SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager Review

Enables us to oversee everything on our network efficiently but network logs should be improved

What is our primary use case?

I use it for monitoring the entire network for the company. We oversee nodes, we oversee devices heading up to crossing the threshold for CPU usage. We oversee power, we oversee if they're down or if they're failing. We oversee any node down or any router from any vendor. We have MPLS, so we have a lot of those MPLS routers on the node. We can see when those routers are down. 

SolarWinds can give us not only that, but we can also create running tasks. It can schedule backup for the devices. We can do active jobs, we generate reports and oversee and look for any peaks of ranges or network slowness or network interruptions. These events trigger immediate alerts and the alert brings up the attention to the NOC that brings up the troubleshooting with whoever is local, depending upon who manages the network in that place. It's a helpful tool and I really like it.

What needs improvement?

The network logs could be improved. When the error logs come across with those false positive alarms in the error logs. We see days or weeks on those error messages. I think this needs to be addressed or they need to mitigate the house cleaning or the housekeeping of those errors or those logs. I mean that's one of the things that I will say that can be a little challenging sometimes. I'd like to see when you look for the node, via IP or via the name of the product, a quicker response in the search for the node. Sometimes when I search it, I have to look three times for the node in a different way. The search for that particular device or search for that particular product, I have to sometimes dig in on my own DNS and find the IP. Then I go to SolarWinds copy and paste it the IP. It's a pain. Let's say the search or the browse for any particular note needs to be improved for the GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think so far stability is going great.

How are customer service and technical support?

They need to improve their response time. Sometimes they take longer than expected. They need to respond quickly after a ticket is opened. I will email them and I won't see the response for another two or three hours. I have to give them a call and it's a pain. It's a nightmare. I keep bringing that up to them all the time. I would improve that.

What other advice do I have?

Just make sure you only put the nodes that you need to monitor and make sure whoever needs to have nodes in SolarWinds, keep the people besides your team or your group, who want their own nodes there. Make sure you set up the right rules and the standards and the thresholds where you need to get communication for error messages or CPU alerts or power heat or any type of alerts. The alerts, they need to be very clearly addressed in order for you to monitor your devices. We have faced some problems in the past that the alerts are not really set up properly. We have to randomly change the thresholds and the numbers and the ranges. I would recommend that you make sure you monitor only what you need to monitor. Make sure if you need to trigger those alerts, make sure that you have somebody or a team to respond. And, they can have a group responsible for whatever they need to troubleshoot. 

I would rate it at a seven 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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