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Level 9

SolarWinds Certified Professional Launch

OFFICIAL UPDATE HERE: SolarWinds Certified Professional Exams are Live

Hi everyone!

It’s taken a lot of sweat, many late nights, and a few thousand cups of coffee, but we’re thrilled to announce our new and improved SolarWinds Certified Professional program! Beginning on February 15, 2018, you can register to take the NPM or SAM exam and show that you have the right stuff when it comes to using SolarWinds products.

You inspire us! Our goal was to build a next-level certification program that encourages your success and makes you proud. We’ve created a subscription plan that offers access to SCP training and events. Use our new product-specific exam preparation guides (NPM and SAM) as a starting point for your studies and to be sure you’re focusing on the right knowledge areas.

Check out our FAQs to learn more.  Can’t find an answer to your question? Ask us here on THWACK.

Your success is our goal!




Hello everyone, I’ve seen your comments and value your feedback. I would like to add more context about the new SCP subscription program.

When you sign up for your SCP certification exam, the fee is $200 USD including a yearly subscription to the program.

You have two options:

  1. Take the SCP exam and receive a one-year subscription that includes the options linked in my original post. If you choose not to participate in the subscription the subsequent years, you are SCP certified for 3 years from your SCP pass date. If you do not renew your subscription for year 2, you must retake the exam in year 3 to maintain your SCP status.
  2. Take the SCP exam and receive a one-year subscription that includes the options linked in my original post.  As long as you remain active in the subscription program and meet the training requirements, your certification is valid. 

The subscription does not auto-renew. If you take multiple product-exams in one year, the subscription fee is only $200 USD per subsequent year. For example, if you take the NPM and SAM exams in the first year, your total cost is $400. To maintain both certificates in subsequent years, it is a flat $200 USD.

Our team made the difficult decision to move to a fee-based exam so that we could offer a program that provides our users a valuable experience that encourages growth. We know that IT is not a stagnate industry and that IT professionals must always be up-to-date with the latest IT innovations. We want you to succeed and this subscription program has the tools to aid in your success.

I believe this program has a lot of value for our customers and I hope that I can prove that to you all.

119 Replies
Level 20

I totally agree with you bobmarley​ 100%.

Now if they did something similar to Cisco where the company can get higher levels of discount based on the number of SCP's it would give the companies incentive to hire SCP qualified staff which in turn gives more value to the certification itself. But then I'm not sure how the different modules would play out with that, maybe you could get reduced cost on the modules that your staff has certification in?

- David Smith
Level 9

This is an underrated suggestion. It would actually build more credibility for the cert if they did this.

Level 9

Ask anyone at my job. I'm a solarwinds fanatic. But I have to agree with the rest of the crowd. A subscription based model isn't the best way to go for the certification. I don't mind paying the 200 for the test itself but to force people to pay it annually is a bit much. It does kind of feel like we are being nickeled and dimed for everything pertaining to the software. Just make each test 200 and leave it at that.

Level 8

SolarWinds has money from my employer for their products as well as maintenance and now I am asked to kick in $200 (not just once but per year) to help keep the product running well, improve it and convince my employer to add more modules on their behalf.

That does not sit well.

Please make Thwack points redeemable for SCP subscription.

Level 9

You spoke. We listened.

Because we truly believe in the success of our customers through continued education, we don’t want personal finances to be a determining factor of whether a person participates in the new SCP program. Our SCP subscription plan will be available for purchase in the THWACK® store in the coming weeks. For 60,000 THWACK points, you will be able to purchase* a one-year SCP subscription.

Thanks for the feedback,


Level 8

You spoke. We listened.

Thanks for listening, and acting upon it.

Level 9

Now this is actually a really good idea.


0 Kudos
Level 13

SCP Subscription should be included with Active Maintenance.

Agreed!!  If you have active maintenance it should be included and once off active maintenance you lose it. 

Not a bad idea stevenstadel, but if a business has many IT pros, and their Orion modules are under active maintenance, how do you choose which member of staff gets the free shot at the certification, if it were to be included? With the new charges, it wouldn't be fair to those individuals who pay for the SCP exams out of their own pocket, if gigantic IT departments all get to do it for the cost of a single maintenance renewal.

SWI had to do it this way if they wanted to make the certification a source of revenue, although I'm not sure if monetising the certification was the right step, personally. In my opinion, SCPs are already pretty thin on the ground when you look across the IT landscape, this may make the new breed even rarer, to the point of making the certifications themselves redundant to all bar a few specialist businesses, like my own, that are all about Enterprise monitoring.

That said, it's exciting to see that investment in both Orion and everything around it, including this awesome forum!

Level 12

Good point, maybe the active maintenance could include a single or limited amount of SCP spots; even if it's just one. A lot of IT departments have dedicated Solarwinds administrators and at least it could cater for them.

0 Kudos

I think if you went that route, it should probably be prorated to your licensing level. 

For example, we have 2 SAM and NPM SLX licenses as well as 11 additional pollers, so we are already paying a lot in maintenance.  So maybe:

If you have the lowest license you get 1

Mid tier get 2

SLX get 3, etc.

Level 20

I like this idea... I too have two main NPM/SAM SLX combos and multiple APE's.

Ah the magic words....  A source of Revenue.   The software is already expensive.   Don't get me wrong your a fun company with a lot of great tools, to which there are a number of better tools out there and some at a fraction of the price.   I stick with Solarwinds because of the interoperability.  I have been saying it was over priced since 2004.   I love the Store and the Thwack points, but you give things away there, why not offer a SCP in the thwack store then so we can put those points to really good use along with our Bluetooth headphones and cool board games...  Everything have to be a revenue generator, and that one day will be why you will be passed by someone offering open-source, comparable products at a fraction of the cost to include support.  

Make no mistake, if the price continues to climb, my company will bail and I will have to hit the open market.  That and HPE includes some pretty nice tools for monitoring their servers which if you are all HPE, is a pretty sweet deal...  At some point, revenue needs to be based on the core product, and not every little thing around it, what's next charging to ThwackCAMP and monthly missions? 

Level 11

Yes, as other options mature SolarWinds is getting very expensive! Our company will be looking else where. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice product but at a large price.

0 Kudos
Level 20

^^^^ This.

^^^^ THIS +1 !!

Level 20

Even the CISSP only costs me 85$/year to maintain my certification.