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What We're Working On For Server & Application Monitor (Updated June, 2020)

You ask, we listen. Many of the top features being worked on in SAM are generated through your feedback, your participation in our user sessions and your votes in our feature requests  forum.   

 

API Poller Management Key CRUD functionality enabled across one or more API pollers. 

 

Advanced API Poller - monitor strings, and chain requests together for more advanced use cases. 

 

Scale improvements for monitoring Active Directory - Increase the number of domain controllers that can be monitored. 

 

Latest Release 

The latest release of Server & Application Monitor (SAM)  is available on solarwinds.com and in your customer portal.   See the release notes for a comprehensive look at the features contained within. >> SAM 2020.2 Release Notes 

Give Us Feedback 

We actively refine the product roadmap to solve your problems. Participate in user sessions for THWACK points and personalized input into the future of SAM. 

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+1 for REST API monitor

If you have any specific input on how that should look or work, please feel free to comment here or send me a PM.

+1

Sorry just saw this.  give me a few days and will write you...

No rush... Much appreciate you taking the time to think about it and provide the feedback!

Be sure to chime in on the thread created by ccousineau​ if you have thoughts on Trusts in AppInsight for Active Directory.

SAM users - we need your help!

Chimed!

Some things off the top of my head I know we have needed for API monitoring (REST or whatever):

Save the results of an error. Right now the HTTP check can kind of do the check, but the error comes back in the result, we can search for it (contains the string "ERROR") using that HTTP check, but all we get is a "DOWN" notice. If the error clears we never know what that return was. If that return could be included in the error somehow that would be a lot of help.

The ability to parse the return. It might be JSON or XML, at least regex, let me slice and dice it to get the information out of it that I need. Extending on the above request, if there is a <STATUS>Everything is broken because of Bill</Status> line, let me pull that out and make it part of the alert.

And continuing to extend from above, let one part of a return be used in the next step of a check. I might have to request what queues exist, and then want to check the error value on all those queue names that came from the first step. So 1 initial request might create a dynamic request for another 100 items. Right now this is basically impossible. Zabbix does this somewhat with its discovery tasks.

Edit - one more thought, authentication for the endpoint. Some of our APIs require it depending on what they provide.

SAM 6.9 introduces new templates and new features. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Product Blogs where there will be in depth deep dives into all of the improvements contained for Orion Platform 2019.2.

SAM 6.9 Release Notes

I've got a poll up for those who are interested in the API polling <-- tell me what kind of APIs you are looking for visibility into!

Noticed! Glad to see this moving forward.

Since that survey is about Azure APIs, I'll add a few other industry products that many of us use which also contain APIs.

Infor Cloverleaf Integration Suite API - monitor status of integrations, start/stop/restart, send alerts

Infoblox API - well....IPAM

Netscaler Nitro API - monitor status of appliances, VPX/ADCs, alert on down, alert on failover, etc

VxRail Manager API - monitor status of nodes, HCI cluster health, available updates, etc (VxRail Manager is moving more towards a tightly integrated vCenter plugin, so the vCenter API may be a better target going forward)

Ansible, Ansible Tower API - monitor jobs and workflows, trigger tasks, alert on status of actions

Ivanti APIs:

  • Endpoint Management Suite - monitor status and health, mute servers that are being patched, shared asset info
  • Service Management - monitor status and health, create and tickets, CMDB tie-in
  • Patch for Windows (aka Shavlik) - monitor status and health, mute servers that are being patched, shared asset info

Microsoft System Center APIs

  • SCOM - monitor status and health, create and tickets, assets/CI and CMDB tie-in
  • SCCM - monitor status and health, assets/CI and CMDB tie-in, SCM configuration validation?
  • etc

Github, Gitlab - hmmm, thinking about potential value beyond monitoring service availability for on-prem instances

UltraDNS - API-based DNS zone transfers into Orion IPAM, monitor status and health, probably more

Cloudflare - API-based DNS zone transfers into Orion IPAM, monitor status and health,  and more

Many of these do compete with parts of the Solarwinds family, but it's rare for any company to be invested exclusively in one brand's management suite of products and nothing else. (Especially with the amount of M&A that seems to happen in this area.)

Another interesting thought: while I could see my organization utilizing a number of these from within the SAM and NPM modules, tooling could also be added to Pingdom for monitoring 3rd party APIs or 1st party APIs that must be available publicly.

SAM 2019.4 is the next version following SAM 6.9.1, and is now available for download! Check  Server &amp; Application Monitor (SAM) 2019.4 Is Now Generally Available for more details.

For those of you interested in the following, I highly recommend that you grab this version of SAM today! You'll see:

I'm really nervous about the Custom Property Editor "improvements".  Honestly, the current Custom Property Editor is really good and only needs a few tweaks to be amazing.  Currently we can Group, Filter, Sort, and Search in the custom property editor.  The only thing the current custom property editor needs to be amazing is the ability to group/filter/search/sort on parent entities.  For example, when editing Application, Volume, or Interface custom properties, I can't group/filter/search/sort on the parent Node properties for those objects.  That is frustrating, but other than that, please don't mess with the Custom Property Editor.  Just add those features and you're done.  It seriously needs nothing else.  It's great the way it is and, in my opinion, one of the better UI elements SolarWinds has designed.  It allows for easy batch updating of custom properties.  It's quite powerful enough.

xtraspecialj​ - don't be nervous - I think we have a really good plan.  Would you be interested in having a conversation to discuss?

xtraspecialj  wrote:

I'm really nervous about the Custom Property Editor "improvements".  Honestly, the current Custom Property Editor is really good and only needs a few tweaks to be amazing.  Currently we can Group, Filter, Sort, and Search in the custom property editor.  The only thing the current custom property editor needs to be amazing is the ability to group/filter/search/sort on parent entities.  For example, when editing Application, Volume, or Interface custom properties, I can't group/filter/search/sort on the parent Node properties for those objects.  That is frustrating, but other than that, please don't mess with the Custom Property Editor.  Just add those features and you're done.  It seriously needs nothing else.  It's great the way it is and, in my opinion, one of the better UI elements SolarWinds has designed.  It allows for easy batch updating of custom properties.  It's quite powerful enough.

Agree with Jeff, the improvement plan is pretty awesome, I hope you jump on a user session to take a look.

Sign me up! Would like to see what support for Win-RM looks like, and love the idea of switching from WMI to that!

Where did you see support for Win-RM?

I wouldn't have were it not for reading other comments. serena​ has updated the original "what we're working on" post with the latest batch of items in the works. Having one place that lists these items makes it easy to find, but it is sometimes easy to overlook when the post gets updated. Great candidate for an RSS feed!

cfizz34  wrote:

Where did you see support for Win-RM?

Would you also like to give me some feedback regarding win-rm support? I've added Sam to my list of folks to talk to

Yes actually, that'd be awesome.  Send me a DM with the details and we can work something out.

Thanks!

Are we discussing alternatives to the template fetching method to get away from using WMI?

cfizz34  wrote:

Are we discussing alternatives to the template fetching method to get away from using WMI?

Any feedback regarding this topic and how you're gathering data via WMI vs WinRM would be extremely helpful!

In SAM 2019.4.1 we have updated support for German and Japanese customers to have improved native language in their web console and application templates. See referencing release notes: SAM 2019.4.1 Release Notes

  • Localization Improvements - German and Japanese customers will have improved native language support

serena  wrote:

In SAM 2019.4.1 we have updated support for German and Japanese customers to have improved native language in their web console and application templates. See referencing release notes: SAM 2019.4.1 Release Notes

  • Localization Improvements - German and Japanese customers will have improved native language support

My upgrade experience is documented SAM 2019.4.1 - Upgrading from My Orion Deployment 

Please. Pretty please with sugar on top, can we get ​ prioritized? Customizable scheduling should not be a big lift, nor should it be anything but table stakes. Also, it's the second most discussed request for improvement after "Dark theme".  While everyone loves Dark, the ability to run in a different color scheme should be secondary to being able to schedule operations...

How do you get into one of these user groups regarding custom properties and such?

The biggest thing I want is the ability to give non-admins rights to edit custom properties for the equipment they manage, so that they don't need to open tickets to us admins. I am hoping this is on the list.

Granular permissions for non-admins has been a very long-standing feature request. Please bump and up-vote these feature requests!

Thanks for the list, though there is one duplicate on there. I've bumped up and upvoted what I can.

ahbrook​ - we can certainly loop you in on any sessions we have with users.  How would you envision this working in your environment?  Can you share some examples?

Our environment is a university, made up of multiple IT shops with a centralized IT department providing networking, virtual compute power, disaster recovery, and enterprise-level application support (software that spans multiple areas of the university).

Our plan is to have the entire network inside Orion in the next few months. While accomplishing this should be doable, having our custom properties all figured out will be a bit harder.

Some examples of places we need custom property management to be delegated:

The Networking team installs and removes equipment from around the campus fairly frequently.

Individual teams may want to set up specific email or owner information on nodes and applications.

We have a general "Service" custom property that indicates what a given component is part of.

We are constantly adding and removing virtual machines, both locally and in the cloud.

In all these cases, tweaking the custom properties needs to flow through someone with admin rights in Orion. This means that we will be seeing an influx of tickets submitted for relatively minor changes. And if ownership of a service changes (say, by IT units merging), we have to go through all of the services and update things ourselves.

Due to the lack of Role-based access control, we've taken advice from other THWACK threads and set up a three tier security setup for our environment:

Operations has read-only rights to the entire environment, with views customized to the given group's needs (like Networking or an IT shop).

Admins have elevated permissions to nodes, applications, and other objects where they are listed as the "IT Owner."

Full Admins are admins in Orion and have access to the settings menu and its submenus.

Ideally, I would like to see custom property management at the Admin level. Users would be able to change custom properties for the equipment, nodes, and applications that they directly manage. This would also let them add properties that may be useful to them, but not to the rest of the department.

Unrelated to the above, but another element of custom properties I really want to see is the ability to order them, and decide if they are hidden or visible on the popup lists. Even if this isn't role-based, having empty custom properties visible just seems a waste of space when only 5 custom properties get shown.

custom property order.jpg

Thanks, I removed the duplicate.

ahbrook  wrote:

How do you get into one of these user groups regarding custom properties and such?

The biggest thing I want is the ability to give non-admins rights to edit custom properties for the equipment they manage, so that they don't need to open tickets to us admins. I am hoping this is on the list.

Currently this particular change that you've described is not quite on the list of improvements, but I'm taking this comment as a +1 to the request. Thank you for upvoting Sam's outstanding list of tickets that he listed regarding this.

No problem! I actually played around with this a little after writing that, specifically with giving "manage node" permissions and seeing if view limitations would work. Which... it kind of did. Unfortunately, if you knew the direct URL to the "add nodes" or "Manage Nodes" page, you could still get in there and muck with things beyond your scope. This is probably not news to anyone, but it's a bit of a shame because the mass updates to custom properties would be perfect to give to our partners.

Super good thoughts, ahbrook​! I've been hesitant to use the tiered account privileges model, but it certainly is the best workaround we've seen so far. I also really like your suggestions to hide (or provide options to hide) custom properties. Have you submitted a feature request for that one?

Likely not. Because I'm new to the community, I assume any ideas I've had have been suggested and vetted by others in some capacity. And because I've never been exposed to individual pieces of Orion, only the overall whole, sometimes I have trouble figuring out which component such things would fit under. Though in this case, custom property work would probably be Orion core.

I'm working on an idea, but don't have enough time at the moment...my plan is to set up an OpenFaaS server and write functions using PowerShell and the Orion SDK. Until Solarwinds is able to provide some form of granular permissions, this will have to be the way that I let application owners in our environment mute/unmute their monitored applications and application servers.

My vision for the structure is something like:

  • Create Orion admin accounts that use limitations to scope them to each application
  • Use OpenFaaS gateway authentication to give our application owners (business analysts, systems analysts, etc) access to their specific instances of the mute/unmute functions
  • Use a basic web front end or let them hit OpenFaaS URLs that directly launch, say, a mute function that passes their server or application name as the variable.

It's a lot of work, but keeps the mess out of Orion and also keeps the users at the same number of accounts to remember, as long as my OpenFaaS gateway is configured to use LDAP or SSO for authentication.

That's the rough idea! Has anyone else tried anything like this? serena​, KMSigma​, mesverrum​, designerfx​ ...?

Tools generally like that have definitely been built, I know zackm had built a little powershell front end for bulk unmanage jobs for someone years ago to keep their admins from having to muck around in Orion to make those changes.  I've built lots of tools to facilitate self service for teams where we were able to embed business logic into the tools to ensure that when end users wanted to make changes and additions to Orion it had to go through our sanity checks. Under the covers we ingested their requests, if it passed whatever rules we had then it just executed them programmatically with a more privileged account than they used to browse Orion.

I was working on a project in the past to wrap all those kinds of functions into a web interface but that's still a slow work in progress.

2020.2 is looking like another amazing release, folks. Nice work. Thanks for all of the focus on fixing security vulns and addressing so many of our feature requests!

Hi

Any chance of some more information on the remote collector, we have numerous security zones and rules on crossing from one zone to another and was wondering if we could have collectors in the zones

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