15 Replies Latest reply on Nov 11, 2008 8:56 AM by denny.lecompte

    Server specs - Need suggestions

    pguenther

      Over the past 6 months I have convinced management to spend around $26K on software upgrades and a new dedicated database server for Orion. Now it looks like we need a bigger/better front end for Orion to run on. I need to design a server that will last us as I will be cut off after this purchase. Here is our current environment:

       HP Blade Server

      Dual-Core 1.8Ghz w/8 GB RAM running Windows 2003 Standard SP2

      Orion SL2000 - 207 nodes and 755 interfaces (more will be added). Netflow with 77 interfaces. VoIP module (not currently active, but will be once we bring up new Cisco VoIP solution for 25 sites). We are also now looking at purchasing APM (not sure how many licenses).

      I would like to jsut go ahead and size this new front end to have everything for Orion-SL2000 up and running so I am covered for future upgrades. We are also running 1 Engineer's toolset on this server and have syslog and traps being sent here. Cirrus is running on a separate VM, but it would be nice to have it on the same Orion server.

       I know Orion is not yet a multi-threaded app and that is part of my issue, but can it now run on 64-bit OS? Would a blade server be appropirate or should I look for a standalone?

      Support suggested a dual-core 3.0 Ghz server, but I want to make sure we will not outgrown it in 6 months as I am sure management is going to stop spending money on this app very soon until I get produce everything I have promised them.  Any help in this matter is appreciated.

       Thanks!

        • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
          Congo

          Do you anticipate your network elements going up drastically in the near future?

          If not, I think that your current hardware will be fine for the small ammount of devices you have.

          A blade server shouldnt differ any from a standalone.

          All I would recommend is a similar blade add in for your database server. And maybe swap out that 1.8 with the highest that the socket can support and the blade can still keep cool. 

          • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
            denny.lecompte
             I know Orion is not yet a multi-threaded app and that is part of my issue, but can it now run on 64-bit OS? Would a blade server be appropirate or should I look for a standalone?
             

            Just to be clear, Orion is mostly multi-threaded.   In particular, the job engine that APM uses is completely multi-threaded.  The only part of NPM that isn't multi-threaded yet is the standard SNMP poller.  Syslog, Traps, the UnDP, NetFlow, APM, etc. are all multi-threaded.

              • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions

                When is the SNMP poller scheduled to be multi-threaded, Q4Y08, Q1Y09, etc..?  It would be great if the poller engines could support more than 8,000 interfaces before they begin to bog down.  I'd like to see each poller be able to support at least 12 - 15K interfaces. 

                Ramon

                 

                • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                  pguenther
                  OK This concerns me as I am being told the opposite. If netflow is multi-threaded then why is my Dual Core 1.8 GHz with 8G of RAM not sufficient. Support and a sales engineer have all told me that the application is only using a single 1.8GHz processor. I am scambling to find a server that meets the 3GHz I am being told I need. I cannot ask for more hardware at this point due to the amount of money spent on the product in the last 6 months already. I am getting ready to move to an older server that is a single core 3.0Ghz with only 4G of RAM. I only have 209 nodes, 695 interface and 282 volumes with 83 Netflow interfaces, but these numbers will increase as we ar rolling out a lot of new stuff. (SL-2000) license. I do not want to move the server to a 4 year old server and wind up with more problems.
                    • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                      denny.lecompte
                      If netflow is multi-threaded then why is my Dual Core 1.8 GHz with 8G of RAM not sufficient.
                       

                      The bottleneck on NetFlow isn't the receiver, it's the database I/O.  Even if you had 8 cores processing data, you'll eventually hit performance problems with getting data in and out of the database.  What's important to NTA performance is that the database have its own server with plenty of RAM (8 GB would be good) set to RAID 1.0 with other DB tuning to optimize R/W.

                      If Support or SEs implied that everything was single-threaded, they mis-spoke, and I'll look into that.

                        • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                          pguenther

                          Denny,

                           Thanks for the help here. My database server is not an issue. We just spent a couple of grand on a stand alone dedicated server. The specs are as follows:

                           Quad-Core 2.10 GHz with 16GB of RAM running 64-bit Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2. SQL 2005. 

                          My old DB server was a problem, but this one does not have the writing issues the other one did. Oh high speed (15K) local drives too. Although SQL is using 15 GB of RAM disk I/O is running fine. Raid is 1.0.

                          If you have any other idea for DB tuning please let me know and I will take them to my DB admin. 

                          In your opinion should my current front end Orion server have sufficient resources? What happens is every 30 hours or so I get a ton of netflow errors (deadlocks, system exceptions and out of memory) in my event log for about 1-2 hours and finally the netflow service stops and will not restart automatically. If this happens overnight or on the weekend I loose hours sometimes days of data.

                            • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                              denny.lecompte

                              pguenther,

                              Some of the developers looked at this thread and suggested that you open a Support ticket and include diagnostics.  With more information, we could get an idea of why you're seeing this problem with NTA.

                                • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                  pguenther

                                   Denny,

                                   I have sent you a PM.

                                    • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                      DirtySouth

                                      Does anyone think a Orion NPM & Cirrus would benefit from running on a 64-bit OS?

                                        • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                          pguenther

                                           I am going to try running Orion front end on 64-bit. Currently our SQL server is running 64-bit. My dual core32-bit is so unstable now I have no choice but to try a single core 3.0 GHz. I will bump up the RAM if I have to but I can't ask for another server until I at least try this one.

                                          • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                            casey.schmit

                                            Running NPM on a 64-bit OS won't really give any benefits.  Almost all of the applications run as 32 bit applications, so they can't take advantage of the ability to allocate larger amounts of memory in the process space.  In fact, most of the applications wouldn't need that much memory.

                                            Where 64-bit really helps is for memory constrained applications(like a database).

                                              • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                                MelloDL

                                                I wonder if any Solarwinds customers or Solarwinds technical support staff have taken measures of response times for loading of Orion web pages. Obviously the delay in moving from one Orion NPM web page to another will depend upon the number and type of web parts that are configured to be displayed on the various web pages. However, I wonder where you reach a point of dimishing returns with upgrade or addition of server hardware. We currently run two polling engines with one engine monitoring 224 nodes, 1395 interfaces, 686 volumes to total 2,305 elements, while the other polling engine monitors 768 nodes, 2969 interfaces, 44 volumes to total 3,781 elements. The first polling engine monitors fewer elements than the second because the first polling engine also runs the Application Performance Monitor, NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, and Wireless Monitoring add-in modules. We provide to separate web polling engines that are load-balanced behind an F5 Big IP load-balancing system so web page requests never have to compete for processing time from either of the polling engines. We have a dedicated 64-bit SQL Server collecting information from the polling engines and responding to status requests from the two load-balanced web engines. Even with this Orion system (composed of five high capacity, high performance computers with Gigabit connections) it seems that web pages take 5-15 seconds to load as technicians move from one detail page to another. Is this normal? Are there any known values that Orion customers typical see for the time it takes to move from one summary or detail web page to another? Have any customers or Solarwinds technical staff ever performed an application analysis with tools such as Opnet ACE Analyst to determine where processing time is consumed and bottlenecks might exist?

                                                  • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                                    denny.lecompte

                                                     Yes, we have done performance testing and the most common bottleneck is at the database.  The first questions I would ask are about how much RAM your database has.  The more the better  Is it RAID 5 or RAID 1.0; the latter will deliver much better performance for Orion. 

                                                     I would also ask if every view is slow.   Or only some views?   If your DB is in good shape, then the next question is to look at the resources you have on each page.  Sometimes, users include high-demand resources that slow down performance.  For example, if you have a report that draws each time a page loads, that can be a problem.  Likewise, any of the "network-wide" resources will put a drag on your system because you are asking for lots of info.  We often recommend that you detach each resource (by clicking on the title of the resource) and time each resources load time.  You can then find out which resources are slowest, which can really help you pinpoint what's going on.

                                                     Are you running the latest version (NPM 9.1 SP1)?  There were some performance changes between 9.0 and 9.1 that would make a big difference.  Likewise, we made some performance enhancements in APM 2.0 SP2 that might really help performance.

                                                    I guess my point is that server specs are certainly important, but there are also other factors that can be adjusted to improve performance.  If you provide more info to this thread, we (the whole communty, not just me) might be able to help figure out why you're system is a little slow.  The process might also be useful to other readers.

                                  • Re: Server specs - Need suggestions
                                    DirtySouth

                                    Good thread. Quick question though...I've got NPM and soon NCM running on a Dual duel-core AMD Opteron 2GHz server with 4GB RAM. It's a 64-bit CPU, but running only 32-bit Server 2k3. Do any of you think I would benenfit at all from puting a 64-bit OS on it running the same apps?