Category: Updates and New Releases

FrameFlow Version 2015.2: Behind the Scenes

Building FrameFlow Server Monitor: A Day in the Life

We do our best to keep our software lean and mean. Our business is 100% based on a try-before-you-buy model, so it’s important that we make a great first impression and part of that has to do with the ease of deployment and perception of quality. There are few things we hate more than when we go to download a simple utility to get a job done and it weighs over 500 megs in size.

Keeping our software fast, efficient and small isn’t always an easy thing. We’re sometimes at the mercy of third-party components that we integrate with and sometimes we have to deal with problems thrown our way by the development tools that we use.

Recently we faced a challenge along these lines and here is how it played out…

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FrameFlow v2015.2 Released

FrameFlow v2015.2

FrameFlow v2015.2 Released

We are very happy to announce that FrameFlow v2015.2 is now available for download. Licensed users can log into their account on our site to find the download links. Those of you who are in the evaluation phase can re-download the eval version. Either way, run the setup and it will upgrade your existing installation while preserving all of your settings and configuration.

This release is a major update bringing lots of new functionality. The major highlight is support for multiple alert levels including success, warning, error and critical.

To implement this we updated every single event monitor to allow you to specify multiple thresholds and control how you are alerted. We also updated all dashboard elements, network diagram displays and the structure of the interface itself to give you a clear view of multi-level status.

The end result gives you beautiful color-coded displays and an at-a-glance ability to identify and prioritize issues.

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FrameFlow v7.0 Officially Released

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We’re very pleased to announce that version 7.0 for FrameFlow Server Monitor and FrameFlow Multi-Site Monitor has been released.

This new version includes many features that you guys have been asking for. Some highlights include:

Maintenance Windows: You can define scheduled or one-time maintenance windows and apply them to one or more network devices using profiles. It’s a great way to pause monitoring and alerting during planned periods of down time.

Automated Discovery: Our old device finder tool has been upgrade and improved. As before you can create device discovery scans that will search an IP range or look in Active Directory for new network devices. But now you can schedule scans to occur on a regular basis and choose which device groups the discovered devices will go into.

Hardware & Software Inventory: During discovery scans FrameFlow can collect inventory data that is used to feed new reports. Now you can get a hardware summary report showing the CPU, drive, network and other system properties for all of your devices. Or get an application report show all detected apps then click through one for details. Want to know which exactly systems have SQL Server 2012 installed on them? That information is just two clicks away.

New User Interface: We’ve redesigned and modernized the interface. You’ll find that it has the same structure as before but a new look and feel. As you explore you’ll discover great new features and options including the ones listed below.

New Search Bar: At the top right you’ll find our new search bar. Just start typing and it will help you to instantly find any network device or event monitor. It saves a lot of clicking and navigation in the tree especially for those of you who are monitoring 100s or 1000s of systems.

Drag and Drop Organization: Now you can arrange your network devices, event monitors and groups just by dragging them to new folder in the tree. It’s easier than ever to build a logical monitoring structure that matches the way your organization works.

Dynamic Tree: The tree on the left side where you organize your network devices and event monitors is now loaded dynamically. This makes a huge difference in page load times especially for those of you with large monitoring configurations. We tested with up to 5000 monitored systems and the interface was smooth and responsive all the time.

Support for SNMPv3: Now all of our SNMP event monitors support SNMPv3 as well as v1 and v2c. This lets you use FrameFlow to monitor more of your network infrastructure across a secure SNMP backbone.

New Multi-Graphs: Now you can see incoming/outgoing/total bandwidth for your network interfaces together in one graph. The same goes for drive space and other graph data types. Multi-graphs give superb compact views of monitoring trends and status.

And more! Those are the big highlights but along the way we’ve added new options and new features all through the products.

If you’re a licensed FrameFlow user, log into your account to get the licensed version. If you’re in the evaluation phase, just head over to our download page again. Either way our setup program will upgrade you to v7.0 while preserving all of your settings and configuration.

Sincerely,

The FrameFlow Team
support@frameflow.com

FrameFlow v7.0 Beta 2 Released

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FrameFlow v7.0 Beta 2

We’re very happy to announce that the second beta release for FrameFlow Server Monitor and FrameFlow Multi-Site Monitor is now available for download.  As with beta 1 this release is available for all licensed users or by invitation for evaluation users.

Updates Since Beta 1

We’ve made a lot of changes since last beta was released.  We’ve made further changes to the color scheme and icons with the result that color-coded status is much more effective than before.  You’ll find that items which have failed checks now stand out in the interface much more clearly than before.

New in Beta 2 is support for SNMPv3.  We’ve added SNMPv3 support in all of our SNMP event monitors giving you new options to monitor your switches, routers and other IT gear.   We added multi-graphs for our SNMP Bandwidth event monitor so you can see incoming/outgoing/total bandwidth all in one graph for any interface or the total switch bandwidth.

Along the way we also corrected a number of display issues in the interface, fixed display issues for older versions of Internet Explorer,  improved tips and help throughout, fixed formatting issues for some dashboard graphs and much more.

What’s Next?

Beta 2 will be the last pre-release before the official v7.0 release which is tentatively scheduled for May 5th.  Over the next while we’ll be working hard to fix any reported issues and polish up any remaining rough spots in the interface and documentation.  There’s been a ton of interest in v7.0 and we’ve had great feedback but we’re looking for more!  So we encourage you to log into your account on our site and download beta 2.  The build number for beta 2 is 3526 so after installing, verify that build number is shown at the bottom of the page in the interface and have fun exploring!

Update: May 5th 2014
Just a bit longer before the v7.0 release. We’ve found some issues with the new inventory reports that we need to correct. We’re now aiming for May 8th.

Update: May 9th 2014
We missed our target release date yesterday but won’t much longer. There were some last minute issues with running the interface on IIS and some issues with page refreshes but we have those resolved now. We’re running through our test plans again today and when that’s done we’ll post an update here.

Sincerely,

The FrameFlow Team
email: support@frameflow.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/FrameFlow
website: http://www.frameflow.com
FrameFlow: Keep the Servers Going, Keep Your Network Flowing

 

Version 7.0 Status Update

Version 7.0 Status Update

As you probably saw, Beta 1 of FrameFlow v7.0 was released at the beginning of the month.  Since then we’ve had a ton of feedback and we’ve been making further updates and fixes.

Beta 2 is almost ready for release and you’ll see a number of changes in it.  First, we’ve made some changes to the icons and color scheme to give them a more modern look.  The colors are more muted which means that error conditions stand out much better now.  We’ve also fixed a few browser compatibility issues that affected Firefox and some older versions of Internet Explorer.  We’ve added new multi-graphs for the SNMP Bandwidth event monitor.   We’ve also added support for SNMP v3 to all SNMP event monitors.

Beta 2 is due for release in two days on Thursday April 17th.

Beta 2 will be available to all licensed FrameFlow users.  When it is available, log into your account on our site and you’ll find the download links listed there.

Industry News

It’s been an active few weeks in the IT industry with many big news items.  On our Twitter feed @FrameFlow we do our best to highlight issues related to server monitoring, networking monitoring and systems management.

The biggest news event has to be the Heartbleed issue with OpenSSL.  It’s been great to see how quickly the industry has reacted to fix this issue across all major sites.  It’s interesting that Apple and Linux have both discovered SSL issues recently but Microsoft has been solid.  They’ve made a huge investment in security over the years and it looks like it’s paid off in this area at least.

Other noteworthy items:

Farewell to Windows XP, it had its final set of patches delivered on April 8th.

Microsoft shared some details about what’s coming in PowerShell v5.0.  Click here for details.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update was released making some nice UI improvements and Microsoft says there are more on the way.

Amazon AWS announced big price reductions that rolled out on April 1st.  We’re big fans of their cloud based services and having them available at even lower costs is great.

What’s Next

As mentioned above Beta 2 for FrameFlow v7.0 is just a couple of days away.  That will likely be the final beta before the official release.  The date of the official release has not yet been set but we’re targeting Tuesday April 29th.

 

FrameFlow Version 6.8.6 Released

FrameFlow Version 6.8.6 Released

We are very happy to announce that v6.8.6 is now available on our web site. As usual licensed users can get it by logging into their account on our site here:

https://www.frameflow.com/login/

For those who are in the evaluation phase you can just download again from our site. Either way our setup program will upgrade you to the latest release while preserving all of your settings and it only takes a couple of minutes to do.

Version 6.8.6 includes fixes for a number of reported issues.

We fixed an issue that could cause device status to be displayed incorrectly under certain rare circumstances. It occurred if you had a scripting event monitor (PowerShell, JScript, VBScript or Perlscript) that was not assigned to network devices and you and one or more other scripting event monitors that were assigned to devices. It was most noticable in network diagram dashboards where you might see a device in an error state when in fact it only had unviewed events.

We fixed some issues in reports, especially in PDF reports, where some values were not scaled correctly and we fixed a rare bug that could cause the interface to be slow to load on the very first load after a reboot.

But v6.8.6 isn’t only about fixes, it also includes a few new features and improvements. First, we updated the internals of our PowerShell event monitor. Previously there were some scripts that needed special modifications in order to run with the event monitor, especially if PowerShell v4.0 was installed. The latest version runs all scripts without modification.

In v6.8.5 we added a FrameFlow MSP option to run script notifications on remote nodes. Previously all notification scripts ran on the master console which meant they couldn’t be used to take corrective action based on monitoring results. In v6.8.5 the option had to be activated manually and had some restrictions. In v6.8.6 it is a full-fledged option that you can select from right in the FF interface.

We hope you enjoy this latest release and stay tuned for an update on FrameFlow v7.0 which will enter beta testing soon!

FrameFlow Support
support@frameflow.com

FrameFlow Version 6.8.5 Released

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We are very happy to announce that v6.8.5 is now available on our web site. As usual licensed users can get it by logging into their account on our site here:

https://www.frameflow.com/login/

For those who are in the evaluation phase you can just download again from our site. Either way our setup program will upgrade you to the latest release while preserving all of your settings and it only takes a couple of minutes to do.

Version 6.8.5 is fixes a number of issues reported recently including some user interface problems with certain notification types and with exporting Windows event logs to SQL databases.

Also included is a new option for FrameFlow MSP. The new option allows for notification scripts to be run on remote nodes. For details on activating this new functionality, send a note to support@frameflow.com and we’ll provide the complete details.

FrameFlow Version 6.8.4 Released

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We are very happy to announce that v6.8.4 is now available on our web site.  As usual licensed users can get it by logging into their account on our site here:

https://www.frameflow.com/login/

For those who are in the evaluation phase you can just download again from our site.  Either way our setup program will upgrade you to the latest release while preserving all of your settings and it only takes a couple of minutes to do.

Version 6.8.4 is a maintenance release to squash few bugs that have been discovered over the last few weeks.  We fixed issues with report building and settings selection.  We fixed an issue with editing settings for the SNMP event monitor when using Internet Explorer, fixed a problem in the Start Up Wizard and more.  There’s one small change included too:  Our alphanumeric pager notifications now include the device name in the notification making it easier than before to identify the source of the notification.

Here is the complete list of fixes and updates:

  • Alphanumeric pager notifications now include the device name in the alert text.
  • Fixed a problem affecting script notifications when multiple scripts are present.
  • Fixed a problem that affected the option to monitor physical interfaces only in the SNMP Bandwidth event monitor.
  • Fixed a problem where the Performance Counter event monitor would not warn if a counter was missing on the remote system.
  • Fixed a problem with using the device chooser in the settings for device icons in network diagram dashboards.
  • Fixed a problem where the spreadsheet view did not showed blank authentication values for some types of event monitors.
  • Fixed a problem that affected editing SNMP event monitor settings when using Internet Explorer.
  • Fixed a problem where the starup wizard could fail to detect device type selections.
  • Fixed a time zone issue that affected the RSS feed option when viewed using Firefox.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause an error message while editing reports.
  • Fixed a problem that could intermittently cause report builds to fail.
  • Fixed a problem that could prevent reports from being delivered by e-mail.

Meanwhile we’re working hard on the big v7.0 updated which is due for release towards the end of the year.  It’s going to include a lot in the way of major new functionality and huge scalability & performance updates.