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This article provides information on defining and using dependencies in Orion NPM.
Dependencies in Orion allow you to accurately account for topological constraints on your network. These constraints may be either the result of the design of a specific device, as in the case of interfaces on a switch or router, or the result of the physical architecture of your network itself. Orion offers an Unreachable status to account for the case when a device may appear to be down when its status is actually indeterminate, due to another device being down or unresponsive.
For example, in the case of a typical switch monitored by Orion NPM, when the switch itself goes down or becomes unresponsive, all interfaces on the switch will also be unresponsive, even though they may functioning perfectly well. By default, in Orion NPM these child interfaces display as Unreachable because their parent node is reporting as down.
Likewise, Orion also makes it possible to define dependencies among distinct devices, as in the case of a subnet of devices in one area of your network that are dependent on a single WAN link to maintain connectivity with the rest of your network. In this case, if you have defined a group consisting of the devices in this dependent subnet, you can then define a dependency where the dependent subnet is a child group to the parent router that is serving as the WAN link to the rest of your network. For more information about using groups, see Managing Groups in the SolarWinds Orion Common Components Administrator Guide.
The power of dependencies becomes evident when considering alerts. If you have an alert configured to trigger when a monitored object is down, you only want that alert to trigger if a monitored objects is positively down. In other words, you do not want an down object alert to trigger for an object that is not actually down. Without dependencies, all monitored objects on a monitored node that is unresponsive to ICMP queries will also report as down. With dependencies in use, these child objects will instead display as Unreachable, saving you the hassle of sorting through numerous false alerts resulting from the failure of a single node to respond promptly to a status query.
Creating a new dependency is a straightforward process of selecting the parent and children objects, as shown in the following procedure.
To create a new dependency:
Hands down one of the most valuable features of SolarWinds Products is the Alert Manager. All of the SolarWinds Orion products ship with built-in alerts, ready to use as soon an you install.