How SolarWinds made me more productive and gave me back my network admin!
John-John Reyes Figueroa | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 30, 2019

How SolarWinds made me more productive and gave me back my network admin!

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

Currently, SolarWinds is being used in our IT department only. We use it mainly for granular alerts on our VM environment servers, both critical and non-critical. Its granularity is excellent, allowing me to administer my infrastructure in a very detailed and organized way. Works as it should, but one of the business problems I can see is that it is all module-based, but allowing different admins (such as system and network) to create their own alerts and topology of our infrastructure gives them ownership of their job descriptions.
  • The granularity in its alerts and reporting gives me access to critical information, especially in compliance.
  • Its LDAP integration with Active Directory really helps in keeping organized our "Master List" of network-connected devices.
  • Once, when my Windows Server Update Service was unavailable, was able to implement patches through it.
  • The GUI is very user intuitive.
  • I would much like to see the modules sold in categorically grouped bundles, such as a networking bundle which would include all modules relating to the network.
  • Would love to see an addition of an API or something like that to connect to VMware Vcenters.
  • Found that if you acknowledge alerts, it makes it very difficult to remediate them inside of the program.
Before, as a System Admin I used to have to basically remote individually to each server and spend at least 5 mins on checking performance, event logs and such on my servers and VM infrastructure. Once we got SolarWinds, productivity increased as the time needed to check performance, applications and such reduced because of the granularity of its alerts and reports mainly.
My organization has benefited from this in a basic way. My network admin loves that tool/module that allows him to crate a connection between all our gateways, routers, switches, etc. As for system admins, would just need to purchase the module for virtualization.
In this, my organization has benefited immensely. This is more on the system admin side. One thing that is great is I have an alert that shows me every drive connected and what the percent available of that drive is. Anything under 10% automatically gets increased. This saves me almost 20 mins having to connect to, firstly, my critical servers and check out my databases drive sizes.
  • With Solarwinds, our biggest achievement due to its use is the fact that we were able to cut down by more than half our finding during our annual Penetration testing.
  • Using Solarwinds, we were able to mitigate and remediate our Pen test's findings, such as findings related to AD accounts and passwords.
  • Being able to automate a lot of the processes helps with the set it and forget it mantra, especially with server monitoring and network traffic monitoring.
  • SolarWinds Web Help Desk
  • SolarWinds Network Device Monitor
  • SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
  • SolarWinds ipMonitor
Being able to use the suite of Solarwinds products together allows an integration between system and network admins to keep and maintain our infrastructure in peak shape and top performance. We can set thresholds very granular, so that some alerts go off the moment it happens (like with server down) or some alerts need to have its issue happen for 15 minutes straight before it sends out the alert (like with high ram/CPU usage), which helps determine if we have some batch job running, a scan is going on, or a backup job is in process. All in all, not only has productivity increased, but communication between system and network admin is spectacular!
Cherwell is not a bad product, but Solarwinds simply blows it out the water! Both in terms of granularity and integration. Also, our Help Desk ties in very nicely with the monitoring portion.
This is the perfect companion tool for any network or system administrator. My PMO (Project Management Office) tried to use it but did not have much luck, considering I don't see how this would benefit anyone other than admins.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Feature Ratings

Application monitoring
8
Database monitoring
8
Threshold alerts
9
Application performance management console
8
Server availability and performance monitoring
8
IT Asset Discovery
9

Feature Questions

It's kind of a pain to have to have all the different modules to really be able to lock down your infrastructure's monitoring.
  • Alerting and Reporting
  • Monitoring of server health
  • Monitoring of network health
  • LDAP integration for Active Directory (Allows changes to be made without having to go into AD - Users and Computers)
  • Price
  • Product Usability
The ability to integrate both system and network monitoring needs into one product.