Submit a ticketCall us

AnnouncementsFace your biggest database issues head-on

Our new eCourse helps you navigate SQL Server performance blocks by teaching you how to recognize and deal with the three DBA Disruptors: Performance Hog, Blame Shifter, and Query Blocker. Register today to learn how to defend your environment and fend off menacing disruptions.

Register for your free eCourse.

Home > Success Center > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) Training > Free SolarWinds Training Videos - NPM > Planning and Managing Your Maps - Video

Planning and Managing Your Maps - Video

Updated July 21st, 2016


When it comes to building custom views, maps are one of the most useful and versatile tools you have at your disposal. This video (3:42) provides best practices of what to consider before you start building your maps.

  • Map only static objects. If objects move, you need to adjust their location on maps, and it is difficult to keep maps up-to-date.
  • Build maps to match the column width of your Orion Web Console views. Rescaling maps in views results in distorting of icons and texts.

This video is available in the following languages: German, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. 




Server & Application Monitor  

Network Performance Monitor

Virtualization Manager

Network Traffic Analyzer         

Storage Resource Monitor  

Network Configuration Manager 

Web Performance Monitor

IP Address Manager

User Device Tracker                                                        

VoIP & Network Quality Manager

Video Transcript

When it comes to building custom views, maps are one of the most useful and versatile tools you have at your disposal. But in a lot of deployments they tend to be underutilized, for a couple reasons. One reason is that people simply don’t know how to build them. We’ll fix that in these videos. But another reason is that often people start out with the best of intentions when it comes to mapping, but then find themselves frustrated down the road, and the biggest reason for that is that they just didn’t plan ahead. They didn’t have a good map management strategy before they got started. So before we go into building a map, let’s talk a little bit about map management.

Before you start, you’ll need to be candid with yourself about how much time you have to devote to building maps and how much time you’re willing to spend keeping them up to date, which can be fairly time consuming. For instance you may plan to create floor maps showing every node on the network for every building in your organization. That’s probably fine; if your organization only has 30 employees and less than 100 total nodes. Anything beyond that and you may quickly find yourself spending half your time just trying to keep maps up to date as people move seats, employees come and go, new equipment is added, etc. So the first question to ask yourself before mapping anything is “how static are the objects?” For me personally, if it’s not static, I’m probably not going to map it because it will probably end up being more trouble than it’s worth to keep up to date.    
If you look at my map I’ve got a WAN view with several different network regions represented by a single map object. Barring a major natural disaster, these region aren’t going anywhere, they’re pretty static. So I’ll map the regions on a WAN map.    

But now look what happens when I click one of the regions. I open up another map, showing me what’s in the region. In this case I open up to a campus view showing all my buildings. Now it’s not that often that a company moves buildings, so again I’m going to consider the buildings as being static and I’m fine taking the time to map them. But what if I want to drill down further and see all the individual nodes in a particular building? Anyone who has ever had to deal with building a floor map will tell you that trying to keep it up to date is going to be a difficult task at best. Then you multiply that task by all the floors in all the buildings in a reasonably sized organization and it quickly becomes unmanageable. So that’s not a map I’d probably create.     

That doesn’t mean though that I’m all done with my map and that I can’t drill down any further. Maps can be used to display data directly like this, but they can also be used to navigate to other views. So I’ve created several groups to keep track of the nodes in a particular building or on a particular floor. And then I can use my map to navigate to the group I want to see.    

Just remember that you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time building a map that may be out of date not long after you finish it. My rule is, anything that’s going to be static, I’ll map. Anything that’s not, I probably won’t. But it’s up to you to decide how you want to define static.    

Besides deciding which maps to build in the first place, knowing how they’ll fit in a particular view is your next most important consideration. View columns are a fixed pixel width; they don’t scale. Your maps are also a fixed pixel width. So you’ll want to build your maps to match the column width of the view. This is another place where planning ahead when building your maps is important.    

You can scale the maps up or down slightly to match the column width, but having to scale too far can distort text and graphics and can lead to extra work.    

So again, when you’re working with maps, plan ahead. First, give some thought to how often you’ll have to update your maps once they’re built. Second, know where you’ll be using the map and build your maps to fit within the view. If you don’t do those two things, you may find yourself letting maps fall by the wayside. But if you do, I think you’ll find maps to be an extremely valuable tool.

Last modified