The All Seeing Eye - Another Fantasic SolarWinds Product (NPM)
January 17, 2019

The All Seeing Eye - Another Fantasic SolarWinds Product (NPM)

Rob Bates | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

Previously we used Nagios XI to monitor our network. We were constrained by the basic and sometimes crude measurements and graphing of Nagios, and on top of this we were only able to actually monitor a selection of network equipment across our estate and the metrics were basic at that. After purchasing NPM, we're now able to obtain a wide variety of metrics out of the box with very little configuration needed. The level of customization of the checks built-in is second to none, and it's made a huge difference for the IT department and visibility of the estate.

Pros

  • The out of the box features and alerting makes getting NPM up and running incredibly easy.
  • The number of widgets available and customization to view aspects of network devices.
  • The ability to create a wide variety of NOC dashboard and views to suit the user base. The dashboard can be rotated on a timer, giving fantastic visibility.

Cons

  • One element we would like to see is a full stack view integration, which includes network devices within NPM. Currently, the stack view will only provide server, host and application stacks only.
  • We have UniFi wireless access points across our organization and at the time of writing this, support for them within Network Performance Monitor is currently not native and we have had to raise a feature request to get the MIBS included as a result, we cannot see the same metrics you would, for example, if you had Cisco APs
  • The initial cost of SolarWinds NPM is steep, and we had to take an SLX unlimited license model due to the size of our estate. However, the ROI in terms of improvement in what we can now see has been second to none. The renewal cost is also a fraction of the up front cost, which certainly takes the sting out of the front costs.
  • Impact wise, our IT department spends much less time digging around on the actual equipment. They can now view nearly every aspect of the equipment in one place.
Having been a user of Nagios XI for many years, we needed more visibility. Nagios is great if you have the time to develop it and write your own scripts. SolarWinds NPM has just about every metric check possible working out of the box, with no development time required, this made switching to NPM from Nagios the obvious solution.
We have also used PRTG and find its dashboard screens messy and not very clear. SolarWinds NPM screens are clutter free and because of customization, you can have exactly what you want to see.
Finally, having also used Site24x7, we found their equivalent product to be severely lacking in features, especially for an enterprise company. It lacked so much functionality compared to NPM that there wasn't even a conversation to be had when comparing the two.
NPM is a fantastic addition to any engineer's toolset, albeit pricey, though it is well worth the cost if you have the budget. For my organization, we're global and have users across the globe in different offices. SolarWinds NPM allows us to see exactly what all of the switch ports are doing and also allows us to pinpoint errors across the network, including bandwidth utilization. In all honesty, it is difficult to highlight any scenario where the tool would not be helpful.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
9
Network monitoring
9
Baseline threshold calculation
7
Alerts
10
Network capacity planning
8
Packet capture analysis
8
Network mapping
9
Customizable reports
10
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
6
Hardware health monitoring
10

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