First, everything is based on their Orion platform. It maintains the schema for the visualization into the UI. Then there are integration pieces like Network Performance Monitoring (NPM), Server and Application Monitoring (SAM), Web Performance Monitoring (WPM and formerly pingdom). Also, through a Hyper 9 acquisition, they created Virtualization Manager(VMan) and integrated it into Orion. Solarwinds really has so many offerings, I can’t cover them all here. Once a component is integrated with Orion, it becomes part of a powerful tool set. There is now a definite SOAP API which I believe is moving to REST invoked with JSON. There might be some PowerShell and Python down the road. I’m seeing more and more Python around lately.
Server & Application Monitor
The 6.2 version now enables monitoring of server and application performance hosted in IaaS cloud providers such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure. It can combine the data it collects along with your on site server and application statistics all with one tool. It now also features AppInsight for IIS. Previously, only SQL and Exchange were available for AppInsight. Most monitoring tools are agentless, using WMI and SNMP to gather data. However, SAM does use agents, in order to see your SQL queries, buffer size, etc.
Storage Resource Monitor
Storage Resource Monitor replaces Storage Manager in the Solarwinds offerings. It features support for dozens of common SAN and NAS arrays and also new NetApp Cluster-mode, as well as NetApp IBM N-series, NetApp E-series family, EMC VNX family and Dell EqualLogic PS Series arrays. You can now drill down and see if a specific LUN in your RAID group is impacting your application within AppStack.
New in 6.2, Virtualization Manager is now AppStack enabled! OpenStack and KVM are said to be on the roadmap. Set baselines for your VMs and determine how much of a variance should be considered an anomaly. Items such as host health and VM sprawl are now under one view with AppStack.
Web Performance Monitor
Web Performance Monitor 2.2 is also added to the AppStack dashboard. Transaction health checks, page load speeds all integrated into AppStack!
Yellow is not great, Red is bad, you know the drill. Get more information on AppStack goodness.
If you already own these products, taking advantage of AppStack is a no-brainer. I think this is a good first approach by SolarWinds to bring so many pieces of a large puzzle under one roof. I look forward to seeing more products integrated into AppStack. It not only brings monitoring to the sysadmin, but also maps out the underlying dependencies and infrastructure to help bring about swift resolution.