Video

SolarWinds Lab Episode 25: How To Configure the New Orion® Agents & Converged Systems Monitoring (AppStack)

In this episode, the Head Geeks show you how to deploy and manage the new Orion® Platform agents. Orion agents? But the Head Geeks always said agents are bad, and that agentless is the way to go. We still agree agentless is generally better, but what about systems in your DMZ or cloud? The Head Geeks will show you how to integrate both approaches using the new Orion agents in parallel with direct polling. Also, Server & Application Monitor 6.2 added a converged systems monitor dashboard and new resources to visualize all elements of a service from web, to VM, to storage, and the Head Geeks will demo tips and tricks to get it tuned for your data center. The episode concludes with a preview of a couple other new SAM 6.2 tools, including capacity forecasting.

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Episode Transcript


Hello, I’m Kong Yang.

I’m Patrick Hubbard.

And I’m Lawrence Garvin. And welcome to another episode of SolarWinds Lab. I’ve been waiting to do this show for a while, but you’ve been hogging up all the episodes with your network how-tos.

Well yeah, I mean, we’re just following all the feedback that we’re getting on THWACK. I mean, you’re over there playing with SAM and JBoss, doing all the cool stuff.

Server & Application Monitor. It has a name, not just letters.

It most certainly does, and the new version has some enhancements that you’re going to want to use and we’re going to call out a couple and show you how to get the most out of them. For example, you can now use agents or direct monitor.

Like integration with SRM?

Now you’re using acronyms.

Yeah, and you said we don’t have time for Storage Resource Monitor, but that’s something else I really want to talk about.

Okay, so let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: SRM is a new product. It’s basically the Orion storage module. It’s really amazing, but we have so much to cover in this episode about other features that are now part of SAM, that we’re just not going to have time to cover it.

But we will cover it soon, because you all are going to want to see it. But that’s not what SolarWinds Lab is about.

No, we don’t spend all of our time just doing flashy cool stuff.

Right, it’s about answering user questions to solve real-world problems.

That’s right. I mean, once upon a time, when we had three products, this was pretty easy, right? You got the email notifying you of the new version. That had the list of new features, or added features, or updated features that you were going to want to take advantage of. And then you kind of got a reminder in the customer newsletter. But now there’s a lot more products than that, so it’s kind of easy to miss things that have been added.

Yeah, we cover so many IT areas now, and each product has become really mature. Unless you’re reading the release notes every time, it’s easy to miss features that can really make your job easier. Especially some of the ones that have been on the coming-soon list for a while.

Right.

Exactly. For example, we’ve been talking about AppStack for months now. And it’s a cool idea, but we didn’t have a dashboard to pull everything together.

Well, we fixed that in this release and Sammy then extended Core with layouts to make that happen.

Yeah, and I’ve got to admit—I mean SAM, like, layouts are a perfect example—keeps adding new features that are really, really cool. And then when we get to inherit them on the network management module side.

Like auto-baselining?

Exactly.

Okay, so in this episode, we’re going to cover two main areas with lots of hands on.

And a chart.

Chart, nice.

Yes, we’re going to have a chart. And, you know, it’s funny how much they like the charts. I mean, you guys really do like them, especially if you can download them later. All right, so two main areas. First, we’re going to show you how to use the new monitoring agents that makes cloud easier, especially any time you have to set up a lot of ACLs, DMZ, whatever else, in order to get monitoring working. And then there’s also an increased performance in two areas. You know, like, if you got a lot of WAN, or maybe you’re, I don’t know, going to have to make a hundred WMI or WinRM calls to get one piece of data—instead, the agent returns it in one. And then the other thing we’re going to demo is how to configure one of the new SAM features, which is resource monitoring, but across multiple systems. Resource forecasting. And then, am I forgetting anything else?

Yeah, hello, AppInsight for IIS.

Yeah, that little thing. Seriously, you forgot a new AppInsight extension?

No, but I like setting Lawrence off.

Okay, so let’s explain how SolarWinds is going to do agents first. But I have a question, to start. Can we untangle this AppStack thing? Because I’m not sure that everybody understands what that is.

Sure, that’s a great point. Okay, show of hands: how many people know what AppStack is? Just a little bit? Okay, how about converged systems monitoring? If I said that, would that make sense? Out there at home? Viewers, raise your hand if you know. Lawrence, what is it?

Okay, so it’s the fact that we now have 30,000 things to monitor at the same time to keep everything working. Not just apps, but servers and networks and settings and people and storage and…

And two-thirds of that is virtualized. And it moves around all the time.

And it keeps me up at night.

Yeah, and on the weekends. So, everything is converging to a big hairball that we have to manage, right? Especially now we have things that, maybe, we don’t like all that much. Like, I don’t like managing storage. I just don’t. I keep thinking it’s going to just be magic and take care of itself and it doesn’t. Then you have things like cloud, and maybe you have DMZs, or multiple DMZs. Or if you don’t want to get [clears throat] … ‘Sony’d.’ You’re actually doing some security segmentation, and you really should be doing that. But in that case, managing the network policy to allow monitoring can be a little bit of a pain.

Like enabling WMI or WinRM for IIS in the DMZ.

Yeah, you had me at enabling WMI. [All three chuckle]

Okay, so we’re going to add something new to our bag of tricks. Drumroll please. Agents.

You said agents. You’ve always said that agents are bad.

Yeah well, agents that are a pain to manage are bad, but they are useful in certain circumstances.

Right, and I mean we’ve kind of been leaking agents for a while, right? I mean, if you look at the QoS sensor for DPI, deep packet inspection inside of NPM, I mean, that’s already doing that. So, let’s just come out and say it. We now support something called the Orion agent. I mean, that’s what it’s called in the documents, so nobody get upset, but that’s it. It’s the Orion agent.

And it’s often referred to as the cloud agent.

Well, it makes it sound a lot sexier.

Yeah, but it makes it easier to monitor when you only have one port open, too.

Okay, so let’s go ahead and take a look at what that looks like. [Electrical zaps] All right, so, this, obviously, is the new version of SAM. It’s also got an updated version of Core running here and there’s just a lot to look at here. And I know we’re not going to have time, so I’m going to try to keep this under five minutes, this section. And the great thing is, it’s going to be pretty easy to do that, because this is really pretty easy to deal with. If you’re familiar with deploying agents in NPM for QoS, it’s exactly the same thing. It’s actually built out of the same code. One thing that’s actually cool from this, is now we get QoS also with SAM. So, that’s really, really, cool—that’s included as well. And there’s some enhancements to that as well. And we’ll talk about that in the next episode. I think, let’s do that next… Two weeks from now. We’ll do the follow up with the extra components for SAM. Okay, so, logged in here, and the quick way to get here is, I’m just going to go over here to settings… Actually, before I do that, did you guys notice this resource here? And I don’t know, out there, if you guys have ever set this up. This build versions. I’m going to click edit, and you’ll notice down here, you got this object data equals, right? So these are basically just links with embeds and a little bit of HTML. And it’s actually going out and using the versions, the module version’s HTML page. And then just encapsulating it. So you get this nice little list of all the modules in it. They did that, you know, for debug purposes here, but… You know, just kind of fun. So, anything that you can take off of a URL here. It’s pretty easy—well, anything that doesn’t have a lot of decoration on it— it’s pretty easy to slap it into a resource. But, that’s not what we came here to see. So, we’re going to click on settings and manage agents. So, there’s a couple of different places that you can click on it. The easiest one here, I think, is Node and Group Management. Then click on manage agents. So, many of you are familiar with this, because you actually—it’s the same as it is with the QoS agent. Where, basically, there’s the agent that is the container and then, as you know, there’s a plugin that basically has the code for QoS, Quality of Service, DPI management. Well, in this case, we just basically added another plugin. But it meant that we need to do a couple of other things. Like, one of the ones is, there’s a couple of different options of deploying it. Because it’s gotten a lot smarter, right? So, one of the things you might do is you, say, add agent. Before, there was a sort of manual discovery process here, right? Where you’d say, deploy the agent on my network, you click next, and then you’re going to give it, a mini discovery. It needs to be a managed node. So that makes it a little bit easier. You’ve already set that up. And then you select the node, and then you tell it to deploy. And if it needs extra credentials, then it will go ahead and ask for that. Because, it does need admin credentials to go ahead and create it and install it. But one of the other things you can do now, that’s a little bit cleaner, is you can go down here and say connect to a previously installed agent. Because, imagine you got a bunch of DPI agents already installed. Now you want to actually be able to do, essentially, WMI-level polling using the new SAM agent. Well, it’s not going to install another agent. So one of the nice things here, is you don’t have multiple agents on the same box. It’s just going to add the plugins that it needs. And it’s also going to make sure that it’s updated to the latest version of Core for you. So there’s really no deployment there. And it also means, if you want, you can download the agent software right here, and let’s say you wanted to deploy to 100 servers, or 1,000 servers. Lawrence, how would you do that?

Package that up and deploy it with patch manager.

That’s right. So, you could actually use patch, push it out, or even make it part of group policy for a bunch of servers in a particular location. And then just connect to them this way, using the agent. The good thing is, the agent doesn’t require reboots in just 99% of the cases.

Oh, that’s sweet.

Yeah. So that’s a really handy way to do that, because then you just have a standard image that always has the agent installed. You just connect to it, and then there’s no discovery or anything else. Okay, so those are your options on installing it. I wish I had more to show you. Like, I could reach down here and say, “Hey, here’s an agent. Here’s what it looks like…” I just don’t. Okay, so then the other thing that’s really cool here, is this installed plugin entry part. Because, as I said a minute ago, you have multiple plugins. And it’s only installing the plugins that it needs. So, if you’re ever curious what’s installed out there, just go over here to more actions. You can do it on individual nodes, or you can actually do it on all of the agents. And it’ll actually give you a listing of all the agents that are deployed and the plugins for each one and the version.

That speaks to the scalability. It’s not a monolithic piece.

That’s exactly right. It’s not, whatever the total union of all capabilities into multi megabytes of junk that has to be installed. It’s polling everything. It’s only going to install what it needs. And you can also see what the plugins are. What I like about this is, it sort of secretly exposes the diversity of these plugins, right? So some of them things are like, you know, the job engine. Or, some of these are a lot of the things that almost are remote poller familiar, if you’re used to dealing with those. So, inventory, the DPI probe, here’s an APM. As we know, APM is now called.

SAM.

SAM, right. So, the interface is WMI, so then again, all of these plugins are being installed only as they’re needed. They have different versions, but this takes you out of that business of having to manage a whole bunch of individual agents, each doing only one thing. And it also assures you, because this is part of Core, that every version of Core is going to be back tested with every version of previous agents. So, that one new release of agents, from NPM, isn’t going to step on the plugin code for SAM, for existent. So, as long as the overall wrapper for the agent deployment container is the same, and is a part of the deployed Core engine, then the plugins are then deployed specifically by each one of the modules. So, that’s how they don’t interfere with one another. And it allows you to pick and choose different versions. So, that one’s really handy. And again, as I showed you before, you can always go back up here and get the latest version. If you ever have a question about what that agent code looks like, you just click on download agent software right there.

So, just to be clear, and can I have a chart, please? You can keep monitoring, as before, agentless?

Absolutely, or you can use remote pollers, or however you’re doing it before.

Okay, pollers or agents everywhere.

Mmhm. But the most popular option will be to use both together. So you can do direct monitoring where systems are easy to get to. And agents where you need to streamline access or get data that’s not available with direct polling. Like QoS.

Exactly.

Okay, two questions then.

Shoot.

Does this mean that SolarWinds is going to an agent-only architecture?

No, absolutely not. That is not what’s happening. We’re just adding an additional option.

Cool, final question. How much does this cost?

Totally free. You’re only limited by the licenses you already have. Agent, or agent-less, it doesn’t matter.

Yeah, it’s just a user feature that they requested on THWACK. And we’re doing it to give you some additional monitoring options. So, the really cool dashboard here, and I called it converged systems monitoring before, right?

AppStack views?

AppStack views. And it’s something that you’ve been asking for, for a long time, and Alter Ego and crew have really been kind of working their way down here. But it sort of assumed its final form, if you will, in this release.

Mmhm. Well, to be fair, we’ve had integration between NPM and SAM, and storage manager and virtualization manager, for about a year now.

Right.

We did a Lab episode on it a while back.

True, but we never had a single dashboard that showed all the layers in one place. Right. Now, of course, if Tom were here, he’d say, “Well, but we’ve had that in DPA now for a really long time.”

Yeah, or I might suggest that VMAN has had that feature for even longer.

True, but, not like this. I mean, this is integrated into the Orion platform and you can almost think of it as… I mean, we’re talking about SAM here, it’s sort of App Insight, but for the whole environment.

Okay guys, less talking and more how-tos.

Okay. [Lawrence clears throat] Okay, so, this is how to use the AppStack view. There’s a couple of different ways to get it. And again, there is some config here for some of the dependent apps that are set up. And if you’re interested, let us know. We’ll do that in an episode. But for now, I’m just going to walk you through this, and it’s really about three clicks to use when it’s set up. And again, it’s using SWISS for all this. And Lawrence, you’re going to get to tell them, in a little bit, about the performance increase. And I know you’re really, really excited about that. I think that’s the single biggest feature in this release for him. I could just say it now, if you want. There’s N percent… No, let’s don’t do it.

Not going to do it.

All right, we’ll hold off…

You’ll get in trouble for that.

Yeah, that’s true. Okay [stammers] I’m going to say the number, so hang in about two minutes. Okay, so here we go. So, the way to get to this, the top-level view where you want to see everything. You click on environment. And then it’s going to bring up this brand-new view. Now, this view is actually a view— technically it’s a stacked view— but it’s actually got a lot of cool stuff in it. And one of the things that’s really cool—

Is that a donut chart? Two of my favorite things. A donut and a chart.

Oh, so you don’t— [stammers] I thought you were all about the sandwich. The burger. Not the sandwich.

The burger, Awful Awful.

Yeah, okay. But I’ll give you the donut.

Man does not live by sandwiches alone.

That’s true, but I’ll give you the donut on this. Yes, that is a donut chart. And I’m really excited about it. We got my spark charts in the App Insight, first version of that. Now we are going to donut charts here. I want to see more and more of these, but yeah, that’s really cool. So this is just a little mini view of the total objects that are in this view, and their current status, right? And you can actually see the number breakouts here as well. And you can drill in on those, if you want. But, the thing that’s different about this view, and I’m going to kind of walk through the different levels here. But just know that there’s a combination of things that you can see over here all together and how they’re related. Then there’s this filter view selector over here on the side that lets you narrow your view down. And it’s sort of an extension to the flow navigator in NTA, if you will. Only, it’s working across a bunch of services here. And then the other thing is this thing here, this layout. So one of the things that it’s doing is, as you see me go through here and make changes, I can take a snapshot of this at any point and save that as a layout. So, when we’re talking about troubleshooting, think about how that makes it really easy. If you have, you know, a problem child that keeps breaking on a regular basis, this is a great way to grab it, make a view you can come back to. Or you’re managing systems where you’re focused more on, sort of, compute and down, or sort of Hyper Visor storage resources and down in the stack. Or maybe all you care about is applications and transactions and above. So it allows you to manage those views and allows you to also give that to specific users so they can get differentiated views. Okay, so, here’s how this works. So here I have all of my stuff, all in a stack. So, this is all the inventory that’s being managed in this view. So I have a list of groups. I have one group. I have a bunch of different applications. And you can always hover over on these and it’ll tell you the application. And then transactions and steps. Good old w—

Web Performance Monitor.

Web Performance Monitor, right. So, you would expect that an application probably has web services on it. I’ve got steps that are a part of those web monitors that are sitting on top of applications. Of course, those applications don’t have to be web. I mean, you’re probably also doing Oracle and everything else, and JMX, and who knows what all Linux scripts. I know Leon’s hot to do a show on Linux scripts. We’re going to let him do that. Then you get into servers, right? So server management, right, the resources that are a part of that. Now you get into the data, where we’re kind of making the change from SAM, and we’re melding into the territory of virtualization manager, right? And containers. So, we have hosts that are my virtualization hosts. It’ll give me the type, like HyperV or ESX. Then I get down to my VCenter instances. Pretty nice to know that VCenter’s working.

Very cool.

VMotion’s not going to work if your VCenter is down. Then I can see the data stores that I’m managing as well. And so this is where we’re getting now into the transition from VMAN to SRM, right? And again, I’m sorry, we’re not going to have time to do SRM in this show. We’re going to need to spend at least 10 or 15 minutes on that. So we push that to the next episode. So, then we go to volumes, so then these are the volumes that are a part of data storage. Take that all the way down to LUNs. That’s going to expose the data on each one of the LUNs, how that data is mapped, and then I can also see things like my NAS volumes, if I’ve got share issues. I can actually see storage pools. And all the way down to my VServers, and individual storage arrays, too. It’s really nice to be able to look at raw capacity, how much they’re actually utilized, and so the other management information I would expect on that. Now, you’ll notice that occasionally, you will see some of these things grayed out, because you may not have VMAN. You maybe just are using SRM and managing applications with SAM, right? So, you’ll have some of these things that will be grayed out, and you can actually remove them from the view. But if you’re ever curious about why there’s nothing in there, just hover over the “I,” and it’ll explain to you what data makes up that category. And how you can actually populate that. So, the other thing is, if you want to filter this down, there’s a couple of different ways that you could do it, to actually go ahead and create layouts. The first one is, you can actually filter by— in this case, I could say basically just give me all of my Windows services, right? I’ll say apply filter, and it’s going to narrow that down for me. And again, here I get my little icon to let me know why there’s no data for that. So this is all my Windows-based stuff, if you will. So, I think something that’s more practical is, that’s not the way you’d want to select it. I mean, you might have someone who’s a dedicated Windows admin. But more often, it may be by campus, or type of use, or support rep. So one of the nice things is, you go down here to add filter properties and, ah, there’s your filter property editor, right? So you might come down here and say, oh, I don’t know, let’s filter on node. [Gasps] Node custom properties, right? So, now I can create filters based on anything, like PO number, for example, or some of the ones that I’ve activated that are default in the database but turned off, by default. Or custom ones that I’ve added. So now I can customize my views based on all of these details, as well. And then again, once I get it the way I want, I just go over here to default layout, and say save as new layout. Give it a name. And then, oh, I’ll just click that and it’s going to become done. But now I can see I’m default layout two, right? So, I can go back to default and I can now switch back and forth in these layouts. The way that a lot of people are going to use this, instead, is to pick on something that they’re trying to troubleshoot. So, I’ll give you a perfect example of that. So, let’s say you want to find out about this SQL server right here, right? So, I’m going to click on this SQL server. And now we’re going to take this and filter it down to just the components of that SQL server, where that becomes the root of the context.

So that’s kind of like, the context switcher in VMAN.

It’s very much like that. You know, because in VMAN, it’s sort of that tree, and you click on it, and it puts it up to the top, and then shows you what the related resources are. Here, it’s doing that, but it’s narrowing that view down. Because remember, it’s sort of that top-down slice of all the components across these categories. And, one of the things that’s nice, and this was based on some user feedback, was they said, “Well, that’s great.” “But I don’t want to see all the grayed-out stuff every time I look at it.” So, you can click on spotlight.

Ooh, magic.

Yeah, just like magic, right? So it’s just going to narrow it down to the components for that. And then, of course, what you’d want to do then is… Like, let’s say this one is my sick SQL server. I’ll say default layout, save as new layout, sick SQL. And now I look over here at my view. Ah, I’m looking at just my sick SQL view, right? So, it’s really a handy way to do that. But let’s go back here into this SQL server again. I’ll pull this guy up. So, this one’s got a lot of reports that are all pretty much the same. Which are?

Latency issues.

That’s right. So we’ve got a latency problem here. So we need to troubleshoot that. Well, when apps die, in usually unpredictable ways, this is one of those things is like, well, I don’t even know where to start. It’s a latency issue. You know, what could it be? I’m going to assume it’s something around storage. But I don’t know, maybe it’s concurrent use. If Tom were here, you know what he’d say. But, let’s just go ahead and walk down what we’ve got, right? So, I’m going to spotlight that view. So here’s my application. Here’s the server that that app runs on. I look at it, I say, CPU load, not so bad. Memory overall, it’s doing all right. Here’s my volumes. They’re not really used; I’m not running out of temp space.

Green is good.

Green is good. So then the last thing: where’s my failure? Where am I dying?

On the LUN.

On the LUN. It tells you where that error is coming from. So let’s hover over that LUN and take a look.

On a database server, it just blows my mind that it’s sitting on a RAID-5 LUN.

Yeah, it’s a RAID-5 LUN, and not only that, the protocol is iSCSI.

Mmhm.

I would not recommend either one of those for a mission-critical SQL server.

Probably not.

So, we come in here, and you could have figured this out before using data, for the most part, from SAM, right? So, the main thing that’s different here, is it’s just how easy it is to get to it, right? So, instead of drilling into each one of those and finding it, or going to the application view, for example, and then looking through each one of the latency reports, going to the source of that monitor, and then figuring out what it is. And then, logging into the SQL server. And then taking a look at what the actual latency was. And then going to the storage manager, and then saying: what is the provisioned protocol and storage type for this LUN? I can see it right here. So I now know what I need to go fix.

Yeah, we had a demo script from the integration that was introduced last year. And that demo script took almost a dozen clicks to finally get down to the LUN and see the problem. So here, we just did this with three clicks.

Yeah, and that’s a really great point— was, how did that work? We did that demo script. We showed it to a bunch of you guys on THWACK. We got a lot of great feedback, and then you saw us through the integration with storage, and with VMAN, where you could click on a LUN or something else in the catalog data and get to it. And you guys all said the same thing. Which is, would you just create some resources and put that in there?

Yep, so, there it is.

Okay, so, yeah, there it is. So that’s basically how that works. There’s just one thing that I did want to note. And it’s based on a question that you asked earlier, Kong. Which was, how does it know how to hook all this up? I mean, obviously, the topology and other data and how these are related through the API information, for example, that’s coming back from HyperV and ESX through VMAN. And then the connection with SRM and storage. It knows a lot about how things are connected.

So, Patrick, that’s great for applications where you can discover those elements. But what about the situations where you can’t discover those elements easily? You know, like—

You’re the only one that knows?

Exactly. It’s using an API between, you know, the database and the web servers.

That’s a great example, yeah. Somebody crafts up, or they have an internal service bus, for example, where you’re using, it’s a JSON-based service. They’re using REST calls and then have a whole ‘nother tier, right? You’ve got app servers that are providing the REST interface and then that’s connected to SQL servers that are on the backend. So, yeah, so that’s where groups come in. And you can actually go in and then define how those things are connected. So this view will contain not only the elements that are connected through discovery, but the ones that you define as connected through custom connection definition. Because, increasingly, that’s becoming a real trick.

Yeah, everybody’s building their own APIs. You know, whether it’s based off of REST for public Cloud AWS, Azure, and SoftLayer. Or they’re going through third parties that are building their API ecosystems.

Exactly.

That’s true. I mean, that’s kind of really needs [stammers] good stuff. But the truth is that what most of the users out there are going to be dealing with is the mini stack view. So let’s take a look at that.

So the thing about it is, it’s hard to tell sometimes what parts of an application, or of a volume, or a server, are participating in the context of a larger thing, right? So then, you always are trying to track that in an offline system, or something else, to know this server is part of the app tier for this application, but it also supports this other app. So untangling that really is a pain. And that ends up being a lot of the time that you spend debugging stuff. But if instead, it comes to you— so, example, here, this SharePoint site, right? I’ve got some not great performance on it. Well, I’m going to click on SharePoint. The mini stack view will automatically show up, in detail views, where you’ve enabled it. So that’s a no-details view, app insight, whatever. And in this case, this is actually a transaction detail page, right? So again here, we’re looking at a web-based application. And it shows me all of the environment components that are making up that application. So right off the bat, when I see this thing pop up. This tells me, aha, this thing is part of something else. Especially if I’m getting a warning or an alert on something, and I don’t— Is it important? Is it lab? Is it just sort of a file server? I say, no, ooh, this is a bigger part of a thing. And here’s the transactions that are involved. And it’s supporting these applications. And, oh, I’ve got this problem with app status. And this looks like this is actually a SQL Server issue. All right, I think this is that same one we just…

It’s the same SQL Server, yeah.

Yeah, it’s the same one we looked at before. But, I can now see all the volumes that are involved— the data stores, I can see all the layers, the host servers, that are all part of this SharePoint environment. And, you know, you forget how huge SharePoint can actually be.

It can be a very complex thing.

When I did the discovery on this and pulled this in, I was actually shocked. I was like, something must be wrong. SharePoint can’t possibly… Yeah.

Mmhm.

It could possibly be that big. So, then again here, I can just go in and drill in directly to these mini views, right? So, you know, if you want then go say, “What’s the deal with that application?” I’m going to click on it and drill straight down to that. Or if it’s a storage issue, or that LUN issue before, if we clicked on this LUN, it’s going to take me down to that LUN view. And I’ll actually look at the details on that. Oops, that’s SRM; we can’t look at that for this episode. [Lawrence chuckles] So that’s the mini-stack view. We saw the full application stack view across everything. I think they’re going to get a kick out of that. But, there was one thing here that is a part of this release. It’s technically added to Core, so you’re going to get it across a couple of different products. But this capacity chart, it’ll actually tell you when it’s going to run out of capacity. Can you think of any other products that can do that?

VMAN. And I’ve always liked the capacity planning tools in VMAN. Those are cool.

VMAN and Storage Manager also does this as well, right? So, I mean, the main thing is, okay, I’m getting low, but how quickly do I need to set the priority to do something about enlarging that storage pool, for example? That makes it pretty easy to do right from here. So I just wanted to show you that one other thing.

One of the things you teased earlier, and probably is the most exciting thing of all this, is the scalability improvements that have been made in the product as a result of all of this.

In 6.2.

That’s right, in 6.2. So now, pollers generally have like a gazillion times more, 100% more capacity, than they had before, right? We’re up to 100,000.

100,000 app monitors per Orion instance.

That’s a lot of juice on a single box.

It’s the doubling of the capability per box. I mean, that’s just huge. And that’s on the same hardware. The other thing is, that’s not taking advantage of the pollers that we saw before. The agents.

Yeah.

Because it would be easy to say, well yeah, if you have to do 50 WMI queries to get one piece of data and then pull it all together, and then relate it to these elements, of course it’s going be more efficient on the wire using an agent that just does one call to get that data. But this improvement is actually just a part of the SAM release. So, it’s something that every single SAM instance is going to inherit, regardless of how many monitors it has.

So the only trick to this is that you do have to have three or four products installed. The actual configuration for SAM is fairly easy. It’s all just SWIS on the background—so basically, you just need username and password.

Right.

But you didn’t really go into setting up virtualization manager or storage resource monitor.

That’s true. But remember that SRM now is a module on the Orion platform, just like other modules, right? So, STM, the original storage product, was actually separate. So in this case, that piece of it is a lot easier now. I mean, you’re going to get set up and configure your first Orion platform product, then after that, you’re really just kind of configuring the individual nodes, or whatever it is that you’re monitoring inside that particular application.

The next time, we should review Virtualization Manager, since it’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting. At least we should cover the set up, configuration, and getting it working with SAM and the app dashboard.

Yeah, that’s a great point. So, let’s put that in the topic queue for next time.

And, to back up a bit, we do need to cover the new storage resource monitor as well, too. It was really painful not to cover it in this episode.

25 minutes a show, fellas.

Yeah.

Say it with me. [As a group] 25-minute shows. 25-minute shows. 25-minute shows.

Are you sure, because I could get the laptop. We could just run a little long. I’ve got a couple other things that we could show. Okay, so, be sure to sign up for show reminders and check out previous episodes. And most of all, keep your topic suggestions coming at our homepage, which is—ready? [In unison] lab.solarwinds.com

And we’ll keep the shows as close to 25 minutes as is humanly possible.

Deal.

All right. So with that, I’m Patrick Hubbard.

I’m Kong Yang.

And I’m Lawrence Garvin. And thanks for watching SolarWinds Lab.

As many of you already know in our user community, shortly after we wrapped this episode, we lost Lawrence. And not only did we lose a friend, and a much-loved part of the THWACK community, but so did many other communities. Including MSDN, TechNet, SpiceWorks, and others. And on SolarWinds Lab, he was just as he was all the time. He was opinionated, grounded, funny, expert, and above all, helpful. And over many years, he’s helped thousands and thousands of admins solve some really tricky IT challenges. And his voice, and generosity, will be greatly missed. And after years of travel with him for trade shows, lots of lunches and happy hours, and literally hundreds of meetings with Larry, I have a lot to remember. But I think we all share a great recent memory of Lawrence just being Lawrence. And that’s his last Twitter post. Apparently, he had ordered a pizza online and quickly realized that their recent, much hyped, security initiative was an epic fail. They required long passwords but disallowed special characters. [Chuckles] And that’s how I’ll remember him. Always thinking about whether or not technology was actually good, or just a toy. Audrey and the video team have put together a short tribute for Lawrence from over the years. And you’ve been asking us to do this for a long time anyway. And we think you’ll like it. We’ll run that now and then close out this episode with a toast, by the whole team. And we’ll even bring in the behind-the-scenes crew that makes this happen.

And join us for the next episode of SolarWinds Lab. [lounge music] [high five clap] [beep]

So you’re neutral, and jab out. [Laughter] All I want you to think is—

No laughing.

All I want you to think is, stop it. [Beep] Maybe the other foot. [Laughter]

It’s even better.

A couple more.

Fantastic. [Beep]

Awesome. Well, thanks for that. Because I had actually never seen the combination of—what we talking about? [Woman chuckles off-camera] [Patrick clears throat] Oh, I, yeah a different segment, see? And as a bonus, we also learned about dealing with complex access rules and how they can be really complicated if you don’t have a great tool like firewalls. [Beep]

And rolling. Give me a clap please. [Claps] Perfect.

That was even a great clap.

It was.

I’ll remember it always. [Chuckles]

Or until the next take. [Patrick laughs] [Beep] [Group laughing]

Snot rocket of doom.

Super sloppy double dare. [Laughs] [Beep]

Oh, man. [Patrick mimics sound]

Lawrence needs a moment. [Patrick mimics sound]

I need many moments. [Beep]

So [stammers repeatedly]

He’s Patrick Hubbard and I’m Lawrence Garvin. Thanks for watching, see you next time. [Beep]

Hey um, where’s my coffee?

I’m sorry about that. Take care of that coffee. [Beep] [Claps]

No, no, no, slap hands.

What? [Slaps]

You’re much faster than I am, see?

Go. [Slaps] [Beep] [Patrick chuckles] [Thud] [Slaps] [Patrick groans]

Son of a [beep] [chuckles] [slaps] [slaps]

You’re full of [beep] [both laugh] [beep]

Now that sounds cool, too.

Yep.

Okay.

So…

But before we do that cool thing, we’re going to do another cool thing? [Chuckles] [Beep]

All right.

Okay.

And then— [beep]

You’re not drinking coffee.

I am not drinking coffee. I’ve been caffeine free for two weeks now.

Well buckle up kids, this is going to be fun. So let’s go ahead and get started. [Laughs] [Beep]

Let’s try that one more time, just a little bit. Just let Lawrence sort of, oh…

[High-pitched] So what many of you noticed.

No, no, no.

On the website.

No, I mean, not like, [high-pitched] so, just kind of, so. You know what I mean?

He told me to go slow for you. [Chuckles] [Beep]

So I’ll say, “Hey.” And you say.

Yo! [Beep]

Hello.

Hi! [Beep]

Hey there.

Hey there. [Beep]

We finished adding… [Makes popping noise] Starting from right here.

Yeah. [Beep]

Take five. [Patrick mimics sound] [Lawrence mimics donkey] [Patrick mimics sound]

Well that wraps it up for this episode today–

Hey, I’m sorry, I—

Yeah. I waited for you. I thought you were done. [Beep]

Well that wraps up, wrap, [stammers and spits] [beep]

We’re taking this technology and taking it up to a whole ‘nother 11.

Like, 11? [Chuckles] [Beep]

You know, can ask whatever you want to ask for. But it ain’t always what we’re working on. [Chuckles]

I’m sorry about that, Jance. [Beep]

And the, then [makes bubbling sound] [makes popping sound] [chuckles]

Really?

Yeah.

That is, fascinating.

All there is to it. [Beep]

Just don’t move, man. Do you got a couple of rail spikes? [Laughs] We can fix this problem. [Mimics metal hammering sound] [Beep]

I am the–

The chart, the chart, and reading from the prompter. [Beep] [Both speak backwards]

Wow, Patrick. That was pretty good. [Mimics speaking backwards] I’m going to play that backwards and see what it says. [Laughter]

What’s scary is if it actually does. [Laughs] [Beep]

Join us for the next episode of SolarWinds Lab.

Please do.

Oh, it’s going to be really exciting. Lawrence is going to take off his coat. [Record scratch]

Maybe. [Swing music] [Group laughs] [Beep]

So go to lab, oh, ready? [Group laughs] I’ll just be over here. [Beep]

That’s kind of where we are. So… We already did all this.

Yeah.

We just… Did it all out of order.

Did you do it out of order?

We did it out of order.

You jerks. [Laughs] [Beep]

So, for those of you that noticed, this episode’s a little off in the chat. We just discussed Joan. [Chuckles] [Beep]

My mouse.

Oh, that’s right. [Beep]

You really…

Really.

Should look at the manual if you want to take a, do things, like, take a dump while you’re trying to do your dialogue.

I’ve never tried to program from the commode before. That would be kind of interesting.

I doubt that’s true. [Laughs] [Beep]

Hey! [Chuckles] Hey–

Come on.

And if you have a few dollars–

Hey! [Group laughs]

And if you join now at the sustainer level.

But wait, there’s more.

We’ll give you a free 10-foot Ethernet cable. If you join at the maintainer level, you can come plug it in. [Group laughs] [Beep] [Sighs]

Do you have any [mumbles]

I will never tell. [Beep]

And speaking of that, I’m going to go hang out back there. Or not. [Man laughs] [Group laughs] [Beep]

Should we try that one more time?

Yes.

No, I’m done for the day. [Group chuckles]

You’re done for the day? All right. [Beep]

So, for SolarWinds Lab, thanks again. I’m Patrick Hubbard.

And I’m the winner. Lawrence Garvin.

You are the winner. Thanks for watching. [Music fades]

So, it just occurred to me that you guys haven’t built a lab bench here—you built a bar. [Group chuckles]

Something like that. Well you know, it might be from his time in the Air Force, but Lawrence developed a fondness for a special export from our NORAD partners to the north–made on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. And we couldn’t find a monarch for this but we think he would approve. So let’s end with a toast. Tom, are you on?

Tele-present.

Awesome. To Lawrence. Friend, father, educator, and our Head Geek. [As a group] To Lawrence. [Glasses hitting wood]