Frequently Asked Questions

We've done our best to compile the most frequently asked questions about our company and product, but if you still can't find the answer to your question here please feel free to contact us and we'll be more than happy to help.

Overview

What is SolarWinds Service Desk?

SolarWinds Service Desk delivers a cloud-based service management platform that helps organization unlock the true potential of their employees by redefining service experiences — when, where, and how they work.

Use SolarWinds Service Desk to:

  • easily manage tickets submitted
  • eliminate simple tasks and resolve incidents faster
  • follow the ITIL framework and escalate incidents
  • track your hardware and software
  • organize and manage licenses and contracts

How long has SolarWinds been in business?

Read About Us

What benefits does SolarWinds Service Desk offer?

Value is offered in every feature…but here are some of our customers’ favorites:

Cloud-based: immediate access, rapid deployment
Enjoy the quickest path to value with nonexistent installation, zero upgrade costs (ever), and absolutely no hardware or software requirements.

Simple & easy to use
SolarWinds Service Desk automates tasks wherever possible and reduces workload, effort and time required for managing IT services and assets.

Modern technology & design
SolarWinds Service Desk is a modern IT service desk, built using the most advanced and agile technology available today. Our key design principle is focused on an efficient, value-driven user experience.

Saves you time & money
Processes take less time to define, tickets take less time and effort to resolve and organized information helps you to budget and plan ahead. Also, with an all-inclusive pricing plan, you only pay for the licenses you need: no hidden or added costs.

Strives to make you happy
Yep, we said it: we want to make you happy. We’re passionate about building tools you’ll love to use. This underlying principle guides our work and acts as the foundation of who we are, what we do and why we do it.

I already have an Inventory Management tool, why should I use Service Desk?

Service Desk may not replace your traditional inventory management system. Service Desk IT Asset Management is focused on providing everything that is required to manage IT hardware and software assets. It provides functionality such as analyzing your IT assets in real time and highlighting areas requiring your immediate attention. In addition, it allows you to manage Other IT Assets such as routers, switches, hubs, printers, monitors, etc. Some customers also elect Service Desk to manage and control non-IT assets.
Service Desk:

  • Helps you to organize, manage and track all your IT agreements, restrictions, expiration terms and renewal schedules. This includes contracts, service agreements, leases and software licenses (traditional or “on-demand”).
  • Constantly detects asset risks and license compliance gaps by comparing inventory information against licenses and agreements.
  • Let’s you define software usage policies and enforces them for you, alerting you of policy deviations across your IT enterprise.
  • Automates and optimizes processes and tasks relating to assets management.
  • Brings you the benefits of the Cloud. With SolarWinds Service Desk, there is no software to manage or maintain locally, no expensive servers to provision and manage, and no software to deploy, maintain or upgrade – it’s all done for you.

What are the hardware/software requirements?

There aren’t any. SolarWinds Service Desk is a cloud-based service and does not require any servers or software to maintain.

Can I integrate data and other apps into SolarWinds Service Desk?

Of course! Service Desk allows you to import, merge, and integrate data and resources from a number of channels including:

  • Web-based apps: Google Apps, Zendesk, JIRA, OneLogin, and Okta
  • API: create applications, integrate data and interface between your business systems and your SolarWinds Service Desk account. Learn more.
  • Security integrations: SAML, Google SSO
  • Simple sync between apps using Zapier
  • Easy data import using csv files.

Learn more about integrations.

Are any SolarWinds Service Desk customers in the healthcare, financial, or government industries?

Yes. References of customers in these industries can be provided upon request. SolarWinds Service Desk has customers across the following industries: agriculture & mining; apparel; architecture & engineering services; banking; biotechnology; business services; chemicals; communications; computers & electronics; consulting; education; energy & utilities; engineering; environmental; financial services; food & beverage; government; healthcare, pharmaceutical & biotech; hospitality; insurance; IT services; machinery; manufacturing; marketing & advertising services; media & entertainment; not for profit; real estate & construction; retail; SaaS; shipping; software & internet; technology; telecommunications; transportation & storage; travel, recreation & leisure; utilities; wholesale & distribution.

Are there customers who are required to comply with HIPAA?

Health care providers, health plans, and healthcare clearing houses are required to comply with HIPAA requirements to protect the privacy and security of health information. In 2009, HIPAA rules extended to the business associates of covered entities, including entities or persons that provide data transmission services to a covered entity and require routine access to protected health information (PHI); subcontractors that create, receive, maintain, or transmit PHI on behalf of a business associate; and vendors that offer personal health records to one or more individuals on behalf of a covered entity. SolarWinds Service Desk is used by companies that are required to comply with HIPPA requirements.

IT Asset Management

What platforms does the agent support?

  • Windows Versions: 7.x, 8.x and 10
  • MacOSX Versions: 10.6 and above
  • The Latest Stable ChromeOS Release: Chromebook, Chromebase, Chromebox, and Chromebit

How do I deploy the agents on my computers?

The Service Desk agent can be easily deployed across your computers using one of the following:

  • Domain Login Script
  • Active Directory Group Policy
  • Manually (for computers away from the office, behind a firewall, or not connected to the Internet.

Once installed, the Service Desk agent runs as a local service and schedules the inventory collection.

Can I deploy the agent with the users' acknowledgement? (Silent Install)

Yes. Deploy the Service Desk agent using the –mode unattended command line switch which would install the agent without any user intervention. Once installed, the agent is designed to work seamlessly without user intervention.

What information does the agent collect?

The agent collects over 250 data points about hardware configuration and installed software on the device.

For hardware configuration: the agent collects information about the BIOS, Processors, Memory (physical and virtual), input devices, system ports, slots, controllers, storage devices (physical, logical, partitions), sound devices, video and display adapters, modem and network adapters, and printers attached.

For software configuration: the agent collects information about the operating system, and unlimited software titles (through add/remove, control panel, registry and executables).

How does the agent connect to the Internet?

The agent connects to the Internet by using TCP Port 443 by default (and can be configured to use other ports as required).

Can the agent work with our proxy server?

Yes. The agent can be configured to use a local proxy server in your network and upload inventory to the SolarWinds Service Desk data center through your proxy.

How much bandwidth does the agent use?

The agent uses very little bandwidth as all collected information is compressed. The size of the agent inventory file is less than 200KB. The agents run at random intervals, once a day, so that bandwidth usage is spread across the day to minimize network traffic.

How often does the agent perform inventory scans?

The agent launches every 24 hours of computer activity to perform an inventory scan and report back to Service Desk and then goes dormant. This minimizes the impact on network traffic. If the computer is not connected to the Internet or turned off, the agent will wait to report when the machine has access the Internet.

Does Service Desk require an agent?

Not necessarily, but it is recommended. We can provide an unlimited database of Other Assets, unlimited custom fields, and an open REST API to bring your external data into SolarWinds Service Desk. However, the SolarWinds Service Desk inventory agent guarantees an automatically updated system without maintenance from your side.

IT Service Management

Can I import my users from the Active Directory?

Yes. You can use the Active Directory together with our API to import all your users into the SolarWinds Service Desk system without having to recreate each user manually. Another way: if you’re using SSO from other systems, then you can also use this to access SolarWinds Service Desk.

Can I use emails as a source for incidents?

Yes. You can send an email to a predefined email address and it will automatically become an incident: the subject of the email will be the incident title, and the body will become the incident description. Additionally, you can reply to any email incident notification from your inbox, and the reply will be added automatically as a comment to the incident.

How can service users see the status of their submitted tickets?

Easily, via the Self-Service portal. Also, service users get email notifications for each significant change in the incident, with a link back into the portal and a description of the change that was implemented.

What type of permissions can I enforce for the service desk?

Pretty much any permission you can think of, assigning permissions is flexible and comprehensive.

Can I use my preferred SSO with SolarWinds Service Desk?

Yes. SolarWinds Service Desk allows you to instantly integrate with leading SSO brands including: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Zendesk, Chatter, OneLogin, Okta & Zapier.

What type of reports can I see on the IT service desk?

You can slice and dice by virtually every incident parameter. For example, you can show incidents from assignee or service user, filter to show incidents from a specific site or department, add criteria, save changes to the report, or create a new report from the parameters you selected. Also, you can print or export your reports to various formats including PDF, and CSV.

The SolarWinds Service Desk Trial

Are there separate trials for Asset Management and Service Desk?

The trial includes access to the full functionality of both solutions.

How does the trial work?

After signing up and confirming your email, you’ll get full access to the Service Desk suite for the duration of the trial. The Service Desk trial includes a full working environment that you can start using immediately.

What happens after the trial?

You can upgrade to a paid subscription for Service Management and/or Asset Management. If you chose to upgrade, all information and data from the trial will remain in your account; if you do not upgrade your account will be disabled at the end of the trial.

How are renewals handled?

Annual contracts are renewed automatically. 60 days before expiration we’ll send you a heads up email notifying you that your subscription is nearing renewal. You can elect not to renew your annual contract 30 days before the renewal. To ensure you receive this notification email, please make sure your listed email address is correct.

Pricing & Billing

How much does it cost?

Service Desk is a subscription service priced by the number of computers you wish to manage (laptops, workstations, servers) and the number of service desk technicians. Computer rates include unlimited software, contracts, printers & other assets, and technician rates include unlimited end-users. We offer a free, 30-day trial so you can get a firsthand impression of Service Desk before you make any decisions. Visit our pricing page for more details.

How do I place an order?

Please contact a Service Desk sales representative by contacting us at sales@samanage.com or call us at 1-888-250-8971.

Are there any discounts?

SolarWinds Service Desk offers discounts for large orders, academic institutions, government and other non-profit organizations. Contact sales@samanage.com with your inquiry for a customized price offer.

Security & Privacy

How are security breaches communicated to customers?

SolarWinds may notify you of a breach through various means, including the Service Desk Status page, which is able to provide close to real-time information.

How quickly are service security flaws patched?

We work everyday to make our service secure and up to date with the latest security technology. Penetration testing is run as an integral part of our Engineering process and flaws that are detected are reviewed internally and treated as a high priority and resolved according to internal SLAs.

Is access to the Service provided via secure means (encryption, etc)?

Service Desk helps protect customer product data by allowing authorized users access using their username and password. Account administrators can assign security rules that define which users in their company or partners have access to the data based on user’s roles. Additionally, communication between the user’s browser and SolarWinds Service Desk is encrypted via SSL.

Would Service data travel unencrypted/unprotected over the public Internet or any network?

Product data is encrypted in transfer and access to the Service and is governed by strict password security policies.

Can customers request and receive full copies of its product data (including audit trails) in a standard, human readable electronic format (i.e. CSV)?

Customers can receive a weekly scheduled backup of their product data in CSV format. Customer product data can also be manually exported to CSV at any time.

Sub-processors for the SolarWinds Service Desk Service Platform and SolarWinds Service Desk for Salesforce Products?

Published: March 20, 2018

Scope

This documentation describes the sub-processors used to deliver the SolarWinds Service Desk Service Platform and SolarWinds Service Desk for Salesforce Products

Infrastructure - Customer Data Storage

The Covered Services are hosted in enterprise-class data centers. SolarWinds Service Desk Service Platform is hosted in data centers operated by Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“AWS”). SolarWinds Service Desk for Salesforce an ISV App on the Salesforce AppExchange and is hosted on the Salesforce Service Cloud Platform.

Customer Product Data Processing

SolarWinds Service Desk’s support has access to Customer product data to the extent a User grants such access as described in the User Guide.

The following third party vendors are engaged in processing Customer product data for non-storage purposes as well as the provision of the Services.

Entity Name

Entity Type

Entity Country

Salesforce Service Cloud

Service Provider

US

Amazon Web Services

Service Provider

US

New Relic

Service Provider

US

Gainsight

Service Provider

US

Are product records deleted by the customer available for retrieval?

No. Customer records that are deleted cannot be retrieved. If you have additional questions, please submit a request to privacy@solarwinds.com.

What is your policy regarding data ownership and availability should a customer fail to meet its payment obligations?

Please see our Master Service Agreement for more information.

Will any Customers' data/information be shared with any 3rd party for any reason?

This is addressed under the “Customer Data” section of the SolarWinds Privacy Notice.

What is your backup policy?

As the first level of data protection, customer product data is continually backed-up to local disk and every night to an offsite location.  Your information can be quickly restored, if necessary.  SolarWinds has implemented various precautions to help ensure privacy, security and retrievability of your product information.

Are data center controls audited by an accredited 3rd party?

Yes. For additional information, please see our data center compliance.

What access and physical security controls are utilized at the data center(s)?

The data centers are housed in nondescript facilities. Physical access is strictly controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilizing video surveillance, intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means. Authorized staff must pass two‐factor authentication a minimum of two times to access data center floors. Visitors and contractors are required to present identification and are signed in and continually escorted by authorized staff.

What is the network architecture at the data center(s)?

AWS provides fault‐tolerant web architectures and a world‐class network infrastructure that is carefully monitored and managed. For more information, please see the Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes.

What fire detection and suppression systems are employed by the data center(s)?

Automatic fire detection and suppression equipment has been installed to reduce risk. The fire detection system utilizes smoke detection sensors in all data center environments, mechanical and electrical infrastructure spaces, chiller rooms and generator equipment rooms. These areas are protected by either wet‐pipe, double‐interlocked pre‐action, or gaseous sprinkler systems.

Do data center staff undergo background checks?

Yes. AWS has established formal policies and procedures to delineate the minimum standards for logical access to AWS platform and infrastructure hosts. AWS conducts criminal background checks, as permitted by law, as part of pre‐ employment screening practices for employees and commensurate with the employee’s position and level of access. These policies also identify functional responsibilities for the administration of logical access and security.

Do you have a disaster and recovery plan that fully indicates all aspects of the Service?

Yes, we have implemented a Disaster Recovery program designed operate the SolarWinds Service Desk service without losing any customer data. Built using Amazon EC2 and S3 infrastructure services, our system and backups will reside in 4 separate availability zones in the Amazon data center – separate availability zones mean that each has its own power, security, etc. Additional database replication will be located in a separate Amazon geographical region.

What is the Service tenancy model (hosted, single, multi, etc.)?

Multi-tenant.

How is a customer's product data isolated from the product data of other customers?

The multi-tenant database is separated by unique keys. Product data in our database is also scoped with an additional column in the database, which contains a unique customer ID. This means that each data item in the database (e.g. incident, computer, mobile, change etc.) is scoped uniquely to a singular account. Access to the application database must also contain this unique identifier.

What are the data backup mechanisms used to backup and restore the Service and product data, including frequency and retention periods?

As the first level of data protection, customer product data is continually backed-up to local disk and every night to an offsite location. Your data can be quickly restored, if needed. SolarWinds has implemented various precautions to help ensure privacy, security and retrievability of your product information.

Where can I find copies of your policies regarding customer data?

Please see our Privacy Notice, and our Master Service Agreement. More information can also be found on the Trust & Transparency page.

Who has access to customer production and backed-up data, and the automatic and procedural controls in place to prevent unauthorized internal access (by staff, contractors, or other)?

Role based access controls are implemented for access to information systems. Access controls to data in our databases, systems, and environments are set on a need-to-know / least privilege necessary basis. Access control lists define the behavior of any user within our information systems, and security policies limit them to authorized behaviors.   Individuals with customer facing positions and those who have access to customer data have received training on our Privacy Notice, which includes employees from Sales, Engineering, Customer Support and Finance.

How are passwords stored in the Service?

In transit, we use an SSL certificate with key length of 2048 bits to encrypt the passwords. Passwords in the database are hashed with MD5 (128 bits) and we use a random Salt encrypted with SHA1 (160 bits) to create a hashed password.

Is customer data encrypted in production? In backup? If yes, who has access to the keys?

Data is encrypted in transfer and access to the service is governed by strict password security policies. Only selected employees have access to the keys. These employees receive special training and are selected based on the roles required for SolarWinds Service Desk to provide the service. Furthermore, data is also encrypted at rest using the industry-standard AES-256 algorithm. Backups are also encrypted using PGP.

How secure is the SolarWinds Service Desk Agent?

The SolarWinds Service Desk Agent operates like any other software that runs on your network and connects to a server via the Internet (e.g., antivirus software or Adobe Acrobat). The Agent helps guarantee that the system remains up to date without manual maintenance.

The Agent connects to the SolarWinds Service Desk server, and is designed so that communication is not initiated with other destinations. In addition, the Agent does not receive requests from any device or server, internal or external to your network – it only initiates requests. Furthermore, all data transport is encrypted using TLS 1.2. This approach helps ensure that no other service can exploit the Agent.

Does SolarWinds Service Desk provide support for HIPAA, and/or PCI compliant processes?

Yes. Please see our Trust & Transparency page for more information on HIPAA compliance.

Where are the data centers used to provide the Service located?

SolarWinds Service Desk is hosted with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the United States and in Ireland in the European Union.

How frequently are data centers tested for compliance?

Please see more information on our data center security.

Do you measure the performance and effectiveness of your contracted data centers?

Yes, we monitor performance and effectiveness of our data centers on a regular basis. Please see our system status page.

Customer Responsibilities

What configuration or usage instructions must the customer follow to help ensure data security and Service performance?

Please see our Master Service Agreement for complete information on customer responsibilities.

Support

What level of technical support is included with the service, including business hours and expected response & resolution times?

Please see our Customer Support Policy.

Are there any additional support levels available for subscription?

Yes, subject to additional terms and conditions. Please contact your Account Manager for further details.

Will an account representative be assigned to my account?

Depending on your level of service subscription, you may be assigned a dedicated Customer Success Manager. All SolarWinds Service Desk customers have free access to resources such as tips and tricks, new feature and user guides, and the SolarWinds Service Desk Community.

Service Level

Can you provide Service availability statistics for the past 12 months?

Yes. Please see our system status page.

Communication Service Changes & Availability

Through what mechanism(s) are service enhancements or bug fixes introduced into production?

We publish all new features and service enhancements in our Customer Community.

How will customers be notified about changes to the production Service?

Customers can subscribe to our system status page to get notified of known issues, and participate in the Customer Community for notifications on new service capabilities.

What is the process that customers should follow if a production modification has a negative impact on customer data or configuration?

Please contact SolarWinds Service Desk Support ASAP and the issue will be escalated.

How do you communicate to customers about service maintenance or disruptions?

Customers can subscribe to our system status page to receive updates. Any planned events will be communicated via email ahead of time.

Integration

Does your service provide an API accessible by customers?

Yes. We support RESTful access to the entire service. View our full API documentation here. Examples and use cases for using the API can be found in the customer community. We recommend using “curl” for developing and testing out the various features that the API offers. Another online option to curl is “hurl.”

What is the API security model if it differs from the standard interface?

The API supports user/password as well as HTTP digest authentication. Please see API documentation here.

What limitations are imposed on the API (number of transactions, CRUD restrictions, inaccessible objects, etc.)?

Customers may not use the API in a manner, as reasonably determined by SolarWinds Service Desk, that exceeds reasonable request volume or constitutes excessive or abusive usage. If any of these occur, SolarWinds Service Desk can suspend or terminate Customer’s access to the API on a temporary or permanent basis. See our Master Service Agreement for more information.

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