We migrated ALL polling off the server and CPU remained at 100%
Then we stopped Solarwinds altogether.
Solarwinds Controller Polling Collector was hung. Force killed
Brought the Solarwinds services back up, still with 0 devices being polled and the CPU returned to 100% utilization.
Why would Orion use any significant amount of CPU when it has no devices to poll? Our other pollers are at 6-11k elements and few are running over 30%.
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We found the solution, though not the exact root cause.
Installing all Windows updates and rebooting (again; it wasn't the reboot alone that solved it!) finally allowed us to start the Orion processes without pegging the CPU. Our assumption is that there was a performance patch included, although we have not checked each update's effects.