Documentation forServer & Application Monitor

SAM licensing model

This section describes the two types of licensing available for SAM:

Additional topics provided here include:

You can also visit the SolarWinds Success Center to review SAM Licensing FAQs.

The Orion Platform now offers subscription-based licenses.

Node-based licensing in SAM

Introduced in SAM 6.9.1, node-based SAM licensing governs how many managed nodes can be monitored within your SAM environment, while allowing for an unlimited number of component monitors per node. This scheme provides an alternative to component-based licensing, which controls how many component monitors can be assigned.

The term "managed node" can be interpreted differently, depending on if you're using other Orion Platform modules with SAM:

  • In a SAM-only environment, a managed node is any entity from which SAM extracts data directly via supported polling methods (for example, WMI), Orion agents, or API pollers. Nodes monitored by Asset Inventory and/or Hardware Health are also considered managed nodes in a SAM-only environment.
  • If your environment includes SAM and other Orion Platform modules, the SAM node count has the potential to be additive to other modules that use node licensing, such as SolarWinds NPM. In a multi-module scenario, only nodes being monitored by SAM application monitors or API pollers are classified as managed nodes for SAM. Nodes monitored by Asset Inventory and/or Hardware Health do not impact licensing.

In either case, a managed node can represent a traditional server, VM, hypervisor, or Nutanix cluster, as well as an external node, remote API, or service.

A VM being monitored directly counts as a single managed node. However, individual VMs on a hypervisor do not count as multiple managed nodes when performance metrics are gathered from the parent hypervisor. In that case, the parent hypervisor is the managed node.

Available license tiers

Count the number of managed nodes in your environment to determine the most suitable license tier.

SAM license tiers
(node-based licensing)
Number of
managed nodes
SAM10 10
SAM25 25
SAM50 50
SAM75 75
SAM100 100
SAM200 200
SAM300 300
SAM400 400
SAM500 500
SAM600 600
SAM700 700
SAM800 800
SAM900 900
SAM1000 1000
SAM1250 1250
SAM1500 1500
SAM2000 2000
SAM2500 2500
SAM3000 3000
SAM4000 4000
SAM5000* 5000

*Additional tiers are available. Contact SolarWinds Sales for details.

Component-based licensing in SAM

A component-based SAM license determines how many assigned component monitors you are allowed. Each component monitor consumes one license; a typical application monitor (also called an application) consumes 15 — 25 component monitors, while AppInsight applications consume a flat rate of either 30 or 50 licenses each.

SAM features such as API Pollers also consume licenses. For example, the Windows Scheduled Task Monitor consumes 5 licenses for each monitored Windows server. Asset Inventory data collection does not consume SAM licenses.

You can use as many component monitors as needed, as long as the number of assigned component monitors doesn't exceed the license count. If you exceed a license limit, component monitors beyond the limit are not activated and their statuses change to Not Licensed. Either disable assigned component monitors to reduce license consumption, or upgrade your license. This also applies to API Poller metrics.

The following table lists available component-based license levels:

SAM license tiers
(component-based licensing)
Number of
monitored components
AL150 150
AL300 300
AL700 700
AL1100 1100
AL1500 1500
AL2500 2500
ALX Unlimited number of items to monitor standard polling throughput.

To verify the number of consumed and available component monitors, navigate to the SAM License Summary:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings.
  2. Under Product Specific Settings, click SAM Settings.
  3. Click SAM License Summary.

Note the following details about component-based licensing:

Verify the component monitors consumed per template

As described here, each predefined SAM template includes one or more component monitors designed to monitor the availability or a statistic of a specific element, such as a server, application, process, service, port, or URL. You can assign templates to nodes to create application monitors that are specific to that node. For most SAM application monitors, you can add or remove component monitors, or disable component monitors, as necessary. Each active component monitor in an application monitor counts against your license.

​Example: The Apache template includes 9 component monitors that retrieve server statistics from the built-in Apache server-status web page on Linux systems. If you have an AL150 license and assign all 8 component monitors in this template to a node, the balance of remaining licenses is 142 (150-8 = 142). If you assign only 5 of the 8 component monitors to a node, the balance of remaining licenses is 145 (150-5=145).

To view the number of licensed component monitors consumed per template in SAM:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings > SAM Settings.
  2. Under Product Specific Settings, click SAM Settings
  3. Under Application Monitor Templates, click Manage Templates.
  4. Review the Licensed Components column amount per template.

To determine how many component licenses are currently active, see Run a report about licensed component monitors in SAM. To check the number of component monitors assigned to each polling engine, see How to display all components polled for each polling engine.

AppInsight applications consume licenses at flat rates

Note that AppInsight applications consume a fixed number of component monitor licenses; you cannot add component monitors and many component monitors cannot be disabled. Due to the complexity of AppInsight templates that application monitors are based on, they cannot be partially unlicensed because the way they collect data differs significantly from traditional SAM templates.

Although you can disable some component monitors within AppInsight applications, that won't reclaim component monitor licenses because AppInsight applications typically monitor far more components than cited in their flat rates, as listed here:

  • AppInsight for Active Directory: 50 component monitors per monitored domain controller
  • AppInsight for Exchange: 50 component monitors per monitored mailbox role server
  • AppInsight for IIS: 30 component monitors per monitored IIS server
  • AppInsight for SQL: 50 component monitors per database instance

If you choose not to use AppInsight applications, you are not penalized any number of component monitors.

Determine your SAM license type

To check which type of license you have:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings > License Details.
  2. Examine the SAM section of the License Details page:

You can also check your license type in the SolarWinds Customer Portal.

  1. Log into the SolarWinds Customer Portal.
  2. Click Licenses > Manage Licenses.
  3. Scroll down to the Server & Application Monitor row.

If a license starts with SAM (for example, SAM200), SAM uses a node-based license.

If a license starts with AL (AL2500), SAM uses a component-based license.

To switch to node-based licensing, contact SolarWinds Sales. Note that, after updating licensing, it may take one or two polling cycles for polling rate details to refresh in the Orion Web Console.

Manage your SAM license

Like other Orion Platform products, SAM uses the web-based License Manager to license the Orion server, Additional Polling Engines, Additional Web Servers, and High Availability (HA) pools.

To manage SAM and other licenses after you install SAM:

  1. Click Settings > All Settings.
  2. Click License Details in the Details section.

  3. Click License Manager.

You can sort licenses by product name, version, license type, or expiration date. You can also add a license, upgrade a license, and activate licenses on new servers. The License Manager on the Orion server controls all licenses for your SAM environment, including licensing for scalability engines.

If prompted to activate your SAM license, use your individual Customer ID (also called a "SWID") to log into the Customer Portal. If you do not know your ID, enter a Support ticket.

How your SAM license relates to other Orion Platform product licenses

In an environment that includes multiple Orion Platform modules, your SAM license interacts additively with other product licenses. For example, if you have NPM SL500 (500 nodes and 500 volumes) installed with SAM AL150 (a component-based license), you can monitor:

  • 650 nodes (500 NPM nodes + 150 SAM nodes)
  • 650 volumes (the number of volumes matches the node count)
  • 500 interfaces monitored with SNMP
  • 150 component monitor
  • An unlimited number of interfaces polled using WMI

To learn about licensing for other products, see the Guide to SolarWinds Product Licenses.

Add polling engines to scale your SAM environment

In the Orion Platform, an Additional Polling Engine (APE) is a type of scalability engine that you can add to any SAM environment, regardless of license type, to:

  • Distribute polling away from the Main Polling Engine,
  • Boost Orion Web Console performance, and
  • Help ensure high availability.

If using node-based licensing in SAM 6.9.1 or later, you can add APEs at no extra licensing cost. Note the following details about "included" APEs:

  • They collect SAM and basic Orion Platform data only. For example, APEs can return application metrics, plus basic node status and volume metrics, but not NPM interface data.
  • If using a unified SAM license key (SAM 2020.2 and later), polling engine licenses are stacked automatically, with built-in scalability. You can monitor up to 40,000 component monitors per server at standard polling frequencies. If you exceed that limit, polling intervals are automatically extended.
  • APE port requirements match Main Polling Engine port requirements.

To learn more about APEs, see:

To maximize polling capacity, see SAM polling recommendations.

Still have questions? See SAM Licensing FAQs in the SolarWinds Success Center.