Documentation forServer & Application Monitor
Monitoring your applications and environment is a key capability of Hybrid Cloud Observability and is also available in a standalone module, Server & Application Monitor (SAM). Hybrid Cloud Observability and SAM are built on the self-hosted SolarWinds Platform.

What should I monitor in SAM?

Discovery is a term that describes how the SolarWinds Platform identifies network elements. During Discovery, the system scans the network for application servers and applications that you can add to the SolarWinds Platformdatabase for monitoring. For details, see Discover your network with the Discovery Wizard.

SAM can monitor an application, or you can configure SAM to monitor a custom collection of application components, process monitors, services, and performance counters. Depending on your needs, SAM can assess the status of every aspect of your application, and the health of the application as a whole.

SAM also monitors AWS cloud instances and Microsoft Azure VMs. With access to your cloud services account, SAM can poll cloud service APIs for cloud metrics and status. This data aggregates and displays through the SolarWinds Platform Web Console to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot issues in your cloud environment. See Manage your cloud infrastructure for details.

SolarWinds recommends adding a limited number of servers and applications to begin monitoring and gauging performance, including Microsoft Exchange, IIS, SQL, Linux, and Unix. After monitoring, alerts, and reports are set up, continue adding applications and servers to expand your infrastructure monitoring.

Discovery checklist

When you run the Discovery Wizard (also called the "Network Sonar Wizard"), you'll be prompted to provide IP addresses and credentials for servers you want to monitor. SolarWinds recommends gathering these details before running the wizard.

Determine the devices you want to monitor.

Determine the protocol used to monitor devices, such as SNMP or WMI. See the Monitoring overview for details.

Gather IP ranges or individual IP addresses you want the system to scan as it discovers your network.

Collect SNMPv1/2c community strings and SNMPv3 credentials for servers you want to monitor.

Obtain login credentials for each monitored system, including

For AWS cloud infrastructure monitoring, add up to 10 AWS IAM user accounts with Account Access Key IDs and Secret Access Keys. See Configure AWS accounts for cloud monitoring.

For Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure monitoring, configure Azure to interact with the SolarWinds Platform before adding a cloud account. See Configure Microsoft Azure for cloud monitoring. .

Monitoring overview

You can configure an application or template to collect data through a preferred polling method as agent or agentless.

Monitor with SolarWinds Platform agents

An agent is software that provides a communication channel between the SolarWinds Platform server and a Windows, Linux, or AIX server. Products install plugins on agents to collect the data that the agents send back. For details, see Monitor with SolarWinds Platform agents in SAM.

Monitor with WMI

To monitor Windows servers, use WMI, which is usually enabled on Windows devices by default. Capable of gathering more data than SNMP, WMI is the preferred polling method because some SAM features are not available if you use SNMP. For some features, the SolarWinds Platform agent for Windows is a good option.

Agentless monitoring using WMI is not recommended when the polling engine and the device are separated by a firewall. To overcome this limitation, SolarWinds provides an optional agent that allows you to securely monitor Windows servers and applications by WMI. If you want to use SNMP for Windows, install and configure an SNMP agent.

WinRM is the default transport method for WMI-based component monitors.

Monitor with SNMP

To monitor devices using SNMP, you must enable SNMP on those devices because it is not enabled by default. SNMP is primarily used to monitor network devices, for example, routers, firewalls, and switches.

When configuring SNMP-enabled network devices for monitoring, note these details:

  • Consult your device documentation for details about configuring SNMP.
  • For correct device identification, devices must allow access to the SysObjectID.
  • If SNMPv2c is enabled on a device, SNMPv2c is used to poll the device for performance details by default. To poll with SNMPv1, disable SNMPv2c on the device to be polled.
  • The default SolarWinds Platform community strings for SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c devices are public and private. See also SNMP credentials for the SolarWinds Platform.
  • SAM can monitor VMware ESX and ESXi servers versions 4.0 and later.

    For VMs monitored on ESXi and ESX servers, VMware Tools are not required but can provide access to more details, such as IP addresses.

  • Linux/Unix servers are generally monitored with SNMP and SSH Script Monitors that require user credentials. See also Credentials and privileges used on Linux/Unix-based computers.
  • For Unix-based devices, use the version of Net-SNMP (5.5 or later) that is specific to the Unix-based OS.

Deciding between SNMP and WMI

SNMP is typically used to monitor servers and network devices without agents. For Windows servers, WMI usually provides better metrics than can be obtained through SNMP monitoring alone. For many Windows-based servers and applications, agentless monitoring via the WMI gateway provides strong monitoring capabilities.

The availability of some features depends on which SolarWinds Platform modules you're using. For example, NPM supports polling via WMI, SNMP, and agents. However, interface polling via WMI and the SolarWinds Platform Agent is not supported without a SAM license. Use SNMP as a polling method to obtain interface data in an NPM-only installation.

To learn more, see: