NETSCOUT nGeniusPULSE Review

Allows us to relatively quickly eliminate the network as the cause of problems


What is our primary use case?

We use nGenius for troubleshooting application and network issues.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution gives us increased visibility while conducting an IT deployment. Especially if it's something new, it lets us rapidly gain insight into what a particular client's traffic is going to look like.

The biggest thing, given there's an assumption that the network is the cause of the problem, is that it allows us to be more efficient when it comes to isolating what the issue is - whether it's an application issue or a network issue.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is being able to get to root cause relatively quickly. Being part of the network team, of course it's always the network that is the problem. Using the tool allows us to eliminate the network as the cause of problems relatively quickly.

I also like the single pane of glass view because it presents everything in one window, obviously. You can see it all. With a quick glance, you get a pretty good snapshot of what's going on in a particular situation.

We have seen a measurable decrease in mean time to know and mean time to repair. Because the tool allows us to get to things a lot quicker, see things a lot quicker, we have actually reduced those times. It has also cut our overall troubleshooting time. Finally, it has definitely helped with our network uptime. I'm on the network team, so I get to see that. I would estimate there has been an improvement in uptime of at least 50 percent.

What needs improvement?

Regarding additional features, we have yet to take advantage of a lot of the things that are already there. We haven't thought too much about what else we'd like to see.

Usability is the area with the biggest room for improvement. We've found that with NETSCOUT, while it's a fantastic product, the usability is a major factor because there are just way too many clicks. It's obvious, from our experience, that the people who are developing the product aren't using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. We run it on Linux and we have not had any issues with stability of the product. It's been really awesome. We've had products run on Windows and there are always issues with Windows. I don't mean to bash Windows. We've been running it for years and I can count on one hand the times that we've had a reason to reboot our servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We don't have a lot of appliances. What we have is not very big, but we've been able to easily add without any issues, so scalability is not a factor.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. It depends on whom you talk to. The first level can be a struggle at times, but once you get to the right person, a knowledgeable person for your issue, they're really good. It's just that getting to that person is sometimes a struggle.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We knew we needed to switch because we had been running a solution that was really old, a very old iteration of NETSCOUT. We knew a couple of years ago that we needed to move to newer versions of NETSCOUT and that's how we started down the nGenius path.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, with easy-to-follow documentation.

What about the implementation team?

We did it all internally.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm not sure what other vendors we looked at because we've always had NETSCOUT in-house and they've always been tops as far as industry reviews are concerned. We went with them because they were a known entity to us and we stayed with them.

What other advice do I have?

Going back to usability, keep that in mind when you're looking at products. That's the biggest thing: The fewer clicks the better, when you're looking at any product.

In terms of proactive monitoring, that has been something we've been trying to get to. It's still a lot of firefighting at this point, the reactive thing. Proactive is the ideal, but we haven't been able to use the tool proactively the way we would like to.

I give it an eight out of ten. I think it could be better. Usability is a factor. But, overall, it gives you a single pane into networking application performance.

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