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https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/sf/fY/UWRMK8SAHSR2.PNGAll the eyes in your environment with SolarWinds SAMWe use SolarWinds SAM to monitor our applications and databases, both in our development and production environments. Additionally, we recommend and implement SAM to our customers, especially those who work with third-party applications. SAM allows us to have a centralized control of our IT assets. SAM lets us know when an application is using many resources at best, and in the worst case it lets us know when a container like Amazon EC2 or Tomcat is down. Regarding our customers, in addition to the above, SAM allows us (and them) to determine reasonability for the performance of our applications compared to others of the client property (our outsourcing partners).,SAM really has the exact customization detail needed to monitor your most important assets on a single screen in real time. Works very well with Azure apps and Amazon AWS. You can integrate them in less than an hour. Easy and comfortable UI for less technical roles. Clearly one of the best in the monitoring systems field given the experience from SolarWinds,Reports and dashboards can be quite simple without customization. Customizations in general can have a little slower learning curve. Some clients depend on batch and shell scripts. The tool provides monitoring though the logs, but that is it. We would like to see more detail regarding the consumption of resources in these types of programs. For Azure apps monitoring, other Microsoft tools like SCOM have a better performance overall.,8,The forecast of errors is critical for the business, which assures us a good reputation and covers us from the risk of losing functionality (and clients). That guarantees us contracts and ensures our profitability. Some incidents in our applications put into production within the environments of our clients may present problems related to the resources of the environment. SAM has provided us with the evidence at the exact moment, which has prevented us from escalating these situations to compromising levels.,System Center Operations Manager and Nagios,System Center Operations Manager, Microsoft Azure, SoapUI NG Pro, NagiosStands alone but better with friendsOur IT department was looking for a monitoring tool to proactively address issues before they were encountered by the customer. Issues easily cropped up as a result of regular maintenance and would quickly be noticed by customers because checks were not done afterwards. We have been able to use SAM to check key services and applications for availability. This has also allowed us to track system uptime and keep better inventory of the monitored software and systems.,Powershell. We use this as a key tool to make sure software (both custom and delivered) is up and working correctly. Microsoft has standardized on this for the foreseeable future and Solarwinds does a great job using this tool set. Stack monitoring. It has always been extremely difficult to find the source of a problem. Combining SAM with their other products really provides an amazing insight in correlating a perceived issue with its ultimate cause. Community/Support. While SAM is a great tool, it is the people that really drive this product. Both support and customers are very responsive and excited to help out.,Learning Curve. SAM (and other solarwinds products) take a lot of time to learn how to make everything work well. Management can become frustrated with the perceived lack of progress. Solarwinds has recently made efforts to improve this with their Customer Success Center. Reporting. The reporting tool is ok for some basic table reports but lacks a lot in comparison with reporting services. Default dashboards. While custom dashboards can be awesome tools, the default ones are overwhelming in detail and underwhelming in looks. There is are also difficulties in creating great looking dashboards.,10,Customers create less incident tickets because we can be assured that our monitored services are up which has reflected directly our our uptime. Server performance monitoring has been able to prevent system slowdown and assure our customer base during peak load times. Management has a much clearer picture of our server loading and future needs.,PRTG Network Monitor,Solarwinds Database Performance Analyzer for SQL Server, SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Netflow Traffic AnalyzerGreat module and addition to your SW suite of toolsWe use it to keep an eye on key services and systems for possible bottlenecks choking the environment,Tight integration with their network performance monitor customizability of alerts customizable dashboard so I can see only what matters to me and hide all the other "stuff" Fantastic user resources aka Thwak,A tighter tie-in with O365,10,As a DAAS provider, it is critical we have both a quick overview of system status and the drill-down details to help diagnose an issue ASAP! The capacity planning pieces are a real life saver,Knowing where the bottleneck is (network, server, or software) helps us keep on top of our game.,As I've stated all the way through, being able to drill down through the system to diagnose the root cause of an issue is critical in our organization and SolarWinds makes this possible,Minimizing application downtime Troubleshooting performance issues a lot faster Capacity planner shows where issues will be before they cause you grief,,Software or service is running slow Software or service has stopped working capacity planning,Product Features Product Usability Vendor Reputation Existing Relationship with the Vendor,9,1,1,On custom services,O365,10,SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer, SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager,No,Hard to say as it would depend on the market and technologies at the time,10,Yes,With as powerful a support tool as Thwack is, they never force you to use it. Their support agents are responsive and helpful,The dashboards mapping tool capacity planner,Building templates,NoGreat Product and easily one our best decision to Purchase SolarWindsIt has helped with automated scripts running via Scheduled tasks. When they go down, so do our automated processes. Some small and some very important tasks that need to stay running. We also use it for SQL Events which the Dev team uses for keeping their applications up and running for the company.,It has pretty descriptive errors that it can capture. This greatly helps and improves troubleshooting. It is easy to see when something is not running and the added alerts help with our support promptness. Once we enabled the alerts, we were actually able to find issues that we didn't even know we had,Sometimes it takes some time to make sure alerting is setup right. Some of the setup is not straight forward and needs a little research.,10,We have been able to see threshold alerts to prevent issues in the future, being storage, etc... Also, we are able to monitor our business critical server and applications.,This made it very easy to setup and add monitored devices. Also like that you can categorize the devices to your liking to make it easier to find the info you need.,This has helped many times but more specifically our phone systems. We do not have monitoring through our phone software, so SolarWinds has been a life saver. Seeing if a switch is down or getting packet loss at another branch saves a ton of troubleshooting and in return the end user is able to do their job sooner.,Our Dev team gets real live data on performance and sees issues before they become bigger problems. This helps keep the company moving and keeps the money flowing. Restating the above for our infrastructure team and their scheduled tasks. Seeing when they are stopped or having issues, gives us time to fix before halting the company from making money. That is our Main ROI right there. Overall the business is running better and have been able to make improvements using SolarWinds.Just as awesome as the price tag suggests!We use SolarWinds SAM in conjunction with SolarWinds NPM to monitor, visualize, and alert on various IT components via email alerts, dashboards, and even a NOC view that is displayed on a large screen. Business stakeholders are often included in the email alerts, so they are aware when issues arise that affect them/their department.,Super-simple to configure everything from standard HTTP checks all the way to custom Powershell scripts that return tables of values Upgrading is simple- the unified installer detects and upgrades all Orion products (NPM, SAM, DPA) and upgrades them at the same time, to maintain version compatibility Documentation and forums are straightforward and helpful,The web UI is often slow, even on beefy hardware with a beefy database server. The alerts are very rigid- e.g. you can't define a group of email addresses and then include the group in alerts, you have to list every email address in every individual alert. The F5 BIG-IP support is terrible- you cannot exclude specific components from the view the way you can with other parts of the software, so our balancer view shows a bunch of test/dev nodes that shouldn't even be there AppInsights is poorly designed and poorly executed Most permissions/settings for users are not defineable by group or policy, you have to edit individual users and edit a big sheet of permissions dropdowns on a per-user basis,8,NOC view: Single pane of glass with rotating tabs showing all the information I need to demonstrate that the problem is not on our side. This saves time and thus money. In-house monitoring of our payment processor's web API: Allows us to switch to the backup solution immediately (via alert-triggered action) and continue processing credit cards without a hitch when the processor goes down. This saves lost business, and thus makes more money. Overall monitoring of our infrastructure helps to isolate faults, detect false helpdesk reports ("system is down!" no its not...) and generally speed up our IT service management process, which translates directly into $,WhatsUp Gold and Zabbix,Planview LeanKit, Juniper SRX, F5 BIG-IP, Microsoft SQL Server, Nimble Storage
Windows
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
142 Ratings
Score 7.6 out of 101
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SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Reviews

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
142 Ratings
Score 7.6 out of 101
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August 10, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "All the eyes in your environment with SolarWinds SAM"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds SAM to monitor our applications and databases, both in our development and production environments. Additionally, we recommend and implement SAM to our customers, especially those who work with third-party applications.

SAM allows us to have a centralized control of our IT assets. SAM lets us know when an application is using many resources at best, and in the worst case it lets us know when a container like Amazon EC2 or Tomcat is down.

Regarding our customers, in addition to the above, SAM allows us (and them) to determine reasonability for the performance of our applications compared to others of the client property (our outsourcing partners).
  • SAM really has the exact customization detail needed to monitor your most important assets on a single screen in real time.
  • Works very well with Azure apps and Amazon AWS. You can integrate them in less than an hour.
  • Easy and comfortable UI for less technical roles.
  • Clearly one of the best in the monitoring systems field given the experience from SolarWinds
  • Reports and dashboards can be quite simple without customization. Customizations in general can have a little slower learning curve.
  • Some clients depend on batch and shell scripts. The tool provides monitoring though the logs, but that is it. We would like to see more detail regarding the consumption of resources in these types of programs.
  • For Azure apps monitoring, other Microsoft tools like SCOM have a better performance overall.
If you have a hybrid environment with applications in multiple languages, SolarWinds SAM is the way to go. You can never go wrong with all the centralized monitoring it has.

If you rely on Microsoft applications and consider to monitor only these systems, maybe you would prefer Log Analytics or the robust SCOM.

On the other hand, if your ecosystem is small (1 or 2 application for a startup), I would recommend ad hoc tools specialized in these particular scenarios.
Read Miguel Angel Merino Vega's full review
August 03, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Stands alone but better with friends"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our IT department was looking for a monitoring tool to proactively address issues before they were encountered by the customer. Issues easily cropped up as a result of regular maintenance and would quickly be noticed by customers because checks were not done afterwards. We have been able to use SAM to check key services and applications for availability. This has also allowed us to track system uptime and keep better inventory of the monitored software and systems.
  • Powershell. We use this as a key tool to make sure software (both custom and delivered) is up and working correctly. Microsoft has standardized on this for the foreseeable future and Solarwinds does a great job using this tool set.
  • Stack monitoring. It has always been extremely difficult to find the source of a problem. Combining SAM with their other products really provides an amazing insight in correlating a perceived issue with its ultimate cause.
  • Community/Support. While SAM is a great tool, it is the people that really drive this product. Both support and customers are very responsive and excited to help out.
  • Learning Curve. SAM (and other solarwinds products) take a lot of time to learn how to make everything work well. Management can become frustrated with the perceived lack of progress. Solarwinds has recently made efforts to improve this with their Customer Success Center.
  • Reporting. The reporting tool is ok for some basic table reports but lacks a lot in comparison with reporting services.
  • Default dashboards. While custom dashboards can be awesome tools, the default ones are overwhelming in detail and underwhelming in looks. There is are also difficulties in creating great looking dashboards.
SAM is great in monitoring servers and anything running on them. Setting up alerts is straightforward and dynamic enough for any situation. Getting an initial start on monitoring basic SMTP/WMI services is very easy and provides impressive results very quickly. I could see any company finding great value in this software.
Read Stephen Swan's full review
August 15, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Great module and addition to your SW suite of tools"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it to keep an eye on key services and systems for possible bottlenecks choking the environment
  • Tight integration with their network performance monitor
  • customizability of alerts
  • customizable dashboard so I can see only what matters to me and hide all the other "stuff"
  • Fantastic user resources aka Thwak
  • A tighter tie-in with O365
I think it's a key tool that should be in every IT department
Read Eric Moore's full review
August 15, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Great Product and easily one our best decision to Purchase SolarWinds"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It has helped with automated scripts running via Scheduled tasks. When they go down, so do our automated processes. Some small and some very important tasks that need to stay running. We also use it for SQL Events which the Dev team uses for keeping their applications up and running for the company.
  • It has pretty descriptive errors that it can capture. This greatly helps and improves troubleshooting.
  • It is easy to see when something is not running and the added alerts help with our support promptness.
  • Once we enabled the alerts, we were actually able to find issues that we didn't even know we had
  • Sometimes it takes some time to make sure alerting is setup right.
  • Some of the setup is not straight forward and needs a little research.
It has helped us many times for alerting us when something is down. This has even helped us fix things before the end user even notices.
Read Justin Harrison's full review
August 10, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Just as awesome as the price tag suggests!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds SAM in conjunction with SolarWinds NPM to monitor, visualize, and alert on various IT components via email alerts, dashboards, and even a NOC view that is displayed on a large screen. Business stakeholders are often included in the email alerts, so they are aware when issues arise that affect them/their department.
  • Super-simple to configure everything from standard HTTP checks all the way to custom Powershell scripts that return tables of values
  • Upgrading is simple- the unified installer detects and upgrades all Orion products (NPM, SAM, DPA) and upgrades them at the same time, to maintain version compatibility
  • Documentation and forums are straightforward and helpful
  • The web UI is often slow, even on beefy hardware with a beefy database server.
  • The alerts are very rigid- e.g. you can't define a group of email addresses and then include the group in alerts, you have to list every email address in every individual alert.
  • The F5 BIG-IP support is terrible- you cannot exclude specific components from the view the way you can with other parts of the software, so our balancer view shows a bunch of test/dev nodes that shouldn't even be there
  • AppInsights is poorly designed and poorly executed
  • Most permissions/settings for users are not defineable by group or policy, you have to edit individual users and edit a big sheet of permissions dropdowns on a per-user basis
SAM (along with the rest of the Orion suite) is a solid monitoring/alerting solution for most SMBs, with a few exceptions:

1. If you have a high change rate (adding or removing nodes/applications, etc), SAM might not be for you- there is an API, but it is not very good, so you will probably be doing most of your configuration using the web interface
2. If you have a large enough environment that it makes sense to have several staff [members] to manage the care and feeding of infrastructure monitoring, you might be better off using an open-source solution and rolling your own
3. If cost is a major factor, SolarWinds products might not be for you- everything SolarWinds sells is incredibly expensive.
Read Bear Golightly's full review
July 10, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SAM can reduce down time (sometimes completely)"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Several departments at my employer use SAM for our application monitoring needs. The best thing about SAM, much like other SW tools, is it's integrated with other SW products. SAM works flawlessly with NPM for server maintenance and monitoring. We are able to quickly address software failures via alerts and reports.
  • Alerts software failures
  • Integrated with NPM
  • Integration also allows event history
  • SAM is customizable, almost too much
  • SW relies on it's customer base for direction (too heavily)
  • SAM needs a little too much customization at times
Any environment where monitoring software is a necessity, could possibly benefit from SAM. Quickly address failures and diagnose events via NPM and SAM. Even if nobody is at the helm watching for failures, SAM/NPM can email alerts so that nothing falls through the cracks. Resource monitoring via NPM can also work with SAM to assist in diagnosis.
Read Joshua Smith's full review
August 13, 2018

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SAM from the perspective of MS SQL and application monitoring"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SAM to monitor our servers, applications and network components. Specifically, I use SAM to monitor database performances and critical services related to our mission-critical applications. SAM allows me to receive real-time alerts to head off service interruptions before our end-users are affected.
  • SAM gives excellent out-of-the-box insight into database performance.
  • SAM's flexibility and configurability allows us to add our own custom metrics. For instance, I currently have a query I wrote that checks a table and sends me an alert when performance is beyond my set threshold.
  • I find setting up new pages in SAM to less than intuitive.
  • Setting up new alerts can be cumbersome depending on the alert type.
Again, database performance (being the area I monitor most) from SAM is excellent.
Read this authenticated review
August 03, 2018

"SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review - Worth it."

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is being used to actively monitor and appropriately alert on servers and applications in our organization. The robust feature set allowed for granular level detail of the servers and applications. This allowed us to create reports on server status as well as better plan for future requirements in capacity. There is also a good level of alerting available on CPU, Memory and disk space as well as application variables.
  • Granular level of detail about servers
  • Robust reporting
  • Alerting on CPU, Memory, Disk.
  • Getting set up took a bit of work.
  • Installing the agent on all of our servers for best availability of information
Infrastructure and application monitoring to best understand your current environment and plan for the future. The feature set is robust and allowed for a granular level of detail about your servers. The reporting was easily accessible. The alert generation allowed us to monitor CPU, Memory and Disk.
Read this authenticated review
August 15, 2018

"SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor User Review"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, also known as SAM, is used across the entire organization. It is used along with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM). The main purpose is to monitor and alert on application services and processes on Windows and Linux servers.
  • Website and URL monitoring.
  • Windows services monitoring.
  • Process monitoring.
  • SAM templates.
  • Setting up templates take some time as there is a learning curve initially. It has to setup in two different places.
  • It would be great if templates could be auto-assigned as new servers are added into the system.
  • More templates to be released on frequent basis.
I think SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor would work well for small and medium enterprises with basic to intermediate requirements. For large enterprises, there could be scalability challenges depending on the environment which could require multiple instances to be installed and more administration overhead.
Read this authenticated review
February 17, 2017

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SolarWinds is like hiring someone to just sit and watch your stuff 24/7 and you never have to feed them!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds to monitor our servers and network infrastructure. It is only used by our IT department. We are able to have a tool to monitor servers every hour of every day without needing to have a dedicated resource to babysit these devices.
  • SolarWinds has a great dashboard interface. The ability to modify the dashboard and add data per user is excellent.
  • Getting detailed event logs is outstanding for troubleshooting. Being able to use the Message Center to gather Events, Alerts, Syslog, Traps and Audit Events is a great resource.
  • The way the tool is organized to display network, application, and server data separately really helps. Top 10 lists are extremely helpful to pinpoint issues during troubleshooting.
  • I would like an easier way to provide SMS messages through a web-based service or other offering.
  • The mobile application is decent but could benefit from an update.
If you are needing to monitor all of your network devices and server, this is one of the best tools out there. I've used Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold, Manage Engine OpManager, Splunk, and Nagios. While SolarWinds is a bit more money than some of these when you have a large number of devices, it's the most powerful out of all that I've used.
Read this authenticated review
October 13, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Server and Application Monitor - Stay On Top of Your Outages"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We primarily use Solarwinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) to monitor our Windows Internet Information Services servers across our entire infrastructure. It allows us to alert on down applications, specifically IIS for us, so that our on-call team can ensure the least amount of downtime for our web servers. The down alert will specifically show which servers are having issues, and for how long.
  • Monitors applications. It lets you know when something is down, at what time, and when it came back up.
  • Strong custom community templates. For those of us that aren't as tech savvy, the community offerings are very helpful in getting the best from SAM.
  • You can create dashboards to monitor your most important applications.
  • The process is very manual. It takes a little time to learn, and remember how you did it the first time.
  • Navigation is confusing the first number of times as well. Trying to get back to where you started can be a pain. It's not 100% clear what you're doing at times, until you've done it a few times.
  • Creating your first dashboards can be a bit daunting at first. This is pretty typical of anything I've used from SolarWinds.
If you have a large infrastructure it can be nearly impossible to keep track of everything. Sometimes that's the case even with small/medium sized systems. A properly configured SAM can take the task of watching your servers like a hawk off your shoulders. It's very reliable, and let's you know when it sees a problem. It allows your team to focus on the thousand other tasks your team has to work on.
Read Dan Lepinski's full review
April 04, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "be prepared to roll up your sleeves"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Our environment is very distributed throughout the United States. SAM gives me good insight to what's happening in our various data centers and local sites, in addition to the valuable information that I am getting from NPM about the nodes themselves, resource usage and other metrics. Thanks to the SAM alerts and App Insight I am able to better tune the applications that we are monitoring (AD/SQL mostly). It has exposed some misconfigurations on our SQL servers and lack of resources on some servers. In addition to identifying servers that needed more resources to be allocated we identified some nodes that were over provisioned allowing us to reclaim processors, memory and storage.

If I were to offer a criticism it would be that between NPM, SAM and other SolarWinds monitors that are part of the suite there can be an overwhelming amount of data. It isn't trivial to tweak what you are monitoring and getting alerts for. Depending on the size of the environment don't be surprised if it takes a lot of resources (human time) to get it setup and working to suit you. It will work doing a next, next install but you can end up getting overwhelmed by data you might not care about.

  • SAM and App Insight are handy to look at the whole environment. When looking at a node I can see how that fits into the whole enterprise. If a issue is reported I can see that there might be some environmental issue at the root of the problem and not necessarily the server that is being reported. For instance the SQL server is fine but a switch upstream from that server is having issue or there is a internet circuit down. This saves a lot of troubleshooting time.
  • When you see monitors that are out of tolerance there are immediate resources to help make sense of the reported issue. Not just that something is out of sorts but why.
  • The metrics that are collected simplifies the process of identifying trends and the predictability monitors do a good job of letting you know that not only are resources are becoming tight on a node but a estimate when they will become critical. This give you that chance to plan for the growth instead if a reaction to some critical event.
  • I have used both WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds. One item that I think WhatsUp does particularly well is customizing the user interface for each user. Customizing the interface in SolarWinds is cumbersome. A change to a page layout by one user affects all users that use that page. The security is very granular and it can take some work to get what you need. There is nothing ad hoc about it. But this is more of a complaint about the whole Orion interface that displays the SAM data in addition to data from all the other modules.
  • I would also like to see some improvements in node configuration, I would like for it to be easier to manage nodes as groups. You can groups nodes together for monitoring purposes but there isn't an obvious way to manage them as a group for instance add/remove monitors and pollers. I would like to see a feature to add a server to a group and it automatically gets a predefined set of pollers and monitors assigned.
With a limited operations staff it would be next to impossible to get the insight into all the server and applications stacks in our environment. The reality is that there would be issues that would go undiscovered for who knows how long. If there's no smoke you might not notice many issues. SolarWinds Server & Application Manager (SAM) has worked well for us to work with application owners to show that performance issues that they may perceive are not part of the environment but the application configuration. The biggest benefit to me is just shortening the time to resolution for issues and more importantly providing me with information that allows me to be proactive and attack problems before they are noticed by our users.
Read Bret Brutlag's full review
March 14, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SAM - simple to implement, but extremely in depth monitoring for any organization"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Being a small IT group for our department within the university, we utilize SAM to monitor our departmental servers and applications. This allows our team to focus on projects and tasks for our staff, and insure that we will be alerted to performance issues or outages before our end users are impacted and/or to insure that their issues are resolved quickly.
We are alerted on a range of items, from complete server outages to a single SQL database's excessive fragmentation. We also use the statistics from the collected data to determine how we can improve application performance and the end user's experience.
  • SAM can dig deep into the applications to provide a wealth of information and immediate feedback on the items it is monitoring.
  • We can get a bird's eye view of our environment from the out of the box dashboards, with easily identifiable health indicators showing the state of servers and applications, services, connection attempts, and even the amount of network traffic to individual websites.
  • In depth details on our SQL environments allows the team to view the status of the server and databases, but also give detailed information on each component and offer suggestions on how to resolve the issues that we may be facing.
  • Each implementation of SAM is going to be different, and requires customization to correct alert on the environment it is monitoring. I would like to see some better probing and questions pertaining to our environment when installing that would help the refining of the thresholds and alerts on those thresholds. With that said, I think this is a difficult task for Solarwinds to provide, but it would be a huge selling point.
  • Many of the out of the box dashboards are helpful. We also like the intelligent discovery of the applications.
  • I have received a great deal of sales calls from the Solarwinds sales team in the past. It has slowed down recently, so maybe that trend will continue.
Solarwinds can be resource intensive to install, update and manage. It can be helpful for any size organization but you should give it enough dedicated resources to perform well, and there is some administrative upkeep to consider. The software can be a simple tool to monitor servers and apps, or a full time job that requires a Solarwinds administrator to manage for that large organization.
Read Steve Curtis's full review
February 20, 2016

"SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review with K-12 Enviroment"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is being used by our district’s network and systems engineer for real time system health and troubleshooting. In a school district our size it’s imperative to have eyes on all our systems down to the applications running within each server. SAM has given us critical information when troubleshooting system issues and alerting when an application being monitored fails or goes to a warning state. We also use SAM for building systems or arranging resources when needed. SAM shows trends that help make decisions on if we need to move or add resources to be utilized by other servers. One of the neat features we utilize with SAM is its ability to interact with all SolarWinds modules like Web Performance Monitor. SAM found an issue with our district website within a matter of minutes of being installed via AppInsight for IIS! We also use custom application monitors running on systems that have critical applications running that are not standard applications. This has helped tremendously with system up time and district situational awareness. I find out more everyday how SolarWindsServer & Application Monitor benefits my school district. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting insight to what's going on.
  • Trends! Showing how a particular application is being used gives us valuable information on what's going on. The ability to have historical data to backup reasoning for adding a server is priceless!
  • Using the built in AppInsight takes away the need to know what all makes up a service. Also the ability to create your own application monitor for non standard applications is beneficial.
  • The ability to create alerts via email or SMS on critical applications is wonderful! This puts our department "in the know" before the phones start ringing. This feature keeps our help desk knowledgeable on what's going on so they can keep the chaos to a minimum.
  • Knowing when an application is in a warning state is helpful so we know when to troubleshoot before it becomes an issue. The great thing about SAM is that it tells you where the problems are so you know where to start.
  • I know there are a few bugs still with AppInsight for IIS. When trying to unmanage a web site it does not always work correctly. You sometimes need to go back and forth a few times before it changes to unmanaged.
  • I wish that out of the box AppInsight for SQL Server didn't have such low thresholds on its templates. The override feature is useful in this case but you need at least a month of real data to set a new baseline.
  • New applications! Right now it's just the basic AD, Exchange, SQL, IIS, Windows, Linux.
As with any product your environment is what should set the pace. In a school district we have so many different applications making up a single classroom or administration need. It was chaos trying to keep track of what is on what and where things point to. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) has given us so much information at any given moment to make district wide changes or purchases. It also gave us the needed information to backup server purchases when showing the resource needed to run things correctly. Due to SolarWinds' license with the Orion Platform I can see the price point being an issue for smaller users who may not have the budget. I would have them try out SAM first and see how it performs in your environment. If you find you don’t benefit from it as a standalone setup, understand it works wonders with some of the other SolarWinds products. Troubleshooting systems and application needs become simple. You will quickly see how one issue may affect others and give you that proactive nudge to fix it before it becomes a major failure.
Read David Gonzalez's full review
February 19, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Solarwinds - Monitor with the Big Boys"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Solarwinds SAM is our IT department's monitoring software. It allows us to proactively address server and system application issues before they become critical. It alerts us via email when we are not actively watching its output. It provides ultra deep insight into the inner workings of mission critical applications. It keeps a history of our system's health and allows us to produce pretty much any report you can think of. It also, allows us to create custom views of the monitored systems so we can control what a specific user or group can see.
  • The ease of creating a custom alert is really incredible. Something that may take 30 minutes in Nagios takes only 3 minutes in Solarwinds.
  • The custom views are incredibly useful for meeting the demands of specific department and execs to be able to see only what they want to see of the systems being monitored.
  • The Thwack community is a to-the-point technical forum with real-world usable solutions by novice and veteran Solarwinds users alike. Its resources include the actual code/plugin needed to take advantage of the solutions.
  • The learning curve can be steep. With so many granular, customizable options, it can be overwhelming.
  • The default alerts issue too many emails that sound unnecessarily urgent and are sometime misleading, like saying the Domain Controller is down when a user account gets locked.
  • Some of the products in SAM are also included in other Solarwinds products making choices sometimes difficult.
Solarwinds SAM is going to be very well suited for any larger organization that has the budget for it as it is not cheap. The licensing model is such that one SQL server, for example, uses 50 application monitor licenses. Once the company gets beyond 750 licenses or so, I think, then it becomes wise to pay for the unlimited licensing model...also not cheap. A very small organization may not be well suited for Solarwinds.
Read Ed Bowling's full review
February 12, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor: "SolarWinds - SAM Review"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the SAM module from Solarwinds to ensure the stable of services we provide to our end users is working as planned. It helps my small staff identify issues before they become outages and it helps me to ensure we are meeting our SLA from a performance standpoint.
  • SAM helps our support staff identify applications not meeting our designed SLAs. We have two industry specific applications that have memory leak issues and using this platform we are able to set threshold warnings up letting us know it is time to take a preventative step to make the applciation behave correctly.
  • SAM also allows us to monitor server performance so if we end up with logs that get out of control and start eating drive space up, we are promptly alerted so corrective action can take place before service degrades.
  • I like have the SAM trend reports so I can see how the performance of applications behave overtime so I can ensure we have enough compute resources to meet our growing business demands.
  • Really the price is about the only area I'd like to see SolarWinds get aggressive on. There are many players at different levels in this space, and I get questioned often on the need to spend as much as we do on SolarWinds.
If you are pretty small vanilla IT shop, running mostly Microsoft apps, this tool maybe overkill.
Read Dan Turner's full review
February 11, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SolarWinds SAM - perfect for standard environments, messy to customize in atypical settings"

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds SAM to monitor and remediate web servers and applications. The point is to try and improve SLA for the business and user experience for our customers by automating the remediation of both typical and atypical use cases (application pools, SQL queries, Windows Services, etc.) The theory has been sound, but the implementation has been rife with difficulties.
  • Create custom WMI monitors for specific Performance metrics on any Windows Server. This is done through a wizard interface that directly queries the Performance Monitor and gives you the same basic interface for selecting specific metrics. Truly the easiest I've ever worked with.
  • Out of the box support for standard IIS monitoring that checks all of the standard metrics using a module called AppInsight for IIS. For straight-up out of the box usage, this is a great solution.
  • A very straightforward method of adding additional nodes and matching them to precreated templates to reduce the additional work of adding the same components over and over to the same types of servers (especially when considering a large web farm where every server needs the exact same set of monitors.)
  • Customization of the AppInsight for IIS monitors is cumbersome and, in some cases, non-existent. If your organization has atypical requirements, it is difficult to customize and, in a few cases, seemingly impossible (or at least requires a huge effort.)
  • Initial setup of SolarWinds SAM was a series of headaches that required multiple calls to support. Again, there is no easy path to solve issues because even the techs have no idea what to do. This just means that SAM's error reporting lacks clarity.
  • It is completely confusing as to when you should use Agents or when you shouldn't. Also, techs do not agree. There needs to be more consistent messaging here.
  • The SQL backend for this tool is VERY sensitive to performance issues. It really is best to use a dedicated SQL server, but this really shouldn't be necessary. We launched this against a single farm of 10 nodes and it can take up to 2-6 hours for the system to notice changes to that environment. This is unacceptable. The solution? Move to dedicated SQL. That makes an expensive product quickly more expensive.
If you have a standard IIS environment where little customization is required and can use dedicated SQL resources, SAM shines. It is easy to use, easy to configure and just works out of the box. If your environment required heavy customization or you only need to utilize a portion of the AppInsight modules... you may need to look elsewhere because the setup is a headache. The problem? For the cost, there are few application that provide the level, ease-of-use, and reliability of auto-remediation that SolarWinds provides in SAM. So, this may still be for you, but make sure you budget time and take advantage of all of their free educational tools and prepare for a lot of calls to support to help you overcome this hurdle.
Read Larry Gross's full review
February 10, 2016

"A lazy man's review (I prefer Set it and forget it) of Solarwinds Server & Application Monitor."

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor to address the problem of applications that have stopped functioning, running out of control or are lagging behind in their expected performance. It is so useful we even use it to assist sister companies around the world monitor their applications. It also allows us to give a more in depth look to management via reporting on how their environments are running.
  • The ability to quickly and easily create your own application monitors for those custom applications means you never have to say no when a customer of yours wants to make sure their application is running optimally is a huge benefit.
  • Out of the box, Server & Application Monitoring begins to deliver value throughout your infrastructure. Just be careful as some results can be shocking that some apps you thought were fine might not be. The proactive stance that your customers will see you taking will be worth it however.
  • As always, the Thwack community has your back if you have questions or want a one off monitor that might be better constructed than your programming skills might allow. It is also very nice that the SolarWinds employees are active in the community to help in really tough situations or answer a question that you don't feel warrants opening a ticket.
  • I tend to get a lot of false negatives with the new built in IIS and SQL monitors, so many that I no longer use them and find it annoying that they keep trying to hit every computer I import.
  • Navigating the SAM settings page can be very confusing unless you use it a lot (in which case you might be doing something wrong since SolarWinds is largely set it and forget it). It would be nice if it were in a more hierarchical setup.
  • If you do set up an application monitor incorrectly you can email bomb yourself or worse your customers very quickly. Test, test, test!
I find that SolarWinds Server and Application (SAM) monitor is better suited to custom environments where you need to make sure that your specific apps are running correctly. I have not found much use for it in general use servers.
Read Jim Morrison's full review
May 27, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Easy and intuitive monitoring of the whole enterprise application stack"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
This software is mainly used by Infrastructure department but DBAs are occasionally using it when we need to see the full picture of the server performance.
  • Monitors apps
  • Send alerts when thresholds are exceeded or apps go down
  • Provides useful customizable dashboards
  • Highlights most important issues
  • More customizable application monitoring
Solar Winds Server and Application Monitor is very useful for multi-server environments as it can monitor and group them. Also it is very useful in conjunctions with SolarWinds DPA (available through integration of two) which shows the complete state of the database server performance.
Read Elena Goryainova's full review
May 06, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "The Application Performance Monitor that will not let you down when you need it most"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We were using it to monitor servers and systems across the organization, but mainly in the IT department.
  • Monitors application health
  • Create customize monitors to monitor status on just about any service
  • Useful dashboards, that assist with troubleshooting and integrate well with Solarwind's other modules.
  • Licensing based on the monitors used instead of the application can make this solution seem a bit limited. For example monitoring all your exchange servers services could easily eat up a number of these licenses quick. So recommend counting each critical service that supports your application.
If you're already a Solarwinds customer, or you are looking at using Solarwinds to monitor your network then Server Application Monitor is perfect for you. You may have other existing systems that can do similar things, but the integration with Solarwinds other products makes this a one stop shop for all application monitoring and troubleshooting needs.
Read Paul Cardelli, CISSP's full review
April 13, 2016

Review: "SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor - A Rock Solid Performer"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently use SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor to monitor our servers and application for issues. SolarWinds is used to monitor general server availability as well as response times. We have created monitors that also monitor free space as well as application availability and CPU load.
  • SolarWinds monitors CPU thresholds well.
  • SolarWinds monitors application thresholds well.
  • SolarWinds monitors application availability well.
  • Setting up the monitors for the first time can be a little tricky.
  • Setting up the monitors requires direct access to the server hosting the application. It would be nice to be able to do that from the webpage.
SolarWinds is suited for a small organization or an organization with plenty of resources. SolarWinds is very heavy on memory and CPU so you need a good machine to handle the load. Licensing can be expensive as it is required on every component of a monitor (CPU, memory, NIC, HDD).
Read Alex Gouskos's full review
March 23, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor: "LunarTides review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor to monitor our server uptime and to keep track of our network closets. Whenever one of our servers goes down SolarWinds alerts us so that we can address the issue. The Network tab allows us to keep track of the status and health of our Cisco network blades and the configuration of each port. The Application tab allows us to keep track of our different virtual servers and alerts us when a critical component goes bad. The IP Addresses tab allows us to see who is logged in under what IP address and which ones are being used and what is available.
  • The details that the IP Address application gives back are helpful in finding what user is or has used an IP address.
  • At this moment in time I have not found any areas that they can improve on.
SolarWinds should be used in companies and businesses where there is a heavy need for network maintenance.
Read Justin Gamble's full review
March 12, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "SolarWinds the real deal"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have 540+ stores around United States. Across the whole organization, we use SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor to monitor the network status of each location including every server that we use for IT operations. It has been a helpful tool for us to support every end-user as we have a full visibility of the network and server status in our company network.
  • Linux & Windows Servers
  • Cisco ASA firewalls
  • VMware servers
  • Adding port security monitoring
Yes, it is really well suited to be used by any organizations which has an IT infrastructure to be monitored and maintained.
Read Edmund Tienzo's full review
March 10, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: ""SAM, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.""

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
If you have used this product, SAM, you would know that it is a value add for a business and a great time saver for all. Setting up alerting for a down node, failed hardware, environmental fluctuation and many more options makes for peace of mind.

Our deployment is being used by many departments across most of our business.

SAM addresses the need to know. Knowing that your infrastructure is up and running and can be addressed at a moments' notice is peace of mind. The product pays for itself buy catching problems before they become a problem.
  • Alerting off of anything is done very well. You can make a simple alert or you can make them as complicated as you want.
  • It monitors port, and can alert on, throughput, response time, and packet loss just to name a few.
  • It gives a rolling list of events for the network.
  • I have nothing here. SolarWinds usually addresses anything needed.
SolarWinds Server & Application (SAM) is not suitable for a very small mom and pop shop.
Read David Asher's full review
March 08, 2016

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Review: "Solarwinds SAM a good investment"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We used SAM specifically for our SQL Server 2012 and Exchange 2010 and IIS 7. Our IT department monitors a proprietary CRM and web portals that we needed to keep an eye on for 24/7 monitoring and 100% uptime. The Exchange monitoring was just a plus.
  • SQL server monitoring was probably the best use for SAM, although there are other products that get into further detail. SAM basically gives us the confidence to be sure that the source of a bottleneck or error is not hardware or configuration related, but instead a possible code or efficiency issue.
  • Exchange 2010 monitoring is a little difficult through the management console, so SAM provides that extra layer of monitoring that shows what applications are failing, when the management console doesn't load. This can only be done otherwise through advanced powershell scripting.
  • We've seen products that provide that extra level of monitoring that the SQL server monitoring wasn't capable of. However, the cost of solutions like Idera are very high in comparison to what you are getting with SAM.
If you are looking for advanced efficiency monitoring to the procedural level in SQL, i recommend looking elsewhere.
Read Michael Aguirre's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Application monitoring (64)
8.5
Database monitoring (52)
7.1
Threshold alerts (64)
8.6
Predictive capabilities (55)
6.4
Application performance management console (56)
7.3
Collaboration tools (31)
5.6
Out-of-the box templates to monitor applications (57)
6.4
Application dependency mapping and thresholding (49)
7.1
Virtualization monitoring (52)
7.6
Server availability and performance monitoring (61)
8.6
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting (59)
7.6
IT Asset Discovery (43)
7.5

About SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) delivers powerful application and server monitoring capabilities for IT pros enabling them to diagnose and troubleshoot issues faster. The vendor’s value proposition is that this solution prevents slow applications and downtime from impacting end-users and business services. Users can use this tool to pinpoint the root cause of application issues across various layers of the IT stack.

The vendor says SolarWinds SAM is affordable, easy to deploy, use and customize. Users can automatically discover their systems environment and start monitoring in about an hour. No professional services or consultation needed.

SAM is built on SolarWinds Orion® platform enabling native integration with Network Performance Monitor and other IT management software from SolarWinds.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Features

Has featureSingle Web interface to monitor multi-vendor applications and server infrastructure.
Has featureOut-of-the-box monitoring templates for 200+ enterprise applications.
Has featureEasily extend monitoring to virtually any custom or home-grown applications.
Has featureGain contextual visibility of relationships and dependencies between applications and physical and virtual servers.
Has featureMonitor server hardware health, perform capacity forecasting, and manage asset inventory. Remediate server issues remotely with built-in management actions.
Has featureMonitor VMware and Hyper-V environments to identify problems impacting application performance.
Has featureCentrally manage IT asset inventory and keep track of server hardware and software information.
Has featureLeverage the wealth of built-in alerts and reports, and easily customize them as needed.
Has featureSAM is an agentless monitoring software. Optional agent installation extends monitoring to the cloud.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Screenshots

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Videos (2)

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Downloadables

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Integrations

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Competitors

WhatsUp Gold, Nagios, IBM Tivoli Monitoring, CA APM, Microsoft System Center, SiteScope (formerly HP SiteScope), ManageEngine Applications Manager

Pricing

Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
Does not have featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?No
Entry-level set up fee?No

SAM pricing starts at $2,995.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Support Options

 Paid Version
Phone
Email
Forum/Community
FAQ/Knowledgebase
Video Tutorials / Webinar

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Technical Details

Deployment Types:On-premise
Operating Systems: Windows
Mobile Application:No
Supported Languages: English