SolarWinds NPM Review

The user interface is logical and standardised. Everything is customizable.

What is most valuable?

It combines and presents information from many different sources, giving a corporate-wide vision on a single pane of glass. The user interface is logical and standardised; if you know one module, you know the others. Everything is customisable. Support techs are great.

How has it helped my organization?

It can be selectively focused. At one stage, it simply highlighted full boot volumes, and steadily increased to now analysing poorly performing web pages & SQL queries. It’s what you need it to be & when you need it to be that.

Server stability dramatically improved, additional bandwidth was purchased where needed, and ESX resource was clawed back to be re-assigned, so system performance was improved and new hardware purchases were postponed.

What needs improvement?

Time: A worldwide deployment can be confusing for dispersed users with non-local times. Each node should have a local time (with summer offset if appropriate) & each user should view & report in their local time. This means that the database must record metrics in Universal Time and that each node must be assigned an offset with user viewing based on their local time. It’s a significant re-write, but is essential to attract global customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using various modules since 2003. Right now, most modules are at the latest version including IP Address Manager 4.3, Network Traffic Analyser 4.1.1, Network Performance Monitor 11.5.2, Server and Application Manager 6.2.2, Network Configuration Manager 7.4, Web Performance Monitor 2.2.0, Voice and Network Quality Manager 4.2.2, User and Device Tracker 3.2.3 plus Virtualisation Manager v7, Additional Polling Engines, Additional Web Servers and the Engineers Toolset.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have only rarely encountered stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have only rarely encountered scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The quality of the support staff is exceptional and their dedication to improve the client’s installation is outstanding. The community site must be unique in the way that customers, SolarWinds engineers and SolarWinds managers interact.

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

I have been forced to use a variety of other products with other clients, but most have migrated to NPM after an evaluation. Simplicity in use, in administration & the ability to present anything that management or the business wants is a killer to other products.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was simple. Run an evaluation & win the team over, then procure the hardware/VMs/licences & follow the books.

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

SolarWinds used to make a big thing about “20% of the cost for 80% of the functionality”. I think that the cost has risen, but the functionality and versatility is way above other products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I regularly have to run gap analysis on other products, such as CA Spectrum, Nagios, Check_MK, OneSight, PRTG, and Munin, but NPM always wins. J

What other advice do I have?

Download and run the evaluation bundles on a spare server; it‘ll offer SQL Express.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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