SolarWinds Enterprise Platform Installer

SolarWinds Enterprise Platform Installer

 SQL Sentry® v2022.4 is packed with great features to help users get more out of SQL Sentry. One of the most exciting is the SolarWinds Enterprise Platform Installer (EPI 2.0). Some of you may be familiar with—and use—its predecessor: EPI 1.0. While EPI 1.0 helped reduce some of the installs and upgrade friction experienced by our enterprise customers, there were several areas where it fell short. The new EPI is designed to improve the speed and simplicity of the installation and upgrade experience and reduce the overall downtime required to manage SQL Sentry installations. 

 The most common feedback we received was the lack of a feedback mechanism. When an upgrade encountered issues, no user-facing feedback dialogs alerted users of possible problems, causing upgrades to take longer than planned. Another shortfall was the need to uninstall and reinstall components when significant changes were made to the platform, defeating the primary purposes of the platform: speed and simplicity. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, customers wanted a platform allowing management of all necessary components from a single location without having to remote into each host machine to upgrade the monitoring service or client. 

 EPI 2.0 addresses these concerns and lays a foundation to improve the experience further. Let’s get into it:

 Architecture

One of the crucial requirements out of the gate was to make sure this new installer wasn’t tied to the SQL Sentry database. Many issues with EPI 1.0 stemmed from this fact, chief among them being exclusive access errors. This platform is product-agnostic, meaning it can be used to install other SolarWinds products should the need arise. Here’s a quick summary of each component:

  • Central Service: a web API installed in a singular command location. All the actions available with the installer are communicated to installed agents through this web API.
  • Command-Line Interface: used to communicate commands to the Central Service
  • Agent: a service that manipulates (stops, starts, installs, uninstalls) components.  It may delete and create directories, delete and copy files from packages to locations defined by package metadata, run scripts embedded in packages, and validate packages. The Agent should be installed on all machines that will receive SQL Sentry Monitoring Services and Clients.
  • Launchpad: provides non-technical users with an easy-to-use interface to install the SQL Sentry Client. Users will select the available configuration from the launchpad, and the launchpad will install the SQL Sentry Client on the machine. The launchpad can be used to open the SQL Sentry Client (or other SolarWinds products) and will also notify you when the Client needs to be upgraded.
  • Packages: used to install, upgrade, or remove SQL Sentry Clients and/or Monitoring Services from machines where an Agent is installed.

 We’ve also built many helpful commands you can use to interact with this installer and your SQL Sentry installation. Read more about these commands and how to install and upgrade (and convert) your SQL Sentry installation with this new installer in our documentation here

What’s next?

This is only the beginning. Our next step for this feature will be implementing a GUI to show you where each component is installed, its health and status, and to provide a singular location for interacting with the installation (i.e., upgrade to new builds, start/stop services, etc.).

How do I get it?

You can download the new installer from the SolarWinds Customer Portal. And don’t worry, the Unified Setup and an upgrade package for EPI 1.0 will continue to be available for the time being. We hope you take advantage of this new capability, especially if you have a large deployment of SQL Sentry.

 As always, your feedback is always appreciated. Please submit any feature requests here on THWACK® or contact our support team if you have questions, concerns, or requests.

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