Documentation forSolarWinds Observability

Configure deployed Network Collector for High Availability installation

By default, the Network Collector uses an embedded SQL Server Express to store configuration and temporary data.

To set up High Availability for Network Collector, you need to migrate the database to a separate SQL Server. Both the active and backup Network Collectors use this SQL Server to share configuration and temporary data.

Migrating allows you to keep all relevant configurations. Historical data are not fully preserved, and this is not needed as the metrics, topology data, flows, and other historical data are persisted in the cloud.

SolarWinds provides High Availability on the application level. It is the customer’s responsibility to provide High Availability for the SQL Server.

High Availability Requirements/Prerequisites

  • Network Collector 2024.1 or later

  • A separate MS SQL Server 2022


  • Use SQL Server Authentication with the sa login and password to ensure that the SolarWinds Platform can access the SolarWinds Platform database, even if it is hosted remotely on a separate server.

  • Use Standard or Enterprise editions of SQL Server 2022 (including installations on Linux).

    The Express edition is also supported for the production environment but does not provide the Always On availability groups feature. For the upgrade, only SQL Server 2022 or newer is supported because SQL Server Express 2022 is embedded.

  • For the fresh installation, the Network Collector also supports older versions of SQL Server. The full list of supported SQL versions is:

    • SQL Server 2022 (including installations on Linux)
    • SQL Server 2019 (including installations on Linux)
    • SQL Server 2017 (including installations on Linux)
    • SQL Server 2016 SP1 or SP2
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server Service Packs and Cumulative Updates is assumed unless otherwise noted.

Migrate the embedded SQL version to a new database server

  1. Prepare your new database server.

    Build the new database server including any changes to the architecture, hardware, and operating system.

  2. Stop Network Collector services.

    On the server where Network Collector is installed, open the SolarWinds Platform Service Manager application and stop all SolarWinds services.

    • SolarWinds recommends discussing database migrations with a DBA. You should also schedule a maintenance window to migrate, during non-peak hours (recommended), and notify your company when taking services offline to migrate.

    • When you migrate your database, your services are down and not collecting polling data.

  3. Back up the SQL database. On the machine where Network Collector is installed, run the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and back up the following databases:

    • SolarWindsOrion
    • SolarWindsOrionLog
    • SolarWindsFlowStorage

    See the Microsoft article Create a Full Database Backup for details.

    If you do not have SSMS installed on the Network Collector server, use the following link to download SQL Management Studio:

  4. Restore the database to the new server. Copy and restore the database to the new server, for example using the SQL Management Studio.

  5. On the Network Collector, run the Configuration Wizard to update the database connections. Perform the following steps:

    1. Run the Configuration Wizard to update the database location.

    2. On Database Settings, specify your new database server in the SQL Server field.

    3. Select the user with sufficient rights to the migrated database (db_owner) or select a user with privileges to create a new user. Click Next to continue. See SQL permission role requirements on the SolarWinds Platform.

    4. To use the currently logged-in user, select Authenticate as currently logged-in user. The user needs to have sufficient privileges.

    5. To use a different user, select Switch user (Windows, Azure Active Directory or SQL Server Authentication), provide credentials, and click Next.

    6. Select Use an Existing Database and select or type the database name and click Next. When prompted to use the existing database, click Yes.

    7. On Database account, specify the account for accessing the database.

      SolarWinds recommends that you create a new account to ensure that the SolarWinds Platform has required access to the database.

    8. Select Create a New Account and provide a New Account name.

    9. Provide and confirm an account Password and click Next.

    10. Complete the wizard.

  6. Start services. Using the SolarWinds Platform Service Manager, start all services on the Network Collector.

The Network Collector uses the new database on a separate server and is ready for the installation of the High Availability backup server.

Set up High Availability for your Network Collector

  1. In SolarWinds Observability, click Add Data at the top.

  2. On the Add Data dialog, click Network Device.

  3. On Select Network Collector, select Deploy new Network Collector and click Next.

  4. On Prepare Ingestion Token, select a token to identify the Agent when sending the data into SolarWinds Observability and click Next.

  5. On the Install Network Collector screen, download the ISO file.

  6. On the same screen, copy the API token value in step 3.

  7. Mount the ISO file on the server you want to use as a backup and start the installation wizard.

  8. In Installation Type, select High Availability for an existing collector.

  9. On Server Connect, provide the IP address or host name of your primary Network Collector server, your user name and password.

  10. Paste the API token and complete the installation wizard. For details on completing the installation, see Install the Network Collector.

In case of failover, your Network Collector will switch to the secondary server in the pool. To see details about your High Availability setup in SolarWinds Observability, click Settings > High Availability.