SolarWinds NPM Review

Lets us track down brownouts in a multi-host, multi-guest virtual environment

What is our primary use case?

We have been making use of the most recent version.

We use it for monitoring our uplink ports on our routers and switches. We also use it to monitor our servers and we utilize its disc space and processor memory. We do the same thing for the routers and switches.

How has it helped my organization?

An improvement the solution has brought to our organization is that it enables us to track down what I call brown outs in a multi-host, multi-guest virtual environment. It allows us to see why and when this occurred and to know what else was transpiring at the time that we had received an end-user complaint of the system running slowly. 

What is most valuable?

As we look to add more servers to our virtual environment and to understand the impact, the solution allows us to dig into the historical charts related to capacity planning. It also gives us visibility of spikes and allows us to track down the reasons for their occurrences. So too, it makes room for potential processes that have gotten hung or runaway and to know when it's time to reboot a server or service. 

What needs improvement?

The solution should make things easier to set up on a node by node basis. When turning on the network scanning to try to set up nodes, it has a tendency to grab everything in site, every port on a firewall, for example. One should have the option of picking through these before they're automatically added, so that there should be no need to go through them manually and delete them. The solution's network discovery and node addition processes need more work. Once the nodes have been added, there is a need to go in and delete them manually. 

I cannot think of additional improvements that are worth mentioning. The solution does a pretty good job all around. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using some version of SolarWinds for 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We don't see many outages of the actual platform. The sole exception would concern us taking a process in which we would be restarting it on a monthly basis. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. I've never seen a problem with this.

I don't have any plans to increase the usage in the future. I would not say that the solution is being extensively used, as we're not necessarily monitoring everything that we could, there being no need for some of this in our environment. I would make use of the performance monitor should I wish to dive deeper into a running system for detailed analysis.

How are customer service and technical support?

As I have been using the solution for so long, I have not had any need for technical support. 

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

I have used other products prior to SolarWinds NPM. I switched because the solution provides a consolidated view of everything. 

How was the initial setup?

A moderate level of knowledge of the product's use is required for installation. 

The initial installation occurred a long time ago. While, for me, this process would not take long, somebody who is new and who has never used the solution may take a day or two to do installation and to become fully up to speed of what is being added, the reason for doing so and how the solution should be configured. 

Installation is not easy for a person who lacks the requisite experience. 

What about the implementation team?

I did the integration myself. 

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

I renewed the licenses around two-and-a-half to three years ago and do not have the relevant numbers off the top of my head. 

What other advice do I have?

I would estimate there are three insfrastructure managers, with myself as the head of the IT department. There is at least one other technician working on the wide area, local area network.

My advice to others is to add their nodes manually, not to let the network discovery and auto ad run.

I rate SolarWinds NPM as 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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