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Filter that OUT

I believe there should be a filter option on the manage nodes page for each column.

Search isn't enough when you have hundreds....discuss

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11 Replies

I only have a thousand switches/routers/firewalls, and perhaps 5000 servers.  Our naming convention makes the "Search" function work well--no filters are needed.

My team's primarily concerned with Network Transport solutions, and every site has a short and unique name code that is intuitive to search on.  It also has some additional power in that every node's name has Market identifiers, site identifiers, network room identifiers, and function identifiers; we can search on any of them and quickly find all devices that are firewalls, all devices in a particular market area, all access switches, everything in a given network room--or any combination of them all.

I've seen businesses who name servers or resources using nouns that are members of a particular group, which can be intuitive or confusing.

If you agree on names and set a convention, they're not going to work well for searching by group.  For example:

  • Maybe all your Citrix servers are named for a species of fish.  If you have Citrix servers named Pike and Shark and Sunfish and Scorpion Fish, and you want NPM to show only Citrix servers, you'll need four searches.
  • Instead, if you named them CitrixPike and CitrixShark, etc., you could search for Citrix.  You wouldn't be limited to using intuitive names if you believe in "security through obscurity".  Maybe say all your Citrix servers get names with at least one unique character.  Maybe ^Pike and ^Sunfish, etc.  Then you could search for ^ and get them all.
  • If you choose nouns that overlap, you've just opened up some serious headaches.  A classic example is one group of servers named for Presidents and another group of servers named for Cities.  If your AD servers are Presidents and your database servers are named for cities, when you see Washington and Lincoln on the network, teams will be confused about whether those boxes are AD or DB servers.  Don't let yourself fall into that trap.  It's a headache.

Consider a naming convention like this, if you want to leverage the search and other power features of NPM and NCM:

A-BBBB-CCCC-DDDD-EEEE-FFFF etc., based on location and function.

  1. Your highest level logical divider is A.  Maybe it's a Nation or Continent indicator.  Whatever character is in the A position will indicate this is a U.S.-based resource, or one in Canada, or Mexico, or Australia, or India, or Brazil.
  2. The next highest logical divider is BBBB.  Maybe you use this to indicate all your resources in a given state, or even just within one city, and you can decide whether you can fit every city's abbreviation into a specific number of characters.  Maybe you need fewer characters--or more--in the second group.
  3. CCCC is the third divider, and should be given to something fairly specific.  Maybe a particular building or campus or facility.
  4. DDDD gets even more specific.  It might be the number of the room in which the device is physically installed.
  5. EEEE should be the function of the device, and as such is going to include a fair amount of devices.  Maybe its a border router, maybe an access switch, maybe a firewall, maybe a database server or wireless access point.  But when you search on just the EEEEE section in NPM, you'll happily get the list of all border routers or firewalls, etc.
  6. FFFF must be something that makes this device unique from all the devices in that location.  If you have two firewalls in this room, you might make this field equal to 0001 and 0002, or just 01 and 02.

Your imagination is the only limit, and Solarwinds can EASILY search and manage and group and report by these options.  Having a great plan in place before you begin building and deploying--a plan that takes into account the ultimate end goals of management and searching by naming convention--makes life more intuitive and joyful.

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yes that looks similar to the one they have started on the last project. But everyone's to busy to update the previous 5 name changes that each of our 3 sites have been through..maybe one day but in my head its a quick win for me and probably quite a few other companies.

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The key is to have an enterprise view from Day One, when the little startup business first makes plans to open a door.  The problem is that startups can't afford Enterprise-quality network architects, or even advice from them.  It all grows slowly and organically, and changes with every new person who comes in.

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Agreed. I worked for a church that missed that concept and that is where I developed the naming convention that I show above. By their existing naming convention you couldn't tell if a switch was in the main campus or which remote campus - you just had to know.

The church I attended in Kansas City was a single campus, but had visions of multi campus. When I suggested the naming convention to them there was a little push back at first, but now that they are multi campus they are glad the planned ahead.

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Here's a link to the page that discusses Feature Requests - where this should be discussed.

How To Create Ideas and Feature Requests

Be sure to follow the Feature Requests group as well.

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I was taking part in the word for a day challenge    But yes that's another one a button to link a discussion to another part of the forum, rather than having to retype it.

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How about per-user views/menus/etc? If you set people up via groups, they share the same views.

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You can do a combination as the search will do partial matches. So with group by you can select the vendor - say Windows. That will give you all of your servers. Then do a search for say the first 5 letters of the machine names dodo1. Then click on one of the columns to sort within those results - click again to sort in the reverse order. Not quite a filter, but does a pretty good job if you have things named well.

You can also group by custom node properties - for me I have 2 AD domains and I can group by that, or several locations and I can group by that.

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Hi I think the main point there is if you have things named well. It's not that they aren't but we are a company that have merged with two others. Who have all been through server name changes, some snmp locations haven't been filed out. Some servers I don't even know if there live or test yet. politics and change control and resource. Whoevers idea it was to name servers by numbers..just don't come near me it's not secure so don't think it's clever. I can work out what it does by the ports that are open but oh my god at least put a l for live and t for test.    

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I've worked for several companies and feel your pain.

One company named all their servers after Peanuts characters. Really so who really knows what Lucy does? Or Pigpen?

Another, a church, trying to be clever used biblical names It's a little easier to understand that Peter was a database server, but again, really. As you grow who knows who does what?

Another company, my current one, tries to make it logical XX at the beginning to identify which of the two domains and a logical name such as mail so xxmail01 xxmailo2 - but again, everyones thought of logical differs.

My favorite - yes it looks convoluted, but it makes sense once you wrap your head around it. Some sort of Mnemonic system. For example:

AAA - Domain

BBB - Location

CCC - Closet/data center

DDD - Rack

EEE - Device type - here you would have SWI for switch, DBS for database server, etc.

So you might have COR-DEN-MDF-001-SW2 That would be switch2 in Rack 1 in the Main Data Facility in Denver of the corporate network

Flex this to your specific needs and it can make sense - but then we go ALL the way back to Day 1 (Prepare) - to tie it back into Word A Day!

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Level 9

Agreed.  Likewise, when managing a node, there should be an easy way to cascade custom property choices.

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