You asked, we answered! Below are many of the questions asked during our latest SEUM webcasts. If we didn't answer your specific question, or if you thought of a great question after the webcast that isn't already answered below, feel free to reply to this post.
Q:Does the application have to be web based?
A:Yes. All of the apps that SEUM monitors are web based (HTTP/HTTPS). We will be looking at other possibilities going forward, but it will depend on feedback from our customers and market trends. If you have a specific application type you’d like to see synthetically monitored with SEUM that isn’t web based I encourage you to post your feature requests in the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q:Can you record in both 32bit and 64bit IE?
A: The SEUM Recorder is a 32bit application and as such uses the 32bit version of Internet Explorer for both recording and playback on the players.
Q:Do you have the remote locations setup to use or are they only based on my own locations?
A:The SEUM Players can be installed at any of your existing locations, either local or remote. You can also leverage cloud infrastructure by installing SEUM Players on Amazon E2C, Microsoft Azure or Rackspace’s geographically dispersed datacenters at very low cost.
Q:are other browsers supported?
A:Currently the SEUM Recorder and Player support Internet Explorer v7, v8, and v9. Additional browser support is something that is being considered for a future release. Because SolarWinds determines future product features based on customer demand I would recommend posting this as a feature request in the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q:Does Solarwinds have the ability to host the players as a service?
A:SolarWinds does not currently offer a hosting solution for the players at this time but it is something may be considered at another time. If this is something you’d like to see as a SolarWinds offering then please post this suggestion to the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q:How many protocols are available
A:BothHTTP and HTTPS at this time.
Q:can I create a Citrix session?
A:Support for generating Synthetic ICA session traffic is not possible within the product currently but may be something we would consider in a future release. Please post this as a feature request in the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q: We need to have geographically disparate players so we can assure the web app is working from all over the world, so for us a hosted player is required.
A: Some of our early beta testers are leveraging cloud infrastructure by installing SEUM Players on Amazon E2C, Microsoft Azure or Rackspace’s geographically dispersed datacenters at very low cost.
Q:Can u script the transactions to use variables per player. for example, player1 uses cred set 1, player 2 uses cred set 2?
A:Not at this time. You could however create a single recorded session, modify the credentials and save multiple versions of the transaction based on the credentials used.
Q: Can you nest multiple players together? Example: Application has a common login sequence, but you want to test multiple transactions without having to log in each time. This would allow you to isolate a specific transaction, excluding login/authentication time.
A: Session state is not saved between transaction playbacks so it is not possible to recycle a session, however there are no limits to the number of steps you can have in a given transaction so you can test all aspects of an application regardless of the number of steps at no additional cost.
Q: Is it possible to test from outside in? IE: We want to monitor a public website from different points on the internet to see how our site is responding.
A: Yes, you can install the player at any location inside our outside your network perimeter and monitor the status of your public web server. A very typical SEUM implementation may include multiple players installed at several remote locations monitoring a common website or web application.
Q:Can your tool record a CRM transaction
A:SEUM can monitor most any web based CRM application such as SalesForce.com
Q:what are the "players" composed of... are they servers?
A:The SEUM Player is a Windows Service that is installed on any Windows server or workstation that plays back the transactions created with the SEUM Recorder.
Q: Is there a way to trigger an alert if a specific image is NOT displayed on a page?
A: SEUM can be used to verify the existence of an image by pointing the SEUM Recorder directly to the .GIF. JPG, PNG, file URL.
Q:so is that remote system a node in NPM? if not how do you establish the remote system in SEUM?
A: There is no concept of a node in SEUM. In the SEUM settings you can connect to remotely installed SEUM Players by clicking “Add a Location” and entering the DNS name or IP address of the remote Player.
Q: Can you manually add a URL to be tested, for instance a popular search in sharepoint?
Q: Does it have any type of SLA module?
A: SLA reporting and alerting are handled by the included Report Writer and Advanced Alert Manager
Q: Many transaction recorders do not have good support for dynamic session ids (e.g. java sessions) and fail to login to the web app. How well does SEUM handle this?
A: With the exception of the initial first step the SEUM Recorder/Player is not dependent upon static URLs. The Recorder/Player tracks what you click on a page and not the underlying URL
Q:Will we be able to create groups with SEUM players and APM monitors?
A:You can add both transactions and individual transaction steps to groups in APM and NPM.
Q: Can I deploy players to non-windows systems (ie linux)
Q: Any API for automated configuration of tool or for data extraction?
A: We do have an API for the whole Orion family of products. For more information see our API please fill out our Orion SDK request form. Also, all SEUM data collected is stored in an open Microsoft SQL database that can easily be reported on using a variety of tools such as Crystal Reports, Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, or the Orion Report Writer included with SEUM to name a few.
Q: Which parameters we can use on Alerts?
A: There are over 33 different alerting parameters you can base your alert triggers on such as exceeding a critical or warning threshold and a web page returning an error to name a few. There are 14 different trigger actions available from sending an e-mail notification, text message/SMS or page to a pager, and executing an external program or script to name a few.
Q: How tolerant of application change can we expect SEUM to be?
A: SEUM is fairly tolerant of dynamic web content. The best way to know if SEUM meets your requirements is to contact your Solarwinds sales rep. or email sales at email@example.com, requesting a download of our pre-release, and evaluating it in your environment with your applications.
Q: Doesn't the screenshots take up alot of space? I take it the graphics are stored on the SQL server? Is there an option to set how long it keeps screen shots?
A: The last transaction playback success screenshots are only stored on the remote players and displayed through the SEUM web console only when a SEUM user views the SEUM transaction details page. Transaction/step failure screenshots are sent back to the SEUM server immediately upon failure. Because only failure screenshots are stored on the SEUM server, and only the previous successful screenshots are stored on the remote players and only transferred to the SEUM server when being viewed through the SEUM web console this significantly limits both the storage and bandwidth requirements for SEUM. We also have the ability to enable all screen shots to be sent or to disable all screenshot within the configuration settings.
Q: Does each test in your example generate an actual email to the recipient?
A: Yes. In Rachel’s example today the resulting transaction sent an email from Rachel’s account to mine every five minutes, which is the default playback interval for SEUM. In a previous example I created a transaction that created, sent and deleted the email all in a single transaction testing all aspects of Outlook Web Access as well as cleaning up after itself.
Q: Can it be merged with APM for a map of the application and supporting host devices
A: You can leverage grouping and dependencies in APM to create cross product interdependencies based on things like node status, application status, SEUM transaction, and SEUM steps.
Q: Where do we get the recording tool? Is it a free download?
A: The SEUM Recorder is included in your SEUM download. Please contact your SolarWinds sales rep. or email sales at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a download of the SEUM pre-release. The SEUM Recorder will also be included in an upcoming free tool.
Q: Is there a potential for Oracle forms apps support in the future? If so, timelines?
Q: is there any way to monitor transaction which often throws pop-ups?
A: Yes, SEUM fully supports interacting with pop-up windows.
Q: release date?
A: Please contact your SolarWinds sales rep or email email@example.com more information regarding availability
Q: Will SEAM server need to be a seperate box from my NPM/APM box? Does it work with Multipule pollers?
A: SEUM can be installed on the same server as NPM/APM and SEUM Players can be installed on any Windows 2003/2008 Server including your Additional Pollers.
Q: Would Windows in VM be supported for player?
Q: We use Orion in a multi-tenant environment letting customers see just their stuff. Will SEUM have the ability to assign custom properties to specific transactions so that users can see just the ones that apply to them via views restrictions?
A: SEUM 1.0 does not currently support custom properties or account limitations however it does support view filters. If you’d like to see support for custom properties and account limitations in a future release please submit your feature request to the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q: can player be installed on mobile devices or tablet editions of windows?
A: The SEUM Player can be installed on tablet editions of Windows.
Q: Will it capture the transaction time between two Win/Unix servers i.e. if I need to send one 100 MB file from one server to other so will it capture the through put time?
A: Yes, provided the Windows server is running the SEUM player the and Unix server is hosting the file via HTTP or HTTPS
Q: Can the tool handle RIA 2.0 applications like Flash, Silverlight?
A: SEUM does not currently support interacting with Adobe Flash, Microsoft’s Silverlight or Java Applets. This is something we’re considering for a future release of SEUM. I would recommend posting this as a feature request in the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q:Will it check e-mail delivery response time i.e. Exchange delivery delay as well?
A:SolarWinds Application Performance Monitor provides round trip email monitors to test IMAP4, POP3, and MAPI. It works by sending and SMTP email to the server, then logging into the server using the requested protocol, and retrieving the sent email to measure the full round trip delivery time.
Q: is the historical data stored in a separate database or if it is a module within a larger SW setup will it be stored in the existing netperfmon database?
A: SEUM uses the same database as the rest of the Orion modules. SEUM can also be installed in a standalone configuration with its own separate database.
Q: Can you link the monitors to hosts?
A: SEUM has no concept of hosts but you can create cross product dependencies with SEUM and NPM/APM to link nodes to transactions.
Q: What qualifies as a transaction?
A: A transaction is a series of steps. Anything you do from the time you press the record button to when you press the stop button within the SEUM Recorder is considered one transaction.
Q:is the data collection on the player based on protocol playback or gui playback, or using ie apis?
A:The data collection is performed on a fuzzy match of DOM objects. We don't follow user movements during the recordings.
Q: What is the minimum polling interval for transaction?
A: SEUM transactions can be played back as frequently as every 5 minutes
Q: We have a requirement to monitor 6000+ URLs. We are currently doing it with your IP Monitor product, but have scalability problems. Would this be a good replacemt for that?
A: Both APM and SEUM would be a better solutions for that level of scale
Q: Is the data between the Players and the Orion system encrypted?
A: All communications between the SEUM server and the SEUM Player are encrypted using SSL
Q:Pricing is per transaction based?
A:That is correct
Q: Many applications and Web sites identify a session by the current date and time. If you try to replay a script, it will fail. Can this tool correlate the data to enable me to save dynamic data and use it throughout the recording?
A: With the exception of the initial first step the SEUM Recorder/Player is not dependent upon static URLs. The Recorder/Player tracks what you click on a page and not the underlying URL so it does a good job of handling dynamically generated URLs.
Q: So to clarify, I can run my own distributed players at no extra cost on my own hardware? We have offices all over the country and would like to know application performance from each site.
A: That is correct. SEUM is licensed per-transaction/per-location. The players are free. For example if you recorded two different transactions and applied one transaction to each player that’s only two licensed transactions, but if you assign both recorded transactions to two different players that would be four licensed transactions.
Q: How transactions are replicated to the agents?
A: They are assigned through the SEUM server web console and transferred using the HTTPS protocol to the remote players.
Q:RDP, ICA, SAP
A:SEUM does not currently support these protocols at this time but they are being considered for future releases of SEUM. I would recommend posting this as a feature request in the SEUM forum of Thwack.com
Q: Pricing model is a departure from your other products. Does this represent an across the board change or will this apply only to this product?
A: Licensing is determined on product by product basis.
Q: Can we do 6000+ per minute?
A: The most frequent playback interval for a given transaction is currently once every five minutes. We have tested SEUM at scale and are confident that the product can handle that number of transactions. I would recommend contacting your SolarWinds Sales Rep or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org download a copy of SEUM to evaluate and determine if it will meet your needs
Q: Does each test generate an actual transaction (such as an item purchase on an ecommerce site)?
A: What you are describing are steps. Multiple steps make up a transaction. There is no limit to the number of steps you can monitor in a single transaction.
Q: Will this provide split-up of time taken by each component in network, like client, Network and server etc?
Q:Are you charged per recorder that you install?
A:The SEUM Recorders are free. The product is licensed by the total number of transactions running on the players
Q: is it licensed by transaction or a total number of steps in the transaction?
A: SEUM is licensed per transaction.
Q: Do the players auto-update when there is a new player version?
A: Currently SEUM Players must be updated individually. There is no integrated deployment option for SEUM players.
Q: What are the licensing costs for the transactions? Are there different bundles
A: Pricing and Licensing questions should be directed to your SolarWinds Sales Rep or by e-mailing email@example.com
Q: Does the Remote Player application run as a Windows service or an interactive application
A: The SEUM Player runs as a Windows service.
Q:any plans for the player to provide packet captures for specific transaction runs?
A:SEUM does not provide packet capturing, but for debbuging purposes, you can download and the install Fiddler Core DLL natively into the product. We will be a KB on how to do this.
Q: Is there a solution scaling tool? Currently we're monitoring 70k URLs, approx half are transaction, approx half are simple keyword monitors. We would need to know ahead of time the resources needed to deploy this solution.
A: We have not tested SEUM to this level of scale yet but it would be possible to do with multiple SEUM servers
Q: How is this tool different from HP load runner vugen? Does your offer the same features and options as vugen
A: SEUM is not positioned as a load testing tool but rather a continuous synthetic application monitoring solution providing visibility into the health, performance and availability of your webservers and web based applications.
Q: can a standard "does the site work" test be run from multiple players or does it require a test need to be created for each player?
A: You can quickly and easily create a single step transaction, deploy it to dozens of players simultaneously and have results in under five minutes.
Q: What we also do with IP Monitor is move to a fast retry of 2 seconds on a URL failure. This is to get an accurate uptime for SLA calculations. Does this product have that capability?
A: Fast polling is not available in SEUM due to the sheer complexity of the transactions and the potential possibility of creating a DDoS attack on the monitored webserver or web application.
Q:is there version control for recordings?
A:Not at this time, but we will look at this for future release.
Q: Can we see some of the reporting capabilities
A: Please contact your SolarWinds Sales Rep or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org request an evaluation of SEUM
Q: If a purchase transaction is recorded and played back on multiple players, does the actual purchase happen over and over?
A: Yes. Playback occurs at a configurable frequency you define within the product on a per transaction basis
Q: are there public locations to use for playback or only internal servers/desktops with player installed?
A: Amazon E2C, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace offer cloud computing at geographically dispersed datacenters at very low cost where the SEUM Player can be deployed.
Q: Is an agent required to run the transactions?
A: There is a SEUM Player that can be installed at geographically dispersed locations for remote playback.
Q:Do you have version control for the transaction monitors?[Fred Taylor] [email@example.com] [Q: 11:25 AM] [A: 11:35 AM]
A:Yes it would, but the idea is to setup a test account so that you disregard the purchase and analytics on that account.
Q: Is there an Unlimited licensing option that allows us to install it on as many additional pollers as we have?
A: There is no unlimited licensing option for SEUM but the player and recorder can be installed on as many machines as you like at no cost.
Q: So the SEUM recorder and player are free? What about the actual SEUM server? Do we only pay for each transaction?
A: The product has multiple licensing tiers so I recommend you ask your SolarWinds Sales rep or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on pricing and license tiers.
Q:When can we expect to see this in eval form
A:Contact your SolarWinds Sales rep or e-mail email@example.com to download a pre-release of SEUM
Q: If I run the same script at three locations. Is this considered 3 transactions or 1? Ie do I pay for 1 or 3
A: This would be three licensed transactions.
Q:If I create a transaction and distribute it to 20 players is that 1 license or 20
A:20 licensed transactions.
Several Questions/Comments after working with the demo all day...
1) Does it work on Windows 7 - can't get the install to finish - it starts and gets to the "Express" or "Custom" install options, I choose Express, and it quits with no messages on the screen. Running it as an Administrator of the computer.
2) If we already have downloaded the installation, where is the player at? Would like to try and test using 1 main server on a PC and a couple players.
3) It seems to be sketchy - I've created a script on one XP SP3 machine with about 11 steps in the transaction, and when playing back, it doesn't seem to interpret the clicks I made on the specific page properly.
4) What is the default id/pw for connecting to the locally installed SQL when you use the express installation so we can point a player to one central machine?
thank you for your feedback! Now to answer your questions:
1) Windows 7 is supported only for evaluations but there should be no issue installing SEUM there. I also have it on Windows 7 and it works fine. What package do you install (name of file)? If you install it on clean machine there should be no "express" or "custom" option, just installation wizard with "Next" button.
You can look into "C:\ProgramData\SolarWinds\OrionInstaller.log" and check if there are any errors. Also check other logs such as "SEUMInstaller.msi.log" etc. You can send them to me if you want and I'll look at them.
2) Once you install main server, you can get Player installer from Orion website. Go to "Administration->SEUM Settings->Manage Player Locations". There above players table is "Download player" link with Player installer.
Or you can get it directly from "c:\Program Files\SolarWinds\Orion\SEUM\Installers\".
3) Can you provide more details here? What clicks it can't replay? What have you clicked on? Is it possible to send us that recording (in case it's not some internal system)? If not, we can organize some meeting to look at your issues.
4) Player does not connect to central machine. Central machine connects to player. You don't need access to database from player at all. Just install player on remote machine, go to "Administration->SEUM Settings->Manage Player Locations", click on "Add Location", name your location, enter hostname or IP address of remote machine with player and click "OK". You may need to open port 17781 on firewall between central server and remote machine but that's all.
I'm looking forward for more feedback from you.
Hi Jiri. Thanks for the quick response! Here are my replies to the questions...
1) I have managed to get the app working on the Windows 7 machine - Hint - make sure you have plenty of disk space and that you are running as Administrator - when I started the load I was logged in to the machine as a domain admin account that should have had rights to the machine, but it didn't seem to work. So I logged in locally to the machine as admin and it installed.
I also basically built a new Orion environment to do the testing with which is now letting me save the recording and playback on test machines.
2) Got it after a successful install, the directories were there so I was able to get the players on the test machines.
3) It is an internal site that we are testing clicks and specific user actions against. I do have it recorded but don't think it will help as it's inside. If we could do a webex to view or if you still want to look at the recording please advise.
4) I was able to get the Transaction on the orion server and set it up to play on 3 test machines, but since the recording has some issues, it's not providing good data. (See #3).
Thanks again and please let me know if a webex is an option to look at the recording.
good to hear that you have it installed.
Regarding your issues with recording, I would like to schedule a GoTo meeting (same as WebEx) with you sometime next week to check recording on your environment.
Please send me to my email firstname.lastname@example.org when you are available next week. Please also specify your timezone so I can schedule it correctly.
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