Documentation forWeb Performance Monitor

Deploy WPM Players to remote systems

As described in How WPM works, the WPM Player is a Windows service that uses worker processes to run synthetic transactions that simulate end user experiences with web applications. Transactions repeat at scheduled intervals (every five minutes, by default) as WPM tracks performance and transaction behavior over time, and then reports statistics to the Orion server for analysis.

Although a WPM Player service is added to the Orion server when you first install WPM, SolarWinds recommends using a different server as the main location to play transactions. The Orion server usually serves as the Main Polling Engine for an environment, so running multiple transactions repeatedly on that server could have a negative impact.

As a best practice, host your main WPM Player location in one of these locations:

  • An Additional Polling Engine (APE),
  • A dedicated Windows server.
  • A server farm.

In addition, SolarWinds recommends deploying WPM Players to remote systems throughout your environment so you can:

  • Get an accurate sampling of your websites and services from the viewpoint of your end users,
  • Test firewalls and proxies, and
  • Mimic end user permissions.

Before you begin, note these details:

  • Review WPM Player requirements before deployment.
  • If a system hosts a hypervisor or Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) that runs various servers (for example, print servers), consider deploying the WPM Player to a different location.
  • Places in your environment that host a WPM Player are sometimes referred to as "transaction locations" or "playback locations" within the Orion Web Console.
  • (Recommended) Limit the number of transactions assigned to a transaction location to 12. For details, see Manage transaction locations in WPM.
  • Starting in WPM 2020.2.2, Windows settings for two services are updated during WPM Player deployment:

    • Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service: On remote systems, the Startup Type is changed to Automatic for the Net.TCP Sharing Service. (By default, it's set to Manual on the Orion server and any APEs.)
    • SolarWinds WPM Playback Player service: A dependency with the Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service is added.

There are several ways to deploy WPM Players, as described next.

After any needed prerequisites are installed, the remote system may be restarted.

To deploy a WPM Player by adding a transaction location in the Orion Web Console:

  1. On any system that can connect to the Orion server where WPM is installed, log into the Orion Web Console.
  2. Click Settings > All Settings.
  3. Under Product Specific Settings, click WPM Settings > Manage Player Locations.
  4. On the Manage Transaction Locations page, switch to the Transaction Locations tab.
  5. Click Add Location.
  6. Select the "Install location on my network" option, and then click Next.
  7. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation. You'll be prompted to provide an IP address or Hostname, as well as system credentials.

To deploy a WPM Player by downloading a file from the Orion Web Console on a remote system connected to the Orion server:

  1. On the remote system, log into the Orion Web Console
  2. Click Settings > All Settings.
  3. Under Product Specific Settings, click WPM Settings > Manage Player Locations.
  4. On the Manage Transaction Locations page, switch to the Transaction Locations tab.
  5. Click Add Location.
  6. Click Download Player.
  7. In the Windows taskbar, click the downloaded file, PlaybackPlayer.exe.
  8. Click Yes if prompted for permission to install the file.
  9. When the Setup Wizard appears, click Next.
  10. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

As a shortcut for steps 2 — 6, use the following URL:
http(s)://Orion_Server_IP_or_Hostname:Port/Orion/SEUM/Admin/InstallerDownloader.ashx?installerType=Player

To deploy a WPM Player to a remote system that is not connected to the Orion server:

  1. On the Orion server, log into the Orion Web Console.
  2. Perform steps 2 — 6 in the previous set of steps to download the PlaybackPlayer.exe file.
  3. Transfer the file to the remote system.
  4. In File Explorer, navigate to the file and double-click it to launch the Setup Wizard.

  5. Click Yes if prompted for permission to install the file.
  6. When the Setup Wizard appears, click Next and follow onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

What's next

After deploying a WPM Player:

Additional topics in this section include: