Solarwinds SAM Review
February 29, 2016

Solarwinds SAM Review

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

We use SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor to monitor all of our Windows Server and MS SQL Servers for general performance data collection, OS monitoring and alerting, and application level monitoring and alerting.
  • Alerting - SolarWinds SAM has excellent alerting functionality. We haven't run into many situations/alerting workflows that couldn't be accommodated with the built-in reporting functionality.
  • Interface - The SolarWinds SAM interface is very sharp and finding information is easy. As well, it integrates into their Orion platform and pulls information from the other products so that all of the information you need is in one place. If it isn't by default, you can easily customize the views, without code, to have them display the information you want/need.
  • Discovery Setup & Ease of Use- The SolarWinds discovery tool is very good at pulling WMI information quickly. It takes minutes to set up and you start pulling all the information you could ever want.
  • Integrations - While SolarWinds has several products that integrate into various platforms, the SAM tool basically relies on WMI to pull information from servers. The detail of information from WMI pulls is great. The downside is that all of your servers have to be added, or discovered, in SolarWinds. So, while that step seems intuitive and relatively easy, a hypervisor-based monitoring solution can apply rules to all new VMs and they are discovered instantly and automatically added to standard monitoring policies. I don't expect this would be an issue for a larger process-driven department or organization, but in SMB, it can be a struggle to maintain.
  • Alerting Setup - As a default, I think the general recommendation is to turn on most of the alerting, and then pair down what you don't need/use. From day 1, expect 6-12 months of honing the product to alert on what you want, unless you have everything documented from the get-go and have an integration plan that includes addressing all of the alerting needs specifically. As well, because the platform allows ultimate customization in alerts, it also requires a lot of setup to get them right.
  • WMI - Pulling information using WMI uses a lot of CPU on our VMs. We have to stagger our data collection over longer than desired timeperiods because the VMs spike CPU during the WMI pulls. An agent based solution would almost certainly be better.
  • We haven't realized an ROI on SolarWinds SAM at this point in time. Partially due to the complexity of setting up such a system and making it appropriately monitor all aspects of our Server & Application environment. I don't attribute this to the product as much as internal prioritization and organization changes.
It lacks the simplicity of Goliath Performance Monitor, but that's because it's a much more fully featured and integrated product. I think it falls behind the vRealize platform for virtualization due to the reliance on WMI and discovery, but it is significantly more affordable than that solution. I think dollar for dollar this is one of the best products on the market.
In an environment with a large physical and virtual footprint, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) would be very well suited. The product can monitor most OSs, and if you aren't looking specifically at a virtualization use case, this is probably one of the easier/better products on the market. The potential to integrate with their other tools is also a huge positive.

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
Server availability and performance monitoring
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
IT Asset Discovery