Solarwinds NPM is Great!
October 11, 2018
Solarwinds NPM is Great!
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
We use Solarwinds NPM within the Information Technology department as a way to identify highly utilized ports and devices, along with tracking down end-user device usage, and the possibility of end-users abusing service such as music streaming, video streaming, social media in general, etc. It has allowed us to troubleshoot, enforce policies, and complete capacity planning for the company.
- 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.
My organization has not yet utilized NetPath in a detailed manner, but we are excited to try the functionality. So far we have Google added, but have not yet found an issue or added other paths to be able to test, alert, etc. Looking forward to testing out this functionality soon!
We unfortunately do not currently have any compatible devices that work fully with Network Insights, so we are not able to utilize this feature.
The alerting with NPM has been a boon when it comes to issues and response. I have used it for hardware alerting, device connectivity, high usage, and many other purposes. The built-in alerts are decent enough to copy off and modify as needed, as I have used HTML to modify the alerts while using the built-in variables to present the information in a useful and legible manner.
- NPM has had a positive ROI in helping with troubleshooting when a device has gone down, or is having hardware issues. The functionality of the NPM module has drastically shortened troubleshooting and repair times for hardware failures.
- I have also been able to identify end-users that have been using more bandwidth than roughly 70% of the rest of our company during a time period when multiple end users at multiple locations were complaining of slowness and response issues.
Solarwinds NPM has some of the highest level of integration, and worked with what we had already deployed for monitoring. We didn't have to modify device configurations prior to deployment, as they had already contained the entries within their configurations to allow the level of monitoring, alerting, etc. that were necessary for our purposes.
NPM is great in environments that have a lot of interconnected devices and/or sites. An MPLS network is a great example, as it allows us to view, monitor, troubleshoot, and improve the network and its connectivity between disparate sites. It wouldn't be a great value-add for non-local sites, or very small organizations that have one or two switches and/or routers. It also doesn't work extremely well with Cisco Meraki, as the access provided by Meraki to those devices doesn't allow for network heat maps, or similar.