8 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2018 12:31 PM by David Smith

    Adding an additional polling engine - question

    matt_rees

      Hi guys,

       

      We're coming up to the point where we're going to need an additional polling engine for balancing purposes etc. We currently have a dedicated physical server where our Solarwinds installations live.

      Ideally I would like to introduce another physical server but this might not be an option due to cost.

       

      Can anybody shed some light if you can have a VM as the second polling engine? - In theory it seems fine but I was wondering if there were any drawbacks to doing it or if anyone else has this setup.

       

      Thanks.

        • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
          David Smith

          This is totally possible and supported. I have seen many customer environments that use virtual servers for the Primary server and the APE.

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            • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
              matt_rees

              Ye we used to have a VM environment but due to performance issues we switched to physical servers. I'm just wondering if a VM and physical server mixed together is best practice, or doesn't it really matter?

                • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
                  dodo123

                  it wont have an effect. If you can afford it go physical but then think about backups and what it would take to rebuild. We have main polling engine 3 addiontal polling engines and a web front end all on virtual, even the database is virtual.

                   

                  The systems runs quite happily issues tend to be client based browsers. Occassionly will have to reboot a polling engine due to not polling but thats not looking related to physical or virtual rather windows updates and spec.

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              • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
                rschroeder

                No worries--what you propose will work fine.

                 

                I had all physical servers hosting my pollers back in 2004.  In the early days of VM, my System Admins recommended moving our Solarwinds to VM for cost and data center space savings.  We tried it and were VERY disappointed--the VM world was not ready for prime time then.  Our pollers became VERY slow--they were starved for resources and the SA's were skimping on CPU and RAM, trying to spread it out between too many servers.  Our performance fell below acceptable levels and we moved back to dedicated physical servers and saw a huge improvement in performance and satisfaction with our Solarwinds products.

                 

                Since then VM has improved tremendously, and CPU and memory for hosts has increased while costs decreased (thank you, Moore's Law!).  Now our SA's provide much more processing power and memory when I request VM to be provided for a poller, and I'm loving NAM's ability to provide up to twenty pollers at no extra license cost to me.

                 

                I have six VM pollers now, and multiple VM environments for beta testing products, for NTM, etc.

                 

                I feel confident that your experience will be a positive one as long as you follow Solarwinds' implementation guidelines for sizing your servers appropriately with memory and CPU.

                 

                Swift Packets!  Let us know how your upgrade/expansion work for you.

                 

                Rick Schroeder

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                • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
                  alang

                  Our whole global Solarwinds environment runs on VMs, both primary Orion servers and additional polling engines. Of course like in every other system you have to make sure you have enough resources. We also had the internal discussions about pros and cons, but virtualization always won in the end. Yes, on a dedicated machine you're not sharing resources and you're not affected if the virtual environment has a problem, but on a VM you have the advantage of fail-over in a cluster, and you could dedicate a host to a VM if you wanted to give it maximum resources. If you have multiple Orion hosts you can host them in different clusters and cross-monitor them to eliminate the last concern about virtualization problems. Dedicated hardware servers are going the path of the dinosaurs, everything is going virtual. Your whole Solarwinds environment can now be hosted on AWS, which by default is virtual only. So go ahead create your additional polling engine on a VM and you will soon want to virtualize your Orion host as well - at the latest when the hardware comes up for life-cycle.

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                  • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
                    matt_rees

                    Thanks for the input guys. Appreciate the advice. Think I'll speak to our server team and see if they can sort us out with a VM.

                      • Re: Adding an additional polling engine - question
                        rschroeder

                        Using VM's is my preferred path now.  A big benefit in VM-world is the ease of making a snapshot for backup purposes immediately before any patching or upgrades.  I'm able to move ahead with comfort and confidence, knowing that if there are any issues with the patch or upgrade, my System Admins can quickly restore the snapshot and I'm back in business without any extended outage or complicated restoration steps.

                         

                        Plus, back in the 2000's, our data centers were running out of space--and floor weight-carrying-capacity -- and electricity, all due to having too many physical servers in each data center.  Our UPS's couldn't handle the load, nor could our air cooling systems, and we were forced to put a freeze on network and application growth/expansion.

                         

                        We started consolidating services in IBM Blade Centers, then moved to VM's built in Cisco UCS chasses.  Now we have more than twice as many servers as we did ten years ago, running on MANY fewer physical hardware platforms.  That results in less weight on the data center floors, less electricity demands, less cooling costs, and less maintenance.  AND it comes with faster throughput that's more reliable, since we have multiple 40G port-channel connections between our UCS chasses and their network switches.

                         

                        VM has been a very positive solution to our growth needs and physical limitations.

                         

                        It's SO convenient to just call up a System Admin, describe my needs for another Solarwinds APE, and then install the poller on a new VM that took less than 20 minutes to build for me.  NAM's 20-poller capacity makes it fast and simple and affordable to expand and distribute polling elements across more pollers.

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