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Home > Success Center > Orion Platform > Orion Documentation > Orion Platform Administrator Guide > Add and manage network devices > Choose the polling method to use in the Orion platform

Choose the polling method to use in the Orion platform

Updated: March 14, 2018

This topic applies to all Orion Platform products.

Select a polling method to monitor nodes in the way that best suits your environment.

External Node (No Status)

Orion Platform products do not poll the node. no data is collected from the node. This method is suitable for nodes hosting applications or other elements that you want to monitor with specific Orion Platform products, such as SAM. 

Use this method to build a complete map of the environment monitored by your SolarWinds Orion Platform products.

Status Only: ICMP

This method monitors only the status and measures the average response time and packet loss percentage for managed devices using the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). 
Use this method when you need limited information or to monitor devices that do not support SNMP or WMI.

This polling method requires that you enable ICMP on your nodes. Consider adjusting any network intrusion detection systems or your firewalls to allow for the ICMP traffic.

Most Devices: SNMP & ICMP

With this method, you can have both the device status, average response time, and packet loss percentage (ICMP) and query the Management Information Base (MIB) and performance indicators that are tied to specific Object Identifiers (OIDs). This method is suitable for SNMP-enabled devices such as routers, switches, and computers. You must provide  SNMP community strings for SNMP v1 or v2c, or SNMP v3 credentials. 
Your devices must have ICMP and SNMP enabled to use this polling method. If you want to poll with a specific version of SNMP, you must disable all other versions on the device.

Consider adjusting any network intrusion detection systems or your firewalls to allow for the ICMP traffic.


SNMPv3 is a secure version of the protocol that adds authentication and/or encryption. It may require additional configuration on your devices.

To poll the device with SNMPv3, specify the credentials, the authentication, and encryption.

If you have both read-only and read/write credentials configured on the device, you may also need to provide the read/write credentials. Type your read/write credentials in the Read / Write SNMPv3 Credentials section to enable Orion Platform products to execute commands that require these privileges. Read/write privileges may be required by Engineer's Toolset or NPM/NCM, for example for changing an administrator status on the device.

You can save the credentials (username, context, authentication, and encryption) to the credential library for reuse directly from the Add Node wizard. Provide the details, type a name for the credentials set and click Save in the Credential Set Library section. Click Saved Credential Sets to select a set from the library.

Windows Servers: WMI and ICMP

This polling method can only be used for Windows computers. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a proprietary technology used to poll performance and management information from Windows-based network devices, applications, and components.

When used as an alternative to SNMP, WMI can provide much of the same monitoring and management data currently available with SNMP-based polling with the addition of Windows specific communications and security features.

Your devices must have WMI and ICMP enabled to use this polling method. You can use WBEMTest.exe, which is included on every computer that has WMI installed, to test the connectivity between your Orion server and your Windows computer.

Due to specific characteristics of WMI polling requests, polling a single WMI enabled object uses approximately five times the resources required to poll the same or similar object with SNMP on the same polling frequency. Consider adjusting any network intrusion detection systems or your firewalls to allow for the ICMP traffic.

Windows and Linux/Unix Servers: Agent

An agent is a software that provides a communication channel between the Orion server and a Windows or Linux/Unix-based computer. Agents are used to communicate the information that SolarWinds plug-ins collect to the Orion server.

Information collected by plug-ins depend on the type of plug-in installed on the agent. For example, the Quality of Experience plug-in collects packet traffic, while a SAM plug-in collects application data used to monitor the applications. Agents automatically download the plug-ins for all installed products.

This polling method is most useful in the following situations:

  • When host and applications are behind firewall NAT or proxies
  • Polling node and applications across multiple discrete networks that have overlapping IP address space
  • Secure encrypted polling over a single port is required
  • Support for low bandwidth, high latency connections
  • Polling nodes across domains where no domain trusts have been established
  • Full end-to-end encryption between the monitored host and the poller
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