Introduction to the SolarWinds NTA Installation Guide

Supported Version: SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) 4.2.3 and earlier.

SolarWinds NTA collects Class Based Quality of Service (CBQoS) and flow data, processes it, and together with performance data collected by SolarWinds NPM, presents the data in graphs and reports to show bandwidth use on your network. These reports help you:

  • Monitor interface-level network bandwidth usage, and identify users, applications, protocols, and IP address groups that consume most bandwidth
  • Track conversations between internal and external endpoints
  • Analyze traffic patterns, with up to one-minute granularity, over months, days, or minutes by drilling down into any network element
  • Enhance bandwidth capacity before outages occur

This guide supports the following installation scenarios:

  • Integrated with the Orion Platform
  • Evaluation installation

Integrated with the Orion Platform

NetFlow Traffic Analyzer supports an integrated installation into an existing Orion Platform. For this installation, you will install the NTA Flow Storage Database on a dedicated server, install SolarWinds NTA on the Orion server, and configure your databases. 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

NetFlow Traffic Analyzer 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.

Orion Platform: The common backend platform used by the SolarWinds Orion suite of products, including Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Server & Application Monitor (SAM), Network Configuration Manager (NCM), NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (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 SolarWinds Orion monitoring tools.

Orion Web Console: The web interface you see when you log in to SolarWinds Orion that is used to view, configure, and manage all of your monitored objects.

Orion Application Server: A Microsoft Windows® server that runs the Orion Web Console and collects data from monitored objects. Also called the Orion Main Poller.

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

Polling Engine: A polling engine controls polling job scheduling, data processing, and queries your monitored devices for performance metrics, such as CPU, memory, and up or 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 Polling Engine).

NTA Flow Storage Database: An independent database for storing flow data. The SolarWinds NTA Flow Storage Database must be installed before installing SolarWinds NTA.

NetFlow collector: A server responsible for receiving, storage, and processing of flow data.