Server & Application Monitor (SAM) has made major strides in the last two years with the introduction of hardware health monitoring, java application and hypervisor monitoring, remediation and a truck load of other capabilities.  With the SAM 6.0 release, this product has expanded its capabilities well beyond application and server monitoring and now includes functionality for specialized SQL monitoring and IT asset inventory management.

 

The response to this release we have seen thus far makes this product marketer want to cry……. with tears of joy.  Thank you aLTeReGo!

 

If you would like to view the webcast replay for a deep dive on some of the new features of SAM 6.0, check out the video below.  The video covers these features: AppInsight for SQL, the Threshold Baseline Calculator, Asset Inventory Dashboard and the Real-Time Event Log Viewer.  If you would rather download SAM 6.0 and try it out, you can sign up here if you are an existing SAM customer on maintenance.  If not, you can contact sales@solarwinds.com to obtain access to these new features.

 

 

If you only have a couple minutes, I encourage you to take a look at this very short video which highlights some of the problems you can solve with AppInsight for SQL.

 

 

 

Below are the questions asked during the Sneak Peek Webcast and the responses.

 

Q: Will SAM 6.0 get EoL data from the various server hardware vendors (i.e. HP, IBM, Dell, etc.?
A: Correct. SAM 6.0 queries each vendors internet web service for warranty status information. This requires the Orion server to have internet access.

Q: Also, is SAM available as standalone product or only as a module?  I am concerned that this app might cause my database to explode once we add our over 8,000 servers to it
A: SAM has been available as a standalone product since APM v4.2. You may want to consider leveraging AppInsight for SQL to analyze your Orion’s SQL performance issues. Performance could probably be improved by adding more spindles to the array where the Orion database or tempDB are located. As always, with MSSQL more memory always helps.

Q: Can a report be generated to show all expired hardware in a list?
A: Yes. SAM 6.0 even includes a new out-of-the-box report that utilizes the new Web Based Report Writer that contains this information.

Q: Will you need to add Asset Inventory to See ILO and Drac's?
A: Yes. Reporting of Out of Band Management Cards such as Dell DRAC’s and HP iLO’s is included as part of SAM 6.0’s Asset Inventory.

Q: What versions of hp support tools or ibm director are needed? the latest and greatest or previous versions?
A:  Hardware information collected by Asset Inventory requires the following software provided by the hardware vendor.
• Dell PowerEdge server with OpenManage Server Administrator 7.2 or later
• HP Proliant servers with HP System Insight Manager v6.2 or later
• IBM xSeries servers IBM Director (Common Agent, v6.3 or later)

Q: No other software needs to be installed on the server, like Log Forwarder?
A: Asset Inventory requires vendor specific software be installed on the server for physical hardware components only. General server inventory information is available for all nodes, including virtual guests.

Q: If there are multiple disks, would it break out the disk statistics per disk or as a whole?
A: Yes. AppInsight for SQL will show all files that make up the database or transaction log, and the disk I/O for each drive those files are stored on.

Q: How do you handle Microsoft Server Clusters in AppInsight for SQL? Would you monitor the cluster virtual node or the real server?
A: It’s recommended that AppInsight for SQL be applied to the cluster VIP. You should also have each cluster member node managed/monitored in Orion.

Q: Is the custom assrt information editable on the web interface? What permissions would someone need to edit it?
A: Custom Asset Information requires node management rights to create or modify.

Q: Do you get all the hardware information if you are only using SNMP to monitor Windows servers or does it require WMI?
A: For Linux/AIX hosts yes. For VMware ESX/ESXi hosts it’s recommended you poll those hosts directly using the “Poll for VMware” option for the highest level of detail. Windows hosts can be polled via SNMP, though some information is only available when the host is managed via WMI.

Q: Does this polling impact SQL?
A: AppInsight for SQL has very little impact on monitored SQL servers. Those components which are considered higher impact, such as index fragmentation have fully configurable polling intervals. The default polling intervals for these components are also not configured to poll the standard “5” minute interval. Index fragmentation for example is configured to poll every per-hour.

Q: What is the default interval for AppInsight?
A: AppInsight for SQL uses SAM’s standard 5 minute polling interval, though some information is polled as infrequently as once an hour to limit AppInsight’s impact on the monitored SQL server.

Q: I understand that AppInsight is the beginning of a new era for SAM. What's in your roadmap for other applications?
A: AppInsight for SQL is the first of many applications we’d like to support, though no specific roadmap currently has been defined. As with all features, the order in which we implement applications support will be dictated by user demand.

Q: Is there any new features regarding Exchange Server monitoring? and does SAM support Exchange 2013?
A:  SAM 6.0 does not include any new Exchange specific features, but we do have pre-release Exchange 2013 application monitoring templates available on Thwack. When they’re officially released they will be available for download through the Content Exchange.

Q: any changes to other AM like Exchange?
A: SAM 6.0 does not include any new Exchange specific features, but we do have pre-release Exchange 2013 application monitoring templates available on Thwack. When they’re officially released they will be available for download through the Content Exchange.

Q: Is there something new for Oracle for SAP Application?
A: No changes have been made in this release for Oracle. If you’re looking for SAP support I recommend you check out SAPOrion.

Q: is there a miminum release of NPM you have to be running to upgrade your 5.0 to 6?
A: If you’re running NPM on the same server as SAM you’ll first need to upgrade to NPM 10.6 before upgrading to SAM 6.0. You can also upgrade directly from SAM 5.0 to 6.0

Q: Upgrade path, Can you go from 5.0 to 6 without having to go to 5.5?
A: Yes, you can upgrade directly from SAM 5.0 to 6.0

Q: Will there be any licensing or pricing changes with the release of 6.0?
A: No licensing or pricing changes are planned for the SAM 6.0 release.

Q: Is AppInsight only for SQL? or does it work with Oracle?
A: AppInsight for SQL supports only Microsoft SQL at this time.

Q: I would like to see this type of webinar for SAM itself, not just AppInsight. Is this available for release 6?
A: If you currently own SAM, you can sign-up to download the SAM 6.0 Release Candidate. If you don’t currently own SAM you can contact SolarWinds Sales and they can provide you links to download the SAM 6.0 pre-release.

Q: also would like to know the release GA date for SAM6
A: A release date has not yet been made official. Though you can sign-up to download the SAM 6.0 Release Candidate which is fully supported and can be upgraded directly to the GA release when it’s released.

Q: So is the Real-Time Event Log viewer going to be an additional cost or is it included in SAM 6?
A: There is no additional cost associated with the Real-Time Event Log Viewer. It’s included as part of SAM 6.0, similar to the Real-Time Process Explorer and Windows Service Control Manager.

Q: Is AppInsight part of SAM?
A: Yes. AppInsight for SQL is included as part of SAM 6.0

Q: Is it possible to update Warranty info that is auto populated?  we buy support for our HP servers through a third party
A: Typically, HP support purchased through 3rd parties is the same support purchased directly. If your support status is accurately reflected on HP’s warranty status website, then it will be shown correctly in SAM’s Asset Inventory.

Q: does the warranty information come from hp/dell?
A: Correct. Warranty information is polled directly from Dell, HP, and IBM’s internet web services.

Q: do you need sql credentials to get the sql data?
A: AppInsight does require valid credentials to connect to the SQL server via the SQL protocol to collect performance information related to the SQL server and databases. Both local SQL and Windows credentials are supported by AppInsight for SQL.

Q: How does AppInsight affect license usage? Does it count as a single component?
A: Appinsight for SQL consumes 50 component monitor licenses for each monitored SQL Server instance.

Q: Will the Asset and Inventory data points be available in Custom Reports?
A: Yes, Asset Inventory information is available for Custom Reports. In fact, several out-of-the-box reports are included in SAM 6.0 that are built on Orion’s new Web Based Report Writer.

Q: Is an AppInsight module for Oracle on the roadmap?
A: We are currently considering adding AppInsight support for several different applications but as with all things at SolarWinds, user demand will dictate the roadmap.

Q: do you have to have Patch Manager
A: No SAM 6.0 features are dependent upon Patch Manager.

Q: when is the 6.0 release date ?
A: A release date has not yet been made official. Though you can sign-up to download the SAM 6.0 Release Candidate which is fully supported and can be upgraded directly to the GA release when it’s released.

Q: so enterprise 2005 this will not be useful ?
A: AppInsight for SQL supports SQL 2008, 2008R2, and SQL 2012. While AppInsight has been reported to work with SQL 2005, it is not officially supported.

Q: We run SAM 5.0, can we upgrade right to 6.0?
A: Yes, you can upgrade directly from SAM 5.0 to 6.0.

Q: Can you add devices that are in stock and not on the network?
A: Asset Inventory in SAM 6.0 is tied to nodes managed in Orion. Theoretically it would be possible to temporarily manage a device that’s in “stock” and, then unmanage that node essentially indefinitely to store and report upon that asset. It’s not however possible to manually key-in node/asset information for a node that has never been managed by Orion.
Q: sorry - how does warranty status get populated again..?
A: SAM 6.0 queries each vendors internet web service for warranty status information. This requires the Orion server to have internet access.

Q: will disk queue or I/O require that the node be monitored my WMI specifically, or does the application of the WMI template allow access to those metrics?
A: AppInsight collects the majority of information via SQL though some information, such as disk I/O require that the node be managed via WMI.

Q: can advanced alerts be setup for asset inventory data..?
A: Alerts based on warranty information can be created. In fact, we include this alert pre-configured out-of-the-box.

Q: can baseline thresholds be used for CPU and Memory, or just SAM elements..?
A: The threshold baseline calculator is available for any application component monitor that returns a statistical value that can have a warning or critical threshold defined.