SolarWinds SAM review
February 15, 2016

SolarWinds SAM review

Mike Miller | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is used to monitor all the aspects of our customer-facing production environment. This environment consists of heavy processing on a variety of servers with files moving back and forth. SAM allows us to watch individual parts of this process as well as viewing it in its entirety so we can easily find bottlenecks. SAM also allows us to monitor the availability of critical services in this process and alert if these services are unavailable. This lets us take a proactive approach to issue resolution before the customer is ever aware of a problem. In addition, SAM gives us instant feedback on how hardware configuration changes affect this process allowing us to find the optimal configuration for our environment.
  • Monitoring critical services. SAM can monitor critical services running on one or multiple servers and alert when these services are unavailable.
  • Monitoring detailed system performance. SAM can watch several system parameters right out of the box making it easy to set up monitoring on a variety of systems.
  • Real-time performance status. SAM can provide very accurate real-time performance data allowing you to see exactly what is happening at that moment.
  • If you are watching processes, SAM is built for processes that run at all time. SAM does not do a good job of monitoring processes that may start up and shut down. SAM will simply report these processes as down if the monitoring doesn't catch them at the right time.
  • SAM aggregates data after a period of time so detailed research into a performance issue or configuration problem needs to be done quickly before the historical data is rolled up and the details are lost.
  • The interface is still a little confusing if you don't use it every day. In particular, making changes to application monitors is a confusing task that I usually need to attempt two or three times before I figure out how to make the changes I want.
  • SAM allows us to monitor server disk space so we don't fill any drives which will bring down critical services.
  • SAM allows us to correctly size our environment by showing how configuration changes affect application performance.
  • SAM helps us monitor critical services, allowing us an opportunity to resolve issues before there is any customer impact.
SAM provides far more details than either of the products listed above and allows us to add custom services along with the built-in performance parameters. SAM also provides a more useful user interface that allows an overall view for quick problem identification and the ability to drill in to the details needed in the event of an issue.
SAM really does excel at system performance and critical services monitoring but does not fare well in situations where processes or systems are not up at all times.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
Database monitoring
Threshold alerts
Predictive capabilities
Application performance management console
Collaboration tools
Not Rated
Out-of-the box templates to monitor applications
Application dependency mapping and thresholding
Virtualization monitoring
Not Rated
Server availability and performance monitoring
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
IT Asset Discovery
Not Rated