Documentation forSolarWinds Observability

SolarWinds Observability Administrator Guide

Welcome to the new world of SolarWinds Observability with a "full suite" of observability services for cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments.

What we observe

Websites, databases, hosts, services, and network devices are all items, or entities, that can be monitored in SolarWinds Observability. To start monitoring your entities, see Add entities to observe and, if necessary, configure Firewall or access control requirements to allow data to flow between your entity and SolarWinds Observability.

Monitored aspects of a single entity, such as a website or trace, are automatically linked whenever possible. The health of your whole environment can be attained by monitoring entities in the following capability areas:

For a list of supported platforms and other system requirements, see SolarWinds Observability System Requirements.

Application Performance Monitoring (APM)

Use service monitoring, also referred to as Application Performance Monitoring (APM), to gather performance metrics from the services powering your application and create distributed traces that follow the path of individual transactions through the entire application stack. See Introduction to services for details.

Standard metrics data provides insight into database, cache, and remote service usage, as well as the performance of each transaction. Trace context can be added to transaction traces, providing the ability to correlate application log messages from a traced transaction, and if sampled, the log messages to the transaction trace detail. See Trace context in logs.

After you Add a service entity, you may need to set up a proxy to send data to SolarWinds APM collector. See Firewall or access control requirements. To view information collected by your APM libraries, look at the services widgets in the Entity Explorer, performance metrics in the Metrics Explorer, and trace details in the Traces Explorer.

Database Monitoring

Use database monitoring to gather data about the performance, stability, and overall health of your monitored MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Redis database instances. Database monitoring provides detailed database performance metrics allowing you to address and prevent issues, and optimize your monitored database to drive speed, efficiency, and savings. See Introduction to databases for details.

After you add a database instance, you can view details about your database performance in Database widgets in the Entity Explorer. Analyze the top 20 queries by execution time with the Queries Explorer. Use the Profiler to group the top 10 through 200 queries by varying metrics to identify troublesome queries or queries that need optimization.

Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM)

Website monitoring, also referred to as Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM), tracks the performance and availability of external websites. Use website monitoring data to observe variations in the availability of your website at different locations over time. See Introduction to websites for details.

After you Add a website, look at the data in website widgets in the Entity Explorer. You may need to configure your Firewall or access control requirements to allow SolarWinds Observability probes access to your website.

Infrastructure Monitoring (IM)

Infrastructure monitoring collects data about the performance, stability, and overall health of self-managed hosts, containers, clusters, or cloud providers in order to address and prevent issues. Use host monitoring to track performance, health, resource usage, and responsiveness. Additionally, host monitoring can aid in observing suspicious or unusual network activity, preventing cybersecurity threats, and scaling resources appropriately. See Introduction to host infrastructure for details.

To monitor a host, see:

You may need to configure your Firewall or access control requirements to allow the self-managed host to send data to SolarWinds Observability.

Logs Monitoring

To monitor logs with SolarWinds Observability, configure your application or host to send logs directly to the SolarWinds Observability endpoint URL using an ingestion API token. Logs can be sent via HTTPS or syslog, or from your cloud provider with an AWS lambda function or Azure event function. To collect logs for a services entity monitored by an APM library, you must configure the library to include trace context with the application logs and the logs must be sent using HTTPS or syslog.

Use the Logs Explorer to view all logs that have been sent to SolarWinds Observability. A version of the Logs Explorer is also embedded in several viewers and tabs throughout SolarWinds Observability. The embedded explorer loads logs related to the currently selected item.

Network Monitoring

Network device monitoring observes the performance and availability of the network devices crucial to your network. Use Network Collectors to collect performance metrics from the different network devices in your environment and pivot easily between metrics, traces, and custom data to quickly solve performance problems. See Introduction to network devices for details.

After you add network devices, you can observe the network details in network widgets in the Entity Explorer and performance metrics in the Metrics Explorer.

Explore data

To explore your high-level and detailed information about any or all of your observed entities, see the Entity Explorer. When you select an entity in the Entity Explorer, widgets in the entity details view show the entity's health score, health history, and other key performance indicators.

Dashboards may be automatically created (depending on the entities monitored) or can be manually created and customized by members of your organization. New widgets can be created based on any monitored metric and added to a custom dashboard.

Analyze telemetry data

You can analyze your telemetry data with the following:

  • Logs Explorer - The Logs Explorer shows all logs and log events that have been sent to SolarWinds Observability. Using the Logs Explorer, you can trace activity and analyze trends in logs from your applications, hosts, and other monitored entities.
  • Metrics Explorer - Once an entity is monitored, detailed metrics for the entity are sent to the Metrics Explorer. Use the Metrics Explorer to evaluate an entity's or group of entities' performance or identify potential problems.
  • Traces Explorer - The Traces Explorer provides a high-level overview of your traces, as well as detailed metrics for each service's trace. Use the Traces Explorer to follow the path of a single request or query through an application and gain insight into the performance of each transaction.
  • Queries Explorer - The Queries Explorer lists observed queries and their related metrics, raw query samples, and full query details. Use the Queries Explorer to determine which queries are consuming the most time and analyze the root cause of poor query performance.
  • Profiler - The Profiler displays useful information about your monitored databases, including the most time-consuming and frequently executed queries in your database. Use the Profiler to identify troublesome queries or queries that need optimization.

Manage alerts

Setting up alerts enables you to be notified when a specified attribute of an entity changes. You can review the list of your active alerts, manage alerts, or review detailed information for each alert that has been created on the Alert page.

Manage users, organizations, and security settings

With a SolarWinds Observability user account, you can access all organizations you are a member of without having to manage multiple SolarWinds Observability user credentials across different organizations. Depending on your user role, you can either only view or both view and manage users and their access to organizations.

To configure layers of security for your SolarWinds Observability organization, see the following topics: