Right on the heels of a very exciting NPM release (v11) comes an equally exciting update to the SolarWinds SAM product. The folks at SolarWinds have added a game changing feature to the SAM product with this beta release.
SAM 6.2 will debut the new agent based monitoring option. This change shows a willingness to adapt to the demands of ever changing and increasingly complex client environments.
There were a few driving factors behind this new addition:
- Network complexities – often times there are hoops and hurdles to jump thru to allow Orion to communicate with devices at remote sites.
- Network port management challenges – the shift to WMI based monitoring for Windows servers has brought to light the challenge of dealing with the port requirements to enable WMI polling.
- Security and encryption of polled data in transit – the ability to encrypt data and require authentication has been lacking in the previous options available.
- Cloud based server and application monitoring challenges – network and security management concerns.
There are a handful of new benefits introduced with the new agent based monitoring option:
- Communication between the Agent and Orion occurs over a single port regardless of what the agent is monitoring.
- Communication between the Agent and Orion is fully encrypted using 2048 bit TLS encryption.
- If the Agent is configured to operate using the “Agent initiated” mode there are no listening ports enabled by the agent, greatly reducing the vulnerability for attacks.
- The agent also provides local caching capability to mitigate data loss should connectivity to Orion be lost for some reason. Once connectivity is restored the agent forwards the gathered data to Orion to be stored in the database.
The new agent will provide server and application monitoring for the latest Windows platforms. There is also a strong request being driven for non-Windows based platforms on the Thwack.com user forums.
This latest upgrade comes as a very welcome addition to an already powerful toolset. It shows that SolarWinds is committed to keeping up with the times and exhibits a willingness to be flexible on a core fundamental of the product to better serve the needs of the customer base.