SolarWinds NPM - Hot or Not?
September 05, 2019

SolarWinds NPM - Hot or Not?

Nicholas Drexel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

I am currently in development between multiple teams across IT. I implement real time monitoring systems for Wireless, LAN topology, and an alerting system that integrates for both the server team, help desk team, and the networking teams. It currently monitors the physical network, maintains an IP addressing summary, and integrates with vcenter and vsphere.
  • Its web API is easy to use and pretty intuitive
  • The customer support has been pretty decent whenever I have needed to go through them
  • It has its own database gui that is easy to see and use in order to create custom queries
  • Its real-time topology mapper and "Network Atlas" is being moved to a less functional web-based real time monitoring system that is not intuitive and doesnt support integration with real time monitoring of vcenter devices.
  • Its pay per node price scale makes expanding your network less attractive.
  • It doesn't support every vendor of networking equipment and in such a case requires extensive knowledge of OIDs and the SQL backend in order to implement the necessary monitoring nodes
  • vCenter integration is very basic and needs improvement and customization options available to it that the rest of the program has
  • the view based pages are incredibly difficult to set up in any sort of hierarchical sense. And getting menu customization to navigate through the pages is a pain in the butt.
  • It has allowed us to streamline the learning and documentation for new hires exponentially
  • It has allowed us to proactively act on custom thresholds for errored links in order to prevent hard down situations due to fiber breaks
  • It has allowed us to maintain the IP standard across the entire network with the ease of use of its IPAM database and network discovery
IBM was not as intuitive and required a development team to get that system running in a state that functioned for the tier 1 ISP. The lightweight coding allowed for hundreds of thousands of nodes to be monitored though (I believe it was upwards of 500k nodes)
Remedy was great when integrated with the remedy ticketing system allowing for real time monitoring of network maps for cellular sites and plotting customer locations.

In general SolarWinds provides a more overall, encompassing, and less customizable tool that can perform with whatever your company's needs are. It may not always be the best solution, but there will generally be a solution available to you. I have only briefly evaluated Plixer, but it did look attractive as it used Rest APIs which would vastly improve the customizability to SolarWinds
If you don't know exactly what you need to monitor and if you just need something to hold your hand, it does a great job for entry level network performance monitoring. It is by far not a very customizable option as the restrictions in the programming itself, as well as the lack of updates (OIDs) for an ever changing industry mean that you will need to get into your own customization sooner rather than later, which it does not excel at.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

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