What is our primary use case?
We use it for a lot of things. Application performance would be our primary use case.
We also use the solution for proactive monitoring of remote sites, as we have several remote sites across the country. We have probes in those sites that allow us to see the traffic on the local area network, and then send that back up to nG1 so that we can decipher it.
How has it helped my organization?
The solution provides us with increased visibility when doing an IT deployment. For example, if our application developers roll out a new application on the network and it's not performing well, we use the solution to help them diagnose and troubleshoot the problems.
In general, the solution has helped to increase application and network uptime, depending on what it's being used for. If we find a problem with application performance, we can show the developers exactly what's going on in the network and help them to improve their application so that it works better.
In addition, it has reduced our mean time to repair significantly with application issues and network issues. Everybody always points to the network and says that it's a network problem, and we can very easily decipher whether it is or if it's actually something wrong with the application.
We can get to root cause quickly. It affords us the opportunity to see things on the network that we would otherwise be blind to and helps us reduce that mean time to repair. That brings the customer back into service more quickly.
We use the solution for unified communication application performance and, while it doesn't help so much with uptime, it does help us with end-user experience.
The solution has also cut our overall troubleshooting time. It can take an hour's worth of troubleshooting and take it down to five minutes.
What is most valuable?
One of the most valuable features is the ease of use.
And I love the single pane of glass view. It makes it easier to not have to navigate everywhere. It allows more simplistic visibility, without having to go from tool to tool to tool, or from window to window to window.
The Dependency Mapping the solution provides is also great.
What needs improvement?
Regarding additional features, there is a competitor's product that has a feature that I wish NETSCOUT could employ. A company called Riverbed bought another company called OPNET, and OPNET had a technology that was fantastic in what it did and how it did it. One of the components of that OPNET product was called ACE, and if NETSCOUT could do something like that, it would be fantastic. That would give us the opportunity to look at what's called a Tier Pair Circle and see, in a more graphical way, what hosts are communicating with other hosts. That would be nice.
In terms of room for improvement, the NetFlow Collectors could handle more flows per minute.
The only other thing would be the packet flow switch being overrun, but that might be because we bought the wrong model packet flow switch. Instead of a 6000-series, we bought a 5000-series, so that very well could have been us. We didn't know exactly how much traffic was on the network until we put the tools in.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It seems rock solid. The only problems we've had are with some 6995s, which are really old and out of service and I had a couple of drives go bad. But they were replaced and everything's good. It seems solid.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So far, so good in terms of scalability. We're running into a couple of issues with the packet flow switch being overrun in part of our data center, but we're just sending it too much traffic. It's a matter of recalibrating things. It seems scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
So far, so good with technical support. We really haven't had to engage them very much. We have an SE and an RSE who help us out with any of the technical issues, but anytime I've had to call support they've been great.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used Riverbed ARX, and we are still using it, but it's being phased out in favor of the NETSCOUT, because of the total package of availability. The product availability and features of NETSCOUT mean we don't have to go to a separate retailer like Gigamon for a packet flow switch solution. nG1 does a lot of things that other tools did, and we don't have to have disparate vendors and resellers.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is relatively straightforward. There are some nuances that you need to know, but it's relatively intuitive.
What about the implementation team?
We did the deployment ourselves.
What other advice do I have?
Try to find a better product, because I don't think you will.
I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten, at least. I just don't see very many flaws in it. It really works well. It does what it advertises that it does. It does more than a lot of people think that it does. It's been a good investment for our company. We've really gotten our money's worth out of it.