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About that New Toy on the Network (by Josh Stephens)

Josh Stephens Nav_logo Author Profile - Josh Stephens is the Head Geek and VP of technology at SolarWinds, a leading provider of network management software based in Austin Texas. Josh has extensive experience in network management systems, network engineering, and software development. His 15-plus years of experience in technology include designing and deploying advanced networks and network management systems within organizations including the US Air Force, Sprint, MCI/UUNET, and WalMart. He has received several industry certifications including those from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and HP.


I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Imagine the situation. You’ve just bought a new toy and installed it out on the network it could be a WAN accelerator, a load balancer, some sort of funky firewall or some new cloud appliance in your data center. The lights are all blinking and traffic seems to be flowing, but you’re wondering “now what?” How do I really know if it’s running correctly and/or improving things?

One option would be to add it to your main NMS and begin monitoring it. In many cases, this isn’t a great choice because of the role of the NMS and because it probably won’t give you the granularity you’re looking for.

What I’d suggest is download the latest free tool from SolarWinds – Network Device Monitor. This tool will monitor any MIB on any device that supports SNMP. Within the tool, you’ll find some pre-defined polling templates for several types of devices and statistics but you can also define your own. Even cooler, it’s integrated with the free SolarWinds User Community site so that you can download polling templates that other users have created and shared.

When you launch it for the first time it’ll bring up a wizard to help get you started monitoring your device. You can use one of the pre-defined polling templates, browse and select one from thwack or define your own. It’s actually pretty easy to define your own by browsing the SolarWinds MIB Database and selecting the OIDs that you want.

You can use any of the polling templates that you’ve defined or leveraged within the Network Device Monitor within Orion’s Universal Device Poller (UnDP). With Orion’s UnDP you’ll be able to keep history for trending and analysis, run reports, and create alerts on the performance of these new devices.

Check out “Network Device Monitors Made Easy” for a step-by-step video tutorial on how to get started.