SolarWinds Interview Questions

Struggling to find the right information for SolarWinds interview questions? There are a lot of requirements for SolarWinds jobs in the market right now. But you cannot get much study material on the internet to prepare for an interview. 
In this post, you can get the answers for the top 30 frequently asked SolarWinds interview questions. Our SolarWinds technical experts have put together SolarWinds administrator interview questions, SolarWinds network monitoring interview questions, and provided answers for them. Make sure to go through this post before you attend your interview.

Most Frequently Asked Solarwinds Interview Questions

Now let's have a look into the Solarwinds interview questions based on the levels.

Basic Solarwinds Interview question

1. What is SolarWinds?

Ans: SolarWinds is an American software company based out of Austin, Texas. Donald Yonce and David Yonce (brothers) founded SolarWinds in the year 1999. It provides services for IT teams to monitor and manage systems, networks, infrastructure, etc. The services or products offered by SolarWinds are effective, accessible, and easy to use.

2. What are the advantages of SolarWinds?

Ans: Following are the advantages of SolarWinds,

  • Provides a single console to monitor the performance of all your devices
  • Automatically scan and add all the devices connected to your network
  • Identify issues easily within your network
  • Easy to learn with interactive GUI
  • Provides health metrics through which you can analyze and make decisions

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3. Tell me about SolarWinds NPM

Ans: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) helps IT teams' in detecting and diagnosing network performance issues for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud. You can add devices to your network and start tracking their performance. It scales up according to your network requirement.

4. What are the key features of SolarWinds?

Ans: Here are the key features of SolarWinds NPM,

  • Fault, performance, and availability monitoring
  • Customizable performance and availability reports
  • Hop-by-hop analysis
  • Automatic device mapping
  • Cross-stack network data correlation
  • Advanced alerting mechanism

5. How can we add objects automatically for monitoring?

Ans: We can add objects or devices for monitoring within your network automatically by running a discovery job in SolarWinds. We can create a discovery job through the Network Sonar Discovery Wizard. We can also run this job frequently to find the new devices and add them to monitoring.

6. What is the use of discovery tagging?

Ans: Discovery Tagging is to detect if a device is already being monitored or not. If a device from your network is moved to a customer, the discovery job that identifies this device will see it as managed by another customer. So when the discovery job runs, this device will appear as a duplicate and will not be counted under unmanaged devices.

7. How do alerts work in NPM?

Ans: If there is any problem with a monitoring device, the user will receive an alert. These alerts will appear on the 'Active Alerts widgets' on the Orion Home page by default. You can configure these alerts to send emails too.

8. List out some pre-configured alerts in SolarWinds NPM

Ans: SolarWinds NPM comes with pre-configured alerts that you can enable to make them operational. Some of the pre-configured alerts are,

  • Alert me when a server is not up
  • Alert me when a component goes down
  • Alert me when a location becomes unavailable
  • Alert me when a transaction goes down
  • Alert me when a transaction goes into the warning or critical state

9. Explain about reports in NPM

Ans: Reports in NPM provide a detailed view of the performance of the devices in your network. You can either create a report or schedule it to be sent to you automatically as a PDF or an email.

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10. What is the process of creating a custom report?

Ans: Open the Orion Web Console and click on 'Reports'.Then click on All Reports > Manage Reports > Create New Report. Add all the details like filters, properties that you want in your report, and click on 'Submit'.

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11. How can we schedule a web-based report?

Ans: Open the Orion Web Console and click on 'Settings'. Then click on 'All Settings' and then on 'Manage Reports'. Select 'web-based report' and click on Schedule Report > Create New Schedule. Give the name, frequency, and other details in the 'Schedule Properties' panel. Click on 'Add Frequency'. Review the summary and click on 'Create Schedule'.

Intermediate Solarwinds Interview question

12. Explain about Orion platform

Ans: SolarWinds uses Orion as a common backend platform for all its products. It provides a single web console to view, configure, and manage the devices in your network. It offers features like settings, alerts, reports, etc.  

13. Explain about SolarWinds SAM

Ans: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) is for monitoring the applications in your network. It provides a single platform for the applications in on-premises, cloud, or hybrid. We can even map the communication-based relationships between applications and servers.

14. Where are SolarWinds SAM logs stored?

Ans: The logs of SolarWinds SAM will be stored in ‘C:\Program Data\SolarWinds\Logs\APM’ location by default. All the log files will be in text format.

15. What is the high availability of SolarWinds?

Ans: When your primary server goes down, SolarWinds High Availability (HA) provides failover protection for your server. It allows the secondary server to take over all the services. You can either deploy high availability on a single subnet or multiple subnets.

16. Explain about polling methods

Ans: SolarWinds uses polling methods to collect performance information from the devices in your network. It uses the below kinds of polling methods,

  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
  • Agents

17. What is the difference between Agent polling and WMI Polling?

Ans: WMI uses Windows-based network devices, applications, and components to poll for information. We have to install plugins on agents to collect the data that they send back.

18. What is SolarWinds DPA?

Ans: SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) is used to monitor the performance of your database. It monitors SQL statements, execution plans, blocking, deadlocks, etc. It also uses machine learning for proactive anomaly detection.

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19. Explain about SolarWinds Log Analyzer

Ans: SolarWinds Log Analyzer is used to collect, consolidate, and manage logs. It provides full visibility on the logs of all your Orion Platform products. It can also be integrated with alerts to perform some action when an event occurs.

20. What are the key features of the Log Analyzer?

Ans: The key features of the Log Analyzer are,

  • Log and event collection and analysis
  • Powerful search and filter
  • Real-time log stream
  • Event log tagging
  • Flat log file ingestion
  • Orion Platform integration

21. What is SolarWinds NCM used for?

Ans: SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) manages configurations and changes for routers, switches, and other network devices. It provides standardized device configurations, which result in reduced configuration errors. It also offers alerting, configuration backup, and rollbacks.

Advanced Solarwinds interview question

22. What is SolarWinds Security Event Manager?

Ans: The SolarWinds Event Manager is a security information and event management (SIEM) system. It collects, correlates, and normalizes logs in a centralized repository. So the IT team can perform search and analysis on the events.

23. What is SolarWinds NetFlow?

Ans: SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) is used to capture data from network traffic. The captured data is converted to easily understandable charts and tables. Through this, we can monitor network bandwidth and traffic patterns. We can even identify the users or applications that consume the most bandwidth.

24. How do I stop a SolarWinds service?

Ans: Open the Orion Web Console and click on 'Orion Service Manager' under 'Product Specific Settings'. Select the service that you want to stop and click on 'Stop'.

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25. How can we check the health of the hardware?

Ans: Open the Orion Web Console and click on 'Settings > All Settings'. Select 'Manage Hardware Sensors' under 'Node & Group Management'. You can find all the available hardware sensors along with their information like vendor, parent, status, etc.

26. What is SolarWinds UDT?

Ans: SolarWinds User Device Tracker (UDT) is used to manage risks in your network. It also handles the network access requirements for the IP devices. It discovers and gives an overview of all the switches, ports, and devices connected to your network. It offers port management through which we can control who and what connects to the network.  

27.How does SolarWinds licensing work?

Ans: The SolarWinds license model is different for different products. It also depends on the number of devices to be monitored, nodes, interfaces, etc. It supports both perpetual licenses and subscription licenses.

28. Explain about SolarWinds cloud-based log management

Ans: SolarWinds cloud-based log management gives instant access to your logs without the need for setting up infrastructure on-premise. It is easy to implement and understand. It enables full-text searches through the logs and speeds up troubleshooting. 

29. What are the integration mechanisms provided by SolarWinds?

Ans: SolarWinds provides three integration mechanisms,

User-level integration

Event level integration

API level integration 

30. Who are the customers for SolarWinds?

Ans: SolarWinds has a huge customer base with more than 300,000 customers that include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, military, etc. The customer list includes Ford Motor Company, Kodak, MasterCard, New York Times, NASA, Telenor, Volvo, Yahoo, etc.

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As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.