NPM Legacy Installation Guide

Supported Versions: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) 12.1

This installation guide provides steps to install SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor using the NPM legacy installer. Starting with NPM 12.2, the SolarWinds Orion Installer is the only way to install NPM.

Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to upgrade one or more Orion Platform products simultaneously.

The SolarWinds Orion Installer supports only direct upgrades. You can use it to upgrade NPM 12.0 and later to NPM 12.2.

SolarWinds NPM is a network monitoring solution that helps you to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance problems and outages.

NPM provides:

  • Fault, performance, and availability monitoring
  • Hop-by-hop analysis along critical paths
  • Cross-stack network data correlation
  • Customizable topology and dependency-aware alerts
  • Dynamic wired and wireless network discovery and mapping
  • Automated capacity forecasting, alerting, and reporting
  • Wireless network monitoring and management
  • Customizable single-pane-of-glass network monitoring software
  • End-user quality of experience with Packet Capture and Analysis
  • Dynamic statistical network performance baselines
  • Hardware health monitoring
  • Customizable performance and availability reports
  • Drag-and-discover network performance charts

This guide supports the following installation scenarios:

Stand-alone installation

For a stand-alone installation of SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, install the product on a dedicated server. This installation assumes you have not installed any other SolarWinds Orion Platform products on the target server.

Integrated with the Orion Platform

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor supports an integrated installation into an existing Orion Platform. For this installation, you may install the product on the Orion server, to connect to the Orion SQL database. As part of this installation, verify if installed products need to be upgraded prior to installing the new product. If your environment uses SolarWinds High Availability, follow the additional instructions as part of the installation.

Evaluation installation

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor supports an evaluation installation with a trial period. This installation is a full installation of the product with a 30-day license. To continue with a full product license, contact SolarWinds Sales.


The following terms provide context for the architecture and components of SolarWinds products.

Additional Polling Engine (APE)

To scale polling and monitoring in larger environments, you can add additional polling engines or stackable polling engines to an existing Orion Platform products. APEs scale your environment to monitor hundreds of thousands of elements, and poll across multiple pollers and locations to improve performance. For details, see the Scalability Engine Guidelines for SolarWinds Orion Products.

Additional Web Server (AWS)

To scale web server access to the Orion Web Console in larger environments, you can add an additional web server to an existing Orion Platform product. AWS increase the performance and scalability of users to the Orion Web Console, For details, see the Scalability Engine Guidelines for SolarWinds Orion Products.

High Availability (HA)

HA protects your Orion environment from server crashes, outages, and database issues. Server pairs in HA pools provide automatic failover to a backup server for the main Orion server and additional polling engines. Each server pair can be easily updated with new products and hotfixes using the Scalability Engine Installer, available through the Orion Web Console.

Orion Platform

The common backend platform used by the SolarWinds Orion suite of products, including NPM, SAM, NCM, NTA, and more. The platform provides the backbone for navigation, settings, and common features like alerts and reports. It also provides a consistent look-and-feel across products, giving you a “single pane of glass” for your Orion monitoring tools.

Orion Application Server

A Windows server that runs the Orion Web console and collects data from monitored objects. Also called the Orion Main Poller.

Orion Database Server

A Windows SQL server that should be hosted on a dedicated server in a production environment, separately from the Orion Application Server. It stores Orion configuration data and all collected performance and syslog data.

Polling Engine (Poller)

A Polling Engine controls polling job scheduling, data processing, and queries your monitored devices for performance metrics like CPU, memory, and up/down status. Additional Polling Engines can be licensed to provide additional scalability and capacity. By default, the Orion Server provides one Polling Engine (often referred to as the Main Poller).

Orion Web Console:

The web interface you see when you log on to Orion that is used to view, configure, and manage all of your monitored objects.