This post is some of my experiences with getting the SolarWinds Orion database running on a SQL Server hosted on a Linux-native system.
Please note that this is part of an early preview release offered by Microsoft and I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the initial testing.
Since I’m setting up SolarWinds Orion nearly every day, I decided to try it against a SQL Server on Linux.
First things first: This post has NOT been validated by SolarWinds Support, Product Management, or anything else. What I’m writing about is purely from my own experiences.
Orion Server (NOCORION01v)
- 8 GB of RAM – 100% Reserved
- 4 CPU’s – 50% Reserved
- 4x Hard Drives @ 50 GB Each
- Windows 2012 R2
- See post about required Windows Features
Linux Server (NOCSQLL01v)
- 8 GB of RAM – 100% Reserved
- 8 CPU’s – 50% Reserved
- 1x Hard Drive @ 50 GB
- Redhat Enterprise Linux 7.2
Linux O/S Installation:
- First install failed after I provided the ‘sa’ password that normally use in my lab.
- Removed, and re-installed.
- Tried again with a different ‘sa’ password. This time it took. I guess it doesn’t like the “@” character.
- Set reservation in DHCP and created host record in DNS.
- Pinged around to verify DNS looked ok.
Verify Connectivity with SQL Management Studio
CREATE LOGIN [SolarWindsOrionDatabaseUser] WITH PASSWORD=N'SuperSecretPasswordHere', DEFAULT_DATABASE=[master], CHECK_EXPIRATION=OFF, CHECK_POLICY=OFF
ALTER SERVER ROLE [sysadmin] ADD MEMBER [SolarWindsOrionDatabaseUser]
- Network Performance Monitor (NPM)
- Server & Application Monitor (SAM)
- Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
- IP Address Manager (IPAM)
- User Device Tracker (UDT)
- VoIP & Network Quality Manager (VNQM)
- Engineer’s Toolset for the Web
- Storage Resource Monitor (SRM)
- Web Performance Monitor (WPM)
Each product offers a free 30 day trial, so I’m just running with that.
What I’ve found was particularly astonishing. First off, the installation actually worked – and didn’t throw a single error! Even for this early release, that’s very promising.
When I opened the web console, I saw that the Orion Server was already added (via Windows Agent) and was recording information.
Then I went about adding the Linux Server. For this I cheated a little bit. Since I’m a SolarWinds MVP (prior to becoming an employee), I have a few NFR licenses for various products. One of these is SAM and I signed up for the SAM 6.3 Beta, which includes a Linux Agent. You must be a current customer to sign up for Betas and Release Candidates.
Using the Add Node process, I deployed the agent to the Redhat server it was successful.
I was then curious if AppInsight for SQL would recognize the server as running Microsoft SQL Server. So, I added it using the “sa” credentials that I assigned earlier.
Many of the metrics were not being returned. I expected this because many of them are requested using WMI and there is no WMI on Linux.
But what surprised me was the number of metrics that WERE found. This is just a sampling of the statistics that were returned:
Then I dug into the database itself to see what it would show.
Database Details, File Sizes, Transactions, Expensive Queries, Index Fragmentation – all of it was available.
The only metric that appeared to be missing was Database & Transaction Disk I/O – which didn’t surprise me because I/O metrics are normally queried via WMI and not available on Linux.
Lastly, as part of my personal due diligence, I added the Linux Server to Database Performance Analyzer.
It added without incident and I had to wait an hour before I saw really meaningful metrics (that’s just how it works). But it was amazing! Everything that I anticipated from a SQL Server on Windows was appearing for the SQL Server on Linux – including storage metrics!
As stated at the very beginning, I’m not reporting this information as a SolarWinds employee, nor was I asked to do this from anyone at SolarWinds. That being said, the results that I had seem very promising that anyone who wants to run Linux as the standard in their environment will soon have even more choice when it comes to Database Management Systems. This will open up worlds of other software opportunities for those shops.
Microsoft has made great strides in embracing the Open Source community. Many people say “too little too late,” but I disagree. Microsoft’s made announcements about .NET Framework, PowerShell, and now SQL running on Linux machines. These are gigantic strides when it comes to a software company that actually makes its own operating system. I’d recommend keeping your eyes out for further announcements leading up to and at Microsoft Ignite this year.