SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability First Steps, part two

Are you ready to continue our first steps in the SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability platform

Let’s start where we stopped previously and add an external node.

Click Settings/Manage Nodes and Add Node:

I’m using my domain, a good idea is to use your own if you have one, or just www.google.com.
A few things to note: IP addresses might change, hence check the box for “dynamic,” and as we want to receive RTT metrics, “ICMP” is the polling method.

Don’t forget to change the device type:

NetPath

Now I’m changing into My Dashboards / Network / NetpPath Services.
NetPath is a fantastic feature.
It allows monitoring the path of an application through various networks.

A great use case would be to check how employees reach a SaaS-based application or how the connection between your mail server and the directory server performs, in case it’s in different locations. HCO means Hybrid Cloud Observability, after all!

There’s an out-of-the-box path already set up for www.google.com. While that’s fine, the default setting checks the path only once in 12 hours. That’s not optimal as we won’t see changes in between.

We could change it or cancel it and create our own path. It’s easy:

The probe is the initiator of the path. In a new deployment, the platform server is the only available one. We could add additional ones, but right now, I leave it as it is.

The process will take a while, as various different technologies do their job to discover and present the path.

A few minutes later we can check the path. What is this here, maybe a DNS problem?

A mouse-over shows more details. It looks like Cloudflare stepped in to protect my website; thanks!

IP subnet overview

In the next step, I’m changing to IP Addresses / Manage Subnets:

I added a subnet and provided information.
To populate the DNS information, make sure to add your DNS server. You’ll find it in the screenshot above next to the subnets.

Interface speed limits

It will take a few minutes for the first scan to finish. Instead of waiting, let’s move on.
I open the node details page of my firewall and click Interfaces.

Once I identified my outbound interface, I selected it and clicked “Edit Interface” on the next screen:

The settings allow me to enter the correct speed settings negotiated with the ISP. It will override the default interface speed.

Now let’s return to the standard dashboard. Click the pen icon on the left-hand side, Add Widgets right-hand side, and search for the subnet. There’s only one widget, so drag and drop it onto the dashboard.

Pimp up your dashboard!

Now select My Dashboards / Home / Performance Analysis. 
The feature we’re going to use now is also called PerfStack.
It’s compelling, but I’ll show you an easy example.

As nothing is selected, I click Add entities and set my firewall:

I’ll ask the system to show me related elements, and select the outbound interface again

There is a lot of information collected. I am interested in “Total average percent utilization.”

Once the information is available, I click Save, and enter a name:

I return to the dashboard, click the pen, click add widgets, and search for the name of the element I just created:

After dragging it onto my dashboard, it’s now looking like this:

It looks nice, but there’s more! Let’s create a map!

Build a map!

I start with my firewall and search for connected devices. It’ll show the connected switch, and the connection came from LLDP information. It works well with my second switch, too, but my APs arent showing as connected. 

I’m saving the map to check what’s happening:

My first idea is to verify I’m polling LLDP information, so I click the node and select “List resources,” and here we go; no L2 info available from the AP:

It might be a setting somewhere on the AP, but for now, I’m using plan B; I create a relationship between the nodes.

Follow me to All Settings / Manage Dependencies:

The switch SW-COR-LIV01 is the parent:

And AP-LIV01 is the child:

Back to the map. The situation isn’t ideal, but at least somewhat improved:

After returning to the dashboard, I add another widget, the map.
After selecting it, I need to choose what map to display.

We’re getting somewhere:

And I think it’s enough for now! Keep on discovering the platform; there’s so much to see.

More homelab posts:

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