Likelihood to Recommend
All network administrators would be able to find a use for this tool in their environment. It allows people from outside of the networking industry to capture data required for a quick diagnosis. Things that typically would require me to be onsite for diagnosis can now be handed to Tier 1 techs for data collection and reporting. Since moving toward cable certification, we've experienced an almost unbelievably low level of cable failure. When it does happen, though, there is no guessing. Our Fluke units tell us what the problem is and where.
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If your IT team isn't proficient in automation and scripting, Solarwinds NCM can fill that gap (assuming your company's security team signs off on approving SW in your environment given the hack.) Basic device configuration, pushing mass changes reliably and backups are NCM's strong suites. If you have a complex scenario where if/then cases are needed, NCM is a bit lack luster. Auto discovery isn't as easy either as certain parameters need to be met for that feature to work 100% of the time
Read full review Pros Identify the exact switchport a given line is plugged in to. View the length and viability of any category or fiber optic cable. It acts as a premade packet capture device, simple enough to walk someone through deploying while I'm offsite. In the event LLDP based identification of a port fails, it has the ability to blink a switchport allowing for manual identification. Read full review Integrates with Network Performance Management for Alerting and Reporting. NetPath and detects issues due to Configuration Change. Keeps a record of which user made the change. Which devices are not being backed up, devices where backups are failing, dashboard and alerting available. Read full review Cons Price. There is no other device on the market with the AT's feature set. Fluke knows it and charges accordingly. The addition of bluetooth or a USB slot for a keyboard would be handy for certain functions. The PC based remote connection process is old, and is one of the places where the OS shows it's age. Read full review For our use case, it does everything great and some of the features we underutilize but I would like to be able to set a configuration baseline when initially adding a node instead of after the configuration is pulled but it's not a particularly big deal to let it pull the configuration then set it as the baseline. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
Medium complexity to set up in the beginning if using any non-standard devices or configurations, else fairly easy (e.g. Cisco Nexus or IOS-based devices). Reports are fairly straightforward to set up. Updates to the platform are fairly straightforward and don't take a major effort. Easy to add or remove devices.
Read full review Usability
The user interface is lacking. It is difficult to navigate at times and things can be done multiple ways. Quite often I am confused by how their notification structure works. It is not very intuitive. They do offer a free Academy. They also offer a community of other technical folks. I have enjoyed both.
Read full review Support Rating
To be fair, I have not had to involve Support in a number of years, but when I did, I was greeted with enthusiastic engineers who wanted to understand and solve the issue. It was a fairly complex scenario and I have discovered in my most recent implementation that engineering included that option as a standard now.
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Solarwinds has actually produced new training since I last used it that is available on their site at any time. Their previous training was more than enough to get us started but now there is significantly more content. Since I'm comfortable with the Orion platform and the products we use I haven't checked the new training out yet but we have new staff go through portions of that training and they always come away with an understanding of the platform and ready to use it
Read full review Implementation Rating
it was a fairly easy implementation and everything was pretty straightforward. only challenge we had was getting all the snmp communities updated on the networking equipment
Read full review Alternatives Considered
There is little to no competition in this field. If you need to do any type of advanced network monitoring/identification (or use 10G) then you're going to own a Fluke. While Ideal does have a couple of devices that appear to be the closest competitor, the differences are still extremely evident.
Read full review Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
is a great tool and matches much of the functionality of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager. Nothing about
will likely be overwhelming to an engineer with a little time to spare, but that spare time combined with SolarWinds already being our monitoring tool made the decision easy. Time is at a premium in small teams and SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is very easy to use right out of the box without all the tweaking required by powerful command line driven tools like
Read full review Return on Investment Drastic decrease in diagnosis time. The certainty coming from the diagnostic process with the Fluke leads to less guessing and quicker fixes. With multiple departments involved in the process of connecting devices to the network, the Fluke helps us to quickly certify a switch closet worth of cable and create error free documentation. Read full review The time savings from automatic daily backups is significant The compare configuration tool is super helpful at spotting errors when small changes occur that are hard to detect otherwise. The compliance check tool saves countless hours going through configurations for errors. Read full review ScreenShots SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) Screenshots