Auto discovery with Solarwinds NPM

Solarwinds Orion NPM is a feature rich management platform that offers a comprehensive monitoring solution. Leveraging SNMP, this product can manage every single aspect of a device down to the last degree. Today I am going to show off one feature which is pretty nifty and something that you should do soon after installing.

I am going to add first of all my SNMP information to my lab SRX.

set snmp location "Rack LAB RU5"
set snmp contact "Anthony Burke"
set snmp community private

First navigate to the administration page below. Click Network Sonar Discovery to continue.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 4.47.22 PM

Now by default two sets of credentials are provided – public and private. If you have default out of the box devices, Solarwinds attempts to pick this up. It also highlights the fact that most vendors have enabled these technologies by default.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 4.57.22 PMAfter defining the SNMP credentials that will be used on the scan you can choose for the scanner to poll for a ESXi hosts In my case I am going to untick as my ESXi host is offline.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 4.57.53 PM

I am going to hit next here. WMI collects machine information from non SNMP Windows servers.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.02.27 PM

Now the important part. You can choose to automatically scan certain subnets via IP ranges, subnets, or on a per node basis. I am going to scan my Lab Management network, 192.168.2/0/24.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.02.53 PM

The next screen, Discovery Settings, allows an administrator to alter and tweak their settings to suit their environment. If you are monitoring sites remotely, such as branches, it would be suitable to adjust the SNMP timeout accordingly.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.03.09 PM

This is where the Sonar Wizard has a very solid strength. You can choose to run this daily where automatically, Sonar Wizard will attempt to discover new node in your network. This allows for automatic addition into your NPM whilst not having to manually add each device. Superb if you are deploying remote devices – they’ll auto add when powered up.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.03.24 PM

As you can see below, it has found a Juniper device (my SRX) and a server of some sort.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.19.01 PM

This screen shows that the results have interest in the Juniper device and wants me to select what parameters I am interested in monitoring. MONITOR ALL THE THINGS!

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.19.08 PM

Being rather new to Solarwinds I am yet to figure out its subtle nuances. At this stage, I want to import only live interfaces from device found. If you are spinning up a new site or a site where most ports are down then I’d suggest Operationally Up. This will allow NPM to conserve the polling engine and taxation of the node in question.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.19.19 PM

Now the final results. Before you import you can confirm your findings.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.19.29 PM
There you have it. After the import is complete you are returned to the home screen. I click on the AU-MEL-DMZFW-01 node and I get the following information. This is just a standard addition of a node with no tweaking of MIBS, SNMP settings, or actual information management. Note in the NODE details the information in Contact and Location has been populated. Success!

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 5.21.44 PM


Not a bad first install at all. Easy to use, simple to get started. I am eager to explore what can be acquired from the SNMP information. I am then eager to see what I can lever LAB wide that could be beneficial in my day-to-day life. I have heard reports that NPM’s biggest download is scalability and 15 minute SNMP refreshes are the norm. The NPM platform seems good so far.


I have a disclaimer page here which I need to append to this article. I received a NFR copy of Solarwinds NPM SLX (unlimited node) during November last year. This was given to me as a gesture of good will. I was not asked to blog about or write about this software. I have chosen to blog about this off my own back with my thoughts only. As of March 2013, I was elected one of many to hold the title of Solarwinds Thwack Ambassador. This is listed here for transparency.

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