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We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Kiwi Syslog Server (KSS). KSS v9.4 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 KSS:

  • Moving to a new web server
    This change brings a lot of new functionality "for free". Examples:
  • Active Directory authentication for web access
  • Alerting for Message Queue Monitor
    Be notified when the number of messages in the message queue crosses certain threshold. This indicates there might be performance problems and gives you chance to take an action before messages get dropped.

FreeDNS.png

Today we made it official - our library of handy DNS and email troubleshooting tools on DNSstuff.com are now free! You can use the tools a few times before being prompted to create an account, with an account you can create your own favorites and arrange the tools as you see fit. The DNSstuff Toolbox ("Professional Toolset") has dozens of tools for testing/retrieving DNS records and troubleshooting configuration issues that might affect network connectivity, routing, DNS and email; the Mail Server Test Center consolidates a few critical tests that might affect email into one place.

 

Questions DNSstuff Tools can Help you Answer

 

Is it down for everyone or just me? Can people reach my site? Is my site slower from different parts of the internet?

DNSstuff is a great third party external resource that lets you troubleshoot remote connectivity issues without calling all your friends to ask them to try accessing your site and tell you how slow it is. In addition to the usual traceroute, our vector trace tool lets you drop in an IP and we'll connect to it from 2 different locations to see whether there's any issues with your site that might differ based on someone's location. While you're there, dig into the details about any hop to find out more about who owns it and where it is.

 

DNSvector1.pngDNSvector2.png

 

 

Are my DNS records good? Has my DNS change propagated through the internet yet? I am setting up a new site or working with a new customer and how can I tell their DNS is configured correctly? Is there a problem with one of my listed DNS servers not responding?

 

Nothing's more fun than making changes or making a new site live and having someone ask you every 5 minutes why the traffic isn't coming yet, or why people are still seeing the old site. Okay, maybe more fun than that is when you have random reports of lookup failures or communication errors to your site and have no idea why - but all of the network connectivity itself seems good. You can use DNSstuff to do tests against your DNS records and their listed DNS servers to make sure all of the listings are correct AND help you identify common problems or pitfalls with DNS that might lead to these types of failures.

 

Our DNSreport tool will run a number of tests against your domain and subsequent listed DNS servers to tell you if there's a problem anywhere down the line. You can also use the ISP cached DNS lookup tool to see if ISPs have cached your records or are showing the new ones.

 

DNSreport.pngDNScachedISP.png

 

Where is this IP address physically located? How does traffic route through different geographic areas to get to one of my sites? Could a wonky route that sends traffic overseas be making my site particularly slow?

DNSstuff has a few IP location and visual traceroute tools that help you identify where a certain IP is located and what routes traffic might be taking to get to an IP address. The vector trace (sample above) is handy to see how different locations might be reaching you. Our standard traceroute performs the exact same lookup but from a single host. IP information will look up all of the info related to an IP (including location across several location tools) and there's always standard IPWhois to do a simple reverse ownership lookup.

DNSipinfo.pngDNSipwhois.png


Am I listed on any spam blacklists?

There's a bunch of spam blacklists out there and getting listed means email from you might not reach someone using a blacklist to prevent unwanted email. DNSstuff has a blacklist lookup tool that checks your IP address against those lists.  You can also check a domain against a URI blacklist tool in case your domain has appeared in spam and that's causing you to be blocked, too. If you are blocked, we've lined up the contact info so you can react accordingly.

 

DNSspambl.pngDNSuribl.png

 

Who owns this site and which whois service should I use to find out if I need to contact them? I changed my whois record info, but how do I know it's done?

There are several online whois tools, but usually in order to use them, you have to at least figure out which whois service to go to. We've hooked them all up to one lookup tool so you can drop in an IP or domain name and see who it belongs to (and all the other useful whois info). We also have snapshots so you can see when whois information last changed and what changed.


DNSwhois1.pngDNSwhois2.png

 

People are getting bounce messages from our email, but not all of the time, and I can't figure out what's going on - help?

If you've got multiple servers configured as your MX, mail can find its way to all of them - but only sometimes, which makes problems pretty hard to track down unless you check every server. Mail Server Test Center runs a bunch of tests that check basic connectivity, records, SPF, and other info against ALL of your MX records.

 

DNSmstc.png

 

And More!!

There's a ton of other tools on DNSstuff - everything from a Speed Test to DKIM Key/SPF record checking to a CIDR calculator and even social media search. DNSstuff is also here on Thwack, over in the DNSstuff space where our product management and sometimes even dev team checks in to see how we can help.

 

NOTE: All paying DNSstuff customers continue to have access to the same tools and information that they did before, and access to create an online case with our support team up to the expiration date of your account. As your account expires, your access to any tools won't change and you'll experience no interruption in service.

The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset – 10.9.1 Release Candidate is now available for download in your customer portal.

This Release Candidate fixes the following issues.

 

• Issues with Neighbor Map (250173, 186932)

• Port Mapper - In correct VLAN ID displayed (156029)

• Bandwidth Gauge –Historical Statistics issue fixed (175923)

• Subnet Calculator – Resulting in wrong subnets (243226, 228460, 222771)

• Port Scanner crashes (222332, 218038)

• Switch Port Mapper does not work with Cisco Nexus 5000 (197087)

• Switch Port Mapper does not show MAC Address (204097)

• Switch Port Mapper fails to export to CSV format (250453)

• Workspace Studio Crash (236890, 236888)

TraceRoute crashes when hostname is not resolved (233322)

• Cannot add nodes to Bandwidth Gauges, with Non Admin user rights (234987)

WorkSpace Studio: Interface Chart % Utlization Rx+Tx faulty logic (245706)

• SNMP Real Time Graph displaying duplicate column names (250074)

• Watch It gives a Run-Time error after exiting the application when log in as a standard user (241675)

• Compare config Tool error out when logged in as a standard user (240296)

 

We have also included some enhancements into the tools.

 

• Enhancements into the TraceRoute tool.

WorkSpace Studio - Export function available in IP Network Browser.

• Neighbor Map can now export to Visio

• Proxy Ping supports IPV6 and SNMPv3

• SFTP functions using DSA Algorithms

• Fixed the renaming of file name in SCP Server and TFTP Server Tools.

 

The full set of release notes will be available when we have the formal release.

 

P.S: The Release Candidate (RCs) is a fully supported early release available to existing customers. If you have active maintenance and you are interested in the RC, please download the RC from your Customer Portal..

For those of you not familiar with Google Fusion, it's the latest (beta) data visualization tool to come out of the Mountain View Chocolate Factory. Among other things, it can make some pretty awesome charts and maps.

Since we here at SolarWinds subscribe to all sorts of geekery, we thought it only fitting to pump our topology and dependency data into it and see what came out. As you can see from the video below, the results are pretty awesome.

 

So how does one go about creating such a cool map and putting it in NPM?

 

First, you'll need the SolarWinds SDK installed (http://thwack.solarwinds.com/thread/39001)

 

Then open SWQL Studio and attach to SWISv3 with your Orion Credentials.

For topology data, use the below query:

 

 

SELECT d.Caption AS DestCaption, s.Caption AS SrcCaption FROM Orion.TopologyData t

JOIN Orion.Nodes s ON s.NodeID = t.SrcNodeID

JOIN Orion.Nodes d ON d.NodeID = t.DestNodeID

 

 

 


For Dependencies, you would use the below query:

 

 

SELECT dp.ParentDisplayName, dc.ChildDisplayName

FROM

(

SELECT d.DependencyID, d.ParentUri, p.DisplayName AS ParentDisplayName

FROM Orion.Dependencies d

JOIN System.ManagedEntity p ON p.Uri = d.ParentUri

) dp

JOIN

(

SELECT d.DependencyID, d.ChildUri, c.DisplayName AS ChildDisplayName

FROM Orion.Dependencies d

JOIN System.ManagedEntity c ON c.Uri = d.ChildUri

) dc ON dp.DependencyID = dc.DependencyID

 

 

 

 

Right click on the results and save as a CSV file to your local hard drive.

FusionTables.png

Now let's go over to Google and search for "Fusion Table"

 

Select "Create" (you may need to login with your Google account credentials)

Select "Choose File" and select the file you have saved from SWQL Studio and click Next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table_data.png

 

 

Take a moment to admire your data, and click Next then Finish.

See your data in the Fusion Table?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network_Graph.pngOn the "Help" Menu  Select "Switch to Classic View".  You should now see the "Labs" menu option

From the "Labs" menu, select "Network graph", and you should now see your beautiful map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

publish.png

Click on the "Get embeddable code" button and select the "Change Visibility" link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select "Anyone with the link". Click "Save"

Change the Height and Width to your desired size.  This size will need to be smaller than your column width in your Orion Page you will be putting the resource on minus about 50 pixels.  So if my Orion page column in 850, then I set 800 Width here.

Copy the "Paste HTML to embed in website" text.  Keep in your clip board for future use

Go to NPM, navigate to the page you want to place your Fusion Graph Map on.

From here it's a simple process of creating a Custom HTML resource. This has been covered previously here: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/product-blog/blog/2010/08/05/hidden-gem-the-custom-html-resource

Once complete, get ready to impress your friends, family, and co-workers. Well, perhaps not, but you likely won't be able to stop playing with the new map.

SolarWinds is hosting a Customer Event at Cisco Live Orlando! Sign up to join us for one or more sessions. Sessions will be held Wednesday and Thursday, June 26 & 27, over lunch. The Customer Event will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel, directly across the street from the hotel. Each session is limited to 30 people, and a catered lunch will be provided. We hope to see you there.

 

Sessions Include:

 

Wednesday June 26, 11:30-12:30

Don’t Forget the Superglue

 

This session covers three critical areas that can be overlooked until you’re in a pinch: config backup and policy scanning, network discovery and diagramming, and maintaining a clutter-free helpdesk queue.

 

Wednesday June 26, 12:30-1:30

NPM – What’s New, What’s Coming, and Popular Extensions

 

Join us for a product update, one-on-one discussion, and live demo with SolarWinds Product Managers and Head Geeks to learn and ask questions about the brand spanking new PM 10.5 release. The Product Management team will discuss what we’re working n for future releases.

 

Thursday June 27, 11:30-12:30

Protect Your Network From Hackers

 

Join us for a power unch to swap stories from the front lines and learn what SolarWinds is bringing to the table in the security space. A SolarWinds customer will also join the presentation to share how they are using SolarWinds in their environment.

 

Thursday June 27, 12:30-1:30

NPM – What’s New, What’s Coming, and Popular Extensions

 

Join us for a product update, live demo, and one-on-one discussion with SolarWinds Product Managers and Head Geeks to learn and ask questions about the brand spanking new NPM 10.5 release. This session will also feature a long-term SolarWinds NPM customer as a special guest panelist. The Product Management team will discuss what we’re working on for future releases.

 

Sign up here!

It’s been a month since the release of NTM 1.0.10., We are now working on our next version which has been guided by your valuable feedback. Below is snapshot on what we are considering.

 

  • Edit Node Properties – You will be able to Change your Nodes’ Names or Name your Unidentified nodes.
  • Ability to save credentials – NTM will give you the ability to save credentials and reuse it to perform a new scan.
  • Schedule export to Network Atlas – For our NPM users, you will be able to perform scheduled exports of NTM Maps into Network Atlas.
  • Better representation of ICMP (only) Nodes – We are working on building some intelligence in that allows for better grouping of ICMP nodes and better representation of them on the map.
  • Support Hyper V – We will extend our Virtualization mapping by supporting Hyper V

 

 

Questions? Comments? Did We Miss Something? If you've got questions or ideas about a particular feature that might be most useful to you or your organization, or want to take part in a release candidate or beta, feel free to comment. Make sure to file a feature request over in our Network Topology Mapper Feature Requests forum if you don't see your request. If someone else already posted it, please add your comments so we know there's interest in a particular feature or issue and please don’t forget to mention the use-case that particular feature will solve for you.

 

Disclaimer: 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. 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!

Hello!

 

After the release of NTA 3.11 we here at SolarWinds turn our focus on performance and retention with in NTA. There have been several surveys that you all have been great about providing feedback on in addition to here on Thwack. Survey Says: make it run faster! Retain my data longer! You asked, we listened and now we are focused on delivering our next release with these enhancements as the primary focus.

  • Performance:
    • Decreasing Web Page Load Times
    • Decreasing Flow Processing overhead
    • Increasing Flow Processing speed and capacity
    • Decreasing SQL DB overhead
  • Retention:
    • No more data aggregation
    • Greatly increased detailed data retention

 

And for all you Juniper folks, we're also planning on supporting sampled jFlow. Stay tuned for more updates about beta builds in the near future! Can't be contained in 4.0

 

Disclaimer: This is not a commitment to a time frame or delivery of any of the features discussed below. This is also not a commitment to deliver all of these features in our next release. This post is intended to give you a rough idea of what we're doing.

DameWare 10.0 has officially been released!  This marks a milestone in DameWare history, with DameWare officially going mobile!  We listened to your feedback over the past year, and one thing we heard time and again was the ability to use DameWare on mobile devices.. With DRS 10.0, you will now be able to remotely control machines with the DameWare agent from your iPad or iPhone running iOS 6 or greater. For those of you running a different OS- <cough>Android</cough> don't flame us just yet; we're very interested in making that happen for you in the future.

 

In order to securely proxy your mobile traffic from the interwebs to your systems, we've created a new service called the DameWare Mobile Gateway (DMG for short.) DMG is installed on a Windows server installed in your DMZ (or behind your firewall if you have mobile VPN access.)

 

DameWare_Mobile_Gateway.jpg

 

Once installed, just configure your user accounts, and you are off and running:

DameWare_Mobile_Gateway_Users.jpg

 

 

 

The DameWare iOS mobile client is freely available in the AppStore, and once installed will prompt you for the IP address of your newly installed Gateway, as well as user name and password.

After sucessfull authentication, proceed to connect to any endpoint running the DameWare agent. Besides the brand new mobile app, there are several other items worthy of note in this release:

 

1. Remote mounting of ISO via Intel's vPro AMT - re-install an OS from across the globe.

2. Support for authenticated proxies during silent installation

 

Full release notes are available here

Detailed deployment guide for DMG here

 

If you're an existing customer on SolarWinds maintenance then this upgrade is absolutely free to you.  If you've yet to purchase through SolarWinds, you can download and try the new features for free for 14 days.  Purchasing 10.0 gets you a year of maintenance which entitles you to free upgrades and support. I hope you'll check out 10.0, and I'd love to hear your feedback on the new features and enhancements!

If you have used Network Topology Mapper, you know it’s of great use for visually seeing and tracking changes of your network, onto a map.

In past blogs we have highlighted how NTM integrates with NPM. If you missed it you can check out my blog post here.

For this blog, we will see how SolarWinds Engineers Toolset integrates with NTM and how it can make your life easier.

Before we do. Let's perform a quick recap on what these tools can help you with.

 

Network Topology Mapper (NTM)

Network Topology Mapper automatically discovers and produces a comprehensive network diagram of your network. Some other features that will make your life easier are:

1. Builds comprehensive Layer 2, Layer 3, Layer 2/3, VLAN ID specific and Virtual environments network maps

2. Tracks changes in your network environment

3. Export to Microsoft Office® Visio®, PDF, Network Atlas and PNG formats

4. Visually track changes in the network, with the help of the schedule discovery.

5. Fulfillment of information security requirements of PCI/DSS, HIPAA, or other regulatory standard

 

Engineers Toolset (ETS)

Engineers Toolset is composed of over 50 network tools ranging from network diagnostic, discovery, monitoring, configuration management, security etc. These tools are easy to use and effective to troubleshoot your network.

 

Engineers Toolset Integrates with Network Topology Mapper.

If you have ETS and NTM on the same system, you can take advantage of the integration of ETS into NTM. Below are the six tools that will work out-of-the-box with just a right-click.

  • TraceRoute
  • Enhanced Ping
  • Lookup IP Address
  • Lookup Hostname
  • CPU Gauge
  • Switchport Mapper

Untitled1.png

Are these the only tools which are integrated ? What about the rest ?


Fear not, we have added a function called Custom Tools, which gives you the ability to add specific tools depending on your needs and requirement.

My personal favorite is the Neighbor Map tool, I have heard users who have asked for, the ability to perform crawl discovery of a specific node in NTM. Neighbor Map integration from Toolset addresses this request.

  • Right click the selected node. Integration with Custom Tools - Add Custom Tools
  • Give a name for the custom tool (in this case Neighbor Map). Provide the path to the NeighborMap.exe file, which is found in your Toolset installation folder.
  • Under Command line arguments, enter the following arguments /host: (to enter the selected node into the Neighbor Map tool) and click on ${IP} under TIP: Command line Macro Commands (which will pull the IP address of the selected node).
  • Click on Save Changes and the OK button and you are good to go.

Capturenow7.JPG

 

Capturenow4.JPG


Other interesting tools like Bandwidth Gauges (provides real time traffic and bandwidth utilization monitoring), Real Time Interface Monitor (to display interface statistics from routers and switches ) and more can be called from NTM.

 

If you're an Engineer's Toolset customer and you haven't tried the NTM, you can learn more about it here.

 

 

Last updated on 2/20/2014, by Cliton Godinho

It's a rare thing these days to see a product essentially reinvent itself. Most product improvements across the industry tend to be more evolutionary than revolutionary; and with Server & Application Monitor 6.0 beta 3 (sign-up here) we are definitely aiming our sights towards the latter. Since we very first sat down at the drawing board to begin design on SAM 6.0, our mantra has been "question everything". We wanted to provide a tremendous level of additional application monitoring depth, while simultaneously simplifying the entire experience of initial setup and configuration of application monitoring; we also wanted to reduce overhead associated with configuration changes made in the environment. As result of this endeavor AppInsight was born.

 

AppInsight is a new application monitoring technique we are introducing as part of the Server & Application Monitor 6.0 release. Beginning with Microsoft SQL Server, AppInsight provides a whole new level of application monitoring detail that was previously very difficult, if not impossible to achieve using Application Templates. AppInsight is not a direct replacement for Applications Templates but rather an entirely new monitoring concept within SAM. Application Templates remain the primary method for quickly monitoring virtually any commercial, open source, or home grown application imaginable. In contrast, AppInsight is more akin to an entirely new product deeply embedded within SAM; designed from the top down to solve common, yet complex problems for a specific application, rather than merely a new feature.

 

AppInsight for SQL

 

Microsoft's SQL Server is a ubiquitous beast at the very core of many organizations critical business applications, both large and small. Unfortunately, gaining the necessary visibility into various different aspects of the SQL Server instance, or worse yet, the databases themselves, that effect the performance characteristics of the applications that rely on the database server has proven challenging without the necessary tools to provide visibility.

 

With SAM 6.0 we knew we wanted to deliver comprehensive SQL database server monitoring in a simple, intuitive, easy to use manner that would aid anyone, from novice systems administrators to veteran DBAs alike, identify both common and complex SQL issues in their environment.

 

Discovery

 

The AppInsight experience, as with most things,starts at the beginning during discovery. When adding nodes individually all available SQL 2008, 2008R2, and SQL 2012 Server instances found on the host are listed. As you can see in the screenshot to the right, you can select each individual instance you'd like to monitor the same as you would for volumes or interfaces.

 

If adding nodes individually isn't your speed, AppInsight for SQL has also been tightly integrated into the Network Sonar Discovery wizard. This allows you to easily scan an entire subnet, group of subnets, IP address ranges, or a list of individual IP addresses, to quickly discover hosts on your network and any SQL Server instances installed on those hosts. Regardless of which method you choose, monitoring your SQL server instances is as easy as checking the box.

Add Node - AppInsight.png
Network+Sonar+-+AppInsight.png

Once you've enabled AppInsight for SQL monitoring for any SQL Server instance(s), you will see them listed within the same All Applications resource alongside the template based applications that you're monitoring with SAM today.

 

A new icon adorns AppInsight for SQL instances in the All Applications resource, making them easily distinguishable from traditional template based applications.

AppInsight Dashboard

 

When you click on any AppInsight for SQL listed in the All Applications tree, you will be taken to a new, radically overhauled version of the Application Details view that's been designed from the ground up to serve as the dashboard for that Microsoft SQL Server instance.

 

The very first thing you're likely to notice when accessing this new Application Details view are the the newly redesigned chart resources that combines information, such as status and current value normally found within the Components resource, with those metrics historical values charted over time. This allows you to see not only how the application is performing now, but how that performance compares to historical trends without needing to drill deeper into the Component Details view.

All Applications - AppInsight.png

There is such an enormous amount of valuable information on this view that it has been categorized and broken up logically across multiple resources; a theme carried over from the Asset Inventory subview I discussed in my previous SAM 6.0 Beta blog post. This prevents anyone from becoming too overwhelmed with all the information shown, while also making the diagnosis of root cause easier. For example, if you're troubleshooting a potential memory issue on your SQL Server, then all information related to memory is contained within the Memory resource. There are similar resources for information such as latches & locks, connections, cache, paging, buffers, and more.


Memory.png

Database Details

 

AppInsight for SQL doesn't merely gather information about the SQL Server instance itself but also individual database managed by that SQL Server as well. Contained within the Application Details view, you will find the All Databases resource that displays status and basic size information for the databases running on this SQL instance. As databases are created on the SQL server, AppInsight will automatically begin monitoring them. Conversely, when databases are deleted from the SQL server they will disappear from the All Databases resource. Click on any of the databases listed and you'll be taken to the Database Details view which contains all information specific to that database.

All databases.png

Database Index Fragmentation.png

 

The Database Details view helps to identify various database performance issues, such as those associated with poorly performing indexes through the top 10 clustered and non-clustered indexes by fragmentation resources.There's also a wealth of other valuable information contained in this view that will help you to determine which tables consume the most storage space, the number of rows in each table, white space remaining in the database, as well as resources to help isolate disk I/O contention issues for both database and transaction log files.

Database - Tables by Size.png
Expensive Queries


What do you do when "Sally" in accounting complains that the ERP system, that's critical to the business and relies on Microsoft SQL, is "slow", but you've exhausted all avenues trying to isolate the cause of the issue? SAM's AppInsight for SQL may be telling you that the issue is CPU related, but how do you determine the actual cause? This is where having insight into the most expensive queries executing on the SQL server becomes absolutely essential. Within the Application Details view you will find the Top 10 Expensive Queries resource that shows the the most expensive queries running across all databases for that SQL server instance. Additionally, you will find the same Top 10 Expensive Queries resource on the Database Details view that shows the list of most expensive queries running against that specific database. If those resources don't provide an adequate level of detail to help isolate the issue there's also a dedicated Queries subview where you can filter on a specific database, time frame, host, or user. From this view you can quickly identify that the cause of the high CPU utilization on the SQL server, and the ERP systems poor performance, are caused by "Jan" in the Finance department running her quarterly reports. That's actionable information everyone can use.

Most Expensive Queries.png

Download Details

 

There's still a ton more AppInsight for SQL goodness that I haven't yet shown. If you'd like to see it in action for yourself sign-up here to participate in the SAM 6.0 beta. Note: You must already own a license of Server & Application Monitor that's currently under active maintenance to participate in the Beta.

New IP Address Manager 4.0 just has arrived. The upgrade is available for free for all IPAM customers under active maintenance and can be downloaded from the SolarWinds customer portal.

 

The 4.0 comes with following list of new features and improvements:

  • Support for BIND DNS management and monitoring
    • Create, edit, delete DNS zones and DNS records for BIND DNS v8.x and v9.x (A, AAAA, MX, PTR, CNAME)
    • Monitor BIND DNS service status
    • Monitor BIND DNS zone status
  • Active IP Address conflict detection in both static and DHCP environments.
  • Integration of IPAM with our UDT product via subviews
    • See Port and User information on the same page as IP address Host or DNS assignment history
    • Shutdown port remotely in case of IP address conflict (UDT functionality)
  • New Icon pack for IP addresses, DNS zones and DHCP scopes.

 

Some of you may read IPAM 4.0 RC blog post that presents BIND DNS management and monitoring and IP Address conflict detection. For thos who didn't, here is a short summary:

 

BIND DNS Monitoring and Management

BIND DNS is de-facto DNS standard and it's frequently used among IT guys. Those who need to configure BIND DNS via CLI know that there is a lot of space of human mistake during adding new DNS zones or updating DNS records. I can also imagine that admins are not comfortable with giving CLI credentials for read/write/create/modify BIND config files to people that just need to maintain DNS records. And that's why we added support for BIND management into IPAM - no more errors during config and no more sharing of CLI credentials.

 

Adding and configuring BIND DNS servers is a matter of few minutes. As a user, you need to do three steps:

  1. Add device that hosts BIND DNS as a node into IPAM (that will also allow you to monitor device performance)
  2. Let IPAM to scan BIND configuration (enable scanning)
  3. Allow/Deny other users to change BIND configuration (Power User role and above can do that).

 

BIND How To (arrows) resize.png

 

Active IP address conflict & User Device Tracker integration

IPAM 4.0 can detect IP Address conflicts (both IP static and DHCP environments) and help you to troubleshoot the problem. It would allow you to switch down the port remotely if you have UDT installed along with IPAM. Let's take an example of IP conflict and how IPAM may help you:

 

Client_conflict wireless.png

IPAM 4.0 offers following IP Address Conflict detection and historical data in order to help you identify devices in conflict.

  1. IP Address conflict is triggered
  2. IPAM contains information about the IP Address history assignment from where may user see MAC addresses that are using IP in conflict
  3. If UDT is installed, UDT view provides information about Device, Port and Active Directory information.
  4. UDT can remotely shut down switch port and unblock IP in conflict.

IP Address conflict_cr 1.png

IP Address conflict_cr 2.png

For more details about IPAM 4.0 release visit SolarWinds IP Address Manager Release Notes

We are pleased to announce the general availability of SolarWinds Web Help Desk v12. This release contains the following product improvements and new features:

 

  • Improved LDAP Directory and Active Directory auto-discovery
  • Native Asset Discovery (using WMI)
  • Native integration of Asset Database with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Network Configuration Manager (NCM) and Server and Application Monitor asset databases (SAM)
  • Native integration with Alerts from SolarWinds NPM, NCM and SAM
  • New Getting Started wizard
  • Automatic setup of WHD database in the wizard
  • Support for Windows 2012, Windows 8 (only for evaluation version of WHD)
  • Support for MS SQL 2012, support for embedded PostgreSQL database
  • Migration utility from Frontbase to PostgreSQL

 

For details on these features please visit previous announcement about Release Candidate on Product Blog.

 

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

 

 

Download Web Help Desk now and have fun!

Latest and greatest version of NPM 10.5 is ready for download from your customer portal.

 

Here are major improvements and new features:

  • Routing information including alerting for major routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP)
    • View and search in routing tables.
    • See changes in default routes and flapping routes
    • View router topology and neighbor statuses
  • New Interface filtering UI to import discovery results:
    • Exclude virtual interfaces and access ports, or specific interface type
    • Select interfaces based on pattern matching including Regex formulas
    • The new preview UI for final selection of imported interfaces
  • Multicast traffic information monitoring and alerting, including topology information.
    • Automatic detection of multicast protocol and multicast group import into NPM
    • Display multicast information, route information, and device information in a single unified view
    • View multicast topology using upstream and downstream device list information
    • Generate intelligent alerts based on multicast errors
  • Interface Auditing
    • View user actions related to interface monitoring in NPM

 

As you may notice from above, this version of NPM adds another important element for successful and effective troubleshooting of connectivity and performance issues - monitoring of OSI L3 routing protocol information.

 

How does routing information impact network performance and availability?
     IP networks are critical for business missions, it’s not only router or switch hardware which can impact your network availability and performance. It’s also Incorrect routing or routing issues causing undesirable performance degradation, flapping and/or downtime. Getting such information requires “analytic tools”. In bigger network, routing can change very dynamically (adding/removing switches, Aps, VPNs, routers and IP subnets) and it’s almost impossible to monitor routing changes from the inside of the routers (too much simultaneous data).

 

Also, information like “Flapping Route” are not available for most of protocols directly on the server. The flapping route problem will cause frequent re-calculation of network topology by all participating routers or flood network with many Update packets. In both cases it prevents the network from routing and correct packet addressing. Another common issue is human error caused by incorrect creation of static routes. ICMP Ping won’t help you and since you can see that the device is up and running but you really need to see routers settings and check packet routing.

How is routing presented in NPM?

     If NPM recognizes that Node is actually a router that runs one of the OSPF, BPG or RIP protocol it will automatically gets routing information from such device. Routing information is then mapped to existing Nodes and Interfaces in NPM so you may see device availability statuses and network performance data. All new resources are under "Networking" tab on Node detail page.

RoutingGA1.png


NPM 10.5 also automatically detects multicast protocol traffic and imports multicast groups as a monitored object.

What is multicast?

      IP multicast is widely deployed in enterprises, and multimedia content delivery networks. A common enterprise use of IP multicast is for IPTV application. It’s also used for video and teleconferencing and it is about to transmit a single message to a selected group of recipients. A simple example of multicasting is sending an e-mail message to a mailing list. Mutlicast protocol is well known as a bandwidth-conserving technology that reduces traffic because it simultaneously delivers a single stream of information to thousands of recipients.


How to understand multicast availability and performance information?

     Because the topology is sometimes complicated it’s difficult to understand who can and who can’t receive multicast traffic. The network availability is a key and the status of the whole multicast group is a representative of (not)successful transfer of multicast stream.

Even though Multicast is designed to save bandwidth utilization, with many groups and many multicast sources & receivers, network may become saturated very quickly. There are tools like NTA which can sniff the network data and tell you what apps are causing the network traffic but people usually need to quickly read multicast node traffic utilization – bits per second. Looking at overall traffic consumed by multicast node, users may see the ratio of multicast vs. another type of traffic on the network and then optimizes QoS configuration to increase/decrease traffic priority, upgrade the link or change multicast routing so the traffic may go via another line. In a case that the multicast group status reports a problem, people need to have an information about Multicast Topology. Only topology information allows you to quickly jump between Upstream or Downstream device and let you find the root cause of the problem fast.


How NPM 10.5 solves Multicast problem?

     During first network scan, NPM detects multicast groups and list of nodes that are subscribed to each one.

multicastGA1.png





















multicastGA2.png
 
NPM then creates a topology of upstream and downstream devices within a group and detects interfaces that forward or receive multicast traffic.

multicastGA3.png

Re-worked Interface filtering page

     This is something you've asked us to improve (for example here or here on Thwack). We understand that filter & import only desirable interfaces took some time with previous version of the Interface discovery filter. If you run Discovery Importing wizard in NPM 10.5 you'll find re-worked UI for interface importing. You can filter by Interface status, VLAN port type, protocol type, hardware type. It now has support for advanced filtering and Regex conditions so create filter that will import just physical interfaces that are part of the specific VLAN ID is a matter of few seconds.

interfaceFilteringGA1.png


I believe that you will like the new functionality of NPM 10.5 and stay tuned, because we are already working on the next version.



Log & Event Manager's latest Release Candidate (v5.6) is now available on everyone's customer portal. As always, this release candidate is supported in production, so if you have any questions or issues post them here on our Log & Event Manager Release Candidate forum or contact our awesome support team. Here's the two big items that will make it worth your while to upgrade.

 

 

Let's take all those rules... and move them to categories!

http://i.qkme.me/3uhjia.jpg

LEM ships with a lot of rules out of the box... a lot. The problem we've had is that they are hard to find - if you're looking for "rules that help with PCI Compliance" you have to cross reference a separate list. Well, no longer! We have categorized and tagged everything into different areas that are oriented much more toward how you're actually using rules.

LEM-Rules-v56.png

 

  • To use a rule template, click the "Gear" to the right of the rule you want to use, then choose "Clone". (This isn't new, but where it's located is!)
  • Your rules will appear in the "Custom" category (underneath "Compliance" in the screenshot above).
  • We've hidden some of the advanced refinements (searching by date, user who modified the rule last, etc) to the "Advanced Search" area on the top left.
  • There are some rules that monitor common traffic patterns that are enabled by default. They will show up as Created By "Unknown" and be enabled (easy to spot if you click on All Rules).

 

When editing a rule...

LEM-Rules-v56-Edit.png

  • Click the link next to "Tags" to the top left to add categories and tags. The "Tags" dialog will open where you can add your own or check off existing tags.
  • To delete a category/tag from the list, remove the category/tag from any rules that are using that category/tag.
  • You can create your own categories/tags on the fly, too, just add them when you're editing the rule, and check them off. You can always go back and add those tags to new rules.

 

Some cool things you can do with categories and tags:

  • Tag rules you're using for compliance so that they don't get inadvertently disabled.
  • Categorize rules used for production, lab, and other environments so that you know how rules are used.
  • Tag "in progress" or "testing" rules so that you can find rules that you're working on developing.
  • Categorize rules for different departments or teams (sort of like how we have Security and IT Operations) so that each team can find their relevant rules quickly.

 

 

 

Next up....

Improvements to Database Storage Infrastructure, Archiving, and nDepth

We've done some revamping of our database storage backend in order to satisfy some internal and external requirements. What does this mean to you?

  • Your data will be migrated to a new format during upgrade. You'll want to take a snapshot (upgrade will remind you) or archive before starting the migration since it's a one-time operation.
  • You can resize your appliance beyond the previous 1TB limit (the next most common barrier is 2.2TB, based on virtual infrastructure capabilities to address a single disk).
  • Database archiving is not a full archive each time anymore, only what's new. The first time after you upgrade when your archive runs (use "archiveconfig" in the CMC to check) it will effectively be a "full" archive, though, so be prepared.

 

What you'll see during migration:

  • The console will show the progress of your migration, along with an estimate for completion. For most people, it should be a few days to a week. People with larger databases could experience longer migrations (and if you've got a full 1TB database it could be a couple weeks).
  • While the migration is taking place, you'll be able to search new data and migrated data, but not older data. Most recent data is prioritized, as is processing real-time data vs. migrating.
  • The Database Maintenance Report will also show you the status and historical info (so you can tell how far back you're migrated in days, rather than percentage/numbers).

 

With nDepth search, you'll see a new cool feature that draws the charts dynamically as your data is returned, rather than waiting until the end. You'll also see that you can now sort results by oldest to newest or newest to oldest, rather than always having them in the same order.

 

How to Upgrade

  1. Go to the customer portal. Scroll to the "Release Candidates" area. Click on the LEM v5.6 RC. Download the "Upgrade" bit (zip file).  If it's not in the Release Candidates section, you can go to License Management, then under your LEM license you'll see a "Release Candidates" area.
  2. Extract the zip file contents. Put the "TriGeo" and "Upgrade" folders in a windows file share that the appliance can access. (It's big, so you probably don't want to pull over the WAN or anything)
  3. Log in to the CMC via SSH, your hardware appliance, or your virtual appliance console's "Advanced Configuration".
  4. Run the "upgrade" command
  5. Answer the prompts.
  6. That's it! (It'll take about 5 minutes to run through everything, then migration starts in the background)

 

Get help, ask questions, tell us what we missed!

Come to the Log & Event Manager Release Candidate forum and tell us what you think. There's also an additional thread over there with some more technical details: LEM 5.6 Release Candidate Notes & Info (RC2 - Available Now).

As described in this blog post, SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager v7.2 has reached Beta status. In the meantime, we have been working on further enhancements and improvements. One of the features we focused on is the possibility to attach end-of-life information to nodes managed by NCM. This blog post decribes the new version of this feature, available in NCM v7.2 Beta 2. To participate in the Beta program, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. (If you already subscribed, you don't have to do it again.) Remember, Betas cannot be installed in production and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

 

NCM EOL Summary Page

 

Why Do I Need to Know the EoL Status of My Devices?

As described in SolarWinds EOL Lookup: Which of My Devices Will Become End-of-Life?, this is important for planning purposes; both budgetary and operational. Your organization may also be a subject of policies that require running up-to-date equipment. Please take a look at the referred post for more details.

 

As you can see in the picture above, the End-of-Life management screen is accessible directly from the NCM menu bar. The main grid provides an overview of various device attributes that help the user assign the End-of-Sales and End-of-Support dates (together called End-of-Life dates). By default, the nodes are grouped by matching type.

 

Assigning EoL Items to Devices

Matching the EoL information to devices is not an easy task. To address it, we have developed this End-of-Life feature that works in the following way: When user wants to assign EoL information to a device, NCM will search its EoL database and suggest a few possibilities to choose from (ordered by a rank). The user will then choose the best match himself. To make the choice easier, NCM will supply additional information such as node details, custom properties, link to vendor's EoL website (if available) etc. If there is no suitable EoL item, the user can enter his/her own dates. Another option is to mark the device as ignored by the End-of-Life feature. (Applicable e.g. to some special devices.)

 

Each night, NCM will process its EoL database and try to find the suggestions for devices with no EoL information assigned. (This can also be triggered on demand.) The EoL information for a particular device can be in one of the following states (called matching type):

  • Suggested Dates Found -- NCM found suggestions for EoL information and expects the user to choose one of them.
  • Suggested Dates Assigned -- User already assigned one of the suggested EoL items to this node.
  • Custom Dates Assigned -- User entered his own EoL dates.
  • No Suggestions -- NCM has not found any EoL candidates for that device.
  • Ignored -- For some reason, user does not want to manage EoL info for this device.

 

Show me the Workflow!

Typical workflow will look as follows:

  1. Go to the End-of-Life management screen (see the picture above) to check if there are any devices with suggested dates found.
  2. Select one or more nodes and click "Assign Dates".

    NCM EOL Summary

  3. On the Assign page, you can select one of the suggestions or enter your own EoL dates.

    NCM-EOL-Assign.png

  4. You can also easily select more nodes that will be assigned the same EoL dates. By default, devices of the same type (same SysOID) will be pre-selected.

    NCM EOL Add More Nodes

  5. You may enter a comment explaining your choice or any other information you want to attach.
  6. Click Assign.
  7. The devices you just processed can be found in the "Suggested Dates Assigned" category.

    NCM EOL Summary

You can take the same steps for devices with no suggestions, too. There will just be no options to choose from.

 

NCM stores the assigned EoL dates in the database, so that they are not overwritten when NCM generates suggestion next time. However, the user has the option to delete the EoL dates manually.

 

How Do I Create a Report?

You have the possibility to create the report by adjusting the information shown in the main grid and exporting the result in Excel or CSV format. Let's explore the flexibility that you have:

  • You can change the grouping. (Default is matching type.)

    NCM EOL Group By

  • You can add or remove columns.

    NCM-EOL-Add-Columns.png
  • You can filter the information. The EoL dates have a few predefined filters to make the reporting easier.

    NCM-EOL-Filter.png

Last but not least, we have a new resource that can be placed e.g. on the summary page:

 

NCM EOL Resource

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