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Home > Success Center > SolarWinds Academy > Solarwinds Certified Professional > SolarWinds Certified Professional SAM Exam Preparation Guide

SolarWinds Certified Professional SAM Exam Preparation Guide

Updated 01/22/2018

SCP Exam Overview


Format: 75 multiple-choice questions

Time allotment: 90 minutes

Study Resources 

Each category in this guide includes links to topics with information.  The intention of the resources in this guide are to supplement your years of experience and hands-on training with SolarWinds’ products. The included resources are not all-inclusive and should only aid as a starting place for your studies.


Use the available documentation to learn about common procedures and functions of SAM.


For additional study resources, visit THWACK or browse our Customer Success Center.

Category: Alerts

An alert is notification that there is a problem with a monitored element. SolarWinds Orion comes with hundreds of predefined alerts for common problems such as a node or application going down, high interface utilization or packet loss, and many other problems. Learn more about alerts with SAM.

Create new alerts to monitor your environment for SAM Navigate to the Alert Manager to create a completely new alert definition, or duplicate an alert that is similar to the alert you want to create.
Define the conditions that must exist to trigger an alert for SAM The trigger condition is the most complex step in creating an alert. Before you begin, you may want to revisit the Best practices and tips for alerting.

Best practices and tips for alerting for SAM

Use these best practices and tips to help you configure and test your alerts.

Alert preconfiguration tasks for SAM

Some alerts require extra configuration, separate software installations, or information that you may need to request from other departments.

Navigate to the Alert Manager for SAM

The trigger condition is the most complex step in creating an alert. Before you begin, you may want to revisit the Best practices and tips for alerting.
Set alert properties for SAM After creating a new alert, use the Alert Properties to describe the alert, including which users can view the alert.
View triggered alerts in the Orion Web Console for SAM View active triggered alerts through Alerts & Activity > Alerts in the menu bar. Click each alert to view the details, which includes a historic count of how frequently the object triggers the alert and other objects that are experiencing the same set of conditions that triggered the alert you are viewing. 
Test alert triggers and actions for SAM You do not have to experience a device failure to confirm that your alerts are working. The trigger condition is automatically evaluated and trigger and reset actions can be tested individually.
The 'Do Not Alert' alert This article describes how to use a custom property to suppress alerts from being triggered when an object goes down.

Category: Appstack

The Appstack feature integrates monitoring of applications, servers, virtualization and storage resources—and Web user experience for Web-based applications—within a single pane of glass to show the health of each of these infrastructure components and how it may impact overall application performance.

Introduction to AppStack - Video

This video demonstrates how you can use AppStack to troubleshoot the root cause of slow app issues.

Introduction to the AppStack environment

This article introduces you to the AppStack environment that you can use to troubleshoot problems with servers and applications. Use AppStack to assess the overall health of your environment and to troubleshoot specific and related problems.

Monitor with AppStack

The AppStack Environment view is an interactive visual mapping within Orion that provides an in-depth perspective through the entire environment to help identify the root cause of performance and availability issues.

AppStack categories and data

By default, the following AppStack Environment categories are available in SAM:  Groups, Applications, Database Instances, Servers, Virtual Hosts, Virtual Clusters, Virtual DataCenters, Virtual Centers, and Volumes.

Customize the AppStack view

Modifying the Change Layout Settings can help with performance, such as limiting the amount of objects displayed, hiding empty categories, and increasing or reducing the update interval.

Create an AppStack layout

A layout is a user-defined filter (view-limitation) with configured settings you can save and use when viewing the AppStack. You can tailor these layouts to view specific objects of interest using a filter.

Category: Applnsight

With AppInsight applications you can monitor virtually every aspect of an assigned application, providing a level of detail and expert knowledge far beyond a simple template.


Like any unassigned application in SAM, AppInsight applications are considered templates until applied.  After you apply a template to a node, AppInsight templates become monitored as applications. AppInsight monitoring includes multiple component monitors and performance counters.

AppInsight for Exchange

The AppInsight for Exchange application provides detailed metrics on mailboxes, databases, and a host of performance counters without the use of agents or templates. Use Applnsight for Exchange to monitor virtually every aspect of your Exchange environment.

Configure AppInsight for Exchange on nodes

To quickly configure and use AppInsight for Exchange, you need to add AppInsight for Exchange to a node. Before you configure AppInsight, check the requirements and permissions.

AppInsight for IIS

AppInsight for IIS automatically monitors your IIS environment to automate identification of IIS Server, Website, and Application Pool performance issues. The dashboard provides ease of monitoring with at-a-glance performance metrics for sites and applications pools, updated through access to the IIS.

AppInsight for SQL

SAM offers a detailed view of your SQL database’s performance without the use of agents or templates by using the AppInsight for SQL embedded application.

Edit the AppInsight for Exchange template

The AppInsight for Exchange application behaves like any other application in SAM. Learn how to edit the AppInsight for Exchange's template.

Troubleshooting AppInsight for Exchange issue in SAM

Identify and correct AppInsight for Exchange configuration and performance counter errors.

Edit the AppInsight for IIS template

The AppInsight for IIS application behaves like any other application in SAM. Learn how to edit the AppInsight for IIS template.

Edit the AppInsight for SQL template

The AppInsight for SQL template includes numerous component monitors that provide data on all AppInsight monitored SQL instances. If you modify these settings and configurations, the details in AppInsight update to match.

Category: Managing Application Component Monitors

Component monitors are the building blocks of SolarWinds SAM. Each monitors the status and performance of a different aspect of an application. There are several different types of component monitors, each containing settings that define what is monitored and how to monitor it. A template is a group of component monitors modeling the total availability and performance level of an application. Learn more about managing Application Component Monitors.

What should I monitor?

SolarWinds SAM can monitor an application, or it can be configured to monitor a custom collection of application components, process monitors, and performance counters. SolarWinds can assess the status of every aspect of your application, and the health of the application as a whole.

Discover applications (Video)

This video focuses on adding applications to nodes discovered by the Network Sonar Discovery or nodes that were manually added in the Orion platform.

Create component monitors with Component Monitor Wizard

The Component Monitor Wizard provides a starting point where you can select component monitors based on a specific process, performance counter, or service. You can add these monitors with modifications to application monitors and templates for assigned node monitoring. You can then discover and monitor nodes that match the selected process.

Manage application monitor templates and component monitors

This section discusses the many operations you can perform in SolarWinds SAM regarding the use and management of Application Monitor templates.

Create your first application and alert

After applied to a node, a template becomes an application, which is comprised of component monitors, also known as performance counters. Applications created from templates are used to report metrics based on your needs.

Modify and customize component monitors

You can modify default and new templates. Every template consists of one or more application or component monitors. You can modify each of these monitors one at a time or in multi-edit. 

Category: Templates

SAM template creation includes more than just adding and configuring component monitors. Learn how to create, customize, and monitor component monitors and templates.

Create and manage templates

You can create a template, copy a current template, or manage existing templates. This section includes all currently existing templates, assigned monitors, and thwack imports.

Create a template in SAM

SAM includes two options for creating new templates:

  • (Recommended) create component monitors using the Component Monitor Template Wizard and add them to a new template.
  • Create a fresh template without component monitors.

Create Custom Templates in SAM

Application monitor templates provide a powerful, customizable method to monitor applications in your environment. They help determine where errors occur: in the network or with the application. Every template includes component monitors that return metrics for monitoring performance, troubleshooting, threshold monitoring, and application health.

SAM Custom Template Guide

SAM provides a customizable option for monitoring applications (including those developed in-house) to monitor metrics for configured polling frequencies.  Application monitor templates provide a powerful, customizable method to monitor applications in your environment. They help determine where errors occur: in the network or with the application. Every template includes component monitors that return metrics for monitoring performance, troubleshooting, threshold monitoring, and application health.

Manage templates and groups

Learn more about managing templates and groups through SAM, including assigning a template to a group and unassigning application groups from a group.

Category: Troubleshooting Application Issues

Learn more about how to troubleshoot issues in SAM.

Application monitor thresholds

Thresholds are markers that indicate certain levels have been reached. Many component monitors used in SAM applications have thresholds that can be adjusted and set.
Troubleshooting Permissions issue in SAM You may encounter permissions issues with account and service types. These accounts include 3rd party applications and services.

Unmanage and manage assigned application monitors

When a template of application monitors is unmanaged, you no longer receive data in SAM. To resume viewing status and polled data, you need to manage the application monitors template.
Hardware Troubleshooting Flowchart issue in SAM Use the decision tree in this section to help determine the cause and solution to your issue.
Verify SAM Component Configuration issue in SAM Verify you have the credentials used for remote WMI set for the SAM components.
Troubleshooting SAM This section provides a list of troubleshooting topics.


Need more information, view our frequently asked questions on certification.







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