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Announcing General Availability of Server & Application (SAM) 6.6

Product Manager

Applications talk to each other, and you should know who they are talking to

Applications constantly rely on communication between different servers to deliver data to end-users. The more applications end-users require to do their job, the greater the complexity of application environments and those communication based relationships.

With the release of Server & Application Monitor 6.6, we introduced an Orion Agent based feature, called Application Dependencies, which enables system administrators to quickly gain an understanding of which applications servers are talking to one another, as well as see related metrics, to help with troubleshooting application performance issues.

How do you enable it?

The ability to discover and map Application Dependencies is enabled by default. This allows SAM to actively collect inbound and outbound communication at the application process level. This is paired with an ability to collect connection related metrics (latency and packet loss), which is disabled by default. You can find all of the configuration options in the Application Connection Settings section of the Main Settings & Administration screen.

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What does it show you?

At its core, Application Dependencies help you understand if application performance issues are associated with server resource utilization or network communication. For example, Microsoft Exchange is heavily dependent on Active Directory for authentication and other services. Application Dependencies show you the relationship, and the communication, by adding a few new resources in SAM.

The two main areas where you can see the Application Dependency information. One area is in a new widget that is available on application and node details pages. This widget will show you the discovered application dependencies, specific to that monitored application or node. Notice in the screen below that you can see where multiple Exchange servers have a dependency on the Active Directory server, ENG-AUS-SAM-62, and more specifically the Active Directory service that is running on it.

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The second area where you can see Application Dependency information is in the connection details page, which is linked from the above mentioned connections widget. This will allow you to see all of the application monitors, and associated processes, process resources metrics, and ports, responsible for the discovered communication, between two specific nodes. You will also see the latency and packet loss data, if you have enabled the Connection Quality Polling component. The screen below shows the relationship between ENG-AUS-SAM-62 (Active Directory) and ENG-AUS-SAM63 (Exchange), in greater detail.

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What’s going on under the covers?

There are two, new Orion Agent plug-ins that help deliver this new functionality. One is the Application Dependency Mapping plug-in, and the other is the Connection Quality Polling plug-in.

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The Application Dependency Mapping plug-in is responsible for collecting the active connection data from the server. That information is then sent back to the Orion Server, where it is correlated with component monitor and node data, already being collected by SAM (Note: You must have at least one component monitor, like the process monitor, applied to the server). As SAM matches the collected data from the different application servers, it creates the connection details pages and populates the connection widget.

The Connection Quality Polling plug-in is responsible for a synthetic probe, which measures latency and packet loss. This accomplished by sending TCP packets to the destination server, on the specific port identified by the active connection information collected by the Application Dependency Mapping plug-in. It is important to note that the Connection Quality Polling plug-in includes the NPCAP driver for use with this synthetic probe.

If you would like to read more about how this feature works, you can find more information in the SAM administrator guide.

Is that it?

Application Dependencies is not the only feature that was released in SAM 6.6. You can read more about the other features in the release notes. You can also check out Application Dependencies, live in action, in the online demo.

6 Comments
MVP
MVP

Hi,

A few things I have found since the upgrade.

  • atlas maps taking a while to load with the spinning circle and loading sometimes errors. F5 fixes it but not the slowness.
  • if a page with swql is open for long periods of time like on a wallboard this error appears above the table 'The server method 'Query withPartialErrors' failed.' F5 fixes until it breaks again.
  • the noc view of the cloud summary has broke get the 'unexpected websoite error, return to home option.


All minor but annoying and started happening since i upgraded, any ideas before i log it with support.

Thanks

Product Manager
Product Manager

No initial ideas, but I will share this with the engineering teams internally as well.

Product Manager
Product Manager

I would also encourage you to open a case with support. I'm not aware of these issues being reported by others, but you may unfortunately be the first to have identified them. Did you install any of the Release Candidates for SAM 6.6 or did you upgrade directly from GA to GA builds?

MVP
MVP

will do. No release candidates on live systems here was GA to GA

MVP
MVP

ticket logged #00082527

Level 9

Can we PLEASE get a flag in the AppInsight for SQL monitor to indicate that the App is actually mounted in an availability group.

What this would do is direct collect the database names from the availability group and not the server.

This would relate only activity on the databases in the group and not every database on the server.

I have a server with 32 databases and 9 Availability Groups. (AGs)
When I add one database to a group I have to go into each AG registration to "UnManage" that database.

This is very time consuming and wasteful. Imagine what it is like when I add 6 databases to one group every other AppInsight for SQL have to had those 6 databases individually "unmanged" ...

By flagging the registration (Server ) as being an AG would enable correct monitoring of ONLY THOSE DATABASES IN THE AG without the  need to "tweek" all the others.

When I get a minute.. nope I thought I had one then.. I will investigate how I could do this within the AppInsight for SQL template.

all DBA;s need this.

About the Author
I have currently been at SolarWinds for a little over three years and have been in the IT technology field for about 10 years either as an Engineer/IT Admin or working for a software company to help makes those folks lives easier.  I graduated from Texas A&M University with an MIS degree from the Business School and have been in Austin for about 8 years.