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Home > Success Center > Network Automation Manager (NAM) > SolarWinds Orion Installer for Network Automation Manager

SolarWinds Orion Installer for Network Automation Manager


Upgrades are not supported with this installer

Updated: December 22, 2017


The SolarWinds Orion Installer is an all-in-one installer to install all Network Operations Manager components simultaneously. The installer:

  • Runs preflight checks to ensure your environment specifications match the system requirements for selected component installs. If you need to make any changes, the installer provides guidance to resolve the issues.
  • Automatically runs the Configuration Wizard as needed after module installs to complete database and configuration tasks.
  • Advises on additional installations for SolarWinds High Availability servers, Additional Polling Engines, and Additional Web Servers.

icon_info.png What you should know:

  • .NET 4.6.2 or higher is required to run the SolarWinds Orion installer.

Prepare for installs and upgrades

This checklist helps you prepare for Orion Platform product installations.

Review release notes

Review product release notes and available documentation in our Success Center.

Review system requirements

Make sure your environment has all of the required hardware and software needs for your installations. You can verify the requirements for products and multi-module environments guidelines.

Product requirements include:

You may need to also check the administrator guide for your product to locate the requirements.

For all port requirements, see Port Requirements for all SolarWinds products.

Review licenses and gather keys Review your product licenses and determine if you need to make any changes. You can download license keys for your new Orion Platform products through your Customer Portal. Verify any license upgrades and needs with your SolarWinds account manager or contact SolarWinds.
Gather credentials Make sure you have all account credentials, SQL database credentials, your SolarWinds account, and local admin server credentials.
Schedule the installation

Set up the maintenance window, preferably during off-peak hours. Depending on the number of products, size of database(s), and size of environment, you may need hours to complete your installation.

If you install new Orion products into an existing Orion Platform, all SolarWinds services and polling engines are required offline for a length of time, causing you to lose a portion of polling data.

Notify your company Send a message to your company of the upgrade schedule and maintenance window. If you need additional help, contact and allocate specific staff to be available.

Prepare the servers

You may need to prepare multiple servers and configure ports in your firewall before installation.

1. Prepare the environment

Prepare servers as needed for your deployment:

  • Orion server: based on your deployment size and system requirements.
  • Orion SQL server: based on your deployment size and system requirements.
  • Primary and Secondary servers for SolarWinds High Availability: review the HA requirements and VIP address information and prepare matching servers.
  • Additional polling engine servers: see the SolarWinds Scalability Guidelines.
  • Additional web server: see the SolarWinds Scalability Guidelines.
  • Additional database server: Some products have additional needs. For example, NTA may require a dedicated server for theFlow Storage Database
2. Run all Windows updates

Before installation, check for and run all Microsoft Windows Updates on all servers. As you install, if a Windows update runs, your system may reboot as needed by Windows. The installation cannot complete if your system is waiting to reboot.

3. Backup existing database

If you are installing with an existing database, back up the database. If you need help,  check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.
If you have your database on a VM, create a snapshot or copy of your VM.

4. Open ports according to requirements

For your server ports and firewall, open ports according to the port and feature requirements. Orion uses these ports to send and receive data, issue management commands, and additional actions depending on the features. For example, SolarWinds High Availability has additional port requirements beyond product needs.

5. Check for antivirus software

Determine if any antivirus software is installed on the server or servers where you plan to install. To ensure the installation goes smoothly, exclude the SolarWinds directory. For example, on Windows Server 2012 R2, exclude C:\ProgramData\SolarWinds\. For a full list of antivirus exclusions, see Files and directories to exclude from antivirus scanning.

Do not exclude executable files. SolarWinds assumes that C:\ is the default volume.

Gotchas for the Orion Installer & products

Before you install your components, you may want to check out the gotchas.

  • Windows OS 2008 and 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 are no longer supported. You must upgrade to Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, or 2016.
  • Carefully review the port requirements for your products. Incorrect ports can cause communicate and polling issues. See the Port requirements for all SolarWinds products for details.

Always have the latest Orion Installer

Every time you run the Orion Installer, the installer pings SolarWinds and the Customer Portal to check for updates to the installer. If a new Orion Installer is available, the installer is automatically downloaded and run again. This check and refresh of the installer automatically runs and does not require any additional steps.

What you should know:

  • If you see a progress bar for the Orion Installer update, let it continue. When the new installer downloads, it will run the new and improved installer. No need to click, close, escape, or panic.
  • If you have downloaded the offline installer, or if the server you're running the online installer on does not have an Internet connection, the Orion Installer cannot check to be sure you have the latest version.

Installation instructions

Follow these instructions every time you run the SolarWinds Orion Installer. You can run the installer multiple times as needed to upgrade and install your components. 

What you should know:

  • The Orion Installer will alert you to warning or critical level requirements issues during the System Check. You should definitely consider any environment upgrades and migrations prior to running the installer.
  • Recommendation: Check product requirements before you get started. Check the checklist at the beginning of this guide for links to help!
1. Back up the database

If you have an existing SolarWinds SQL database, back it up. You may be prompted to acknowledge you backed up the database during the installation. Please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions if you need help.

You cannot roll back an upgrade. Always create a database backup.

2. Run the installer and select the installation method.

The installer is available through the Customer Portal.

  1. Save and run the installer .exe on your Orion server as Administrator.
  2. A Welcome screen is displayed, allowing you to select a Lightweight or Standard installation.
  3. Select the type of installation:
    • Lightweight Installation: Evaluations - Install Orion Platform products as quickly as possible using Microsoft SQL Express and global settings. You can select your preferred product language.
      Note: This selection installs SQL Server Express locally.
    • Standard Installation: Install Orion Platform products with an existing or licensed Microsoft SQL Server.
  4. Set the Destination Folder. You can leave this setting as default or select a new location.

    Products cannot be installed on a remote mapped drive, read-only drive, compressed drive, or compressed HDD. A warning is displayed if you attempt to install on those drive types.

  5. Click Next.
3. Select the products to install 
  1. A list of products to install is displayed. The installer walks you through installing in one process.
  2. Products to install are pre-selected. Want to learn more about a product? Click the release notes link.
  3. Optionally, select the option to Send usage metrics to help SolarWinds improve products. We only receive data collected for the installation and upgrade.
  4. Click Next.


Not sure what these release acronyms mean?

  • HF = Hotfix
  • SR = Service Release
  • RC = Release Candidate
4. Review the System Check

A series of system checks run per product to verify if your server meets recommended and required system requirements. These checks include:

  • Hardware resources such as RAM, hard drive space, number of CPUs, and more
  • Software such as installed Operating System version, .NET Framework, IIS, and other required dependencies
  • Ports for network communications
  • Product specific checks for configurations and additional requirements


If your environment does not meet specifications, the installer provides:

  • Warning message: does not block an installation. Details advise recommended actions and best practices to update your environment for better performance.
  • Critical issue: blocks an installation until resolved. Details provide required updates for your environment to support the products. After addressing the issues, run the installer again.

The following is an example of a report.


For more information, Click for more details. Click Save Install Report to save a list of issues to resolve. You can also click Copy the issue to clipboard to paste the details in a text file.

5. Review and accept the EULA 

The EULA is displayed for review. To continue, click the accept option and click Next.


6. Did you back up your database?

If you have backed up your database, click Yes and continue. If not, you should back up now. This is your last chance to back up data before installations and database changes begin. New products and versions can modify your database tables.

7. Monitor
 installation progress by product and version

Products begin installing with messages about their progress. The installer displays information about any issues, halting the installation to allow you to review and remediate. The installer might run multiple product installations prior to running the Configuration Wizard. If the installations require the Configuration Wizard, it opens and walks you through those steps.

You can always run the SolarWinds Orion Installer again to check for updates.

Interested in learning more? Check out the links provided to the Success Center, THWACK, and the Customer Portal.

If a reboot is required as part of the installation, a message is displayed.

8. Complete the Configuration Wizard

When the installation completes, the Configuration Wizard opens. Depending on your product, the wizard may include additional options and screens.

  1. In the Welcome dialog box, click Next.
  2. If prompted to stop services, click Yes.
  3. If you performed a Standard installation with an existing SQL database, select one of the following for authentication:
    • Authenticate as currently logged in user:  pass through authentication to the SQL server using the account currently logged in for installing the Orion product.
    • Switch user: provide credentials automatically detected as either SQL or Windows credentials, allowing Windows Authentication for the initial setup even if the Orion server is not joined to a domain or the current account does not have permissions to the SQL server.

    If you intend to use Windows authentication for the Orion Platform, remember to exempt that user account from any password change policies. An expired password will cause the Orion Platform to cease data collection and interrupt Orion Web Console access.

  4. In the Database Settings dialog box, select to use your existing Orion database, or create a new database for a new installation, and click Next.
  5. In the Database Account dialog box, create an account or use an existing account that the polling engine and Orion Web Console use to access the database. The account can be a Windows or SQL account.
  6. In the Website Settings dialog box, complete selections for your installation:

    If you select Skip website binding, the Configuration Wizard does not make changes within the website configuration in your IIS. This option prevents IP address, port, and SSL certificate options.

    1. Select All Unassigned unless your environment requires a specific IP address for the Orion Web Console. The Port is 443 if SSL is selected. Otherwise, port 80 is used.
    2. Specify the Port and the Website Root Directory where the system installs the Web Console files.

      If you specify any port other than 80, include that port in the URL used to access the Web Console.

    3. To configure SSL, click Enable HTTPS and select your SSL certificate.

      If a certificate is not available, select the option to Generate Self-Signed Certificate. The Configuration Wizard automatically generates a self-signed certificate issued to the hostname or FQDN and adds it to the trusted certificate store.

  7. If prompted to create a directory or website, click Yes.
  8. Review the list of services to install, and click Next.
  9. Click Yes if prompted to disable the SNMP Trap Service and enable the SolarWinds Trap Service.
  10. In the Completing the Orion Configuration Wizard dialog box, click Next.
  11. When completed, click Finish to launch the Orion Web Console.

    Click Start > All Programs > SolarWinds > Orion Web Console


    Open a web browser on your Orion server and enter http://ipAddress or http://hostname, where ipAddress is the IP address of your server and hostname is the host name of your server. This is https:// if SSL was selected.

  12. Log in with user name admin and leave the password field blank.

    For security purposes, SolarWinds strongly recommends that you change the password to your admin account.

8. Install on Additional Polling Engines and Additional Web Server

If you have no other scalability engines such as Additional Polling Engines or Additional Web Servers, you are done and should see a Complete message with a full report.

If you have Additional Polling Engines or an Additional Web Server, the final installation screen reminds you of those installations. For your additional polling engine and additional web server, SolarWinds requires using the Scalability Engine Installer.

  1. Install or upgrade your Orion modules on the main polling engine. When complete, you will need to upgrade your additional polling engines and additional web servers.
  2. Download this installer through the Orion Web Console.
    • For the APE installer, click Settings > All Settings > Polling Engines.
    • For the AWS installer, click Settings > All Settings > Web Console Settings. 
  3. Copy and run the installer to your Additional Polling Engine or Additional Web Server.
  4. Repeat installing on all scalability engines in your environment.

You can kick off installations in parallel, but you should only have one configuration wizard per scalability engine running at one time.


Almost done, see the next section for final steps.

Final steps for installs

After you have finished installing your components using the Orion Installer, you need to complete a couple more steps.

Activate licenses

Get the license key for your product from the Customer Portal. You may need multiple licenses: each product, HA, Additional Polling Engine, and Additional Web Server.

  1. In the Customer Portal, select License Management.
  2. Select the product.
  3. Copy the license key.

Add and activate the license key in the Orion web Console:

  • Open the Orion Web Console in a web browser.
  • Click Settings > All Settings > License Manager.
  • Click Add/Upgrade License.
  • Enter the Activation Key and Registration Information, and click Activate.

To activate an offline license, see Activate licenses offline.

Install the hotfixes for the latest product versions

If hotfixes are available for your products, you can download hotfixes through the SolarWinds Customer Portal.

Download, save, and run the hotfixes on the Orion Server, HA secondary servers, any Additional Polling Engines, and any Additional Web Server.


Install with High Availability

Interested in protecting your Orion Server and Additional Polling Engines with High Availability (HA)? You can follow those additional steps using the HA documentation. Using this info, you can activate the HA license, create pools of primary and secondary servers, set up your primary server, and use the Scalability Engine Installer to create the secondary, backup server.

For details, see the full HA documentation.


If you receive errors, try the following:

  • Check our Success Center for troubleshooting. We recommend searching the name of the product, the version number, any error codes or messages displayed, and the general issue you found.
  • Check your Customer Portal for any new hotfixes.
  • If you receive (500) internal server error after an upgrade, use the Orion permission checker to make sure your Group Policy is not locked. See this article for full details.
  • If your views do not load when first opening the console, run the Configuration Wizard again.

If an issue occurs you need additional help with, contact Support. We recommend gathering diagnostics, a screenshot of the issue, and any error codes you receive. Attach and add this information to your ticket.  You may also want to gather additional diagnostics on your additional pollers and web servers.


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