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Home > Success Center > Orion Platform > Orion - Knowledgebase Articles > SolarWinds Orion Installer for Evaluations

SolarWinds Orion Installer for Evaluations

Updated: October 2, 2017

The SolarWinds Orion Installer for evaluations:

  • Provides an easy-to-follow install path. The installer will check for product updates, and updates the installation steps to complete the installation with ease.
  • Runs preflight checks to ensure your environment specifications match the system requirements for IPAM 4.5. If you need to make any changes, the installer provides guidance to resolve the issues.
  • Automatically runs the Configuration Wizard as needed after the install to complete database and configuration tasks.
  • Advises on additional installations for SolarWinds High Availability servers, Additional Polling Engines, and Additional Web Servers.

Prepare for install

This checklist helps you prepare for the installation.

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 installation.

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.

When performing upgrades as part of your installation, consider the following checklist:

Do you need to migrate?

You may need to migrate products and databases to new dedicated servers or to shared servers. Check if you need to migrate by reviewing new product requirements, performance, and company needs.

Migrating adds time to your upgrade, but you have the best opportunity to update to new servers during an upgrade.

Use the Upgrade Path in the Orion Installer

The Orion Installer generates and builds the upgrade path for you, directing the entire upgrade process. When you run the installer, it detects your installed Orion products and versions, verifies the latest available product versions available per your maintenance agreement, and builds the upgrade path for you.

While you can still use the Upgrade Product Advisor to see what your may upgrade path may look like, we recommended always using the Orion Installer upgrade path.

Prepare the servers

Depending on your licensed Orion Platform products, 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 Orion Platform products and deployment:

  • Orion server: based on your product deployment size and system requirements.
  • Orion SQL server: based on your product 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
    • Integrating products, like DPA and Patch Manager, require a dedicated 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. Back up 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

Before you install your product, you may want to check out The GotchasTM

The following are the most important ones to be aware of:

  • Orion Platform 2017.3 and higher no longer supports Windows OS 2008 and 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. SolarWinds recommends that you upgrade to Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, or 2016 at your earliest convenience.
  • If you have enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable High Availability before you can upgrade. You must have the same versions of SolarWinds products on your primary and secondary server before you can re-enable your HA pools. See instructions in this guide.
  • 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.
  • Multiple Orion server installations using the same database are not supported.

Gotcha for VNQM 4.4

  • You may need to increase your requirements in small, medium, or large environments with multi-modules installed.

Complete these steps before upgrades

If upgrades are part of your install, complete these preparation steps to create backups and start upgrading.

If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once completed.

1. Back up the DB

Snapshot your VMs

Back up your SolarWinds SQL database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.

The installer will ask if you have backed up your database, be prepared.

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

2. Back up custom code (Optional)

(Optional) Back up your custom code.

3. Exclude files on anti-virus software

To ensure the best performance on your server host and provide full file access, exclude specific file paths and directories from anti-virus software scans. See this article for details.

You can also place your systems behind a firewall to completely disable your anti-virus software during an upgrade.

4. Stop services Stop services in the Orion Service Manager on the main polling engine, all additional polling engines, and all web servers.

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 are in an offline mode, the Orion Installer will not be able to check. If you try any older Orion Installer, this check and update completes.

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 Orion Platform products. As you install products in an existing Orion Platform environment, you may also have options to upgrade products.

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!
  • Have legacy or far older Orion product versions in your environment? The Orion Installer will provide a full, "happy path" upgrade path for legacy products. For older products, follow the upgrade path in order, downloading and installing links using the links. 
    Recommendation: You may want to use the legacy installation guides for instructions. Check the Legacy Install section.
  • If you have SolarWinds High Availability (HA) in your environment for installs and upgrades, see those sections for details.
  • Do you have Legacy, or older, Orion Platform products? Your upgrade path may be much longer. See Legacy install walk-through for details.


1. Backup 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 install method  

The installer is available through the Customer Portal.

  1. Save and run the installer .exe on your Orion server. Use the download link for Offline Installer.
  2. Use your email address to register with SolarWinds and continue with the installation.
  3. On the Welcome screen, 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 t products to install and/or upgrade
  1. A list of products to install is displayed. If existing products are detected, a list of upgrades is displayed, if available. The installer walks you through upgrading and installing in one process.
  2. Select the products you want to install. Products to upgrade are pre-selected. You can upgrade and install products at the same time. 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 and resources such as RAM, hard drive space, number of CPUs and more
  • Software such as installed Operating System version, .NET, IIS, and other required drivers and tools
  • Ports for data access and tasks
  • 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.

For more information, Click for more details. Click Save System Check Results to save a list of issues to resolve. You can also click Copy the issue to clipboard to paste the details into a text file.


5. Review and accept the EULA agreement

The EULA displays to review and accept. 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 backup now. This is your last chance to backup data before installations and database changes begin. New products and versions can modify your database tables.

6. Watch installation progress by product and version

Products begin installing with messages for the progress. Any issues display in the installer, halting the installation to allow you to review and respond. The installer may run multiple product installations prior to running the Configuration Wizard. If the installs 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 displays.

7. 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 an Advanced 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 currect account does not have permissions to the SQL server.

    Use SQL Server Authentication to ensure the SolarWinds Orion server can always access SQL Server, even when hosted remotely on a separate 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 a database from Use an existing database, 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 blocks 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 by default.
    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. If prompted to activate your installation, enter the License Key for your product noted from the SolarWinds Customer Portal.
  12. 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.

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

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

8. Install on Additional Polling Engines and Additional Web Server

If you have no others detected servers like APEs or AWS, 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 recommends 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 APE or AWS.
  4. Repeat installing on all additional polling engines in your environment.

Almost done, see the next section for final steps.

Final steps for installs & upgrades

After you have finished installing and upgrading every possible version of products using the Orion Installer, you need to complete a couple more steps.

For Installs:

Activate licenses

With every product installed fully, you can now activate your 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.

For Installs and Upgrades:

Install the hotfixes for the latest product versions

If hotfixes are available for your latest 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.

For Upgrades:

Upgrade Orion Agents

If you have the Global Agent Setting to Allow automatic updates (enabled by default), the Orion Agents automatically upgrade in the background. Agents are tied to their release version. You can skip manually upgrading agents if the option is enabled.

The upgrades take a bit of time to complete, but will not require any actions. Agents update at a throttled number of 10 to limit the impact on the polling engine. As soon as one agent completes upgrading, another agent takes its place so there are always 10 active threads until all agents are upgraded.

If automatic upgrades are disabled, upgrade the Orion Agents:

  1. Open the Manage Agents page. Orion Agents requiring upgrades display Update Required.
  2. Select all agents needing updates and click More Actions > Update. The agents upgrade in the background.

You can enable the option through Settings > All Settings > Agent Settings and click Define Global Agent Settings.

Legacy install walk-through

Depending on your Orion Platform environment, you may have product versions much older that need to upgrade through multiple steps. For example, if you have NPM 11.5.3, SAM 6.2.3, NCM 7.4, and NTA 4.1, you will have multiple version hops to upgrade and install before you are on the latest versions. These additional installations are to follow the correct upgrade path.

Regardless of how old your products are, the Orion Installer:

  • Provides a correct and thorough upgrade path that you can download and follow using the Save Upgrade Path option

  • Links to release notes for the installs
  • Links to download each installer by version

This example screenshot is pretty extreme for product age, but it details the extensive capabilities of generating paths and providing direction in the Orion Installer:

1. Download and install legacy products

You can click to download each product install one at a time or all at once. Some of these install files can be sizeable.

2. Run each installer fully and the Configuration Wizard

Follow the upgrade path exactly. Run and complete the installation steps for each product version in order. If you need additional information on installing older product versions, see the installation guides and info:

Need an updated upgrade path? Run the Orion Installer again! It will detect and update based on currently installed products.

3. Finish all your final installs with the Orion Installer

If your older product installs are done, the Orion Installer takes over. Usually the installer handles installs for Orion Platform products 2016.1 and later.

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.

Upgrade with High Availability

To upgrade a server pair in a SolarWinds High Availability (HA) pool, follow the instructions for upgrading your product with the following differences.

If you have enabled SolarWinds High Availability, you must disable HA before you can upgrade. All SolarWinds product versions must match on the primary and secondary servers before you can re-enable your HA pools.

These instructions assume you have an HA pool already created and enabled. For more information on SolarWinds HA, see this article.

1. Disable the HA pool

The HA pool must be disabled to begin upgrading. If you upgrade prior to disabling, the pool is automatically disabled.

  1. In the Orion Web Console, click Settings > All Settings > High Availability Deployment Summary.
  2. Select the pool you want to disable.

  3. Toggle High Availability to Off.

Do not modify the VIP or IP settings for the servers.

2. Upgrade the primary server Follow the upgrade instructions in the next section for the primary server. If you need to upgrade multiple products in the upgrade path, complete those upgrades fully.
3. Upgrade the secondary server using Orion Scalability Engine Installer

Download the Orion Scalability Engine Installer on the primary server and run it on the secondary server to upgrade:

  1. In the Orion Web Console, click Settings > All Settings > Polling Engines and click Download Installer Now.
  2. Move the downloaded installer to your secondary server and run it.
  3. Complete the installation process. You may be prompted to enter your SQL credentials for your Orion SQL database.
4. Enable the HA pool

When the installer completes, enable the HA pool using the following instructions. You may need to recreate the HA pool. For details, see this article.

  1. In the Orion Web Console, click Settings > All Settings > High Availability Deployment Summary.
  2. Select the pool you want to enable.

  3. Toggle High Availability to On.
    The Orion Web Console verifies all SolarWinds product versions match across the HA pair before enabling. If you receive errors, check your product versions.


If you receive errors, try the following:

  • If you experience issues and are not on the latest product versions, we recommend completing a full upgrade.
  • 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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