SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor Review

It allows for proactive monitoring of the hardware health.


How has it helped my organization?

Once we got our IT inventory organized and aligned with the business, we were able to leverage our Orion Platform to provide more than just a reactive-based monitoring service to the business. It is used for EA, capacity management, configuration management, asset management, and others.

What is most valuable?

  • Hardware health: It allows for proactive monitoring of the hardware health and is a game changer.
  • Windows service and event monitoring: It provides an in-depth server OS and application of health monitoring. It allows for automated workflow for the conditioned response to an alert.
  • AppInsight for SQL: It provides centralized management and performance monitoring of 100+ SQL installations.

What needs improvement?

AppInsight needs to include more applications, the current list is very limited.

Currently SolarWinds SAM offers AppInsight for modern versions of: IIS, Exchange, SQL Server. They have shown to be powerful and insightful tools. However, AppInsight needs to be offered for more applications: Citrix, SharePoint, AX, etc.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues, scalability has been easy.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the technical support team a 7/10 rating, i.e., slightly better than average.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously, we were using Big Brother. It is not as intuitive and support was lacking. Eventually, it reached EOL.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward, customization requires time and resource investment.

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

SAM is not per server so the pricing model can be deceiving. If you have an enterprise environment, you will quickly exceed your licensing quickly. You should know this before going in.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really evaluate other options. By this point, we were committed to the “one monitoring tool” policy. Our goal was to reduce the number of dashboards to as few as possible.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t go with the “dive in and figure it out” approach. You’ll spend months, if not years, straightening SAM out. Take the planned approach; organize your servers and your IT services, identify what you want to monitor such as the Windows services, events, ports, SNMP traps, Syslog messages, etc and create your alerting rules. Understand your dependencies so that you can create your enterprise views and maps. Align the Orion Platform to be more than a monitoring tool. Use it for EA, capacity management, configuration management, asset management, and others.

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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