SolarWinds NPM Customer Review
Collin Lichtenberger | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated July 20, 2020

SolarWinds NPM Customer Review

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

It's being used across our whole organization. It allows us to use one pane of glass to see both Network and Server issues across our organization. This is important to allow our NOC to watch many systems/interdependencies without watching multiple systems. It also allows us to keep recent configurations of our network gear, for survivability.
  • 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.
We haven't used NetPath. We purchased NPM a very long time ago, before NetPath was implemented/integrated. Because of that we have never understood how NetPath can help us, nor had the impetus to do so.
We very much benefit from these tools to help us identify if a particular device or link is being overworked or underutilized. NPM does a fairly good job looking at our Cisco and Juniper infrastructure. However, we also have Palo Alto Firewalls and I have seen NPM fail to report accurate CPU utilization for this platform. I would love to see strength added to strength to improve PA reporting.
To my knowledge we have created one complex alert function, and that is to report when a particular links' utilization drops to 0. This link never goes "down" at the physical interface, but our Carrier may have an outage downstream that cause this particular link to "drop". By creating this report which measures utilization we are still able to track and report on connectivity issues in a complex environment.
  • SolarWinds has definitely helped us find a platform for all of our reporting. Not just network, but also servers and other infrastructure. This is very valuable to our NOC which watches all of the infrastructure.
  • The modular architecture with multiple polling engines, allows us to keep pollers in different locations and also to offer services to the entire university system and not just a single campus.
A long time ago we used WhatsUpGold and Nagios. It has been quite a long time since we evaluated and picked SolarWinds. At the time though, it was a very polished and professional product compared to other offerings. I have not recently evaluated other offerings to see if that still holds true though in comparison. I also know that many vendors like to "package" monitoring in with the rest of their "features" (like Cisco Prime) but they fail to be a single pane of glass for monitoring all our hardware.
It does basic ping and SNMP monitoring fairly well, but again I would very much like to see the robustness of the system improved. We far too often have to call support because the application is running slowly. This is my biggest complaint. Besides this, I see SolarWinds NPM doing very well in a campus environment. I do not believe it is well suited for monitoring cloud applications at this time, though.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
Not Rated
Network monitoring
10
Baseline threshold calculation
9
Alerts
7
Network capacity planning
7
Packet capture analysis
Not Rated
Network mapping
Not Rated
Customizable reports
6
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
Not Rated
Hardware health monitoring
10

Using SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

20 - Network and Server Administrators
2 - System Admins, with VMWare, Windows, and Database knowledge, also Network personnel familiar with monitoring technologies (SNMP, ICMP, etc)
  • Palo Alto Monitoring for VPN Tunnel State
  • Configuration Backups with NCM
  • Historic Interface Usage Graphs
  • Unknown, while NPM offers many features, often times the slowness of the service makes it feel prohibitive to use.
Due to Institutional Momentum, our executives 'trust' NPM, and have historically liked the graphs provided.

Using SolarWinds NPM

ProsCons
Familiar
Do not like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
  • NCM
  • Graphs/Interface Monitors
  • Viewing Maps for Outage Status
  • Everything, system is inconsistent and often slow.
Yes - I can use my phone to login and look at status, but I don't feel that the mobile interface is particularly streamlined in any form or fashion.