Infrastructure monitoring is an IT-managed business process. The primary goal is to manage equipment, policies, processes, and other resources that impact an organization's IT assets, thereby minimizing asset downtime and improving efficiency. This involves collecting and analyzing data from each asset.
SolarWinds provides several options that allow you to monitor your infrastructure. You can implement these options together or separately. For example, the SolarWinds Snap Agent for Linux and Windows gathers system metrics, supports a variety of infrastructure monitoring integrations, and supports log monitoring by integrating with Loggly or Papertrail. Additionally, AppOptics can gather infrastructure metrics directly from AWS CloudWatch, Azure, and Heroku. To get in-depth insight into custom applications, see APM and Distributed Tracing.
To obtain the latest Snap Agent features, fixes, and improvements, update Snap Agent to version 4.5.0. If you are running an older Snap Agent version, see AppOptics Snap Agent Previous Version Documentation.
A host is a computer or device that provides networked services (such as websites, applications, and computing resources) to other devices. This includes web servers, virtual machines, mainframes, and desktop computers. In an IT environment, hosts are essential for running software, managing workloads, and providing platforms to deploy applications and services.
Host monitoring tracks the performance, stability, and overall health of your hosts. This allows you to identify and prevent access to your hosts from unauthorized users. After you install the Snap Agent, the application begins tracking basic host metrics (such as CPU, memory, and disk information) and basic information about running processes on the host system. You can also enable one of several Snap Agent plugins included to collect specific metrics.
Logs record events that occur in your IT infrastructure. These events can include driver errors and security events. Logs provide visibility and network transparency, helping you identify an issue before it becomes a serious problem. This visibility and network transparency is also known as observability.
Log monitoring captures data collected on your system and services log files, and then sends the data to Loggly or PaperTrail for analysis and tracking. You can track Trace Context data from application performance monitoring (APM) in your application log files to help you troubleshoot issues as they occur.
Containers are lightweight, executable packages of software that include everything needed to run an application. These packages include code, system tools, system libraries, and settings. Containers isolate applications and their dependencies into self-contained units that can run anywhere.
The container runtime is the software that runs the container. It runs on the host system and tracks processes that address container performance. These processes can include resource usage, runtime (which hosts store the deployed containers), and events. You can use this information to determine how well your container deployment strategy is working, and which containers need more attention.
After you install Snap Agent on the host system, AppOptics starts monitoring the containers. If you require detailed metrics, you can install the agent inside each of the containers.
For billing purposes, AppOptics detects containers running on a host and charges you based on the data collected from the host. To ensure that AppOptics can differentiate between containers and hosts, make sure the Snap Agent is installed on the host.
Click Infrastructure to view all hosts tracked by the Snap Agent or the Snap Agent integrations. You can switch between the hosts, containers, and integrations.
You can filter and group the list using tags. If you group on a tag, the list will collapse, grouping the hosts or containers by the tag value.
Click the eye symbol next to a list item to open a side panel with detailed information, including key metrics, tags, and enabled agents and plugins. Two buttons at the bottom of the panel allow you to view host logs in either Papertrail or Loggly. See Integrations to learn how to set up those integrations.
The Map view provides another method to view your hosts and containers. In this view, each host or container is represented by a box driven by a chosen metric that you can highlight with a specific color.
By default, the box hue is driven by CPU utilization. When you click Color, you can change the color and reset the thresholds. This allows you to highlight a metric that can impact your IT operations—for example, when CPU utilization on a host system reaches a dangerous level.
Hovering over a box displays a tool tip with the name and corresponding metric value. When you click the box, the side panel displays just like the List view.
When you click View Host Details or an individual host, the side panel opens a new page. This page includes specific information about the selected host, allowing you to drill down on system metrics, create dashboards, and perform additional tasks.
View system metrics
If the Snap Agent is installed on the host system, additional metrics are displayed at the top of the page. These include information about the CPU, memory, disks, and network.
View running services
If an APM agent is installed on the host system, additional details about installed services display as well. These include basic counts for their respective traced requests.
Highlight a key process
Click the pencil icon next to each process name to view the time series data and mark the process as a key process.
View the metric and time series data
If a plugin for the Snap Agent is installed on a host system, the metric and time series data display under the Plugins tab. Similar to the Host List view, containers are listed under the Containers tab. The information under the Host Details tab matches what is displayed in the simplified side panel view.
Generate a new dashboard
You can use the metrics on this page to generate a new dashboard. Simply hover over any time series and click Add to Dashboard Queue.
View the Dashboard Queue
The Dashboard Queue acts as a shopping cart for metrics. After you select your metrics, click Dashboard Queue in the top right and click Send to Dashboard.
To add this temporary dashboard, click Apply and save a name to the dashboard.
To learn more about how to configure and use infrastructure monitoring, see the following resources: