Documentation forSolarWinds Platform

Orion component overview

This topic applies to all SolarWinds Platform products.

Orion installations can be divided into three components: the Orion Core and application server, the MS SQL database, and the database storage. These components constantly interact to perform the three primary functions of an NMS: data retrieval, data storage, and information presentation. The major components and functions of an Orion deployment are shown in the following figure.

Each component is dependent on the other components and their functions. For example, to view or report on monitored elements, the data must be available from data retrieval, properly stored, and retrieved to the web in a timely manner. If any one of these steps fails, or performs poorly, the desired result is impacted. The level of impact depends on the performance and availability of all the functions involved. As the performance of any particular function decreases, the level of impact increases to a point where all the components have appeared to fail. Because of these component interdependencies, it can be difficult to determine where the problem lies and how to fix it. This section focuses on the common causes of poor performance, and provides steps to isolate and rectify the issue.

SQL data storage is central to most functions of Orion, and so a poorly performing SQL server greatly affects the user experience. For example, the following graph depicts the impact to Orion functions caused by a poorly performing SQL server, showing web and report loading as a function of SQL performance.

As shown in the graph, as SQL performance degrades a variety of symptoms can result, from slow loading to complete failure. As the symptoms worsen it can appear that other Orion functions, such as the web engine have failed. Making assumptions about the cause of performance issues can cause wasted time examining components that are performing well. While the root cause of the web failing to load may look like a web failure, in the above, the actual cause is poor SQL performance. For this reason, when a failure occurs it is recommended to follow a step-by-step, documented troubleshooting procedure to isolate the cause of a performance issue.

Performance should be thought of as having a faster-the-better overall goal; performance improvements can always be implemented even though the system runs according to user expectations. Performance is not measured simply as good/bad, but as having varying degrees. Using this approach to performance has many benefits, including:

  • Cost avoidance: When the NPM system is optimized, more elements can be added than would be possible in a nominally performing system.
  • Outage avoidance: Keeping ahead of performance issues will help to eliminate outages in the Orion system caused by a resource overload.
  • More accurate planning: When you know what the system is capable of, you can properly plan for growth without surprises.
  • Ease of use: While the Orion web interface is very intuitive, any system experiencing slowness degrades the user experience. Keeping the web interface responsive helps you find and isolate network issues easily and quickly.