Improving Network Management Tools

In this post, Pete Welcher considers how to improve network management tools. The problem with these is that they are often sold to customers without any consideration for their use-cases and needs. He considers some of the path tracing tools he saw from SolarWinds at Networking Field Day as a great way to frame that information, and suggests that other network management tools would do well to adopt that methodology for other metrics.

Accessing Security Insights with SolarWinds Network Insight For Cisco ASA

Tom Hollingsworth takes a look at SolarWinds Network Insight For Cisco ASA, which he saw at length at Tech Field Day earlier this year. He looks at how this enables admins to analyze complicated access lists and determine exactly what they are doing, without a bunch of manual configuration.

SolarWinds, Not Just On-premises, There Is SaaS Too

Alastair Cooke looks at how SolarWinds is offering an increasingly compelling SaaS monitoring portfolio, which he saw at two past Tech Field Day presentations. In this post, he runs down their Pingdom, Loggly, Papertrail, and AppOptics offerings.

Get Excited About Traceroute!

John Welsh saw SolarWinds’ Traceroute NG tool at Tech Field Day last month, and decided to give it a spin. It takes the fairly humdrum traceroute tool, and provides additional speed and features to help be an ad hoc network troubleshooting tool. John sees it as a useful tool in its own right, but also a gateway for potential customers to use SolarWinds’ Cloud Monitoring.

Data In The Context of Digital Transformation

James Green got to get a close look at SolarWinds’ Pingdom Visitor Insights at Tech Field Day last month. In the past, James might have looked at this as a simple uptime monitor for websites. However after getting a closer look, he realizes that what Pingdom enables isn’t just data collection of uptime, but the contextual information to tie technical metrics to behavior.

Solarwinds Orion Integration

At a recent Tech Field Day event, Keith Townsend was able to talk to Solarwinds Orion Product Manager Michael Yang about some of the integration points between their extensive portfolio of products.

What is your netflow strategy?

Network flow data will only increase as network traffic grows within organizations. Nick Buraglio shares a review of various solutions on how to address and monitor flows, from Solarwinds, Splunk, Arbor, and more. In the end, his takeaway isn’t that one solution is inherently superior. Rather that there are a number of options for budgets and scale, so there’s no reason not to have something

Half 2017 in community with VMTN, VMworld 2017 and TechFieldDay

Lino Telera joined us as a delegate at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2016. He’s been keeping up to date with our past events, and wrote up some thoughts on the past two Tech Field Day events. Lino also gives a preview of VMworld 2017. He’ll be in attendance, and see the show moving to embrace greater industry trends of Big Data and IoT.

Pingdom of Heaven: Monitoring Cloud with SolarWinds

Rich Stroffolino takes a look at Pingdom from SolarWinds. As part of their Monitoring Cloud Suite, Pingdom monitors web app and site uptime and performance. This supports not just simple checks, but includes the ability to script complex page interactions to simulate user experience. Pingdom combines simulated and real world client side monitoring to give you a comprehensive performance perspective.

Step by Step – Instalace Solarwinds Virtualization Manager

Karel Novak wrote up a piece reviewing how to install the SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, after seeing it at Tech Field Day in February. The original is in Czech, but we’ve provided the Google Translate versions for our monolingual readers. Check it out here:

From the Beginning, Getting Started with SolarWinds

After hearing about them for a while, and seeing them present at Tech Field Day earlier this month, Alastair Cooke decided to try out what SolarWinds has to offer. The first challenge was to figure out what from their impressive catalogue to try first. After some research, Alastair decided on their Server and Application Monitor (SAM), which includes the Orion integration framework. After the install and initial setup, SAM was already giving useful notifications about domain controller memory and packet loss. Alastair is looking forward to using SAM with the Virtualization Manager from SolarWinds in his home lab to see how effective the combination can be.

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: SolarWinds

Thom Greene takes a look at SolarWinds before they present at Tech Field Day next week. They’re one of those companies that have such a comprehensive software catalogue, you can have used their products for years and still be surprised by what they offer. Thom is looking forward to seeing what this diverse company will present in Austin!

Back to Tech Field Day

Andrea Mauro is heading to Tech Field Day in Austin, coming up February 1st. He give a little context for his own involvements with past events, including some Virtualization Field Days and Tech Field Day Extras, but this is his first full Tech Field Day. He gives a rundown of his impressions of the presenting companies, but overall is excited to meet with other delegates, and to get into the technical deep dives. We’re excited to have Andrea coming to Austin, and can’t wait to hear his impressions of the presentations!

NFD13: SolarWinds Presents Its New NetPath Tool

I don’t want to put words into Peter Welcher’s mouth. But in his post about SolarWinds’ NetPath tool, he straight up says, “[i]t turns out, I was very impressed with the new NetPath tool!” Not a lot of room for ambiguity there! SolarWinds presented at Networking Field Day this past November, and spent the entire session going over NetPath. Peter really enjoyed the presentation, not just for what NetPath could do, but also learning the journey SolarWinds took to refine and develop the tool.

Solarwinds Virtualization Manager – not to be missed in a cloud

Raff Poltronieri was looking for a way to deal with data coming out of vCenter Realize Operations. He tried out the Virtualization Manager from SolarWinds, and really liked the implementation. Raff liked that automation is baked right in. The other impressive thing about the solution was the ability to manager a variety of VMs within a single interface. The dashboard view allows you to drill down as much as you want without leaving. If you decide to install agents on the VMs, you can also get performance metrics down to the application level, very impressive. Raff is looking forward to seeing them at Tech Field Day in February!

Generating Maps of Your Traffic

For a network engineer, it sometimes feels impossible to avoid traceroute. Tim Miller thinks it can be a valuable tool to see where traffic is getting dropped, but it’s not without its issues. He’s highlighted some other solutions in previous posts, but the one he’s looking at today is SolarWinds. Their NetPath tool has gone from a lab toy to an official feature of their Network Performance Monitor solution in a little under a year. Tim finds it a really impressive tool. Even though it requires Windows-based polling appliances in a network, a Linux guy like Tim can still be tempted. It gives historical information layer on top of what you would find with a traceroute, and adds multipathing. Overall, Tim sees this as a very practical tool to help disentangle issues in increasingly complex networks.

Shiny new NetPath Services

SolarWinds showed off their latest with NetPath at Networking Field Day. Amy Arnold seemed impressed by their solution. NetPath isn’t just a traceroute visualization tool, it uses “real” network traffic from Windows-based pollers on the network. This allows an engineer to get a better sense of how traffic flows, without worrying about packets being dropped (as much) by devices on the network. Amy says it best, “any tool that expands insight into what packets are doing is a beautiful thing.”

State of the Industry: Network Analytics

Gestalt IT just debuted a new feature, a weekly State of the Industry post. For their first week, they’re looking at the state of network analytics. They take a look at two competing methodologies to the problem. The first is SolarWinds NetPath tool, which sits in the network. The SolarWinds approach seems to take the ideas behind existing tools, and looks to perfect them. The other method is Forward Networks, which is presenting a top-down approach to do live mapping purely in software. Both are interesting, and point to further investment and development in the space going into 2017.

Vendor Briefing: SolarWinds

Alastair Cooke summarizes a recent product briefing he had with SolarWinds. He got a look at the Orion unified management console for their Server and Application Monitoring suite. Alastair liked that items were actionable within Orion, not just a hard to wrangle mass of metrics. He also liked that it allowed for customizable templates for monitoring specific applications. Better yet, these templates can be shared with other SolarWinds community members. It’s exciting to see a company embrace an enthusiastic community like that.