesNodes
SLA5VNQM (IP SLA 5, IP Phone 300)Up to 5Up to 300Up to 40
SLA25VNQM (IP SLA 25, IP Phone 1500)Up to 25Up to 1500Up to 200
SLA50VNQM (IP SLA 50, IP Phone 3000)Up to 50Up to 3000Up to 400
SLAXVNQM (IP SLA X, IP Phone X)UnlimitedUnlimited1000

 


Why are nodes tracked? In addition to the new voice features we have also made VoIP & Network Quality Manager standalone, this means you can run it without NPM. For most customers this won't make any difference, but some new customers will benefit from this. The nodes are used for adding Routers, CallManagers, etc. Existing customers will benefit from this by having an increased Node count (when multiple products are installed together, their node counts are cumulative).

 

There are a few more details about the phones. In the interest in providing more information rather than less, the below Question and Answers should help you to understand how this works.

 

Q: How exactly are “phones” accounted for in licensing?

A: VoIP & Network Quality Manager polls the CallManager servers. Licensing works based on first come first served per poll (reflecting status where registered are taking precedence of being licensed). For example: if there are 500 phones and you have a license for only 300, the first 300 phones polled will be licensed, the rest will shown as "Unlicensed". The next poll of the Call Manager could return a different order of phones and therefore a phone that was previously showing data could change to "Unlicensed".

 

Q: Do we randomly picks phones that are over the license count and just ignore their traffic?

A: No we collect data for all calls together with unlicensed phones, but display unlicensed text for those exceeding the license level

 

Q: Are the phones registered phones in Call Manager?

A: Registered phones take precedence in evaluating the phones as licensed, however the sequence in polling is the main driver. If we poll the phones from Call Manager then the first ones registered are set as licensed, then unregistered if still room, those that exceed license amount are marked as unlicensed.

 

Q. What happens to my existing IP SLA configuation when I upgrade?

A. Nothing, all of your existing configurations will continue to work as expected.

 

Do you still have questions? Post a comment and we will continue to update this thread and reach out to people who need additional assistance.

I'm happy to announce that NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) 3.10 has recently reached Beta status. We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of NTA. This is your chance to install the latest version and provide feedback on the new features and fixes. Providing feedback during the beta is the best way to ensure that your feedback will be incorporated in to the release. To participate, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. Remember, Betas cannot be installed in production and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

 

If you are curious what made it in to the beta, you can see the "What we are working on" post and the Ideas and Feature Requests for NTA marked as "Working on". While you are there, go ahead and open any requests you are interested in.

 

Below is a quick recap of the new features.

 

1. Localized support in Japanese.

2. Support for sFlow v2 and v4.

3. General support for monitoring flows on "un-managenable" interfaces. NTA netflow anlayzer software currently requires an interface to be managed by NPM before it can receive flows from it. With this change, we can create an un-managable interface to be monitored by NPM network monitoring software to correlate the flows with. This was primarily done to support the vSwitch which we cannot poll via SNMP to correlate the ifIndex on the device with the ifIndex in the flows. However, this also applies to other devices that send flows but there is not a related interface to match the flows with.

4. New Charts

If you have been watching NPM, then you will be aware that we have been working on updating the charting package for the entire Orion Platform family. NPM network monitor is currently providing these charts as a customer technology preview (CTP). NTA will be the first Orion product to ship these new charts by default! The screenshots below don't do justice to these new charts. They load much faster than the current charts and are interactive, the best way to see them in action is to try out the beta!

 

NetFlow Top 5 Applications Chart.png

NetFlow Top 5 Applications Stacked Chart.png

 

NetFlow Top 5 Applications Bar Chart.png

 

The new charts support a nice hover that allows you to see specific values. One of the biggest improvements in NTA bandwidth monitor is the ability to click and drag to zoom on interesting areas in a chart to get more detail. Also, many users have requested better context on Top 5 or Top 10 graphs. To provide this, we have added the Remaining Traffic row at the bottom of the Top XX charts to so you can use NTA effectively for network traffic monitoring, and see how many bytes or packets the other traffic represents in aggregate.

 

If you haven't done so already, go ahead and fill out the survey so you can start experimenting with the new beta!

SolarWinds NTA 3.10 Beta Survey

Since Microsoft's formal launch of SQL 2012 the requests have been coming in about our support for it. You can see several of these requests on thwack here and in our new Feature Requests area here.

 

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), there have been several significant improvements to SQL 2012 which cause problems for the Orion Platform. For this reason, NPM 10.3 does not support SQL 2012 (as discussed in this KB). However, we have already been hard at work on making changes to support the newest version of SQL. NPM 10.3.1 is currently in Release Candidate and has support for MS SQL 2012. We are still working on adding support for SQL 2012 in the other Orion based products. This post will be updated as we release updated versions of the product that support 2012.

 

Supported

NPM -  Support added in 10.3.1

SAM - Support added in 5.2

NTA - Support added in  3.10.0

NCM - Support added in 7.1

UDT - Support added in 2.5.1

IPAM - Support added in 3.1

WPM - Support added in 2.0

VNQM - Support added in 4.0.1

 

Remember to follow this post or check back often as we update the status of each product.

Addendum including Windows Server 2012 and non-Orion products here

SolarWinds NPM network monitor collects a ton of data. Literally, a metric ton. We focus on presenting you the data you need to troubleshoot and understand the long term trends (see the previous post - The Magic 8 Ball in Orion to see how to use the built in trend capabilities). But if you want to leverage stronger analytics on top of this data you might want to leverage our data with other common tools (for example: Microsoft Excel). This blog post will show you how to easily access the NPM data in excel and do fun things like trend analysis and basic analytics (well, fun for some of us....).

Step 1 - Define what you are looking for

If you are like me, you like poking around data sets to find what cool information you could build from it. However, if you are trying to solve a specific problem - for example, when will I run out of bandwidth, you will need to have very specific data. If you want to know when you are going to run out of bandwidth, you will need to collect data about how you are currently using the bandwidth over time (which also means you need to have collected the data for some time).

Step 2 - Get the data

NPM network management software allows you to automatically build charts with trend lines. However, if you want to do more details analysis, you can leverage Excel to directly connect to the NPM database. In Excel 2010, open a new file, click the Data tab, then select From Other Sources and From SQL Server. Enter the server name of the database server used for NPM and set credentials that have rights to read data from the database.

 

After you have connected to the database server, you will need to select the table you want to pull data from. In this example, we are going to look at interface traffic so the InterfaceTraffic_Hourly table (pay attention to the difference between tables and views, you'll need to scroll down about halfway for this table).

 

On the next screen about saving the data connection, you can just click Finish (unless you want to save the connection information). Finally, specify where you want to import it to (existing sheet or new sheet). You should now be seeing your NPM data in Excel!

 

Step 3 - Organize the data

Now that you have all of this data, what should you do? If you want to target specific interfaces, you'll need to correlate the interface ID (number) with the interface as you know it. The quickest way to do this is to open NPM and go to the node or interface for an interface you are interested in and look at the URL. You will see something similar to I:9 for an interface or N:2 for a node.

Step 4 - Add any necessary formulas

Use the trend function to create trend data for each of your interfaces so you can get an easy to use "Top 10 Fastest Growing Interfaces by Utilization".

Step 5 - Make it easy and re-usable

  We're working on making a spreadsheet that is easy for you to re-use. Check back here and we'll post a template spreadsheet that can be applied to your data! If you are interested in this specifically, post below and we will make sure to notify you when it's available.

We have officially reached Release Candidate (RC) status for NTA 3.9. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality for network bandwidth monitoring before it is available to everyone else.

 

NTA netflow anlayzer 3.9 includes some long standing customer requests as well as several bug fixes. Here is a list of the features included in 3.9.

 

  1. CBQoS Reports
    • Top 100 CBQoS Drops for the last 24 hours
    • Top 100 CBQoS Drops for the last update
    • Top 100 CBQoS Post-Policy Traffic for the last 24 hours
    • Top 100 CBQoS Post-Policy Traffic for the last update
    • Top 100 CBQoS Pre-Policy Traffic for the last 24 hours
    • Top 100 CBQoS Pre-Policy Traffic for the last update
    • Top 100 CBQoS Statistics for the last 24 hours
  2. CBQoS Alerts
    • CBQoS Drops
    • CBQoS Post-Policy Traffic
    • CBQoS Pre-Policy Traffic
  3. CBQoS resources can now be added to NPM Interface detail pages
  4. You can now specify the default flow direction for details pages on the NTA website
  5. Updated applications table
  6. Updated BGP Autonomous System (AS) table
  7. Matching of flows to different IP Addresses than the one being managed by NPM

 

RC builds are made available to existing customers prior to the formal release. These are used to get customer feedback in production environments and are fully supported. If you are interested in participating and you have active maintenance, simply fill out this survey:

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T9WH82L

 

Below are some screenshots to see the new features of NTA for monitoring your network traffic. But if you really want to see more, request and install the RC today!

 

 

 

CBQoS Reports – Top 100 CBQoS Drops for the Last 24 hours

 

These reports can be modified in the Report Writer just like any other standard Orion Platform report.

 

image

 

 

 

CBQoS Alerts – CBQoS Drops

 

The alerts for NTA network traffic monitor are all customizable in the Advanced Alert manager.

 

image

 

 

 

Adding CBQoS resources to NPM Interface Details views

 

Customize the page, Click  you will find the new resources under the “NetFlow CBQoS – Resource for NetFlow CBQoS Views”

 

image

 

 

 

SNAGHTML10c30ac1

 

 

 

Changing the default flow direction

 

image

Alright, so NPM 10.2 has just gone out the door and our developers already have some fun stuff to play with! We have just created the first Beta for our next release of NPM. One of the biggest changes you will notice is the new shiny charts! I know you'll want to start using these in your production environment today, but remember that betas are specficially for testing in lab environments and not for using in production (they aren't supported). If you are currently using our network monitoring software NPM, and interested in taking the beta for a spin, fill out this survey and I'll send you the download information.

Here is a brief list of the other items available in the first beta:

  • Alert enhancements for table based UnDPs
  • Native support for Alaxala and Apresia
  • Better support for international customers

To see the other items we are still working on in the next release of NPM network monitor, see What we are working on for NPM.

Without further ado, new charts!

 

 

Some of the new charts on NPM network management software will be enabled by default during the Beta. When the next version of NPM launches, we will not turn them on by default because we are still in the process of updating all of the charts (you might notice that only a few charts are represented above). We will provide instructions to easily enable the new charts that are ready if you just can't wait. Again, if you want to see these charts in your network today, just fill out this survey!

You're Invited to a Free Webcast

We're Taking You Back to the Basics of Compliance Management

While almost every organization falls under some industry compliance standard, even if yours doesn't, you need to be concerned.  In a recent survey, 90% of the respondents detected computer security breaches within the previous 12 months.  Those that were willing or able to quantify their losses (44%) reported that figure exceeded $455 million dollars!  Join Head Geek, Josh Stephens and Sales Engineer Rob Johnson as they discuss and demonstrate how SolarWinds' Log & Event Manager (LEM) can help with compliance management.    

 

  •  The Basics of Network Security
  •  Compliance Standards and Common Sense
  •  Maintaining, Securing and Analyzing Log Data
  •  Reporting - Scheduled and Ad Hoc
  •  Active Response

 

This session will explore some best practices for securing your network and explain and demonstrate how SolarWinds LEM can assist in discovery, reporting compliance and taking action against potential threats and outright malicious activities.

 

TITLE: Back to the Basics of Compliance Management

LENGTH: 60 minutes

PRESENTERS: Josh Stephens, Head Geek & Rob Johnson, Sales Engineer

 

DATES/TIMES

North America/LatAm

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

11:00 a.m. CST  

REGISTER NOW

 

APAC

Tuesday, 31 January 2012            

11:00 a.m. Singapore     

REGISTER NOW

 

EMEA

Thursday, 26 January 2012                          

2:00 p.m. London            

REGISTER NOW

 

 

If you have any questions regarding this invitation, or suggestions for things you’d like to see covered, please e-mail headgeek@solarwinds.com.

 

FAQ

How much is the webcast?
It’s free.

Will this webcast be recorded?
Yes, it will be recorded. To all those who register, we’ll email out a link to the slide deck and to the recorded version.

What products will this cover?
This will cover SolarWinds Log & Event Manager.

Can I forward this to my co-workers?
Yes, forward it on to as many as you’d like.

If I can’t make this webcast, will there be others in the future?
Yes, check out our Community Events Page to get updates on upcoming webcasts and trainings. You can also subscribe to the page's RSS feed.

Description:

 

If you are new to SolarWinds or just wondering if you are getting all you can out of the Orion Reporting Engine, join Andy McBride and Ashley Harmon for this level 2 training where we will focus on:

  • How to make the most of out-of-the-box reports.
  • Building a new report.
  • Report distribution options.
  •  An overview of custom SQL reports.

 

This level 2 session explores the best practice for configuring and using reports.  To properly prepare attendees should review the Understanding Orion Report Writer technical reference. http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/Orion/docs/UnderstandingOrionReportWriter.pdf

 

Date/Time: Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 11:00 AM CDT

 

Webinar Link:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/223398632

Presented: December 12, 2011

 Hands down one of the most valuable features of SolarWinds Products is the Advanced Alert Manager. All of the SolarWinds Orion products ship with built-in alerts, ready to use as soon an you install. From there the Advanced Alert Manager offers a broad range of options to configure alerts for your environment. Join Andy McBride and Jason Ferree for this level 2 training where we will focus on:

• Alert trigger logic and condition nesting
• Alert trigger types
• Custom Properties and alerts
• Explicit and embedded suppression
• Alert actions and variables
• Using service groups and dependencies 
• Testing and troubleshooting


This level 2 session will explore the best practice for configuring alerts and will also explain the interworking of the Advanced Alerts Feature. To properly prepare attendees should review the Using Orion Advanced Alerts technical reference. http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/Orion/docs/UnderstandingOrionAdvancedAlerts.pdf

 

View Here:  http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/webcasts/solarwinds-level-2-training-advanced-alert-manager.html

Our development team has been very active since the initial release of UDT earlier this year. There are a ton of new items in this release, but this post will cover the top features and fixes. If you are interested in participating in the beta and you have active maintenance, simply fill out this survey and I’ll send the beta to you. Remember, betas are not supported in production so you will need to install this on a separate server than your current production UDT server.

 

1. Adding the “User” to User Device Tracker

 

We have added support for collecting user information from Active Directory. This allows you to quickly see who is logged in to a specific machine and what port the machine and user are connected to. Simply add your active directory domain controllers and we will poll the server’s event log for login events. These events will be stored in the UDT database so when you search for a user or run reports, we simply search the UDT database for this information. Here are some screenshots of the new features.

 

The All User Log Ins resource is available on summary (ie: UDT Home) and detail pages (ie: Node Details or Endpoint Details).

 

image

 

We also added the concept of UDT detail pages. Here is screenshot of the detail page. Although this screenshot doesn’t show it off, many of the values from AD are pulled in and added to this user detail page.

 

image

 

2. Improved back end topology using CDP and LLDP

 

To provide the data you need, UDT relies on accurate network topology information. In 1.0 the topology was created based on mapping ports to each other. In 2.0 we’ve added support for CDP and LLDP. When we poll the node, we will collect the CDP and LLDP information from the node (if available) and will use that topology information to create the connections on the back end. Although there aren’t any resources that will actually show off this new information now, you should see the results in the data accuracy.

 

3. Reports and Alerts

 

In 2.0 we’ve added several reports and alerts. Although we still have a lot of improvements to make, this should help with the most common requests for reports and alerts.

 

We now ship the following reports: All endpoints by VLAN, Port Capacity by Switch, All endpoints with details, Number of Connected devices by port, List of all IPv6 Addresses in your network, OUI Summary Report, Unused Port Report.

 

For alerts, we added a few alerts that will notify you when a new device is connected to the network. This will primarily be based on seeing a new MAC address on the network.

 

4. Changes to search

 

Search is often used for more than what is was intended for. Search should help you to quickly find where something is connected. It turns out, having all of that information is really handy! Unfortunately, large environments often experience timeouts and long delays when searching because of the amount of data available. To help users find what they are looking for quickly, we have split out the detailed results from search. Now, when you search, if there is one exact match, you will be taken directly to a a detail page (user or endpoint). If there are multiple matches, they will be shown in the list and you can quickly select the one that you are looking for to go to its detail page. But you really liked all of the data from the original search? No problem. We have moved this to Ad-hoc reporting. This better captures the workflow for running reports against the data in UDT.

 

5. Endpoint detail pages

 

Similar to the concept of User detail pages, we’ve added an endpoint detail page that will give you all of the information you need about specific endpoints. For example, if you search for a computer (IP, MAC, or hostname) then you will be taken to the endpoint detail page which will give you detailed port information as well as connection information.

 

image

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