No nonsense review of SolarWinds
December 21, 2018
No nonsense review of SolarWinds
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
SolarWinds is used as an operations alerting center for our networks. We have 70 branches across 12 states. With SolarWinds, we can see the health of our network and know when a problem arrives and can quickly work on resolving the issues.
- Monitor voice network and quality
- Monitor exchange databases
- Monitor network connectivity
- Server uptime
- The ability to remove modules without having to rebuild the whole system. The recent test of WPM has shown that when using the trial version it becomes embedded and difficult to remove all parts
- The requirement for 3.5 dot net. The system is old and should be updated.
- I like the SolarWinds help group, but sometimes you don’t get replies for weeks regarding some of the more obscure problems. Easier to open tickets than have to wait for help from others.
SolarWinds has been the single best monitoring tool in our companies arsenal. It has impacted every part of our IT department from help desk support to database and network engineers. Each has alerting rules that target our key infrastructure and can alert them in minutes of problems.
We tend to grow every quarter and the complexity of our network shows this. The ability to automate the discovery has helped to catch every change and easily update our alerting rules and maps.
We have several servers and level of servers being monitored. From developing applications servers to production servers. Each requires different alerting rules. The ability to define the different rules easily and across varies, VM makes this task simple. The engineers responsible for each level can monitor the things most important to them and quickly respond when they have problems. One recent example is related to exchange database monitoring. We run four exchange servers and have them load balanced for best use. We were alerted to a single database that was corrupted and was able to quickly rebuild the single affected database before the company users noticed.
- The monitoring tools have grown by 50% in the last 3 years. We have increased our original network monitoring to include virtual servers, Cisco voice network quality manager, and server application management to name a few.
- We have been able to alert our network carriers before they can see the problem. This has helped our uptime connectivity by being proactive and not waiting for an outage to occur.
- One of the unexpected benefits is UPS monitoring at every location. We have set up alerts to notify us of aging UPS devices so we can swap them out before a power outage occurs and we find out too late and cannot handle the loads.
We have used and still use live action on our network tools as a secondary alerting system. After all, you cannot get alerts if you run only a single server of SolarWinds. If that site or network goes down how will you know if there is a problem? By having two monitoring tools that run concurrently, each at separate co-locations, you have a better handle ob the network. SolarWinds has the bulk of the monitoring rules and alerts and is the easiest to review, but we do see a need to have reporting from a separate source.
The phones are the number one priority in the company. We can get anything else done on paper so long as we can get the calls. I can monitor call volume and quickly search call failures with the SolarWinds applications. This is done in both real-time and call detail records. This ability, along with the network monitoring of all the routers and switches, makes this tool invaluable.