Realize the Single-Pane-Of-Glass
June 30, 2021

Realize the Single-Pane-Of-Glass

Shahab Razak | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is our prime network management software for our NOC, Network Engineering & Operations. We use it twenty-four seven to manage F5 Load Balancers both in the cloud and on-premises, routers and switches, wireless infrastructure, firewall infrastructure, LAN and WAN, and all other network elements. SolarWinds is also our alerting tool (red, amber, green) threshold management and performance reporting.
  • Alerting
  • Reporting
  • Breadth of supported devices
  • Baseline management
  • Support for integrating network diagrams and maps
  • Better support to customize UI
  • Ability to create and maintain dynamic network maps in line within the UI
  • Network Automation
  • Centralized Configuration Management
  • Configuration backup and disaster recovery
  • Searchable configuration files across all platforms
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager and other SolarWinds modules have helped us provide a single approach to monitoring our hybrid environment by the software not caring whether the network element is cloud or multi-cloud based or physically on-premises hardware. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager manages cloud or multi-cloud network elements the same way an on-premise network element is managed. Therefore the management of the network element stays the same (configuration moves/add/changes).
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager has been highly effective in reducing repetitive tasks across our complex, multi-vendor networks. Network elements such as Cisco, HP, F5 BigIP, FortiGate, CheckPoint, Juniper, etc. are viewed and managed by the NOC through one single tool (one pane of glass). Configurations changes are automated and can be centralized and scheduled from a single tool.
We have benefited immensely from SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) by using automated network configuration tools to automate simple network changes across the board. For example, we needed to change the NTP server on all devices to a new time source IP address. This was a simple script in SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager and we scheduled it to run during the maintenance window so no one needed to be 'up for the rollout. This task was handled by one Engineer without the requirement for overtime. In the past, this would have taken several engineers to build out the change management for each network element and multiple weeks to fully implement.
  • Engineer's Toolset
  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
  • SolarWinds IP Address Manager
  • SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer
We use multiple SolarWinds portfolio products together and it provides us with a holistic view of our network. With the modules we run at the moment we have a handle on capacity planning and baselining and alerting of all our network elements. At this time, SolarWinds is our paramount NOC and Network Engineering tool. Although Server and Application Monitor will give us a complete end-to-end view of the network traffic, management chooses to keep NOC and Server Operations using separate tools.
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) was by far the easiest to implement and it just started working right out of the box. Within a few hours were we populating our config backup repository and soon after that, we were writing scripts to audit our configurations. With other vendors, we found the implementation a bit confusing and they took longer to run the POC.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (npm), Progress WhatsUp Gold (formerly Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold), Tufin Orchestration Suite, Site24x7 All-in-One Monitoring

Do you think SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)'s feature set?

Yes

Did SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) again?

Yes

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is an excellent tool to consolidate and version all your text-based configuration files for Routers, Switches, Load Balancers, Firewalls, etc. It handles the most popular vendors and you can keep a series of previous backups. SolarWinds Network Configuration manager allows for centralized and scheduled changes and full network automation. Configuration files can be bundled up and stored off-site for disaster recovery.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) Premier Support

SolarWinds Support has always been quick to respond and their staff are experts of their products. I usually get contacted the same day I open a ticket and they are always professional and knowledgeable about the product I am calling about. So far, they haven't let me down as yet.
When all hell was breaking loose about the SolarWinds vulnerability, my SolarWinds Premier Enterprise Designated Lead took the time to call me and verify (as he expected) that we were not at risk of the recent exploit as we don't use the product in that infrastructure configuration. His call was timely as we needed to let the rest of the organization that we are not vulnerable to this particular exploit.

ROI

9-12 hours time saved per person per week - We now longer have to log in to devices anymore to check configuration as the latest config files are now in the SolarWinds database. We can run query across several hundred devices at once in a matter of minutes where as in the past it would have taken several days to log in to the device, dump the configuration, analyze the configuration. We can now also automate and schedule config changes and push them out to the devices.
4-6 - We have migrated off of the following tools in favor of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM):
- What's UP Gold, Cisco Prime, KiwiTools, Splunk
3 or more points - Our NOC is able to respond to variances on the network before the first call comes in. They are intelligently eliminating the "network as the root cause" confidently and is able to guide the troubleshooting team and quick-fix engineering to the area of the infrastructure they should be concentrating on.
Yes - SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) replaced Cisco Prime and proved to be more cost effective and we realized ROI within the first year. Migration from Cisco Prime to SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) was painless and straight forward. We just added NCM as another SNMP target and everything started populating dynamically.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
Prior Experience with the Product was the single most important factor in our decision because we knew what the product was capable of and what we needed to measure the other candidates against. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) was by far the easiest to customize and operate and the UI made it easy to find what you are looking for.
More compliance reporting is needed 'out of the box' such as PCI DSS, NIST, SOX, GDPR, FISMA and FedRAMP. At this point, we utilize TUFIN for these compliance reports. SolarWinds NCM has the flexibility for us to customize scripts and reports to do this, but we find it cumbersome at the moment.
We have certainly reduced the number of security incidents by having a standard base configuration template that is applied to all network elements and we audit against the base every night. Having a centralized view of the configurations and the ability to run custom scripts and commands from a centralized source, NCM, has reduced the time to resolution immensely because time is saved by not having to log in to each device, run commands, take the output for analysis, then repeat for the number of devices necessary.
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) has reduced the mean time to resolution just by not having to log in to each device, run commands, take the output for analysis, then repeat for the number of devices necessary. We can then automate configuration changes (if necessary) and schedule them to execute during a maintenance window.