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Level 9

Before the decade ends, show us your Orion Maps AND answer a few questions about them -- for 500 THWACK points!

Between sharing your Network Atlas maps and Worldwide maps, you've all helped us out as we continue to improve the Orion maps. Which is why we want MORE! Show us your Orion Maps (or at least the ones you cannot live without) OR email it directly to me at kristin.bongiovanni@solarwinds.com AND answer the following questions, then we'll award you 500 thwack points. (You must answer the questions as well as share your maps to get points)

  1. Share your map(s) below or email it to kristin.bongiovanni@solarwinds.com
  2. Are you still using features from Network Atlas that you NEED to have in Orion Maps?
  3. Why is a feature like Maps or Atlas important to you and your organization? What if you didn't have this feature?

Please submit your maps by December 31, 2019 to receive 500 THWACK points.

48 Replies
Level 9

My first three-day experience using Orion Maps 2.0 in a test environment

Some things may have been described by other users, so I'm sorry to repeat them.

     I have to say that the platform is powerful and the map with more than 300 devices works fast. There is a few things wich are not optimal from my point of wiew.

In map display mode  - edit/work abilities

- map pan using SPACE + Mouse drag - could you skip SPACE? Set up controls similar to google maps or how is in an automatically generated map, just mouse click and mouse move?

- Zoom IN / OUT - without pressing CTRL, just mouse wheel - (ie google maps or automatic maps)

- Custom maps Zoom IN / OUT - finer stepping, There is a big difference between scales. The map is totally unreadable from one zoom stage to another one.

- In map display mode, I miss the option of returning to "Maps sumary view" - what it looks like when it is launched from the main toolbar. If I finish editing one map and want to create a new map or edit another existing map I have to go through the main toolbar.

Maps sumary

Maps - start.jpg

Map view / edit

Maps - view.jpg

   - how to get from here to Maps summary ?

USER rights  - It is written in the user manual :

List of maps: Review available Orion Maps. By default, the list shows maps created by you. If you have Administrator rights, you can display Orion Maps created by other users.

   - does it mean that users without admin rights are not abble to view and edit maps created by a different user ?

   - I do not want to give Admin rights to all user, many users should have "Edit Map" rights and  they should be abble to edit any map unless right limitation set for a specific map.

Filtering in map editor

- I couldn't filter based on IP subnet address

- I set the Property - "IP Address" - value = 10.247.168.

- The filter correctly found 24 existing IP addresses

- I used the option "All" in the left side combo box + "Select all 24 object" on the top right it led to the choice of all IPs in the system

- if I used the "All Pages" option - all IPs were selected immediately

Filter1.jpg

Filter2.jpg

         - a selected values column contains all IP's in system I set the filter in any way.

Custom Connections :

- Drawing two custom connections between two points on a network does not draw two parallel connections, but puts them over each other. Both connections are visible in the edit field. (Network Atlas draws multiple concurrent connections).

Custom Connection.jpg

- edit of the Custom connection - how to ?  Must be deleted and created from scratch ?

- I would like to be able to create a "Custom Connect" between any points without assigning parameters. It is an interconnection of interdependent network elements, but they do not have any interface that could be used for binding.

(in my case it is a connection of two switches using a radio link, this radio devices does not have an appropriate interface in SNMP that would represent a radio link, or it is only about a connection of ICMP only node with switch interface.

- it is only a graphical connection.

(there was possible to connect Interface on one node (A side) to another node itself (B side)  , status was taken from the interface on A side if necessary.)

     There is still the biggest problem I have with maps -  How to get to the map where the device is located?

     I don't mean an automatically generated map on the Node details page, but my own map with the full topological context of the network, not just the surrounding, directly connected elements. Best for custom map which we fully edit according to our needs.    

     I would like to get to the right map, for example from the central search page or from the Node detail view.

Thank you

Product Manager
Product Manager

Thank you Jiri - I have responded to some of your questions - much of these might be great feature requests to generate and get community feedback as well. 

In map display mode  - edit/work abilities

- map pan using SPACE + Mouse drag - could you skip SPACE? Set up controls similar to google maps or how is in an automatically generated map, just mouse click and mouse move?

JB - In the Map Editor > this was purposely designed to mimic other design tools such as Visio.  From our research Click + Drag typically initiates a marque selection/ Lasso.  Would you rather have Click + Drag Pan the map and have to enter a "mode" by pressing a button to Lasso?

- Zoom IN / OUT - without pressing CTRL, just mouse wheel - (ie google maps or automatic maps)

JB - Similar to the above.

- Custom maps Zoom IN / OUT - finer stepping, There is a big difference between scales. The map is totally unreadable from one zoom stage to another one.

JB - I agree - this is great feedback and something we have heard and we will see what we can do. 

- In map display mode, I miss the option of returning to "Maps sumary view" - what it looks like when it is launched from the main toolbar. If I finish editing one map and want to create a new map or edit another existing map I have to go through the main toolbar.

JB - This is also great feedback - just a quick way to get back to the Map Management Page makes sense.  

  

USER rights  - It is written in the user manual :

List of maps: Review available Orion Maps. By default, the list shows maps created by you. If you have Administrator rights, you can display Orion Maps created by other users.

   - does it mean that users without admin rights are not abble to view and edit maps created by a different user ?

JB - what this means is that anyone can create a map.  You will see only the map projects you created.  If you have Admin Rights you have the ability to click the toggle to see all maps.  Still that admin won't be able to edit a map created by user 1, they can perform a Save As function to in essence copy the map and save it as a new name.  Of course a user could also share the map with another user, but if editing they would have to perform a Save As also.  This is to ensure the original is not changed without the owner making the changes.  If you only want to keep one map, you could certainly Save As, make changes, and then delete the old map.  We are hoping to add improvements in the future around this functionality.

   - I do not want to give Admin rights to all user, many users should have "Edit Map" rights and  they should be abble to edit any map unless right limitation set for a specific map.

JB - Limitations certainly work within Orion Maps, but we may be able to come up with some mechanism to allow multiple owners of a map in the future. 

Filtering in map editor

JB - In this case the property is IP Address, so if you were to perform the search, which looked like it gave correct results, you can also expand the number of options viewed by clicking the [1-10] and expanding the number of results, then selecting All.  Does that work?

- I couldn't filter based on IP subnet address

- I set the Property - "IP Address" - value = 10.247.168.

- The filter correctly found 24 existing IP addresses

- I used the option "All" in the left side combo box + "Select all 24 object" on the top right it led to the choice of all IPs in the system

- if I used the "All Pages" option - all IPs were selected immediately

Custom Connections :

- Drawing two custom connections between two points on a network does not draw two parallel connections, but puts them over each other. Both connections are visible in the edit field. (Network Atlas draws multiple concurrent connections).

Custom Connection.jpg

- edit of the Custom connection - how to ?  Must be deleted and created from scratch ?

JB - Correct, currently there is not a way in which to "Edit" a custom connection.  You would need to delete and re-create.  You are also correct that the we do not create two parallel connections.  This was done in order to balance the amount of data shown on the screen to keep it as neat as possible.  We show a single connection but will roll up the worst status for any connection that exists between those two entities.  This would be another great example of a feature request to enable the ability to show all connections between nodes.

- I would like to be able to create a "Custom Connect" between any points without assigning parameters. It is an interconnection of interdependent network elements, but they do not have any interface that could be used for binding.

(in my case it is a connection of two switches using a radio link, this radio devices does not have an appropriate interface in SNMP that would represent a radio link, or it is only about a connection of ICMP only node with switch interface.

- it is only a graphical connection.

(there was possible to connect Interface on one node (A side) to another node itself (B side)  , status was taken from the interface on A side if necessary.)

JB - This can be accomplished today by defining a dependency between the two objects.  It sounds like you would like a mechanism for doing this directly from the map which is certainly something we are hoping to accomplish.   

There is still the biggest problem I have with maps -  How to get to the map where the device is located?

I don't mean an automatically generated map on the Node details page, but my own map with the full topological context of the network, not just the surrounding, directly connected elements. Best for custom map which we fully edit according to our needs.   

I would like to get to the right map, for example from the central search page or from the Node detail view.

JB - So here it sounds like you are looking for a way to determine which maps a Node is a member of?  Are you also looking to have any maps that node/entity is a part of easily accessible from a details page?

Level 9

Hello,

Thank you for answers and new questions.

In map display mode  - edit/work abilities

Would you rather have Click + Drag Pan the map and have to enter a "mode" by pressing a button to Lasso?

- for me is better to use "shift" + pressing a button to Lasso .       That was the way I used at the beginning because it was natural to me (and to all my colleagues who also tried the map editor,  no one was hapy to pan the map with space)

User rights

- does it mean that users without admin rights are not abble to view and edit maps created by a different user ?

     It is important for us that all users (with permission) share (read / edit) the same maps. If I change something as a network administrator it must be visible to other users, for our NIGHT in maps where they expect the information. We don't have users with their own maps, we only have common maps that all users work with (network and network maps are our "source of truth").

     I'll be waiting for the new features you wrote (multiple map owner).

Filtering in map editor

expand the number of options viewed by clicking the [1-10] and expanding the number of results, then selecting All.  Does that work?

- yes it works,  I expanded the display to 100 and used ALL - all 24 existing IPs in the range were selected. 

     Anyway, there is a malfunctioning "select all xx objects" option - it a bug to be solved.

Custom Connections :

OK, I have to try to create dependence of two objects and whether I will be able to graphically connect them on the map

There is still the biggest problem I have with maps -  How to get to the map where the device is located?

I don't mean an automatically generated map on the Node details page, but my own map with the full topological context of the network, not just the surrounding, directly connected elements. Best for custom map which we fully edit according to our needs.  

I would like to get to the right map, for example from the central search page or from the Node detail view.

JB - So here it sounds like you are looking for a way to determine which maps a Node is a member of?  Are you also looking to have any maps that node/entity is a part of easily accessible from a details page?

- Exactly, I would need a quick trip from "node details" page or a "Search" results page    - looking for a node named "XXXX" and I need  to go quickly to the map with node "XXXX" to get a quick graphical overview of the status of the network.   Because I just don't remember the geographical context and dependencies of all 8000 devices on the network.

Regards.

Jiri

0 Kudos

To your last point about how do I get to map x, it made me think when I get back to my computer and have some time this week I think I'll write a swql query that you can search and it will display all maps containing the specific node.  I've given the team this feedback already, but the way the maps data sits in the database is extremely readable json that gives me high hopes for being able to make changes and new maps and such with code in the future.

- Marc Netterfield, Github
0 Kudos
Level 9

Thank you, if it succeeds it will be a great improvement.

Right now I am solving this with an external application that reads the contents of Network Atlas maps and generates URLs with the name of the maps in which each node is located. Generated URLs are stored in Custom property fiedl named "Map URL"

I described it in more detail here:  How to find out on wich map (maps) is node located ?

regards

Jiri

This Custom Query widget can be added to the node details page and it will get you a list of all the maps that the node appears on. Making a caption searchable form of it will be a bit trickier so I'll get to that later on when I have a real need for it.

SELECT --AccountID, Data,

DisplayName as Name

, '/ui/maps/viewer/' + ProjectID as [_linkfor_Name], 'Edit' as Edit, '/ui/maps/editor/' + ProjectID as [_linkfor_Edit]

,'/Orion/images/nodemgmt_art/icons/icon_edit.gif' as [_IconFor_Edit]  

FROM Orion.Maps.Projects p

where data like '%Orion.Nodes_${nodeid}/"%'

order by name

pastedImage_1.png

- Marc Netterfield, Github
0 Kudos
Level 8

pastedImage_0.jpg

pastedImage_2.jpg

2. I'd like to have the option to customize captions and icons. Also, connecting containers would be nice. In the above picture I would show the connections between containers and not have it be dependent on an actual interface.

    In Network Atlas, we could make swql calls for captions like $[caption] and $[ip_address}.

3. Maps are critical to our operation. The ability to see how a device is connected is a great time saver. If I didn't have a map feature available, I'd go look for a product that did.

Product Manager
Product Manager

Awesome feedback!  I would love for you to elaborate on connecting containers.  You could potentially create a group or a dependency which could represent "member of connections" or a reliance connection.  Are these containers static or do they tend to come and go?

0 Kudos
Level 8

If the Network Atlas style connection line could be duplicated where you can choose to include connection information or not that might be good.

Also, have you considered a zoom level style of information display? If the zoom level is out far then you see host names and maybe up/down information. As the zoom level increases you can get more information on a link. Just thinking out loud now...

Product Manager
Product Manager

Perfectly a great idea.  But this is actually available now.  For example, we tested the zooming behavior on the static sub-views.  So if you go to a node details page there is always a pre-built map for you of that object and its immediate relationships.  You can certainly zoom in and out to see how the data on the map changes.  Unfortunately most people didn't seem to get it or even want that to occur.  Certainly a maps can be quite different from user to user so we are working diligently to come up with the best set of tools that make sense across the board and allow users to create what they want, as easily as possible.  Great ideas and if you feel passionately about anyone certainly don't be shy and create a Feature Request where others can vote!

0 Kudos
Level 8

The containers themselves are static. The contents can change of course but sometimes I would like to show a connection point without any interface information or statistics. Just a line connecting two points.

Product Manager
Product Manager

Noted - a dependency could be used for now to accomplish that if you wish.  Otherwise it is certainly something we are hoping to provide in a future release.

Level 12

Having being told, literally this morning, that we upgarded to the latest version last night I have had a play this morning.

So, eMail has been sent with sample map, but will break out our "needs" below as well.

  • Add manual bits of information associated to nodes – so i.e. ‘add label’
  • We need to be able to rename / re-label devices on the fly.
  • We need to be able to have the node names appear across several lines i.e
    This_IS_My_Device1

    Could be:

  • This_Is_My
    _Device1

  • We need to be able to move the node name to a more visible / appropriate location for readability. As has been said above, visibility quickly becomes 'complicated' in busier maps.
  • Being able to re-edit a manual link at a later stage without having to delete and re-create to change options (e.g. change this map only to all maps)
  • Ability to edit auto-created links and remove one half or at least replace it with a manual link or edit the ingress / egress aspect as described for WAN links.
  • We need to be able to depict trunk links or multiple links between nodes as individual links and not merged down into one line. In my fiddling, Inote these are being merged down to one line and when this line is selected the map properties don't show all info expected
  • An ability to hide / remove / delete specific links
  • An ability to change the node icons to be ones of our choice – e.g. to differentiate between firewalls manufacturers
  • Provide editable Layer 2 and / or Layer 3 views so we can switch and see VLANs, traffic flow, etc
  • Ability to flex / bend / curve links around devices rather than crossing the streams.

There may be more, but these are just from a quick play this morning.

Oh and not in my eMail....

  • An ability to select where the map is displayed. Cavet: this may be possible already and I haven't yet discovered how
  • Provide a library of custom shapes / images - e.g boxes, clouds, buildings, etc

These next two are odd and it might be related to my adding an image and linking to it (a la WAN connection) but I lost  the following two abilities.

  • Able to edit the size of images after they've been added - again, this may be there but I can't see it.
  • Able to "send to back / send backwards" with images

Level 12

With regards to my last two points ...

An add in image remains editable for size and sits behind nodes until it is linked to another node. At which point it loses ability to edit size and to sit "behind" nodes.

0 Kudos
Product Manager
Product Manager

Correct - this behavior is as designed for the time being.  It will change in the future and allow you to size the object when it is connected. 

Level 9

Hi,

a few maps :

map4.jpg

map1.jpg

map3.jpg

2.     In Orion Maps, I'd like a similar scalability to Network Atlas. Line types - broken/angled line.
I do not need Icons, I prefer to see node status for the first look, so simple graffic is enough

Well definable dependence of maps, which did not work well in Atlas. I'd like to transfer status between nested maps only in a specified direction - for example, from a hierarchically subordinate map to a parent map, but not vice versa.

This makes it easy to trace a network fault - I simply follow the alarm "red" color from a higher-level network infrastructure map to a lower-level map (from core through distribution to access).

3.     The map is one of the most important things we use, it provides a simple insight into the topology of the network, and humanly shows the dependencies of the individual elements of the network.
The map simplifies troubleshooting, development planning, simply everything is a very,very,very important tool.

My work is basically impossible without maps.

Level 13

Email sent.

0 Kudos

pastedImage_2.png

2: What we're missing is CLICK TO DRAG. I'm sorry, but holding a key to drag is ridiculous and unintuitive. Either have a button for select mode/drag mode, or a button to press to toggle between. I've not seen applications where click to drag is not a standard feature and I find that grinds my gears   That part is a total UX/UI fail. What if someone is one handed or has a disability? Are they supposed to use their nose? There is no accessibility thought of. Same thing with select/multi-select. And I say this as someone without said disability and I can't even.

3: I find maps super important! They look good, they have great potential value, and they are literally an important showcase of what I want to do with solarwinds for the organization. I think it will become more and more central as monitoring grows at my company.

If I didn't have this, I'd be looking at some data visualization app immediately like grafana/plotly/highcharts/nodered/catalytic. I still might for certain things when solarwinds doesn't display metrics properly, but for hierarchy/visualization you guys are on a great path.

Product Manager
Product Manager

designerfx​ appreciate the feedback - this was absolutely thought of and debated heavily during the design process. This was also never brought up as an issue or concern during any user testing, Beta, RC, or the 2019.2 release.  That being said, it is certainly an option that could always be changed, but what about when you want to perform a lasso or marque selection?  Are you going to want to click a button to be able to do that every time? 

What is the issue with select or multi-select?

jblankjblank​ I agree with your assessment of how triggering a lasso would be 100% fine - so long as there is a lasso button . It's really the same premise. I don't know if people complain about MS paint having a lasso, as a common application. The reason I mention the same about multiple selections is because how would I also theoretically do that if I had a disability/single hand? Same potential issue.

However, if I show anyone Orion they're going to expect click to drag as basically a standard function. Not "hold a button to do it".

People wouldn't have mentioned it in 2019.2 because new maps weren't even worth considering in 2019.2, to be frank . With 2019.4 you really brought the heat as far as bringing a lot of the features forward and now it's something people are going to look at   My argument for click to drag is the worldmap We have it there, so it's not like it's even outside of Orion functionality in other places.

0 Kudos
Product Manager
Product Manager

Thank you for sharing your thoughts designerfx​.  We always strive to think about our different users and use cases in the design of our features, and yet we cannot always win everyone over.  I can understand your opinion on the click to drag behavior, as a matter of fact, this was the way we implemented that functionality in the static sub-view maps on details pages.  In our goal to provide a web based designer we did quite a bit of research, and the current implemented functionality is no different than the likes of Visio, Lucid Chart, DrawIO, or even Adobe Photoshop and more.  So the click space bar to pan the map appeared to be fairly common functionality across many different tools.  We can certainly add some functions to make it more accessible and easier to use and have hopes to do so.  This would be a perfect opportunity for you to submit a feature request where we could track interest in making a change.  Maybe something like scroll bars around the canvas would make this easier without changing the behavior?  Again, open to feedback. 

With every release we want to make adjustments, enhance what is existing to improve usability, and also add new functionality.  It is always a game (quite frustrating at times) of balance.  Unfortunately we can't just flip a switch or get everything we wanted in each release.  The 2019.2 release was no exception.  While you found it not worth considering, many others were quite pleased to see the newly added functionality.  The Maps Team is really our own worst critic and while we would have loved to include more, we were doing something that had never been done before in a new framework by creating a new web based editor in Orion, as well as a new responsive graph widget.  With all the touch points that maps have within the platform, this was quite a monumental task which we are very proud of.  More importantly, this allows us to gather useful feedback as we continue to develop the feature, rather than just sit on some cool functionality that could be useful to some. 

We hope that the latest changes and future releases provide functionality that improve the usability of the platform and offer a critical tool for visualizing data in Orion.  We have a lot more we want to accomplish and provide to all of you to make it even better.  The 3 question in this thread is so that we can share these thoughts with the business to ensure we continue to get to do so.  Thank you.