If, for any significant length of time, you have been using SolarWinds NPM for network management or SolarWinds SAM for application and server management, you have probably heard of an additional polling engine. Maybe you're even currently using or considering using an additional polling engine to spread your management load or expand your monitoring capacity. Excellent. That's exactly what additional polling engines were designed to do for you.
In this blog post, however, I'd like to introduce a couple of lesser-known things those amazing Additional Polling Engines can do for SolarWinds NPM, specifically: remote polling and poller stacking.
SolarWinds NPM version 10.4 introduced remote polling for Additional Polling Engines. Poller remotability allows you to continue polling and storing data, even when your remote additional polling engine is no longer connected to the SolarWinds database. In previous versions, if your additional polling engine lost its connection to the SolarWinds database, even for a short period of time, you would see data gaps for the devices monitored by the disconnected polling engine. Now, additional polling engines can use Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) to temporarily store polled data locally, on the server hosting the additional polling engine, and then later store it when the database connection is restored.
If your hardware can handle it, with the latest version of SolarWinds NPM, you can now install up to three unique polling engines on a single server, sharing a single IP address. Stackable polling engines enable you to effectively triple the polling capacity of a single server.
The attached document provides guidelines for these extended additional polling engine features. Currently, stackable and remote polling engines are only available to a limited number of SolarWinds products, but availability should expand in the future.