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NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH NETWORK ATLAS

 

I have had number of customer interviews lately and the most common question which arises quite often is, I have Orion Network Atlas why do I need another network mapping software?

To answer this question, we got to understand what use-cases these two applications solves.


Orion Network Atlas

Is a powerful tool built for creating custom network maps and diagram. It is a semi-manual network diagramming software which allows users to design and draw physical & logical topology diagrams by manually placing discovered nodes on to the map canvas. Using the Connect Now button the application automatically draw connections between the nodes.


SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper

Is an automated Network Mapping software. The software is built to create dynamic topology diagrams/maps by using its powerful auto-discovery engine. It can automatically discover, map, provide inventory and document your specific network environment. Network Topology Mapper is a replacement to its earlier network mapping application called LANSurveyor

 

With Network Performance Monitor (NPM) one monitors key devices, interfaces, etc. and not every single object in your environment. But, maybe you want a complete topology map of your network environment (example: Workstations, Printers, Hubs etc) for documentation purposes or to know what’s on your network and represent those devices on you Orion Web console, without actively monitoring them. With the combination of SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper (NTM) and Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM), now you can have your cake and eat it too!

 

Network Topology Mapper has the capability of exporting the network diagram it has discovered and rendered to Network Atlas and Vice Versa. Once imported, the user has the choice to add the nodes identified in NTM into the Orion database or simply display the identified nodes. The application, provides two ways to export your maps/diagrams into Network Atlas

  • One-Time Export: You can easily export your discovered map to Network Atlas using the following flow File – Export – Network Atlas. Choose from
    • Open directly in Network Atlas – This function will trigger the launch of Network Atlas in the background
    • Export as a Map – Choose this option if you want to save the map and bring it up into Network Atlas at a later stage.

        Note: For both these choices there is a need to save the map first and an option to secure your map by a password.

map1.JPG

  • Schedule Export: Users can also schedule the export of NTM Maps into Network Atlas, there by staying ahead of network changes in your environment. In order to enable the scheduling function, setup the scheduling frequency in the Network Discovery Scan Wizard.


Capture5.JPG

Choose on how you want to save the discovered results to bring up the map in Network Atlas. The available choices are

 

  • Automatically merge results with a map – This option will always merge the new discovered data with the old.
  • Manually select results to merge with a map - Users will need to choose the required map(s) to be displayed into Network Atlas from the available completed scans.
  • Save results as a new map – There will always be a new map created and saved with time-stamps.

 

Next, make sure Keep Network Atlas updated with these discovery results is ticked ON. Enter your Orion Server log-in details (where your active Network Atlas resides), make sure to test the credentials and hit the Set button. Hit on the  discover or update button to complete the wizard.

 

Capture4.JPG

Open or Connect to Orion Network Atlas. An automatic map import window opens, choose the desired map file(s) from the list to be imported . Once completed, Network Atlas will pop up with a notification message informing you of how many objects are new to the Orion database (if any) and if you want to discover them.

NTM56.JPG

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If clicked Yes, Orion discovery will run. Upon completion the gathered data will be stored into the Orion database and these new identified objects will be actively monitored. If No, is chosen the nodes will be represented as unknown nodes into the Orion database.


NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH ENGINEERS TOOLSET & OTHER 3RD PARTY DIAGNOSTICS TOOLS

I have a written a blog post on the subject How NTM integrates with Engineers Toolset, you can find more here. One can also call 3rd Party tools into the application. This integration, brings with it the advantage of troubleshooting and diagnosing problem on your network using network diagrams.

 

NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH MICROSOFT VISIO

With just one-click, users can export their currently displayed network diagram to Microsoft Visio. From there on, the Visio file can be exported as a publication on to the Web.

The following Microsoft Visio versions are supported 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

To receive updates on the Virtualization Manager  roadmap, JOIN thwack and BOOKMARK this page.


We are currently working on Virtualization Manager 6.1 and beyond.  Some of the items we hope to deliver:

 

Disclaimer:  Comments given in this forum should not be interpreted as a commitment that SolarWinds will deliver any specific feature in any particular time frame. All discussions of future plans or product roadmaps are base on the product teams intentions, but those plans can change at any time.

 

If you don't see what you are looking for here, you can always add your idea(s) and vote on features in our Virtualization Manager Feature Requests forum.

Wow, 2013 is flying by. It's already March, which means that SxSW is in full swing here in Austin, TX. The SxSW Interactive conference has grown into quite the major tech event and you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a budding entrepreneur trying to get you to download their super-cool new consumer mobile app in order to get into their party with free beer, food, and prizes (tough life, I know). Well, who says that the consumer market gets to have all the fun?!? SolarWinds has one of the best enterprise mobile apps around in Mobile Admin and I'm here to give you the low-down on some nifty features that you might not know about otherwise. (Sorry, no free beer in this article.)

 

Free Mobile Monitor for NPM or SAM

 

While I did just say no free beer, that doesn't mean that I would leave you without something fantastic to brag about to your friends. Just over a month ago, we launched Free Mobile Monitor for NPM or SAM which is a slimmed down version of Mobile Admin just for our SolarWinds NPM and SAM customers. The NPM integration and SAM integration with Mobile Admin have been covered in previous Product Blogs, so I won't go into detail here. However, from Mobile Admin, for both NPM and SAM, you can see Top 10 lists, receive and acknowledge alerts, manage and unmanage nodes, and more. This free product has been downloaded thousands of times already and is available in the Customer Portal, so get in on the action! Did I mention it's Free?!?

 

 

Mobile Admin Deployment and You

 

Mobile Admin has a Mobile Client, which you install on your smartphone or tablet, and a Mobile Admin Server, setup behind your firewall or in your network's DMZ so it has access your back-end IT infrastructure. To illustrate the point, here is a basic diagram of how a standard Mobile Admin deployment looks (Note: your deployment may differ, for example, a BlackBerry Enterprise Server is not required):

 

Deployment.PNG

 

With this deployment architecture, Mobile Admin allows you to carry your IT infrastructure with you in your pocket, allowing you to resolve problems on-the-go, wherever you may be. Whether you have to reset an Active Directory password for a locked out VP at 3AM or SSH into your Cisco router to troubleshoot from the road (as a passenger!) or much more, Mobile Admin can help. But getting it setup for you and your team is the first step.

 

Users, Hosts, and Global Folders - Oh My!

 

Say your the lucky devil who gets to setup and deploy Mobile Admin for the rest of your on-call rotation team. We've given you some tools to help make this easy to setup and deploy as possible. First, you have to know about the three main concepts in Mobile Admin.

 

  1. Users - The folks on your team. The guys doing the dirty work. The heros of the day, resetting passwords from the mobile phones without batting an eye (or leaving the dinner table).
  2. Hosts - Your servers, routers, switches. Things with an IP address and a power cable.
  3. Global Folders - You guessed it - Folders. But important for helping you to manage items #1 and #2.

 

Global Folders are very useful as you add users and servers to Mobile Admin. In your IT environment, you have tens, hundreds, or thousands of servers and other nodes in your environment you'd like to manage. Without some way to sort those, a flat list could get unwieldy pretty quickly. Folders not only let you sort your servers and nodes (e.g. Exchange Servers, Oracle DB Servers), but it also lets you assign users to these folders so that other users of Mobile Admin only have access to what they need or are authorized for.

 

Global Folders can be accessed from the Mobile Admin Configuration page. Once on the Configuration page, just select Global Folders, which will then display a list of all Global Folders you have currently defined on the Mobile Admin Server. As you can see in the screenshot below, I only have one folder, MyGlobalFolder, defined. I can add another folder by clicking on Add Folder, inputting a new folder name and voila!

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Now that my new Global Folder is created, it's simple to add hosts to the folder. Just click "Add Servers," multi-select which servers you'd like to add and your done.

 

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Now that I have my servers added to my Global Folder, I can select which users I want to have access to that Folder by clicking "Users" (which shows me there are currently no users assigned to this folder) and then "Add User." Select your users, like you did servers above and your done!

3-13-2013 11-07-36 PM.png3-13-2013 11-08-38 PM.png3-13-2013 11-09-36 PM.png

 

 

Mobile Admin Database Administration....with cheat codes

 

"Well, Balki, that's all well and good, but my environment has hundreds of nodes and tens of users, and there is no way I'm walking through that process hundreds of times" I can hear you say. Yep. Totally agree. If you've read this far, congratulations, you're about to get the prize. The Mobile Admin Dev team is all over it and Mobile Admin currently ships with a data import tool for exactly this process. What, you haven't seen it? Well, that's because it's buried in one of your install folders. <Program Files>\SolarWinds\Mobile Admin\bin\MAdbLoad to be exact. With this script you can automate all of the above steps en masse. How does it work, you say? Glad you asked:

 

Usage: MAdbLoad.exe [-clear] [-servers file] [-si n] [-sharedFolder name] [-users file] [-ui n] [-ubi n] [-uei n] [-udomain domain]

where file is the name of a comma separated file. Each line of the file represents a row of data for one server or user. Each row of data contains one or more comma separated fields, with the server or user name appearing in the same field on each row. If a value contains commas then it must be quoted. The command line specifies which field to get the server or user name from.

 

Explanation of options:

-clear Clears the current list of servers in mobile admin.  With no -clear specified, then servers are appended.

-servers Specifies a file of server names that will be loaded. If the servers file is a - character then standard input is read. The same CSV rules apply to standard input supplied data. Server names are stripped of all preceding and trailing white space.

-si Specifies the field number of the server name in the csv file with the first field being field 1. Defaults to 1.

-sharedFolder Specifies a name of a shared folder that the servers will assigned to.

    1. If the shared folder does not exist then it is created. Use double quotes if the shared folder name contains a space.

-users Specifies a file of users account names that will be either assigned to the shared folder if a share folder is specified or assigned to the servers in the server file. If a user is not a Mobile Admin user then it is added. If no users file is specified then the default is all users. The user Windows account name must be prepended with domain name that contains the Windows account name or the -udomain option must be used to specify the Windows account name domain.

-udomain Specifies a domain to prepend to all user Windows account names in the users file.

-ui Specifies the field number of the users name in the CSV file with the first field being field 1. Defaults to 1.

-ubi Specifies the number of lines to ignore at the beginning of the users file. Defaults to 0.

-uei Specifies the number of lines to ignore at the of the users file. Defaults to 0.

-v Prints the version. An attempt to log into the database is also performed, useful for checking database credentials.

 

Here are several examples of using the script to demonstrate:

 

madbload.exe -clear - Wipes out the current server list.

madbload.exe -servers fileName -clear - Load a list of servers with all users assigned to manage. Useful for a bulk load of servers for all users.

madbload.exe -servers fileName -users fileName - Append a list of servers and assign a list of users to manage those servers. Useful for when a new server is to be added for a list of users.

madbload.exe -servers fileName -sharedFolder someName -clear - Load a list of servers into a shared folder with all users assigned to manage. Useful to wipe out current server list, load new list in a Global Folder and assign all users to the Global Folder.

madbload.exe -servers fileName -sharedFolder someName -users fileName - Append a list of servers into a Global Folder and assign a list of users to manage the Global Folder. Useful if a new user is to be added to Mobile Admin to manage a new Global Folder.

 

And that's pretty much all folks. Hope that makes your life a bit easier...and a little more mobile.

SolarWinds is excited to introduce to you the latest and greatest in network discovery and mapping tools: SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper. Network Topology Mapper (or NTM for short) scans your network and provides a detailed and accurate map of your environment- and it looks good to boot. Since NTM is a visualization tool, the below video will likely do more justice to the end result than I can with mere words:

 

 

All too often with automated topology mapping products, you run a discovery, and it creates a map that looks something like a big Ferris-wheel. Cool looking? Maybe. Useful? Not so much. NTM was designed first and foremost to generate a map that gets you as close possible to the final diagram you would want to show to someone, and let you do the detail work from there.

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We’ve also tried to make the manual manipulation of nodes as easy as possible, by letting you select by node role (router / switch / server / etc) and hide devices that are just generating clutter.

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And of course you can export to Visio for those final touches, or to Network Atlas to use in NPM.

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Once in Network Atlas, you can further manipulate the map, overlay NPM node data, and create nested maps.

 

But wait, there’s more…

 

 

NTM also has some unique features that let you get an even
better picture of your (or your client’s) environment:

 

  • Support for link aggregation                                                                          3-7-2013 1-47-17 PM.png
  • Mapping VMWare guest OS’s to the host
  • Spanning tree reporting
  • Reoccurring scheduled scans
  • “Unidentified Nodes”

 

Let me spend a moment on “Unidentified Nodes.” We’ve all encountered the circumstance where some rogue devices get plugged into the network, usually taking the form of a 5-port “Linksysco” sitting undersomeone’s desk. These unmanaged devices may have a dozen other systems daisy-chained behind them.

 

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We had some pretty bright people spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how we can determine if these devices are present, and also how to figure out what is plugged into them. What we call “unidentified nodes” in the product represent these unmanaged devices. We know they’re there, we know what’s plugged in, we just can’t talk directly to them to determine all the details. Depending on the amount and type of data we can gather from other devices that are attached to this “unidentified node”, we may be even able to tell you what port on the mystery device is connected to a device we know about. Is it perfect? No, it depends on the amount of data we can gather from other devices, but it’s pretty darn good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about LANSurveyor?

 

 

Those of you acquainted with the SolarWinds product line may recall we have had a product that performed topology mapping previously- the venerable LANSurveyor. Unfortunately the platform LANSurveyor was built on was getting a bit long in the tooth, and it is with much sadness that we have put LANSurveyor out to pasture. Current LANSurveyor customer should have received an email with the details, but if there are any questions just ping your sales rep.

We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); NCM v7.2 has reached Beta status. 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.

 

The following enhancement have been added to NCM:

  • Continue moving functionality from Win32 client to Web UI
    • Job management (Windows Task Scheduler not used anymore)
    • Config management (edit, delete, set baseline)
    • Possibility to test device login credentials
    • Import config from file
  • Provide End-of-Life information for managed devices.
  • Multiple global connection profiles
  • The execution of Config Change Templates can be scheduled.
  • Change Approval System enhancements
    • Approved requests to be executed at specified date/time
    • Approved requests to be returned to requestor for execution
    • Requesters can see a history of what they requested and was approved
    • Approvers can see a history of what they approved
  • SNMPv3 -- Support of AES-256 encryption
  • Make downloaded configurations searchable for IP addresses with FTS enabled.

 

Continue Moving Functionality from Win32 Client to Web UI

 

Job Management

The Job management UI has been migrated from the Win32 application to the Web UI. Jobs are executed within Orion Platform infrastructure; there is no dependence on the Windows Task Scheduler anymore.

The summary page allows you to perform basic tasks like create, delete, enable/disable, or edit a job. You can also inspect the log for each job.

 

NCM-Jobs-List.png

 

There is wizard that helps you with editing jobs. Schedule can be entered either using user-friendly, intuitive controls (basic setup):

 

NCM-Jobs-Scheduling.png


Or there is advanced mode that gives you more flexibility. If you are familiar with CRON, then it will not be difficult for you.

 

NCM-Jobs-Scheduling-Advanced.png

After you go through all the steps, you can review job details again to ensure correctness of the properties.

 

NCM-Jobs-Review.png

Config Management

You can edit config, delete it or set baseline in the Web UI.

 

NCM-Manage-Configs.PNG

 

Import Config from File

NCM node details page gives you the same options plus you can import config from a file.

 

NCM-Manage-Configs2.PNG

 

Possibility to Test Device Login Credentials

You can now test the assigned device login credentials when you edit node properties. The session is captured to help you troubleshoot problems.

 

NCM-Test-Credentials.PNG

 

 

 

Provide End-of-Life Information for Managed Devices

This lookup tool will search through nodes and return suggested results for End of Sales and End of Support dates. All results will need to be confirmed and assigned manually by selecting one or more nodes and clicking on the "assign" button. If no information is available, there is an option to manually enter data and assign it to a node, or quickly bulk assign to a selection of many nodes.

You can filter the data according to different parameters and export the results as an Excel sheet or a CSV file.

 

NCM-EoL-Summary.PNG

 

You can either assigned the EoL item just to a single node,

 

NCM-EoL-Assign.PNG

 

or select multiple nodes in the Bulk Assing menu.

 

NCM-EoL-Assign-Bulk.PNG

 

Multiple Global Connection Profiles

You can define multiple connection profiles in NCM settings. Some of them can be marked as "auto-detect" (see below).

NCM-Connection-Profiles-Summary.PNG NCM-Connection-Profiles-Edit-Profile.PNG

 

The connection profile can be selected on the node properties page.

 

NCM-Connection-Profiles-Edit-Node.PNG

 

If you select "Auto Detect", NCM will try all profiles marked as "Auto Detect" in the setting when connecting to the device.

 

NCM-Connection-Profiles-Auto-Detect.PNG

 

The Execution of Config Change Templates Can Be Scheduled

You can choose "Schedule" as execution methind for Config Change Templates.

 

NCM-CCT-Review.png

 

Config Change Templates are scheduled as any other job.

 

NCM-CCT-Job.png

 

Change Approval System Enhancements

 

Approved Requests to Be Executed at Specified Date/Time Or to Be Returned to Requestor for Execution

You specify date and time or chose "Return to requestor" when requesting approval in the Web UI. Requestor's view on the left, approver's on the right:

 

NCM-CCA-Requestor.png NCM-CCA-Approver.png

 

Approvers and Requestors Can See History of the Requests

 

NCM-CCA-Summary-Approver.png

SNMPv3 -- Support of AES-256 Encryption

This is an extension for better security; applicable especially to inventory reports.

 

Make Downloaded Configurations Searchable for IP Addresses with FTS Enabled

You can search configurations for IP adresses in the Web UI while using Full-Text Search.

 

NCM-Search-FTS.PNG

The dust is still settling after the blowout success of the SAM 5.5 release earlier this week, but that doesn't mean it's time to rest on our laurels. In fact we're hoping the next release is even bigger than the last! With that said, below is a list of some of the bigger items the mad scientists in the lab looking at cooking up.

 

  • Improvements in SQL Server Database Monitoring
  • Server Asset & Inventory Management
  • Real-Time Windows Event Log Viewer
  • Statistical Baselining with Automatic Recommended Threshold Calculations
  • Disk I/O Performance Metrics for Monitored Processes and Services
  • Web Services Monitoring for SOAP & JSON
  • Host Header Support for HTTP/HTTPS User Experience Monitors
  • Update all Remaining Charts to New Charting Library
  • User Auditing of SAM Configuration Changes and Remediation Actions
  • Additional macros for script monitors
  • Reduce product license key management overhead associated with major version upgrades and maintenance renewals

 

PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on these items based on this priority order, but this is NOT a commitment that all of these enhancements will make the next release.  We are working on a number of other smaller features in parallel.   If you have comments or questions on any of these items (e.g. how would it work?) or would like to be included in a preview demo, please let us know!

We're pretty excited to add a new product to our family, SolarWinds Alert Central. Alert Central is our free multi-vendor alert centralization, escalation, and on-call management product and today it celebrates it's v1.0 birthday!

 

There's a ton of content from Product Blog in the previous blog post when we announced the beta, (Alert Central Public Beta Now Available (And, it's a Free Product!)) so I'll just summarize the highlights and let you check it out for yourselves:

  • Intelligently route your alerts to the right teams and the right people in the right order at the right time (whew!)
  • Consume alerts from e-mail sources and route to the right group/team and individual
  • Individual user preferences including notification address and format, timezone, and avatar photo
  • Two-way integration with alerting from Orion family products (including NPM, SAM, IPAM, and others)
  • Automatically escalate alerts when people are unavailable or unable to handle them
  • Use one or more On Call calendars to automate "follow the sun" and traditional "on call" notification
  • Interact with alerts via web console UI (inside the network on either PC or mobile devices) and email (via email, supported on both PC and mobile devices)
  • Free, free, free, for unlimited users

 

And, here's an overview video with narrated product screenshots for those of you who prefer to listen rather than read:

 

There's also screenshots and diagrams over on the Alert Central site, too.

 

Downloads, Documentation, and Support

For those of you that participated in the beta/pre-release testing of Alert Central, we're providing an upgrade. This upgrade will move you from the beta/PR versions to release, but if you run into trouble, you can always export your routing rules and re-import them to a new appliance in production. For new customers, we support Alert Central on Hyper-V 2008 R2/2012 and VMware ESX/ESXi 4.0+.

 

In addition to the Release Notes and Upgrade Guide, our Information Development team has been hard at work on new Alert Central documentation. If you run into a point where you reach for the documentation for help and don't find what you need, please feel free to post and let us know so we can improve our product and documentation at the same time.

 

Technical support is available through the Alert Central forum here on Thwack. We have product management and development staff monitoring the forums to help address any issues.

 

Don't See Something you Hoped to, Expected to, or Want to in Alert Central? Tell Us!

If we missed something that would really float your boat with Alert Central, or something we missed is preventing you from using Alert Central entirely, please let us know by posting and voting in our Ideas area. You'll find a lot of useful suggestions from our beta testers already, and we're using your guidance to make sure we build our roadmap based on YOUR needs. If you run into a technical issue with deploying, implementing, or using Alert Central that's also preventing you from using it, please post in our Alert Central forum.

Server & Application Monitor 5.5 Release Candidate has been available for a few weeks, and now RC3 is available for download through the customer portal for all existing SAM product owners under active maintenance. Throughout the beta process I've written about several new features that expand SAM's capabilities beyond simply monitoring applications. Another example of this, is newly added support for monitoring network interface performance of Windows servers via WMI. Once an exclusive feature of Network Performance Monitor, known primarily for monitoring switches, routers, firewalls, network load balancers, and other network gear, NPM has been the industry’s de facto standard in network performance monitoring for a generation of network engineers the world over. Now SAM 5.5 gains some of this NPM goodness by providing users visibility into their Windows servers network performance, and allowing them to diagnose and troubleshoot server network issues that commonly result in latency, packet loss, and overall poor application performance.

 

When you add a Windows Node to SAM via WMI, or List Resources on an existing WMI managed node, a listing of network interfaces installed in the server is presented. Select the interfaces on the server you want to monitor and you're done. It's just that simple, with no need to enable or configure SNMP.

List Resources WMI Interfaces.png

  • The listing of interfaces you see in SAM mirror those shown in the Windows Network Control Panel of the server being monitored.

Windows Network Interfaces.png

  • Once monitored, a listing of these interfaces and their current utilization is shown on the Node Details view of the managed Windows host in SAM.

Current Percent Utilization.png

Interface Details.png

 

Clicking on any interface in this resource takes you to the Interface Details view, where general information about the selected network interface, such as MAC address, interface type, and link speed can be found. In this view you'll also notice a plethora of network interface performance information. Interface utilization, Min/Max/Average bits per-second, packets per-second, as well as errors and discards, both current and historical, are all available to help aid in diagnosing Windows server and application performance issues.

Min/Max/Average bps In/OutPercent UtilizationTotal Bytes TransferedErrors and Discards
MinMaxAvgBps.png

Percent Utilization.png

Total Bytes Transfered.png

Errors and Discards.png

 

The best news of all is that network interface monitoring for Windows machines via WMI is essentially free, as it's included as part of the node license. Now what does that mean exactly? If you're already managing a windows host via WMI with SAM, then monitoring its network interfaces does not consume any additional licenses. What does that mean for those running both SAM and NPM on the same server? Well it means you can continue to monitor your Windows network interfaces via SNMP, or opt to monitor them via WMI. The choice is yours. Windows interfaces monitored via SNMP will continue to count against your NPM licensed interfaces, while those monitored via WMI will not. If you're an existing NPM product owner nearing your interface license limit and you don't yet own SAM, this is a great way to reclaim some of those interface licenses while adding tremendous value to your organization.


The best kind of properties are custom

 

A few months ago NPM 10.4 introduced us to a radically overhauled Custom Property Editor, that made a complete web transformation from its previous Win32 underpinnings. With the release of SAM 5.5, what was once the exclusive domain of nodes, volumes, and interfaces, has now been expanded to include applications at the request of many in the community.

Application Custom Properties.png

Application Template Editing Custom Properties.png

As one might expect, these application custom properties can be used in the Advanced Alert Manager, Report Writer, Groups, filters etc, the same as other custom property types are used throughout the product.

 

Once the custom properties have been defined you can designate values to your assigned applications through the Custom Property Editor found under Settings. Similar to other custom property types, this is normally the easiest way to modify custom property values for applications en masse. Alternatively, you can edit specific applications and define their individual custom properties using the application editor as pictured on the left.

 

These are two more great new features you can begin using today by downloading Server & Application Monitor 5.5 RC3 from your customer portal. The Release Candidate can be used to upgrade your existing SAM installation, but also includes a temporary 30 day license if you'd prefer to play with these new features in a lab environment.

Over the years we've heard a great deal of feedback from our customers on how we can improve our licensing system.  Let me clarify what I mean by licensing system.  Currently, when you buy a license from SolarWinds for any product you are given an activation key in your SolarWinds customer portal.  You must then copy this key and paste it into the License Manager application to register your license and activate the product so that it's no longer in evaluation mode.  This same process is also required whenever you upgrade to a new major version or renew your maintenance.  For long-time SolarWinds customers this process has become old-hat, but there is definitely some room for improvement.

 

The most obvious question is, why do we do it this way?  I won't go into all of the gory details, but there is a method to our madness.  More importantly, we are currently working on updating our licensing system to make this experience much better.  Once we've updated the licensing system with these new changes the user experience with activating licenses should improve in the following ways:

  • You will no longer be required to apply a new activation key with version upgrades, minor OR major.
  • You will no longer be required to apply a new activation key when you renew maintenance.

 

Each product will need to adopt the new licensing system to take advantage of these changes.  You should see the products start to adopt the new licensing system soon; DameWare will be the first.  We'd love to hear your feedback and any other pain points you may have with our licensing system.

 

In addition to the aforementioned changes, we're also working on the ability to activate your license through an authenticated proxy.

 

Disclaimer:  Comments given in this forum should not be interpreted as a commitment that SolarWinds will deliver any specific feature in any particular time frame. All discussions of future plans or product roadmaps are based on the product teams intentions, but those plans can change at any time.

We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of User Device Tracker (UDT). UDT 3.0 is going to reach Beta status soon. 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.

 

The following enhancement have been added to UDT:

  • White List to identify safe and rogue devices on your network
  • Trap notifications to update connection information in "real time"
  • Tracking users in watch list
  • Wizard to help UDT users configuring appropriate logging level on Windows servers to collect login information
  • Alert on endpoint port change
  • Port Shutdown
  • Admin status for ports
  • Wireless endpoints report
  • VRF polling
  • Support for UDT ports in Groups

 

White List

You can define the set of rules that UDT uses to determine if a network device belongs on your white list. If so, the device appears in UDT resources as a safe device.

 

Whitelist-Include.PNG

 

You can add

  • Individual devices based on IP address, MAC address, or hostname
  • IP address ranges
  • MAC address ranges
  • Subnets
  • Custom patterns

 

Whitelist-Add.PNG

 

If there are devices connected to your network that are not on the white list, they will appear in a new 'Rogue Devices' resource and alerts will be generated:

 

Rogue-Devices.PNG           Rougue-Alert.PNG

 

You can also define the set of rules that determine if a network device should be ignored by UDT. If so, UDT discards all related data. This is handy e.g. for HSRP and VRRP MAC addresses.

 

Whitelist-Ignore.PNG

 

Updating Connection Information in "Real Time"

Many network devices suppport sending trap notifications when an endpoint connects or disconnects. UDT is able to process these notifications now to update the endpoint connection information immediately (and not wait for the next poll).

 

Users Can Be Tracked in Watch List

VRF-User-Watchlist.PNG

 

Wizard to Help with Domain Controller Configuration

Configuring your Domain Controllers properly, so that UDT is able to collect login information, is not an easy task and users find it difficult. That's why we have prepared a set of tests that help you diagnose whether UDT can access the information in the Domain Controller.

First you need to test the credentials; if there are errors, UDT helps you fix them.

 

AddAD-Test.PNG             AddAD-Help-Me-Fix.PNG

 

Alert on Endpoint Port Change

When the port to which an endpoint is connected changes, an alert is generated:

 

Alert-Rogue-Moved.PNG

 

Port Shutdown

If the device is configured with read-write SNMP credentials (and supports this operation), you can easily shut down a port. This functionality is also available via the API/SDK.

 

ShutDown-Port.PNG            ShutDown-Port2.PNG

 

Admin Status for Ports

UDT now distinguishes between ports that are administratively down (icon with red cross) and operationally down:

 

Port-Status.PNG

 

Wireless Endpoints Report

There is a new report for wireless endpoints now:

 

Wireless-Report.PNG

 

VRF Polling

If a network device is configured with VRFs, UDT will display the information:

 

VRF.png

Virtualization Manager is built on search - all the widgets, alerts, charts, etc. are simply queries that bubble up the most important data to your fingertips.  This allows us to quickly alert you about potential problems, including configuration recommendations for over and under allocation of resources (like CPU, memory, storage, etc.).  Many users have asked about how these recommendations are calculated, and the answer is - its all in the queries!  And even better - you can easily copy and edit the alert queries to build your own.

I was recently working with a customer on the alert recommendations for the default alert "VM Memory Overallocated".  The queries for this alert are based on average memory usage over a week, and the customer was concerned (and rightfully so) that if he followed our recommendations, he might induce swapping during memory peaks. So I took a deeper look to see what we could do.  

 

Make a copy of the current alert

First, I took the current alert and made a copy to work with:

  • From the Administrator Dashboard, scroll down in the All Alerts widgets and click "VM Memory Allocated".
  • At the bottom right of the screen, click "Configure".
  • At the bottom right of the screen, click "Save As", enter a new name and click "Save".  I changed mine to "VM Memory Peak Overallocated".
  • You should see the new name at the top and now click "Configure" at the bottom right again.

VManAlertSaveAs.png

 

Change the scope

I decided to change the scope, editing the last item to evaluate the weekly peak instead of the average and increased it from 30% to 50%.  I wanted to make sure I captured any VMs whose peak memory utilization was under 50% of the allocated.  Here is the query in full (bolded is the part I changed):

     vm.powerstate:poweredOn AND vm.memory:[2048 TO *]  AND vm.memloadPeak.week:([* TO 50])

 

So this establishes the scope as all VMs with at least 2GB of RAM whose peak memory usage did not go above 50% for the entire week.

VManScope.png

Change the recommendation

Now that we have the scope of the query set to the VMs we are interested in, we next tackle the recommendation.  In this case, I am going to take the peak utilization and multiply it by the VM Memory to get a peak utilization.  I will multiply that by 1.25 to add some buffer, and then do some fancy xpath functions to make recommendations in multiples of 256KB.

     concat ('Reduce ', /virtualMachine/memory, ' MB to ', (ceiling(/virtualMachine/memoryPeakUtilization/week * /virtualMachine/memory * 1.25 div 100 div 256))*256, ' MB')

 

Just to break that down:

  • Multiply weekly memory peak * VM memory * 1.25 (buffer) div 100 (because the peak is given as a percent)
    /virtualMachine/memoryPeakUtilization/week * /virtualMachine/memory * 1.25 div 100
  • Build a multiple of 256KB by dividing by 256, rounding up to the nearest integer, and then multiplying by 256.
    (ceiling(... div 256)) * 256

 

VManAlertNotification.png

 

Save and view the results

Once you click "Save" it will return you to the alerts view and immediately show you all VM's that match this condition. In this case, we now have 31 VM's that meet the criteria and now have memory recommendations for them.

VManAlertSummary.png

 

Validation

To validate the recommendation, click on the scroll icon for one of the VM's in the list.  This will take you to the detail view of the item. Switch to the XML by clicking the very small icon next to the name, this will allow you to see the latest instances of all the data.

VManVMxmlSwitch.png

Once you have the XML View open, you can look for the corresponding metrics (via the search bar at the top) to validate the suggestion:

  • memory: 2048
  • memoryPeakUtilization: Week 19.99

Calculation:  2048*19.99*1.25/100=511 so rounding up to the nearest multiple of 256 is 512MB, which matches the recommendation in the image above.

So in this case, we could reduce memory on this VM down to 512MB and have a 25% buffer over the historical peak value.

 

Additional alert features

Some of the features of alerts we skipped over:

  • Condition needs to be sustained for a certain amount of time.
  • Notification via email - we can send these alerts to multiple users
  • Execute an external action - for example, capture the currently monitored processes on the VM
  • SNMP traps and overrides.

For more information on alerting, please see our help documentation.

 

Alert Ideas (and more)

The default alerts packaged into Virtualization Manager are based on lots of customer feedback, but they are by no means a one size fits all!  We highly recommend you customize the alerts (and dashboards and widgets) to fit your environment.  For example, the choices I made on the building the above alert (ex: weekly peak 50% of total or the 1.25 buffer) should be customized to fit how you want to run your environment. Some more ways you can leverage the search:

  • You could also take the searches and functions and rework the "Top-N: VM Memory Overallocated" widget on the Sprawl Dashboard.
  • If you wanted to alert when a drive goes under 700MB, you can take "Guest Storage Space Alert", copy and change it to:
    • Scope: vm.powerstate:poweredOn AND vm.vol.freeSpace:[0 TO 734003200]
    • Alert: string-join(for $fullVolume in /virtualMachine/diskVolume[freeSpace<=(700*1024*1024)] return concat($fullVolume/mountPoint, ' (' , floor($fullVolume/freeSpace div 1024 div 1024), 'MB)'), ', ')

The possibilities are truly limitless with the search and xpath capabilities.

 

Other thoughts and references

Here are a few other thoughts to consider when building alerts, as well as some additional references:

  • Check out our help for Search in our documentation.
  • Here is a list of all properties and metrics that Virtualization Manager collects.
  • Performance and configuration data are collected on different intervals, so if you are mixing them in formulas, just be aware that the times will not necessarily align.
  • Rollup for peaks and averages are calculated a couple of times a day and restart at the beginning of their time period (day, week, month).  See this KB article for more information on data collection and rollup.
  • xPath functions are fun - see this excellent general xPath tutorial.

The release candidate (RC) for Web Performance Monitor 2.0.1 is officially here.  All WPM customers on active maintenance should have the RC waiting for them in their SolarWinds customer portal.  We'd love for you to try it out and post any feedback you have on the WPM RC forums here.

 

Participation in this program requires completion of this brief survey about your environment and experience with Orion:

 

WPM 2.0.1 Release Candidate Participation Survey

 

Thanks in advance for your time!

 

It's already been a few months since we changed the name from SEUM to WPM and we're happy that it has been well received thus far.

 

This service release contains a number of improvements in usability and performance. First, as we added support for Windows 2012, SQL 2012 as well as Windows 8 to WPM. We also improved the WPM Player and Job Scheduler, which are now more intelligent and jobs are scheduled in smaller buckets, more evenly distributing resource usage.

 

We also added the ability to add descriptions of transactions to the Transaction Details resource.

User-defined descriptions of transactions in the Transaction Details resource

This will help to you easily identify your transactions especially when you're managing a large number of them.

 

Another improvement is related to the mobility of recordings which are using certificate authentication. Now, if your certificate is exportable we are able to save it within the recording and thus play it from any location.

 

Another great feature to help you set up and troubleshoot your domain name account settings is the WPM Domain Accounts Configuration Tool. This tool has been created to aid in setting up domain accounts for the WPM player which verifies domain settings, the validity of an account in a given domain, and avoid any typos or mistakes in credentials.

Domain configuration tool

 

Another useful feature is the ability to automatically update the recorder. With new versions of WPM, new recorders are distributed. Instead of having to manually upgrade, you are now prompted to confirm automatic upgrade of the recorder as soon as it connects to a newer version of WPM.

 

Next we added a new Amazon EC2 region in Sydney, thus widening your options for location-centric monitoring. This new region is also available in previous versions of WPM which support Amazon EC2!

 

Amazon EC2 Sydney region available in drop-down menu

 

In addition to the aforementioned improvements this service release includes a number of other bug fixes and usability improvements.  Again, any customers on active maintenance should already have the RC in their customer portals.  Go download it and check it out; it's fully supported and we'd love to hear your feedback.  You can find the WPM 2.0 RC forum on thwack here.

If you've been chomping at the bit to upgrade to SAM 5.5 now is your chance to get the goods before everyone else. Simply sign-up here to download the SAM 5.5 Release Candidate.

 

If you've been following the Product Blog closely the past few months you'll no doubt be familiar with several of the major new features we've been working on for our next release of Server & Application Monitor. In my previous posts I showcased features such as: T

 

 

One area however, that's seen continual improvement with each successive release but doesn't get the same level attention as many of the top billed new features are usability enhancements.

 

At SolarWinds usability and user experience aren't merely philosophies, but rather they're a way of life. It's about ensuring that what you need, is where you need it, when you need it. Many of you have no doubt worked with some of SolarWinds usability experts in the past. Reviewing early prototypes, mockups, or talking through concepts, helping us to flesh out design flaws before even a single line of code is written. For those of you who may not have taken part in SolarWinds usability studies in the past, don't let these opportunities pass you by. We take your feedback very seriously, and it's instrumental in shaping the future of our products. Below are just a few examples where your feedback has had direct influence on this release of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor.

 

Point - Click - Remediate

 

Management Resource Node Details.png

More than a few of you have realized the value of the Real-Time Process Explorer, introduced in SAM 5.0, but found it far too buried on the Application Detail view. Being on the application details view also meant that using this awesome feature was limited to those machines which already had application templates assigned to them. This made using the Real-Time Process Explorer to monitor new processes under certain circumstances difficult or impossible.

 

With that feedback in hand our usability experts set out to do what they do best. The result of that labor as you will see In the SAM 5.5 Release Candidate is a new Management resource on your Node Details view. Many of these management functions you're already familiar with, as they were previously located on the Node Details resource. This new dedicated Management resource however, has been extended to provide quick access to SAM management functions like the Real-Time Process Explorer, as well as the new Windows Service Control Manager, and server Reboot action.

 

These buttons appear dynamically in the Management resource on the Node Details view where applicable, depending upon device type. Windows hosts display all three management functions, the Real-Time Process Explorer appears for Linux/Unix hosts running NET-SNMP, and all three are hidden from view for other devices such as Cisco routers and HP switches. By virtue of making the software smarter, and options more accessible, it's inherently easier and more intuitive to use.

 

Quick Link Service Control Manager

 

When we set out to design the Windows Service Control Manager for SAM 5.5, the concept was fairly straightforward; provide a method for remediating common application issues.A listing of all services available on the managed node is presented when the Service Control Manager is opened, allowing for those services to be stopped, started, or restarted, depending on their current state. This same interface would also serve as a quick access method for creating new Windows Service component monitors in SAM. What became apparent after our user research is this introduced an unnecessary additional step for those services already monitored by SAM. In other words, if I'm already monitoring said service, then why do I need to open the Windows Service Control Manager to alter the service state? That was an excellent point and one we chose to remedy by adding the service remediation actions to the Component Details resource as pictured below for any Windows service currently monitored by SAM. This subtle change reduces mean time to resolution when application issues occur, by ensuring that what you need is readily at hand.

Stop-Restart Monitored Service.pngStart Monitored Service.png

 

Bringing Order to The Chaos

 

Structure and organization are cornerstones of managing anything of substantial size and importance, and applications and the templates that monitor them are no exception. The SAM 5.2 release saw a radical overhaul of the template editor, which itself was a direct result of many hours spent talking to users like yourself. One item however, that didn't make the cut for that release was reordering components within an application or template. Why, you might ask, would I want to reorder components? Templates and applications are dynamic in that users update them periodically as their monitoring requirements change. Unfortunately until now, whenever a new component monitor was added to an application template, or assigned application, this component was tacked-on to the bottom of the list with no ability to change its order. What we found in our usability research was that users wanted the ability to organize their component monitors in order of importance and impact on the monitored application. This would bubble critical issues up to the top of the page, and leave lesser important or less likely causes to the bottom. By implementing this feature in SAM 5.5 we further speedup the mean time to resolution by reducing time spent page scrolling, and allowing users to order components according to impact and priority. Another win for you, and the SolarWinds User Experience Team.

 

Reorder Component Monitors.png

 

These are just a few examples of some of the new usability enhancements included in this release, purpose built to make your job a little easier, and there's still plenty more features I haven't had a chance to blog about yet. Such as...

 

  • Windows Network Interface Monitoring via WMI
  • Exchange Web Service User Experience Monitor
  • RPC Fetching Method option for the Windows Event Log Monitor
  • Application Custom Properties
  • Private Key Authentication for Linux/Unix/Nagios Script Monitors
  • Independent Email Send/Receive Credentials for POP3/IMAP4/MAPI User Experience Monitors

 

to name only a few. If you'd like to kick the tires on some of the new features and usability enhancements included in the SAM 5.5 Release Candidate sign-up here. Release Candidates are fully supported and can be used to upgrade your existing installation of SAM. The download also includes a 30 day evaluation license key if you're not yet ready to upgrade. Either way, we'd love your feedback.

Storage Manager relies on querying the array vendor's SMI-S providers for any and all data pertaining to the array. The Storage Manager development team researches new metrics that are added by the vendors in the new versions of their providers in order to expose these to our end-users through the Storage Manager GUI. As I mentioned in the release blog post about Storage Manager 5.3.1, we added a ton of new metrics for IBM SVC, EMC VMAX (including Latency!), and EMC VNX. I'd like to take a little time in this post to outline these new metrics.

 

IBM SVC

 

The IBM SVC architecture presents a front-end interface to virtualize the storage arrays that are sitting behind the SVC. Key to making this architecture work is the ability to efficiently manage the cache, especially the write cache. This enables hosts to get acknowledgement that a write has completed without needing to wait for that write to be destaged to back-end storage. Monitoring the efficiency of the cache is therefore important to managing the overall responsiveness of the entire SVC storage system.

 

Cache Performance Metrics

 

These cache metrics can all be found in the Node Performance report under the Performance tab

SVC1.PNG

 

The following statistics are collected for the overall cache on a per node basis:

 

  • Cache CDCB's - Demote Ready List - Current count of the number of cache directory control blocks (CDCB’s) on the demote ready list
  • Cache CDCB's - Global Copies List - Current count of the number of CDCB’s on the global copies list
  • Cache CDCB's - Modified List - Current count of the number of CDCB’s on the modified list including cache partitions
  • Average Write Cache Destage Latency - Write cache destage latency average in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Lowest Write Cache Destage Latency -  Lowest write cache destage latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Highest Write Cache Destage Latency - Highest write cache destage latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Average Prestage/Readahead Latency - Prestage/read-ahead latency average in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Lowest Prestage/Readahead Latency - Lowest prestage/read-ahead latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Highest Prestage/Readahead Latency - Highest prestage/read-ahead latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Average Read Cache Stage Latency - Read cache stage latency for read miss IO’s average in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Lowest Read Cache Stage - Lowest read cache stage latency for read miss IO’s in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Highest Read Cache Stage - Highest read cache stage latency for read miss IO’s in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Average Cache Fullness - Average cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Lowest Cache Fullness - Lowest cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Highest Cache Fullness - Highest cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Average Write Cache Fullness - Average write cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Lowest Write Cache Fullness -  Lowest write cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Highest Write Cache Fullness - Highest write cache fullness in percent for the statistics collection period
  • Average Data Transfer Latency - Data transfer average latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Lowest Data Transfer Latency - Data transfer lowest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Highest Data Transfer Latency - Data transfer highest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Average Track Access Latency - Begin track access average latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Lowest Track Access Latency - Begin track access lowest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Highest Track Access Latency - Begin track access highest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period
  • Average Track Lock Latency -  Track lock average latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Lowest Track Lock Latency - Track lock lowest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.
  • Highest Track Lock Latency - Track lock highest latency in milliseconds for the statistics collection period.

 

CPU

 

Monitoring the CPU on any array can be important to understand if the array itself can manage the load it is being put under by the hosts. The CPU on the IBM SVC will always read 100% if monitored from the OS because it spends its spare cycles scanning the Fibre Channel fabric. IBM has presented the following counter that allow you see how much time the CPU is actually spending servicing IO requests.

 

CPU Utilization - This statistic reports the pseudo-CPU utilization. It can also be found under Node Performance with the Cache Performance statistics.

 

Port Performance

 

1-28-2013 5-59-52 PM.png

The following stats are reported per nodes for each of the 4 ports of an SVC node and can be found under the Port Performance report under the Performance tab:

 

Commands Initiated to Controllers - Commands initiated to controllers (targets) [always zero but provided for completeness]

Commands Initiated to Hosts - Commands initiated to hosts (initiators)

Commands Received from Controllers - Commands received from controllers (targets) [probably always zero but provided for completeness]

 

The following stats are provided primarily for debug of suspected fabric issues. Each of the statistics below (except for Zero Buffer-Buffer Credit Timer) are the cumulative number of occurrences since last node reset.

 

Link Failure Count

Loss-of-synchronization Count

Loss-of-signal Count

Primitive Sequence Protocol Error Count

Invalid Transmission Word Count

Invalid CRC Count

Zero Buffer-Buffer Credit Timer - This is reset after each collection interval. This should be shown as a percentage of the interval time, so (bbcz/(interval in microseconds))*100

 

MDisk Group Performance and Utilization

 

 

IBM SVC MDisk groups are a collection of MDisks that are all tied to a set of associated VDisks. They are much like Storage Pools in other array architectures. Understanding the load on the entire MDisk group can be incredibly important when tracking down issues in your storage environment. This is because although one VDisk may not be busy, it can easily be starved by a "noisy neighbor." Without a full understanding of what MDisks (and VDisks) are sitting on shared resources, it can be nearly impossible to make those connections.

1-29-2013 10-33-23 AM.png

In Storage Manager 5.3.1, we created new performance reports specifically for reporting on the MDisk Group. Within the MDisk Group Performance chart you can report on all of the standard performance metrics for that group including:

  • Overall Response Time
  • Read Block
  • Read Blocks/Sec
  • Read IOs
  • Read IOs/Sec
  • Read Response Time
  • Total IOs
  • Total IOs/Sec
  • Worst Read Response Time
  • Worst Write Response Time
  • Write Blocks
  • Write Blocks/Sec
  • Write IOs
  • Write IOs/Sec
  • Write Response Time

 

We also added a specific report and charts for MDisk Group Utilization to track capacity information for the MDisk Group.

 

1-29-2013 10-46-45 AM.png

1-29-2013 10-47-22 AM.png

The MDisk Group Utilization reports allow you to track the following key capacity metrics:

  • % Free
  • % Used
  • Free (GB)
  • Total (GB)
  • Used (GB)

 

For a detailed overview of all the performance statistics provided by the IBM SVC SMI-S Provider, please see this document provided by IBM.

 

EMC Symmetrix VMAX

 

For VMAX, we added metrics for Device Performance and for Disk Performance.

 

Device Performance

 

One concern we've received from customers in the past was the inability to get latency metrics from VMAX LUNs. As of Storage Manager 5.3.1, we now incorporate read and write latency metrics for LUNs. These do not yet roll up into a top-level metric in the Top 10 LUNs report on the Main Console, but we will be looking at addressing that in future releases.

 

1-29-2013 12-37-42 PM.png

The two latency metrics we've added for read and write latency are:

  • Samples Average Writes Time (ms) and
  • Samples Average Reads Time (ms)

 

Hopefully, customers will find this information extremely valuable as they troubleshoot latency problems on their VMAX arrays.

 

Disk Performance

 

1-29-2013 12-30-12 PM.png

In addition to the existing I/O metrics, we added these metrics:

  • MB Read
  • MB Read/sec
  • MB Written
  • MB Written/sec
  • MB Transferred
  • MB Transferred/sec

 

EMC VNX

 

We actually did quite a bit of work to add new metrics for VNX FAST Cache in Storage Manager 5.2.4. However, because 5.2.4 was a service release, we didn't make a lot of noise about the new metrics. This doesn't mean that they are unimportant though! VNX Fast Cache is an incredibly useful technology for helping to improve the overall responsiveness of your storage subsystem and therefore it's important to know how your cache is performing. FAST Cache metrics added in Storage Manager 5.2.4 include:

 

FAST Cache Metrics

 

Asset Info Report - Cache High/Low Water Mark

 

1-29-2013 1-22-13 PM.png

Asset - FAST Cache (new report)

 

1-29-2013 1-27-25 PM.png

 

Cache Enabled (Shows on 2 reports)

 

Storage - LUN's Report

 

1-29-2013 1-23-36 PM.png

Storage - Storage Pool/RAID Group Utilization

 

1-29-2013 1-25-48 PM.png

Also, we added performance metrics for Cache to multiple Performance charts in the product including:

 

Array Performance

1-29-2013 1-31-29 PM.png

Here we added support for these metrics:

  • FAST cache MB Flushed SPA
  • FAST cache MB Flushed SPA/sec
  • FAST cache MB Flushed SPB
  • FAST cache MB Flushed SPB/sec
  • %Dirty FAST Cache SPA
  • %Dirty FAST Cache SPB

 

LUN Performance

 

1-29-2013 1-43-22 PM.png

Here we added support for these metrics:

  • FAST Cache Read Hits
  • FAST Cache Read Hits/sec
  • FAST Cache Read Misses
  • FAST Cache Read Misses/sec
  • FAST Cache Write Hits
  • FAST Cache Write Hits/sec
  • FAST Cache Write Misses
  • FAST Cache Write Misses/sec
  • % FAST Cache Read Hits
  • % FAST Cache Write Hits

 

Storage Pool/RAID Group Performance

 

1-29-2013 1-46-59 PM.png

  • FAST Cache Read Hits
  • FAST Cache Read Hits/sec
  • FAST Cache Read Misses
  • FAST Cache Read Misses/sec
  • FAST Cache Write Hits
  • FAST Cache Write Hits/sec
  • FAST Cache Write Misses
  • FAST Cache Write Misses/sec

 

For a full overview of all the metrics available through the EMC SMI-S Provider, please reference these two guides provided by EMC:

EMC® SMI-S Provider Version 4.4.0 Programmer’s Guide with Additional Extensions

EMC SMI-S Provider Version 4.5 Programmer’s Guide

Here is the content that the Syslog dev team is currently looking at, for the next version of Syslog (current is v9.3.4). We will update this post with details once we get through the planning phase.

  • Moving to a new web server (UltiDev Web Server Pro)
  • Active Directory authentication for web access
  • Bug fixes

 

Disclaimer:  Comments given in this forum should not be interpreted as a commitment that SolarWinds will deliver any specific feature in any particular time frame. All discussions of future plans or product roadmaps are based on the product teams intentions, but those plans can change at any time.

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