Skip navigation
1 14 15 16 17 18 Previous Next

Product Blog

699 posts

The engineering effort on Kiwi CatTools v3.10 Release Candidate has been completed. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else.

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

 

Here is the content of this RC version:

  • Support for scheduling activities on a monthly basis
  • Support Cisco® Small Business devices
  • Improved support for HP® switches
  • Enhanced possibilities for ignoring text in device configuration
  • Newest version of SolarWinds® licensing framework adopted
  • Fixed problem with Connect Via feature when both target and media devices use variations
  • Various updates of device templates
  • Bug fixes

 

RC builds are made available to existing customers prior to the formal release. These are used to get customer feedback in production environments and are fully supported.

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

 

(Updated March 2, 2015)

Following our 6.1 release of LEM (more info: Announcing General Availability of Log & Event Manager 6.1 - Better Config, and More!), we're back to work on more features and improvements. Some of these features will be included in our 6.2 release of LEM (more info: Log & Event Manager 6.2 and a Threat Intelligence Feed).

 

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

 

Here's what's on the top of our radar:

 

Also, the following ongoing/longer-term items:

  • Ongoing performance investments in our core data processing
    • Customers are sending more and more data to LEM, naturally, so we're investing some time in staying ahead of the curve.
  • Ongoing investments in new connector development
  • Continued customer feedback-driven fixes and updates
  • Better integration with LEM and the Orion platform products (Integration: Log & Event Manager and Orion Platform)
  • Connector building, generic connectors, and general data integration (Build Your Own Syslog Connectors, among others)

 

Be sure to let us know here, and in the Log & Event Feature Requests forum, if there are features you're really keen on. This list doesn't enumerate a lot of the features we're looking into for long term development and further releases, but we continually use Thwack as our biggest source of feedback.


Storage Manager 5.7 Beta 2 Now Available


Thanks for everyone who gave us feedback on Beta 1. It's my pleasure to announce that Beta 2 is now available and the team would love your feedback. Fill out this short survey to participate in the STM 5.7 Beta!

 

Sign-Up Button.png

Without further ado, let’s jump into what is available in Beta 2.

  • Storage Manager Health Status Overview
  • User Defined LUN Grouping
  • EMC FAST VP Support


Storage Manager Health Status Overview Page

 

Storage Manager is responsible for monitoring a large slice of your IT environment. Whether it's just used for SAN monitoring, or you're leveraging VMware, Physical Server, and Fibre Channel switch monitoring as well, the server is handling many tasks in order to pull together the data for your monitoring, reporting, and alerting needs. One thing that has been challenging is getting a handle on the state of the product itself to answer questions such as:

  • What all is the product monitoring?
  • How is the server it's installed on handling the load from a CPU and memory perspective?
  • Do I need to add Proxy Agents?
  • Are my agents and proxy agents performing as expected under their monitoring load?
  • Are my devices data collections happening within their expected collection intervals?


I'm happy to announce that Storage Manager 5.7 is introducing a web console consisting of a central place to view the overall health and status of the Storage Manager software to answer these questions and more regarding the state of the Storage Manager Server, Storage Manager Database, and Storage Manger Proxy Agents. The Health and Status page is accessible directly from the left-hand navigation pane for Admin users only. Once you click on it, you will be shown the full page which I'll breakdown in the table.


 

STM Health Status Section and DecriptionScreenshot (may differ from final product)

Storage Manager Server Performance Metrics

 

The Storage Manager Server Performance Metrics resource displays the health status of the Storage Manager Server. The following information is provided:

  • CPU utilization
  • Physical Memory (RAM) consumption
  • Disk Usage
  • Clicking on any of the above metrics - CPU/RAM/Disk - takes you to the STM Server's Console view where you can get a full picture of the overall health of the server.
  • Collection List – Shows all agents that are schedule for collection. You can click on the Collection List which drills down to the Collection List report to see all agents waiting for collection.
  • An explanation of warnings that are generated.

 

When a threshold reaches 70%, the indicator bar will turn yellow meaning warning. When a threshold reaches 90%, the indicator bar will turn red meaning critical.

Server Metrics.png

Services

 

The Services resource shows memory consumption and Java Heap memory allocation of the Storage Manager Services. When a threshold reaches 70%, the indicator bar will turn yellow meaning warning. When a threshold reaches 90%, the indicator bar will turn red meaning critical. If a service is stopped, it will be labeled as offline. Users can learn more about allocating physical memory to the Storage Manager services by clicking the Learn how to allocate physical memory for services link.

Services.png

Database Status

 

The Database Status resource provides the current state of the Storage Manager Database. The user will be provided the following information:

  • Displays the size of the database.
  • Displays the largest table and the size.
  • Displays the date of the last dbutil/index rebuild.

Database Status also provides the following information and help links:

 

Note: If there are any crashed table in the database, a display message will appear notifying the user. The user can then click the Show Crashed Tables link and view which tables are reporting as crashed.

Database.png

Device Types

 

The Device Types resource provides the status and type of devices being monitored by Storage Manager. This view provides the following:

  • View Device Collection Status – Shows device collection status values.
  • View All Devices - List all devices being monitored by Storage Manager.
  • Devices – The type of device being monitored.
  • Total – Total number of devices being monitored by Storage Manager. This is a clickable link that allows you to see a filtered view of that device type and it's collection status across your environment.
  • Up – The number of devices responding to polling.
  • Down – The number of devices up at one time yet are not currently responding to polling.
  • Offline – The devices that have never been up and are not responding to polling.
Device Types.png

Storage Manager (STM) Proxy Agents

 

Storage Manager has the concept of Proxy Agents. These are STM Agents that are also responsible for monitoring devices that are not on the server where the agent is installed, like a storage array. This can be thought of as akin to an Orion Additional Polling Engine that you may have deployed to monitor multiple endpoints in a remote environment. This resource displays the health status of the proxy agents that have devices assigned to them. The following information is provided:

  • View all agents – A link that displays a full list of all agents assigned to the Storage Manager Server. This includes all proxy agents as well as all agents that are just acting as stand-alone server agents.
  • Monitored Devices – The number of devices being monitored by the proxy agent. This is a clickable link that will take you to the Device-to-Agent mapping report to help you understand what that agent is monitoring and the load that is placing on the agent.
  • Device – Name of the server hosting a Storage Manager Proxy Agent and its current status.
  • CPU utilization – Amount of CPU resources being used by the proxy agent.
  • Physical Memory (RAM) consumption – Amount of RAM being used by the proxy agent.
  • Disk Usage – Amount of disk space being used by the proxy agent.
  • Forecast – Estimate of when the disk will run out of space on the server hosting the proxy agent.

 

When a threshold reaches 70%, the indicator bar will turn yellow meaning warning. When a threshold reaches 90%, the indicator bar will turn red meaning critical.

Proxy Agents.png

Collection Jobs Queue

 

The Collection Jobs Queue resource provides users with a list of the last 10 devices that were either successful or failed when data collection occurred. The users will be provided the following:

  • Device – Device name.
  • Last Run – The last time Storage Manger polled the device to retrieve information.
  • Last run duration - How long it took Storage Manager to retrieve information from the device.
  • Frequency – How often Storage Manager polls the device for information.
  • Job type – The information Storage Manager requested from the device.

 

Note: The Diagnose link within the Last 10 Failed Jobs provides users with additional information as to why data collection could be failing.

Collection Jobs Completed.png

Collection Jobs Failed.png

Help and Support

 

The Help and Support resource provides users with the following information:

 

Help and Support.png

 

User-defined LUN Grouping

 

This has been a long-standing request from customers and we are very happy we could finally deliver in 5.7. Users want to group their LUN's for many reasons to represent:

  • Applications (e.g. Exchange)
  • Geographical distribution
  • Customers (especially in MSP environments)
  • Anything really!


User-defined LUN Grouping can really be broken up into three main parts:

  • Creating the group
  • Viewing the group information in the console
  • Using the groups for reporting


 

Create the GroupScreenshot

Simply navigate to the Settings page to begin and select Device Groups.

Settings Device Groups.png
Go ahead and click "Add Group." As you can see from the screenshot on the right, I've already created a couple of LUN groups. Existing groups of all kinds can be edited or deleted from this page.2-25-2014 6-11-20 PM.png
Give your new group a name. I've chosen "MyNewLUNGroup." Once you've done that, select "Storage - LUN." For those that are familiar with STM, you may recall that there already existed a limited LUN Grouping feature, but it only applied to NetApp LUN's. "Storage - LUN" as a category is not new, but now applies to all supported STM arrays.2-25-2014 6-11-43 PM.png

Now you can build your LUN Group. There are two major ways available to create your group:

  1. Filter by regular expression. Many storage admins have predefined naming conventions in their environment for LUN's, so this provides a shorthand way of getting a list of all available LUN's that match a regular expression.
  2. Filter by the endpoint to which the LUN is attached. If you are monitoring physical or virtual servers in your environment such that Storage Manager can provide End-to-End mapping, you can use this feature to filter out LUN's by associated endpoint. This is useful for filtering out LUN's presented to certain ESX hosts or Windows Servers that might make up an application group (e.g. Exchange Servers). Endpoint filtering also allows you to filter by a particular array or array type in your environment.
2-25-2014 6-12-32 PM.png
Once I've selected all of my LUN's and added them to the "Selected" box on the previous screen, I hit "Save" and am taken back the Edit page. I now can see that 2 LUNs have been added to my LUN Group. Once I hit "Save" here, I'm done creating my group. Note that you can add other items to you group, but because of the way the product works, their will be implicit filtering applied in the product depending on what console your are viewing that will filter out these non-LUN objects.2-25-2014 6-26-34 PM.png


Now that we've created our group, let's see what it looks like. I'm not going to break down all the views available here, but this section should give you a good sense of where to look for information related to your LUN Groups.


 

Navigating LUN GroupsScreenshot
Now that you've created your LUN Group, it will appear in with all of it's LUN Group friends in a newly created LUN Groups section in the Left-hand navigation Pane (LHP). Underneath this LUN Groups category, you will see all of your created LUN Groups, as well as a default "LUN Groups Summary" item that is a roll-up summary of capacity and performance informatio of all the LUNs from all the groups you've created.2-25-2014 6-34-50 PM.png

LUN Group Main Console - This view is much like Storage Manager's Main Console giving you a high level roll-up of key performance and capacity metrics as they pertain to the LUN's in your storage environment. One user experience item that merits pointing out: Not all storage arrays support the metrics being reported on in this view. If you've created a LUN Group that is mixed and an array in that group does not support reporting a particular metric (say "Free LUN" capacity), then the bar in the capacity chart will be gray to denote "incomplete data." Basically, we wanted to avoid designing to the lowest common denominator of array data and give you all the data if arrays in your environment support it. We are very interested if this is confusing or helpful (either way!), as this is something new in the product and direct result of trying to aggregate dissimilar data across our broad array support.

2-25-2014 6-37-41 PM.png
Performance Tab - The place to go to troubleshoot performance problems in your LUN Group. There is a lot here and some of it is still a work in progrees, so I'll save elaboration for a later post. But dive in and play around and let us know what you think!2-25-2014 6-38-06 PM.png

Servers Tab - This is where you go to see associated file system information, LUN configuration details, and logical mapping information for physical and virtual servers.

2-25-2014 6-38-33 PM.png


OK, so now that you've got your LUN groups created, how do you go report on them? There is a new "category" in the STM Reporter, called Storage LUN Groups that contains all the filterable LUN Group reports:


2-25-2014 6-58-42 PM.png

We are very interested in your feedback on the LUN Grouping feature, so tell us what you think!


EMC FAST VP Support


As customer's deploy hybrid arrays in their environment to take advantage of the awesome speed of SSD, they are also leveraging incredible new features from array vendors like EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Pools.  (FAST VP) This technology is available on EMC VMAX/Symmetrix and EMC VNX arrays, although the theory of operation differs dramatically between the two. I'm not going to elaborate on FAST VP here, as it could be a post on it's own and I would highly recommend Vijay Swami's post on the subject for reference reading, but needless to say we've adopted supported for showing you more information about this technology and it's configuration in your environment inside of Storage Manager.


 

FAST VP TechnologyScreenshots

EMC VMAX implementation of FAST VP and it's user facing theory of operation could fill a textbook. It was the subject of not one, but two full 50 minute presentations at EMCWorld last year. In simplest form, the configuration of a FAST VP system requires interactions between the following objects which are now represented inside of STM:

  1. disk groups: collection of like type disks (i.e. 200GB SSD)
  2. Virtual Pools: pooled storage capacity formed from disk groups
  3. FAST-VP Tiers: association of a tier with the previously mentioned pooled capacity; multiple pools of like drive type & RAID protection type can be associated with a single FAST-VP Tier
  4. FAST-VP Policies: auto-tiering policy specifying how much of each tier can be utilized
  5. storage groups: collection of host LUN
2-25-2014 7-13-25 PM.png

EMC VNX implementation of FAST VP is much simpler. STM had previously already provided insight into Storage Tier configurations for VNX. We've now extended some of the existing reports to reflect the simple configuration options available on VNX:

  1. the physical drives
  2. the storage pool
  3. the LUN
  4. the tiering policy of the LUN

2-25-2014 7-18-57 PM.png

2-25-2014 7-18-27 PM.png

2-25-2014 7-17-58 PM.png


That's all for now folks. Sign-up for the Beta and get us your feedback!!!

SolarWinds is pleased to announce that latest and greatest version of IP Address Manager (IPAM) 4.1 has been recently released.

 

This new version primarily focuses on monitoring and management of high-performance DHCP service from ISC via IPAM web-console. 4.1 namely brings following new features:

 

  • A new re-designed DHCP management UI that helps to manage multiple methods of organizing IPs across Windows, CISCO and ISC DHCP vendors
  • Management of ISC DHCP subnet options, ranges and pools (New to ISC)
  • Monitoring of ISC shared network containers and their subnet utilization
  • Monitoring of ISC DHCP IP address static assignments within groups


But that's not all. We were listening to you, our users who requested support for more complicated configuration scenarios on DHCP servers. This advanced scenarios typically requiring setup for specific DHCP Options. IPAM v4.1 can namely do following:

 

  • Monitor and manage over 180 (RFC 2132) DHCP options on Cisco, Microsoft and ISC DHCP servers
  • New UI for DHCP options management with data type validator and text translation of numeric value of each option (you don't have look into RFC)
  • Automatic detection of supported/unsupported options per DHCP vendor
  • Both-way sync between IPAM and DHCP server.

 

For example, you may use options 66 & 67 in order to setup TFTP and VoIP config file name for your VoIP infrastructure running on DHCP server.

 

You may find additional information about fixed bugs and related details in IPAM V4.1 Release Notes

 

If you are interested in how the UI looks look like, here is a small summary:

 

1) ISC DHCP monitoring with shared subnets container

GA ISC.png

 

2) Create/Edit ISC DHCP Subnet - add pools, ranges or setup DHCP options

GA ISC Edit.png

3) DHCP options settings is the same for all vendors supported in IPAM

GA DHCP Options.png

 

 

IPAM 4.1 is available on your customer portal for a download and upgrade on production servers.

At first glance, Server & Application Monitor (SAM) 6.1 might sound like it's a "minor" release. However, with the mountain of new features we've managed to cram in, 6.1 is anything but minor. In previous blog posts I discussed Windows Scheduled Tasks and JSON/XML monitoring, as well as Sustained Threshold Conditions that can be used to squelch nuisance alerts. Despite more than half a dozen additional new features in this release I haven't even talked about yet, such as new SOAP Monitor, Drag & Drop resources (that's right, I said drag and drop), and a new Web-Based Report Scheduler, much of the buzz surrounding SAM 6.1 has centered around AppInsight for Exchange. This is likely due to the success of AppInsight for SQL in the SAM 6.0 release, coupled by the tease that was my previous blog posting entitled "Introducing AppInsight for Exchange - Server & Application Monitor 6.1 Beta 2 Sneak Peek". In that post I gave readers a very early glimpse into AppInsight for Exchange, that barely scraped the surface of what this new application monitoring capability provides. So today I'll attempt to satisfy some of that curiosity by showcasing some of the other functionality included in AppInsight for Exchange.

 

I first cut my teeth back in the day of Exchange 5.5. Since that time I've seen tremendous improvements in Exchange scalability, reliability, and performance. As a consequence of these improvements however, Exchange has become significantly more complex to manage, monitor, and maintain. Simply isolating a performance bottleneck in your Exchange environment can be akin to playing a bad game of "Where's Waldo".

 

AppInsight for Exchange ends the madness by centrally consolidating all information about each mailbox database and its copies across all mailbox servers in the Database Availability Group, into a single Mailbox Database Details view. It is within this Mailbox Database Details view where you will find all relevant information pertaining to that specific individual mailbox database on the server, as well as all other servers where a copy of that database resides.

 

Information including last full and incremental backup, number of mailboxes in the database, average mailbox size, and default storage quotas applied at the mailbox database are all easily at hand.

Database Details.png
Database size and disk io.png

The Database Details view also contains multi-server performance, health, and availability information that should make troubleshooting common mailbox database issues a breeze.

 

For example, in the screenshot to the left you can easily identify where the mailbox database resides on each servers file system, the size of that mailbox database, and how it relates to the amount of free space on each servers volume. You can also identify disk I/O performance issues across servers by seeing the Disk Queue Length, Latency, and total IOPS for the volumes on each server where a copy of that database resides.

 

Similar resources also appear in this view for Transaction Logs, showing additional detail such as the total number of transaction log files, as well as their cumilitive total size on disk.

 

All this information allows you to easily spot problems before they start. There's nothing worse, or more preventable than a database dismounting because the volume it's located on has run out of space. With AppInsight for Exchange, now you can be proactively alerted and take corrective action before it impacts your users.

Now let's say your mailbox database was running out of space. Where do you go, and what do you do now? You could move the mailbox database to a different volume that has more space. If you have more unallocated storage you could even extend the volume. Both of those options require heavy lifting, and likely some downtime.

 

What if you could easily identify the offending user mailboxes that are taking up a large percentage of space in the database? You could then either hunt those users down and ask them them to clean up their mailbox, or move them to another mailbox database that has more available space.

 

The "Users By Mailbox Quota Used" and "Users By Mailbox Size" resources allow you to view each and every user mailbox, its total size, amount of space all attachments in the mailbox are consuming, total number of attachments, and percentage of quota used. This information is available in each mailbox database view, as well as across the entire Exchange environment.

 

You can even spot dormant mailboxes easily within the same resource by viewing the "Last Accessed" date.

Users By Mailbox Quota Used.png

From this resource you can drill down even further into the User Mailbox Details view. Here you can see the quota limits applied to the individual users' mailbox, the Active Directory Organizational Unit where this user resides, and can even click their Primary SMTP Address to notify them that some mailbox cleanup is required.

 

Before you do that though, you might want to get a better understanding of how this user is using their mailbox. Perhaps they recently received several very large email attachments that they could move off onto the file server. Maybe this user regularly receives a large volume of incoming email. This could be normal given their job function, or indicative of ineffective SPAM filtering.

 

With AppInsight for Exchange you can easily visualize each users historical mailbox usage, identify trends such as the growth of a user's mailbox over time, and the total size of all attachments within the users mailbox over the same period. You can also gain insight into the volume of mail sent and received by the user each day, both internally and externally.


This information allows you to make informed decisions before extending users mailbox quotas or adding additional storage to the Exchange server. This information can also be included in alerts that give helpdesk staff a heads up as users approach their quota limit.

Mailbox Details.png
Total Mailox and Attachments Sizes.pngReceived Mail.png

What if the problem you're facing was the other direction? Instead of a massive influx email or attachments driving the users mailbox size, it was malicious activity the end user wasn't even aware of? The Users By Messages Sent resource helps identify mailbox abuse caused by potential trojans, botnets, or otherwise unscrupulous activity. Should your users mailbox be taken over by such mass mailing marauders, AppInsight for Exchange makes identifying this unusual traffic a trivial affair.

 

AppInsight for Exchange also allows you to report on the mobile devices being used in your environment, the operating system version running on those devices, as well as the last time any device was used to connect to Exchange via ActiveSync.

 

This information is available on any individuals Mailbox User Details view. It is also available as an out of the box report that lists all mobile devices in use in your organization and their respective owner.

 

Until now, SAM 6.1 has been available only to a select number of beta participants, but that's no longer the case. As of today, all current SAM customers under active maintenance can download and install the official SAM 6.1 Release Candidate simply by signing up here. Upgrading of your existing production Server & Application Monitor installation is also fully supported. So give AppInsight for Exchange, or any of the over a dozen other improvements in this release a go, and tell us what you think!

Users By Messages Sent.png

Synced Devices.png

 

SAM 6.1 RC button.png

Even with all of the new and exciting product updates, our development team somehow finds the time to outdo themselves. I'm pleased to be able to share with you an early beta of one of our most exciting projects to date: code-named "DPI."

With the ability to sniff the wire and analyze packet-traffic, DPI provides real observed network response time (NRT) and application response time (ART.) In addition, DPI has the ability to classify and categorize ~1300 different applications by associated purpose and risk-level.

Let's take a look at a few of the data points we will start to capture:

 

Network Response Time (NRT)

Is the problem the application or the network? Now you'll be able to prove your pipes are pristine and start to focus on the troublesome app server:

NRT.png

Application Response Time (ART)

The opposite end of the network problem- how long did it take to receive the first byte for a response? Good insight into the Quality of Experience that your users perceive...

ART.png

 

Data Classification

Sure, with NPM interface statistics or Netflow, you can determine how much of your pipe is being filled, and potentially by whom. However, unless you are able to stay on top of the latest in social apps and malware, who may not realize what you should be looking for.

Our list of ~1300 pre-defined applications makes this easy- whether you are looking for Exchange traffic, or Torrent:

Application_List.pngRisk_Level.png

 

 

 

Very likely this technology would begin to surface in a NPM release in the near future- so stay tuned.

For beta purposes, we're limited to just gathering data from a packet filter driver on the Orion server itself, but we have a few ideas on how we can scale that out.

Bear in mind, we're not yet storing any captured data, but rather just analyzing and discarding. Storage would potentially come later.

 

Interested? Sign up here: DPI Beta Survey

Already signed up, or want to learn more? Join our DPI Beta forum

 

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?) please let us know!

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


After releasing NTA 4.0, we have been working on the next release.  Here is our "hot list" of things we are currently working on.  Your comments, feedback and especially participation in Beta releases are more than welcome. 

 

  • The ability to configure devices directly from the NTA web console - NTA 4.1 Beta
  • Improved application and web URL classification leveraging DPI type technologies
  • Additional Flexible NetFlow Field support (IPFIX)
  • Improved workflows by expanding on the integration between existing Orion Modules and NTA
  • Increased sampled support for - J-Flow, S-Flow, IPFIX, & Netstream - NTA 4.1 Beta
  • Improved Alerting capabilities
  • Improved Web-based Reporting
  • Improved handling of backup jobs
  • Additional Flow Navigator capability: filter by source to destination IP Group pairing
  • Support for MS SQL 2014.

 

 

End of Support for 32-Bit Operating Systems

SolarWinds is considering to end supporting NTA on 32-bit operating systems soon. Starting from one of the future versions, NTA will run only on 64-bit operating systems.

 

PLEASE NOTE: 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 WHD roadmap, JOIN thwack and BOOKMARK this page

 

After release of Web Help Desk v12.1, we are now busily working on some new features and enhancements to the product. Here is a preview:

 

  • Asset Reporting
    • Including Reservations and Purchase Orders
  • 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
  • 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
  • Java 7 support
  • NPM integration improvements
  • Ability to export reports to Excel
  • Ticket Approvals from Tech interface
  • iOS Application improvements

 

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!

Many of you are patiently waiting for new version of VNQM and hope to see support for Avaya call quality monitoring. Well, now is a good chance how to help us recognize technical differences and challenges our engineering needs to solve before GA. We are here with first beta that supports Avaya call managers (have S7x series in our lab). We would highly appreciate if you can try to install this version on your test environment (could be VM) and let us know how it works on your end.

 

This is currently supported functionality:

  • Avaya support
    • Storing CDRs in Orion internal DB
    • VoIP search for Avaya calls (search with time and CM only)
    • VoIP Call details view (without CQR and Call Signaling)

 

If you want to participate in beta, you should own VNQM and be under active maintenance. Then you need to simply agree with this beta agreement: SolarWinds VoIP & Network Quality Manager 4.2 Beta Participation Survey and I'll send you download link.

 

How to add Avaya call manager? Click on "Add new call manager" button on IPSLA Summary page and our wizard will take you through the process.

 

I'd also welcome any feedback on wizard UI and improvement points.

 

Here are few screenshots:

 

beta 1.png

 

 

beta 1 - detail.png

beta1 - ccm details.png

With NTM 2.1 out the door we're now focusing on the features and functionality for the next release.  The team is currently working on the following:

 

  • Import User Defined Graphics

Users will be able to bring into the application their own custom graphics.

  • Do Not Scan List/ Scan Exclusions option into the Discovery Settings page

Users will be able to configure scan exclusion to increase the scanning performance and skip scanning nodes which causes false alarms

Not all vendor devices serial numbers will be polled in one release, due to the introduction of performance issues while scanning. We would encourage you to comment on which vendor devices we need to focus on. We will priorities accordingly depending on the response we get.

  • Creating a new map from selected Node objects

This function will help in better representation & creating specific maps


Questions? Comments? 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.


To receive updates on the NTM roadmap, join thwack and bookmark this page.

 

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

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Web Help Desk v12.1.0. The contents of this release contain new features and improvements, namely,

 

  • Ability to de-escalate a ticket
  • Casper 9 support via Casper API
  • New REST API for Locations
  • New REST API for Assets
  • Improved help accessibility and many documentation improvements
  • Many bug fixes and performance improvements

 

You can view the full set of release notes here.

 

To learn more about new features in this release see this blog post.

 

Download Web Help Desk now and have fun!

When I talked to you - IPAM users, I've heard many times that one of the typical tasks of IP address management is obtaining available IP address(es) for selected subnet. This is tricky if you use spreadsheets and share it with more people (you never know if the doc is in sync and if you won't create IP address conflict).

 

You also voted for similar feature - IP Request Form on Twhack. Where one of the scenarios is ask & approve assignment of first available address in subnet.

 

In this post, I'd like to unveil an IPAM API method that can give you one or more Available IP Address in a subnet.

 

What we need in order to accomplish this trick:

 

  1. IPAM 4.0 (could be an Eval)
  2. Latest version of Orion SDK installed on the IPAM server.
  3. Access to Windows PowerShell (could be applied on Python, Perl or VBScript as well)
  4. User and Password into IPAM
  5. Ten minutes of your time :-)

 

Install and configure your IPAM

Simple start, install and configure your IPAM. It must contain at least one subnet with IP addresses and their statuses inside:

 

Install your Orion SDK

Orion SDK will provide API access to IPAM database via secure methods. I don't expect any single problem during install process (link for download). My recommendation is to install as local Administrator.

If you run into any problem, please speak up in this forum on Thwack.

 

Open your PowerShell window

And now the real fun begins. Run your PowerShell Window and make sure that Orion SDK was successfully registered:

Type this command: Get-PSSnapin | where {$_.Name -eq "SwisSnapin"}) and hit enter key.

The result should looks like this:

 

If you didn't get this, simple type following command (will add PowerShell snappin from SDK)

Add-PSSnapin "SwisSnapin"


Now you have to setup connection to your database/IPAM.

Type in following commands and change your $hostname to domain name or IP address of your IPAM, $username to the username you want to use for connection and $password to your password (like $password = "solarwinds"). If you are using Eval of IPAM and running the script from the same machine, keep it as it is below.


$hostname = "localhost"

$username = "admin"

$password = New-Object System.Security.SecureString  

$cred = New-Object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $username, $password

$swis = Connect-Swis -host $hostname -cred $cred

 

OK, so we set up the connection, and now we can call an API method and get information about available IP Address. You also need to know the name of the subnet from where you want to get free IP Address. In our example I'll use "DEV" name (see screenshot above). Type in the command below and hit enter key:

 

Get-SwisData $swis 'SELECT TOP 1 I.Status, I.DisplayName FROM IPAM.IPNode I WHERE Status=2 AND I.Subnet.DisplayName = ''DEV'''

 

Et voila:

 

As you may see we got first free available IP Address as 10.140.126.4 with status "2" (Available") which corresponds to my sample IPAM data:

OK so that's good, but I don't assume that you'll want to run such background script every time you want to get your first available IP Address. You can certainly save the whole script into a file and then run it just by simple click (feel free to download my example).

 

The result of the "Get-SwisData" is stored in DataSet - .NET object which you may use for further processing. For example, you can store the results to the file or you can call it from the web service or helpdesk system.

 

If you want to iterate via IP addresses in the result, you may use this powershell query (useful when getting more than 1 free IP address or you want to run the query for more subnets):


$addresses = Get-SwisData $swis 'SELECT TOP 1 I.Status, I.DisplayName FROM IPAM.IPNode I WHERE Status=2 AND I.Subnet.DisplayName = ''DEV'''


foreach($address in $addresses)

{

     write-host "Free IP Address is" $address.DisplayName

}

blogpost foreach.png

We can slightly modify SWQL query and populate subnet address and CIDR next to the available IP Address (by the way, this is the beauty of SWQL language, you don't have to use JOINs in many cases, simply use dot notation in order to list properties of related entity - in this case "Subnet"):

 

$addressesWithSubnets = SELECT R.Address as SubnetAddress, R.CIDR, R.FriendlyName, R.PercentUsed,

(SELECT TOP 1 I2.IpAddress FROM IPAM.IPNode as I2 WHERE I2.Status=2 AND I2.SubnetId = R.GroupID ) AS FreeIpAddress

FROM IPAM.GroupReport as R WHERE R.GroupType='8'

 

Where GroupTyp=8 means type "subnets" (not supernets or DHCP scopes,etc.)


Then the result may look like this:

subnets-script.png

 

I can iterate through the $addressesWithSubnet variable and do whatever I need witch each record, for example send email, send data into help desk, update database (custom property) or store it into a file.

 

The interesting option is create a webservice that can call this IPAM powershell script with attribute "subnet name". Then you can ask for first available IP address from anywhere.

 

Example where simply writing each row to the console output:

list of subnets.png

Download the full script.

 

Example of .NET webservice that can call our PowerShell script:


[WebMethod]

//When calling the method put the path to our script file as parameter to the method GetFreeAvailableAddress.

//For example: c:\script\getFreeIP.ps

//Feel free to add exception handling you prefer.


public void GetFreeAvailableAddress(string script)
{
  
RunspaceConfiguration rC = RunspaceConfiguration.Create();

  
Runspace runspace = RunspaceFactory.CreateRunspace(rC);
   runspace
.Open();

  
RunspaceInvoke scriptInvoker = new RunspaceInvoke(runspace);

  
Pipeline pipelineCommand = runspace.CreatePipeline();
   pipelineCommand
.Commands.AddScript(script);

  
// execute the script
   pipelineCommand
.Invoke();
}

 

Integration with SAM (Server and Application Monitor)

One of the easiest way to get Powershell script monitored by Orion web interface is via SAM (try eval if you don't have it). SAM can monitor powershell scripts and show the results on the web very simply.

 

I had to just re-format the output of my PowerShell script and then define new PowerShell template in SAM so it can transfer the data from script on web.

There is a very nice article about how to add Script Monitor into SAM. So I'll skip this phase and just summarize that what you need to do on your Script side, is populate data you want to show via two specific messages:

Detail Type

Required

Meaning

Statistic

Yes

A numeric value used to determine how the monitor compares to its set thresholds. This must be an integer value, (negative numbers are supported).

Statistic.Name1: 123

Statistic.Name2: 456

Message

No

An error or information message to be displayed in the monitor status details. Note: Multi-line messages are supported. To use this functionality print each line using a separate command. For example:
Message.Name1: abc

Message.Name2: def

and it must end by "Exit(0)" statement.

 

I modified our script in order to produce messages that are parsed properly by SAM (how to add add new SAM template). The template show you percentage used of IP address per subnet and also first free IP Address for each subnet.


Section added


Write-Host "Message.$($freeIP.FriendlyName): Subnet: $($freeIP.SubnetAddress)/$($freeIP.CIDR) named: $($freeIP.FriendlyName) has this available IP  ADDRESS$($freeIP.FreeIPAddress)";   

Write-Host "Statistic.$($freeIP.FriendlyName): $($freeIP.PercentUsed)";

 

Feel free to download SAM template from here. Wondering how the result looks like on the web? Here it goes:

utilization.png

statistics comments.png

 

Let me know if you have any questions and don't be intimidated by our API, it's very easy to use.

We have completed another bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); We have Beta2 for NCM v7.3 available. This is your chance to install the latest version and provide feedback on the new features and fixes. Providing feedback during the beta is the best way to ensure that your feedback will be incorporated in to the release. To participate, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. Remember, Betas cannot be installed in production and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

 

The following enhancement have been added to NCM so far:

  • NCM and NPM databases merged
    • Optimized DB schema
    • Account limitations are applied to NCM jobs.
    • Core node management page is used to add/remove devices from NCM.
    • In the discovery wizard, users can choose whether to import newly discovered nodes into NCM.
    • Node Sync is gone!
    • Subviews are fully supported.
  • A completely new version of the Configuration Management page
  • EoL/EoS info on (NCM) node details page
  • Admins can now clear all transfers for all users from the Transfer Status page in the Web UI.
  • Limit policy reports for individual accounts
  • Jobs Summary table can be sorted according to any column.
  • NCM supports SWISv3 now.

 

Benefits of the Merged Databases

The merge of NCM and NPM databases enable NCM users to take advantage of certain features of the Orion Platform (Core) that were not possible to use before.

 

Improved Node Management

As there is no concept of "NCM Node" anymore, "Licensed by NCM" has become just a flag for Orion nodes. What does it mean? You can manage all NCM properties using the Core none management infrastructure:

 

Node-Management.png

 

Node-Properties.png

 

Improved Node Details

The merged DB made it possible to use sub-views -- you can easily review NCM node details next to information from other Orion modules.

 

Node-Details.png

 

New Configuration Management UI

This is a great improvement in usability of the NCM Web UI in this release. Unlike the old UI, the new one is much more node-centric to make the workflows much smoother: First you select the devices and then perform an action. The new UI enables you to accomplish a chain of tasks efficiently as you can work with the same set of nodes repeatedly.

  • You can group your devices by up to three parameters.
  • The node selection is persistant; even if you switch to another group of nodes or another page, your selection is preserved.

 

New-Config-UI.PNG

It is our pleasure to announce NPM 10.7 has reached Release Candidate status. Since just recently announcing the 10.6 release, the SolarWinds development team has been hard at work delivering great new features for 10.7.  Release Candidates are fully supported and can be installed on your production environment. Some highlights of 10.7 RC1:

 

Link Utilization on Maps

 

If enabled in Network Atlas, L2 link utilization will be displayed on the map:

Link_utilization.png

 

Independent Node Thresholds and Baselining


As first seen in SAM, NPM inherits the ability to have independent node and interface thresholds. These thresholds can be dynamically calculated on a weekly or daily basis to provide a moving window.

Thresholds.png


NOC View


For those of you that have your NPM console up on the big screen, 10.7 also introduces a special "NOC Mode" that removes the top tabs and cycles through subviews. Since NOC screens tend to have a lot of real estate, we've increased the max columns to 6.


NOC_View.png


Custom Poller Packages


Imagine if you could take your Universal Device Poller data and stick it in native CPU and Memory fields. In 10.7, now you can! Define your polled OIDs, transform, and apply to CPU / Memory fields- polled data will be treated just as native data is. No need to create custom reports and alerts. Import / Export and share on thwack. We've included some sample ones to get you started. (HP Procurve and Fortimanager chief among them.)


DeviceKit.png


Routing Resources now Support VRFs


VRF.png


Resource Drag and Drop


If you had a chance to try any of the 10.7 betas, you may have noticed the hashed "grab-bars" now at the top of each resource. That's right- drag-and-drop resources! We've also added dynamic column resizing to make view customization even easier.

 

DnD.png

 

Support for Ruckus and Motorola Wireless

 

Ruckus and Motorola wireless polling is now natively supported. No need to use UnDPs to retrieve AP info.

 

SNMP Status

 

Since time immemorial, ICMP reachability has been a requirement for a node to show "Up" in NPM. No longer! "List Resources" or use the new "Manage Pollers" page to change what determines status

SNMP_Status.png

 

In addition to these highlighted features, there are a host of incremental feature enhancements and bug fixes. Download the RC from your customer portal to check it out.

We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Kiwi CatTools. CatTools v3.10 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 CatTools so far:

  • Support for scheduling activities on a monthly basis
  • Support Cisco® Small Business devices
  • Improved support for HP® switches
  • Enhanced possibilities for ignoring text in device configuration
  • Newest version of SolarWinds® licensing framework adopted
  • Fixed problem with Connect Via feature when both target and media devices use variations
  • Various updates of device templates
  • Bug fixes

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: