FrameFlow Newsletter - January 2020

Keep Up to Date on the Latest FrameFlow News

Newsletter Schedule Update

Just a short note to let you know that we're changing the schedule of our email newsletter a bit. We used to send it out towards the end of the month and it generally included a recap of what was new in that month. Starting this we will be sending it out closer to the beginning of the month.

Current Release: FrameFlow 2019.5

FrameFlow v2019.5 was released on December 13th and it is our current stable release. In v2019.5 we made some updates to the new status control feature to make it more compatible with state-change notifications, and generally tuned the status control feature to make it more consistent.

If you haven't tried the new status control feature yet, we recommend that you give it a go. It lets you control how many failures in a row it takes to flip an alert from success to a non-success state. It's particularly handy for "spiky" monitoring like CPU monitoring where you don't want to get alerts about short-lived situations.

Coming Soon: FrameFlow 2020.1

We have some great new features coming your way. Version 2020.1 has been in development for a while now and includes some major updates. Some highlights include new SNMP monitoring options, a new Tag Library feature, and a new Info status level that sits between Success and Warning. Let's take a look at each of these and give you a glimpse of what to expect.

New SNMP Monitoring Features

In v2020.1 we are introducing a new "spike control" feature in our SNMP Bandwidth event monitor. This new option lets you set a threshold and any value higher than that threshold will be ignored. Why the need for this? When monitoring with SNMPv1, the bandwidth counters maintained by your network devices can wrap around which produces misleading values. Usually they are very high values, so high as to be entirely implausible. The same thing can happen with SNMPv2 and SNMPv3 monitoring after a soft reset or when some system services are reset. This new feature lets you set a cap so stray values don't ruin your graph displays.

Also new in v2020.1 is an SNMP Bandwidth option to treat very low bandwidth rates as zero values. How does this help? It lets our monitoring engine save a lot of space by combining zero values. If you're doing high-volume SNMP monitoring and you're running low on disk space on your FrameFlow server, this option is for you. In some of our test cases we have seen a 90% reduction in the amount of space required.

So what's a "very low bandwidth rate"? We've defined it as 100kbps. So in other words, with the new option enabled anything under the effective rate of two dial-up modems will be treated as zero. The threshold is configurable to so you can choose what works best for you. This option is off by default, but you can turn it on with just a couple of clicks if it's the sort of thing you've always been looking for.

Tag Library

When you add tags to a device, those tags are made available to be added to your other devices. But what happens when you delete the last device that has a particular set of tags? Those tags are deleted along with the device. To fix this, we're introducing the concept of a tag library. In the settings section you'll find a new spot where you can define the tags that you alway want to be available.

Info Status Level

Version 2020.1 will introduce a new "Info" status level. This new level resides between success and warning in the hierarchy of status levels. It's designed to handle those conditions that you want to know about but that don't really qualify as a warning or higher level.

For example, maybe you have a Windows domain controller that you're monitoring. You want to get warnings, errors and criticals for things like disk space but you're also monitoring for locked out accounts. Now you can use the information status level for locked out accounts and reserve the higher levels for disk space alerts. That way when a warning shows up in your Headquarters list, you can be sure that it's something that needs attention.

At first we're rolling out the new info status level in a select set of event monitors including the Active Directory event monitor, the File event monitor and the Windows Update event monitor. We're looking for your feedback, so let us know what you think and we'll take that into account as we roll out the new info level to other event monitors.

Pre-Release Available Now

When can you get your hands on these awesome new features? The official release date for v2020.1 has not yet been set but you can download a pre-release today by logging into your account on our web site.

Wrap Up

That's all for this newsletter. As always, if you have questions or feedback that you would like to share, get in touch because we're always eager to hear your suggestions.


The FrameFlow Team

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