Solarwinds Orion Core discussion: Groups and Custom Property Grouping. What they do and when to utilize each.

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    Note: NetFlow's IP Address Groups will be discussed in a follow-up post.

     

    Available in all Solarwinds Orion Core Products:

      Custom Property Grouping

      Groups (from here on referred to as Dependency Groups)

      

    Short Summary of Custom Property Groups vs. Dependency Groups

           Grouping via Custom Properties which is the preferred method for Alerts, Reports, View Limitations, and the majority of filtering can utilize Custom Properties. Dependency Groups are for overall Group Status of a group of monitored elements based on a Best, Worst, or Mixed status of all monitors, and the ability to group elements for Dependencies.

     

    Grouping via Custom Properties

      Custom Properties are a great way to configure grouping of the major monitoring elements of Nodes, Interfaces, Volumes, and Applications and others. This is the preferred method to assign a Node to a Group because it will allow you to be able to easily setup Alerts, Filtering, Reports, Asset Inventory, allow you to send the information via alert notification, and Group the Nodes in the All Nodes Tree.

     

      Pros:

      ○ Easy to configure when adding the device, or edit properties.

      ○ Can require the fields to be selected before a device is added

      ○ Limit the selection for user fields

      ○ Grouping on All Nodes Tree, and any Resource that allows custom SQL

     

      Cons:

      ○ Does not group the elements together for a overall status

      ○ Cannot be used with Dependencies

     

      Setup Custom Properties

      You can setup and configure Custom Properties under Settings> Manage Custom Properties. Select Add Custom Property, then select the object type you would like to group together, then under the Choose Properties you can then enter in the Property Name, Format (text, numerical, Yes/No Property, Date/Time) and what areas of the product you would like the property applied. In the next screen you can then select the devices and then enter in the Grouping that you would like to enter for the devices.

     

    Groups for Node Group Status and Dependencies

      The Node Groups allows you to be able to Group Nodes, Interfaces, Applications, etc. into a combined status and allow you to be able to easily find out when a device goes down to easily find the root cause of all of the Down Nodes behind the device. Dependencies only allow for one parent and one child for dependencies, so you need to define Groups to associate other Groups to a Child device. This adds an even better reporting so that you can see how the devices are logically connected.

     

      Pros:

      ○ Report an overall status of the elements based on the Best, Worst, or Mixed of the Group

      ○ Can be used for Dependencies

     

      Cons:

      ○ Cannot be used on All Nodes Tree, Web Resource Custom SQL Filters

      ○ Only tells you if a Group or Group Member is having a problem

     

      Setup Groups

      You can setup and configure Groups under Settings> Manage Groups. Select Add Group, then enter in the Group Name. If you expand Advanced you have the options for how you would like the Group overall status to be reported as Mixes Status (default), Show Best Status, and Show Worst Status with how often the status is updated. In the Next screen you can then select the Devices you would like to have added to the Group, then select create Group.

     

    Alerting with Groups in Alert Manger.

     

     

    Alerts with Dependency Groups.

      Alerts with Groups allows you to Alert on the overall Group Status and the Child Member status only. We include 2 Alerts out of the box Alert me when a Group is down and when the Group is in warning and critical. You can only use Group in the Groups and Group Members Alert Type Categories.  If you need a more robust way of Alerting you will need to use Custom Properties to use in all other Alert Categories as well as for Alert Notifications.

     

    Alerts with Grouping from Custom Properties

      After you have created a Custom Property, you can use in any of the associated Property Type. Nodes Custom Properties can be used in any category that displays under the Network Nodes when you are configuring the Trigger Conditions. When you see the Custom Property Available is when you are also able to insert the information into the  Alert Notification via the Variables ${}. The trick is to know how it was configured is how to setup the Variable. Nodes will be ${Nodes.CustomPropertyName} Interfaces as ${Interfaces.CustomPropertyName}.