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Level 13

WiFi Discovery

So, I'm a brand new n00b to Solarwinds... I'v ebeen aware of it for years just the companies I've worked for haven't used it. Now, my current employer is moving on from our old product and we are taking up with SW. To that end, I'm liable to ask many stupi dquestions but I'm goign to beg your indulgence up front.

That said, I will, where my "search fu" works see if I can fin dthe answer myself. So first issue... I'm reading NPM 12.3 Admin Guide and it has this to say about wifi discovery: (emphasis mine)

The wireless interfaces are not found during discovery process. When a wireless device is added and an inventory search is performed, each wireless interface found is added to the database and polling begins.

Would someone be able to put this into plainer English fo rme as I'm not following it? As a practical example, I've run a discovery and it's picked up a switch and the 4 IP's that are the LAPs but it doesn't give me any details - no serial numbers, no interfaces, nothing. Secondly ConnectNow can't / won't do a layer 2 link up to the devices.

For the record I've singed up to the "Configuring Orion Views, Maps & Accounts" on July 11th so hoping that will help a bit but any other pointers at videos, or docs will be gratefully accepted.


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8 Replies

There is a significant difference between NPM's heat maps and those generated through Cisco Prime, taken from the same wireless controllers.  I've got both set up for comparison, and I regard NPM's wifi mapping & monitoring solution a good initial try, it's not as robust as Prime.  (Yet?)

On the other hand, NPM does a super job reporting and inventorying WLAN members (controllers, AP's, clients, and Rogues).  Not quite as good as Prime does, and without the ability to manage them all from a single spot like Prime.  But if I didn't have Prime, I'd LOVE that NPM can provide some information about the controller-based WLAN.

On the left is NPM's heat map, on the right is Prime's.  You can see Prime has loads of options to show clients, AP's, rogues, etc.  Plus Prime can be adjusted to show signal strength at any power output level in -dB.


Hi and thank you - I should have been clearer in my use of the term mapping, and to be honest, wasn't even considering heatmaps.

It would probably be better described as "laying out" the network as there is no (at least none that I have been advised of) requirment to heatmap these devices. I also don't think there's any likelihood we would get Prime - we've always tried to be vendor neutral in terms of monitoring / support / investigations and that approach ahs worked mostly. However I see a future where we won't always be abel to get away with that.

p.s. - your graphic is coming out as tiny and no matter what I do I can't see it as a reasoanble size.

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To get details about LWAP's you should be polling the controller, you'll usually find what you need there since the LWAP's themselves hold almost nothing useful locally.

- Marc Netterfield, Github

OK - so, that makes sense.

I guess the proces would be - scan the controller - then scan the site and when creating the maps drag in the necessary devices. It's just those words in the guide were confusing

Ahhhh you are adding  them to maps, ugh I do not envy that job.  Atlas makes it incredibly tedious and the situation I described would be for just adding the nodes to NPM overall, for wireless mapping you do need to jump through some hoops to try and get them to show up. To be honest if your wireless solution has any built in mapping capabilities it will almost always be easier/more reliable to use that than to try and get everything showing up in NPM.  For NPM the wireless map is like a side feature that gets a small amount of attention but for most wireless vendors their proprietary mapping is a big selling point that they treat more seriously.

See these threads

Thin AP's on Network Atlas?

LWAP Status Indicators for Maps

How to get wireless clients to display in Heat Maps?

Requirements for wireless heat maps - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support

Since Atlas is being slowly phased out in favor of web based features I expect it won't get any new features anymore and so this situation is not likely to change with trying to build those hand drawn AP maps. 

- Marc Netterfield, Github

That's really helpful - thank you.

For Cisco's LAP's we generally have never used anything to "manage" them - shocking really - except their WLC and that is great for inventory and investigating the end devices whilst live. As soon as they go down we have nothing but records and I would probably add they aren't 100% accurate.That said, for cases like this, all we really need is a basic up / down initially and if we get issues then we can investigate.

So let me go read all you've linked along with remebering your caveat(s) whilst doing so.

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Level 16

You stated that you are taking up with SW have you reached out to your sales rep so that an SE can assist you with your installation and configuration?

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Apologies - should have been a bit clearer I guess. SW is already installed, deployed, configured. I'm the grunt who's main role will be to populate the content into it.

SE? Senior Engineer?

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