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Comments Needed!

Level 15

If you've been a SolarWinds customer, even for a short time, then you've no doubt realized that we move at breakneck speed while continuing to evolve. Our Help system is no exception to this fast paced evolution. Currently, the InfoDev team, including myself, is exploring various new methods of providing documentation to you, the user. (It's not as boring as it sounds.)

Help with Help

My little team down here in the dungeon has come up with some interesting ideas to make life easier for you. Although I cannot promise anything, some improvements may include the following:

  • A more responsive Help system
  • Graphics that better illustrate where things are
  • Videos that demonstrate key tasks
  • A place for users to provide visible feedback on each Help page so they in turn can help other users
  • A "How To..." section that demonstrates real world examples of how to actually do something useful


That last bullet point is where you come in. To keep the pace running smoothly in eighth gear, I have some questions for you. The following are example questions. Feel free to answer any or all of them. Go off-roading and answer your own questions if you like! The bottom line is, we're looking for "How To..." questions and answers. Below are just some examples, but add to the list if you can.

Customizing SAM:

  • How have you customized SAM to make your job easier?
    • Creating a Custom View that works for you. What makes your approach efficient/unique?
    • Custom scripts – how you’ve implemented them and why. How does your custom script simplify your life? What does it do?
    • Do you use SAM to trigger third-party apps? If so, which ones and why? How does this help in your environment?
    • Do you use Groups? If so, how are objects grouped in your environment and why?
    • What other SW products do you integrate SAM with and how do you use them together?

Answers

The more questions we get with answers, the more valuable the next version of Help will be. And, if it's alright with you, we'll stick'm in the Admin Guides. (You'll be famous! - in a geeky sorta way.)

12 Comments
Bronx
Level 15

Anyone? Just one li'l comment?

rharland2012
Level 15

Okay, I'll work with ya....

Say you're using SAM to monitor your SQL server(s), and say like many shops you may have multiple instances of sqlservr.exe.

You want to monitor them individually, so you can see which instances/DBs might be chewing CPU at inopportune times.

In this example, I have four instances I want to monitor - call them DB1, DB2, DB3, and DB4.

By using command-line filtering when setting up the application monitor, I can instruct SAM to monitor specific instances.

When viewing Task Manager on the SQL server, we see that each of the separate instance executables use a switch to specify instance - something like -sDB1 is found at the end of that invoked instance.

I enter that switch into the command-line filter of my SAM template, I get a nice, accurate list of the specific instances and their respective memory and CPU use.

Easy! Bigger shops in crazy I/O environments can use this as a first stop when examining basic SQL health.

Here's a sample snip that shows me how these procs are doing:

SQL.JPG

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, or if it's lame - I saw you ask for comments and I wanted to help a bit.

Bronx
Level 15

Thank you Just what I'm looking for!

superfly99
Level 17

Love to help but I don't use SAM. Sorry.

tacticaldragon
Level 9

Table of Contents

  1. Preface.                                                                        1
  2. Configuration.                                                               1

Gotchas:                                                                               1

App Insight for SQL –Default Instances                               1

   Gather Server IP.                                                              1

   Add the Node.                                                                   2

   Choose your resources                                                     3

   Choose Additional Application Monitors                           3

   Setting Properties                                                             4

App Insight for SQL – Clustered Named Instances             5

   Gather Instance VIPs [Virtual IPs]                                    5

   Add the Node.                                                                   6

   Choose your resources                                                     7

   Choose Additional Application Monitors                           7

   Setting Properties                                                             8         

Troubleshooting.                                                                  8

Preface

This document was created because I was not able to find step by step information on how to add a named instance to App Insight for SQL.The following steps will walk you through how to do this.

Configuration

Congratulations you’ve just installed SAM and you’re now looking at setting up some nodes to use App Insight for SQL! There are a few things you need to know to get started.

Gotchas:

  1. If you have additional pollers and are looking to use them to poll SQL nodes with AppInsight. Make sure you install the additional poller software on the poller(s) you’re going to use. Without doing
    this, when you get to the list resources step you won’t see App Insight for SQL show up.

App Insight for SQL – Default Instances

Gather Server IP

  1. Open a command prompt and ping the server

           1.png

Add the Node

  1. The next step you can add the node to your solar winds implementation, you will need permissions to add nodes to solar winds to complete this task.

  • First browse to your web console
  • Click on the network tab, and then click on the manage nodes subsection

     2.png    

  • Click on Add a Node

      3.png

  • Enter in the IP of the SQL server discovered earlier, Choose WMI, or SNMP whatever you like. Changing this down the road would wipe out any performance collection you might have had. Then choose the polling engine for that node.

4.png

Choose your resources

  1. Choose the instance you want to monitor, you should only see one because this is for a default instance.

6.png

Note:
if the App Insight for SQL resource is not showing up, make sure that the poller you chose has the SAM software installed. If it is an additional poller it will need the SAM software for additional poller(s) installed.

Choose Additional Application Monitors

  1. This section will allow you to add more application monitor(s) for the node. Let’s skip this for now. Click next.

Setting Properties

  1. Click OK, Add Node. At this point you are done. Go to the Applications Tab and view your progress.

           One thing you will probably notice when on this tab is that the instance is greyed out. Don’t worry the poller just hasn’t polled the node yet, or hasn’t finished polling the node. Once it gets polled you will see it change color. If nothing is wrong with the node it
          will turn green, if there is something that is causing issues but isn’t critical it will turn yellow, and if there is something causing critical issues than it will turn red with a bang on it.

App Insight for SQL – Clustered Named Instances

The thing you need to understand about monitoring named instances with App Insight for SQL is you should only be monitoring the instances. To do this you need to first do some setup.

Gather Instance VIPs [Virtual IPs]

  1. Open a command prompt and ping the instance

      1.png


Add the Node

  1. The next step you can add the node to your solar winds implementation, you will need permissions to add nodes to solar winds to complete this task.

  • First browse to your web console
  • Click on the network tab, and then click on the manage nodes subsection

      2.png

  • Click on Add a Node

      3.png

  • Enter in the IP Address [VIP of the SQL instance gathered earlier], Choose WMI, or SNMP whatever you like. Changing this down the road would wipe out any performance collection you might have had. Then choose the polling engine for that node.

4.png

Choose your resources

  1. At this point you will notice that the resource that was found is listing this node as the cluster node that the instance lives on. Don’t worry about that. Just make sure that App Insight for SQL is in the list of resources, and that you can choose the instance you’re trying to add.
    To keep this simple, I’m only choosing the App Insight for SQL resource.

      6.png

Note:
if the App Insight for SQL resource is not showing up, make sure that the poller you chose has the SAM software installed. If it is an additional poller it will need the SAM software for additional poller(s) installed.

Choose Additional Application Monitors

  1. This section will allow you to add more application monitor(s) for the node. Let’s skip this for now. Click next.

Setting Properties

  1. In this section you will want to set the properties of the node being added. The first thing to change is the name, scroll to the top of the form and change the name to the Instance you’re going to be monitoring. After that you can change the polling engine, and other information. For now all you need to change is the name.

      7.png

Click OK, Add Node. At this point you are done. Go to the Applications Tab and view your progress.

            One thing you will probably notice when on this tab is that the instance is greyed out. Don’t worry the poller just hasn’t polled the node yet, or hasn’t finished polling the node. Once it gets polled you will see it change color. If nothing is wrong with the node it
            will turn green, if there is something that is causing issues but isn’t critical it will turn yellow, and if there is something causing critical issues than it will turn red with a bang on it.

Troubleshooting

          If you are having trouble, and the nodes are still showing up as gray than the account you used might not have the correct access to the server. If you are using WMI than there is a troubleshooting guide that can be used.

          http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/apm/docs/APMWMITroubleshooting.pdf

          If you are having trouble with SNMP than there is a troubleshooting guide that can be used as well

          http://knowledgebase.solarwinds.com/kb/questions/314/Troubleshooting+SNMP+connectivity

Bronx
Level 15

Holy cow! Now that's a comment!

Bronx
Level 15

Congratulations! @alterego has reviewed your instructions and found them to be legit. Therefore, I will include them in the next version of the Administrator Guide, due out at the end of the month. (I will need to modify them a bit.) Take a bow! And thank you very much.

Bronx
Level 15
tacticaldragon
Level 9

Awesome, thank you very much good sir.

jeremydr
Level 11

hi brox, I have not done a lot with sam atm,

but I have done a lot with groups, happy to show you my environment over a webex session

Bronx
Level 15

Don't really need to see the environment. Just looking for tips and tricks you use that others might benefit from, like the example above. Thanks though.

jkump
Level 15

Thanks Bronx !

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