This chapter contains content around my areas of concern on the Orion platform - usability improvements and deployment.
A small but mighty feature on the Orion platform is our standard object popovers, aka hovers. These are the perfect UI element to give you additional information without taking valuable real estate, and also without requiring you to navigate to an entirely different page. In this release we decided to give some love to these supporting players and add some functionality too! Before I show you the new, let me remind of what it looks like before our change.
|Hover Examples from oriondemo.solarwinds.com|
And now that you've received that visual reminder, here we are with the new update:
|Hello New Popovers|
We updated the node popovers (as seen above) with the ability to trigger commands straight from the popover. Supported commands include:
- Go to Details View
- Edit Node
- Mute & Unmanage Now
What do you think? Are there commands that you'd like to have quick access to through the popovers? We also updated interface & volume popovers. We did not update all object popovers, so you'll still see some examples of older style popovers, but if you love what you see, let us know which popovers we should rework next!
This also applies to the new Manage Entities page, to allow you quick actions on each of the entities, as well as the Integrated Search page.
|SolarWinds Orion Search|
Also, for those of you who have up-voted the feature request Customize the Hover-Over Popup tooltip while we don't have complete customization capability, we did add a little something for you. Look closely at the screenshot for SolarWinds Orion Search above, do you see the custom properties appearing in the popover?
We will show up to 5 custom properties on the popover. The key? As long as when you've created the custom property you've selected "Object Details Views" as the usage, then it is eligible to appear in the popover.
For fans of Performance Analysis - PerfStack | SolarWinds we have something special for you in this release. You asked for a PerfStack widget for your dashboards, and we are delivering.
Looking at my environment I can see that in My Awesome Group, I've got a host that has a child status of warning.
Clicking over to the host, I can add this to PerfStack by clicking the "Performance Analyzer" link in the Management widget. This will open a new Analysis project that will show me the full stack of data to troubleshoot the issue in real time.
|New Analysis Project|
Troubleshooting this, the issue might be something that could continue. You may want to put this data in context with other data on views, or show this on a NOC. We've got you covered for this scenario with the introduction of the PerfStack widget. At this point while you have your PerfStack modified with just the right metrics, you can save the PerfStack. In fact, anyone regardless of privilege, can create and save their own PerfStack. However only Orion admins with View Customization privileges can proceed with the next step.
There are a few ways to drag & drop this widget easily to your preferred view, but searching for the PerfStack by project name is by far the easiest method. As an admin, you can see any created PerfStack for the entire installation. If one of your colleagues created a great PerfStack, no problem, you can share this on a view for all to enjoy. All existing limitations to view customization still exist, so just make sure that if you're putting a PerfStack widget on a node details page, that you really want that PerfStack on all the node details pages. Don't forget that you can also favorite any PerfStack widgets in the widget drawer for faster access in the future!
In this beta release, we haven't provided support, yet, for all chart visualizations. If you have a PerfStack that contains status as an example, you may have an empty chart.
|Search by PerfStack name is the easiest method!|
SolarWinds Orion Installer 2.0.0
With this release, this may be your first opportunity to use the newest version of the SolarWinds Orion Installer version that can upgrade your scalability engines. In general, when I mention a version associated with the installer this is the file version of the downloaded file. You can always right click to see the file properties to verify what version of the installer you are running. In the example below, the relevant version number is 2.0.0 but the 1348 is an internal build number for our teams, and is not relevant for your daily purposes. In this section you'll find details for a small update in version 1.3.2 & 2.0.0, but I have a separate document detailing the new staging capabilities that are going to be available in this release (Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2 )
In our previous release of the 1.3.1 installer , we consolidated our legacy installer's scalability engine capabilities into our SolarWinds Orion installer. This could be seen on fresh installations with the addition of a new option next to the existing "Lightweight" and "Standard" options. Clicking this would allow you to deploy a fresh or upgrade an Additional Polling Engine, Additional Website, or HA backup server. This was a seamless experience for any users using our recommended online installer option. Essentially, it allowed you to download any product installer (e.g. NPM 12.3 installer), use it to deploy your main poller and then use the same installer file to deploy any scalability engines.
The experience was a little less seamless for our offline users. If our offline installer users attempted to move that 2 GB installer to their intended scalability engine server, they would be confronted with the following message.
I'm happy to say that with 1.3.2 & 2.0.0 versions of the installer, that is no longer the case. If you want to move the offline installer that you used for your main poller to the server that you intend to deploy a scalability engine, you absolutely can. You will have the same user experience that users of our online installer users will have. However, that file is 2GB, and sharing that around to various servers is no joke. The following is a valid installation path for any user that requires an offline option.
- Download one of the offline product installers (e.g. NPM 12.3). Even if you intend on installing more than just NPM, you still only need to download one installer, as you can select additional products from the product selection screen.
- Set up your main poller. The deployment or upgrade of the main poller must be finalized to what you want before proceeding with any other installations.
- Move your scalability engines installer to the server you intend to deploy
- The 41MB installer can be downloaded from your Polling Engines setting page e.g. http://<ipaddress>/Orion/Admin/Details/Engines.aspx
- You can download the 41MB online installer for NPM
- You can move your offline product installer to the server
- Set up your scalability engine by executing the installer file and following the steps outline through the installer and configuration wizard.
Please note that selecting the scalability engine option will always download the required files from the main poller. That is why offline users can choose to use the smaller online installer or offline installer, and either option will be able to adhere to your offline requirement .
With 2.0.0, you also have the ability to use our new staging feature which I've gone into detail here: Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2
Now that you know about the amazing features we have in store for you in this release from the 2018.2 platform release, please go forth and install! We look forward to hearing about your experiences and feedback.