Migrate the NTA Flow Storage database to another disk drive on the same server

Last Updated: 5-31-2018 | Migration Guide

Supports: NTA 4.2.3 and earlier

This guide details how to migrate your NTA Flow Storage database from the local disk to a new remote server. Due to the database size, historical data you will capture, and the activity of the server, we recommend installing the NTA Flow Storage database on a dedicated server or at least a dedicated disk or partition.

You may need to migrate if...

  • The database  shares a server with a poller or other products
  • The database is encountering performance and disk space issues
  • The requirements for the database have changed

The NTA Flow Storage database Configurator includes a database backup option. We recommend using this option as part of your normal database and server maintenance.

If the NTA Flow Storage database is not empty, and you are connecting it to an empty SQL database, you must delete all data from the NTA Flow Storage database. Otherwise, the existing data might be associated with wrong nodes and interfaces.

NTA Flow Storage database requirements

These requirements are a guideline of minimum hardware and software requirements recommended for your database. You can also use a VM for the database, following the VM requirements for NPM installations.

Hardware/OS Requirements

Production environments require 4 CPUs (4-16 CPUs)

3 GHz or faster


Production environments require minimum 16 GB (16-128 GB)

To ensure optimal performance, we recommend increasing RAM together with the database size.

Hard Drive Space

20 GB on 7200 rpm disk or more. NTFS file system required.

Recommended: Raid configurations of 0 or 1+0.

Other RAID and SAN configurations are not recommends and can result in data loss and decreased performance.

With the default 30-days retention period and default top talker optimization, you should plan at least 8 GB of additional storage capacity per sustained 1000 flows per second. The required hard drive space strongly depends on your flow traffic.

OS 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or newer

Prepare your new server

Before backing up data, prep your local disk drive or partition for the migration. If you are migrating or upgrading products, you should plan that migration with your database migration.

1. Prep hardware for the migration

Prepare your local disk drive or partition. Review the minimum SolarWinds Orion platform requirements, multi-module guidelines, and specific product requirements (release notes and admin guide) for your product.

2. Gather credentials Gather the local admin credentials for the current and new server

Back up the NTA Flow Storage database

Prior to moving the database, you should locate the database and create a backup.

In NTA 4.2.3 and earlier, the NTA Flow Storage database is not a SQL database. You can perform backups creating copies of the folder or using the NTA Flow Storage database Backup Scheduler. For this example, we copy and paste the folder to an external drive or USB.

1. Open the NTA Flow Storage Database Configurator Start the NTA Flow Storage database Configurator in the SolarWinds Orion > NetFlow Traffic Analysis program folder.
2. Locate the database file path You will find the path to the current NTA Flow Storage database destination folder in the NTA Flow Storage database data file path field. Click Cancel to close the Configurator.
3. Back up the database

Back up the database by copying and pasting the database folder to another server or external drive. If you have a backup folder entered, you can back up to this location.

Migrate the Flow Storage database to another disk drive on the same server

When migrating the database to another folder on the same drive, you use an .exe file to migrate the content. You do not need to copy and paste the folder onto the other drive. The application completes the migration and configures the file path for you.

If you receive a message that the server does not have enough free space to migrate, you have a choice to cancel and free up space or start a partial migration. We recommend using a larger server or freeing up more space. A partial migration will not migrate your oldest flow data, and you may have issues storing new flow data.

1. Stop services Stop the SolarWinds NetFlow Service or the SolarWinds NetFlow Storage Service.
2. Locate and run the database move  .exe Locate and run the SolarWinds.NetFlow.FastBit.DbMove.exe in the folder where you have installed your NTA Flow Storage database, such as C:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\NetFlowTrafficAnalysis
3. Select the new folder location for the database Define the folder path to the new NTA Flow Storage database location. This path should be on the new drive on the same server.
4. Move the database Click Move. The .exe moves the NTA Flow Storage database to the new location on the same drive.
5. Enter the new file path

Start the NTA Flow Storage Configurator in the SolarWinds Orion > NetFlow Traffic Analysis program folder. Change data file path to the new destination folder for storing your flows data. Click OK.

6. Start services Start your services on the main Orion and additional polling servers.

Migrate flow data from the SolarWinds Orion SQL database to the Flow Storage database

If you are upgrading to NTA 4.1 from a previous version that saved data to the SolarWinds Orion database, you should migrate this data to the NTA Flow Storage database. This process starts as selected when upgrading NTA. For the migrated flows, you need approximately twice the space the flows currently take in the SQL database.

You should have the NTA Flow Storage database installed prior to migrating.

The process runs in the background and can take extensive time and system resources to complete. We recommend letting the migration run without starting other processes.

You can check the progress of the migration any time through the Orion Web Console notification bar.

1. Back up your SQL database

Back up your SolarWinds Orion database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.

If you have your database on a VM, create a snapshot or copy of your VM.

2. Run the Configuration Wizard Start the Configuration wizard if it did not start or you skipped it as part of your NTA upgrade.
3. Select how to migrate historical data

You can select to:

  • Migrate historical data from previous installation: This option migrates your flow historical data.
  • Do not migrate my historical data: This option keeps the historical flow data in the SQL database. You can further select to:
    • Keep flow data in the Orion SQL database and migrate it later using the Configuration wizard
    • Delete flow data from the Orion SQL database to permanently remove it.
4. Verify your backup Type in YES and continue. The Configuration wizard checks if the Flow Storage database server has enough space for the migration. If you need more space, a message displays. We recommend making space or installing the Flow Storage database on a large server.
5. Review and migrate Review the selections and click Finish to start your migration. The process starts, running in the background.
6. Start services Start your services on the main and additional polling servers.

Learn more...

Check the latest NTA release notes for changes and updates.