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Combining SolarWinds products in your IT environment

Updated September 24, 2018

Overview

This article provides examples of combining SolarWinds products in your IT environment to perform the following tasks:

  • Identify root causes and intermittent issues with PerfStack
  • Send filtered syslog data to the Orion Platform
  • Troubleshoot network issues caused by configuration changes
  • Access SolarWinds software from the Orion Web Console
  • Resolve IP address conflicts
  • Identify the root cause of application issues with AppStack
  • Identify how database performance impacts application performance
  • Launch a remote control session from a Web Help Desk ticket
  • Generate Web Help Desk tickets from Orion Platform alerts
  • Troubleshoot and reduce network bandwidth consumption

Detail

Identify root causes for intermittent issues in your environment with PerfStack

SolarWinds Performance Analysis (PerfStack™) is a data correlation feature integrated into the Orion Platform. Using an interface integrated into the Orion Web Console, you can drag and drop performance metrics, events, and log data from several sources into a timeline chart. This process helps you identify when events occurred in your IT environment so you can troubleshoot and resolve the root issue.

For example, if you collect data from DPASAM, and SRM, you could create a PerfStack troubleshooting project that identifies an issue in your application causing disk I/O spikes and diminished performance. After you complete the project, you could share the project with other members of your team for troubleshooting and create reports for management.

PerfStack is included with the following SolarWinds products:

For more information, see:

Send filtered syslog and trap messages to the Orion Platform

The Orion® Platform database stores syslog and trap messages from monitored devices in your network. NPM, NCM, and SAM process these messages to identify issues in your network. These issues display in the Orion Web Console dashboards. As you scale your network and add additional systems, the amount of incoming syslog and trap messages can overload your Orion database and minimize performance.

To improve your Orion server performance, install Log Manager for Orion (LM) on a network server to collect and filter 1,000 trap and syslog message events per second from your monitored devices. This server acts as filtration layer that captures all syslog and trap messages, filters out unnecessary messages, and forwards the actionable messages based on priority to the Orion database.

LM is integrated with the Orion Platform and can scale with your network. Alternatively, you can use Kiwi Syslog Server, which provides a simple log message management solution that captures 4-600 trap and syslog message events per second.

After you set up LM or Kiwi Syslog Server on a dedicated server, configure all monitored devices to send syslog messages to port 514 on the server.

You can view syslog and trap messages in the Orion Web Console Message Center. To access the message center in the Orion Web Console, click Alerts & Activity > Message Center.

For more information, see:

Troubleshoot a network issue caused by configuration changes

Installing updates to hardware devices in your network can impact user access to online resources. By monitoring hardware configuration changes in your environment, you can identify network problems before they impact your applications.

NPM allows you to configure alerts that notify you by email when a change occurs in a monitored element. After you discover the change, you can use NetPath™—a feature included with NPM—to identify where the change occurred and verify that the change was valid. 

NetPath displays network paths to help you identify issues that occur along the path. If the path indicates a configuration change on a hardware device (for example, a Cisco® layer 2 router), you can use NCM to revert the device to the previous configuration and resolve the issue.

NCM allows you to back up your hardware configurations. If a device fails for any reason, you can replace the device and use NCM to push the last saved configuration to the device, saving you hours of configuration time. 

NCM also provides Real Time Change Detection, notifying you by email whenever a change occurs to your device configurations.

For more information, see:

Access the Engineer's Toolset from the Orion Web Console

Engineer’s Toolset is a collection of tools that help you manage and troubleshoot your network. You can access over 60 tools from the searchable and customizable desktop console.

Five tools are available in the Orion Web Console: Response Time Monitor, Interface Monitor, CPU Monitor, Memory Monitor, and TraceRoute. You can launch these real-time monitoring tools directly from monitored elements within the Orion Platform to enable faster troubleshooting. 

See Set up Toolset integration for NPM for details.

SolarWinds Traceroute NG is a free tool that provides continuous TCP and ICMP tracing. This tool leverages NetPath technology.

Resolve IP address conflicts

IP Address Manager (IPAM) collects details from network devices, tracks IP address use, and records IP addresses that are no longer in use. You can use IPAM to plan and scale your network growth, view available and used IP addresses, and troubleshoot IP address conflicts.

User Device Tracker (UDT) monitors devices, ports, and user logins in your network. You can analyze your port usage and capacity and receive alerts about critical issues before they occur.

If you are running IPAM 4.3 or later and UDT 3.2 or later on the same server, the built-in integration allows you to view IP address end-to-end mapping, device port, and connection details to any user or device. This integration requires no additional configuration.

For more information, see Resolve IP Address Conflicts with IPAM and UDT.  

Identify the root cause of application issues with AppStack

SolarWinds Application Stack Manager (AppStack™) displays the relationships between your storage, applications, databases, and virtual machines in a single view so you can pinpoint and resolve issues in your IT infrastructure. When an issue occurs, you can select an element (such as an application) and view all resources associated with the element. This allows your IT departments to identify the root cause and resolve the issue.

AppStack is included with DPA, SAM, SRM, WPM, and VMAN. These products (except DPA) are included in the Systems Management Bundle.

For more information, see:

Identify how database performance impacts application performance

DPA allows you to monitor, diagnose, and resolve performance problems for Oracle®, Microsoft® SQL Server®, MySQL™, IBM® Db2, Sybase®, and Azure® SQL databases. After you install the DPA Integration Module on your Orion server and link the module to your DPA server, you can access the DPA dashboard in the Orion Web Console to determine the root cause of your performance issues. This configuration allows you to determine if an application performance problem is caused by a query performance issue.

When the integration is completed, you can:

  • View information from multiple DPA servers
  • Integrate views and resources with SAM or any other module that displays PerfStack statistics
  • Build Orion alerts and reports using DPA information
  • Include DPA data in the PerfStack dashboards

If you are running SAM in your Orion Platform, the data collected from DPA is added to your SAM resources to provide an application-centric perspective of database performance. Database administrators and system administrators can use the DPA and SAM integration to:

  • Analyze database performance within the context of a specific application.
  • Monitor applications, databases, and server performance from a single interface, and drill down to find the root cause of slow application performance.
  • Understand the relationships and dependencies among the layers of infrastructure from the perspective of an application.

DPA is sold separately and included with SAM. 

For more information, see:

Launch a remote control session from a Web Help Desk ticket

You can enhance your help desk operations by integrating DameWare® Remote Support with Web Help Desk. This configuration allows you to launch remote help desk sessions directly from a help desk ticket. During the session, you can save metadata, chat history, and screen shots to the help desk ticket to research and resolve the customer issue with your team.

DameWare and Web Help Desk are included with the SolarWinds Help Desk Essentials Pack.

For more information, see:

Generate Web Help Desk tickets from Orion Platform alerts

You can configure your Orion Platform to generate alerts triggered in NPM, NCM, and SAM when a network event occurs—for example, when a node fails for any reason. When specific alerts are shared with Web Help Desk, the application automatically generates a ticket based on the alert.

When a monitored event generates a shared alert in your Orion Platform, the alert is transmitted to Web Help Desk through an integrated connection. Web Help Desk processes the request through a set of filters you configure in a SolarWinds server link, creates a help desk ticket, and forwards the ticket to the appropriate tech group for troubleshooting and resolution.

For more information, see:

Troubleshoot and reduce network bandwidth consumption

NPM and NTA (included with the Bandwidth Analyzer Pack) provide a combined solution to view the health and performance of your network and identify which endpoints or applications are consuming the most network bandwidth. You can review historical data to identify habitual bandwidth hogs, and then adjust your policies for better management. If one or more users are the problem, you can use NTA to identify each user's IP address and hostname.

After you identify the offending users, you can use UDT to collect each user's Active Directory® information, MAC address, and switch port location. This saves you time with searching through your Active Directory logs or tracking each user through ARP entries and content addressable memory (CAM) tables in your layer 2 switches. If the offending users continue to consume your bandwidth, you can use UDT to temporarily disable the switch port and knock them off the network.

For more information, see Find Network Bandwidth Hogs with BAP and UDT.

 

 

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