SAM licensing model

This section describes the two license types available for SAM: node-based licensing and component-based licensing. Additional topics include:

Node-based licensing

Skip ahead to component-based licensing

Node-based SAM licensing governs the number of managed nodes in your environment. You can monitor an unlimited number of component monitors and application monitors on each managed node.

A "managed node" is any entity from which data is extracted directly via an Orion polling method such as SNMP, ICMP, WMI, agents, or API. Data pulled through these polling methods populate SAM features such as AppInsight, templates, component monitors, Hardware Health monitoring, and more. The licensing structure is the same, regardless of the polling method.

Typically, a node is a server, but can also be a VM, hypervisor, Nutanix cluster, external node, or external service. For example, if you monitor a VM directly, it counts as a managed node; if you get performance data via the parent hypervisor, individual VMs on the hypervisor do not count as managed nodes.

Count the number of managed nodes in your environment to determine the most suitable license tier.

SAM License Tiers
(node-based licensing)
Number of Managed Nodes
SAM10 10
SAM25 25
SAM50 50
SAM75 75
SAM100 100
SAM200 200
SAM300 300
SAM400 400
SAM500 500
SAM600 600
SAM700 700
SAM800 800
SAM900 900
SAM1000 1000
SAM1250 1250
SAM1500 1500
SAM2000 2000
SAM2500 2500
SAM3000 3000
SAM4000 4000
SAM5000 5000

To get the most out of SAM node-based licensing, including the ability to add an Additional Polling Engine that doesn't require an extra license (described next), use SAM 6.9.1 or later.

Click here for a short video (2:05) about node-based licensing.

Add an Additional Polling Engine for SAM that does not require an extra license

With a node-based SAM license, you can add an Additional Polling Engine (APE) that does not require an extra license. By distributing polling away from the main polling engine, you can improve your monitoring capacity, boost the Orion Web Console performance, and help ensure high availability.

To add the APE after applying the main SAM license:

  1. Make sure you're using SAM 6.9.1 or later.
  2. Run the SolarWinds Orion Installer to set up the APE.
  3. When prompted to select a Server Role, select the "Additional Polling Engine for Server & Application Monitor" option.

Note the following details about adding a SAM APE that doesn't require an extra license:

  • If you use other Orion Platform products that offer "included" APEs, the exact text for the Server Role varies. For example, if Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) is also installed, the option appears as "Additional Polling engine for Server & Application Monitor, Storage Resource Monitor."

  • The APE only polls for SAM and basic Orion Platform data such as node status and volume. For example, a SAM APE returns SAM data and basic node metrics, but doesn't return NPM node data such as interfaces.
  • You cannot use multiple licenses (also known as stacking) with SAM node-based licensing.

For tips about growing your SAM environment, see Scalability Engine Guidelines for SolarWinds products. You can also watch this short video (:58): Enterprise-class scalability of Orion products.

Component-based licensing

A component-based SAM license determines how many assigned component monitors you are allowed. SAM application monitor templates contain multiple component monitors, each of which tracks a different statistic and consumes one license.

The value returned by a component monitor is a measurement of application health and availability that needs to be monitored. It can be a process, service, performance counter, port, URL, User Experience Monitor, Nagios script, or something similar. An application typically consumes 15 — 25 component monitors. The Windows Scheduled Task Monitor consumes 5 component monitors per Windows server.

You can use as many templates and component monitors as needed, as long as the number of assigned component monitors doesn't exceed the license count.

Asset Inventory data collection does not count against a component-based SAM license.

If you exceed a license limit, component monitors beyond the limit are not activated and their statuses change to Not Licensed. Either disable assigned component monitors to reduce your total assigned monitor count, or upgrade your license. This also applies to API Poller metrics.

Click here for a short video (3:16) about component-based licensing.

The following table lists component-based license levels.

SAM License Tiers
(component-based licensing)
Number of Monitored Components
AL150 150
AL300 300
AL700 700
AL1100 1100
AL1500 1500
AL2500 2500
ALX Unlimited number of items to monitor standard polling throughput.

To verify the number of consumed and available component monitors in your license, access the SAM License Summary in the Orion Web Console.

  1. Click Settings > All Settings.
  2. Under Product Specific Settings, click SAM Settings.
  3. Click SAM License Summary.

Verify the component monitors consumed per template

SAM licenses do not have to mirror the license count of other installed SolarWinds products. For example, you can install SAM with a 150-component license on an NPM server with an unlimited node license.

​Example: The Apache template has 8 available licensed component monitors. If you have an AL150 license and assign all 8 component monitors in this template to a node, the balance of remaining licenses is 142 (150-8 = 142). If you assign only 5 of the 8 component monitors to a node, the balance of remaining licenses is 145 (150-5=145).

To view the number of licensed component monitors consumed per template in SAM:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings > SAM Settings.
  2. Under Product Specific Settings, click SAM Settings
  3. Under Application Monitor Templates, click Manage Templates.
  4. Review the Licensed Components column amount per template.

AppInsight templates are powerful, complex templates that offer a level of detail beyond what standard SAM templates provide and consume licenses at a flat rate, as described here:

  • AppInsight for Active Directory consumes 50 component monitors per monitored domain controller.
  • AppInsight for Exchange consumes 50 component monitors per monitored mailbox role server.
  • AppInsight for IIS consumes 30 component monitors per monitored IIS server.
  • AppInsight for SQL consumes 50 component monitors per database instance.

Determine your SAM license type

To check which type of license you have:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings > License Details.
  2. Examine the SAM section of the License Details page:

You can also check your license type in the SolarWinds Customer Portal.

  1. Log into the SolarWinds Customer Portal.
  2. Click Licenses > Manage Licenses.
  3. Scroll down to the Server & Application Monitor row.


Manage your SAM license

Like other Orion Platform products, SAM uses the web-based License Manager to license the Orion server, Additional Polling Engines (APE), Additional Web Servers (AWS), and High Availability (HA) pools.

To manage SAM and other licenses after you install SAM:

  1. Log into the Orion Web Console.
  2. Click Settings > All Settings.
  3. Click License Details in the Details section.

  4. Click License Manager.

You can sort licenses by product name, version, license type, or expiration date. You can also add a license, upgrade a license to a new tier, and activate licenses on new servers. The License Manager on the Orion server controls all licenses for your SAM environment, including scalability engines.

If prompted to activate your SAM license, use your individual Customer ID (also called a "SWID") to log into the SolarWinds Customer Portal. If you do not know your Customer ID, enter a Support ticket.

Upgrade your SAM license

If you're interested in upgrading a component-based license, the following table outlines comparable levels of node-based licensing. Contact SolarWinds Sales for more information.

Component-based License Tiers
(what you have now)
Node-based License Tiers
(what you can convert to)
AL150 SAM10
AL300 SAM25
AL700 SAM50
AL1100 SAM75
AL1500 SAM100
AL2500 SAM200
ALX SAM300

*Additional tiers are available. Contact SolarWinds Sales for details.

Still have questions? Visit the SolarWinds Success Center and review SAM Licensing FAQs.