Combining Dynamic Groups with Custom Properties in Solarwinds.
Custom properties are great for recording information in fields that Solarwinds doesn’t provide by default.
At my current customer they use custom properties fields to sort nodes into organised categories in the “all nodes box”.
Every time a new node is added into Solarwinds the engineer doing so completes the custom field information.
If an engineer forgets to fill in these custom properties fields and the device is unrecognised, then the device falls into the unknown category drop down list.
I don’t like this at all.
I like to automate tasks like this.
When Solarwinds runs automatic scans and populates with hundreds of new nodes every night it can be very time consuming to fill in all those custom properties fields.
To make node management much easier it is always best to combine custom properties with dynamic groups.
Here is how to do it…
Go to “manage nodes” in the settings menu and click the “custom property editor”.
Add the custom properties into the nodes just imported via automated network scan.
Do them in bulk, all at once. This saves time.
When finished editing custom fields, combine with dynamic groups to achieve logical/functional node grouping and leave the “All Nodes” status view behind.
Create a group for example for “AWS UAT servers”.
Examine the current AWS UAT servers the customer has.
We can see the system name contains “AWSVU”.
Create a dynamic query based upon the Orion object “System Name” contains AWSVU.
When Solarwinds runs automated scans it will detect that this nodes system name contains “AWSVU” and then it will automatically add this node into the “AWS UAT servers” group.
We don’t need to worry about editing the custom properties fields as Solarwinds will use the “system name” Orion Object to determine group membership.
If we apply this dynamic query methodology to all of our nodes, switches, routers, firewalls, servers, we can sort them neatly into groups without custom fields and without any manual editing of custom fields.
Once all relevant groups have been setup to host their respective dynamic queries they can be left to populate only requiring editing when naming conventions are revised.
NOC displays can utilise these dynamic groups to give system owners better visibility of their environment. It is very useful to be able to display a functional group of servers or network devices on a map.
Dynamic groups extricate us from having to edit custom property fields to add new devices into categories with less ongoing maintenance resulting in less reliance on the MSP Solarwinds support partner.
If we combine the dynamic group methodology with custom properties we can create a neat and tidy Solarwinds instance, sorting as it scans new nodes, providing groups ready for display on your NOC’s and allowing the user to store that critical custom property information about those nodes.