Install a Windows probe

To set up a Windows probe to monitor a network, you need to install a Windows probe on a server or other dedicated computer. The Windows probe can be installed on any server behind the firewall. When monitoring a very large environment, SolarWinds MSP recommends that you install the probe on a dedicated server.

There are customer-specific and generic system installers.

The customer-specific installers are pre-configured with activation keys, registration token, customer names, and IP address of your SolarWinds N-central server. As the customer-specific installers are very easy to use, we recommend that you make them your first choice when downloading the agent or probe software.

Generic system installers require you to specify either the activation key, or the IP address of your SolarWinds N-central server and a customer name or customer ID. These installers are useful when you want to keep a copy of a certain version of the agent or probe offline.

There are no specific requirements other than using a Windows server. It is recommended you use a file or Ppint server, as they have more resources available on a consistent basis. If the environment is small and the only option is an SBS server, this will be adequate for your probe.

  1. Click ActionsDownload Agent/Probe.
  2. From the Select Customer/Site drop-down menu, select a customer or site.
  3. In the System Agent/Probe area, click the Windows Probe link. The web browser downloads the install file.
  4. If you have not set up customers yet, click the System Software tab, and click the Windows probe link. You will need a probe activation key to install generic system probe software. The activation key available by clicking Administration > Probes > System Communication tab when you edit a probe. For more information, see to Probe Activation Key.

  5. Launch the installer and follow the instructions to complete the probe installation.

The probe installs on the computer. SolarWinds N-central enables notification alerts for the probe if it goes offline. Additional probes are automatically included within this notification. This is available at the Customer and Site level. Once the probe is installed you can exit the server and return to SolarWinds N-central.

To verify, in SolarWinds N-central, click Administration > Probes.

If you are using a customer-specific installation program, the Windows probe registers with the central server and initiates a discovery of all of the devices on the specified network. This may take some time depending on the size and configuration of the network being scanned.

If your probe is unable to communicate with the SolarWinds N-central server, you may need to adjust your IP/FQDN settings from the System level. Click Administration > Defaults > Agent & Probe Settings and at the System level, click Administration > Network Settings > Network Setup of your on-premises installation.