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Orion Platform 2018.2 Improvements - Chapter Three

For those of you might have missed it, check out the other exciting Orion Platform improvements detailed by my teammates aLTeReGo​ and jblankjblank

This chapter contains content around my areas of concern on the Orion platform - usability improvements and deployment.

Updated Popovers

A small but mighty feature on the Orion platform is our standard object popovers, aka hovers. These are the perfect UI element to give you additional information without taking valuable real estate, and also without requiring you to navigate to an entirely different page. In this release we decided to give some love to these supporting players and add some functionality too! Before I show you the new, let me remind of what it looks like before our change.

Hover Examples from oriondemo.solarwinds.com
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And now that you've received that visual reminder, here we are with the new update:

Hello New Popovers
hovers.gif

We updated the node popovers (as seen above) with the ability to trigger commands straight from the popover. Supported commands include:

  • Go to Details View
  • Edit Node
  • Mute & Unmanage Now

What do you think? Are there commands that you'd like to have quick access to through the popovers? We also updated interface & volume popovers. We did not update all object popovers, so you'll still see some examples of older style popovers, but if you love what you see, let us know which popovers we should rework next!

InterfacesVolumes
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This also applies to the new Manage Entities page, to allow you quick actions on each of the entities, as well as the Integrated Search page.

Manage Entities
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SolarWinds Orion Search
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Also, for those of you who have up-voted the feature request while we don't have complete customization capability, we did add a little something for you. Look closely at the screenshot for SolarWinds Orion Search above, do you see the custom properties appearing in the popover?

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We will show up to 5 custom properties on the popover. The key? As long as when you've created the custom property you've selected "Object Details Views" as the usage, then it is eligible to appear in the popover.

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PerfStack Widget

For fans of Performance Analysis - PerfStack | SolarWinds we have something special for you in this release. You asked for a PerfStack widget for your dashboards, and we are delivering.

Looking at my environment I can see that in My Awesome Group, I've got a host that has a child status of warning.

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Clicking over to the host, I can add this to PerfStack by clicking the "Performance Analyzer" link in the Management widget. This will open a new Analysis project that will show me the full stack of data to troubleshoot the issue in real time.

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New Analysis Project
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Troubleshooting this, the issue might be something that could continue. You may want to put this data in context with other data on views, or show this on a NOC. We've got you covered for this scenario with the introduction of the PerfStack widget. At this point while you have your PerfStack modified with just the right metrics, you can save the PerfStack. In fact, anyone regardless of privilege, can create and save their own PerfStack. However only Orion admins with View Customization privileges can proceed with the next step.

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There are a few ways to drag & drop this widget easily to your preferred view, but searching for the PerfStack by project name is by far the easiest method. As an admin, you can see any created PerfStack for the entire installation. If one of your colleagues created a great PerfStack, no problem, you can share this on a view for all to enjoy. All existing limitations to view customization still exist, so just make sure that if you're putting a PerfStack widget on a node details page, that you really want that PerfStack on all the node details pages.  Don't forget that you can also favorite any PerfStack widgets in the widget drawer for faster access in the future!

In this beta release, we haven't provided support, yet, for all chart visualizations. If you have a PerfStack that contains status as an example, you  may have an empty chart.

Search by PerfStack name is the easiest method!
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SolarWinds Orion Installer 2.0.0

With this release, this may be your first opportunity to use the newest version of the SolarWinds Orion Installer version that can upgrade your scalability engines. In general, when I mention a version associated with the installer this is the file version of the downloaded file. You can always right click to see the file properties to verify what version of the installer you are running. In the example below, the relevant version number is 2.0.0 but the 1348 is an internal build number for our teams, and is not relevant for your daily purposes. In this section you'll find details for a small update in version 1.3.2 & 2.0.0, but I have a separate document detailing the new staging capabilities that are going to be available in this release (Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2 )

2.0.0
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In our previous release of the 1.3.1 installer , we consolidated our legacy installer's scalability engine capabilities into our SolarWinds Orion installer. This could be seen on fresh installations with the addition of a new option next to the existing "Lightweight" and "Standard" options. Clicking this would allow you to deploy a fresh or upgrade an Additional Polling Engine, Additional Website, or HA backup server. This was a seamless experience for any users using our recommended online installer option. Essentially, it allowed you to download any product installer (e.g. NPM 12.3 installer), use it to deploy your main poller and then use the same installer file to deploy any scalability engines.

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The experience was a little less seamless for our offline users. If our offline installer users attempted to move that 2 GB installer to their intended scalability engine server, they would be confronted with the following message.

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I'm happy to say that with 1.3.2 & 2.0.0 versions of the installer, that is no longer the case. If you want to move the offline installer that you used for your main poller to the server that you intend to deploy a scalability engine, you absolutely can. You will have the same user experience that users of our online installer users will have. However, that file is 2GB, and sharing that around to various servers is no joke. The following is a valid installation path for any user that requires an offline option.

  1. Download one of the offline product installers (e.g. NPM 12.3). Even if you intend on installing more than just NPM, you still only need to download one installer, as you can select additional products from the product selection screen.
  2. Set up your main poller. The deployment or upgrade of the main poller must be finalized to what you want before proceeding with any other installations.
  3. Move your scalability engines installer to the server you intend to deploy
    1. The 41MB installer can be downloaded from your Polling Engines setting page e.g. http://<ipaddress>/Orion/Admin/Details/Engines.aspx
    2. You can download the 41MB online installer for NPM
    3. You can move your offline product installer to the server
  4. Set up your scalability engine by executing the installer file and following the steps outline through the installer and configuration wizard.

Please note that selecting the scalability engine option will always download the required files from the main poller. That is why offline users can choose to use the smaller online installer or offline installer, and either option will be able to adhere to your offline requirement .

With 2.0.0, you also have the ability to use our new staging feature which I've gone into detail here: Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2

Now that you know about the amazing features we have in store for you in this release from the 2018.2 platform release, please go forth and install! We look forward to hearing about your experiences and feedback.

Comments

Here we go again! I tried to install NPM 12.3 RC1 (Solarwinds-Orion-NPM-12.3-RC1-OfflineInstaller.exe) this evening. The installation halted during the System Check and stated that there is No internet connection detected. If this is the offline installer, I should not be running into this issue. It is just like when I tried to do NPM 12.2 upgrade, I kept running into this problem. I guess it would have been better to wait until a later release candidate or the final version. I was really looking forward to this release to see if would have cleared up some of the other minor issues that I was experiencing.

hi Robert! Do you mind if I could grab diagnostics from you?

Serena,

Here is what occurred as I did the install. I selected the products NPM 12.3 and NCM 7.8 (RCs) and off it went doing the system check. This is where the error occurs "Installation cannot continue. Save and review the System Check results to reolve the listed install errors. Run the installer again after resolving the errors." Saved and checked the report... Here is what it had to say.

=============================

System Check Results

=============================

No internet connection detected

Discovered: 5/8/2018 9:05:55PM (UTC)

Description: An internet connection is required to continue with this installation. To install on a system witout Internet access, you can use the offline installer

Resolution: https://downloads.solarwinds.com/solarwinds/OfflineInstallers/Solarwinds-Orion-OfflineInstaller.exe

So I am downloading this installer listed in the Resolution line and will try that one. The original one came from the Customer Portal download page. Once that is complete, I will post those results.

I hope this helps.

Nice

i just want to install on the main polling engine then the install goes off and installs on the additional that would be heaven

hi Robert! did you see my request in our direct message for a specific line in your logs? Also, did you try the GA version of 12.3 that was released today?

Interface popover should show utilization is percentage also

Node popover should show app health

Popover color should change with the color scheme

Popover is not showing CPU utilization when it is 0%

Space used should show

Application popover should also have unmanage, edit application option

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I have good news for you sir, we are actively working on that exact concept. See What We're Working on for NPM (Updated June 1st, 2018)  where you'll notice we've listed an item called "Centralized Upgrades"

The first step towards that centralized upgrade world is described in Orion Platform: Preparing for the Upgrade to 2018.2

nafees.khan  wrote:

Interface popover should show utilization is percentage also

Node popover should show app health

Popover color should change with the color scheme

Popover is not showing CPU utilization when it is 0%

Space used should show

Application popover should also have unmanage, edit application option

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Thanks for the feedback, I'm tracking your comments internally under ticket CORE-10846

Is it in the works to somehow be able to customize which Custom Properties are displayed in the popup for nodes?

I'm not asking that more than five should be displayed, but we have at least 15 custom properties, some of which are very useful to 'console' users, some of which used primarily for facilitating automation(inclusion in groups via dynamic query, etc,) so just grabbing the first five alphanumerically just teases us with what would could display for users.

gstadter  wrote:

Is it in the works to somehow be able to customize which Custom Properties are displayed in the popup for nodes?

I'm not asking that more than five should be displayed, but we have at least 15 custom properties, some of which are very useful to 'console' users, some of which used primarily for facilitating automation(inclusion in groups via dynamic query, etc,) so just grabbing the first five alphanumerically just teases us with what would could display for users.

Not actively in the works, as we are still transitioning popovers to a new tech stack (first step is shown in this post as an example). However, you can add your use cases here in this feature request!  

Hi,

Percent used color is not changing to red in new popover.

Disk is 95% utilized.

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nafees.khan  wrote:

Hi,

Percent used color is not changing to red in new popover.

Disk is 95% utilized.

pastedImage_0.png

thanks again for the feedback! This was also shown in your first set of screenshots, so the same tracking ticket CORE-10846 will be used to track this item. Thanks again!

Hi,

Please one more point.

Hardware health status is also not visible in popup.

  wrote:

Hi,

Please one more point.

Hardware health status is also not visible in popup.

Got it thanks!

Unfortunately, the first five properties that it shows just happen to contain nothing useful to show in the popups. I like where this is going, but I don't see why it was never envisioned or even put in the roadmap as a possibility that people would want to customize which custom properties to show in the popups.

What do you think? Are there commands that you'd like to have quick access to through the popovers?

SSH, management webpage, or etc. of the node would be a huge time-saver.

I was hopeful when I saw this:

We will show up to 5 custom properties on the popover. The key? As long as when you've created the custom property you've selected "Object Details Views" as the usage, then it is eligible to appear in the popover.

but this

As long as when you've created the custom property

caveat is a bummer.  I tried to edit the existing custom properties and they all have that box checked by default... not editable!  Do I have to recreate all my custom properties to make this work?  That's not feasible.  Especially when I can't be sure what it might break as far as alerts or grouping that depends on these fields.

If you are going to make a new feature dependent on pre-existing configuration, it should at least be something that can be edited.

I have all these custom properties that have the "Object Details Views" box checked and there is no way to uncheck them.  How frustrating is that?  I can select any of the custom properties I want to show, but too bad... my database is full of data on custom properties that are useless in this context.  And I can't even take them off the popover.

Why can't the box be unchecked on existing custom properties?  That makes the feature basically useless.   It may even be a security risk depending on what your first five custom properties may be, since the popovers appear for all users regardless of their level of access.

I guess  we could add 5 new custom properties with alphabetically "prioritized" naming (e.g. "_Customer" would come before "Alerts_Muted"). Then we could populate them from the corresponding existing fields.  That would push the unwanted fields off the menu.  But I'm not going to do that if there is a better way.  My "Alert___" properties data is not that sensitive and I can't see duplicating all that data to make the popover more useful.

What do you think? Are there commands that you'd like to have quick access to through the popovers?

How about a perfstack command to launch the performance analysis chart page for the object?

SSH access on the node popover would be an excellent addition. This is a feature you can currently do in a competitor's product. Even from a map view.

Keep up the good work.

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