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Infrastructure Desk

October 2018

MSP’s don’t work.

"MSP's don't work". That is a pretty bold statement. In my experience the above statement is true and i'll even go further, by suggesting that you should employ an infrastructure monitoring contractor instead of using a managed service provider. Obviously I am a little biased. I have worked for a few managed service providers [...]

Combining Dynamic Groups with Custom Properties in Solarwinds.

Custom Properties 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. [...]

August 2018

Are you a technical social media risk?

Think about the information you post on Linkedin, technical forums and social media outlets. How could that information be used to hack your environment? We give out our information to corporations with the expectation that it is being used responsibly and safely. Information has value and we give it away freely. When a phisher / [...]

May 2018

The Bad Monitoring System

Part of the job of a technical engineer is to design and build new infrastucture. An engineer requires information at their fingertips to be able to perform effectively. As part of an engineers job they are often required to : Research the environments he/she is working with. See and understand the connectivity [...]

SQL Server licensing for Solarwinds Orion

SQL Server licensing can be confusing. Here is my guide to help you understand licensing for Solarwinds Orion SQL server, based upon a server with 20 CPU cores. Types of SQL Server licenses There are 4 types of licenses that make up 3 possible licensing combinations for sale via SQL licensing vendors. SQL CPU Core [...]

April 2018

The Multitenanted Solarwinds Environment

I have been asked many times, how to make a Solarwinds deployment multitenanted? Managed service providers often wish to run their own instance of Solarwinds and they want to display all their customers inside it for monitoring purposes. They also want to give their customers visibility of their own infrastructure. So here is [...]

How to Monitor Darktrace with SNMPV3

This is a simple guide to enable successful monitoring of the Darktrace master and slave appliances using SNMPV3. Prerequisite : Make sure your devices are connected and configured with IP addresses via the Darktrace interface. Connect via putty onto each device. 2. Login as : Console 3. Enter your SSH password 4. [...]

Implementing Darktrace Artificial Intelligence

Darktrace uses Machine Learning and AI algorithms based upon "patterns of life/normality". At this point in time at my current location we have detected 1.5 million patterns of normal life, these patterns are used by Darktrace to evaluate possible security threats. Darktrace claims not to use rules or signatures but it does use [...]

December 2017

Rebuilding a Solarwinds Monitoring Environment.

Time to rebuild a Solarwinds monitoring  environment for a new customer. This customer currently has a single Solarwinds poller on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 server with 12CPU Cores, 32GB RAM. They run the Solarwinds Orion SQL database on a shared SQL server with 16CPU Cores and 64GB RAM. There are many custom alerts, reports and [...]

August 2017

What you leave behind.

Today, after five months, i'm finishing another Infrastructure monitoring contract. A successful Solarwinds deployment for a NHS service provider. A few achievements : I have automated alerting based upon custom application monitoring templates and thresholds. I have designed some really clever performance / capacity reports that will be used to report back to NHS Digital [...]