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Working 9 to 5: Limiting Your Reports to Business Hours

Level 19

Here at the SolarWinds Austin office, we had new guy start in our IT department this week.  He’s new to Orion and was taking advantage of his ready access to the product team to get up to speed.  One of his first questions was how to run a report that’s limited to business hours.  His first attempts at an interface traffic report were fine on the "last few hours” scale, but when he did 24 hours or last 7 days, the average traffic rate dropped because of the relatively light traffic during the middle of the night.

We helped him out, but it reminded me that this particular use case is really common, and to be perfectly honest, the feature is not very well exposed, so some users take a long time to realize that Orion can handle this scenario.  Just to prod anyone who hasn’t discovered the feature, a quick primer:


Let’s say you want to limit a report to Monday through Friday during business hours (let’s say 9:00 am to 5:00 pm).  To find the feature, you need to open Report Writer (which you’ll find on the Orion Server). 


I’m going to use the Average and Peak  Traffic – Last 7 Days report. 


By default, this report will look at 24 hours of data for the last 7 days.  To limit the report to business hours, you need to use the Filter Results tab.  Just add a condition, choose Date/Time, and then select “Hour of Day”. 


You’ll need to specify the starting time in one condition and the end time in another.  For 9-5, you’d specify greater than or equal to 9 and less than or equal to 17, since it needs 24 hour format.  This filter will limit the data to business hours.


Limiting data by time of day is not available for most reports.  It’s present for availability reports, traffic reports (except for 95th percentile), and historical volume usage reports.   In most other reports, it didn’t make much sense.  If there are reports where you think business hour limitations would be valuable but we haven’t enabled it, please let us know.

Level 7

I know this post of yours is old, but I'm coming across this exact problem and would like to know if you've ever been able to resolve it?

Any relative information you might have would be greatly appreciated.


Level 12

Can this functionality be added to the 95th percentile reports?

About the Author
"I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all..." (Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan). I was accidentally born as a Cajun from a small town in south Louisiana. Really far south. In fact, if you live south of where I grew up, then we are probably blood relatives. That it was an accident is indisputable because I grew up to be a geek reading science fiction and fantasy novels in a place where most people considered those genres only marginally more acceptable than the Communist Manifesto or the Satanic Bible (no offense to communists or Satanists).   I went to college to be an English major and accidentally stumbled across a psychology text among my girlfriend’s books and immediately fell in love with the cognitive psychology chapter. I loved it so much that I stuck with it until I got a Ph.D. from Rice University studying human memory. Note that this is cognitive psychology, not therapy or abnormal psychology. This is not an invitation to tell your non-SolarWinds troubles to me on Thwack.   Although I applied to many, many different universities in the U.S. and Canada, I ended up at LSU in Baton Rouge, which was more of a cosmic joke than an accident given that I’d been trying to escape the state all my life. I taught there as a professor for about 5 years before I realized that I was deeply bored and couldn’t imagine doing the same thing for 30+ years, which is what professors do. I realized that I wanted to get into the tech world because that’s where the other geeks were. Cognitive psychologists are fine folks, but you can’t count on them to take Battlestar Galactica or Buffy the Vampire Slayer seriously or to know an MMORPG from an RTS.   So I left LSU to work as a usability engineer for Compaq, which was possible only through the accident of a former colleague for Rice already working at Compaq. From there, I bopped through a series of jobs in the tech industry (IBM, BMC Software, NetIQ). I ended up at SolarWinds because I took a job at Winternals Software in Austin, only to have it bought by Microsoft a few months later. That our CEO was looking for product managers in Austin at just the moment that Microsoft was eliminating Winternals was just the latest happy accident. And that, my friends, was how I've ended up as the SVP of Product Strategy at SolarWinds. After 7 great years, I've moved on to other pursuits, but participation on thwack was a highlight of my time with SolarWinds.