21 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2017 4:32 PM by dodo123

    I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers

    admin2923

      I was adding servers to our Orion Solarwinds SAM. We have several IIS servers and I was adding them all with Windows Servers WMI and ICMP. After several entries I realized we were out of SAM licenses. In looking back, it showed that each IIS server was burning 30 licenses each. I went back and uncheck the IIS box and continued monitoring with just the basic CPU, Memory, etc. 30 licenses seems like an lot. What am I actually gaining by monitoring IIS? What would I prevent this kind of monitoring. I know that is a vague question, but I need to put together a report to justify the purchase of more licenses. Anyone that can make suggestions is appreciated

        • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
          mesverrum

          In most cases I only turn on the full IIS monitoring when there is some kind of performance expectation from a site.  Internal services that dont get a lot of users and nobody really cares about are fine to monitor with just a simple http(s) check.  I always try to focus alerts on things that someone is going to actually fix, not much reason to collect a pile of metrics on some internal page that people almost never use and even less reason to send out alerts on those.

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          • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
            Mark Roberts

            This is one of those areas that it is all relative. If you have IIS servers that provide an important service to your users/business, then 30 licenses is a very small amount compared to the level of monitoring provided.

             

            As mesverrum above indicates, if you do not need the extra monitoring capability AppInsight for ISS provides, then don't enable it on all servers.

            • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
              dodo123

              Also we use it to confirm the app pools are started after our maintenance window and it automatically starts them. Solarwinds is not just for alerts and reporting

               

              this was happening at 5am and parts of the site were down till 830 when someone got in and realised.

               

              worth every penny get unlimited license, think of the cost like staff out renewal is 40k that’s 2 2nd line staff at a push but onsite 24/7 doing things that 40k staff member struggles to do.

              • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                bmallon

                Go look at your monitor templates for IIS. (All settings > SAM Settings > Monitor Templates > IIS) By default there are 24 components in there, and each one costs you a license. You can get away with monitoring just a few specific components in there and still get a great view of your server performance. If you find you need all of the components on each server, then you'll need more licenses.

                • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                  ryhlen.schoeberl

                  We monitor IIS on all of our servers. We have unlimited licenses. Monitoring IIS on the servers helps with a lot of information for us. One thing that it helps us Identify is SSL cert monitor we are able to stay ahead of expiring certs and know which site it is on. It also has helped troubleshoot our Lync, sharepoint and email server by telling us services were not running in IIS after some windows updates were installed. We also Have an smtp server and there is a IIS SMTP server montior that has been useful. We are able to send out emails from our SMTP and the solarwinds monitor will alert us if any fail to send and the reason. You can get it off the server but takes 5 mins to get to information where it is right there in seconds on solarwinds.

                   

                  We also have application services that are very important and can setup an alert when the services stop working. This helps us identify very quickly when our customers cannot sent refresh signals automatically through our system because the service has stopped generally we fix the problem before there is an impact because of this alert.

                   

                  We also setup an alert to notify us when disk space is low on any of our servers. Most of the time it is our SQL servers after a report is ran monthly we clear out old logs, but sometimes we just need to expand disk space on our servers because of how fast we are growing as a company.

                    • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                      admin2923

                      the cert monitor sounds handy. I am looking at my IIS servers that are monitored and we have only received CPU alerts since we added them to solarwinds; . So by checking the IIS box and using the 30 licenses it automatically can detect certificates and notifies when one is expiring?

                        • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                          mesverrum

                          Keep in mind that the SSL cert expiration monitor is also available on it's own as a single component, using only 1 license per tested website.

                           

                          SSL Certificate Expiration Date monitor

                            • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                              admin2923

                              SSL certificate Expiration Data monitor, single license solution looks interesting, but I do not see the same path or the file that needs to be modified on my IIS servers. I do see Solarwinds\Patch manager\WMI providers. Maybe I am using a different monitoring method. When I added my nodes I did not knowingly push out any agent or probe. Does something like that need to be installed on each IIS server create the file that can be modified for the single license solution?

                                • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                  mesverrum

                                  You can ignore that first paragraph in the KB, thats just letting you know you have the option to make the monitor retry if it fails.  I've never had a use case where I needed to edit that file.

                                   

                                  Just go to the manage templates screen in SAM and assign the built in SSL Certificate Expiration Date template to any server where you need to monitor ssl certs

                                   

                                   

                                  The default setting assumes you are testing on port 443, but if you need to change it just edit the application and set it to 8443 or whatever else you use.

                                   

                                   

                                  It defaults to warning at 90 days and critical at 30 days.

                                   

                                    • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                      admin2923

                                      thanks but I just found out we have little use for a SSL cert exp monitor, but I will mention it in my report to my boss, but so I understand everything, When I add an IIS server as a Windows Node and leave the IIS box check,  am I adding these two templates and is that what uses 30 licenses?

                                      I just need to explain to my boss what we are gaining by using the 30 licenses per server. As of now the only alerts I have received from the IIS servers I am monitoring have been CPU usage. I guess it is a good thing that I have had no real IIS problems, but I would still like to find out what I might miss should I turn IIS monitoring off.

                                • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                  ryhlen.schoeberl

                                  Yes it does we also use certificate manager template that will monitor all certs installed on the server as well.
                                  The Best thing about IIS is if you have multiple IIS pages it is easy to identify which page has the cert binded that is expiring soon.

                                  Also can use it monitors the IIS event log and seperates it into each part very handy and will tell you if a site is in a critical status and which part you should investigate.

                                  Keeps track of connection attempts so you can identify if someone is trying to get into one of your servers from outside if it has a public webpage. Monitors network i/o's for each individual page on a server that has more then one site.

                                    • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                      mesverrum

                                      I'd agree the Appinsight template is useful and makes sense in situations like you describe with active web servers hosting multiple pages and a significant user base or faces the public internet and all that, but I just want to point out that not every server running IIS warrants that level of scrutiny.  Even when we have SLX licenses I don't like to apply the IIS template across the board because it often tends to raise a bunch of red flags for situations that then turn out to be non-issues.

                                       

                                      I ran discovery for my client this week and we found 600 servers with IIS running and so far 80% of the ones we have investigated are minor internal tools that tend to be accessed less than a dozen times a week, or nobody even realized IIS role had been added to begin with.  If you have an environment of SAM that is small enough to have not purchased an unlimited license then there are serious questions to be asked about whether or not using up a big chunk of your available licenses for the Appinsight templates is going to give you a solid ROI.  The jump between most SAM license sizes is usually about $5k so one would need to have some sense of the value of those additional metrics in terms of site downtime and the value of improved performance.  If the page is not important enough that no one would ever be tasked with making it run faster and if it was down at 3am nobody would be getting paged out of bed to fix it then it probably doesn't warrant Appinsight.  You can just throw a basic http/s monitor on it, add the ssl cert monitor if needed and be done with it.

                                       

                                      Don't think that I'm universally opposed to upping SAM licenses, I move people into larger licenses all the time but a critical skill in IT is being able to quantify the business case and value of what we are doing, and the dollar value of MANY internal websites is shockingly low.  Not to mention the additional workloads on your pollers and database to retain all those low value metrics.  Server resources and storage are cheap right up until your array is full or it can't keep up, and then suddenly your next 50 gb is part of a million dollar upgrade project.

                                • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                  admin2923

                                  Maybe I should open a new question, but now that I am getting used to Solarwind and have been navigating round and learning about AppInsignt for IIS. I think we may not even be using it properly, which I want to correct ASAP. In browsing I see  information like this;

                                  Node StatusNode status is Up.

                                  Node is Up.
                                  AppInsight for IIS: Application 'Microsoft IIS' has state: Unknown

                                   

                                  and this;

                                   

                                  What do I need to do to get my IIS monitor is a known or useful state for the few servers I have licenses for?

                                    • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                      robertcbrowning

                                      Ah, now I understand.

                                      When you do a List Resources & add in the AppInsight for IIS, it adds the tests in for everything that you select and will immediately start collecting information on the basic stuff like volumes, interfaces etc. But the more complex queries will require some privilege and some require minor changes to the servers that you want to query. AppInsight for IIS is one of these. You will need a local admin account to make the changes to the target server.

                                      If you go to the Node Summary page of your target server

                                      roll down to the bottom of the screen and on the right-hand side you'll find the "AppInsight for IIS" application, click on it

                                      now you can see all of the component monitors that it is going to query your server.

                                      Edit the component monitors and near the top of this page is a "Configure Your Server" button, click it. You'll need the target server's local admin credentials here.

                                      (there are actually two options, you can make all the changes yourself or let Orion do it for you. I always let Orion do it for me)

                                      So, Let Orion make the changes to the server, hit Next & Ok & Apply a few times and you'll return to the list of component monitors.

                                      Now it's time to put the kettle on and make some tea as Orion will take a while to start collecting this new information.

                                      The first few metrics will be there within a few minutes, but as it's only one hit you won't see very much. After half an hour you will be able to see the responses over time from the on the AppInsight for IIS page (that's the one off the bottom right of the Node Summary view). After a few hours, the graphs will really start to be meaningful.

                                      Enjoy:)

                                        • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                          admin2923

                                          Thanks! I am starting to get a feel for this tool. I just need to be careful. I have seen the configure button you are talking about, I was just be cautions as to what I clicked on. We have very strict "Change" procedures on our environment. I would prefer doing it the Solarwinds way, as I always go with vendor defaults unless I have a compelling reason not to. Does the "configure your server"  option push out an agent to the server or do anything that could result in performance issues, even temporarily? I want to make sure the engineering team is on the same page before I start clicking buttons and I certainly do not want to push out something that might cause an issue or even a reboot.

                                            • Re: I need to justify purchasing more SAM licenses to monitor our IIS servers
                                              robertcbrowning

                                              Hi, It's not an agent, but it is a change to the target server & it should go through Change Control. When you see the "Let Orion Make The Changes to your target server" button there's another option to see the full instructions to manually do the change (and you could add these notes to the Change Request)  (but it's so much easier to let Orion do it for you) I do understand why you would need to get approval though.

                                               

                                              There are agent options, but that's another story & for another day

                                               

                                              You could stand up an eval environment in the office, even at home, on hyper-v or vmware & download some eval Win server, an eval SQL & a copy of your office Orion as evals. Then give it a try out. (you'll need a SQL server, a Main Polling Engine & perhaps a Netflow Storage Server, an Additional Web Server, an Additional Polling Engine, maybe even some HA servers too.  I do this all the time. standing up an eval environment, testing something, letting it die and then starting all over again. I now have a paid-for lab environment in the office and an eval at home. Just the ticket for testing out different options, for learning and to trial the upgrade process. It's exactly what you need to write a Change Request accurately.