That might be some older information. NTA was a separate VM for a long time, but now it's integrated into the "Polling Engine".
My advice: If you are not going to have a full-time test installation, then go ahead and install everything on one VM with sql Express. Play with it for a while, then delete it and start over. You will learn a lot about the Solarwinds terminology and how things work. Don't even bother with your licenses yet, just use the 30 day demo licenses. Be willing to spend a lot of time during the demo asking questions here, until it starts to make sense.
The second time around, get a DBA to help you get a real Microsoft SQL server on a separate VM and everything else on the main Orion VM. so yes you still end up with two VM's.
If you intend on monitoring anything other than some switches, routers, firewalls and netflows, then you will probably also need to consider "Server and Application Monitor" SAM
If your network is cisco (or probably some other supported brands), then you might also consider "Network configuration manager" NCM.
You mentioned VM's so you might also consider Virtualization Manager VMAN.
I mentioned these things, because for me it was a lot easier to get everything at once in a single request. Solarwinds prices with the extra stuff included should be on par with other monitoring systems. If you keep going back to the boss and asking for more modules every 6 months, they tend to get tired of it. Your mileage may very.
<sarcasm>Oh and you need to order soon... there are huge discounts that will expire at the end of the [month|quarter|year] </sarcasm> You'll understand this after a few times of talking to your sales person.
actually now that I think back, that separate NTA VM was a proprietary database. You can now use the SQL server as the database server instead. Not that this detail makes any difference to you...
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Hi, and welcome
You could also take a look at the eLearning resourses
NPM : Success Center
NTA: Success Center
If you have already purchased your license you can access the virtual class room on here: Virtual Classrooms | SolarWinds Customer Portal these classes are actually very good specually for starting out
Thanks to you both. I've just burned through the 30 day trial (ended yesterday) and I learned a lot from just going in and poking at it with a stick. What's it really going to break, right? As far as I've been told- We're just wanting to look at the Routers/switches ingress and egress traffic. We're not going to be using it to monitor workstations, etc (yet?). The Success Center has been my best friend for the past month and I'm sure it will continue as well. Once I get the license- I fully intend on going after the SCP as well. Right now- I'm just trying to find my equilibrium and do some THWACK networking.