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Home > Success Center > Server & Application Monitor (SAM) > SAM Documentation > SAM 6.7 Administrator Guide > Discover and add network devices > How do I choose which polling method to use in SAM?

How do I choose which polling method to use in SAM?

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

External Node (No Status)

The node is not polled, and no data is collected from the node. The node is included in your environment and used to monitor an application or another element on the node. This method allows you to build a more complete map of your network environment within your SolarWinds Orion Platform product.

Status Only: ICMP

Limited information is gathered using Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) or ping. This polling method is used to monitor status and measure the average response time and packet loss percentage for managed devices.

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

This method allows you to query the Management Information Base (MIB) and performance indicators that are tied to specific Object Identifiers (OIDs) in addition to polling the device status, average response time, and packet loss percentage. This method is suitable for SNMP-enabled devices such as routers, switches, and computers. You must provide the appropriate 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.

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 Servers: Agent

An agent is software that provides a communication channel between the Orion server and a Windows or Linux-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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