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Level 8

SAM VS NPM

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could anyone tell simply whats the difference between NPM and SAM , for example i can see in the features that both can monitor hardware components. but i didnt understand why its there for both since they are two different models?

1 Solution
Level 13

In addition to mrs.alterego's simple explanation, it's important to understand that there is core functionality that all Orion modules share.  Orion is a suite of products created by SolarWinds.  To understand this you can think of Microsoft Office.  Microsoft is the company, Office is a suite of tools.  Microsoft makes other products other than Office.  SolarWinds is the company, Orion is a suite of tools.  SolarWinds makes products other than Orion modules.

A few of the most popular core features that all Orion modules share is the following:

  • Up/Down monitoring (including Response Time and Packet Loss)
  • Volume Monitoring (requires SNMP, WMI, or Agent as the polling method)
  • Alerting
  • Reporting
  • View Customization
  • Virtualization monitoring (I think.  This may just be a feature that comes with NPM and SAM, I'm not sure.)

No matter which Orion module you purchase, you will have the above features.  In addition to the above, each module will add its own features into Orion. 

When you purchase NPM you'll get:

  • Interface monitoring
  • Wireless monitoring
  • NetPath (NPM 12.0)
  • Network device hardware health monitoring (Cisco, Juniper, F5's, etc...)
  • and more

When you purchase SAM you'll get:

  • Application Monitoring
  • Server Hardware health monitoring (on Dell, HP, and IBM servers only provided the vendor's agent software is installed on the servers.  For example, a Dell server must have Dell OpenManage installed before SAM can get Hardware Health info from it.  VMware Hosts also give hardware health provided you are either polling them through vCenter or you've setup SNMP and the necessary hardware health monitoring on the hosts themselves.)
  • Server Asset Inventory (including warranty expiration.  For the full asset inventory and warranty expiration monitoring you'll also need the vendor's agent software installed just like Hardware health monitoring requires.)
  • and more

If you were to purchase NCM you'd get

  • Device configuration backups
  • The ability to make bulk changes to many devices' configs at once
  • Policy compliance
  • End of Life monitoring
  • and more

And so on and so on for the other Orion modules.  Some SolarWinds products, like their old Storage Manger by Profiler (STM), Database Performance Analyzer (DPA), and Virtualization Manager (VMAN) are products that have their own Database and their own unique web consoles with completely separate functionality from Orion.  However, they all have their own Orion integration packages that allow you to see some (or nearly all in the case of VMAN) of their data in the Orion web console in addition to the data already in the Orion web console. 

For example; with VMAN integrated with Orion's built-in virtualization monitoring module (called IVIM), in addition to the basic virtualization monitoring you already get like CPU usage, memory usage, and up/down monitoring you'll also get under and over allocation monitoring, sprawl, network traffic, datastore usage and performance monitoring, and even the ability to control things like adding/removing CPU and Memory resources, the ability to take snapshots, and the ability to vMotion VM's between hosts and/or datastores right there in the web console without having to go into vSphere.  Another example is with DPA integrated with SAM you get to see deep database analysis in addition to the basic database monitoring you already get in SAM, as well as what applications you are monitoring that have relationships with those databases.  Also, with integration of these products you can see all of the data together in one spot in their relatively new feature called the "AppStack". 

SolarWinds is increasing the integration and "single-pane-of-glass" features with nearly every release now and it's pretty darn exciting to see what else is coming in the future (although I would like them to take a break for one release cycle and work on improving a lot of their older administrative consoles like their "Manage Nodes" page to help make it easier to use for large enterprise level customers to bulk edit, but that's a whole separate thing.).

View solution in original post

9 Replies
Level 16

even I had some confusion on this but its clear now...thanks for bringing this out....:-)

0 Kudos
Level 13

In addition to mrs.alterego's simple explanation, it's important to understand that there is core functionality that all Orion modules share.  Orion is a suite of products created by SolarWinds.  To understand this you can think of Microsoft Office.  Microsoft is the company, Office is a suite of tools.  Microsoft makes other products other than Office.  SolarWinds is the company, Orion is a suite of tools.  SolarWinds makes products other than Orion modules.

A few of the most popular core features that all Orion modules share is the following:

  • Up/Down monitoring (including Response Time and Packet Loss)
  • Volume Monitoring (requires SNMP, WMI, or Agent as the polling method)
  • Alerting
  • Reporting
  • View Customization
  • Virtualization monitoring (I think.  This may just be a feature that comes with NPM and SAM, I'm not sure.)

No matter which Orion module you purchase, you will have the above features.  In addition to the above, each module will add its own features into Orion. 

When you purchase NPM you'll get:

  • Interface monitoring
  • Wireless monitoring
  • NetPath (NPM 12.0)
  • Network device hardware health monitoring (Cisco, Juniper, F5's, etc...)
  • and more

When you purchase SAM you'll get:

  • Application Monitoring
  • Server Hardware health monitoring (on Dell, HP, and IBM servers only provided the vendor's agent software is installed on the servers.  For example, a Dell server must have Dell OpenManage installed before SAM can get Hardware Health info from it.  VMware Hosts also give hardware health provided you are either polling them through vCenter or you've setup SNMP and the necessary hardware health monitoring on the hosts themselves.)
  • Server Asset Inventory (including warranty expiration.  For the full asset inventory and warranty expiration monitoring you'll also need the vendor's agent software installed just like Hardware health monitoring requires.)
  • and more

If you were to purchase NCM you'd get

  • Device configuration backups
  • The ability to make bulk changes to many devices' configs at once
  • Policy compliance
  • End of Life monitoring
  • and more

And so on and so on for the other Orion modules.  Some SolarWinds products, like their old Storage Manger by Profiler (STM), Database Performance Analyzer (DPA), and Virtualization Manager (VMAN) are products that have their own Database and their own unique web consoles with completely separate functionality from Orion.  However, they all have their own Orion integration packages that allow you to see some (or nearly all in the case of VMAN) of their data in the Orion web console in addition to the data already in the Orion web console. 

For example; with VMAN integrated with Orion's built-in virtualization monitoring module (called IVIM), in addition to the basic virtualization monitoring you already get like CPU usage, memory usage, and up/down monitoring you'll also get under and over allocation monitoring, sprawl, network traffic, datastore usage and performance monitoring, and even the ability to control things like adding/removing CPU and Memory resources, the ability to take snapshots, and the ability to vMotion VM's between hosts and/or datastores right there in the web console without having to go into vSphere.  Another example is with DPA integrated with SAM you get to see deep database analysis in addition to the basic database monitoring you already get in SAM, as well as what applications you are monitoring that have relationships with those databases.  Also, with integration of these products you can see all of the data together in one spot in their relatively new feature called the "AppStack". 

SolarWinds is increasing the integration and "single-pane-of-glass" features with nearly every release now and it's pretty darn exciting to see what else is coming in the future (although I would like them to take a break for one release cycle and work on improving a lot of their older administrative consoles like their "Manage Nodes" page to help make it easier to use for large enterprise level customers to bulk edit, but that's a whole separate thing.).

View solution in original post

Level 12

I think that Hardware health is part of both - SAM and NPM

0 Kudos

NPM without SAM only gives hardware health info for network devices, nothing for servers.

- Marc Netterfield, Github
Product Manager
Product Manager

That is correct. The inverse is also true. SAM without NPM provides hardware health for Servers only, not network equipment Similarly, SRM provides Hardware Health for Storage Arrays only, and not server or network devices. if you own and install all three, you receive Hardware Health Monitoring for all those device types.

Level 8

that was all i needed to know, thanks and appreciated , have a great night

Level 13

A very simple explanation is NPM will monitor your network devices, i.e. switches,routers, etc. SAM is designed to monitor your servers and applications.

Level 8

servers are nodes which i can see them also in npm and get information about the cpu and the memory, correct me if im wrong please!!. so where is power of SAM what kind of problems i can solve with it ????

0 Kudos
Level 14

You are correct, you can monitor servers CPU and memory with NPM. But that's about it. With SAM you can monitor actual application on that server. IIS, SQL server, Exchange, you can run custom scripts and monitor their results etc. Biggest power of SAM is in application monitoring while NPM is focused on network monitoring. they have some small overlap but if you want serious monitoring it won't be enough for target area.