Collects all networking information and is refined and easy to use

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution in finance for the oil and gas sector, mainly for troubleshooting and monitoring of cloud environments.

How has it helped my organization?

We do not use this solution for ourselves but we install it for customer use as value-added vendors. It has improved our services by allowing us to provide an excellent product that maintains our reputation.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the product's ability to collect all networking information. In the biggest enterprise, it takes around a maximum of 72 hours to collect all information about the devices and the users inside the LAN and WAN.

This capability is most important to building a correct database from ID and MAC address perspectives to make for fast troubleshooting and provide a complete view of the status of the network.

What needs improvement?

User interface and the dashboard are the two main features which convince customers to buy a product in the sectors I supply. For these sectors — which are enterprise finance and oil and gas — the price does not stop the organization from buying by itself. The clients are looking for the functionality that they need and to be sure that they have a minimum of — or even no — downtime on the network.

These capabilities are more important for them in helping to keep their operations running and the cost is less important. If the interface is better and looks like it is more inviting, easy to use, and has more features, it is more attractive to the customer. NETSCOUT can do better in their marketplace with an improved GUI interface and dashboards.

One issue that I would like to see resolved. They make a solution for monitoring and troubleshooting, but they didn't fix an issue with implementing it. You have to go yourself on the main devices and fix it, but it is not recommended. That is the main issue I feel they need to resolve right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for more than four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is excellent. We have not faced any problems since doing the implementation. Customers have not contacted us for a single functional issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

During the past three years, we have not been contacted by a single customer who needed to inform us that they were scaling their environment. Any devices that the client adds to the environment is automatically acknowledged by the NETSCOUT product itself when it scans the network. It is automatic. As far as the scalability, we have not faced any issue with it for the entire time we have been working with the solution in a production environment. The product seems very scalable and automated toward that end.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are in direct connection with customer support and also supply some customer support services. After implementation, our organization does a followup with the customer. If the customer were to have an issue that needed resolution, the customer contacts us and puts us in the loop while they send the issue to the vendor's customer support. Within around 24 hours to a maximum of 48 hours, the customer should have an answer to fix the issue direct from support.

After we finish the implementation, the relationship changes a little and the end-user and the vendor communicate directly. This is a small change in how the support is implemented but the client expectations should be the same for reply time and results. The customer or end-user needs to get back to us and tell us if they face any situation where their issue is not answered in less than 48 hours or if they have any problem with the solution. We have not had to contact NETSCOUT about a single issue of this sort.

We are in contact with the vendor throughout the implementation. This is mostly because the implementation is representing the vendor and they want to be sure we are doing our jobs for the customer and doing it correctly. After that, we remain in contact with the vendor only. We are contacted by the end-user only if there is an issue with the vendor's continued support. We have a technical debriefing with the vendor within 45 days to two months after the implementation is complete.

NETSCOUT is very professional and thorough. I think they deliver perfect support. 

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

I have experience working with OptiView XG for a while as well as NETSCOUT, but before I was working with either of these I was working with Fluke. When I was working with Fluke early on, I was working with Fluke solutions only. 

I didn't actually switch formally to NETSCOUT as we still offer the entire portfolio of Fluke products.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of this product is very straightforward. Our deployment takes only three days from bringing the device inside the data center until we initiate the scan to begin to collect information for a complete view of the network status. It is a maximum of three days until the product is in production.

The customer can have a complete report on the network within a maximum of five working days. To clarify that, it is three days for the entire setup to the point of being able to initiate collection of all customer information on the network. When it is running, it takes another two days for the system to learn and begin to provide meaningful data to the customer. So, in three days it is installed, and in five working days, the customer is up and running with a fully functional system delivering reports. Everything is implemented and working properly.

What about the implementation team?

We are a value-added distributor in the Middle East, and we are a distributor for NETSCOUT. We are the ones who do the implementations and deployments for our customers.

In our two main sectors, the deployments require only one administrator for each remote office. So our oil and gas client has 10 remote offices and each remote office has its own administrative engineering for troubleshooting and monitoring. In total, that sector has 10 administrators for maintenance of the processes. Our clients in the finance sector require only three administrative users for their system.

But, if you look at the endpoint of what that system does and what it services, for oil and gas it is collecting information for around 1,500 endpoints. That is the number of devices or points in between routers switches and the servers themselves. It is not collecting information for the end-user laptops. It is concerned with the infrastructure of the network and each device on LAN and WAN.

In the finance sector, there are fewer administrators as there are fewer offices, but there are about 750 devices.

That is administrative and maintenance information. From our side, for deployment, there were only two people: the product manager and the technical product manager. From the customer side, it took about three of their technical engineers. The complete staff for our deployment was five persons and that now continually services 1500 devices.

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

Cost is contracted on a yearly basis. Around 15% of the yearly contract is from the product cost itself. The rest is based on a number of other factors. There is no additional cost beyond the standard licensing.

What other advice do I have?

If a customer were to ask me about this product, I would say to work with NETSCOUT. The product is very refined and easy to use. As I do not yet use SolarWinds, I can't make a comparison, but I can recommend the complete portfolio of NETSCOUT with confidence to any customer who asks me as a technical consultant.

The biggest lesson I have learned so far from working with this solution and the clients we distribute it to is that the customer should be aware of his team and their goals. It will be easy for us to orient the organization to the product. If a customer gives us a clear picture of what he's facing and wants to achieve, it is easier for us to present to him with the technical product which fit his requirements.

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate nGeniusPULSE as an Eight. If they will make those improvements to those features, this could actually make this product a 10. 

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