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Understanding SolarWinds Software



SolarWinds is a networking software company founded in 1999 that supports companies in managing their IT portfolios. Both the public and private sector companies use SolarWinds products, and according to the New York Times, almost all Fortune 500 companies get assistance from SolarWinds to monitor their networks. Additionally, in the public sector, SolarWinds products are used in highly-sensitive federal agencies such as the US Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State Department.


2020 was full of unexpected events in politics, economics, and the health sector. Similarly, the information technology sector was not behind. A massive supply chain attack originated in the Orion network management system software of SolarWinds that affected several organizations including the US federal agencies such as the Treasury Department, the Pentagon, the Commerce Department, and many others.


The development operations of SolarWinds were attacked by the hackers who inserted malware inside the software update that was distributed in March. The hacking group was able to enter the network once the software was installed and allowed them to take further actions. The malware was specifically designed for this hack, and it's reported to be complicated.


What is Orion Network Management System Software?


Network Management System (NMS) software is developed by SolarWinds to monitor all the operations of a network and is capable of intercept and inspect network systems and traffic. The software consists of tools that help in detecting, diagnosing, and resolving network performance issues by running a scan of network devices for fault and availability. The software is designed to integrate with different devices and services, that includes servers, switches, routers, and virtual machines.


image credit: andrewderr


NMS is not necessary for small networks like home or residential networks however it is highly essential for large networks such as enterprise configurations. There are multiple connected devices in corporate networks, data centres, and server farms, therefore a centralized network monitoring system is important to manage the devices. NMS can help in efficiently locating, updating, replacing, and repairing network equipment as per the need.


The network management systems provide various services such as:


Network Monitoring – NMS monitors network hardware to check whether the devices are operating correctly and to ensure they are not near or at full capacity. Network administrators are notified if a problem is found.


Device Detection – NMS detects new devices to recognize, configure, and add to the network.


Performance Analysis – NMS measures new and old network performance including the overall network performance of the individual as well as connected devices. For instance, the NMS can detect the throughput of a network when it is near to the maximum bandwidth.


To prevent cyber-attacks and to optimize the performance of various servers and devices companies need to have competent IT solution providers, for instance MCG. The company provides IT Infrastructure Monitoring and Network Performance Monitoring for platforms like SolarWinds. These monitoring solutions can help in analyzing performance, managing operational services, and provide product maintenance and support along with technical training and timely software updates.


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