SolarWinds NPM: It's never too late to make the right decision for your network.
Updated January 29, 2020

SolarWinds NPM: It's never too late to make the right decision for your network.

Jennifer Aguilar | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor

I am responsible for the network, security, performance and overall data network for my organization. I have used NPM to achieve several objectives, along with overall daily performance monitoring. When I first implemented it 7 years ago, we had multiple encrypted tunnels running over T1's which degraded the performance for the end-users. I used SolarWinds NPM to draw a baseline (in red), which eventually went away with a better-configured piece of hardware.

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor points our discrepancies; I feel like NPM is my left hand at work. it has definitely paid for itself many times over. It allows you to take baselines and look at performance in real-time and historically. I find hardware that is going to fail before it fails due to the statistics. The saying, you get what you pay for? You get more with NPM! I will say, you get out of the tool what you put into it! I have a standard for every device so it is very easy to see anomalies on the NOC!
  • Every network has a notorious piece of equipment that runs outside of normal thresholds! You can set up individual thresholds for alert notification. It is very important to find the right balance of notifications from your monitoring tools. You can tweak NPM or run with the defaults. I run the defaults until hardware indicates that it needs individual configuration.
  • You can add nodes individually or in bulk. You can have NPM discover your network!
  • NPM can set up a wireless heat map - you need to input a floor plan - massage the map with Network Atlas; before you know it you will have a live heat map of your wireless network!
  • I love the top XX options to view in the NOC - I have the top 100 network events, the top 100 interfaces showing in the NOC. You can detail the NOC pages to show just about anything you are collecting in NPM. Unbelievable information when looking for anomalies!
  • NPM is being driven by the user group THWACK! I love the fact that they just added Network Insight for the Palo Alto Firewalls: site-to-site VPNs: discovery, status, bandwidth, failures reason, and protocols. GlobalProtect VPNs: username, public IP, virtual IP, and status
  • I can't complain or really say that SolarWinds Network Performance monitor has any particular flaw to report! I am pleased how Solarwinds used the THWACK community to add additional features to the product.
  • I would like to be able to reclassify the Unknown nodes - the LINUX flavored servers running my virtual Avaya phone network are not classified at all. I did name and manage all the nodes. All nodes are properly identified, I just don't like that group called Unknown .. .but am glad it is there to catch unidentified objects!
  • Demo NPM from Solarwinds Web site. You will not be disappointed!
  • NPM has paid for itself over and over! Management never questions the maintenance renewal of this product because the benefit has gone well beyond just monitoring and responding. You keep stakeholders informed of issues before they hit!
  • I am able to see service provider hits as soon as they happen. I can call my ISP and get them working on the problem much faster than if I were to wait for an end-user to report loss of service.
  • I wish I could show a picture of the network 7 years ago, and a picture of the network today!! I am proud of how detailed we have our environment. SolarWinds has assisted in documented and supporting the network that I now call HOME!
  • Quantitative data: I no longer give up weekends and nights to fix issues! THANK YOU NPM!!
I started trying to look up tools that I checked out several years ago, but they are no longer in the market. OpsMonitor was not that great - not a lot of details from the dashboard, and the alerts were very generic. Not much custom configuration allowed. They had OpsMonitor running here when I first started my employment. I quickly ran back to WHATS UP GOLD! That is really where Solarwinds started. I was a cut my teeth on Whatszup G!

There are many enterprise tools out there. SolarWinds encourages folks to demo, try the other vendors and go with the vendor that can best back up their product! SolarWinds is a strong company driven by its users! Get on the bandwagon and make your environment better than you think possible!
Network Performance Monitor is well suited for any environment, no matter what size! You need to put a little effort forth to install the product and to manage all your nodes. Once you have the product installed, you can run reports, pull up graphs. The network administrator no longer has to get frustrated pleading that "IT IS NOT THE NETWORK!" Print out a report with visuals to see the problem is not the network. Use NPM to work the OSI model when troubleshooting!
The only place that Network Performance Monitor is not appropriate is in an environment when you do not have permission to monitor!!!

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
Network monitoring
Baseline threshold calculation
Network capacity planning
Packet capture analysis
Network mapping
Customizable reports
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
Hardware health monitoring

SolarWinds NPM ROI Questions

Yes - When I arrived and started working for this organization, they were using an old product called OpsMonitor. I did not like the details that this product reported; it was very simple and limited in what you could program to have monitored. I fell in love with the SolarWinds suite; it is easy to implement, maintain, and manager. SolarWinds has saved me more than I care to admit; I have even caught issues that I have created... very quickly, thank goodness!
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Analyst Reports
I am an engineer, so the most important factors to me will be much different than someone in Finance. I needed tools to assist in monitoring performance and assisting our organization in becoming more proactive rather than reactive. I have been able to manage and maintain my environment for a number of years, thanks to SolarWinds. I look for product use, support, and reporting abilities; SolarWinds continues to exceed my expectations. SolarWinds also has a great user group called THWACK, which is a extension of support! You can ask of your fellow SolarWinds users absolutely anything, and you can also help your fellow THWACK user by answering their questions. I have never run into a users group quite like THWACK. I can't say enough about the product and the employees of SolarWinds; what a great value for my organization.