Comparison of SolarWinds Server and Application Monitoring vs. VROps
February 12, 2016

Comparison of SolarWinds Server and Application Monitoring vs. VROps

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SAM is used by certain departments within Information Technology at UCHealth to provide insight into the performance and availability of applications and environments including SharePoint, Citrix, our public website and a variety of other custom developed applications.
  • Real-time service and process explorer provides easy insight into what is currently running on a system and also makes it easy to start building new, custom application monitors.
  • SolarWinds provides a huge variety of monitoring templates out-of-box for the SAM product, and the community templates on Thwack often fill in or augment any gaps that there may be in the SolarWinds default templates. There are some really excellent monitoring templates available on Thwack built by other SAM customers.
  • Alerting is highly customizeable and includes key features like escalation plans and a wide variety of actions to perform including performing service and node restarts as well as app pool restarts/recycles.
  • Building custom dashboards is very difficult compared to the easy point and click interfaces of building custom monitor applications and setting up new nodes (other areas I consider "key" for a monitoring product). I'm really disappointed with the restrictions on the context of dashboard objects, not being able to put summary information on the same page as node or application detail information is a big wall.
  • Using WMI based application monitors with a node being polled by SNMP makes it cumbersome to setup the correct credentials to poll with WMI. Additionally, switching a node that was originally setup to poll with WMI (and have application monitors inherit credentials from node) to using SNMP polling causes huge problems with application monitors assigned to the node and the only way to fix it is to manually go in and reconfigure every application monitor assigned to the node.
  • There is no anomaly based detection and alerting functionality in the product, everything is threshold based (calculated thresholds just don't seem to cut it). Also, there isn't a "low" threshold for alerting, only a "high" value alert.
  • While SAM does help us determine the health of particular services or servers in the environment, we find that it is a poor representation of the actual end-user experience for an application. This is not really a fault of the SAM product, it is simply a result of the complex nature of today's applications like SharePoint where configuration of services, databases and the performance of the network tends to have a far greater impact on availability and performance of applications.
  • The greatest benefit we derive from SAM tends to be in node availability and performance, specifically around CPU utilization as well as disk space usage.
  • SAM has helped our IT group monitor some unique issues due to it's ability to easily utilize custom scripts to perform monitoring functions. A specific use case we developed was monitoring our egress points for blacklisting by SpamHaus, which happens from time to time and has a significant impact on our company's productivity and core business processes. The ability to quickly write a script to check for blacklisted IPs and build a monitor for that script was a huge win for us to be able to more quickly respond to these incidents.
  • VROps
We specifically evaluated VROps and SolarWinds for our team at UCHealth and found that VROps simply did not have the tools necessary to properly monitor applications and services at the level that SolarWinds does. The vast array of monitoring templates that SolarWinds has as well as the ease of creating custom application monitors made it the obvious choice for our team over VROps. SAM does lack some important features and functionality that VROps does excel in, specifically anomaly based detection as well as custom dashboard building. While these features are present in SAM to some degree, they are not anywhere near as advanced as the capabilities of VROps and often leads to frustration when using SAM, especially with the difficulty of building custom dashboards.
An exceptional product for application monitoring, however, it is not the best product on the market for infrastructure level monitoring. The main competitor to SolarWinds in our environment is VROps, which does an exceptional job of monitoring infrastructure level performance and concerns, especially with virtualized environments. VROps also has very rich analytical abilities as it relates to anomaly detection as well as predictive analysis of disk, memory and CPU utilization. Dashboards are also very easy to build and much more feature rich (and has almost no context restrictions) as compared to SolarWinds custom dashboard options.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
Database monitoring
Threshold alerts
Predictive capabilities
Application performance management console
Collaboration tools
Out-of-the box templates to monitor applications
Application dependency mapping and thresholding
Virtualization monitoring
Server availability and performance monitoring
Server usage monitoring and capacity forecasting
IT Asset Discovery
Not Rated