SolarWinds Network "Magnificent Performance" Monitor
Ted Sadler | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 15, 2020

SolarWinds Network "Magnificent Performance" Monitor

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

Our company provides maintenance and break-fix services for outdoor, carrier-scale transportation technology networks. With SolarWinds, we are able to get in front of issues when devices fail or otherwise invisible network issues occur, before our clients even start to notice the problems. With over 500 outdoor locations statewide and thousands of devices to support, NPM allows us both a birds-eye view of network health and an on-the-ground, detailed perspective into individual devices, subnets, and segments of the network and how they perform.
  • Providing detailed and high-level views of network device and infrastructure performance
  • Providing an intuitive and informative user interface
  • Generating flexible, customizable reports for any combination of devices imaginable
  • Providing highly extensible device metadata categories and custom properties
  • SolarWinds is an expensive platform with steep initial and recurring costs (if maintenance/update services are purchased).
  • The amount of information in the Orion interface can be intimidating if you don't know what specific information you're looking for.
We have not fully utilized NetPath, but given its on-premise monitoring potential, we are excited to implement it for our local network. The large scale of our network and the presence of multicast video traffic on it means that we regularly have network bottlenecks, and being able to use NetPath to identify those bottlenecks before they cause issues would be immensely valuable.
We have not utilized Network Insights quite yet, mostly because our firewall/router models are not supported.
Our company has made great use of the alert conditions and trigger conditions available in NPM. Our infrastructure consists of installations with 4-10 devices at each, connected through a single layer 2 switch. By enabling the advanced alerting features, we can limit unnecessary notifications by creating parent-child relationships between each device and its relative switch, and by creating those same relationships between sites and routers.
  • I do not have access to quantitative ROI data for us our clients, but I know for certain that SolarWinds NPM has increased our operational efficiency a hundredfold.
  • Engineer's Toolset
  • SolarWinds Log & Event Manager
  • SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager
  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
  • SolarWinds IP Address Manager
  • SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
  • SolarWinds ipMonitor
The Orion portfolio products integrate beautifully together, allowing us to manage and monitor multiple facets of our network infrastructure beyond those visible in NPM alone. Our large-scale infrastructure and complex network requirements are simplified using IP Address Manager, since all of our end devices are statically assigned. Network Configuration Manager allows us to easily examine the configurations of our routers and switches without needing to SSH into them individually. LEM lets us analyze and capture historical logs and SNMP traps to know not only that a problem has occurred, but when and how often it's happened before. If your organization can support it, I would highly recommend combining NPM with these other Orion products whenever possible.
Other products I've used (Spiceworks, Mikrotik's The Dude) are good at their jobs but ultimately don't have the scalability of NPM or the more advanced network visibility features that make NPM so great. Other products (like Spiceworks especially) are also built as several products shoved into one -- an asset management platform, ticketing system, a network monitor, etc. -- and can be slow in performance or limited in their potential as a result.
Network Performance Monitor is especially well-suited for:
  • Monitoring the uptime, latency, statistics, and other metrics for individual device performance
  • Reporting on device availability and metadata
  • Identifying problem areas of the network down to specific interfaces
but is less suited for things like:
  • Network/IT device asset management
  • Small-scale business operations
Overall, SolarWinds NPM is an enterprise-grade, state/national scale platform suited very well for analyzing the performance and problem areas of large networks, but is not really meant for the "IT helpdesk" kind of user device asset management that some other platforms also do. Orion has those kinds of features available in other products, however. Also, SolarWinds would not be very appropriate for small, single-building, single-network kinds of operations.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

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