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Home > Success Center > Network Performance Monitor (NPM) > NPM Documentation > Network Performance Monitor Getting Started Guide > Discover > What should I monitor when using SolarWinds NPM?

What should I monitor when using SolarWinds NPM?

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Created by Chris.Moyer_ret, last modified by Chris.Moyer_ret on Oct 03, 2016

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Discovery is the term used to describe the process SolarWinds Orion uses to identify network elements. During discovery, SolarWinds Orion scans the network for nodes, and when a node and associated elements are found, you can you can add them to the SolarWinds Orion database for monitoring.

The first time you discover your network, SolarWinds recommends adding a limited number of edge routers or switches, firewalls and load balancers (if you have them), and critical physical or virtual servers and hosts. After you have the monitoring, alerts, and reports set up, SolarWinds recommends adding more nodes.

Discovery checklist

When you run the Discovery Wizard, you will be asked to provide IP addresses and credentials for the devices you want to monitor. SolarWinds recommends that you gather this information before running the Discovery Wizard.


Determine the devices to monitor.


Determine the protocol used to monitor your devices.

If you are monitoring devices using SNMP, you must enable SNMP on those devices because it is not enabled by default. SNMP is primarily used to monitor network devices, for example, routers, firewalls, and switches. To enable SNMP, consult the device vendor documentation.

If you are monitoring Windows servers, use WMI. WMI is usually enabled on Windows devices by default. Agentless monitoring using WMI is not recommended when the poller and the device are separated by a firewall. To overcome this limitation, SolarWinds provides an optional agent that allows you to securely monitor Windows servers and applications by WMI. The following table outlines the pros and cons of using SNMP and WMI.

For Windows servers, SolarWinds recommends using WMI polling. For a non-Windows server, SolarWinds recommends using SNMP.


Bandwidth, CPU, memory usage on the host/poller File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/icon_check.png File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/icon_warn.png Uses more bandwidth, CPU, and memory than SNMP per poll.
Monitoring across firewall/NAT-ed WAN connection File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/icon_check.png File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/icon_warn.png Requires an agent for secure monitoring over one port.
Windows mount points and application metrics File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/Critical.png Cannot collect Windows mount point statistics or application level metrics. File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/icon_check.png

For additional information, see WMI vs. SNMP polling on the SolarWinds Customer Success Center.

When configuring your SNMP-enabled network devices for monitoring:

  • For correct device identification, monitored devices must allow access to the SysObjectID.
  • Unix-based devices should use the version of Net-SNMP (5.5 or later) that is specific to the Unix-based operating system in use.
  • SolarWinds NPM can monitor VMware ESX and ESXi Servers versions 4.0 and later with VMware Tools installed.
  • If SNMPv2c is enabled on a device you want to monitor, by default, SolarWinds NPM attempts to use SNMPv2c to poll the device for performance information. To poll using only SNMPv1, you must disable SNMPv2c on the polled device.

IP ranges or individual IP addresses you want the system to scan as it discovers your network.


SNMP v1/2c community strings and SNMP v3 community strings and credentials of the devices you want to monitor.


Log in credentials for each monitored device.

File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/checkbox.gif VMware host credentials. The system requires read-only permissions.
File:Success_Center/New_Articles/NPM-Getting-Started-CHM/030/010/checkbox.gif Windows credentials: domain or local admin.
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