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What's in your toolbox?

Hi Everyone, 

We are building a dedicated Toolbox server and I was just wondering if you can share some ideas what might go onto this box. Things like PuTTY client for example and other handy tools for a savvy SolarWinds administrator 

Please note, I am aware that SolarWinds has an Engineering Toolset product, but I would like to build an independent list of tools and have them running on our own dedicated box, accessible by our monitoring engineers. 


With Gratitude,
Alex Soul
5 Replies

@mrxinu hit most of my build list as well, all of those are indispensable for me.  Tacking on for good measure,

  • mRemoteNG or a similar session client - My tools server also functions as a jump host into a few other segregated networks that I can't hit from my workstation.
  • SSMS - You can also get by with the vs code plugin for a good chunk of DB work, but there are some things that don't carry over if you get into those features.
  • Greenshot - For making documentation as I'm working on things
- Marc Netterfield, Github
Level 13





Some sort of SNMP walk tool. SolarWinds has several, and they vary in capability.

  • Visual Studio Code Extensions that @mrxinu listed, plus: 
    • Diff (or similar file diff tool)
    • REST Client (optional)
    • EditorConfig - helps keep your team's editor settings consistent within each project
  • SysInternals Suite
  • RSAT (Remote Server Admin Tools)
  • Windows Terminal
  • 7-Zip
  • PowerShell Modules:
    • PSPKI
    • SWISPowerShell
    • Your infrastructure vendors's modules
  • Windows Administration Center

For the crowd in general, I'll add:

Harden this box!!!! Use MFA if possible. Turn on PowerShell logging. Do not log on as a Domain Admin, but instead delegate privileges where possible, and create a separate management server for Domain Admin tasks. Do not turn off UAC. Do not turn off virus/malware protection. Do not log onto this server with a standard user account (create separate accounts for management tasks). Disable internet access from this server. If possible, work towards using the tiered administration model of secure management. Have fun. 🙂 

Outstanding advice all around! I added the ones I was missing!

0 Kudos

I was just talking to someone about must-have tools the other day. I don't know that this will apply to everyone, but given that there's an awful lot of cool stuff you can do with the SolarWinds API, a proper development environment wouldn't hurt.

So, onward...

  • Visual Studio Code
    • I like this over ISE because it does a lot more for linting (showing you where you made a mistake) and the extensions I use with it make mistakes easier to see
  • Visual Studio Code Extensions
    • Bracket Pair Colorizer 2
      • Same as Bracket Pair Colorizer but with some version-breaking enhancements
    • PowerShell (of course)
    • markdownlint
    • GitLens
    • ReWrap
      • Tame lengthy comments with Alt+Q
    • SQLTools
      • You don't actually have to run SQL from here, though you could
      • Dumping SQL or SWQL in here and Ctrl+P > Format Document can take a query on a single line and turn it back into a readable query again
  • Postman
    • If you're working with the REST API because you're using a language other than PowerShell it helps to understand what the raw interaction looks like.
  • SQL Studio
    • The Database Manager is fine for most things, but for some things you'll want the actual SQL Studio.
  • SolarWinds SDK & SWQL Studio
    • A must-have for anyone doing dashboard customization
  • Git
    • Version control is good, right?