Skip navigation
1 14 15 16 17 18 Previous Next

Product Blog

675 posts

We used to have an OS/SQL compatibility matrix for all product consolidated in this blog, but many of you have requested that we track this more formally, so here it is in a KB - Knowledge Base - article

We are going to update this matrix as thoroughly as possible.

 

Feel free to continue to post your comments and questions about the matrix in this thwack blog post.

 

FYI, the latest and greatest versions for each products, are here

We have reached the Release Candidate (RC) phase for our next release, Web Help Desk 12.1. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers on active maintenance to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else. You can find the RC binaries for download in the SolarWinds customer portal.

 

If you have any questions I encourage you to leverage the WHD RC group on thwack:

 

http://thwack.solarwinds.com/groups/solarwinds-web-help-desk.

 

This release contains the following product improvements and new features:


 

You will find the latest version on your customer portal in the Release Candidate section.

 

Ability to de-escalate a ticket

 

You can find a brand new buttons to escalate and de-escalate a ticket in ticket details section.

escalation.png

Process of escalating or de-escalating of ticket is following settings of Tech groups levels. After escalating or de-escalating a ticket, information icon will inform you about details how was the escalation performed.

escalation_info.png

 

Improved help accessibility

 

Apart from continuously improving documentation our goal was also make it more accessible and easier to find and use.

help_buttons_whd_12_1.png

 

We added a new help button to main menu, so you can open WHD help easier from any page. We also added help buttons to particular sections of setup. These lead to chapters of help discussing particular WHD setup section, again make it easier for you to find help for the relevant part of setup.

 

Casper 9 support

 

We introduced new way how to integrate with Casper 9 and instead of connecting to database as with in previous versions, we utilize Casper API and thus there is no need for database name field anymore. Also instead of database user, you should use Casper user. Please check the tooltips in the UI of Connection Basics configuration.

 

[EDIT: Added new section about Casper 9 to highlight the change in method of integration.]

 

Casper9settings.png

 

If you have a question about whether a case you've filed was resolved in this release or a certain feature request implemented, feel free to ping back on this post or in the RC forum and let me know - I'll be sure to look into it.

In this exciting age of virtualization, cloud, SDN, and other hardware abstractions, we often take for granted the most important technological advances of the 19th century – electricity. While some of us are just able to spin up another EC2 instance from the ether, most of us still worry about physical capacity, even if it’s going to our own internal virtual infrastructure. So that means at the end of the day, in order to add capacity, some poor soul somewhere is going to have to heft 60 pounds of metal into a rack and plug it in.

In its most basic form, this moment of truth is a non-event. The server comes with a couple cables, the PDUs are already mounted in the rack by the last person, just plug in each end and move on. Easy enough. But what if you had to order more of those cables? What the heck is the difference between a C14 and a C19? What if you had to order a new PDU and UPS to build out a new closet or rack? What if you’re standing in the server room right now talking to that kindly gentleman wearing overalls trying to figure out just what sort of socket needs to go on that wall? These are the sort of low-tech questions we’re going to answer here, because the day will come when you’ll be asked to “just” plug something in.

 

Let’s start with the common power cable. Excepting proprietary oddities from a few manufacturers and regional regulations, you will mostly encounter the same 4 types of cables:

 

IEC C13-C14:

IEC_C13-C14_(2).png

IEC C14-C20:

 

IEC_C14-C20.png

 

IEC C19-C20:

IEC_C19-C20.png

 

NEMA 5-15P-C13 (mostly North America):

 

NEMA_5-15P-C13.png

So now that we can identify these cables, where do we plug them in? The most common AC output voltages from UPSs will be 120v and 208v. For the remainder of this post, I will refer to 208v as it is most prevalent in North America, but it could be anywhere from 208v-240v internationally. Most modern datacenter gear will accommodate voltages from 120v-240v AC, however it is always advised you actually check the power supply of the gear to verify there isn’t an old-school voltage selection switch before plugging it in. Unless you like the sweet smell of fried PCB in the morning.

 

This also applies when you’re spec’ing out UPS and PDU gear for a new rack build-out. The first order of business is to make sure all of the gear going into the rack will support the output voltage of the UPS. (Or for that matter, that the PDU does as well.) 208v is more efficient than 120v, so if you have a choice in the matter, go with 208v. Secondarily, choose a PDU (or UPS) with a sufficient number of the desired type of sockets. The choice in output socket is primarily driven by your voltage selection and device amperage requirements, so if you’re going with 120v in North America, NEMA 5-15 is most common. Higher draw devices (read bigger) will likely call for C19 sockets as they can handle ~60% more juice than C13. C13’s also have proclivity to not fit as snug and secure as one might hope, so it may be a worthy investment to find PDUs / cables with locking latches (APC has some decent ones) to prevent accidental downtime.

 

On the other end of that UPS (or PDU) you will have a whole new set of decision points to determine what you need. Apologies in advance for the focus on North American plug types here. High-res pics of other standard (IEC) types would be very welcome in the comments section below. The common input receptacles you will see (or ask your electrician for) in North America will be:

 

L5-20 (120v/20A)

L5-20.png

 

 

L6-30 (208v/30A)

 

L6-30.png

 

 

 

Less common, and usually seen with big 120V UPSs will be a L5-20. Ever wonder what that horizontal slot was for in commercial building sockets? Now you know. If you’re going 208v, you may also be asked by your electrician if you need a “three-phase” circuit. The short answer is that three phase circuits can handle a heavier load, and that you need a UPS that supports it. The long answer may be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-phase_electric_power

Speaking of UPS- how does one select the appropriate model? Firstly, let’s talk about one of the dark mysteries of the electrical world- kVa and how it differs from kW. We won’t go too far into the weeds on this, but the reason kVA maps so well to kW is that kVA is “apparent” power and kW is “actual” power. Represented mathematically:

 

kW = kVA * pf (power factor)

 

Power factor is basically the efficiency (loss) of the power load. Nearly all modern high-efficiency server power supplies should have a power factor close to 1.0, so kVA tracks very closely to kW. This is what you will use to size the rated output load of the UPS. As far as runtime goes- pardon the obviousness, but the more batteries, the longer the UPS will run for. This varies by vendor and model, but will usually be stated on the product specs under min/max/average load. Make sure the UPS has the appropriate input connectors for the wall plug you chose, and the matching connectors for the PDUs, and you’re in business. Next step is to wait for a few hundred pounds of gear filled with lead-acid batteries to arrive on a pallet and hoist it into the rack.

 

Until the day comes that Tesla’s dream of wireless power distribution becomes a reality, there will always be a need for someone to push a plug into a matching receptacle of appropriate voltage and with sufficient amperage. If that someone is you- I hope you found this post useful.

In the comments below, we would love to hear how you currently manage your power / cooling / environmentals. Do you have them in NPM or are you using something else? How do you model your racks- Visio? Dare to dream of using something better?

We also have a quick 4-minute survey that gives an opportunity for even more feedback on rack diagramming and power / cooling management. We'd love to hear your thoughts: Rack Diagramming Survey

The time has come for yet another Log & Event Manager (LEM) Release Candidate! The RC is already available on the Customer Portal for all LEM customers under maintenance. As a Release Candidate you can deploy it in production and work with our awesome support team if you need any assistance. Here's what you'll see in the RC...

 

Automate Searching and Augment Reporting with Scheduled nDepth Searches

 

Reporting is useful when you want static content with graphs and charts with pages of content, but it's hard to slice and dice the data and it can be tough to get and edit your report criteria just right. Our search interface, lovingly called nDepth, has the ability for you to do more flexible searching, using components like User-Defined Groups and Directory Service Groups, and to piggy back on existing filter criteria to get a jump-start. With this release, you'll be able to take any Saved Search in nDepth (in the normalized data store or the original log message store) and both generate an event from it and/or have the results sent to you in email.

 

nDepthSavedSearch2-MenuSmall.pngnDepthSavedSearch3-Schedule.png

 

Let's say I've got a saved search (or am using a default saved search!) for Logon Failure activity for the last week. With reports, I can schedule, filter, and export to different formats, but I might also want to create my own charts or pass the data off to another team for investigation, which are harder to do with reports. nDepth has a new option in the gear menu on the left side, "Schedule," which will open up a dialog that lets me schedule any saved search on whatever repeating interval I like. By specifying an "End Date," I can also decide how long I want the scheduled search to run, in case there's a short-term issue that doesn't need to be ran indefinitely. If I choose to email the results, up to 10MB (millions and millions of records) will be included in an attached zipped CSV file with all of the original data, similar to a manual export from the Console, except MANY more results.

 

Support Flexible Workstation Environments by Recycling Agent Licenses Automatically


VDI and other flexible temporary workstation initiatives are becoming much more commonplace, but even temporary workstations need to be monitored the same as their semi-permanent counterparts. With LEM Workstation Edition, we've made licensing affordable for workstations, and with this release we've made it possible to automatically recycle licenses from nodes that haven't sent any data in a while.

 

You'll find the license recycling feature (off by default!) in Manage>Appliances>License toward the bottom. With this feature you can:

  • Specify the age of last event before the license is eligible to be recycled (e.g. must have been offline for more than an hour, in case someone is rebooting or temporarily shut down): default 1 hour
  • Specify the schedule frequency to recycle licenses (e.g. every day at 5am, check for old licenses to recycle): default every day at 4am, and
  • Specify the matching parameters for what systems to recycle so that unexpected systems don't get deleted (e.g. only nodes with hostnames or IP addresses that match your VDI network): default all nodes

 

AgentLicenseRecycle-small.pngAgentLicenseRecycle2-UDG-small.png

...But Wait, There's More!

 

Import User-Defined Groups from CSV Files

A commonly requested feature is the ability to import CSV files to automatically populate groups, rather than having to edit data elements by hand, which we've implemented in this RC. From Build>Groups, go to (top right) Gear>Import, change to "All File Types" and choose your CSV file. The format of the file is basically what you see in Build>Groups:

UDG, UDG Name, UDG Description

Element Name, Element Data, Element Description

Element 2 Name, Element 2 Data, Element 2 Description

...


Performance and Platform Improvements

We're investing time in improving things under the hood, too. With this release, we've done some heavy lifting in the correlation engine, updated our agent and appliance Java Runtime Environments, updated Tomcat, and a lot of other somewhat invisible changes. For those of you who want to prevent an agent update from automatically being pushed out after upgrading, make sure to go to Manage>Nodes or Manage>Appliances and turn off Automatic Updates for specific nodes or globally.

 

We've also improved small areas like the performance of nDepth CSV export from the Console (be sure to check out scheduled searches if you still need to export more than 250,000 records), adding more info to our troubleshooting logs to help our support team help you faster, and a ton of other things.


New Connectors and Device Support

We'll provide a more complete list with the release notes, but the most notable addition is that we've included out of the box support for NetApp File Auditing. Most new connectors are released regularly with the connector download, but for NetApp auditing you'll need to upgrade your appliance and agent to the new release first.


Questions, Issues, Comments - Send 'em Our Way


Feel free to use the Log & Event Manager Release Candidate Thwack forum to report and comment on any issues, questions, or comments you have about this release. Our product management, development, and QA teams are keeping an eye out for any possible issues.


If you have a question about whether a case you've filed was resolved in this release or a certain feature request implemented, feel free to ping back on this post or in the RC forum and let me know - I'll be sure to look into it.


Happy Logging!

So here we go again! Time to kick off the next release of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor with the first official beta, and grab a quick first glimpse into several of the cool new features we've got lined up for SAM 6.1.

 

Not to be confused with SAM 6.0.1, the Service Release containing many important bug fixes for SAM 6.0 and available for download now through the Customer Portal, SAM 6.1 is the next major "feature" installment in the series. If you'd like to participate in the SAM 6.1 beta you can do so by signing up here. Feedback is crucial during the beta phase of development because there's still plenty of time to make important tweaks and adjustments that can make all the difference in the final release. If you've never participated in a SolarWinds beta before, now is a great time to start. Not only do you get to play with all the great new features first, but it's also an excellent way to help shape the future of the product.

 

 

Windows Scheduled Tasks

 

At one time or another, every systems administrator has had to rely (albeit sometimes begrudgingly) on Windows native Task Scheduler to automate some routine process. Be it automating backups, disk defragmentation, antivirus scans, etc., the Windows Task Scheduler has undoubtedly played an important role in ensuring your infrastructure is properly maintained. However, even as the Windows Task Scheduler has improved over the years, real-time visibility into the success or failure of those tasks across the enterprise has remained, for the most part, an enigma.

 

In SolarWinds never ending pursuit to provide greater levels of visibility into the critical componentry that make up your IT infrastructure, we sought to resolve this visibility gap by introducing the Windows Scheduled Task Monitor as part of the SAM 6.1 beta release.

 

Elegant in it's simplicity, SAM's Windows Scheduled Task Monitor for the first time provides you with at-a-glance access to the state and status of the scheduled tasks configured on your Windows hosts. In addition to simply seeing what tasks have been configured on the host, their current state, and their last run result, SAM 6.1 includes a new pre-configured out-of-the-box alert which will notify you of any task execution failures that occur. You will also find new web based reports that allow you to view all scheduled tasks configured across all servers in your environment, as well as a dedicated Task Failure Report you can view or have emailed to you on a regular basis.

Windows Scheduled Tasks.png

 

When monitored, you will find the Windows Schedule Task resource pictured above on the Node Details view of the monitored server. This is because Windows Scheduled Tasks are not applications in the conventional sense. As such, they are treated somewhat special in SAM and given a prominent resource of its own amongst other host specific information on the Node Details view.

WIndows Scheduled Task Add Node.png

Several options are available to enable SAM's new Windows Scheduled Task monitor. When adding a new, or listing resources on an existing WMI managed node, you will be provided an option to select Windows Scheduled Tasks. The same as you would for volumes or interfaces.

 

If enabling this feature one node at a time isn't your speed, you also have the option of leveraging the Network Sonar Discovery Wizard. The Network Sonar Discovery Wizard allows you to quickly and easily enable the Windows Scheduled Task monitor en masse across all Windows hosts in your environment, or surgically enable this feature only on a select group of nodes.

 

Both one-time discovery, and scheduled reoccurring discovery options are available to enable the Windows Scheduled Task monitor. If using the scheduled discovery option you will have granular level control over which hosts the Windows Scheduled Task Monitor is enabled, as seen in the screenshots below. Hint: If the image is too small, click on it to zoom in and see the full size image.

 

The new Windows Scheduled Task Monitor in SAM 6.1 supports monitoring tasks configured on Windows 2003, 2003R2, 2008, 2008R2, 2012, and 2012R2.

Windows Scheduled Tasks - Scheduled Discovery.pngWIndows Scheduled Task Network Sonar Discovery.png

JSON

 

Web Services APIs such as JSON are the glue that bind modern applications together, usually across different servers, allowing for the exchange of information between them. As end users become reliant upon applications built on these web services, it becomes increasingly more important to monitor those applications to ensure they're functioning as expected. The simplest, and most obvious method for monitoring those applications is to query the back-end server directly, using the same web service API method that the front-end web application would use. From the server's response we can determine the web services availability (up/down), latency (response time), as well as validate the content returned as a result of that query.JSON.png

From within the HTTP/HTTPS Component Monitor settings, you will find three new options (Host Request, Content Type, and Request Body) that allow for the monitoring of restful web service API's, such as JSON and XML. Three new methods (Put, Post, and Delete) are also provided, in addition to the existing "GET" method that has historically been the default and only method available for the HTTP/HTTPS User Experience Monitors prior to SAM 6.1.

 

Sustained Thresholds

 

Last, but certainly not least, 6.1 includes additional improvements to how thresholds are handled in SAM. While tremendous strides were made to how thresholds are calculated in the SAM 6.0 release with the introduction of the Threshold Baseline Calculator, that feature served to provide meaningful context to already collected data. In other words, to answer the proverbial question "What's normal for my environment?" and then suggest recommended warning and critical thresholds based on that information; however, as anyone who's been monitoring IT infrastructure for a while will tell you just because a threshold was crossed once, doesn't mean it's a significant issue that requires immediate attention.  After all, who enjoys being woken from their slumber at 3am to a nuisance alarm telling you that the % Processor time on one of the servers spiked momentarily. If the alert requires no action on your behalf, then more than likely it wasn't worth you waking up for. Alert notifications should be about providing actionable information that requires some level of user intervention to resolve. While some metrics, such as the amount of free space remaining in your SQL database might only get worse over time, thus requiring immediate attention when it dips below a reasonable limit, other metrics can vary wildly from one poll to the next. This is where sampling can play an important role in reducing, or even eliminating the number of nuisance alerts that flood your inbox on a regular basis.

 

In SAM 6.1 you will find new options for defining sample criteria for both warning and critical thresholds associated with each monitored metric of an application. By default, both warning and critical thresholds are evaluated after a single successful poll. This is the exact same behavior as all versions of SAM prior to 6.1. In addition to the single poll evaluation, you will find options for defining criteria for multiple consecutive polls, as well as a method for defining the number of samples that must exceed the threshold for a configured sample size before the condition is met and the status of that component monitor is changed.

 

Sustained Thresholds.png

 

Sustained conditions in SAM 6.1 can be defined independently for both warning and critical thresholds to provide maximum flexibility. Both "X Consecutive Polls" and "X out of Y Polls use a sliding window approach to evaluating thresholds. After each poll, the conditions defined for the threshold are evaluated based on the bounds of the sample size. Put simply, that means that after each poll a new sample is collected and added to the evaluation, while the oldest sample is removed from evaluation. Below, I provide two examples. The first example on the left demonstrates the "X consecutive polls" method. In the left column I show the numerical value collected from the poll (the sample). In the right column I show the status of the component as defined by the sustained condition. The "Sample Size" in this example is "3", meaning that three consecutive polls/samples must exceed the threshold of "80" before the status should change to "Warning".

 

Warning = Greater Than 80 for 3 Consecutive PollsWarning = Greater Than 80 for 3 out of 5 Polls
Polled ValueStatus
65UP/Green
77UP/Green
88UP/Green
85UP/Green
89Warning
83Warning
46UP/Green
81UP/Green
22UP/Green
Polled ValueStatus
65UP/Green
82UP/Green
34UP/Green
95UP/Green
88Warning
90Warning
35Warning
25Warning
15UP/Green

 

The second example demonstrates the "X out of Y polls" method. While the "Sample Size" for evaluation in this example is "5" polls, any three of those 5 polled samples must exceed "80" before the status of this component would change to "Warning". Using the same sliding window approach as the first example, with each successive poll a new sample is collected, while the 6th sample is dropped from evaluation.

 

While somewhat similar functionality has existed within the Advanced Alert Manager for some time now, aiding in reducing the number of nuisance alarms, each individual component monitor that has unique threshold criteria has required its own separate alert definition. Not only is this a tedious and time consuming process to initially setup and configure, but it also necessitates the additional overhead of managing and maintaining what can be an unruly number of alert definitions.

 

Sign-up Now

 

We'd love to get your feedback on these new features. So tell us what you think in the comments section below, or better yet, sign-up here to download the latest SAM 6.1 beta and try them out for yourself!

 

Please note that you must currently own a copy of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor that is under active maintenance to participate in the SAM 6.1 beta.

 

Announcing Mobile Admin 8.1 Release Candidate

 

It’s my pleasure to announce the Mobile Admin 8.1 Release Candidate. Mobile Admin 8.1 introduces several key improvements to Mobile Admin that were driven from feedback directly by you. If you’d like to participate in the RC, please fill out this short survey. Customers on Active Maintenance through Jan. 1st 2014 are eligible to participate in the RC. Without further ado, let’s dive into the new functions available in Mobile Admin 8.1!

 

 

 

Overhauled RDP - Now Supports Windows 8.x and Windows Server 2012

 

RDP is one of the most used services in Mobile Admin. It makes sense, given the full flexibility to address any issue you may find in your environment through the full desktop experience that RDP provides. Given the importance of this functionality, we are very happy to announce that as of Mobile Admin 8.1, we now support RDP connections to Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 machines.  You may ask why these versions of OS were different from an RDP perspective. Well essentially, Microsoft introduced a new version of the RDP API with Windows Vista and with Server 2012/Windows 8, they deprecated their old API, so our old implementation was unable to connect to those machine types. We also now allow you to connect to machines that have Network Layer Authentication enabled. The RDP Support does not just allow connection to machines with this specific configuration, but has been completely overhauled to allow for better usability and performance. These videos should give you a good overview of what you will see when using the new functionality.

 

Click to Play Video - New RDP OverviewClick to Play Video - New RDP Help
RDP-10-14.gifRDP-10-14-Help_Play.gif

 

 


iOS 7 Support

 

iOS 7 was the first major overhaul of Apple’s mobile operating system since the very first version was introduced. (For some comic relief, you might check out the Jony Ive Designs Things Tumblr) This overhaul introduced some major changes that we’ve addressed and released already on the App Store. With the official release of Mobile Admin 8.1, we will release another version update that addresses some minor lingering issues with the new OS. For the most part, users have related little or no issues using the new iOS client currently available on the App Store.  Happy Apping!

 

 

Improved SolarWinds Orion Integration

 

When SolarWinds acquired Mobile Admin, one of the most exciting opportunities for the product was to build a first class mobile experience for SolarWinds Orion inside of Mobile Admin. While I’ll be the first to admit that what we have isn’t perfect, I am excited to talk about a few additions to this integration in 8.1 that should significantly improve the value to those of you using Orion and Mobile Admin together.

 

Support for Orion Events

 

First, we added support for Orion Events inside of Mobile Admin. Although we supported Orion Alerts out of the gate with Mobile Admin, feedback from customers strongly suggested that Orion Events provided “the true state” of the system because it showed all of the state changes of the system in the recent past. You should see Orion Events from the main SolarWinds Service screen and once you drill into an event, you can navigate to the Node, Component, or Application associated with that Event to get more information.

 

OrionEvents_Play.gif

 

 

Second, on Node Details pages inside of Mobile Admin, we’ve always included an “escape hatch” URL to the Orion Web Console Mobile Views. This link would allow you view any information we didn’t provide natively inside of the Mobile Admin integration. However, if you had configured a custom URL for your Orion Web console that link wouldn’t be properly formed. In MA 8.1, we now support modifying the URL that Mobile Admin uses to build that link, including whether or not to use the port in case you’ve configured Orion to use port 80 instead of 8787. An improved usability feature is this link is now an actual hypertext link instead of just text with that odd chain icon that was there before.

 

CustomURL_Play.gif

 

Support for Filtering Orion Alerts and Creating Custom Real-Time Alert Feeds

 

Finally, I’m very excited to announce Alert Filtering for SolarWinds Orion. One of the most powerful features of Mobile Admin is the Real-Time Notifications Dashboard. Mobile Admin can take alerts from your heterogeneous monitoring systems in your environment, like SolarWinds Orion, and you can setup those alerts as “feeds” inside of Mobile Admin. Once you’ve setup the Mobile Admin Server to send Push Notifications to your phone, Mobile Admin becomes a real time alerting system that’s with you wherever you go and allows you to get critical alerts about your environment, whether or not you’re connected to network. One problem with the current alerting is that for an environment of any size, you may receive hundreds or thousands of alerts out of your Orion installation every day. With Alert Filtering for Orion, you can now filter alerts and create custom Mobile Admin Notification feeds based upon filters we’ve built into the product. The filters work the same as the Orion Message Center filters and are all implicitly “OR”d so you can filter on a particular host/IP OR vendor name  or whatever else you might be interested in. Only want alerts when Nodes go down? Now you can, so you only get notified when something is important to you. With Mobile Admin, you can even setup multiple custom feeds from Orion to build more complex alerting setups.

 

AlertFiltering_Play.gif

 

Direct Connect Services - Optional Credential Saving

 

Mobile Admin’s “Direct Connect” services include SSH, Telnet, RDP, and VNC (Android only). These services don’t require the use of the Mobile Admin Server to connect to an endpoint and can be accessed directly from the homescreen of Mobile Admin’s mobile clients. We had some strong feedback from customers over the last year expressing concerns that there was no option to not save credentials for these connections. Customers viewed this as a potential security risk, as these services can be accessed without first logging in to the MA Server. As of Mobile Admin 8.1, for these Direct Connect services, password saving is now optional via a checkbox when you create a new connection.

 

DCPwdSaving_Play.gif

 

FIPS 140-2 Compatibility

 

Some customers run MA in a secure environment where their Windows Servers are run in “FIPS Mode” which enforces use of FIPS compatible encryption algorithms. Prior to 8.1, the MA server would fail to work in these environments. The MA Server should now be able to run on a Windows Server where FIPS Compatibility mode is enabled.

 

Updates to other Supported Services – Exchange 2013, BackupExec 2012, and SCOM 2012 - Oh My!

 

As of version 8.1, Mobile Admin will now support Exchange 2013, BackupExec 2012 and SCOM 2012. All of these services were supported by Mobile Admin for earlier versions. You can read more about what you can do with these features on Mobile Admin’s features pages for each of these services.

 

Regarding Exchange, Mobile Admin now supports remote Exchange management. Now the Exchange Management tools can be installed locally on the Mobile Admin server machine (pre-8.1 behavior) or on the Exchange Server itself and controlled via remote PowerShell (8.1 and beyond). This aligns with the same way that customers manage Exchange today with SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor and has the added benefit that the MA Server no longer needs to be in the same domain as the Exchange Server you are managing. Mobile Admin will attempt to auto-detect where the tools are installed based upon the Exchange Server information provided. Besides enabling remote PowerShell on the Exchange Server, you will also need to add the Mobile Admin Server as a Trusted Host on the Exchange Server. To summarize Mobile Admin’s Exchange Support, I’ve included the table below:

 

10-15-2013 11-58-21 AM.png

 

We Want Your Feedback!

 

Be sure to check out the Mobile Admin Release Candidate Group here on Thwack. Use this forum to get your questions answered about the RC or report issues you want to bring to the attention of the larger community. The Product Team will be actively monitoring your posts and engage with you about any feedback you have. Remember Release Candidates are fully supported, so you can also file a Support ticket for any issues you encounter.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Fill out the survey and get started on 8.1 today!

Please join us for a monthly product update from the SolarWinds Product Management team.

 

This month, we’ll delve into “What We Are Working On” for a number of our tools. We’ll discuss the “What We Are Working On” thwack posts live with our product managers. Featured  products include Engineers Toolset, Network Topology Mapper, and DameWare Remote Support. Our PMs will also be able to answer any of your questions about our other recent releases. It’s an action-packed hour. We hope to see you there.

 

If you have any requests for topics or products to be included in this series, please let us know at customervoice@solarwinds.com.

 

Register here.

After release of Web Help Desk v12, we are now busily working on some great new features and enhancements to the product. Here is a preview:

 

  • Asset API to provide more flexibility and ability of automation
  • More robust reporting with options including
    • reporting on new objects like assets, parts or models
    • easier custom reports for common KPIs
    • redesign of custom report writer
  • DameWare integration
    • Some options are chat, screenshot capability or easier configuration for remote connections
  • Revamp of setup section
    • Make settings easier to find when returning to configuration options
  • Propagating information to child tickets
    • Pass various information from parent ticket to child tickets
  • More comprehensive documentation for different areas of Web Help Desk
    • Possible candidates for detailed documentation are SSO, Database migration, sizing and so on
  • Settings export for easier migration
  • Casper 9 support
  • Java 7 support

 

PLEASE NOTE:  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!

To receive updates on the Serv-U FTP Voyager roadmap, JOIN thwack and BOOKMARK this page

 

The Serv-U product team is working hard to build several new and exciting features. Some of these changes include:

 

  • Improvements in LDAP support & usability
  • Enhanced security with support for stronger cryptography
  • Adoption of SolarWinds licensing framework
  • Scheduler Enhancement and Capabilities

 

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!

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

 

The mad scientists of the SAM team have now fully recovered from the marathon release that was SAM 6.0; and as such it is time once again we turn our attention to the future of SAM. Below is a listing of several of the new features they're brewing up in the laboratory.

 

  • AppInsight for Exchange
  • JSON Monitoring
  • SOAP Monitoring
  • Independent Thresholds for Node CPU Utilization, Memory Usage, Response Time, and Packet Loss
  • Windows Scheduled Task Monitoring
  • User Definable Sustained Status Condition Alerting
  • Optional Agent for Monitoring Windows Applications and Servers
  • Application stacked integration and visualization (i.e. visual mapping through your entire application stack to help you answer the question, "Why is my app slow?")

 

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!

WPM & Citrix XenApp


As described in previous posts Web Performance Monitor is a powerful tool designed to monitor performance of your web apps from an end-user perspective. With a bit of creativity and Citrix Xenapp environment properly configured, you can use it to also monitor your desktop applications as described previously by aLTeReGo.

 

Using Citrix XenApp is relatively straightforward, but in some cases you can have a transaction, which needs some more care. Let me show you a few tips and tricks how to use XenApp with WPM, but please note that XenApp is a fairly flexible tool and your environment might differ from the defaults used in this post. Simply adapt principles described to the look and feel of your own instance.

 

Citrix Xenapp is a framework which will help you to use your desktop applications from a wide range of computer systems and mobile devices. You can benefit from the ability to access your desktop application via web browsers, which makes it possible to monitor it by WPM.

 

Prerequisites

Before we start, we will need a deployed and configured XenApp environment, an up-to-date version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and WPM.

 

Login window.png

 

When you open the login window of Citrix XenApp, you can check the Messages tab to see if you have client software (Java Runtime Environment) installed and ready. In this post we will rely on using Java to access your application.

 

missing_client_sw.png

 

After you install JRE (if it was missing), I recommend you to hide security warnings:

  1. Open Internet Explorer on the computer where you want to make a recording.
  2. Open the XenApp webpage and log in.
  3. Try to launch the application you want to monitor.
  4. Click Run on all modal security warning windows and select that you don’t want to show the warning again.

 

security_warning.png

 

Configuring XenApp

Configuring XenApp requires setting the window size and setting client type for the connection.


You can either define these settings system-wide for all users or you can define them at the beginning of each transaction. I recommend setting them for each transaction individually, because it is more independent of system settings and it wouldn't be affected by upgrade unintentional changes in system-wide configuration.

 

Configure settings of window size to of 640x480 or 1024x768. This ensures any Citrix application being recorded will remain within the bounds of the WPM Recorder. To set this up, go to the XenApp home page and select Preferences -> Session settings.

 

screen_resolution_setting_MARKED.png

 

After that make sure you use Java client for your transaction. Go to Preferences -> Connection settings and click the Change Client button. This will set the session to use Java client only.

 

java_client_setting_MARKED.png

 

Now you are ready to simply start your application and do the actual recording.

 

Citrix_apps.png

 

Making it more robust


Image Match

When using XY mode, we are sending mouse click events on the level of operating system and there is no feedback if the action runs correctly. Best practice is to verify the results with Image Match after a mouse click action.

 

Image Match actions are CPU intensive. To improve the performance of a playback:

  • Select only small regions or portions of the image
  • Make sure that the selected area is unique. If you select the close window button, it might easily happen that WPM selects the first close button it detects (not on the one you wanted).

 

If the playback is failing on an Image Match action:

  • Examine the application screenshot to see if the image is present.
  • Make sure you use the same version of Internet Explorer for both recording and playback.

 

Image Match compares bitmaps and as such can be prone to errors due to variations in color depth. To make it more resilient either set lower sensitivity or make sure you use the same color depth for both recording and playback of transaction. This is very important if you for example record your transactions via remote connection using RDP or similar protocols.

 

To lower the sensitivity of Image Match, run the Recorder with /advancedmode command line option. This will give you the ability to define custom sensitivity for Image Match actions. See the threshold setting on the screenshot below.

 

image_match_sensitivity_MARKED.png

 

Note: If you set the similarity setting to a too low value, you might get some false positives.


Using XY mode you are sending mouse click events to the absolute coordinates. You can make your transaction more robust if you use Image Match with Click instead. Image Match will find the button even if it changes the position or even if the application window opens on a different position.

 

More Tips

  • As discussed previously, with XenApp it is very important to keep your transactions clean and minimalistic. Remove any clutter, unnecessary actions recorded, anything that is redundant or irrelevant for monitoring of your application. This way, your transaction will remain robust and maintainable.
  • It also very important that your application is running within the browser window and is not opening separate windows. If the application opens in a new separate window, WPM cannot reach it and you cannot record your transaction. This is matter of configuring Citrix XenApp properly.
  • The last thing to check is the timing of your transaction. Use wait actions or combination of Image Match actions to absorb any variance in response times and also to ensure that when you send your mouse click on the object, the object is already displayed in the browser.

 

In this post we have learned how to configure Citrix XenApp for usage with WPM and how to record robust and maintainable transactions for monitoring of your desktop applications.

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

 

After the release of UDT 3.0 and 3.0.1, we have been working on some fixes and also planning the content of the next release. During this time, we would like to give you the possibility to vote on the ideas we are exploring:

 

 

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.

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

 

After the release of NCM v7.2, we have been working on the next release. Here is our "hot list" of things we are currently working on. Your comments, feedback and specially participation in Beta releases are more than welcomed.

  • Merge NCM and NPM databases
    • Optimize the DB schema.

    • Account limitations must be applied to NCM jobs.

    • Use Core node management page to add/remove devices from NCM.

    • In the discovery wizard, allow users to choose whether to import newly discovered nodes into NCM.

    • The database connection settings will be the same for NCM and Core/NPM (e.g. password etc.).

  • Improve th EoL/EoS feature:
    • Improve matching reliability for EoL/EoS.
    • Include more information in EoL/EoS data. (Candidates: End of Software Maintenance, Replacement Part Number)
  • Create a new version of the configuration management page.
  • Move config snippets from Win32 to the Web UI.
  • Enhance the flexibility of the device templates so that more devices can be supported by NCM.
  • Move to SWISv3.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Various small fixes and enhancements including but not limited to:
    • Retrieve OS version from IBM BNT switches.

 

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.

Hey everyone, the latest release of Alert Central is now available for download!

 

Here's what we've been working on for this release:

 

  • Notification of Alert Central upgrades in your admin AC console and admin weekly report (and support for proxy servers, so your upgrade feed doesn't get interrupted)
  • A slew of improvements to user validation to help those of you with cell phones and improve your expected workflow, including:
    • The option to not automatically send the self-validation email on import
    • The ability for an admin to see whether a user's address is self-validated from the users grid, not just from alerts themselves
    • The ability for an admin to re-send the self-validation email
    • The ability for an admin to manually validate an email address directly
    • Issues with self-validating SMS from Android
  • Support for Exchange Web Services to receive email from Exchange directly, not just via IMAP/POP
  • A bunch of bug fixes for issues reported here on Thwack, including:
    • Buttons appearing wonky when viewing alerts in gmail
    • Notes being truncated to 60 characters and some general misbehavior with longer text
    • Increased session timeout from 10 to 60 minutes
    • Some issues with creating recurring calendar entries

 

Whew!

 

You can download the Alert Central upgrade directly from right here. There's more info about what's new and links to the release notes over in the Alert Central Upgrade Info document here on Thwack.

 

If you are new to Alert Central, you can download it from the Alert Central website.

 

Alert Central is powered by YOUR feedback here on Thwack, so if you've got anything to say, or have any questions, let us know! Check out the Alert Central forum, respond to this post, or contact me (colby) directly.

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Kiwi Syslog v9.4.

 

This version includes the following enhancements:

  • New UltiDev Web Server implementation.
  • Active Directory authentication for web access.
  • Support for SSL (https) support for Web Access
  • Alerting for Message Queue Monitor based on defined thresholds.

 

Kiwi Syslog v9.4 is available for download in your customer portal for those customers under current Kiwi Syslog maintenance.

 

You can view the full set of release notes, including problems fixed here.

 

Enjoy Kiwi Syslog 9.4!

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: