Documentation forOrion Platform

Migrate the NTA Flow Storage database to a new remote server

Last Updated: May 31, 2018 | Migration Guide

Supports: NTA 4.2.3 and earlier


This guide details how to migrate your NTA Flow Storage database from a remote server or 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 supported version or requirements for the database have changed

The NTA Flow Storage database Configurator includes a database backup option. SolarWinds recommends 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.

How do I migrate?

  1. Review NTA Flow Storage database requirements.
  2. Prepare the new database server.
  3. Back up the NTA Flow Storage database.
  4. Migrate the Flow Storage database to a new remote server.
  5. Migrate flow data from the SolarWinds Orion SQL database to the Flow Storage database.

Task 1: Review NTA Flow Storage database requirements

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

Task 2: Prepare your new database server

If you are migrating or upgrading Orion Platform products, plan the migration of your Orin server together with your database migration.

1. Prep new hardware for the migration

Build the new database server including any changes to the architecture, hardware, and Operating System.

Review the database requirements in Orion Platform requirements, in multi-module guidelines, and requirements for your product (see release notes and admin guides).

You can also review this article for specific Microsoft SQL Server versions per Orion Platform product versions.

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

Task 3: 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.

Task 4: Migrate the Flow Storage database to a new remote server

You can migrate the database between servers by backing up and restoring the database on a different server. After it is migrated, you need to configure and update all configurations to point to the new location.

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. Log in to the NTA server Log in to the server where your NTA Flow Storage database is currently installed.
2. Stop the NetFlow service Stop the SolarWinds NetFlow Service.

3. Go to your NTA Flow Storage Database folder

Locate your NTA Flow Storage database folder in a file explorer.

4. Copy the database folder to the new server

Move the NTA Flow Storage database folder with its contents to the target server using standard Windows tools (Copy & Paste, shared folder, or FTP).

5. Install the NTA Flow Storage Database

Run the NTA installation file and select the NTA Flow Storage database option.

6. Update the new database server on the main polling engine

You need to update the main server NTA with the new location of the database:

  1. Log in to the NTA server and run the NTA executable.
  2. For the configuration option, select NPM/NTA/NTA Flow Storage database on two separate servers and click Next.
  3. Enter the new database server hostname or IP address and click Test Connection.
  4. Move through the following screens to review the Welcome information, accept the terms of the license agreement, and review the Previous version detected screen.
  5. Click Change and complete the Setup wizard.
  6. Select the appropriate licensing option.
  7. Reconfigure your NTA using the Configuration wizard.
7. Update the new database server on the polling engines

If a NetFlow Collector is not installed on the additional polling engines, you can skip this step.

After updating the location on the main poller, run the Configuration wizard on each additional polling engine with a NetFlow Collector.

This step is required if you have the NetFlow Collector installed.

Task 5: 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. SolarWinds recommends that you let 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.