NETSCOUT nGeniusONE Review

Packet capture, going back hours or days, helps us do real troubleshooting


What is our primary use case?

Troubleshooting is our primary use case for the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

We get increased visibility from nGenius while conducting an IT deployment. If the deployment has issues then we can always go back, look at the logs, and figure out what may be happening.

A lot of times people blame the network, and since I'm responsible for the network, people call me. Through troubleshooting using the tool, I verify that it's not our issue, and I also use the tool to help figure out what the issue really is.

It helps us get to root cause quickly. For example, troubleshooting an application issue without the tool would mean we wouldn't have the collection of data to go through to figure out what the problem is. Now that we have X number of hours, maybe even days of data, depending on what we're actually watching, we can look at the data. It's possible that somebody's having an application issue and they come to us figure out what the problem is and we can help them solve their issue a little faster.

We have seen a measurable decrease in mean time to know and mean time to repair. It's a little hard to say how much because it depends on what you're troubleshooting, but I would estimate it at 25 percent, or even less, of what it would normally be. And our overall troubleshooting time, in most cases, is down to a day, as opposed to multiple days. Without the data, it's almost impossible to figure out what a problem may have been.

What is most valuable?

The packet capture is the most valuable feature for us. It gathers data from the device. In case somebody has a problem, I can go back X amount of time - days, hours - and get the data to do real troubleshooting.

What needs improvement?

In terms of the single pane of glass view, it's good, but trying to set up dashboards is hard to figure out at times, if you don't do it every day. It's not really intuitive to set them all up. Other than that, it's a good dashboard. A lot of people are using it.

If there were a wizard to take us through, step-by-step, creating dashboards and the like, that would be really helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. Every once in a great while we'll have to reboot the nGeniusONE server. That may be server-related and not application related.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't really scaled it very much. We're not a really big shop. We've got five InfiniStreams collecting into our nGeniusONE. It's supposed to scale pretty well, but I don't really have much comment on it because we're pretty small as it is.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

We didn't have a previous solution at all, other than Wireshark to capture packets when we needed them. We knew we needed something better than that.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex, only because it was the first time we were getting into such a tool. We didn't know much about it. We had to learn while going along. It was complex, but quite doable.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

I don't see the numbers, because I'm a technical guy. But I would imagine there probably is a return on investment because we're fixing these applications faster, causing less of an outage. I would say we're actually saving money, or at least not losing as much money when these applications are down. It's a big help there.

What other advice do I have?

I would show someone who is looking into this type of product what I know about the product, how I use it, and help them make a decision on whether it's the right product for them.

The product has a lot of capabilities and we're just using a small fraction of it. So, right now, I would call the solution a nine out of ten, because we only use a small portion of it. But for what we do, it helps us out tremendously.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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