SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a Fantastic Product
Updated December 11, 2020

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a Fantastic Product

Drew Hood | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is currently being used to monitor services, process, URLs, and various other things on Windows and Unix servers. It is also used to monitor network devices through traps and certain script monitors. It is a cheaper way to monitor these items throughout the system. It allows for easy and quick access, and even incite to the environment. It offers a wide range of usage just by being able to configure and run scripts as monitors. One of the key features that allowed Regions to choose to use it, is the option to not have to install an agent on a server. You can use WMI or SNMP to app monitoring.
  • Application Monitoring
  • Easy of Use
  • Versatile
  • Could use more in-depth functions with APIs
  • There are more options for Windows than Linux/Unix
We use on-premises for SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor. It was a key point that we needed. We are moving slowly to more cloud infrastructure, however most of the monitoring products need to be on-premises with a bank. We know that Solarwinds offers all of the various options and we will use them if and when needed.
  • We use SAM to monitor a few customer facing applications and there has been times when they have gone down. The monitor from SAM that we have has allowed us to respond quickly saving the bank time, money, and reputation with our customers.
  • We were able to setup performance counter monitoring through SAM to watch how many users were connecting at once to web servers. This allowed to track attacks on the network and alert out in a timely manner to the various teams that needed to respond.
Splunk requires an agent to run and collect data. It also requires a lot more through servers and cost. We currently have Splunk, however when it comes down to quick and low impact monitoring we use SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor. Monitoring through WMI or SNMP using credentials allows for a lower impact than Splunk, which requires an agent.
I would 100% recommend SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor to a colleague. It's a cheaper, [more] versatile, easy to use product. It has a fantastic user support base. (Thwack.com) SolarWinds offers live online training sessions for free if you have purchased the product, where you can ask questions and learn how to use or even get pointers on best practices.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
10
Database monitoring
6
Threshold alerts
10
Predictive capabilities
5
Application performance management console
10
Collaboration tools
8
Out-of-the box templates to monitor applications
8
Application dependency mapping and thresholding
9
Virtualization monitoring
9
Server availability and performance monitoring
10
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
7
IT Asset Discovery
8

ROI

SAM has helped with capacity planning in a big way through automation. One example would be, as Orion administrators we have to go through and do various daily task, like clearing old or stale volumes from servers or even old/stale interfaces on network devices. This is easy work but it tends to take up time. Creating a monitor using SAM, we ran a query that would check if these existed, if they did it would alert and that alert would trigger a script to run and delete these items. This freed up a good bit of time wasted on doing an easy task. Thus allowing for more time on new projects.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is quite easy to use and super versatile. It allows you to do just about anything you can through premade templates or through scripting. You can use an agent on the servers if you want to, or you can monitor through WMI or SNMP credentials. You can customize thresholds for alerting quickly, and you can configure alerts to be as complex or as simple as you want.
20 hours or more time saved per person per week - SAM has helped save a lot of man hours through automation. Using SAM to setup various monitors to track when something needs to be updated, added, or deleted. Once the application monitor has triggered an alert, the alert is setup to run a script on the given device to make the change needed. Often times these changes would be easy to make but it would take up time. Utilizing SAM has allowed for more than 20 hours of work each week to be freed up so that other projects can be focused on more.
2-3 - Consolidating to one tool has allowed the company I work for to remove at least 2-3 other applications that various teams were using to do their own monitoring. Solarwinds Orion with NPM and SAM has allow for the various tasks to be completed using one tool. SAM has so much versatility that you can monitor, DB queries, URLs, processes, services, traps, scripts and the list goes on.
3 or more points - Using the asset inventory function from SAM for network devices allows you to monitor the various hardware items for each device. If something were to go out on it (i.e. a system fan) it allows for alerting on these items be fast and the responds to these items quick as well. You can also setup monitors for specific OIDs and use customizable thresholds for these for more accurate monitoring of these devices.
Using SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor has helped with identifying some wasted and under-utilized resources on servers. Teams would often request new servers or request added resources to their servers with claims of needing more RAM or CPU. Having these servers being monitored showed that A.) They weren't fully using what they currently had and B.) Had enough resources to run their application. This was proven through various monitors that were in place. with these application monitors you were able to see exactly how much resources their applications were using.
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor has reduced our mean time to resolution by being an easy product to use. You can build your monitors quickly. There is a ton of information out there on how to use the various templates. If there isn't a template for something that you need you can either create it or look on the user group forums (thwack.com) to see if someone else has already created it. The best part is that after creating a template it can be assigned quickly to any device in Orion. A simple service monitor takes almost no time to setup and after being setup you can already see how much resources are being used right away.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Support

Solarwinds now offers Enterprise support which we invested in to get quick and fast support. It is a little costly, but worth it to be able to have someone respond to questions quickly and dive into issues you might be having. Standard support is good but not great. You will sometimes have to wait once you put in a ticket, but they are generally pretty good at getting your issue resolved.