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Server & Application Monitor - What We're Working on Beyond v6.1

Product Manager

We've just wrapped up the Server & Application Monitor 6.1.1 Service Release, meant to address any major outstanding issues identified in SAM 6.1 since its official release. Now it's time once again to turn our attention to the future of Server & Application Monitor. With that said, below is a list of items the team is currently working on.

  • AppInsight for IIS
    • Sites
    • Application Pools
  • Optional Agent for Monitoring Windows Applications and Servers that addresses the following needs:
    • Allows for polling host and applications behind firewall NAT or proxies
    • Polling node and applications across multiple discrete networks that have overlapping IP address space
    • Allow for reliable and secure encrypted polling over a single port
    • Support low bandwidth, high latency connections
    • Polling nodes across domains where no domain trusts have been established
    • Full end to end encryption between the monitored host and the Orion poller
  • Application stack integration and visualization (E.g. visual mapping through the entire application stack to help identify root cause of performance and availability issues)
  • Performance & Scalability Improvements
  • Web Based Advanced Alert Manager
  • Packet-level Traffic Analysis and Classification
  • Web Based Syslog and Trap Management
  • Unmanage Behavior Improvements
  • Disk Volume Capacity Forecasting
  • Mandatory Custom Properties
  • Independant Volume Thresholds
  • Hardware Health Improvements
  • Support for SQL Server 2014

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!

55 Comments
Level 9

Wow!!

Excelent!!

Level 12

I'm looking forward to the agent support, AppInsight for IIS, and the web based Alert Manager.  I'm curious on the app stack integration, I know some folks here that'd like to see the whole infrastructure documented to give a good view of performance.

Level 15

Please Please Please tell me more about packet analysis.  We are currently POC appliances from other vendors for solutions in this space. 

Product Manager
Product Manager

Mike Driskell, more information on Packet Analysis can be found here -> Beta for SolarWinds "Deep Traffic Analysis" now available

Level 10

Would love to see AppInsight for Oracle added to the list

MVP
MVP

Thank you!

Level 10

I love that AppInsight for IIS is next!  Thank you!

Level 12

Cant wait - just keep getting better and better

Level 21

Yet another list of exciting new goodies!

Level 11

Agent only support windows ? why not support Linux\AIX\HP-UX?

Product Manager
Product Manager

A Linux\AIX\HP-UX\Solaris\etc. agent is certainly not out of the question. Our intent is to focus the Agent on where the majority of monitoring problems exist today. SAM's agentless Linux/Unix monitoring does not suffer from many of the same problems that Windows does using RPC and WMI. WMI for instance will not traverse NAT. Nether protocol is latency friendly, making remote monitoring over low bandwidth high latency links difficult or downright impossible in some circumstances. WMI and RPC are also not fully encrypted protocols. This makes them less desirable in some environments. WMI in particular uses a VERY broad array of random ports, making it difficult to prioritize traffic or work around firewalls and router access control lists. None of these problems I've described exist for Linux/Unix hosts.

Level 11

May I put on the list appinisght for windows cluster. Reasoning is this. Alot of time if I have to reverse engineering cluster settings when we decomission servers and checking DNS entries where removed is part of my tasks which is not as fun as it sounds but having this in the ops plane of glass would be super helpful as well for troubleshoot shoot purposes knowing what on a cluster and which nodes compose when going in blind into a situation would be a time saver as well.

Level 9

If any of you are interested in talking further about the Application stack integration and visualization item, feel free to shoot me an email at susan.chopra@solarwinds.com   Thanks!

Level 11

Good one..

Level 11

I will encounter AIX and HP-UX can not be monitored, because cant't enable SNMP, So need to monitor their application process, can not be achieved. I hope support other platform agent.

Level 11

Cant wait for "Disk Volume Capacity Forecasting"

Level 8

We use citrix at my company, it would be nice if you guys came up with an AppInsight for citrix vdi to track users latency, memory, cpu, session time?

Level 10

Agents would be excellent. We can really use those since we have so many overlapping subnets, and laptops that we monitor. We cannot wait!

Product Manager
Product Manager

Why are you unable to configure SNMP on AIX and HP-UX?

Level 11

not all, and SNMP can't accurate monitoring AIX application proess, only through some scripts to monitor, use difficult.

Level 16

One bad thing is the use of LPAR's.   Memory and CPU via SNMP is based on the system not the individual LPAR....

Level 11
Level 16

Between this and NPM 11, there should be a big release party for all the new AWESOME features!


Product Manager
Product Manager

You heard the man. Party at familyofcrowes's house!

Level 16

It will be like Project X!

Level 12

In addition to those mentioned, I am looking forward to mandatory custom properties.  We use those to drive alert notification behavior and when they are left blank, alert go and die in the ether.  So I have to police other teams to make sure they do it right.....WELL NO MORE!

Nice.

Level 7

Appinsight for AD would be nice to have.

Level 7

Can you give an ETA for the SQL 2014 upgrade?

Thanks.

Product Manager
Product Manager

Based on the thread below NPM v11 (currently in Release Candidate) includes support for SQL 2014. SAM will be following suit shortly.

Server 2012 & SQL 2014

Level 7

Thank you!

Erik Nolke

Database Architect and Administrator

8909 SW Barbur Blvd, Suite 250

Portland, OR 97219

503-963-3335

MVP
MVP

Can't wait for this to go GA.

I am especially looking forward to:

Optional Agent for Monitoring Windows Applications and Servers that addresses the following needs:

  • Allows for polling host and applications behind firewall NAT or proxies

Does this imply a potential change to licensing to also include a per agent license?

Product Manager
Product Manager

As discussed in my following blog post, there are no licensing changes as it relates to the agent. The agent is essentially free. What you choose to monitor with the agent is entirely up to you, and whatever licenses are consumed are no different for the agent vs agentless.

Level 8

Will the new agent method provide WMI and/or SNMP polling methods.  Still need an easy method to combine WMI and SNMP polling to get all of the desired information from a node, so it would be nice to get confirmation of adding this feature in some form.

Product Manager
Product Manager

The agent uses its own methods for polling information that are very closely aligned with WMI and does not utilize SNMP. The SNMP daemon is deprecated in Windows 2012 and is very likely not to be available at all in Windows Server 2015. So building any new Windows features/functions dependant upon SNMP now would be foolhardy.

Level 8

Thanks for the response.  I agree with your statement and hope that the new agent will overcome some of the limitations I have encountered.  Currently SNMP polling provides overall hardware health for my HP blades but lacks the additional performance counters and some of the information gathered using a WMI poll.  It is difficult to choose one method over the other because I need to proactively monitor the health of my hardware but also need the information provided by WMI for compliance reasons.  Looking forward to trying out the new agent.

Product Manager
Product Manager

What information specifically appears to be missing from hardware health via WMI that is available via SNMP for your HP server? Have you installed the latest version of the HP Insight Management Agent, including the latest version of the WBEM providers that are required for WMI polling?

HP Insight.png

Level 8

The HP ProLiant Insight Agents and WBEM Providers for Windows Server x64 (v10.0.0.0) have been installed.  When you poll via SNMP you receive the option to select "Hardware Health Sensors" when you list resources on a node.  With this option, the Summary tab provides two additional areas of detail under the Management frame:  Hardware Details - shows model, service tag, hardware status, etc.  Current Hardware Health - shows expandable areas that include fan, power supply, temperature, disk, battery, array, memory, and CPU.  However, the Asset Inventory tab no longer provides the areas for Installed Drivers and Windows Updates.

Changing the poll method to WMI brings back the Installed Drivers and Windows Updates areas on the Asset Inventory tab but when you List Resources the "Hardware Health Sensors" option is not available.  Subsequently, the Hardware Details and Current Hardware Health areas no longer appear on the Summary tab.

Product Manager
Product Manager

It would seem there is something amiss with the WBEM Providers installed on that server. I would recommend you start by uninstalling them completely and re-installing. It's far more common for SNMP not to work then WMI but it does happen on occasion. In these circumstances uninstall/reinstall usually fixes it, but in more extreme cases the WMI repository must be rebuilt. As you can see below, WMI does work for HP servers and provides Hardware Health information.


HP WMI.png


Using something like WMIExplorer, can you verify that the HPQ namespace exists on the server you're trying to monitor? This is the namespace added by HP's WBEM providers.


HPQ Namespace.png

Level 8

I see that you have it working via WMI. I downloaded the wmiexplorer and do not see the HPQ namespace. I will attempt to re-install the software and see if this shows up.

Level 8

I re-installed and tested on one of my servers and it does show Hardware Health Sensors under List Resources after changing polling method to WMI. It may be that the some components were not configured prior to the installation of the software. Does this method depend on the winrm configuration to be complete prior to installation or is this unrelated?

Doug

Product Manager
Product Manager

No sir. WMI and WINRM operate independently and there's no reliance or dependence on WINRM for proper WMI operation.

Level 8

Thanks for clarifying this for me – your feedback and support has been very helpful.

Interesting results from the WMI polling method:


WMI Polled.png

Missing the manufacturer, model, and service tag.  Also, the battery, array, and power supply do not show up as before when using SNMP.  Will have to dig into this further to determine why.


snmp.png

Level 8

Tried the WMI method on another server after re-installing WBEM and Insight Manager software.  Results were similar to my previous post with the missing information. Any thoughts on why this information is missing or how to get the additional information to show up similar to what SNMP displays?

Product Manager
Product Manager

It's likely the information is missing from WMI for those hosts, though why is an excellent question better suited for HP. You can confirm the information is missing by running the following query in something like WMIExplorer in the root\HPQ namespace. It should return values for all three items.

      select Manufacturer, Model, SerialNumber from CIM_Chassis

HP SIM Query.png

Level 8

I ran the query and it returned the information correctly.  Will keep digging until I figure out why it's not showing up in Solarwinds.

WMI.jpg

Awesome feedback by the way!

Level 8

Found out that I needed to start the HP Smart Storage Administrator Preferences on the Start menu under HP Smart Storage Administrator and then select Enable for the HP System Management Homepage Integration to get Model, Serial, and Service Tag info to show up in Solarwinds.  Did not select "Rack Information" for Active Agents during the HP Insight Management Agents for Windows Server x64 Editions v10.0.0.0 install.  Still working on other missing information for power supply, battery, and array.

Level 10

Any word on the type of encryption that will be implemented for Agent to Server communication?

Level 8

The information showed up for a little while and then disappeared again.  No changes made since it showed up the first time.

Also, according to this post you can't get battery, array, and power supply via WMI:  SAM 6.0 HP Proliant Smart Array

Product Manager
Product Manager

Power Supplies aren't valid for a blade server. You would need to monitor the blade enclosure itself if you wanted to monitor on the state of the Power Supplies.

Product Manager
Product Manager

Yes. This is discussed in the following blog post.

PEEKABOO - I SEE YOU!

Whether it's the NSA, those willing to perform corporate espionage, or the black hat hacker who hangs out at your local Starbucks, it's important to keep prying eyes from peering into your organizations packets. While SNMPv3 has existed for quite a long time, all versions up to and including Windows 2012 R2 still rely upon the older and less secure SNMPv2, a protocol which provides no encryption or authentication. While Microsoft's WMI protocol addresses the authentication aspects that are sorely lacking in SNMPv2, encryption is different matter altogether. While it's possible to force the use of encryption in the WMI protocol, this is not the default behavior and is seldom ever done. This requires modifications to WMI namespaces to force the use of encryption, a process that must be repeated on each host you wish to manage. Beyond that, your monitoring solution must also work with WMI encryption, something very few solutions on the market today support.


The Agent included in the SAM 6.2 beta has been designed from the ground up with security first and foremost on our mind. To that end, the agent utilizes FIPS compatible 2048 bit TLS encryption to ensure all communication between the Agent and the Orion Poller are fully encrypted and safe from would-be cybercriminals.