SolarWinds NPM - relatively easy to use and very comprehensive!
Brian Rafferty | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 02, 2020

SolarWinds NPM - relatively easy to use and very comprehensive!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

We use SolarWinds NPM to monitor a relatively small airborne platform to ground network with routers, WAPs, firewalls, encryption devices (TACLANES), and servers. It addresses management of network nodes and mapping of the network. Overall, it is a good tool that is very comprehensive with network management on Layers 2 and 3. The map editor could use some work, especially regarding selection of entities as the selector rectangle can be hard to resize.
  • Effective analysis of nodes
  • Comprehensive dashboard that is easy to tailor
  • Map editor is relatively easy to use
  • The map editor select rectangle needs to be improved on as when you drag it it can get out of control.
  • Need a more intuitive way to configure interfaces between nodes in map editor.
  • Acknowledging and erasing node warnings should be more intuitive.
I've had no problem utilizing these capabilities using Network Sonar Discovery and the Network Mapping tool. I have a limited number of end-users at this point as we are a small team but so far they are satisfied with the problem alerts that are part of the NPM application.
  • So far positive
  • Number of licensed nodes has proven to be an issue with our application but we are working on getting more
  • SolarWinds Security Event Manager (SEM)
I haven't had a lot of experience with SEM, though the dashboard is very similar to NPM insofar as one can add, delete, and arrange the widgets to their liking. It helps that there are commonalities in the GUIs between the two applications. Kudos to the developers for making it relatively easy to switch between applications.
Thwack and the training classes have been very helpful in answering my questions. I also found that the Office Hours that Cheryl N. holds every Friday morning are a great open forum for asking questions for all of the Orion platforms. It is good to have Cheryl as she is a great resource.
Direct access to most experience support engineers - The benefits that I have realized since using Premier Support include faster response time, access to experienced users, access to experienced SolarWinds trainers, access users via Thwack, easy access to our sales representative by phone and email, and support of SolarWinds associates including technical support. Overall the Premier Support has been an excellent resource, especially the classes.
I haven't used these features yet except for the mapping tool.
So far we haven't used this feature, though I have taken the Orion Deployment class, and judging by the class content the upgrade tool looks straightforward.
SolarWinds NPM is well suited for monitoring nodes and mapping them. My only major complaint is that it seems to be too comprehensive for our applications. We have a relatively small network that we are monitoring and the features of NPM are not fully utilized in the application. Also, management of the licenses could be more intuitive.

SolarWinds NPM Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
10
Network monitoring
9
Baseline threshold calculation
Not Rated
Alerts
10
Network capacity planning
9
Packet capture analysis
Not Rated
Network mapping
8
Customizable reports
Not Rated
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
7
Hardware health monitoring
10