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Home > Success Center > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) Training > Free SolarWinds Training Videos - NPM > Reports - Video

Reports - Video

Updated July 26th, 2016


This video (14:22) will cover Orion® reporting. First, we will show you how to create and edit reports using the web console. Then, we will look at the Orion Report Writer backend application, the broad set of pre-configured reports that come with Orion, and how to schedule reports to run at set times and intervals. Finally, you will learn how to customize reports to fit specific needs using the Orion Report Writer.




  • Network Performance Monitor
  • Orion Core products

Video Transcription


SolarWinds Orion ships with a broad set of standard reports designed around popular and common areas of interest. These standard reports can be accessed, run and viewed directly through the web console as well as exporting the report to a PDF document or printing it.

As with every area of the web console, objects within the report will display a pop-up overview when you hover over it.  Also the nodes or interfaces will have click through drill down capabilities to investigate events of interest on the spot. So, for example, if you run the Current Node Status – Average Response Time report, you can hover over any node in the list and get im mediate details about that node.

Reports can be created and run directly from the web console. However, any report that comes with NPM out-of-the-box, must be edited using the Orion Report Writer. To create a report or run any report from the web console, navigate to the web console settings. From Settings – Reports and Alerts, click "Manage Reports".

Here, you can create new reports, edit existing reports, and run any report.

From the Group By… drop-down menu, you can change how reports are sorted, such as by product or region, or you can click "No Grouping" to see all reports in an alphabetical listing.

To create a new report through the web console, click the "Create New Report" button. First, choose the resource you wish to use in this report, either a custom chart, or a custom table. In our example, we are going to choose a custom chart. Click "Select and Continue". From the Selection Method drop down, you have three choices.

First, you can choose Specific Objects for static values. This would work well for specific, monitored elements on your network that you wish to report on.

The Dynamic Query Builder will allow you to build your report using dynamic values and Boolean Logic conditions such as “and / or”.

The Advanced Database Query option allows you to build a SQL or SWQL query from scratch. For this example, we’re going to select the "Dynamic Query Builder" option. Next, you can choose what you wish to report on. The list here is extensive. Let's report on Interfaces.

Clicking "Add Condition" allows you to refine the report. Without adding this condition, the report would return data on every interface on your network. In this case, you're going to look only for ethernet interfaces.

It’s important to note that the drop-down menus in the condition builder are content sensitive to not only what you select to report on, but also to each other. This means that the values to search for will change, depending on what you select initially in the condition builder. If you select Interface Descriptions, you will get different values than if you select Interface Type Description.

To build this logic, you’re going to select "Interface Type Description" from the first drop-down menu. Next, you can choose your operator. Since you’re looking specifically for Ethernet interfaces, you’re going to select "Is Equal To" for your operator.

In the final configuration for your report condition, you’re going to define what you’re looking for, in this case, Ethernet. Since these fields are content sensitive, you can start typing Ethernet, and the condition builder will automatically start providing you with matching options.

Once you have completed your conditions, you can either add additional conditions, or click "Add to Layout." You only want one condition in this report, so you’re going to add this to your layout. At any time, you can click "Edit" next to the Datastore drop-down menu, to edit your conditions. Here, since we are using a custom chart, let's define the axis on the chart.

For the left Y axis, let's select Percent Transmitted. Click the "Add Data Series" button, choose "Transmit Percent Utilization" and click "Add Data Series".

For the right Y axis, let's choose "Received Percent Utilization" and again click "Add Data Series". For each axis, you can also select the type of chart, here you will use the line chart, as well as the Units displayed. Since you're using percentages, choose "Percent". Once you've defined your axis, click "Submit" to save your changes. 

Next, you will want to name the report. There are also other report customizations available such as a custom logo, footers and different page layouts and subtitles. You can also add additional components such as a table or another chart.  In addition, you can add or change datasources from the Datasource drop-down menu.

Now that you’ve completed your report configurations, click "Next". This will immediately run the report. Here you can verify that the chart is pulling in the data you want, as well as displaying that data in the format you want. If the report is to your liking, click "Next". If you want to make changes, you can click the back button to go back to report editing.

On this page, you can add this report to favorites if you want, as well as add an additional description that will show in the reports listing. You can also set Report Limitations to prevent certain user accounts from accessing this report. Once configured, the report limitation for specific user accounts can be configured in the Edit screen for that user account under Manage User Accounts.

To configure report limitations for use with user accounts, click the drop-down menu.  This is where you can choose the "No Reports to Limit Users" view and you can also create new limitation categories in the user’s account edit page. The default is for the report to be visible to all users.  Once you have completed the configurations on this page, click "Submit" to save the report.

Since this report was created in the web console, you can select this report and edit it right from the web console reports listing at any time.

The Report Scheduler is a backend application accessed through the SolarWinds Orion Program group – Alerting, Reporting and Mapping.Each “job” created contains all the configurations to run a specific report and email it out on a set schedule.

The report used in a job can easily be linked by clicking the "Browse" button. This will open reports on the web console and give you the option to copy and paste the link for the report you wish to use. Or, you can copy and paste the link from the web console directly. 

Any page in the web console can be scheduled as a report, so if you need to send out graphs or charts, just provide that link to the scheduler and it will be treated as a report. You also have the option to supply specific login credentials if necessary to allow limited scope reports based on what the account has permissions to view.  This allows the administrator, for example, to create one report and have three schedules used to send that report out, each delivering a different subset of objects without having to re-create the report for different groups.

 Reports can be scheduled daily, weekly and monthly or one time. You can also configure a start time, as well as an end date.

Once generated, the report can be emailed as an HTML or PDF document or even sent to a printer.


The Orion Report Writer is also accessed through the SolarWinds Orion program group – Alerting, Reporting and Mapping. The Orion Report Writer allows you to create your own reports, or customize existing reports already available in the web console. This tool is very flexible and provides configuration options for virtually every aspect of a report.

We’ll begin with an overview of the New Report wizard tabs providing customization options. When creating a new report, you’ll first be asked to choose a Report Type.  The report type will determine what fields are available. So, if you are trying to create an interface utilization report don't use the Daily Node Availability template.


The General tab provides report options such as titles and descriptions.

The Select Fields tab is used to pick which fields will be used in the report such as device name and availability.  For each field you will also have the option to sort by that field or perform simple functions on that field such as sum, min, or max.

The Filter Results tab functions similar to the alert engine, allowing you to build both simple and complex Boolean based logic to filter report details for specific information.  With a few quick filters we are able to take a 24x7 report and limit it down to business hours during the work week, and even limit it further to include only specific objects. 

Top XX allows you to specify the top number or percent of results for the report, or to show all results.

Time Frame sets the time parameters for the report with three different options.  Named time frame will give a specific time such as “yesterday” which will not change no matter when the report is run during the day.  Relative time frame will give the user that sliding window of “last 2 hours” which will provide a different report depending on when it is run during the day.  And finally Specific Time Frame which provides the same report no matter when it is run, with the only difference being due to data roll ups.

Summarization gives data summary options by hour, date, month and other parameters.

Field Format allows you to hide or format specific fields in the report, specify ranges, alignment and add drill through URL’s if desired.

Report Grouping allows you to organize your reports into an easily viewable nested group of related items.  For example, on the Interface Utilization Report this would allow you to group all interfaces belonging to a node underneath that node in the report.

All reports currently available, both built-in reports and any other reports created, are listed in the navigation pane on the left. Clicking on one of the reports will open the Report Designer and allow customization.

At the top of the Orion Report Writer, you’ll find common tools such as New, Open and Save, but also Design and Preview buttons. You can go back and forth between Design and Preview to see how your report configurations will look when the report runs. This helps to ensure you have the report customized the way you want it.

Also on the New Report wizard you have the options to execute the SQL Query or Preview the report at any time.

The Select Fields feature allows you to customize what components are used and how those components are sorted and displayed within the report.

Fields can be selected from a standard, pre-defined list that includes Custom Properties.

You can also specify the sort order and a Function, such as “sum” if applicable.

For this example, let’s begin by creating an interface utilization report.  In an interface utilization report you will want to use the following fields:

NodeID – We will hide this later but it will be used to create the drill through capability on the device name.

Node Name – This will provide the name of the node.

InterfaceID – Same as nodeID above but for the interface.

Interface Caption – Provide the interface name and description if available.

Recv Percent Utilization and Xmit Percent Utilization are self-explanatory.

The logic for building filters in reports is very similar to the Orion Alerting engine, using the same components and building conditions.

Components come from pre-defined standard lists, such as nodes and interfaces, or custom properties can be used as well.

Continuing with the interface utilization we can now limit the scope of this report to only show business hours.  

Our first filter will only include working days Monday through Friday. For this we will add a new “elementary condition” and select records where “Day of Week” is greater than “Sunday” and then another “elementary condition” where “Day of Week” is less than “Saturday” this has now limited the report to the work week, but it still includes off hours.  The problem with this is if you know you are using 100% of your bandwidth all day long but as soon as 5pm rolls around it drops to 0% the report average will be skewed and it’s hard to justify additional bandwidth using that report.  So let’s take it a step further and get down to business hours only.

For that we will only need two more elementary conditions in the same “Date & Time” category.  The first one will be records where “Time of Day is “greater than” “0800” and the second one where “Time of Day” is less than “1700”. The report is now limited to showing bandwidth utilization only on Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. 

Both simple conditions and complex conditions can be built for reports and as many filters can be applied as necessary.

Time frames for reports can be set in three different ways.

The first is the easiest. A time frame can be chosen from a pre-configured drop-down list of standard values such as past hour, day, week and so forth.

Relative time frames can also be chosen. These time frames are dynamic, such as “last 24 hours” or “last week” that change from one report to the next.

Finally very specific, custom time frames can be set, selecting start and end dates.

For this example, we are trying to get the bandwidth utilization last month during business hours so we will use a “Named Time Frame” and select “Last Month”.

Field formatting is highly customizable and is used for formatting report fields based on components used in the report filters.  There are virtually no aspects of the report that cannot be customized through this interface.

Column headers can be renamed, displayed results can be customized and even the range of data displayed can all be configured. Fields can be hidden as well.

There is also an option for supplying the web console URL for the report or if you selected the needed ID fields previously, the URL’s are automatically generated.

In this example, the first thing we want to do is take a look at the Interface Caption field.  If you look at the “Web URL” section, assuming you selected the interfaceID field previously, you will see it has already been filled out and is using the InterfaceID variable at the end.  This is the only reason we included the interface and node ID fields so the actual fields can now be hidden so they don’t clutter up the viewable report.  You can also customize the column for each field.

The Grouping tab allows you to make a cluttered report look nice and organized. The best way to understand this is to hit the preview button on the upper right corner, then make a change and preview it again to see the changes in the group nesting.  

For this example we want to first group our interfaces beneath the node they belong too, and then preview it.  And now let’s take a look at what happens if we add an additional sub-group of “Interface Caption”.  Again this tab is more for organization and aesthetics so it may take a few tries to get it just right for what you are looking to do.


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