- I think the shining example that sets SolarWinds apart from the rest is the approach it takes with SNMP. I have served in the Managed Service field and monitored devices for over twelve years and SolarWinds SNMP monitoring design is bar-none the best I have used.
- I appreciate how different aspects of NPM flow togeher. An example of this is when you monitor a wireless controller and how it will automatically populate all of your access points along with statistics into the system. Using this feature along with the Network Traffic Analyzer has been a powerful troubleshooting tool.
- The user community is a large part of the success of NPM. SolarWinds provides a forum that allows others to share their successes and discoveries with others. It is both friendly and professional and has been a major help to me.
- I'm not a big fan of the licensing model which can quickly become bloated as your consider adding additional modules. It would make sense to me to cover device counts in your maintenance contract and then simple pay a straight fee for your modules.
- Getting assistance for setting up monitoring templates is primary found through the user community (especially for unique devices). I would love to see a section in thwack that has a more organized approach to monitoring scripts that are organized by device (perhaps even company).
- Make all functions required for monitoring templates available through the web GUI. Having to configure use the Universal Device Poller for configuring SNMP templates is a nuisance.
- IPAM - helps effective provide history of IP addresses in your organization for audit purposes as well as alerting due to IP address conflicts.
- NCM- effectively being able to configure multiple network devices from a single management point has become a valuable asset
- SAM - Application and Hardware Monitoring is so granular that customization amongst various hardware and software's have been made easy using SAM. Examples: monitoring UPS Battery Life span and Remaining Battery load for multiple UPS across a WAN gives you insight of your backup power situation that can be addressed before it becomes a problem.
- I feel a little more granularity in user permissions for all modules would be an improvement. Give one user a certain right that another user should not have. Right now for the majority, its user or admin...with nothing in between for most modules.
- Customizable views per user, not globally.
May not be as suitable for smaller organizations as the smaller module subscriptions may still be more expensive than an organization would need for several modules.
- NetPath services are a godsend when you are trying to explain to ISPs, etc. about where traffic is congested or stopping. Sometimes seeing is believing for them.
- The other BIG deal is anticipating disk capacity - when volumes get to full, servers crash. With NPM, we can and create set thresholds for warning us before we run into issues, and then we can add storage, memory, and CPU, (especially on our Virtual environment.)
- Alerts are great - instead of hearing from our users that a server is offline, we are aware of it right away.
- It would be nice to be able to set up SNMP3 for some of our systems in an easier fashion. But it is not a show stopper.
- Sometimes the support refers us to the Knowledge base and Thwack. Not a huge deal, but I only end up putting in a ticket when I have spent a great deal of time searching for a solution.
- The event log in NPM is quite detailed in explaining what take place and at what time. It also allows you to click on the event so you are able to see the exact node which has been affected.
- NPM also does a great job in constructing visual charts from the SQL database. Once these charts have been created you are able to search for a particular date and time to see what took place on the network, such as how much traffic was sent and received, and utilization of the interfaces being monitored.
- The dashboard gives a nice overview of what's happening on the network. It is also customizable which allows you to remove and/or add any information that you want to see right away.
- One of my main issues with SolarWinds NPM is the fact that it only supports Microsoft's SQL Database. Since there are open source alternatives, this adds to the overall cost of ownership.
- I feel that the amount of server resources it requires is quite taxing. This can be a make a break for smaller organizations who have limited resources.
- The GUI is needing a major overhaul as it's becoming a bit dated to look at and could use an update.
- The web interface is completely customizable. Each member of the IT team uses a view that suits them. The sysadmins use a view that focuses on VMware while my view focuses on network switches and traffic.
- The alerting on NPM is excellent and easy to configure. We even created an alert for a device that is supposed to remain disconnected from the network. The possibilities are endless.
- We have created device pollers combined with custom metering for each Smart UPS on campus. When a building suffers a power outage this poller allows us to inform management how much time is left before the building loses VoIP and WiFi services.
- NPM can work in conjunction with their Network Engineer toolset. But only a few of the tools are available to use this way. If the integration was completed then SolarWinds would have a real winner.
- Easy templates can be made to train everyone on adding and managing nodes.
- Reporting Reporting Reporting
- Constant upgrades to features to keep up with the changing times.
- Better email controls. Right now we can do everything to control different groups getting emails but it could be easier.
- NTA needs to be part of NPM they should not be separate products.
- Filtering/searching options on syslogs and alerts.
- Easy to Navigate Interface - The user interface is laid out very clearly and it is intuitive to navigate.
- Highly Customizable Alerts - You have the ability to fine-tune alerts to meet your needs.
- Detailed Graphs and Reports - NPM does a great job of translating raw analytical data in to easy to read graphs and reports.
- Ability to Monitor a Wide Range of Devices - There are built in MIBs for a wide range of device vendors and you have the Ability to configure more.
- Creation of Custom Charts and Reports - Charts and graphs can take a little time to tweak to get the data that's relevant to you. Creating custom reports also isn't intuitive however the SolarWinds support is great at assisting you when needed.
- Licensing Model - You definitely need a good knowledge of what you're trying to see. Licensing is based on the number of elements being monitored (devices and interfaces). This can get costly so you want to have a good understanding of what areas you wish to target if Cost is an issue in your organization.
- No Real Integration with SD WAN Tools - Solarwinds NPM allows you to link with SD WAN APIs but due to API limitations, you only get surface level info. I would like to see them partner with some popular SD WAN vendors.
- Network Atlas - this is the software you use to upload maps into the system. Currently, its a standalone piece of software on the server. I would like to see this integrated into the online console.
- It pulls SNMP data well, in particular it allows us to capture port level information with a decent amount of historical data. This is true for user ports or trunk ports.
- It does a good job of keeping an up-to-date stable of configurations. This is invaluable for recovery operations.
- Syslog collector is also very useful to again correlate performance data against what errors the box itself is processing.
- I would like to see the robustness of the database and pollers improved. It seems like we often need to do system upkeep or the application seems to grind along very slowly.
- I would also like to see an improved method for auto-provisioning of server monitoring tools.
- I would also like to be able to update maps/drawings directly from the web interface without having to use a separate Windows client.
- Easy to navigate UI while still providing powerful monitoring features.
- Wide range of features to monitor just about any network/service.
- Configurable (eye candy) reporting for upper management.
- alerting features are very good for just about of any type of alerting you need
- With many services moving to the cloud monitoring can be a challenge depending on your cloud deployments.
- Pricey but much less work to do than open source / free tools.
- If not configured to its full potential or to your organization's needs it can appear to be useless for it's price.
- Alarms in a device can only be acknowledged individually and not on a incident affected basis.
- For newer devices/platforms you have to customize pollers as the built-in pollers may report incorrect data.
It address the strong need for a stable and quick network for our Enterprise Services (Proprietary applications created to service Glidewell needs).
- Summarized network statistics in easy to use out-of-the-box graphs
- Quick and very pretty presentation-quality graph via "PerfStack". A quick-fire comparison graph solution provided only with SolarWinds products.
- Most tools are pre-scripted and work well in most environments. Easier for entry-level positions to learn. No learning to script needed to start.
- Since it summarizes most of the details, it lacks any real-time functionality. If a user complains of network slowness, you'll have to use either a separate tool to drill down in real time after the fact and hope it replicates or if the network issues are quick and intermittent, it will be missed by SW unless you have super aggressive and almost unrealistic polling times (sub-minute) for the SolarWinds platform, particularly the polling engine
- Frequent crashes related to the Orion Platform.
- Some features are released without optimization or cause severe platform issues and ultimately end up being disabled until patched later.
- Updates tend to be on the slow side when it comes to APIs for new technology. Examples: Meraki, Nexus OS(SD-WAN), etc.
VoIP data only accessible through a separate module, most other networking monitoring providers have it included. Even at that, the separate module is half-baked. Most of the information is not useful and is just an expensive archive of said data.
- A great way to map your whole network to be able to pinpoint the device causing the problem.
- Tracking hardware errors has never been easier, we get alerted the second a redundant power supply fails and can replace it right away!
- Watching storage trends to be able to plan for how much more storage we will need for the next 5 years is amazingly simple.
- With so many features, it can be hard to use them all to their fullest potential, although the training videos help.
- Built-in event log will log every time an interface changes speed, so auto interfaces will sometimes cause bulky logs.
- The interface is really well-designed. It's pretty intuitive and easy to work with.
- I like the map editor. It works well in creating maps and having an overall view of your sites.
- I like the customization of the pages where you can change the layouts.
- I don't like building reports. It seems bulky to find what I'm looking for when browsing for different objects.
- I found it impossible to create a custom SNMP check. It may be due to my lack of knowledge, but it was difficult and SolarWinds was no help.
- NPM provides detailed information like availability, health, performance monitoring, and bandwidth analysis.
- NPM is a very useful tool for performing network discovery.
- NPM's reporting capabilities offers pretty good granularity.
- Speed of the application
- Ease of grouping business application infrastructure together
- End to end business application performance monitoring
- Allows for monitoring of network traffic and utilization.
- Customized alerts and notifications.
- Allows you to inventory all devices on the network.
- It can be difficult to set up initially.
- Better initial documentation and on boarding would be very useful.
- Helps us to monitor our infrastructure in an easy to view customizable console
- PERFSTACK! This feature is extremely critical to troubleshooting problems
- Plays nice with others - Nexus, ASA & F5
- Filtering/searching options on syslogs and alerts.
- Licensing Model - You need a good knowledge of what you're trying to see. Licensing is based on the number of elements being monitored (devices and interfaces). It can get costly so you want to have a good understanding of what areas you wish to target if Cost is an issue in your organization.
- Speed. It can be slow when there are lots of devices monitored.
- Great for reporting (email notification) up/down status of network devices.
- Great to see status of stack ports in case 1 switch in a stack is down.
- It is critical to see bandwidth usage and NPM does it well.
- Not really anything. It does what we need.
- SNMP polling. It has a tremendous database of almost any device you can think of available.
- Wireless monitoring. It can pull all our meraki and Aruba info in to the same panel as all our other switch gear.
- Space Monitoring. It keeps tabs on all the space available across all our devices.
- Speed. It can be slow when there are lots of devices monitored.
- Cloud aware. It does have ties to the cloud, but lacks a lot in this space.
- Database. It would be nice if it ran on something other then SQL server. It can get costly given the SQL requirement.
- Finding which sites uses the most traffic, what type of traffic and where they are traversing to and from.
- The GUI interface is relatively intuitive and easy to customize.
- The integration to the Orion Platform is good, kind of a one-stop shop.
- The licensing model can become expensive, because they are based on port count.
- We find the best bang for the buck to put them on the uplink interfaces.
- Sometime the GUI gets too into the weeds from the default config. You have to modify to see what you want to see. Needs are different for each company.
- NPM-friendly GUI with robust out of the box SNMP statistics collection.
- NCM Router Configurations Management.
- Netflow - long data retention periods.
- SolarWinds is too dependent on the Microsoft operating system. Patches and updates easily breaks the SolarWinds application. Appliance based model may work better.
- Upgrades are painful and becomes almost a 24 hour marathon in our large scale installation.
- Support time for high urgent severity crash is slow. It seems like it's more dependent of when we call in as oppose to what the actual severity level of the ticket opened is.
- Showing the top-10 talkers is extremely helpful when hunting down bandwidth issues and hogs on the corporate network. This has assisted in resolving connection issues for many locations at once.
- Interfaces with high percent utilization has been a very large help with a NOC view that I have built, along with identifying devices that may be misbehaving (e.g. completing a backup outside of the schedule), along with end-user network usage.
- The switch stack view showing errors, discards, and usage also helps in troubleshooting network issues and improving performance via hunting down issues prior to end-users experiencing loss in performance and/or connectivity.
- Getting to a map involving a device can be a bit cumbersome, as you have to go into the device's page itself to pull up a map. Being able to go into a map section and look up a device would be a great help; just an idea for an improvement.
- Easy to use/deploy
- Supports a wide variety of devices from an SNMP MIB perspective
- Has some customizable features for each device
- Integration with AD
- It's bloated from a software standpoint, the installs are huge.
- Performance can be sluggish at times.
- No way to install MIBs yourself at this time, so if they don't support it you have to submit it, wait, and hope they add it.
- The scales of graphs and reports are usually not great by default; it requires some tweaking.
- Pricing and sales teams are always changing.
- NPM does a great job of alerting us to outages, latency, connectivity issues etc...
- NPM provides historical data for monitored devices to the port level.
- NPM provides our customers (we are an MSP) with real-time network information for their environment.
- NPM is ideal for installations where systems are monitored on a local LAN. If you are monitoring over a WAN connection a lot of false positives can be generated based on latency and outages unrelated to the monitored environment.
- The cost to add additional NPM polling engines is high in my opinion. If I could I would have a polling engine local to each LAN but it is cost prohibitive.
- Upgrades of NPM in our case have presented some challenged, likely due to the age of our installation. Solarwinds tech support has been helpful in recommending an upgrade path forward.
- Provides a single source for monitoring, managing, troubleshooting, and backup.
- Supports a wide range of vendors and equipment.
- Can be as simple or as detailed as you want to configure it.
- Licensing could be more straightforward. It seems like there are too many separate products.
- Once you start making use of a lot of features it gets more complicated to manage.
- Server/SQL requirements increase quickly as you scale up.
- Network Mapping. The Network map is an absolute must for any multi regional organization that requires a holistic view of how the networking SLAs are being met.
- Network Atlas should be a process added to the console instead of having to access it to build the maps on the servers.
- NPM polls devices consistently for status
- NPM gathers statistical data for logging
- NPM also has reporting and alerting features that aid in logging historical data and diagnosing issues
- NPM can be a bit hard to tame on resources in a large scaled environment
- NPM needs some finesse when running large scaled jobs/reports
- NPM could stand to be more efficient on the back end. It can be a hog.
SolarWinds NPM Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About SolarWinds NPM
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) delivers comprehensive network fault monitoring and performance management that scales and expands with your network monitoring needs. Users can collect and view availability, real-time and historical statistics from routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and any other SNMP-, ICMP-, or WMI-enabled devices directly from a web browser.
SolarWinds users can get a full NPM installation up and running the same day they download. Implementation does not require a team of consultants. NPM provides quick visibility into the health of network devices and servers on the network, ensuring that users have the real-time information they need to keep their network running at peak performance.
Network Performance Monitor helps IT Pros:
- Quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues and avoid downtime
- Respond to multiple condition checks, correlated events, and device dependencies
- Automatically calculate capacity exhaustion dates using customizable thresholds based on peak and average usage
- Streamline network troubleshooting with an easy-to-use Web interface
- View paths to critical business services hop-by-hop, even into the cloud, with the NetPath™ feature
- Get deeper visibility into complex network devices with Network Insight™ features for Cisco ASA firewalls, Cisco Nexus switches, and F5 BIG-IP load balancers
SolarWinds NPM Screenshots
SolarWinds NPM Video
SolarWinds NPM Downloadables
SolarWinds NPM Integrations
SolarWinds NPM Competitors
|SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SL100||$2,955||Up to 100 elements - License with 1st-year Maintenance|
|SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SL250||$6,720||Up to 250 elements - License with 1st-year Maintenance|
|SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SL500||$10,445||Up to 500 elements - License with 1st-year Maintenance|
|SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SL2000||$19,345||Up to 2000 elements - License with 1st-year Maintenance|
|SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SLX||$32,525||Unlimited elements - Standard Polling Throughput - License with 1st-year Maintenance|
SolarWinds NPM Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
SolarWinds NPM Technical Details
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Windows® Server 2016; SQL Server 2016 SQL Server 2016 SP1 SQL Server 2017 (including installations on Linux)|