How NPM replaced several products at much lower licensing cost.
Updated October 09, 2020

How NPM replaced several products at much lower licensing cost.

Reinier Kleipool | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

It is used to monitor all network components in use at Rabobank with the exception of a few territories.
  • Provides very detailed insight into Node performance and troubles.
  • Features a VERY useful API that is able to drive all of the application.
  • Event and alter management is easy to use.
  • Offers many extra modules that are very well integrated.
  • It does not support hardware inventory for H3C/Comware based devices.
  • It does not really understand aggregate links.
We have experimented with it and see the potential, but are not actually using it in production. But it is very promising.
Yes, we use it for wireless and F5 devices.
No! We are struggling to reduce the number of duplicate alerts. The fact that aggregate links are not handled by SolarWinds is biting us.
  • Licensing cost is way better than the product it replaces.
  • Configuration is much easier than the previous product. Time-saver and better insight.
  • Product suite is much better integrated and working out-of-the-box.
  • SolarWinds Log & Event Manager
  • SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager
  • SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer
  • SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
  • SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server
We gained much more insight and are much more aware of what is going on in our network as opposed to the suite(s) we used before.
It will work particularly well in a mixed network/server environment. It is very useful for monitoring small to mid-sized networks.

I doubt it will work well in in a 10,000+ node network because dependent alert suppression is not sufficient. In large installations eventually the database will become the bottleneck. Do not use it in a H3C/Comware only environment.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
9
Network monitoring
6
Baseline threshold calculation
10
Alerts
7
Network capacity planning
10
Packet capture analysis
7
Network mapping
8
Customizable reports
10
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
10
Hardware health monitoring
5

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) Premier Support

Well, they do answer the phone immediately and are very helpful when it comes to usage of the product. Support becomes more difficult if you hit a bug. There does not seem to be much connection between support and the development coders. I have had bugs that were not fixed, but named a "product upgrade" "coming soon"...
I am not aware of any preferential treatment...
Self monitoring is good, but you have to tune it manually to get real alerts.
Upgrade is very easy, and the pre-flight check covers all the bases. It really works.

Using SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

80 - Network Engineers, Operators, security Engineers and Architects
2 - 
  • Windows knowledge
  • Solarwinds admin knowledge
  • MSSQL Studio basics
  • Node management is fully automated through the API from our CI Database.
  • SAM has helped us to monitor SolarWinds, and a couple of other products.
  • Monitor the SAN.
  • Monitor some aspects of VMWare guests.
We really depend on it.

Evaluating SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) and Competitors

Well, SolarWinds does offer the most comprehensive feature set. It is very flexible.
On the other hand our ~2500 H3C Comware nodes are not monitored optimally. Why don't they do something about it, and SolarWinds would be the obvious choice!

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) Support

Usage problems are solved very quickly and they know their product.
When you hit a bug it all falls apart and no solutions are provided in a timely fashion. (Still waiting for several months now on a couple of fixes...)
ProsCons
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Poor followup
Problems left unsolved
Escalation required
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
Slow Initial Response
Yes - It is included.
Yes - No! No! No!
When I did get stuck on something in the GUI, they were able to solve it on first contact!

Using SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • Drill down to Node details.
  • Also see capacity forecasts easily.
  • Well integrated with Network Configuration Manager. (NCM)
  • Unable to monitor hardware health of H3C Comware devices.
  • Lack of a single API endpoint to add a Node to the system. It now requires several pages of code plus many (some difficult) API calls.
  • Alert suppression of dependent alerts is difficult.