Centreon Review

Supports active monitoring, we don't have to use traps; we can see problems before our customers do

What is our primary use case?

We have a lot of customers, we manage their LANs, firewalls, and other devices - mainly network devices - and we also monitor them. If we get an alarm we can see right away what is going on and log in to those devices to check what is going on.

How has it helped my organization?

We can proactively see what is going on in the network, so most of the time we notice problems before our customers do. This is the main reason we are using this kind of solution and monitoring, to be sure that we see the problems before the customers.

What is most valuable?

It supports active monitoring so we don't have to use traps. From time to time traps are not very useful because we never know if they are actually working or not. The reporting part is also valuable as are the event logs. Using them we can check right away if something has had a hiccup.

Also, the downtimes feature where, for example, if the ISP is doing some maintenance on its network, we have the option to put downtime on the devices or the services, so we won't get any false alarms.

What needs improvement?

Improvements I would like to see include 

  • a discovery solution
  • better reports
  • end-to-end monitoring.

The latter is the number one feature that we are looking for. Right now, a lot of other monitoring providers already have a good end-to-end monitoring solution, but unfortunately, Centreon doesn't have it yet. So that is one thing we are very much missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. Every product has its pluses and minuses, but it's usually working pretty well. If you configure everything exactly as they tell you in the documentation then it works very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

As we are using their Enterprise version, we submit as many tickets as we want. Lately, we have submitted quite a lot of them because we want to make this product even better. We have had some questions and some ideas that we wanted to share with them and test with them. So I have used their support a lot and they are always very helpful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I haven't had any experience with other solutions and I don't even know how our company dealt with these kinds of issues prior to this solution. When I came to this company eight years ago, we took this solution with the first managed customers, so we grew with the solution and with the monitoring.

How was the initial setup?

It quite easy to set up. In the past, usually our admins would do it, but lately I have tried to do it myself, and I would say it's quite easy to put up.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's quite expensive when you use the Enterprise version, but if you compare it to other providers, it's more like a middle-of-the-line product. It's always good to have a price that is lower, but I would say the price is okay because we get very good support and if we have any other issues we can always contact them. There has never been a time when I didn't get help from them, so I would say the price is quite okay.

In terms of licensing, you have to think through if the components that need licensing are really needed. For example, the Map module: If you don't need a map to be shown, I don't see a point in paying for those licenses, if you just use it a couple of times a month or a couple of times a week. Think through what your needs are and whether those needs really require that kind of advanced solution where you need to pay for licenses. You can use the Centreon free version and get the main features. The licensing part is, I would say, only for bigger customers who have the option to pay more and who really need those kinds of modules, fancy reports, etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If I remember it correctly, there weren't any better solutions, at least not eight years ago.

During the last couple of years we have tried other solutions but none of them have had the features that we like.

What other advice do I have?

If you put it up, be sure to use Centreon's documentation because if you don't use it you will run into problems. 

Otherwise, I would recommend it because it's quite easy to set up, it's easy to use, their documentation is quite okay. At first, the documentation was very bad, but in recent years it has gotten better, much better. Set it up, test it and try it and you will see that it is the product that you want to work with.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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