Get started with Server & Application Monitor

This guide picks up right after the SAM installation process and walks you through the first steps you need to take to monitor applications, hardware health, asset inventory, and operating performance in your SolarWinds SAM environment.

After learning how SAM works, you can start exploring the Orion Web Console, which you'll use to do everything in SAM, from discovering applications to setting up alerts, thresholds, and application monitoring templates.

Additional sections in this guide include:

Who this guide is for

New SAM users Existing SAM users

This guide is meant for you and is the best place to start with SAM.

When finished, move on to the SAM Administrator Guide. for more advanced information.

See the Orion Platform Administrator Guide to learn about common features that SAM shares with other Orion Platform products, such as user accounts, alerts, and agents.

This guide provides a high-level view of SAM features but you'll find more advanced information in the SAM Administrator Guide.

Existing customers: Access your licensed software from the SolarWinds Customer Portal. If upgrading from SAM 6.9 or later, you can upgrade via the Settings > My Orion Deployment page. For implementation help, contact Customer Support. See Working with Support to learn how to open a support case with the correct level of visibility.

Evaluators: To evaluate SAM, download a free 30-day evaluation that is a full version of the product, functional for 30 days. After the evaluation period, you can easily convert your evaluation license to a production license by obtaining and applying a license key. If you need assistance during evaluation, contact sales@solarwinds.com.

Here are additional learning resources for SAM:

  • Review the system requirements and release notes before installing SAM.
  • To upgrade SAM, see the Orion Platform Installation and Upgrade Guide.
  • The SAM Administrator Guide describes how to use product features and related technologies. It also contains recommendations on best practices, and troubleshooting information for common situations.
  • Use SAM online help to explore individual widgets that appear on SAM views in the Orion Web Console. Online help includes information from the main SAM documentation set, plus additional troubleshooting topics.
  • To learn about features shared by SAM and other Orion Platform products, such as user accounts, views, dashboards, and alerts, see the Orion Platform Administration Guide. Use this document to fine-tune your SAM deployment by working with custom properties and groups, creating custom views, reducing alerting noise, and more.
  • Visit the SolarWinds Success Center for product guides, training resources, and technical support articles.
  • Use the Server & Application Monitor product forum in our online IT community, THWACK, to connect with SolarWinds developers, product managers, and other SAM users. Download templates, reports, and scripts to customize and extend SAM.

Product terminology

Orion Platform: The common backend platform used by the SolarWinds Orion Platform suite of products, including NPM, SAM, NCM, NTA, WPM, and more. The Orion Platform is 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 Orion monitoring tools.

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

Orion server: A Microsoft Windows server that hosts the Orion Web Console and collects data from monitored objects. Also called the Orion Main Poller or Main Polling Engine.

Orion database server: A SQL server that is hosted on a dedicated server, separate from the Orion server. It stores Orion Platform configuration data plus collected performance and Syslog data.

Polling engine: A polling engine controls polling job scheduling, data processing, and queries your monitored devices for performance metrics like CPU, memory, and up/down status. By default, the Orion server provides one polling engine, that is often called the "main polling engine." You can add Additional Polling Engines (APEs) to provide enhance scalability and capacity, as described in the Scalability Engine Guidelines.

Node: A node is an endpoint of a given network. For example, any application, server, device, or computer on a network is considered a node.

Template: A template is the blueprint for an application. It is a collection of component monitors designed to monitor a server or application. You can customize numerous templates using only the component monitors you need for a specific environment. For a list of out-of-the-box templates included in SAM, see the SAM Template Reference.

Application: An application or application monitor in SAM monitors a specific application or server using a collection of component monitors.

Component Monitor: A component monitor is the fundamental element of an application or application monitor. Component monitors return the current status or value of a monitored service or process. All component monitors return at least one value or one status condition. Click here for a list of component monitors,