SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor Review

Can provide Windows-based monitoring beyond simple SNMP.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to present various customer-specific views to many of the IT support teams.

What is most valuable?

It is simple to implement and can provide fairly decent Windows-based monitoring, beyond simple SNMP. It is great for monitoring newbies and smaller shops.

What needs improvement?

It needs time-based functions for monitoring. Some things need to be polled on a specific schedule or only during a specific window. Much of this has to be rebuilt for every individual monitor outside of the product, since you can’t build a schedule and assign monitors or notification periods to that schedule.

SMNP trap receiver/alerting needs to be built into the alerting engine. Having two places to build and manage alerts is not efficient and not all alerting tools are available in the trap manager. It also needs a data warehouse capability for long-term reporting and looking back in time, especially with some of the new functionality in the latest release.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did have problems with large numbers of PowerShell and WMI monitors.

There has been at least one unstable upgrade in the past, but then, that happens to pretty much any product out there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had scalability problems with the large number of PowerShell and WMI monitors.

How are customer service and technical support?

Level 1 is level 1. For many, that is sufficient. Having a number of experienced engineers on my team, when we need support we need level 2 or above and sometimes, it takes a bit to get things bumped up. Many of the level 1 guys don’t read all the info you provide and you end up wasting time pointing out that you already provided this information.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The previous solution was too expensive and limited; they dropped support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward, although there are a few gotchas that are not well documented.

Ror small shops and for those new to monitoring it is simple to set up and implement. The OOTB (Out of the Box) implementation does have very good node specific pages and can provide a wealth of information.This is the key.The OOTB it provides is more than other tools in a usable format.

But simple WMI monitors using both canned and user built provide more comprehensive monitoring and alerting capabilities…This is based on experiences implementing other solutions in very dynamic large environments. It has had improvements in the unix/linux world but still remains primarily windows centric.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is fair for what you get. It does have a great bang-for-the-buck appeal.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It had been decided upon before I was employed here; I just got to implement it.

What other advice do I have?

Go onto THWACK (the SolarWinds user community). You will find training, help, and advice from many who have been there before. It is one of the premier user communities that many out there need to emulate!

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Add a Comment

author avatarit_user652953 (IT Director at a construction company with 51-200 employees)

One of the best parts about SolarWinds SAM is also the agent monitoring. Once you install the agent on a PC, its like supercharged SNMP. You have a smaller footprint and can see as much if not more data while monitoring everything. I agree here, you need to go to Thwack and join if you are not a member. If you own a SolarWinds product and are not a member of Thwack, you are missing out.

author avatarit_user664653 (Enterprise Monitoring Technologies Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees)

The agent goes beyond SNMP. It provided for a better logfile monitoring tool as the product OOTB requires you to build your own logfile monitring script for any logfile not in the built in list. It also provides store and forward and is less likely to be throttled when the system gets busy than SNMP. Large chatty files and powershell do not do wel ltogether.

author avatarit_user653568 (Information Services Department Manager at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

The other benfit of the agent is the use of plug-ins to get additional features like Deep Packet Inspection and NetPath to name a few.