SolarWinds NPM Review -- A large school board environment
April 20, 2019

SolarWinds NPM Review -- A large school board environment

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

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

The IT Department uses SolarWinds NPM to monitor the status of our school board's network infrastructure and servers across 200+ schools and datacenters, and rapidly responds to any system outages which affect programme delivery to staff and students. Primary users of this system are the IT department.

Pros

  • Provides great summary views of the network and system status, including a good selection of 'Top 10' summaries for easy review of developing or current issues.
  • Allows for good segmentation by site and type of site for more granular views.
  • Excellent log history, allowing for the discovery of previous issues to determine if the device or site has had similar problems in the past.

Cons

  • Adding devices for monitoring requires real-time discovery. If the device isn't available, it can't be manually added to NPM, which makes it difficult to monitor equipment deployed to a remote site as soon as it is connected.
  • It can be difficult to create monitoring, especially for some proprietary devices requiring custom SNMP MIBs that don't use the public branch of the SNMP tree. We have found this a barrier to monitoring many IP cameras that we would prefer to monitor centrally.
  • NPM has allowed us to respond more rapidly to address developing issues and occasional equipment failures, minimizing downtime for teachers and students.
  • NPM's detailed logs have allowed us to retrieve information and gain insights into problem areas on our network, allowing us to more proactively improve them before they significantly affect our users.
We previously migrated from Nagios, which we were using primarily as a network monitoring solution, and Cisco Prime (running in parallel for more detailed information from our Cisco switches). We ended up selecting NPM as a replacement solution due to the ease of administration and overall breadth of device support at the time for network monitoring, and for its ability to monitor non-Cisco equipment and servers.
SolarWinds NPM is well suited for large, multi-site organizations requiring ongoing 24/7 network and datacentre monitoring in a single application. It does have some difficulty with smaller devices with customized firmware, like IP cameras and other IOT-type devices that may be deployed across an organization.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
8
Network monitoring
9
Baseline threshold calculation
Not Rated
Alerts
9
Network capacity planning
Not Rated
Packet capture analysis
8
Network mapping
8
Customizable reports
Not Rated
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
Not Rated
Hardware health monitoring
8

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