Documentation forSolarWinds Observability

Add a network device

To monitor your network with SolarWinds Observability, deploy a Network Collector, log in to the Network Collector Web Console, and add devices to monitor.

Use the Network Collector to manage network devices, interfaces, and flows you want to monitor with SolarWinds Observability.

You can deploy multiple Network Collectors. SolarWinds recommends that you deploy a Network Collector for each monitored network site.

To monitor devices with an existing Network Collector, log in to the Network Collector Web Console.

Get the Network Collector installation file

  1. In SolarWinds Observability, click Add Data in the upper-right corner.

  2. On the Add Data dialog, click Network Device.

  3. Download the ISO file.

Add Network Device dialog tips

  • To check whether a network device is being monitored, click Network Device List. This opens the Entity Explorer filtered by Network Device where you can search for the device.

  • To check whether you already have deployed a suitable Network Collector, click Agents. This opens the Agents page with all deployed plugins. To find out whether a plugin is a Network Collector, expand the SolarWinds Observability Agent and search for the Plugins section. For Network Collectors, the Name column says orion-collector.

Review Network Collector Requirements

  • You can only install the Network Collector on a server with a supported Windows version. See SolarWinds Platform on-prem requirements.
  • If you plan extensive flow monitoring, SolarWinds recommends that you use a higher version of SQL Server than MS SQL Express as the database or use a dedicated Network Collector for monitoring flow data. Review the SQL Express Limits.
  • You can monitor up to 400 network devices per Network Collector. To observe more network devices, SolarWinds recommends you deploy multiple Network Collector instances to distribute the load.
  • For flow monitoring, you can monitor up to 5000 flows per second, or up to 500 inserts per second.
  • See SolarWinds Observability System Requirements for details.

Install the Network Collector

  1. In SolarWinds Observability, copy an API token to identify the Network Collector.

    To add a new Network device entity, your organization must have an API token of the Ingestion type available. If the Ingestion type token does not exist, click Settings > API Tokens. When creating a token, use the Ingestion type. See API Tokens for details.

  2. Log in to the server that will host your Network Collector and transfer the ISO file there.

  3. Mount the ISO file. You can double-click it or right-click the file and select Mount.

  4. In the mounted DVD drive, launch the EXE file to start the installation wizard.

  5. In the wizard, paste the API token into the text box.

  6. Review the EULA. If you agree, select the checkbox.

  7. Review the installation options. You can change the folder for installing the Network Collector here.

  8. Review the installation report. If it includes warnings, complete the suggested steps and click Re-check.

  9. Click Install to start the installation.

  10. When the installation wizard finishes, configure the Network Collector. You can use default options.

All activities necessary for providing data from the Network Collector to SolarWinds Observability are performed automatically. Just specify network devices you want to monitor.

See Troubleshoot Network Collector installation issues if necessary.

Configure the Network Collector for SolarWinds Observability organizations hosted in Microsoft Azure (only relevant for Network Collector 2022.3)

After you complete the initial installation and configuration of the Network Collector 2022.3, follow these steps:

  1. Redirect the URL to point to the Azure production stack.

    1. On the Network Collector host, locate the dynamic_config.yaml file and open it in a text editor.

      Default location: C:\Program Data\SolarWinds\UAMSClient\dynamic_config.yaml

    2. In dynamic_config.yaml, change the value of swo-url to dc-02.cloud.solarwinds.com. For example:

      metadata: role:SiteCollector

      swo-url: dc-02.cloud.solarwinds.com

  2. Restart the SolarWinds Observability Agent (SWO Agent):

    1. In Services, find the swiuamsclientd service and restart it.
  3. Verify that the Network Collector host is Connected.

    1. In SolarWinds Observability, click Settings > Agents.

    2. Search for the Azure host where you installed the Network Collector. The host should have the New label and its status should be Connected.

Add devices to the Network Collector

If you deployed a Network Collector, add and manage devices in the Network Collector Web Console.

Log in to the Network Collector Web Console

If you are logging in to the Network Collector Web Console for the first time, you are prompted to define a password for the Admin account.

  1. Launch a browser and enter the IP address or hostname of Network Collector Web Console.

    • http://ip_address:8787
    • http://hostname:8787

    By default, the Network Collector is installed in the express mode, using HTTP on port 8787. To use HTTPS, see Configure the SolarWinds Platform Web Console to use HTTPS.

  2. Enter your user name and password and click Login.

    If you are logging in for the first time, specify the password for the Admin account.

  3. You are now in the Network Collector Web Console.

See Log in to the SolarWinds Platform Web Console.

Discover your network

To identify multiple nodes in your network, use the Discovery wizard. When you log in to the Network Collector Web Console for the first time, it opens by default. To launch the Discovery manually, click Settings > Network Discovery. See Discover your network with the Discovery wizard.

  1. In the Network Collector Web Console, click Settings > Discover Network.

  2. Specify the network to discover the nodes.

  3. Provide the necessary credentials and complete the wizard.

  4. When the wizard completes, review the discovered nodes and only import nodes, interfaces, and volumes to be monitored with SolarWinds Observability.

    See Add discovered devices.

Add single nodes

  1. In the Network Collector Web Console, click Settings > Manage Nodes.

  2. Click Add Node.

  3. Provide the node details, select elements (volumes, interfaces), and add the node for monitoring.

See Add a single node for monitoring.

Monitor flow data

Set up network devices to export flow data and add the devices to Network Collector. See Set up network devices to export NetFlow data.

Requirements for flow monitoring

  • The device must be configured to export flow data to the Network Collector.

  • The device must be monitored in the Network Collector.

    If the device is not monitored with the Network Collector, traffic from the device is added to the traffic from unmonitored devices. The Network Collector is receiving the data, but you cannot analyze it.

  • The interface used for exporting flow data must be monitored in the Network Collector. The interface index must match the index number in the collected flow data.

Set up flow data monitoring

  1. Log in to the network device.

  2. Enable flow export. See NetFlow device examples for configuration examples.

  3. In the Network Collector Web Console, click Settings > Manage Nodes.

  4. Click Add Node and complete the wizard. On Choose Resources, ensure that the interface for flow export is selected for monitoring.

    Flow data from the device should start appearing in SolarWinds Observability shortly. If not, ensure that device category in the Network Collector is Network.

Monitor volumes

When adding nodes for monitoring on a Network Collector, select volumes to be monitored.

The method used to poll the node defines the details that you will be able to observe for the volume:

  • SNMP - usage statistics
  • WMI - usage statistics and performance (IO) statistics

Calculating volume metrics

To calculate a volume usage, the following OIDs are polled from the node:

  • AllocationUnits (.1.3.6.1.2.1.25.2.3.1.4)
  • TotalSize (.1.3.6.1.2.1.25.2.3.1.5)
  • UsedSize (.1.3.6.1.2.1.25.2.3.1.6)

Formulas

  • Volume size (in bytes) = TotalSizeOID * AllocationUnitsOID
  • Used size (in bytes) = UsedSizeOID * AllocationUnitsOID
  • Available size (in bytes) = Volume size (in bytes) - Used size (in Bytes)

When you complete the configuration, SolarWinds Observability displays data collected for the Network device entity. See Entity Explorer for details.

See SolarWinds Observability introduction for an overview of Network device entities and how they work in SolarWinds Observability.

Troubleshooting

Data not displaying in SolarWinds Observability

If SolarWinds Observability does not display data for monitored devices, make sure the devices have the correct category specified in the Network Collector.

  1. In the Network Collector Web Console, click Settings > Manage Nodes.

  2. Select the device and click Edit Properties.

  3. Scroll down to Node Category, make sure Network is selected, and submit your changes.

Flow data not displaying in SolarWinds Observability

Flow data should appear in the SolarWinds Observability in about 5 minutes after the data are available on the Network Collector.

If you are getting other network device data, check out the following troubleshooting steps.

  • Verify that flow export is set up correctly. See Netflow data coming in to Orion server but not showing up in Orion Web Console.

  • Verify that flows are correctly stored in the database (Flow Storage Database) used by your Network Collector. See NTA shows Data Not Available.

  • Check how many flows are coming to the Network Collector:

    1. On the server hosting the Network Collector, open the Windows Performance Monitor.

    2. Click the plus button to add performance counters, search for SolarWinds NetFlow and add Rows Inserted Per Second.

    3. If the number of Rows Inserted Per Second is constantly over 500, the SolarWinds Observability Agent (SWO Agent) service might be overloaded.

  • Verify that the SolarWinds Observability Agent service sending the data to SolarWinds Observability is not overloaded.

    • On the server hosting Network Collector, open Services and check the CPU and memory usage for SolarWinds.SOC.Service.exe.

      If CPU or memory usage is high, the service might be overloaded.

To address the overloaded SWO Agent issue, stop sending flow data for non-critical nodes to SolarWinds Observability.

  1. Log in to the Network Collector Web Console and click My Dashboards > Flow Sources.

  2. Switch Flow sources management to Nodes. To do so, select Nodes in the drop-down box next to the Flow sources management.

  3. Select all nodes and click Drop traffic. The Network Collector will stop processing flow data and no flow data will be sent to SolarWinds Observability.

  4. Restart the SolarWinds.SOC.Service.exe service. This will mean that there will be a gap in data sent from the Network Collector.

  5. On the Flow sources management view, select a few critical nodes and click Store traffic. After a few minutes, the data should start appearing in the SolarWinds Observability.

Troubleshoot Network Collector installation issues

See Agents and Troubleshoot SolarWinds Observability Agent installation issues for details on configuring and installing SolarWinds Observability Agents.

Upgrading SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability on a server with Network Collector is not supported

You are running an incorrect installer. Instead of using the installer for Network Collector, you launched the installer for a different SolarWinds Observability product.

To resolve the issue, download the correct installation file.

  1. In SolarWinds Observability, click Add Data in the upper-right corner.

  2. Click Network Device and click the link to download the ISO file.

Upgrading in place between RC versions is not supported

If you recently installed the Network Collector from our RC release (Solarwinds.Observability.NetworkCollector.OfflineInstaller_soc.RC1.iso), do not perform an upgrade from your existing installation. Instead, perform a fresh installation to take advantage of our recent updates available in the Network Collector (Solarwinds.Observability.NetworkCollector.OfflineInstaller_soc.RC2.iso).

The scripts are not supported under any SolarWinds support program or service. The scripts are provided AS IS without warranty of any kind. SolarWinds further disclaims all warranties including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose. The risk arising out of the use or performance of the scripts and documentation stays with you. In no event shall SolarWinds or anyone else involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the scripts be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use the scripts or documentation.