SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Review

Helps diagnose issues and relieve network congestion, but the licensing needs to be improved

What is our primary use case?

We have a collection of SolarWinds solutions.

Our primary use for this tool is to monitor our network. We have a LAN and WAN to monitor. We use the product to get an overview of the performance to let us predict potential issues and act preemptively before we have real problems. The product helps us monitor the load on the network and on the different network lines. 

We are planning to expand our use because they offer some good advantages with broader product use. It is used on a daily basis and it is one of the key tools that we use to maintain our network and keep track of our infrastructure.

We are using an on-premises deployment.

How has it helped my organization?

We have faced some problems with our Oracle connection line in the past. For example, once we had a remote crash that affected the connection of more than two hundred users. So we've faced this kind of delay on our network. So, when this happens, we would go first to check the load on the connection line (we have a fibre connection) and we would check the traffic speed and the volume of data on the line. With Netflow Traffic Analyzer, it was very helpful to find out when the line was getting more congested.

Recently, there was some problem with one of the applications that we upgraded to. We could see the problem and we took all the necessary action to get things back into normal before the issue had a chance to get worse. SolarWinds helps us to monitor potential issues so we and our users do not experience downtime.

What is most valuable?

It's a fantastic product overall, so it is difficult to define one feature being the best.

It is fantastic to know the Traffic Analyzer can show us where the potential problems are. You become very familiar with the bandwidth being consumed by different lines and how all the traffic is moving between different departments and different applications.

At times, we faced a lot of issues with users on the internet because of the consumption of the bandwidth. It was very hard to try to find exactly what was going on and what applications affected traffic. With SolarWinds, we are now able to accurately gauge bandwidth consumption.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that can be improved is the licensing, as it is limited to a number of nodes. They limit it to five hundred nodes before jumping to the next level. When we exceeded that limit, we had to go directly to two thousand nodes. We did not really need that many but I still had to pay for that. The licensing should be more realistic so that we can adjust the number of nodes according to my needs, rather than in fixed increments. For example, one thousand nodes would have been enough. Jumping to four times the volume was too much.

We recently upgraded to a more recent version of this solution and we had an issue with backing up the data. We were unable to make proper use of the databases from the previous version.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution and we are happy with the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution, but it is related to the licensing.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not personally contacted technical support for this solution. The feedback that I have received from my team is that the support is good.

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

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The feedback I got from the person who performed the initial setup is good. He's happy with the product and is continuing to do the upgrades as we need them.

My understanding is that the deployment took less than two hours.

What about the implementation team?

Our own technical team handled the implementation, and we did not need any help from anybody outside of the company.

We have three people who are taking care of our network. There is the network manager and his two staff.

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

The licensing for this solution is based on the number of nodes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were members of our team who had experience with other solutions, but we adopted this one after installing and using the evaluation version.

What other advice do I have?

We are planning on upgrading to the SL2000 model.

As of today, I am satisfied with this solution.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

SL500 (On-premises)
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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