Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
As the #1 VA Mortgage lender in the US, keeping our systems healthy and our finger to our systems' pulse is crucial. When we purchased SAM for our Orion systems, we (Information Technology) immediately put all its features to immediate use. IT monitors the whole company's server infrastructure using SAM by texting and email alerting on met thresholds of hard drive capacity, RAM usage over a certain time and applications/services that are non-responsive. This allows our Server admins to proactively address issues before it affects our customers and employees. We also monitor our Linux systems for IPTables service availability as well as other linux services. We watch I/O read/writes of certain applications to not only check its health but to spot abnormalities in its behavior. Not only our administrators are alerted but also our IT Security team, depending on the application.
IT is not the only department that has access to the SAM dashboards. Dashboards are built out for other departments to view the applications and systems they own so they fully utilize the ownership of their own systems. For example, the development teams setup up monitoring and alerting on component response time for troubleshooting and proactively addressing issues with their IIS/Tomcat environment.
- Alerting: Not only can you alert on apps/services/components/system resources, but SAM also addresses over-alerting if a system/application goes off-line by using a parent/child system relationship. If the parent system goes off-line and you have alerting setup on the components, SAM is smart enough to recognize the parent is down and not inundate you with all child resources that went off-line.
- Integration into the Orion product: SolarWinds does a great job integrating SAM into not only Orion but Orion's other products that monitor systems.
- The breadth of what can be monitored: SAM's extensive list of what it can monitor on top of adding whatever system/component that's not included in Orion's provided pre-made list of choices made it an easy sell to us.
- All the issues we had have been addressed by past SAM versions.
- SolarWinds' SQL monitoring with SAM found the root cause of a database issue within minutes. The cost of this particular database would have cost us over $5000/hr if it was not accessible.
- SAM alerted our server and data center team that one of our Tier 1 storage LUNs went off-line, which hosts our most important servers. Luckily our SolarWinds server was still available and able to alert. Losing a LUN of that importance during business hours could cost thousands a minute, preventing business workflows from working and causing hundreds of employees from doing work while down.
Before we had SAM, we were using SolarWinds NPM for network monitoring. When doing the bake-off between SAM, MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) and Riverbed SteelCenter, we found that SAM was more flexible and intuitive than the other two products. The integration with NPM and the ability to do parent/child alerting tree as well as a single pane of glass was important. SAM also had functionality that the other two products did not have such as monitoring home grown applications and Linux systems.
Our DBAs were alerted of a component of SQL going haywire using SAM. The threshold that was set was exceeded for more than 5 minutes and they were able to fix the issue quickly. Good thing it was being monitored being that it was a critical database and component that affected the whole company's revenue stream. Unfortunately, due to licensing, we could not setup another Orion system to monitor our primary Orion System. We had to go with a 3rd party free solution to alert our IT if our SolarWinds systems went down.