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Level 8

Guidance needed on moving Orion to Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019


My Orion installation is outgrowing its current environment, both in terms of performance specifications and in terms of out-of-date software. Here's what I'm running:

NPM 12.2 + NCM 7.7 + VNQM 4.4.1

800 Nodes, 2500 Interfaces, 100 Volumes

Single Poller, No HA or additional web servers

Running on: Windows Server 2012 R2 + SQL Server 2014 Express (SQL Server running on same machine as Orion)

My NPM database is at 8GB, so we are flirting with the SQL Express 10GB limit. Not to mention support for Server 2012 R2 is on its last leg.

I need to get off NPM 12.2 soon, as it is EOL in December. I tried upgrading everything to 2020.2.1 yesterday, but this failed when it pushed the database beyond the 10GB mark, so I had to roll back. I now need to figure out a path forward for buying Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 so I can migrate my Orion installation to it and then upgrade to 2020.2.

I started looking into licensing for Windows Server and SQL Server, and it made my head spin! I'm no DBA or Sysadmin, I'm just a lowly Network Engineer. I could really use some guidance because at this point I'm not even sure of what I don't know. Some of the big questions so far:

-What is the best licensing model for Orion? I don't want to pay through the nose for Core licensing if Server + CAL is more appropriate. The simplicity of Core licensing is attractive though.

-Is Solarwinds considered a Multiplexer? If so, I assume I would need CAL's for every user I have in Solarwinds?

-Are the Standard editions OK for Orion, or do I need to consider paying for Server Datacenter edition or SQL Enterprise edition?

-I know Solarwinds wants me to run SQL Server on a separate machine from my Orion installation, but it seems there are licensing benefits for both Server and SQL Server if I run them together. Any thoughts on this based on the size of my environment?

-What about SA? Do I need it?

Thank you for reading. Any input is appreciated.


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3 Replies
Level 8

I posed these same questions to Solarwinds support and here was the reply:


We don’t like to make recommendations regarding another vendor’s licenses (Microsoft), but we do have this article that will help provide info:

Server Standard and SQL Standard editions are fine to use.

It's recommended that the SolarWinds app server is on its own dedicated server. As well that the SQL DB server is a separate dedicated server. So 2 different servers is our recommendation. This will give the best performance for the SolarWinds software.
If you decide to place both onto one server, that is your choice, but it's not a supported configuration to do that.



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Level 11


I was working in an environment where the Orion installation was on the same machine as the SQL Server. This caused us numerous problems and our solution to the problem was to place them on separate servers. 

The reason is that the SQL is the back up and if you are using the same server as Orion to poll as well as write this to SQL, this causes the system to slow down and crash.

Are you updating, have you tried backing up what you currently have and build a new server and copy that back up over? 

Hopefully someone with better knowledge on your environment will also come back with better feedback.


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Thanks ramaiya2 for the feedback. Our current issues are mostly related to fact that we are hitting the 10GB limit in SQL Express. The question of separating SQL was mostly in relation to the difference it would make in Windows Server and SQL Server licensing costs, but I would prefer to have them on separate servers if possible. 

Still looking for advice anyone may have on the other questions. Thanks!

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