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Product Manager
Product Manager

If you're curious as to what we're working on...

The NPM team is busy at work on a number of highly requested enhancements:

 

  • Scheduled Discovery - the ability to schedule discoveries on a recurring basis
  • Syslog and Traps –
    • Ability to reference Trap variable binding names and value pairs as variables in alert messages (e.g. ${vbName1}, ${vbData1})
    • Ability to configure Trap alerts based on pattern matching on Trap Details
    • Ability to reference Orion node variables in Syslog and Trap alerts
    • Respect Orion NPM unmanaged node status in Syslog and Trap alerts
    • Ability to change the status of an interface in Orion NPM based on Trap message
    • Add option when forwarding a Syslog message to retain the original source IP address
    • Add option to consume original address when passed in a Syslog message.
    • Add option when forwarding a Syslog message to retain (and spoof) the original source IP address.
  • Full VMWare vSphere Support - in order to add support for vSphere 4.0 from VMWare, we can no longer gather the data we need via SNMP so we are updating our integration to gather this via their API
  • Connect Now - the ability to drag one or more nodes on to a map and based on the last discovery topological data, automatically connect those device together on the map
  • Product update notification – an in product notice to alert you to new releases and service packs are available for your Orion products
  • Improved upgrade experience – additional effort to reduce upgrade disruptions
  • Official platform support for Windows 2008 R2
  • Network Atlas performance enhancements
In parallel, we are also working on the following:

FIPS support – ensures product operability on a Windows OS (2003 & 2008) with the FIPS Group Policy Object (GPO) enabled, which restricts which cryptographic algorithms are allowed

PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on these items based on this priority order, but this is NOT a commitment that all of these enhancements will make the next release.  We are working on a number of other smaller features in parallel.   If you have comments or questions on any of these items (e.g. how would it work?) or would like to be included in a preview demo, please let us know!

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91 Replies
Level 9

So what are you guys doing for SQL Cluster support?  We continually are having issues during failover with Orion stops writing to the database and then it doesn't start writing again after the failover is complete.  Wind up rebooting both poller engines and then it will start writing again.  Maybe build some logic into Orion where it will try to write again every 15mins instead of giving up after 5min and then never trying again. 

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Level 9

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but we would like to have more information in the graphs.  Some of the items we have troubles with for graphs that provide a point of view over a longer time period are:

  • It's hard to identify the specific day or time of day that an event in the graph occured.
  • Information such as the Maximum, Minimum, and average values are not included in the graphs, specifically the APM Statistic graphs.
  • Sometimes the text on the graph overlaps, which ends up looking messy.
  • The 95th percentile lines for interfaces (one for transmit and the other for recieved bandwidth usage) are styled exactly the same.  This means that interfaces with similar transmit and receive values have 95th percentile lines that cannot be visually related to one piece of data over the other.
  • While not nearly as significant as the points above, it would be great to have a mouseover option on the graph, as is done in other systems such as ESX.  When you mouse over a line, it shows you the specific data for that point in the graph including the time and the value.

I know some of the information, such as min. vs. max values can be retreived by choosing "raw data" or through the use of other web parts, but it would be best to have that information on the graph, where it remains relevant to our users.

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I'd like to have the option of a logarithmic  scale, especially  for availability so small % changes are evident (3 nines to 4 nines)

-=Dan=-

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I really like all of jason's points, especially the last one.

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Level 8

One other suggestion that is becoming a serious problem in my environment is the ability to monitor multiple contexts, and multiple devices via the same IP.

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This is something that we've been hit extremely hard by, and I can't stress enough how important this is.  Unfortunately, no one has committed to this feature.  Orion still remains a great product nonetheless, but this, for my company, is one of the top most desired fixes/features.

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Dont hold your breath waiting for logical names on DHCP nodes 😛

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Level 7

Couple of small things I would like to see done...

1) In the Admin section of the website,  I continually have to go back in to adjust the Limitation for a acct.  Like say for a network eng acct, they need all Ciscos, but everytime we add a new device type the limitation has to be changed.  Would it be possible for keyword matching on type like "Cisco" or something like that?

2) For unmanaged time set on nodes, it would be nice to see exactly the time frame its been set for on the node details page somewhere.

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If you're looking for suggestions, how about this:

 

Why not have predefined "Pollers" for platforms, such as Cisco, VMware, etc... Much akin to Microsoft Operations Manager's "Management Packs"? I like the quick turn up of an NPM install, but I wish there were more data available in a quick and easy fashion. It seems that just a bit more info that could be available, like CDP neighbors, etc. would be a quick win and great value proposition to your product.

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Nothing but net!!!  Great idea.

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Level 11

How about more granularity on interfaces added during discovery, perhaps the ability to limit interfaces to only those that have a CDP neighbor?  On a large network, you can end up with thousands of interfaces you don't necessarily want to monitor, and it can be a time consuming process to remove them.  Adding CDP neighbor to the import settings, in in addtion to the current operationally up, operationally down and shutdown would be great. 

Some logic that knows a device has been previously discovered, and asks, not assumes, whether a newly discovered operationally up interface should be added would be nice too.  If you go to scheduled discovery, a great addition, we need some additional ways to filter what ends up being added.

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Hi,

I would have liked to see some development into the following few items among others.

Network Atlas:

  • Being able to resize labels/text boxes
  • Position Securing of Labels/text boxes which dont move when other objects are added
  • Ability to insert a table
  • Automatic addition/population of table by possible object attibutes.
  • Ability to drag and drop objects into a table cell
  • Increased icon support
  • Generic objects such as racks of different sizes, equipment of different sizes for quick creation
  • automatic/dynamic map creation based on object properties. Ie this map has all objects which have custom property: Priority - High.
  • Option to automatically delete all presence of nodes on map if you delete a node rather than going through maps individually.

Some focus on Services in addition to individual nodes/applications.

  • The ability to create a service object
  • ability to assign nodes/interfaces/applications/custom to the service/s
  • Define attributes of the service such as sla,kpi,owner,1st line support,base service,
  • be able to create a resource page per Service which can serve as a service catalogue description including service dependencies(like a service catalogue entry)
  • ability to add service objects as dependant on other service objects
  • ability to alert on service object status

 

Web Portal

  • Inbuilt ability for map rotation
  • drag/resize/reposition resources with web portal for end users and saved per user.

User Management

  • Role based access
  • creation of groups
  • mapping into AD/radius/tacacs  authentication
  • change management options
  • options to have approval process
  • logging user changes

 

Reporting

  • The option to keep past node statistics for accurate reporting.Currently If you remove a node your reporting metrics will change and no longer be accurate
  • Would be good to report on the trends on number of nodes/applications/interface managed so that you can show how the server performs compared to number of monitored objects
  • all of the other request that fellow users have had on here like addition of graphs

Health

  • better support for inbuilt ability to automatically recover from service failure (like the current npm process having to be manually restarted after polling engine stops polling
  • or better alert mechanism to inform users of server issues.

 

Regards

 

Miron

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Product Manager
Product Manager

Good list, so I am going to respond to each inline here.  Please feel free to PM me offline to discuss these more in depth further.

Network Atlas:

  • Being able to resize labels/text boxes
    So just an FYI, if you want to do multi-line you can do a shift-enter to get a new line. 
  • Position Securing of Labels/text boxes which dont move when other objects are added
    So other customers who have hit this issue have used the linked backgrounds feature and places the image in the Orion web server directory and pointed at it to get around this. 
  • Ability to insert a table
    Can you define this a little further.  What are you looking to do?  What type of data? 
  • Automatic addition/population of table by possible object attibutes.
    Again, please explain a little further. 
  • Ability to drag and drop objects into a table cell
    I think this will make more sense to me when I get the other data from above 
  • Increased icon support
    Fair enough, there is another thread of thwack where our UI designer is asking for feedback 
  • Generic objects such as racks of different sizes, equipment of different sizes for quick creation
  • automatic/dynamic map creation based on object properties. Ie this map has all objects which have custom property: Priority - High.
    Understood.  Connect Now which I have outlined above is the first step, but I completely agree with you 
  • Option to automatically delete all presence of nodes on map if you delete a node rather than going through maps individually.
    Understand the use case 

Some focus on Services in addition to individual nodes/applications.

  • The ability to create a service object
  • ability to assign nodes/interfaces/applications/custom to the service/s
  • Define attributes of the service such as sla,kpi,owner,1st line support,base service,
  • be able to create a resource page per Service which can serve as a service catalogue description including service dependencies(like a service catalogue entry)
  • ability to add service objects as dependant on other service objects
  • ability to alert on service object status
    So here you require the ability to group together one or more services or apps together into a Service for example.  So Service A contains app A, app B, service C, nodes A,B,C 

 

Web Portal

  • Inbuilt ability for map rotation
    What are you using today?  Alot of users use the Firefox plugin, does this not work? 
  • drag/resize/reposition resources with web portal for end users and saved per user.
     

User Management

  • Role based access
  • creation of groups
  • mapping into AD/radius/tacacs  authentication
  • change management options
    What type of change management options? 
  • options to have approval process
    What types of actions do you want approval around? 
  • logging user changes
    We have this logged as audit trail 

 

Reporting

  • The option to keep past node statistics for accurate reporting.Currently If you remove a node your reporting metrics will change and no longer be accurate
  • Would be good to report on the trends on number of nodes/applications/interface managed so that you can show how the server performs compared to number of monitored objects
  • all of the other request that fellow users have had on here like addition of graphs

Health

  • better support for inbuilt ability to automatically recover from service failure (like the current npm process having to be manually restarted after polling engine stops polling 
  • or better alert mechanism to inform users of server issues.
    Fair enough 

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Hi,

I will expand and add further detail to the items listed and commented on:

Network Atlas:

  • Being able to resize labels/text boxes
    At the moment there is not much different between a text box and label. You used to be to drag the handles of the label to create a label of the desired size regardless of quanity of text. So if you want to have a series of labels back to back to each other and want them to share size characteristics you are no longer able to.
  • Position Securing of Labels/text boxes which dont move when other objects are added
    So other customers who have hit this issue have used the linked backgrounds feature and places the image in the Orion web server directory and pointed at it to get around this. Not sure you should require a work around, also if you decide to change a background depending on the objects in the map you have to reposition them as they move around instead of staying put
  • Ability to insert a table
    Can you define this a little further.  What are you looking to do?  What type of data?  Well imagine you want to create a table which lists all the urls that you monitor in the 1st column and the status in the second. Now to do this currently you would have to drag the application monitor onto the map for each url checked, assign a graphic and possible alter the label. You would then have to create a table in whatever program you choose (for instance powerpoint) then save this as an image and import it as a background into network atlas. At this point you would have to put all the URL Application monitors into the right hand column and adjust the size to fit the background , and position all the labels in column 1.   Now this might work and look okay in network atlas but when you display it through the web portal you can get inconsistences in the rendering of the table and what looks like crisp edges in network atlas dont quite look right for user. You would also have the list at the bottom.                                                                     1) Instead imagine if you had the ability to create a table or draw a table. You could right click column one and say that its properties is label, right click the second column and select its properties as status. Then you drag an object into the row and the label in column 1 is filled in automaticaly and column 2 becomes a square with the status colour of the object.                                                                                                     2) Same as number 1 however instead of dragging the objects and adding more rows if you need to you are able to add rules to the table. So you are able to say that column 1 will contain lables of all nodes with specific criteria - basic filter (so any application that has url monitor). Then if you create or remove url application monitors they automatically get added/removed from the table and the table resizes acccordingly                                                                                                                                                      3) Now if this was possible great but lets make it cooler. Lets say we want to add columns for SLA and availabality. So the SLA column takes its content from a custom propert like 95%, in the available column you are able to show the current/weekly availablity. To make it tricker is could also change colour to indicate if it is below the SLA based on alert thresholds for a device or group of devices.
  • Automatic addition/population of table by possible object attibutes.
    Again, please explain a little further.  See Above
  • Ability to drag and drop objects into a table cell
    I think this will make more sense to me when I get the other data from above  . See Above
  • Increased icon support
    Fair enough, there is another thread of thwack where our UI designer is asking for feedback 
  • Generic objects such as racks of different sizes, equipment of different sizes for quick creation.  To expand on this a snap in feature would be good. So you drag a 1U server into U42 and it snaps in.
  • automatic/dynamic map creation based on object properties. Ie this map has all objects which have custom property: Priority - High.
    Understood.  Connect Now which I have outlined above is the first step, but I completely agree with you 
  • Option to automatically delete all presence of nodes on map if you delete a node rather than going through maps individually.
    Understand the use case 
  • NEW: ability create shapes and objects with network atlas, lets say i want to draw a circle or create a box to go around some nodes, these shapes can have the possiblity of having nodes assigned to them like normal objects.  

Some focus on Services in addition to individual nodes/applications.

  • The ability to create a service object
  • ability to assign nodes/interfaces/applications/custom to the service/s
  • Define attributes of the service such as sla,kpi,owner,1st line support,base service,
  • be able to create a resource page per Service which can serve as a service catalogue description including service dependencies(like a service catalogue entry)
  • ability to add service objects as dependant on other service objects
  • ability to alert on service object status
    So here you require the ability to group together one or more services or apps together into a Service for example.  So Service A contains app A, app B, service C, nodes A,B,C  - Correct Lets take for example one of my wireless services. Wireless SSID X - It uses Thin wireless devices, WLC, radius server, active directory and a ASA. Now if one of the access points goes down its not to much of a big deal, but if the radius server or asa is unavailable the service can no longer work.

 

Web Portal

  • Inbuilt ability for map rotation
    What are you using today?  Alot of users use the Firefox plugin, does this not work?  The firefox plugin works fine, however users have the option to use browsers of their choice, so if we want them to have rotating summary screens it would be good if it was browser independent
  • drag/resize/reposition resources with web portal for end users and saved per user. Kind of like he google portal where the user can reposition resources, image also if you wanted to just detach a resource to view in its own window.
     

Maintenance Windows (Newly Added)

  • I see this has been talked about already but again lets take it a step further, lets say you have a particular time of the year when a certain app is critical, so lets say for the month of july every year we want to increase the polling times on this from once in 5 min to one in 2 min, and increase its custom attribute Priority to High. We want the Priority to High because we have a general alert that will send out text messages only for applications/nodes with a high priority.(examples of applications that are time dependent payroll systems are mostly important the week before payday, other times of the month if they go down it is not worth someone getting out of bed for.
  • How would this look, well lets imagine a microsoft calendar type scheduling assistant /rules wizard. We  select the period or recurrence, we create a new rule for this within this rule we define a filter/s to address the target objects, we define a set of actions that can change the contents of a custom property or tag, we can define polling time, we can define managed status. We may need multiple rules if we have overlapping change events. So one central place to do of it rather than having to do it by object individually. It would also give you one place to view all the changes away from the norm in one place. Obviously the changes defined would be reversed one that occurence was over.

User Management

  • Role based access
  • creation of groups
  • mapping into AD/radius/tacacs  authentication
  • change management options
    What type of change management options? Lets say someone is going to edit something on a node. Administrator requires that an audit trail (not sure this is what you mean below)of changes to devices also needs to be maintained. So that if you look at change history for device you can see that its name was changed, had an interface unmanaged, and snmp changed. When someone does the change either they are automatically assigned a job number for the change which can be tied back to formal change management process or they can input the corporate change id number.
  • options to have approval process
    What types of actions do you want approval around?  If a user is going to change a node of a certain priority they do they change but it doesnt take effect until someone with approval access to that level authorise the change, this would extend to network atlas where you have edit permissions much like windows shares.
  • logging user changes
    We have this logged as audit trail 

 

Reporting

  • The option to keep past node statistics for accurate reporting.Currently If you remove a node your reporting metrics will change and no longer be accurate
  • Would be good to report on the trends on number of nodes/applications/interface managed so that you can show how the server performs compared to number of monitored objects
  • all of the other request that fellow users have had on here like addition of graphs

Health

  • better support for inbuilt ability to automatically recover from service failure (like the current npm process having to be manually restarted after polling engine stops polling 
  • or better alert mechanism to inform users of server issues.
    Fair enough 

 

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Network Atlas:

  • Being able to resize labels/text boxes
    At the moment there is not much different between a text box and label. You used to be to drag the handles of the label to create a label of the desired size regardless of quanity of text. So if you want to have a series of labels back to back to each other and want them to share size characteristics you are no longer able to.



Is there a change coming to make a distinction between a text box and a label? If they are identical, is one being phased out in favor of the other?

I'm in the process of updating all our network maps at the moment...

 

Thanks,

-Joe

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Miron, what a thoughtful list.. very nice

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Level 9

Can you guys please add a recurring maintenance schedule to NPM for monitoring. This will be something that all of us would like to see I am sure. We have maintenance night every Thursday and we just hate receiving 183 emails of spam because of reboots. I've asked about this many of times and I get the the typical we are working on it. We have owned Solarwinds for a while now and we haven't seen it yet as a feature in the NPM 9 versions.

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Level 7

I'd be happy if I could filter "last 25 events" and "alerts" on the "Network Summary" homepage to show useful things that I want to know. i.e. filter out things that I don't want...to wit:  I don't need to see every interface in my 2600+ node environment changing speed, going up, going down, etc. - it hides the important events in an avalanche of general info.

 I've searched the forums, but there doesn't seem to be much support in NPM 9.5 to do this.

Cheers,
Kurt

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Level 8



PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on these items based on this priority order, but this is NOT a commitment that all of these enhancements will make the next release.  We are working on a number of other smaller features in parallel.   If you have comments or questions on any of these items (e.g. how would it work?) or would like to be included in a preview demo, please let us know!





How about native support for Juniper/Netscreen devices? This is a huge issue for me and for others based on this forum post:

 

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I was thinking today it would be nice to have the way to search by Cisco interface descriptions.  It would make it easier to find things for those who do not necessarily know which device a given "service" is located. 🙂

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Hi all, I just posted a rather complex question regarding alerting based on Trap Detail over here:  Hopefully the functionality to search Trap Detail will make it into 10.0

I'd also really like to see the ability to create and assign custom scales to graphs, this is really high on my list of priorities as I monitor a lot of none-network devices with UnDPs (such as UPSs, PDUs, APTs, NetBotz, etc.).

Big thumbs up if we get scheduled discoveries, too.

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