Hello, and welcome everyone to DPA Beyond the Basics, Episode Three. The episode three always reminds me of kind of a Star Wars theme there, so that's kind of cool. And thank you everyone for taking a little bit of time today to step away with us for a little bit while we continue our deep dive series on the different features within DPA. Today's topic is going to be viewing all your IT data in one console. So really, we're going to be focusing on the Orion Integration piece. I do apologize ahead of time; my voice is kind of going a little bit here. I've somehow picked up a summer cold. And I tell you, there's nothing more annoying than a summer cold. I'll take it during the winter, but yeah, not during the summer. It's a pain. So anyway, my name is Rob Mandeville. I am the Product Marketing Manager for DPA. And I've also got with me, Ash Recksiedler, who's a solutions engineer for SolarWinds as well. Now he focuses on a lot of different products, mostly on the sysadmin side. DPA, as well as SAM, as well as Storage. So, great to have him with us as well. He's going to help me out on the call here. So to kind of start us out here, I was going to kick off—let me share my other screen here. There we go. Hopefully everybody can see my monitor over there. So, I was going to quickly run through an integration, just in case anybody hasn't done this. This is just an introduction to it. It should just take a couple minutes to plumb the two up. So here on the Orion side, and if you own DPA, you may or not have seen the Orion dashboard. And that's okay if you have not. At least this won't be the first time. Well, if you see it again it won't be the first time for sure. Here in the Orion side if I go to settings, all settings, I can go back to my Database Performance Analyzer, product-specific settings, click on there, and here I can manage my DPA servers. Now something that was recently added was the ability to map multiple DPA servers to the Orion side. So you can see I've already got one registered here, or one integrated with the Orion side. So I'm going to add another one here. And as luck would have it, I've already typed it in a couple times there, just to practice. So on here, what we're really doing is providing the server name for where DPA is installed. We're providing a secure socket port number. So this means communication will happen over SSL to 8124. We've got a display name, so I can change this to be whatever I want, basically. And the Orion address, so whichever Orion server that I'm integrating with. I do have to supply some credentials to the DPA side, so this would be an admin user over on that side, and then the password. So I do have to credentialize. Here, I'm just going to run a test connection real quick and hopefully that comes back green. Looks good. Let's go ahead and integrate. So during the integration process, we're going to be looking at targets that we observe on the DPA side and see if we match up with anything that we're currently monitoring on the Orion side. Primarily via SAM. If I want to look at those relationships, I can click on that. I can see the database instance mappings, right? So we've got the DPA server, we've the DPA instance that's being monitored, and then how that maps to the Orion object. If any of these mappings are not correct, I can always edit them under actions and redefine them however I want. Or if I want to add, find new relation, or add another database instance, DPA database instance, I can do that. This is the really cool part though, for me anyway, is mapping the applications now back to the database. Because on the Orion side, we've got the ability to pull a lot of information from an application server aspect and now being able to see that full stack from the application side down to the database side down to the server side, and even further down into the infrastructure stack is really powerful. So here, I've discovered, auto-discovered a relationship between this application monitor and this database server. If I want to also add some other ones, I can always add new relationship. Here I'm going to search by node, because I just want to do it for 03. So I've got all these choices here under my application monitors that if I want to kind of plumb them up or define that mapping myself. So I'm going to select that one and maybe one of these for now. There we go. So, save relationships. And now that populates on my screen. So now, if I go to my dashboard, go to databases, on that summary page within the Orion side, now I should see my DPA servers that have just integrated. And if I scroll down, I start to see the applications using my databases. All right. So that's a quick run through of how to integrate the two. Pretty simple and straightforward. Does a lot of the auto mapping itself, but also gives you the flexibility to kind of define those relationships how you want to define them. Okay, so at this point, let me-- Bear with me just one moment. And Ash, you're still on, yeah?
Yeah, I think I'll just move the ball to you.
Perfect, okay. Can you see my screen?
Yes, looks good.
All right, so Ash Recksiedler, I'm a solution engineer here at SolarWinds. What we're going to do is go over kind of the Orion interface, the Orion Platform, have you will. Everyone's familiar with DPA and DPA is a fantastic product. It has its own architecture. But what we hear from everyone is that they want the single pane of glass, all their data, regardless of what role you have within the IT organization, all rolled up into a central dashboard. That's ultimately our goal here at SolarWinds. Just to give you a little bit of history, background of the company. SolarWinds, way back when it was really known as a network performance monitoring solution, made a lot of network admins very, very happy. Then they decided to expand. They became very successful, so successful that they could expand into other roles within the IT organization, including DBAs, system administrators, UNIX administrators, Linux administrators, and in order to do that, they either acquired companies— DPA used to be a product from Confio. The product was called Ignite. SolarWinds acquired Confio back in October 2013 and rebranded it to be Database Performance Analyzer. They also acquired other companies. For example the Storage Manager, or the SRM, now it's been rebranded. Used to be a company called Tech Tools that they acquired. Or we wrote our own modules. And all of these modules kind of lay on top of the Orion core. The Orion core consists of a .NET framework. You have an IIS front end and a SQL Server back end database where we're storing all of our metadata. All of the different modules are going to sit on top of that core. When I go through these sessions, I like to explain sort of how, from a fundamental perspective, how Orion works. When you're monitoring all of your different instances, your databases are going to reside on specific servers. And what Orion is going to do is it's going to use basic protocols like WMI, SNP, ICMP, to sort of discover your whole entire infrastructure, your network. Then it's going to use those protocols to collect basic information, such as CPU utilization, memory utilization, IO latencies for all of your different volumes on your nodes. But sometimes you want to go beyond what the basic protocols are going to provide. That's where the other modules come in. They introduced a module called SAM, Server & Application Monitor. It gives you the ability to assign templates to various servers to ask questions of different applications that you may want to monitor. These templates consist of components, and think of a component as a question that you're asking a server, and these components can be either ODBC call to ask a database a question, a rest API call, or even executing a script to collect information. What you're seeing here is the My Dashboard. This is the flagship product where you can get information about all the devices within your IT organization, and then you have the different modules. So here we have NPM, NetFlow, today we're going to be focusing on SAM and Storage Manager. If you integrate DPA just like Rob did, you're going to see a database tab. Every application— so, SolarWinds really wants to be your one-stop shop for all of your monitoring needs. You can start off small and you can add. What's great is all of this data— I always tell people, you're only as good as the architecture that you're asking questions of. So if you want to understand what's going on in the storage layer, you need to actually ask the disk array, the storage array questions. If you want to know what's going on in your database environment, you have to ask questions of the database instance to find out exactly what's going on. What you're able to do is grab all of this information using best-in-breed products. Then we're going to pull it all together. Here we'll focus on SAM, Server and Application Monitor. I'm going to log in. Then with SAM, the SAM summary, what you're going to see is sort of a summary of all of the applications that you're monitoring with various templates. You can see the AppInsight, which is a template to monitor all of your SQL Server databases. And on the right-hand side, you just get kind of a high-level dashboard of the overall health of everything from an infrastructure perspective. The one beautiful thing about having all of this data kind of collected in a central repository is the fact that we sort of are able to map dependencies between different layers within your organizations. So you have application layer, you have a database layer, you have a storage layer, you have your virtualization layer. We introduced something called AppStack. If I go to AppStack, what we're going to do is, we're actually going to show you all of the different layers. So you set different thresholds based on the questions that you're asking your applications. Based on those thresholds— kind of going to have that red light, green light, that warning sign. What's fantastic about this is the dependencies. For example, depending on what role I'm playing within the IT organization, whether I'm a DBA, I live in the database world. Or maybe I'm a system administrator. My world is the server side and all of the applications. What's fantastic about this is, all of a sudden, maybe I'm a systems administrator. I don't know if I need to get the DBA involved. So if I have an issue with one of the applications here. And we'll go here, we'll click on this particular SQL server, we have a critical warning. If I click on this, what's going to happen is you'll immediately see the dependencies between different layers. Now we can see the application layer. We can actually come down and see we're monitoring performance from a web perspective. So the web health of the applications, right down to the actual server that these applications are using. If we scroll down, we can see the different hosts. See if we're mapping to any ESXI servers if we're using the VMAN module. Right down to our data store, all the way down to a specific one, and right down to a specific storage array. If I was the storage admin, usually I just care about what's going on, and what are the dependencies with this disk array. I can do the same thing. Click on the storage array and then look up the stack to see all of the dependencies. It's just a fantastic view to have all of that information kind of at the tip of your fingertips through one interface, one dashboard.
Real quick on that one. Correct me if I'm wrong or what you think about this, too. One of the cool things about that is, as a DBA, I would never have people call in from an end-user perspective and say, "Oh, this database or this one is slow." Right? They would always kind of call in and say, "This application, like SharePoint or something, is not responding." Do you find this in your experience?
Absolutely, absolutely. Very common. I was going to dive into that. Once we get to, is it the application, is it the database? Very common question that you get asked. That's when the blame game starts. So your time to innocence, everyone's guilty until proven innocent. Right away, we can see where those bottlenecks are within which layer, within the organization, and then we can actually drill in to a particular application right from here. I'm going to circle back. You kind of covered that, Rob, so thanks. I'm going to go back into the SAM summary. And I'm going to dive into a particular SQL server instance. This is an AppInsight for SQL template. Very common question that is asked— so, when SolarWinds acquired Confio. Confio has a product called DPA, fantastic product that's designed to monitor and record active sessions inside of your database every second. But SAM has templates to also monitor your database as an application. In other words, you're able to monitor your database's infrastructure and its health based on all the questions that you're asking. That's what you're seeing here. We have AppInsight that's actually monitoring the health of all of your different instances, but if you have DPA— now, 90% of database performance problems are usually the result of poorly written code. And if there's any developers on, I can say that because I've been doing this for over 25 years and I've written some poor code along the way, not intentionally. But typically 90%, and I'm including schema design, how applications interact with the database isolation levels, so on and so forth, including the queries. With this integration, you're going to have the best of both worlds. Not only are you going to be able to monitor the health of the servers the databases are running on. But you're going to be able to see the health of not only the database itself based on the questions that you're asking, but you're also going to be able to monitor the applications as well. As Rob did in the very beginning of this webinar, how he made the association between application and database. Now you're going to be able to see that complete story. From a DBA perspective, what we're able to do is if I drill in to a particular database server— so, depending on the role, you're going to access this information through different paths. If I'm a DBA, I'm going to start with the database. In this case, we're going to see kind of a summary. And on the right-hand side, you can see the AppStack for this specific server, which is very nice to have. We also have the ability to sort of log in to the server to do real-time process explorer. You have the ability to stop and start services; look at the error log right from here. But you'll notice on the left-hand side, you'll see these different queries, transactions. If you have DPA integrated, you can have this database performance tab. And if you click on the database performance tab, it's going to take you to sort of a summary using DPA data. So now, you can actually see the database in question. On the right-hand side, this probably looks very familiar to everyone. Very DPA-like. Now we can actually see the health of the server in question. We can also see the health of the server the database instance is running on. And we can also see the activity inside of the database from a query perspective. Here's the advisor that's also produced, so we can click on this and this would redirect us into DPA to go further from an analysis perspective. But as you can see, you have different applications that are using this particular instance, and if I were a system administrator working on the application side— I'm just going to sneak back here. What I can do is, if I see an instance, for example, an application, and everyone's calling, there's a performance problem, I can click on the summary, and of course, my world is going to be the applications themselves. Let's say people are complaining that there's a performance problem. Is it the application? Is it the database? Typically, from an application perspective, what's going on inside the database is a black box. Not anymore with DPA integrated with SAM. So now, by clicking on the application, as you can see, the health of the server the application is running on. Everything looks green, which is great. I can also see the health of the application based on the questions that I'm asking within the template and thresholds that are defined. Here we have a number of sites that are running. Everything seems green. We take a look at different metrics. Requests queued. Now, real-world example, I used to work at Symantec for nearly 15 years prior to coming to SolarWinds and we had a share point farm and a lot of web apps that would dynamically generate queries. And a lot of times, it was on the web app side. The activity wasn't getting to the database. Things were just getting queued up. This view is absolutely priceless because now you can see what's going on from an application perspective, and at the same time, you can see what's going on from a database perspective regarding wait time. What is your end-user experience like, all at the same time? Single pane of glass. If we go down here, we can see additional metrics. We can also see the AppStack. So as a system administrator, I now can click on the actual server in question, because now it is a database issue, or appears to be. Then this will take me to the page that we just came from, kind of showing additional information specific to that database and the queries, the code that's actually running inside of the server. If I want, I can click on the actual query advisor, focus on the code, which redirects me to DPA and immediately I can see we have some missing index advice. So information that I may not be savvy to as a system administrator, but this is information that is great for a developer or a DPA— or, a developer or a DBA, in which case I can then email this to the parties that be to collaborate. So we're breaking down the walls between application, database, and even storage. Along the lines of storage, not only does DPA interact with SAM, it also interacts with our server resource management solution. If we come here to storage, this used to be a company called Tech Tools. And we integrated it into the Orion Platform. What you're going to be able to do is, you'll now have access to information from the storage array that's being monitored by that module. So from a capacity-planning perspective, IO latency perspective, what we're going to do is we're going to map the objects, similar to what Rob did with the applications. So you'll be able to map your databases and you'll be able to see all your storage objects associated, whether you have any contention issues, so you can see here capacity risk. You can also see your performance from an IOPS perspective, and all this information is then brought together. Usually this is when I open it up for a little Q and A.
Hey Ash, is this a good time to run our polls or do you want to wait until the end? What do you think?
We can run our polls, absolutely.
Okay, maybe do a little intermission. All right, so everybody on the call, on the webinar here, I'm going to open up a few polls here. They're pretty short questions, mostly yes or no, little bit of free form text. This first one, go ahead and open that up. You guys utilizing DPA, do you use the reports and if yes, which ones? All right, looks like most of you have chimed in on that one. I'm going to go ahead and open up poll number two, which is kind of in the same vein. Do you guys utilize DPA alerts? And again, if yes, which ones? If you haven't voted on the first poll, go ahead and do it now. Then I'll close that in about five seconds. Okay, thanks all for chiming in on that one. I'm going to open up the next one. As I mentioned, kind of the same question, just more alert based. Do you guys utilize alerts? If so, which ones? If you want to do a general category, you can as well. Like, "I like the alerts on resources" or "I like the alerts on the administrative kind of thing." All right, two more quick ones here. I'm going to go ahead and open up this poll. If you do leverage alerts, do you leverage the custom alerts? Have you guys ever implemented any of those? Okay, this is interesting. The first couple of questions were free form, so we'll have to review those answers afterwards, but on this one, since it's more of a Boolean kind of question, it looks like it's almost 50/50. Half of the participants here say yes, they have leveraged custom alerts, and half say they have not. By the way, while we wait for this poll to close, if anybody missed the episode two of DPA: Beyond the Basics, it was solely focused on alerts and we did cover the custom alerts, as well. So, if anybody would like to go back and review that one or watch that, I believe that at the end of this one, there will be a link to this recording, but it also has the other webinars in the series. So you can always go back and watch that. Okay, so the fourth and final poll is, would you be interested in another episode in this saga? We're still playing on the Star Wars theme here. Be honest. I'm a big boy. We can take it. Hopefully people enjoy it. Just time to step away a little bit, maybe take time out of our busy schedules and relax a little bit. Maybe get to know DPA a little bit better. All right, thanks everyone for participating in the polling. Definitely appreciate it. So Ash, I think back to you.
Thanks, Rob. So we covered a lot of material very quickly and it's kind of like drinking from a fire hose. There's a lot to it. Ultimately, we believe in integration and kind of breaking down the walls of all the rules within the IT organization. Let you use a best-in-breed tool for your day-to-day job and at the same time, bring this information and present it in a single dashboard. A lot of you are used to database performance analyzer, and maybe you've seen for the first time that you can actually use SAM to monitor your database as well, from an infrastructure perspective. When SolarWinds acquired Confio, that was a very common question. "Wait a second; you have two products to monitor databases? What are the differences?" What I'd like to do so you don't have to take notes, we have a really nice blog that sort of explains the differences between the two products and how they complement each other. So AppInsight, SolarWinds Orion, fantastic to monitor just from a day-to-day administrative infrastructure. Are my backups running? Are my jobs successful? Are the services healthy? Is the server capacity planning? So on and so forth. Out of the box, you don't have to do anything. Very easy. DPA, laser beam focused. It belongs in the performance silo. And the fact that 80 to 90% of your database performance issues are usually the result of the underlying code, it's definitely a product that you need in your toolbox. What I'm going to do, I'm going to grab this and put it into the chat window for all participants. You can grab it and read it at your leisure. And then the other blog that I'm also going to include— this kind of makes me chuckle all the time because it's so true. We get into this blame game. I know I did, with the storage admin, with the virtual admin. You're guilty until proven innocent. This is what we covered as far as the value of the integration. Is it the application? Is it the database? It's very easy to see where the bottlenecks are as far as the criticality and then having the ability to then drill into— whether it's the database, whether it's the application, to get additional information. I'm also going to include this blog for your reading convenience. And with that, I guess I'll just open it up for a little bit of Q and A. Thank you very much, everyone.
Okay, so yeah, that kind of gives hopefully everybody a good idea of first of all, what the wizard is going to request if you are going to do the integration to the Orion side, how to walk through that. It's actually very simplistic. We do a lot of auto-discovery behind the scenes, trying to map databases to databases. And then from the Orion side, we already know that certain applications talk to certain databases, so that allows us to do the mapping from that perspective to build that picture out, right? So, within that picture, we also have the AppStack that Ash went through. It's fantastic. Usually the calls come into support or to the DBA, but people are usually complaining about an application slowness, not necessarily a database. Or yeah, "151 is slow" or whatever. So kind of a nice view from that perspective. And Ash, I'm sorry, I was actually responding to some on the side. Did you cover the storage side?
Okay, perfect, perfect. Sorry, I missed that. Yeah, I think that's it. I think we've had just one question on the Q and A. Somebody asked about an uptime report in Orion. And just for clarification, would that be an uptime for the database or uptime for an application? Regardless of which one it is, I guess— yeah, perfect. Under "reports" within Orion, you can actually do a search for availability and it'll give you a lot of choices there like this month, last month, stuff like that. Maybe this year. And if these out-of-the-box ones do not meet your needs, you can easily develop your own custom report to show that availability. And that is kind of the world we live in, right, is everything comes down to SLAs. We definitely want to prove that we are providing a good service and once again, I think I've said this in other webinars for this series or whatever: The best DBA is the one that nobody knows exists. So, good to have those systems available. All right. So, I think that was the only question that we had. If anybody has any follow-up questions or things that they think of after the fact, definitely feel free to reach out to us and we'll do our best to get back to you. That I can promise. So other than that, I think that the vast majority said that they would like another episode in the series, in the saga, Star Wars saga. So let us put our thinking caps on. If anybody wants to reach out to us with a topic of interest to them and wants us to go through a deep dive of maybe another feature or something like that--we did have quite a few ideas that we could do as well. If we don't get anything resounding from all of you guys, our participants and audience, then maybe we'll just continue on with what we think might be of interest. So either way, we will definitely put something together, and look for that invite coming soon. So at that, I would like to thank all of you for attending. Thank you for giving us your valuable time. And I would like to definitely thank Ash for joining me on this episode and presenting the integration to the Orion side. Thank you very much, Ash. That was fantastic. The parts that I paid attention to. [Laughs] Yeah. At that, guys, look for another invite. Thanks, all, and have a great rest of your day.
Take care, everyone.