Observium - Great NMS capability at a low (or free) price point
Derek Dolan | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 28, 2019

Observium - Great NMS capability at a low (or free) price point

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Observium

We utilize Observium within the IT department primarily to record and present performance data on a wide variety of devices across our network. It fills a gap between no statistics and expensive (and sometimes cumbersome) COTS products that do roughly the same task.
  • Observium produces simple, attractive and clean performance graphs. Expensive commercial products either do this about as well as Observium, or much, much worse.
  • Observium does a good job of discovering your network via SNMP/CDP/LLDP. Provided your network is set up properly and the software has the correct settings, it can do this very quickly and very well.
  • Observium provides immediately actionable data, on a LARGE swath of products in the field. In 4+ years using the product, I've found maybe 2-3 products that didn't work "out of the box" for data collection. This is way better than any commercial product I've used.
  • The documentation needs help. This product, like many other IT products, likes to skip the "101" stuff, assuming that you just inherently know how to do something, and the documentation is just for reference.
  • I have not been able to rely on the alerting engine as our primary way of knowing if devices are up or down. I'm sure that's just as much my fault as the software, but this is one area where commercial products tend to shine in comparison.
  • The autodiscovery of VMware virtual machines does not work properly if the ESX-level name of the VM doesn't match the VM's hostname. FileServer234 will be discovered, but "Server234 - File and Print" will not.
  • We still have devices on our network that Observium had no trouble dealing with, but our expensive commercial NMS can't figure out what to do with the data or how to present it. It's worth the $200/year subscription just for that.
  • It provides a sanity check against our commercial NMS. There have been numerous times where we've seriously questioned what Solarwinds was reporting, and were able to either show it was right or wrong by comparing to Observium.
  • I tend to think "Observium can probably do that" a lot more than I do about any of our other tools.
Observium is easier to use and "prettier" than most of the other open source tools out there. It's also significantly cheaper than most of the mid-range NMS products out there, and several orders of magnitude cheaper than the big boys. It tends to be my go-to NMS for these reasons, even when budget isn't a huge concern.
It's open source. Your mileage may vary. Sometimes the provided documentation is beyond frustrating, other times it's right on the mark.

Do you think Observium delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Observium's feature set?

Yes

Did Observium live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Observium go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Observium again?

Yes

  • If you are on a budget, this is one heck of a tool for the price (including the ~$200/year for the Pro subscription).
  • If you are OK with maintaining and updating open source tools, this is a great tool.
  • If you are afraid of the Linux command line or live in a Windows-centric world, this might not be the tool for you.
  • If you can't stand things occasionally not working, this is probably not a good fit.