"I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that pesky SolarWinds NTA!" -- The person using all your bandwidth
June 27, 2019

"I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that pesky SolarWinds NTA!" -- The person using all your bandwidth

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer

Even in the age of seemingly limitless bandwidth, someone will always ask "Who is using all bandwidth?!?" Whether it is the sys admins downloading a new ISO image or the folks in shipping streaming Netflix in 4K (again!), finding out where your bandwidth is being allocated is more than just looking at interface utilization.

Primarily used by our network management team, NTA gave valuable insights into the profile of our data. We would often use the tool to help isolate traffic patterns between our data centers and critical facilities. Even when "just" watching our primary interface performance, we often found actionable intel that empowered business decisions.
  • Visibility into the profile of your network traffic, not just the volume of traffic.
  • Supports sFlow, jFlow, Netflow support
  • IPV6 support
  • Leverage Palo Alto visibility in NTA
  • The UI can be a bit clunky -- but that's compared to the other products in the Orion suite. Most vendor tools are atrocious!
  • NTA data is a beast. Not running SQL 2016 with support for in-memory OLTP? You can't use the latest version (4.6)
  • If you are running an environment of any size, you will need separate instances of SQL *or* a hefty server to support a shared SQL instance
  • Be prepared to answer lots of questions. When people see the data in NTA they are going to want to know why App A is talking to App B. Be ready to explain!
  • Hand the keys to the NTA kingdom to the network team. They will thank you. Everyone wants to have friends on the network team, right?
  • Be prepared to invest in some significant compute and storage performance to keep up with your NTA monitoring
  • Running the latest firmware for your network gear is (often) required to take advantage of all the flow-monitoring. You upgrade regularly, right??
The only product that was any real competition was ThousandEyes. I've used WUG in the past and wasn't impressed. With a significant investment into the Orion platform, leverage NTA data inside of our current environment made perfect sense. ThousandEyes offers some impressive features, but the price point was significantly higher than NTA and we could not make a financial argument for it.

ProTip: SolarWinds NPM includes probes that do hop-based latency monitoring called NetPath. ThousandEyes has similar probes -- but the probes from NPM are free whereas ThousandEyes charges (charged?) for them.
Building visibility into your network environment is key. Have Juniper, Cisco, or Huawei NetStream devices? Need to support a variety of flow protocols? What about Netflow v5 and v9? Network team harassing you about NBAR2 because "We encrypt our traffic!" or "We use non-standard ports for our applications!!" (silly security engineers)? Then NTA is the product for you.

Honestly, if you need to pull back the curtain on network performance, putting NPM and NTA together is a beautiful and effective combination.

SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA) Feature Ratings