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Level 7

Help Calculating and Deciding how many # of License

Hello! I'm looking to setup SAM in our environment and I'm stuck on figuring out what license # we need. We have about 50 virtual servers. Web servers, sharepoint servers, SQL servers, QA servers, etc. Is there an easy way to calculate what we need or do we have to manually go into each server and add up # of disks, services, etc.? Does the evaluation product help calculate? Thanks in advance.

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Level 7

Thank you so much for the advice and suggestions everyone! Really appreciate your time and effort on helping me out.

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First - Welcome to Thwack by the way

As the others have already mentioned there are a couple of rules of thumb to help you estimate your monitor count.

But is really does change depending on your monitoring needs.

When we started with Solarwinds, I was in exactly the place you are now.

Trying to figure out what we needed to purchase by essentially guessing without knowing the product.

The best advice I can add is based on my startup experience is to use your eval license/pilot to look at the templates and see which ones interest you and are the best fit.

That will give you a good indication of what you will need.

the chew toy for the dog of life

It can vary WIDELY depending on how thorough you want to be with monitoring and how creative you can get if you do run into license count bottlenecks.

Back of the hand, I would estimate a 50 server environment would want somewhere between an AL700 and an AL1500.  700 would likely feel kind of tight on licenses and might not be enough to do the more elaborate templates so you would only monitor the most critical stuff and skip most of the nice to haves, for example just monitoring the sql service for up/down instead of applying the full appinsight template and all the perfmon type counters.1500 and you should have plenty of breathing room.

When doing the eval you will have completely unlimited licenses for 30 days, so I would say add in all your devices and their disks during the trial, look through the available built in templates and add all the templates that seem useful to your servers, let that run for a bit and see which of those potentially useful templates are actually giving useful info and remove the ones that aren't.  Add in some headroom for growth and that should get you into the correct ballpark.

A more thorough estimate really depends on what those 50 servers have on them.  You don't need to have a license for every service on a server, but you do need one if you are monitoring that service.  I find that a lot of the out of the box templates are kind of excessive in the number of services and counters they monitor, so you can usually trim them down.  For example, the out of the box AD template has 38 components (1 license per component), but in the field I have only ever seen issues on fewer than 10 of those components, so if I am constrained on licenses I trim the template down to the ones that tend to matter in my environments.  Most application servers really only have 1-5 services that are critical to watch, and then usually less than ten perfmon counters or port monitors etc that are mildly useful, so I would usually just ballpark them at 10 components each.  On the other hand, I have set up linux servers that used 150 component licenses by themselves because they ran a lot of services and associated ports and wanted to be very thorough in monitoring everything.

The Appinsight templates for Exchange, SQL, and IIS all use a set amount of licenses and can burn through your count very quickly.  Each SQL instance in your environment will be 50 licenses, each Exchange mailbox server is 50, and each IIS server is 30, and you can't reduce those by editing the templates so it is what it is.

- Marc Netterfield, Github

You might find good help available from Solarwinds Sales, too.  They can be a good resource for determine what licensing you need, and what you don't need.

You might also take a look here:  Server & Application Monitor Master Application Directory

Once you have a count of every different type of server, then count the services on each server type that you want to monitor.  Then do the math to see how many total items will need to be licensed.

Short answer is I don't think there is a way to estimate it inside SAM.  The way I would handle it.

Option 1.  Add everything you think you want to monitor during the trial.  You can then look at the final count to see where you stand.

Option 2.  Add in "average" systems.  Do the math based upon your findings.