SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Review

Good reporting allows us to proactively deal with bandwidth-related issues

What is our primary use case?

We use this product for monitoring our bandwidth. We run daily reports, send the data to Tableau, put that in a map of Texas, and look at all of our sites. It tells us if we're nearing 80% and when we need to increase bandwidth.

How has it helped my organization?

Using this solution helps us to better manage our bandwidth. We have it handled with no problem. We export information every morning so that when everybody gets to work, we can look at it and tell exactly what is going on in terms of bandwidth.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to look for any increases in bandwidth over time so that we can plan before it becomes critical. We have our threshold set at 80%, which means that when we hit that capacity, it's time to start looking at things like whether there is a problem in the network or whether an increase in bandwidth needs to take place. Essentially, it gives us a tool where we can manage our business proactively instead of reactively.

I have 19 direct reports that use this product.

What needs improvement?

It's not a cheap product, so the pricing could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product appears to be very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product seems to scale just fine. We've got 862 satellite sits we're looking at and we receive data from more than 340 land sites. I'd say that it has scaled very well for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had really good support. If we have issues then my technical person makes one call and gets help.

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

Prior to SolarWinds, we were using WhatsUp Gold. We weren't getting out of it what we needed, so we did a trial of SolarWinds and really liked what they saw. That is why we changed.

How was the initial setup?

I was not managing the team when the setup took place, but I didn't hear of any major issues so I would say that the initial setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

in house implementation

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

We purchased it outright but there are ongoing maintenance fees. From what I have seen, price-wise, it is close to the competitors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When selecting new products, we always put out an RFI to see who has what out and available. Afterward, we evaluate those and make a selection. The NOC was responsible for choosing the product and then it came over to my team, the network service group. Since the NOC was responsible for the comparison, I don't have information on the other solutions that were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

As this solution is implemented now, we're running fine and it is difficult to see things that can improve. It's giving us all of the information we need. For example, we have SNMP traps set up and we are able to look at offices across the entire state of Texas. It's a pretty big job. We are very much sold on this solution and plan to continue using it.

My advice for anybody who is considering SolarWinds to get the free 30-day trial, install it, test it, and see if it meets their needs. They have a lot of different modules available, so you buy the ones that you need and implement them.

Overall, we are happy with this product. That said, nothing is perfect and there's always something better.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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