Use SAM templates, application monitors, and component monitors

SAM includes over 250 out-of-the-box (OOTB) application monitor templates that you can assign to nodes and begin using immediately to track changes in your IT environment. These templates are comprised of code and scripts that you can customize for individual nodes, or groups of nodes. You can configure thresholds and alerts for monitored values. When polling occurs, scripts automatically gather data and report results within the Orion Web Console.

Each template includes one or more component monitors designed to monitor a server, application, or process. You can assign these pre-built templates to nodes to create application monitors (sometimes called "applications) that are specific to that node.

The following diagram illustrates how you can assign different templates to nodes to create application monitors that display polling results in the Orion Web Console.

Application monitor templates

An application monitor template is a group of component monitors modeling the total availability and performance level of an application. A complicated application such as Windows Server may require dozens of component monitors to accurately assess its current status and performance.

Instead of creating component monitors one-by-one for every application server, you can assign a pre-made template. The template can either be one included with SAM, or a custom template you make yourself. For example, you can assign the Active Directory 2016 Services and Counters template to domain controllers to begin monitoring services and counters immediately.

SolarWinds recommends that you check THWACK periodically for updates to SAM OOTB templates. With the exception of AppInsight templates, templates are not updated automatically during upgrades to avoid overwriting custom changes made to templates. For details, see Import and export SAM templates.

A template is only a blueprint and does not perform any monitoring on its own. Only after assigning the template to a server node are active assigned component monitors created.

SolarWinds recommends that you check THWACK periodically for updates to SAM's out-of-the-box (OOTB) templates. With the exception of AppInsight templates, templates are not updated automatically during upgrades to avoid overwriting custom changes made to templates. For details, see Import and export SAM templates.

Some templates have port requirements. See the SAM Template Reference for details.

Component monitors

Component monitors are the building blocks of SAM. Each monitors the status and performance of a different aspect of an application. There are several types of component monitors, each containing settings that define what is monitored and how to monitor it. Some have prerequisites, configuration, and credentials requirements for target systems.

Click here for a list of available component monitors.

Some types of component monitors allow you to set threshold conditions on the monitored parameters. You can set separate thresholds to indicate warning and critical conditions. For example, to monitor the percentage of free space remaining on a volume, you can set a warning threshold at 15%, and a critical condition at 5%.

Click here to learn more about thresholds.

As an analogy, pretend SolarWinds SAM is monitoring a car. You would have component monitors to check tire pressure, engine RPM, water temperature, battery voltage, and other important subsystems of that vehicle. You can set alerts to give notification if the water gets too hot, or if the battery voltage drops too low.

To continue the car analogy, pretend you want to monitor a fleet of 50, 2010, blue Dodge Charger automobiles. Instead of defining the component monitors for 50 cars, you can define all the component monitors in a Dodge Charger template.

Assigned component monitors

Assigned component monitors are created by assigning application monitor templates to server nodes. Each actively monitors its assigned node according to its settings. Component monitors inherit these initial settings from the template. If you change a component monitor in a template, that same change is made to all assigned application monitors based on the template.

You can override the template settings at any time, breaking the inheritance relationship between the component monitor and its template. For example, the user name and password usually differ for each node, and you would select a different credential for each assigned application monitor, thus overriding the template setting for the Credentials field.

To restore the inheritance relationship between a component monitor and its template, click Inherit From Template next to the setting.

Continuing the car analogy, when you assign the Dodge Charger template to a Dodge Charger vehicle, you now have a set of assigned component monitors for monitoring the vehicle’s tire pressures, engine RPM, and so forth.

Assigned application monitors

An assigned application monitor runs its component monitors at regular intervals, and then uses the status results from the component monitors to determine an overall status for the application.

If some component monitors are up and others are down, the application monitor follows the Status Rollup Mode setting in the Orion Web Console Settings to show either the worst status of the group or a warning status.

The difference between an assigned application monitor and a template is that the template is only a blueprint and does not perform any monitoring on its own. Only after assigning the template to a server node does SolarWinds SAM conduct any actual monitoring on the node.

To complete the car example, you assign the Dodge Charger template to all the Dodge Charger vehicles to create the assigned application monitor and determine the overall status for your Dodge Charger fleet. For example, the fleet may be 95% available at a given time due to warnings for some of the cars.

The following diagram illustrates the workflow involved in creating an application to be monitored by SAM.

AppInsight templates

AppInsight templates are specialized, complex SAM templates designed for in-depth monitoring of Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, IIS, and SQL. In addition to monitoring virtually every aspect of these key business tools at the server level, you can drill down into the data store layer for performance data. To learn more, see Monitor with AppInsight applications.

To learn more about templates, application monitors, and component monitors, see the other topics in this section:

Additional learning resources include:

Many templates, application monitors, and component monitors can use Orion agents to collect data from target servers. See Monitor with Orion agents in SAM.