Released July 1, 2019
Updated August 19, 2020
These release notes describe new features, improvements, and fixed issues in SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) 6.9.1, a product that consumes Orion Platform 2019.2. These notes also provide information about installation, upgrades and known issues. See also SAM 6.9.1 System Requirements.
New features and improvements
Read this section for descriptions of new features and improvements offered in this release. For previous release information, click here. You can also compare this release with previous releases of SAM.
SolarWinds now offers node-based licensing for SAM that governs the number of managed nodes in your environment.
A "managed node" is any entity from which data is extracted directly via an Orion polling method such as SNMP, ICMP, WMI, agents, or API. Data pulled through these polling methods populate advanced SAM features such as AppInsight™, templates, component monitors, Asset Inventory, Hardware Health, and more. The licensing structure is the same, regardless of the polling method.
Typically, a node is a server, but can also be a VM, hypervisor, external node, or external service. For example, if you monitor a VM directly, it counts as a managed node; if you get performance data via the parent hypervisor, individual VMs on the hypervisor do not count as managed nodes.
Count the number of managed nodes in your environment to determine the most suitable license tier.
|SAM License Tiers
|Number of Managed Nodes|
To get the most out of SAM node-based licensing, including the ability to add an Additional Polling Engine that doesn't require an extra license (described next), use SAM 6.9.1 or later.
Click here for a short video (2:05) about node-based licensing.
Add Additional Polling Engines that do not require extra licenses
With a node-based SAM license, you can add Additional Polling Engines (APEs) that do not require extra licenses. By distributing polling away from the Main Polling Engine, you can improve your monitoring capacity, boost the Orion Web Console performance, and help ensure high availability.
The latest Orion Installer allows for easier upgrades and less management of individual APEs.
To add an APE after applying the main SAM license:
- Verify that you're using SAM 6.9.1 or later.
- Run the SolarWinds Orion Installer to set up the APE.
- When prompted to select a Server Role, select the "Additional Polling Engine for Server & Application Monitor" option.
Note the following details about adding an APE that doesn't require an extra license:
If you use other Orion Platform products that offer "included" APEs, the exact text for the Server Role varies. For example, if Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) is also installed, the option appears as "Additional Polling engine for Server & Application Monitor, Storage Resource Monitor."
- The APE only polls for SAM and basic Orion Platform data such as node status and volume. . For example, a SAM APE returns SAM data and basic node metrics, but doesn't return NPM node data such as interfaces.
- APE licenses are stacked automatically.
For tips about growing your SAM environment, see Scalability Engine Guidelines for SolarWinds products. You can also watch this short video (:58): Enterprise-class scalability of Orion products.
Orion Platform 2019.2: New features and improvements
SAM 6.9.1 consumes Orion Platform 2019.2, which includes the following features and improvements:
- Node status improvements
- Orion Maps enhancements
- Support for Microsoft® Azure® database
- Orion agent rediscovery
- Linux agent metrics
- PerfStack links added to widgets
- Automatic removal of unknown volumes
- Secure Syslog alerts
- HSRP addresses
- Fortigate CPU and Memory
- Dynamic external nodes
- New SysObjectIDs
- Per-node diagnostics
- Expanded device support
New customer installation
Use the Orion Installer, available in the Customer Portal, to install SAM. See the Orion Platform Products Installation and Upgrade Guide for details. After installation, see the SAM Getting Started Guide to learn about configuring and customizing SAM.
Before you upgrade
To prepare for the upgrade:
- Read these Release Notes.
- Make sure all servers comply with the SAM 6.9.1 system requirements.
- (Optional) Backup any custom code, such as changed SolarWinds .css files or added .js files. Click here for tips.
Note the following details about upgrading SAM:
- The Application Dependencies feature is disabled when upgrading SAM to prevent performance issues during upgrades for environments with large quantities of nodes. To restart polling after an upgrade, enable the Application Dependencies feature.
- If you plan to exceed recommended cloud monitoring limits, you may receive a 503 Service Unavailable error when adding an Azure account. See this article for a workaround.
- To monitor Exchange Server 2016 and later, install PowerShell 2.0 or later and provide local Administrator rights. See Using PowerShell in SAM.
- If using the container monitoring feature, rebuild containers after upgrading SAM and then add the container service back into the Orion Platform. Click here for details.
SolarWinds recommends that you check THWACK periodically for updates to SAM's out-of-the-box (OOTB) templates. Except forAppInsight templates, templates are not updated automatically during upgrades to avoid overwriting custom changes made to templates. For details, see Import and export SAM templates.
How to upgrade
If upgrading from SAM 6.9, you can upgrade your entire Orion deployment, including the main Orion server and all Orion Platform products, from within the Orion Web Console. Downloading the Orion Installer is no longer necessary.
- Click Settings > My Orion Deployment.
- Launch the Orion Upgrades Wizard from the Updates Available tab.
If upgrading from SAM 6.5 — SAM 6.8, follow these steps:
Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to simultaneously upgrade one or more Orion Platform products on your main Orion server.
Starting with SAM 6.8, if you have scalability engines such as Additional Polling Engines, you can use the Centralized Upgrade feature to upgrade the rest of your Orion deployment in parallel. For details, see Install or upgrade Orion Platform products.
If upgrading from SAM 6.4, click here to learn about planning and implementing an upgrade to the current version of SAM.
|Container monitoring now supports Additional Polling Engines.|
For fixed issues in the Orion Platform, see the Orion Platform 2019.2 release notes.
Total counters for AppInsight for Active Directory do not respond to Enable Total Counters setting in Internet Explorer 11.
Issue: When using the Edit Application function to set the Enable Total Counters option for AppInsight for Active Directory, only the following elements are impacted by the changed setting, if using Internet Explorer 11:
- User Accounts
- Computer Accounts
- Inactive Users
Workaround: Switch to another supported browser, as listed in SAM System Requirements.
AppInsight for Active Directory applications appear Down after disabling the Total Counters feature.
Issue: Replication polling requires a DNS or SysName value to compute replication for a destination domain controller FQDN name, but nodes configured for ICMP polling do not provide this data. As a result, AppInsight for Active Directory widgets may not reflect the actual status of ICMP nodes. Another impact is that replication widgets display IP addresses for ICMP nodes instead of assigned node names.
Workaround: Configure AppInsight for Active Directory nodes as Windows Servers that support both WMI and ICMP polling so that AppInsight for Active Directory widgets can display node status and names properly via WMI. Alternatively, edit the name of an ICMP node on the Node Details > Edit Properties page.
Application pools and websites on nodes monitored by AppInsight for IIS show Unknown status instead of Down status after being unmanaged.
Issue: After assigning AppInsight for IIS to a node, the application pools and websites exhibiting problem behavior could not be unmanaged in SAM. The status changed to Unknown but should appear as Down.
Workaround: Update the record in the Orion database. See Cannot unmanage application pools and websites on nodes with AppInsight for IIS in SAM in the SolarWinds Success Center for details.
SSL Certificate Expiration widget doesn't show certificates for all bindings on IIS servers.
Issue: When AppInsight for IIS monitors a server that has two HTTPS site bindings with the same IP address and port, but different host names and SSL certificates, only the default certificate appears in the SSL Certificate Expiration widget.
Workaround: None. This issue is slated to be fixed in an upcoming SAM release.
Container monitoring stops after upgrade from SAM 6.7 or later
Issue: YAML files need to be refreshed after the upgrade.
Workaround: Rebuild containers. Click here for details.
Days Remaining value in SSL Certificate Expiration and IIS SSL Certificate Expiration Report widgets not updated for AppInsight for IIS
Issue: Polling only occurs once — when AppInsight for IIS is assigned to a node — but does not continue.
Component monitor scripts in AIX template do not execute if "Inherit credentials from node" is selected when polling via Orion agent for AIX. This issue can impact the following component monitors: CPU statistic, Paging statistic/sec, Percentage of using system devices, Disk operations/sec of system devices, and Top 10 active processes.
Issue: Header issues in Perl script output prevent component monitors from inheriting credentials from nodes, so scripts fail.
Workaround: Either edit component monitors to provide credentials, or avoid use of "Inherit credentials from node" for affected component monitors. Click here for details.
AppInsight for Active Directory performance counters appear as Unknown and may fail during SAM polling
Issue: AppInsight for Active Directory looks for performance counters in the NTDS category but some domain controllers store performance counters in the Directory Services category, a known Windows issue
Workaround: Rebuild Windows NT Directory Services (NTDS) performance counters. Click here for details.
End of life
See the End of Life Policy for details about life cycles for SolarWinds products.
|EoL Announcements||EoE Effective Dates||EoL Effective Dates|
July 31, 2019
End-of-Life (EoL) announcement – Customers on SAM 6.5 should begin transitioning to the latest version of SAM.
December 30, 2019
End-of-Engineering (EoE) – Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for SAM 6.5 will no longer be actively supported by SolarWinds.
June 30, 2020
End-of-Life (EoL) – SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for SAM 6.5.
March 12, 2019
End-of-Life (EoL) announcement – Customers on SAM 6.4 should begin transitioning to the latest version of SAM.
June 12, 2019
End-of-Engineering (EoE) – Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for SAM 6.4 will no longer be actively supported by SolarWinds.
June 12, 2020
End-of-Life (EoL) – SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for SAM 6.4.
April 6, 2018
End-of-Life (EoL) announcement – Customers on SAM 6.3 should begin transitioning to the latest version of SAM.
June 6, 2018
End-of-Engineering (EoE) – Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for SAM 6.3 will no longer be actively supported by SolarWinds.
June 6, 2019
End-of-Life (EoL) – SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for SAM 6.3.
See Currently supported software versions for more information.
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