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Understanding Orion Version Numbers & Compatibility

Product Manager

A long, long time ago in the year 2010 if you wanted to run Orion APM and IPAM you had to own Orion NPM.  With the launches of APM 4.0 and IPAM 2.0 earlier this year you can run either product as a module or standalone – that is, without installing NPM first.  To enable this we had to remove the dependency of requiring NPM.  So over the past year we have been making this separation into what we call “Orion Core”.

Obvious next question is “What is Orion Core?”  Orion Core is the base set of infrastructural functionality or services needed for a product to run standalone.  Examples include user authentication, syslog, traps, reporting, website, database etc.

Our goal was to make the concept of Orion Core as seamless and transparent to you, the end user, as possible.  As an example of this, let’s say you purchase APM.  What you download APM from the Customer Portal, it is one set of bits as you can see in the below screenshot.  After you download and as part of the installation process, we automatically figure out if you are installing on top of some other Orion product as a module or if this is a standalone installation.


So at the footer of the Orion web console, you now see the below screenshot in the latest versions.  Most users should never need to worry about Orion Core.  For a few of you, however, understanding what Orion Core is would be helpful, and specifically, those are the folks with Additional Pollers and Additional Web Consoles.


As many of you know, we only charge customers for the initial instance of an additional poller or additional website per Orion installation.  Since in the past everything in the Orion family required NPM in order to be run, you saw Orion NPM 10.0 Additional Polling Engine or Orion NPM 10.0 Additional Web Server in the customer portal.

Example from the past:  I have Orion NPM & APM on a single server.  I have purchased an additional polling engine.  I download my Orion NPM 10.0 Additional Polling Engine and install it and since APM supports an additional poller as well, I can install the APM additional poller at no additional cost to me.

Even though customers can now purchase APM standalone, this scenario is still valid and true.

The new scenario is I purchase Orion NPM, APM and a single Orion Additional Poller.  As outlined in the below diagram, I am going to install Orion NPM and APM on different servers since different teams will be responsible for using and managing their installation.  Both server installations each need an additional poller for scale.  Can I use the single Orion Additional Poller purchased on both servers?  The answer is no, the user will need to purchase one more Orion Additional Poller.


Below is what you now see in the customer portal for Orion Additional Polling Engine and Additional Web Server.  Since this is specific to the Orion Core version I discussed earlier we can’t put a normal product version on it like NPM 10.1 or APM 4.0 since it could be used on either.


Key takeaway from this thread is the following:

  • If you don’t own Orion Additional Pollers or Additional Web Servers, don’t worry about Orion Core
  • If you do own an Orion Additional Poller or Additional Web Server, make sure what you download and install matches what is in the web console for the Core version (aka 2010.2 or 2011.1 etc.)
About the Author
I have currently been at SolarWinds for a little over three years and have been in the IT technology field for about 10 years either as an Engineer/IT Admin or working for a software company to help makes those folks lives easier.  I graduated from Texas A&M University with an MIS degree from the Business School and have been in Austin for about 8 years.