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

 

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

 

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

 

Register here.

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

WPM & Citrix XenApp


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

 

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

 

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

 

Prerequisites

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

 

Login window.png

 

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

 

missing_client_sw.png

 

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

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

 

security_warning.png

 

Configuring XenApp

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


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

 

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

 

screen_resolution_setting_MARKED.png

 

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

 

java_client_setting_MARKED.png

 

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

 

Citrix_apps.png

 

Making it more robust


Image Match

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

 

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

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

 

If the playback is failing on an Image Match action:

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

 

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

 

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

 

image_match_sensitivity_MARKED.png

 

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


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

 

More Tips

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

    • Account limitations must be applied to NCM jobs.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Whew!

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

This version includes the following enhancements:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy Kiwi Syslog 9.4!

In case you missed it, the Log & Event Manager team recently released our 5.6 version which was packed with great features. And as always, there’s more exciting stuff coming, here's a sneak peek:

 

Disclaimer: this is not a commitment to a timeframe 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.

 

  • Scheduled nDepth searches
  • Support for Windows 8 with Workstation Edition
  • Support for auto-recycling licenses when using LEM in VDI-based desktop environment
  • Scalability enhancements to rules engine and appliance-side processing
  • Simplified agent update
  • NetApp connector
  • FIPS self-certification statement
  • And many other smaller customer enhancement requests and bug fixes - stay tuned for more details.
cvachovecj

UDT Whitelisting FAQ

Posted by cvachovecj Employee Aug 30, 2013

Now with version 3.0 of SolarWinds User Device Tracker (UDT) you can define a set of rules to determine if a network device belongs on your white list. If so, the device appears in UDT resources list as a safe device. Devices connected to your network that are not on the white list will appear in the Rogue Devices resource list and an alert will be automatically generated for each of them. You can also define a set of rules that determine if a network device should be ignored by UDT. If so, UDT discards all related data. This is handy for HSRP and VRRP MAC addresses.

 

Although the purpose of whitelisting seems crystal clear at first, you quickly realize that its possibilities extend far beyond 'a list of devices'. This is certainly a big feature, so let’s talk about some of the common questions you may have when getting familiar with this new functionality.

 

What is the Default Setting?

By default we whitelist everything. Therefore, when you install / upgrade to UDT 3.0.x, the white list contains three rules: Any hostname, Any IP address, and Any MAC address. These rules mark any connected endpoint as safe, thus preventing your new UDT 3 system from being flooded by rogue device alerts. When you want to actually use the white list, you have to disable some of the rules first.

 

Whitelist-Include.PNG

 

Another part of this feature, that comes pre-configured with the installation, is the list of ignored MAC addresses. It includes both HSRP and VRRP ranges.

 

Whitelist-Ignore.PNG

 

When is an Endpoint 'Safe'?

An endpoint is considered safe (i.e. not marked as rogue) when its hostname, IP address, and MAC address are all on the white list. In other words, if e.g. the MAC address in on the white list but the hostname not, an alert will be generated.

 

I Only Want to White List MAC Addresses

If you don't care about hostnames and IP addresses, simply leave the default rules 'Any hostname' and 'Any IP address' active and disable/delete the 'Any MAC address' rule. Then create your own rules for MAC address.

 

Can I Create a Black List?

No. The current logic considers rogue every endpoint not on the white list. If you are interested in the other approach (everything is safe and only listed devices are rogue), please vote here: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/1367.

 

I Would Like UDT to Automatically Shut Down the Port Where a Rogue Endpoint is Connected

This is currently a feature request: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/2328.

It can be achieved via Orion SDK/API plus advanced alert manager, but this approach is not officially supported as functionality like this would have to be used with extra care -- for example, you probably don't want to shut down a trunk port.

 

How Do I Specify White List Items? How Do I List the Safe Devices?

On the 'Included' tab click on 'Add new':

 

UDT-WhiteList-Summary-Add-Item.png

 

and then you have several options:

 

Individual Entries

You can add individual MAC addresses, IP addresses, or hostnames:

 

UDT-WhiteList-Add-Individual.png

 

For one rule you can only add one type (e.g. MAC addresses).

 

IP Address and MAC Address Range

UDT-WhiteList-Add-IP-Range.png        UDT-WhiteList-Add-MAC-Range.png

 

Subnet

UDT-WhiteList-Add-Subnet.png

 

Custom Entries

The last option gives you very high flexibility. You can enter IP addresses, MAC addresses, or hostnames. Again, only one type per rule.

 

UDT-WhiteList-Add-Custom.png

 

How Do I Import My List of Safe Devices?

If you have e.g. a list of MAC addresses that represent safe devices on your network and want to add them to the white list. How do you do it?

  • If there is a pattern in the list, you can use the MAC Range or Custom entry with wildcards.
  • If there is no pattern, then it's probably best to format the list as a plain text file and copy-paste the content to the Custom entry field.

 

This blog post will be updated regularly based on the question we receive. If you have a question that is not answered here, please let us know.

Let's Welcome the new "World Map" resource

 

 

 

If you've already had a chance to upgrade to the NPM 10.6 or SAM 6.0 RC's, you may have noticed the new "Worldwide Map" resource.

 

Worldwide_Map.PNG

For those of you that have been requesting this feature, or maybe already framing in Google Maps with your own API key to display dynamic map content, this new resource will be a real treat.

Worldwide Map has the capability to display the status of nodes or an aggregated group of nodes over dynamically updated street data.

Perhaps you're an ISP that manages customer premise equipment all over town? Worldwide map makes it easy to layout and view where your equipment is, and it's relative status. Manage a campus environment and want a birds-eye view of your gear? This new resource has you covered.

To add nodes to the map, simply click "Manage Map" and "Place Nodes on the map"

Manage_World_Map.PNG

Just select where you want the nodes, what nodes are to be placed at that location, and click submit. That's all there is to it.

If you placed a group of nodes, the status of the icon will reflect the "worst" so you instantly be able to see if a node is in a down status.

To select the default position and zoom level, simply "Edit" the resource.

 

In the future we can look at adding support for other objects, or borrowing some further functionality from the Network Atlas playbook.

What else would you like to see added? Please Let us know in the comments below.

bmrad

EOC - What We Are Working On

Posted by bmrad Employee Aug 24, 2013

Superseded by this page: EOC - What We Are Working On - Mar 2015

Please bookmark that page and follow it.

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Serv-U FTP Server and MFT Server v15. The contents of this release contain exciting new features and improvements, namely,

 

  • File sharing in Serv-U MFT Server
  • New Web Client user interface
  • Rebranding of the user interface
  • FTP Voyager is a FREE tool and no longer requires an activation key

 

You can view the full set of release notes here.

 

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

 

Download Serv-U now and have fun!

Please join us for a monthly product update from the SolarWinds Product Management team. The team will cover what’s new, what’s coming, what we’re thinking about for future releases, tips & tricks, and cross-product capabilities.


Each session will be hosted by one or more product managers, and will be very collaborative. We want to hear your thoughts, questions, and requests.

On August 21, we’ll do a sneak peek into our progress with NPM Vnext, and we’ll discuss new developments with our Systems portfolio. We’ll set aside plenty of time for your thoughts, opinions, and questions.

 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND THIS WEBCAST, PLEASE REGISTER HERE!

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