What should I monitor with NPM?

Before you begin monitoring your network, identify the devices to monitor in your environment.

Use the Discovery wizard to scan your network for nodes and associated entities. You can review found nodes and elements and add the devices to the SolarWinds Orion database for monitoring.

The first time you discover your network, add a limited number of edge routers or switches, firewalls and load balancers, and critical physical or virtual servers and hosts. After you have the monitoring, alerts, and reports set up, SolarWinds recommends adding more nodes.

Discovery checklist

Before you run the Discovery wizard, gather the IP addresses and credentials for the devices you want to monitor.

Determine the devices to monitor.

Determine the method used to monitor your devices, and make sure it is enabled on the devices.

  • SNMP: primarily used to monitor network devices, for example, routers, firewalls, and switches. To enable SNMP, consult the device documentation.
    SNMP requirements

    • For correct device identification, monitored devices must allow access to the SysObjectID.
    • Unix-based devices should use the version of Net-SNMP (5.5 or later) specific to the Unix-based operating system in use.
    • SolarWinds NPM can monitor VMware ESX and ESXi Servers versions 4.0 and later with VMware Tools installed.
    • If SNMPv2c is enabled on a device, SolarWinds NPM attempts to use SNMPv2c to poll the device for performance information. To poll using only SNMPv1, you must disable SNMPv2c on the polled device.
  • WMI: usually enabled on Windows devices by default. If the polling engine and device are separated by a firewall, SolarWinds recommends that you deploy an optional agent to securely monitor Windows servers and applications by WMI.

    For Windows servers, SolarWinds recommends using WMI polling. For a non-Windows server, SolarWinds recommends using SNMP.

The following table outlines the pros and cons of using SNMP and WMI.

  SNMP WMI
Bandwidth, CPU, memory usage on the host/poller Uses more bandwidth, CPU, and memory than SNMP per poll.
Monitoring across firewall/NAT-ed WAN connection Requires an agent for secure monitoring over one port.
Windows mount points and application metrics Cannot collect Windows mount point statistics or application level metrics.

Determine IP ranges or individual IP addresses you want the system to scan as it discovers your network.

Determine SNMP v1/2 community strings and SNMP v3 community strings and credentials of the devices to monitor.

Determine log in credentials for each monitored device.

Determine VMware host credentials. The system requires read-only permissions.
Determine Windows credentials: domain or local admin.