Open for Voting
over 1 year ago

Revamp of Schedule Unmanage Utility

Other than what I have read in this forum, I don't know what others think of the Schedule Unmanage Utility.  From our perspective it is not very useful for most instances when we need to Unmanage an object.  Let me explain...

I am the Orion Administrator in our shop and the Support Engineers are Users within Orion who access Orion through the webpages only.  While they have the ability to log in to the Windows Server there was no reason for that until this Utility came along.

Talking about the webpage Unmanage process for a minute, my Users asked that I provide them the ability to Unmanage objects through the webpages in case I was not available to do it for them.  I would say they probably overall average a dozen to two dozen Unmanages a week for downtimes, upgrades and other reasons.  To provide them the ability to do this, I needed to give their User accounts "Allow Node Management Rights" and also set their "SAM User Role" to "Admin".  This opens up way more access to the Users than I prefer but it is currently the only option.

BTW:  Two years ago, aLTeReGo submitted the Feature Request which continues to get votes today but still is not in the product.  Please go there and vote for this.  Having this ability rather than needing to disable Components, and I believe loose related historical data, would be great.  Another disadvantage to disabling instead is that the User must edit the assigned Application Monitor to do so.  Something I forbid my users from doing and therefore they must have me to the disable for them.  Go vote!!!

Now talking about the Schedule Unmanage Utility...  This Utility provides some great benefits especially for those that have regular downtimes that would cause Alerts.  So far we have not run into this situation in our environments but it is nice to know it is there if we needed it.  Most of our use of Unmanage, I would say around 98%, is for the next upcoming downtime for upgrades, etc. or for situations where an issue will not be resolved for a period of time and we don't want Alerts caused by the object or sub-object in the meantime.  I asked the users to utilize the Utility even for these and then provide feedback and overwhelmingly the response was that the Utility was too complicated for the time they had to spend on the Unmanage.  Additionally, it requires additional login to the Orion server.  The webpage process therefore won hands down.

So what could be done to improve the situation?  First it would help to get the Utility used more by my team if it was available through the webpages.  I have also seen others suggest such things as description fields, a calendar, including a remanage ability, etc. and would encourage SolarWinds, if a revamp gets into the development process, to look those up.  One discussion I saw talked about having to create a Windows account with a non-expiring password to keep the Utility running.  Maybe if this was through the website, there could be better control over which accounts set these up and then the logging features could keep track of which website User initiated, updated, cancelled the Unmange job.  It could also help to avoid the need to setup the Unmanage job in the Utility and then getting into Windows Task Manger to schedule the job.  Just fill out a form on a webpage and submit all of that in the background.

In conjunction with this, having more granularity in what website users can do would also be helpful.  Maybe the addition of a flag that allows Unmanage privileges to be assigned to the Users similar to the "Allow Account to Clear Events, Acknowledge Alerts and Syslogs" privilege.  While I do want my Support Engineers to have this Unmanage ability without the other Admin rights, I also don't want our Customer Accounts to have that same Unmanage right.  I like the idea of roles such as the "SAM User Role" which would automatically assign certain privileges and make it easy to quickly create a User Account but also feel that there needs to be more granularity to fine tune beyond what the role assigns.

  • I agree on Mike Lomax comments. I think it would be more user friendly if we can add the "unmanaged utility" option on the web interface rather than it being run on the server itself as it injects security concerns as well. If we can add the option of giving specific "unmanaged" rights to specific users only via the web would be more ideal. I suggest to explore the need of adding a windows scheduled task/s as it puts more steps and burden on the administrator.

  • Not exactly what you're asking for, but if you're only trying to unmanage nodes in order to prevent alerts from firing, maybe this will help.

    A workaround I use to just disable alerts for a certain node:

    1. Create a custom node property called "Alerts Enabled" or whatever you want.

    2. Assign True/False value to this property. (True=on, False=off)

    3. In the alert manager, add a suppression condition to each alert to not trigger the alert if the custom property of "Alerts Enabled" = False.

    This way I don't have to Unmanage the nodes when I'm doing maintenance, and when I'm building new servers I can add them in SAM and get all the monitors configured without worrying about tripping alerts whenever I have to reboot the server during the setup process.