Documentation forSolarWinds Platform

Data sources

This topic applies to all SolarWinds Platform products.

Typically, the Network Management System (NMS) collects data either by actively polling devices for data or by passively listening for data on a reserved IP port. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) polling and Windows™ Management Instrumentation (WMI) are common examples of polled data. SNMP trap and NetFlow are examples of passive data collection. SNMP polled data is obtained by the SNMP manager polling for specific data from an SNMP agent MIB on a managed device.

Both the NMS and managed device keep a copy of the Management Information Base (MIB). The MIB is similar to a file and folder structure for data stored on a hard drive. The MIB maps out where specific information is stored. MIBs consist of Object Identifiers (OIDs) that store data points. If more than one end object exists in an OID, the OID is appended with an index number. This structure is shown in the following example.


The SNMP agent on the managed device populates the agent’s MIB OIDs with the latest data in 10 seconds to one minute intervals, depending on the device and vendor’s SNMP implementation. In this case the data source is the SNMP MIB on the device’s SNMP agent. Other IT management data sources include flow exporters, such as NetFlow, WMI polling, API query responses, log exporters, SNMP traps, as well as telnet and SSH.

The following illustration shows IT management data sources, data types, and the data collector and how each of these communicates.