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WPM Getting Started Guide

 

Updated December 17, 2018

 

SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor (WPM) is a comprehensive web application monitoring product that can detect and website and Software as a Service (SaaS) application performance issues based on location, transaction, and page element, and monitor website load times so you can fix issues before users are affected.

With WPM, you can:

  • Create recordings that simulate typical customer usage of your website or web application.
  • Assign recordings to various playback locations across your on-premises environment or cloud deployment.
  • Schedule transactions to play at specific intervals to simulate end user experiences in your system.
  • Configure alerts to notify you when issues occur (for example, if a transaction step takes too long or a playback location is unavailable for over 10 minutes.) 

By monitoring the user experience with simulated transactions created in WPM, you can detect when a critical web application is trending toward a poor user experience, and then troubleshoot front-end web application issues before users encounter them.

 

Check out our WPM recording demo. See also How WPM works.

 

This guide provides a high-level view of how to install the primary WPM application on the Orion server, configure Orion accounts for WPM, and start using the application. For in-depth details, see the WPM Administrator Guide

Before you begin

Before installing WPM, review WPM system requirements and release notes to ensure system capabilities are appropriate and the production environment is sized correctly.

Minimum system requirements used during evaluation are not sufficient for a production environment.

New customers: If you need implementation help, contact Support. Click here to learn how to submit a support ticket with the right level of visibility. To learn about licensing WPM, see the Guide to SolarWinds Product Licenses. You can access license details in the SolarWinds Customer Portal.

Existing customers: When installing new products into an existing Orion environment, the Orion Installer verifies compatibility between product versions and notifies you if additional steps are needed. See Upgrade WPM.

Evaluators: If you are evaluating WPM, download a free 30-day evaluation. The evaluation version of WPM is a full version of the product, functional for 30 days. After the evaluation period, you can easily convert your evaluation license to a production license by obtaining and applying a license key. For assistance with your evaluation, contact sales@solarwinds.com.

Account privileges 

SolarWinds recommends that SolarWinds Orion administrators have local administrator privileges on the Orion server to ensure full functionality of local SolarWinds tools. SolarWinds Orion user accounts limited to the Orion Web Console do not require local administrator privileges.

To use domain accounts with WPM, each account should have local admin privileges and be able to log into the Orion Web Console locally.

Install WPM

After reviewing WPM system requirements and release notes, use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to configure the primary WPM application on the main Orion server. 

For details such as how to use the offline installer or add WPM to a High Availability (HA) environment, see the Orion Installer Installation Guide.

  1. On the Orion server, Log into the SolarWinds Customer Portal.
  2. Click Downloads > Product Downloads.
  3. Under Latest Downloads for Your Products, locate Web Performance Monitor and click Choose.
  4. Click Download to download the online installer.
  5. Save the online installer file.  
  6. Run the installer .exe file on your Orion server as an Administrator.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the primary WPM application.

The main WPM installation on the Orion server includes a local WPM Recorder and WPM Player. You can also install a WPM Recorder and WPM Player on other computers to simulate user experiences with your web applications from remote locations. For example, you can deploy a player to a computer located in Europe that accesses a website hosted in the U.S. You can also configure a web proxy for the WPM Player.

Configure Orion accounts

After WPM is installed, adjust Orion account settings to control which users can access WPM views, manage recordings on the Orion server, and work with transaction recordings. See Adjust Orion account settings for WPM.

Note the following details about Orion accounts and WPM:

  • If your Orion account does not have Admin-level WPM User Role permissions (see Adjust Orion account settings for WPM) or you are working on a remote computer without a connection to the Orion server, use Offline mode.
  • If your Orion account inherited Admin permission as part of an Active Directory (AD) group, the AD account must be added as an Orion user. Otherwise, a "You must be a WPM Administrator" message appears. See Configure automatic login.

Begin using WPM

With WPM installed and Orion accounts configured, you're ready to start recording steps, assigning recordings to playback locations, and set up alerts to begin monitoring web performance.

See these topics for instructions:

You can also configure WPM alerts for transaction locations, transactions, and transaction steps. For example, you can create custom alerts that are triggered if a transaction location is unavailable for more than ten minutes, or a specific transaction step takes too long. To learn about Orion alerts, in general, see the Orion Platform Administrator Guide.

Upgrade WPM

To upgrade WPM on the Orion server, use the SolarWinds Orion Installer and follow on-screen instructions.

To upgrade a WPM Recorder on a remote server, download the latest version of the WPM Recorder in the Orion Web Console and deploy it to the remote server. See Install a WPM Recorder.

If an updated WPM Player is available, you're prompted to upgrade to the latest version the next time you log into the player. The new player retains all information and your current transactions begin to poll again.

Before upgrading the OS on a remote machine that hosts a WPM Recorder or Player to Windows 10 v.1607 or later, SolarWinds recommends backing up recorder and player configuration (*.config) files. Otherwise, Windows may overwrite those files when you upgrade. 

Learn more

To learn more about WPM, check out the following resources:

 

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