SAM is Almost Where it Needs To Be
February 15, 2016

SAM is Almost Where it Needs To Be

Matt Richardson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

My organization uses SAM internally to monitor critical services on servers. Services range from standard IIS services to third party services. The majority of our usage is Microsoft SQL Services and database performance. We also use it for Microsoft Server failover cluster monitoring. The most intuitive use (if I do say so myself) is to identify a problem with SAM, and automatically resolve that problem with other SolarWinds products via script or automatic configuration/reconfiguration.
  • Monitor Critical Services - You can monitor and alert any service running on a Windows server in about 5 minutes. It takes a bit more time for Linux services, but it is doable.
  • Monitoring otherwise tricky things to monitor, i.e. server failovers.
  • Keeping an eye on SQL Performance. There are lots of products out there, but few as quick and easy as SAM to configure.
  • SAM could use a "Single Service Monitor & Alerting Wizard" or something similar. While the bundled monitoring packages are nice, they are often overkill and use way more licenses than I would like to use for that particular alert.
  • Could make it easier to alert different groups. Often different parts of the business want to know only certain things (i.e. the Analytics team doesn't always want the same information as the Dev Ops team) and it isn't a quick thing to edit an existing alert and only send to a subset of people.
  • Auto-restart for services isn't very straightforward. That seems like it should be a pretty easy thing to do, like a checkbox or something.
  • Incorporate the SSH command functionality of NCM with SAM. That way I can send commands to Linux servers if something goes awry.
  • Auto-recovery of failed applications off hours when there are no eyes on glass.
  • Notification of Windows Server failover. That is hard to notice otherwise since things tend to keep working when something fails over.
  • We have been able to save 20 hours a month of manpower with the automation of legacy, unstable applications that require lots of attention.
  • Foglight, Kaseya Virtual System Administrator (VSA) and LabTech for Corporate IT Departments
I honestly liked Kaseya VSA better than SolarWinds SAM, but the rest of the Kaseya suite didn't stack up to SolarWinds for things like networking equipment, firewalls, netflow, etc. Foglight is just too much. There are so many things that this product has that I never use, just overkill.LabTech is also useful, but for a smaller shop. Once you have to scale out really big, LabTech for Corporate just can't hack it.
SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor (SAM) is less appropriate for a Linux heavy environment. You can't natively send SSH commands via SAM, you have to use NCM.

SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor is well suited for Windows heavy environments, especially when you're looking to keep track of Microsoft product installations. SAM is also very useful when you pair it with NCM and Web monitors. i.e. a website goes down, you have have SAM restart the app pool or IIS services.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
Database monitoring
Threshold alerts
Predictive capabilities
Application performance management console
Out-of-the box templates to monitor applications
Application dependency mapping and thresholding
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting