Getting Started with Evaluations for Solarwinds Orion Products

Version 11

    This is a getting started basics for customers Evaluating Solarwinds Orion Products (list below). Please refer to the Administrative Guides for all information. This is a link to all of the Official SolarWinds Support Documentation.

     

    This rudimentary guide covers everything you need to install, setup, and start monitoring your infrastructure. This will contain the bare minimum steps to get the listed products installed and monitoring of devices started and may be scant on the details, but it covers it in order with the clicks and fields needed.

     

    In addition to this guide, Solarwinds does offer official Getting Started guides with some of our products that I have helped facilitate to go from base install and configuration, through customization, then scaling any-size from a small lab that you may be testing to rolling out to monitor within this Solar System. Evaluations can be converted through the license key without any installations, which is why I have always recommend once your sample test is done, setup the monitoring the way you would if you have already owned the software.

     

    Getting Started Guides:

    Network Performance Monitor Getting Started Guide

    Network Configuration Manager Getting Started Guide

    Server & Application Monitor Getting Started Guide

    Web Help Desk Getting Started Guide

    Log & Event Manager Getting Started Guide

     

    Solarwinds Orion Products:

    Network Performance Monitor

    NetFlow Traffic Analyzer

    Network Configuration Manager

    User Device Tracker

    Server & Application Monitor

    Web Performance Monitor

    Voip & Network Quality Monitor

    IP Address Manager

    Storage Resource Manager

    Virtualization Manager (Orion Module only)

    Database Performance Analyzer (Orion Module Only)

     

     

     

    Setup Devices for Monitoring

     

            Before starting the installation, its best to setup the devices. Once you start the installation, the evaluation trial period starts. This way you can maximize the trial period and focus more time on customization and reporting.

             

        Available basic Monitoring types are SNMP, Windows WMI, Solarwinds Agent for Windows, or ICMP for Up/Down. Some modules will have additional support through SSH or other means; those will have information for setup within those areas of the products.

     

    Monitoring Types and documentation links:

                      Tip: For the first scan, you should scan the most important devices, 4096 or so, or just set the small range for the lab you are wanting to monitor. Multiple Discoveries can be setup and scheduled to run automatically and report results at anytime.

      • IP Address Range (Easiest, Simplest)
      • Subnet Range
      • Specific IPv4 or IPv6 Addresses or hostnames
      • Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU)

     

     

     

    Install Phase

     

    Installing the above Products is very easy click through with a few entry options for Database and Website, here are the main highlights to get the product installed.

     

    If the server you are planning to install on is not connected to the Internet, or you want to install all modules in one swoop, see Offline Installation, otherwise skip to Install continued.

     

    Offline Installation (or Install all modules at once) aka Why is my installer is only 5MB?

        You have downloaded an Evaluation link from Solarwinds' site. This 5MB is the Solarwinds Download Manager that can install the products if the Server is online, or download all products for offline installation. Other than this installer, the software bits are the same for Prodctuion and Evaluations.

     

    1. Run the installer on a system that has Internet Access.
    2. Select Download Setup Wizard at the bottom. This will download an ~1.44GB file. Regardless of the product downloaded, the download will obtain all packages in Step 7
    3. offline.png
    4. Let the file download
    5. Transfer the Offline Installer package onto what will be the Solarwinds Orion Server install all products.
    6. Run the Installer on the Server
    7. Select Products you wish to install, then proceed to Install Continued at Express/Advanced Options

    Offlineprods.png

     

    Note: Offline systems may run into issues installing the additional components required.

    Additional Packages Needed for installation:

     

     

    Install Continued

    Run the executable, Installer will come up

     

    Select the Product(s) you wish to install

     

    The next option will ask you if you want to do an Express or Advanced Install:

     

    Select Express if you do not have Microsoft SQL in your environment.

      • Our Installer will then install SQL Express, and configure default settings for the product (Next). After the install the next are will take you to the website to setup devices.

                  Addendum:

        • Microsoft SQL Express edition is free to download and is the edition used on the Express installation, however the imposed limitations are 10GB total database size and 1GB of RAM limit. The size limit will not affect your trial, unless you have a lot of Syslog/SNMP Traps sent to the system. I have made the sql cleanup in case this happens under the Solarwinds Knowledge base.
        • If you run into any Errors during install during the SQL component, please install Microsoft SQL 2008r2 or higher will need to be installed manually, then run the Advanced Selection to configure the SQL Settings within the Configuration Wizard.

     

     

    Select Advanced to Skip SQL Express Install

      • The Installer will just install the application, then present you with the Configuration Wizard to input the details of the SQL Server
      • Provide the IP or Hostname of the SQL Server, then utilize the SA account, or an account that can create a user and database with DBO rights.
      • Next it will ask to create a new database, default name is Solarwinds Orion.
      • It will ask to create a SQL Account and ask you to insert a password. Please make sure that the password meets Active Directory's Password policy.
      • It will ask for the IP Address and Port for the Web Console. Please make sure All Unassigned is selected, and port 80 is entered. If it asks about the port already being open, select Yes (IIS has default site already set at Port 80 on the server, which is off, which is the cause of this message)
      • Select Next 2 times, and it will run the Wizard.

     

    After the installation, the next is discovering and monitor devices on the network. Setup will take a few minutes, then the scan will run and report back what can be monitored automatically based on the credentials and devices scanned.

     

     

    Discovery and Add Device Phase

    Before we begin, make sure that you have the following information ready referenced above.

    • SNMPv1/2/3 Community Strings
    • VMWare API Credentials. Read Only is needed
    • Windows WMI Account

     

    • How the product is going to find the devices, use any of the 4:
      • IP Address Range (Easiest, Simplest)
      • Subnet Range
      • Specific IPv4 or IPv6 Addresses or hostnames
      • Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU)

     

    This section is a condensed version of the Official Guide: Discover your network with the Discovery Wizard

     

    The first time you load the Web Console, it will take you to the Discovery Central or Network Sonar Discovery. If you see Welcome to Discovery Central, select Discover My Network.

    Discovery can be ran anytime you can go into Settings> Network Discovery.

     

    Note: The Tab at the top will be identified in the steps. As you add modules additional pages such as Agents, Config Management are added.           

     

    1. Network:  (Best Practice for fastest setup: Setup Multiple discoveries. Limit discovery to 1-3 credentials and to 4096 IPs at a time. Discoveries can be modified to cover different areas after a scan has completed )
      1. Specific range of IP addresses.
        1. Click IP Ranges in the Selection Method menu, and then, for each IP range, provide both a Start address and an End address.Note: Scheduled discovery profiles should not use IP address ranges that include nodes with dynamically assigned IP addresses (DHCP).
        2. If you want to add another range, click Add More, and then repeat the previous step.Note: If you have multiple ranges, click X to delete an incorrect range.
        3. click Next.
      2. Specific subnets:
        1. Click Subnets in the Selection Method menu.
        2. If you want to discover on a specific subnet, click Add a New Subnet, provide both a Subnet Address and a Subnet Mask for the desired subnet, and then click Add.Note: Repeat this step for each additional subnet you want to poll.
        3. click Next.
      3. Drop in a list of IP addresses or hostnames:
        1. Click Specific Nodes in the Selection Method menu.
        2. Type the IPv4 or IPv6 addresses or hostnames of the devices you want to discover for monitoring into the provided field.Note: Type only one address or hostname per line.
        3. Click Validate to confirm that the provided addresses and hostnames are assigned to SNMP-enabled devices.
        4. click Next.
      4. Active Directory Organizational Unit: It will use the Domain of the Solarwinds Server to connect and discover devices (best for Servers)
    2. Agents, If you have Solarwinds Orion Agents, select the checkbox, otherwise uncheck and select Next.
    3. Virtualization: If you want to discover any VMware VCenter or ESX Servers on your network, confirm that Poll for VMware is checked, and then click Add vCenter or ESX Credential to add any credentials; click Next.
    4. Config Management (Configuration Manager Only) add SSH/Telnet Username/passwords to find devices where configurations can be pulled)
    5. SNMP: Enter in your SNMP Credentials; click Next.
      •     Note: SNMP strings will be tested from top down. Please use the Arrows to change priority order, and remove any strings that you do not have on the network. The more strings, the longer discovery will take.
    6. Windows: Enter in your WMI Credentials; click Next.
    7. Monitoring Settings
      1. Recommended to select No to Include Devices/Nodes that respond to ICMP only.
      2. If you want to utilize this in the future to automatically find devices (best when still configuring SNMP/WMI to devices after the scan has ran)
    8. Discovery Settings view, as detailed in the following steps:
      1. Provide a Name (this will be the name listed on the discovery Page)

      2. Description

      3. (Leave all other settings as is)

      4. Change the Discovery Timeout if you have a large network.

        Note: 255 IPs can take 10 minutes . The more Credentials and more IP tested will make the discoveries run longer.

      1. Select Next

    9. Discovery Scheduling: For the first time, have the frequency set at once, Select Yes, run this discovery Now, and select Discover.
      1. The Discovery will start. Now is a great time to take a break. Once completed, this page will show all results
    10. Once Discovery Completes, it will ask to import the devices. There will be a wizard to walk you through the adding process.

    Note: Devices that have a Vendor shown as Unknown means that only ICMP Up/Down status will only be collected.

     

    Now that I have it installed and discovered, what should be done next?

    1. I recommend setting up accounts and take a device configuration break and come back after 1 or more hours. This way Devices will have several polls completed and information within the console and the charts will have data shown.
    2. Setup additional monitoring available within the modules installed. Network Performance has custom SNMP pollers, Server & Application has Application Templates are a few suggested.
    3. Setup Alerting, usually customers start after 1-4 days of collection. I recommend to setup a test Email account for initial email alerts, or use the from/subject field in the email so that rules can be setup for filtering. With all modules installed there are more than 150 alerts, if you turn everyone one it can generate hundreds of emails a day if a lot of changes are occurring within the monitored systems.
    4. Create a NOC View for a presentation layer scrolling screen for live updates. Great for that big TV, projector, or that monitor you have off to the side you glance at.
    5. Top Right of every page is a Customize Page view for quick changes. Note that if other users have the same page, they will also see the changes.
    6. Create, Run, and Schedule Reports usually starts around day 3-7.

     

    Additional Suggested Links:

     

    Additional Configuration:

     

    Troubleshoot Issues: