Every organization requires a good network monitoring system that can track the network aspects and its operations. The faster the issues are tracked, the better the business works. SolarWinds is a popular service provider for managing systems, networks, and infrastructure. It helps in quickly detecting, diagnosing, and resolving network performance problems and outages.
There is not enough material on the internet to help you prepare for an interview on SolarWinds. With that in mind, our experts have put together the top 30 SolarWinds interview questions. In this post, you can go through the frequently asked SolarWinds interview questions and answers that will elevate your skill.
SolarWinds Interview Questions and Answers
1. What is SolarWinds NPM?
Ans: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) detects and diagnoses network performance issues for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid systems. Any devices can be added to the network to track their performance. It provides network insights for deeper visibility. It offers NetPath and PerfStack for easy troubleshooting. The NPM will be able to scale according to the network requirements.
2. What are the advantages of SolarWinds?
Ans: The following are the advantages of SolarWinds.
- It will speed up the troubleshooting process.
- It provides a single console to access the high-level performance of all the devices in a network.
- It avoids unexpected traffic bottlenecks that are key to some services.
- It automatically calculates exhaustion dates based on the usage.
- It identifies any kind of issues easily within a network.
3. List the important features of SolarWinds.
Ans: Here are some of the important features of SolarWinds.
- Fault, performance, and availability monitoring
- Customizable performance and availability reports
- Hop-by-hop analysis
- Automatic device mapping
- Cross-stack network data correlation
4. What is SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer?
Ans: The SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) is useful for monitoring SQL query performance, tuning, analysis, execution plans, blocking, and deadlocks. It can monitor databases that are both on cloud and on-premises. It offers powerful anomaly detection with the help of machine learning. It provides integration for PerfStack and AppStack.
5. Can we add objects automatically for monitoring?
Ans: Yes, we can add objects automatically for monitoring. All we have to do is run a discovery job in SolarWinds. This job finds all the devices that are connected to the network and add them for monitoring. A discovery job can be created through the Network Sonar Discovery Wizard.
6. What is the use of alerts in SolarWinds NPM?
Ans: An alert is like a notification that will be sent to the user when a problem arises with a monitored entity. Many pre-defined alerts are enabled by default. The users will receive the alerts in the Active Alerts widgets on the Orion Home page. Users can use predefined alerts or create their own custom alerts.
7. Explain about the discovery tagging.4
Ans: Discovery tagging will set a flag for the device that is being monitored in a network. If the device is moved to a customer or site, the probe that identifies this device in the new network will know that it is already being monitored by another customer or site. It will be considered as a duplicate device but does not come under the unmanaged devices.
8. What does SolarWinds Security Event Manager do?
Ans: SolarWinds Security Event Manager (SEM) is considered as a security information and event management (SIEM) system. It can detect threats automatically and respond accordingly. It has a centralized log collection and normalization capability. It also has reporting tools integrated with it to show various visualizations to the user.
9. List the steps involved in scheduling a web-based report?
Ans: Navigate to the Orion Web Console, click on ‘Settings’, click on ‘All Settings’, and then on ‘Manage Reports’. Select the ‘web-based report’ from the context menu. Click on ‘Schedule Report’ and select ‘Create New Schedule’. Fill the details like name and frequency in the’Schedule Properties’ panel. We will get a summary to review the options that were selected. Once the review is done, click on ‘Create Schedule’.
10. What do you know about SolarWinds SAM?
Ans: The Server & Application Monitor (SAM) is used to monitor applications and servers. It has more than 1200 monitoring templates. Users can perform custom monitoring with REST API, WMI, SNMP, and PowerShell scripts. It is capable to map the relationships between servers and the applications.
11. Explain about SolarWinds SRM.
Ans: The Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) is used to report the health, performance, and capacity of multi-vendor storage systems. It can plan storage capacity automatically. It provides increased visibility for storage infrastructure within a network. Its capability to detect hotspots lets the users stay aware of the potential risks.
12. What are the key features of the Log Analyzer?
Ans: Here are some of the key features of Log Analyzer.
- Collection of logs and events
- Log and event analysis
- Event log tagging
- Powerful search and filter
- Real-time log stream
- Flat log file ingestion
13. Explain about high availability in SolarWinds.
Ans: SolarWinds High Availability (HA) provides failover protection for servers and polling engines. The high availability makes sure that servers and pollers are available 24/7 with minimal downtime to reduce data loss when a primary server goes down. It immediately starts the secondary server and it becomes the active server.
14. What do you know about Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack?
Ans: The Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack is used to monitor performance, network bandwidth, and traffic patterns. It can detect, diagnose, and resolve any issues that are related to network performance. It can track which devices are using most of the network bandwidth. It provides a hop-by-hop analysis for devices in the network.
15. Name some pre-configured alerts in SolarWinds NPM.
Ans: SolarWinds NPM comes with hundreds of predefined alerts for common problems. Here are some of the predefined alerts.
- Alert me when a server is not up
- Alert me when a transaction goes into the warning or critical state
- Alert me when a component goes down
- Alert me when a location becomes unavailable
- Alert me when neighbor is down
- Alert me when a transaction goes down
- Alert me when hardware component is in warning or critical state
16. What is SolarWinds NCM used for?
Ans: The SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) is used to manage configurations and changes for network devices like switches and routers. It has features like vulnerability assessment, network compliance, network automation, and configuration backup. It provides automated bulk deployment of standardized device configs. It saves time and improves network reliability.
17. List the steps involved in creating a custom report.
Ans: Navigate to the Orion Web Console and click on ‘Reports’. Select the ‘All Reports’ option, select ‘Manage Reports’, and then select ‘Create New Report’. We can add any kind of filters and properties that we want the report, and click on ‘Submit’.
18. What do you know about the Orion platform?
Ans: Orion platform offers products to monitor the health and performance of the network. It provides a single web-based console for viewing, configuring, and managing devices in a network.
19. How do reports work in NPM?
Ans: The reports act as a bridge between detailed views and alerts. Reports can be generated with historical data or with current state information. Users can schedule reports to be sent as a PDF, email, or webpage. SolarWinds does come with some predefined reports.
20. What is the location where SolarWinds SAM logs are stored?
Ans: ‘C:\Program Data\SolarWinds\Logs\APM’ is the default location where the logs of SolarWinds SAM will get stored. All the log files will be stored in text format.
21. What are polling methods and what are its types?
Ans: Polling methods are used to gather performance information from the devices in a network. SolarWinds has the below types of polling methods.
- Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
- Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
- Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
22. Explain the difference between SNMP polling and WMI Polling.
- The SNMP polling has fewer ports and no single point of failure for access. It uses CPU, RAM, and bandwidth efficiency.
- The WMI polling uses REAL reboot time for uptime metrics. WMI devices cannot use custom pollers. It uses Windows-based network devices information.
23. What is an Orion Enterprise Operations Console?
Ans: SolarWinds Enterprise Operations Console (EOC) provides visibility into geographically distributed networks. It will be able to gather real-time status from remote instances. It has custom map views, standardized metadata, search, and explorer features.
24. What databases does the SolarWinds DPA support?
Ans: The following are the databases that the SolaWinds DPA supports.
- Azure SQL Database
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Amazon Aurora
- SAP ASE
25. What is the process to check the health of the hardware?
Ans: Navigate to the Orion Web Console and click on ‘Settings’. Click on ‘All Settings’ and select ‘Manage Hardware Sensors’ under ‘Node & Group Management’. You will get a view of all teh hardware devices along with their information like parent, status, vendor, etc.
26. What is the way to know if VPN tunnels are up or not?
Ans: If any VPN tunnels are down, the users won’t be able to access them. We can use SolarWinds NPM to get visibility into the health and performance of an environment. Users will get the status of VPN tunnels and their connectivity between the sites.
27. How can we track file changes, directory access, movement, and shares?
Ans: Any changes, deletions, and permission changes to files, folders might probably be a sign of a potential data breach. We can use Security Event Manager to monitor the actions. It can send alerts in case of any suspicious or potentially malicious activity for sensitive files or folders.
28. How can we keep IOS upgrades from taking too much time?
Ans: SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) can be used to upgrade obsolete iOS images in minutes. It will automatically identify the vulnerabilities and guide you through a smoot upgrading process. The NCM tracks the firmware versions automatically and correlates them with the ones published in the database.
29. What is SolarWinds NTA?
Ans: SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) is used for collecting IP traffic information and monitoring network flow. It has features like application traffic alerting, network traffic analysis, bandwidth monitoring, performance analysis dashboard, etc. It will give a full picture of network traffic flow and volume. It will transform granular details into easily understandable graphs.
30. How to stop a SolarWinds service?
Ans: Navigate to the Orion Web Console, select ‘Product Specific Settings’, and select the ‘Orion Service Manager’ option. Select the service that you would like to sop and click on ‘Stop’ button.