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Thinking outside the Box

Being a long time advocate of Solarwinds, there is little I can add to the feedback in this forum about how useful the product suite is or how they help us sleep easy at night knowing that the platform will scream at us when something is wrong, however I wanted to share about how using the tools available and a little lateral thinking can add functionality not directly related to network management, but certainly that gains kudos for the overall usefulness of the product.

It's fairly common to have Orion dashboards shown on NOC plasma screens showing overall network health, but I received a request to have details of the number tickets in our helpdesk product (not a solarwinds tool) displayed along side.  A little bit of head scratching, some customization & testing later produced this:

Tickets.jpg

resulting in one happy NOC manager & a warm, fuzzy feeling that by thinking "Outside of the Box" wonderful things can happen.

(In case anyone is wondering, this was produced with an SQL User Experience monitor in SAM querying the ticketing system's database, producing a count as the statistic & displaying this in a customized gauge resource)

Stuart

12 Replies
Level 7

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

0 Kudos

I know this is an old thread, but was wondering if SolarWinds can simply allow us to use Gauges on custom table reports where an aggregate count is the expected output.  A lot of NOCC teams are shying away from SolarWinds because other products can do a better job displaying things in NOCC view.

0 Kudos
Level 10

stuartwhyteWhat "Customized gauge resource" did you use? I see radial and linear, but i'm guessing you used another or created one. If you created the code for displaying the number, can you share the code?

Thanks in advance

0 Kudos

It is indeed a new creation.  The gauges (both linear and radial) can be found here:

\inetpub\SolarWinds\Orion\NetPerfMon\Resources\Gauges\Styles

I created a new style using the existing ones for guidance.  The code I am using is:

Linear:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<gauge>

  <Dimensions Width="250" Height="150" />

  <BackgroundImage />

  <Needle Type="LinearGaugeBarMarker"  StartExtent="0" OuterExtent="62" InnerExtent="40" SegmentSpan="100"   Color="0,0,0"/>

  <NumericAxis StartExtent="5" EndExtent="94"/>

  <Labels Extent="85" FontSize="9" FontFamily="Trebuchet MS" FontColor="255,255,255" IsBold="False"/>

  <MajorTickmarks Visible="false" StartExtent="38" EndExtent="66" StartWidth="2" EndWidth="2" Color="255,255,255" />

  <MinorTickmarks Visible="false" StartExtent="45" EndExtent="55" StartWidth="1" EndWidth="1" Color="255,255,255" Frequency="0.25"/>

  <ValueLabelLocation ValueLableBoundX="0" ValueLableBoundY="0" ValueLableBoundWidth="250" ValueLableBoundHeight="150" AlignmentValueLable="Center" LineAlignmentValueLable="Near" />

  <BottomLabelLocation BottomLableBoundX="0" BottomLableBoundY="75" BottomLableBoundWidth="250" BottomLableBoundHeight="75" AlignmentBottomLable="Center" LineAlignmentBottomLable="Near" />

  <ValueLabelFont FontSize="70" FontFamily="Arial" FontColor="0,0,0" IsBold="True" IsItalic="False" />

  <BottomLabelFont FontSize="55" FontFamily="Arial" IsBold="False" IsItalic="False" />

  <Thresholds WarningColor="255,255,0" ErrorColor="255,0,0" NormalColor="0,255,0" WarningVisible="False" ErrorVisible="False"  NormalVisible="False"  OuterExtent="43" InnerExtent="38" />

</gauge>

Radial:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<gauge>

  <Dimensions Width="150" Height="134" />

  <BackgroundImage />

<Needle BeginOuterExtent="0" MidOuterExtent="0" EndOuterExtent="0" BeginWidth="0" EndWidth="0" MidWidth="0" AnchorRadius="0" Color="255,255,255"/>

  <NumericAxis StartAngle="0" EndAngle="0"/>

  <Labels Extent="0" FontSize="10" FontFamily="Arial" FontColor="255,255,255" IsBold="False" IsItalic="False" />

  <MajorTickmarks Visible="false" StartExtent="72" EndExtent="100" Color="0,0,0" />

  <MinorTickmarks Visible="false" StartExtent="76" EndExtent="100" Color="150,145,75" Frequency="0.1"/>

  <ValueLabelLocation StartAngle="0" EndAngle="0" Extent="0" />

  <ValueLabelFont FontSize="75" FontFamily="Arial" FontColor="0,0,0" IsBold="true" IsItalic="false" />

  <Thresholds WarningColor="183,183,183" ErrorColor="255,37,37" InnerExtentStart="83" InnerExtentEnd="83" OuterExtent="86"/>

</gauge>

You can then select the new style as normal.

**Note that this level of customisation will not be supported, and will likely be overwritten when using the config wizard after an upgrade, so ensure you have good backups, and use at your own risk.**

Hope this helps

Stuart

0 Kudos
Level 10

Very nice. I didn't even think about this. I'm gonna make a stab at this one, and add it to our dashboard.

0 Kudos

Glad to have inspired you

I'd be interested in seeing how you get on.


Stuart

0 Kudos
Community Manager
Community Manager

Very cool, !  Thanks for sharing.  If you're interested in the points for posting in Spread the Word, can you elaborate on the questions below a bit?

1. What problem is the product you chose solving for you today?

2. What were you using before? Please include the vendor and the product name in your post, if we replaced something else.

3. When it came down to the final decision, why did you choose the SolarWinds product?

4. What has been your return on investment (ROI) since deploying SolarWinds? For example, man hours saved, budget dollars saved, and/or percentage of increased sales using SolarWinds.

0 Kudos

1. What problem is the product you chose solving for you today?

Enabling us to display more information on NOC plasma screens by applying some lateral thinking.


2. What were you using before? Please include the vendor and the product name in your post, if we replaced something else.

Nothing.  This was a "value-add" feature request to our existing Solarwind's platform


3. When it came down to the final decision, why did you choose the SolarWinds product?

No applicable to this solution - we were already using Orion.


4. What has been your return on investment (ROI) since deploying SolarWinds? For example, man hours saved, budget dollars saved, and/or percentage of increased sales using SolarWinds.

Again, not really applicable.

0 Kudos

Ah, no worries.  Your application of SAM to accomplish this is most definitely an interesting use case, thank you for sharing!

In order to earn the points and badge we ask for users to give us a bit more detail into each of the questions above.  If you have an itch to write a review of our product(s), please do so!

0 Kudos
Level 8

I'm only just starting to get to know Orion and networking, but have been asked to create a bunch of custom controls for my new job. It's really cool to see stuff the ways others are modifying things to display data. At the moment, I'm working on shoving a Google Earth plugin into Orion with a weather overlay and having it zoom in to a specific node's location. Thanks for sharing your experience!

0 Kudos

I've done the & find it works really well.

0 Kudos

Sweet, thank you! I should've been on here a week ago, that would've made this project a lot easier. I basically had to figure out all of that by myself, but it definitely seems like a nice addition. The goal is to get it up on our NOC pretty soon with a whole page of controls devoted to the status of a single remote, basically a one-stop shop for the tech support staff. Still, that extra advice is going to be wonderful if I start running into issues during troubleshooting.

0 Kudos