Monitoring Network Devices Using Automation in N-central

I don’t usually write articles on new features in our products. However, I’m excited about the new features in the latest SolarWinds® N-central® release and the possibilities they open up.

The N-central 2020.1 release gives you the ability to run PowerShell scripts within automation policies and then assign that output to a device of your choice. This means, for example, that you could monitor a Cisco Meraki or Ubiquity device from a probe.

This gives you the ability to connect to most network devices or cloud platforms via APIs and to get detailed monitoring and alerting on the actual device. To use this new functionality to build monitoring policies within N-central, follow this process:

  1. Find or create a script/automation policy to connect to the API of your choice, or use the SSH objects to connect through SSH directly
  2. Create input parameters for configurable items like API keys (use a password field for any data point that must be secured)
  3. Create output parameters for the outputs that you’ll need to set as thresholds, such as usage percentage, user count, etc.
  4. Upload the final automation policy to N-central
  5. In N-central, go to the custom services area, create a new automation policy custom service, and select that automation policy (it will only be visible if the policy has output parameters)
  6. Select the device classes you want to use it on, such as switch, other, etc.
  7. Configure the input/output as desired
  8. Create custom device properties or custom organization properties for configurable data points and assign the proper values to the desired devices/organizations
  9. Apply the service to your desired device and the probe will do the polling for you

In my opinion, this new feature is significant as it will open a new world of cloud and network device monitoring—one which wasn’t really possible before. I’m currently working on some new monitoring policies that utilize this capability within N-central and will publish them in the automation cookbook. I won’t spoil the surprise, but these will be for the platform that was most requested in the July Automation Partner Advisory Group meeting.

I am genuinely excited to share this news and I’m looking forward to building tons of things to share with the wider community in the future.

Automation/Monitoring spotlight

In this blog, I thought I’d share a popular script that’s currently maintained by Chris Reid. I’m talking about the antivirus (AV) status monitoring. It’s a script we created to allow you to monitor a long list of AV products. It’s frequently updated so make sure to come back to the article if you need an updated script.

Check it out here: https://success.solarwindsmsp.com/kb/solarwinds_n-central/AV-Status-Monitoring

 

If you’ve created an automation policy and would like to share it with the community, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

As always, don’t forget to look in the automation cookbook at www.solarwindsmsp.com/cookbook if you’re interested in other automation policies, script checks, and custom services.

 

 

Marc-Andre Tanguay is head automation nerd. You can follow him on Twitter at @automation_nerd.

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