If you're running Server & Application Monitor (SAM) or Network Performance Monitor (NPM) then chances are you're already monitoring many of your servers critical components, such as CPU, Memory, and Virtual Memory utilization, as well as volume usage. If you're running SAM 5.x then you're probably monitoring your servers hardware health, too. These are all vitally important components that should be monitored, since they all contribute to the performance and availability of the servers, and the applications hosted on them.


In SAM 5.5 Beta 3 (now available) we've taken server monitoring to the next level. First, by expanding upon our server hardware health monitoring introduced in SAM 5.0, which included support for Dell PowerEdge, HP Proliant, IBM X-Series, and VMware ESX/i hosts. In this beta, you'll find added support for server blade chassis such as Dell's M1000e, HP's C7000 and C3000; because monitoring the chassis your servers are in is just as important as monitoring the servers themselves.

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Next, we turned our attention to storage. Up to now SAM has had very limited visibility into storage beyond basic volume usage. To make matters worse, a paradigm shift spearheaded by Microsoft has changed how we look at and think about storage on Windows systems today. No longer are we bound by the limits of 26 letters of the alphabet when creating new volumes on our Windows systems. Windows Volume Mount Points make it possible to add storage wherever we need it. However, up until now it's been very difficult to monitor these Mount Points like traditional volumes.


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So in SAM 5.5 beta 3 we added native support for Windows Volume Mount Points, and made monitoring them as simple as monitoring any other volume in Orion.


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But we didn't stop there. Today storage is the leading cause of server and application performance issues. Having visibility into storage volume performance, such as I/Os per-second, queued disk I/O, and latency, from within the SAM web console alongside other key performance indicators allows you to isolate where performance bottle necks are occurring on your server, and which applications are effected. So in SAM 5.5 Beta 3 that's exactly what we did.


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Best of all, these new volume performance metrics simply appear on your Volume Details view. No configuration necessary for volumes already monitored via WMI. These new resources will also automatically appear for any new volumes, including Windows Volume Mount Points you chose to monitor after upgrading. Again, no configuration necessary beyond selecting the volume to be monitored.


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If you're currently running SAM, and are under active maintenance, we welcome you to sign-up here and download the SAM 5.5 beta today. We'd love your feedback on the features we've implemented so far. For more information on some of the other features included in the SAM 5.5 beta, including the Windows Service Control Manager, please checkout my earlier blog post