SolarWinds NPM Review

Network monitoring that alerts you and is customizable, but it's expensive

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for network monitoring.

What is most valuable?

The biggest thing for me is that it provides enough information for me to monitor. It alerts and provides you with the information that you need.

SolarWinds is one of those tools that work across the spectrum with different products, such as Cisco HP.

It is very customizable. I am quite happy with what it gives me.

What needs improvement?

I can say that SolarWinds is good on the market, but it's also expensive. The price is an issue.

It would be nice to have the device tracking software as part of the Network Monitoring suite. If you go with Spiceworks, which a free shareware product, they will give you all of that type of information. They will tell you that this is all of the features you have and this is what is up and what is down, and they will tell you if the device is a laptop or if this computer is plugged into this port, which is handy. SolarWinds has that tool, but it's an additional license.

Sometimes there are issues when upgrading to a new version of the product.

The market is always changing, but one thing that would add value would be analytics. Many put that into a SIEM-type solution, but from a network point of view, if I had analytics on my network to expand with then it would be helpful. I would say normally this port does this much traffic and over the last six months it's doing that much traffic, and then all of a sudden, today, it's doing an amount that isn't normal. It means that something is wrong in your environment and you can start an investigation.

When you are dealing with a large network, there is a lot of information coming through. If you had a system that did some sort of analysis and collating of information into smaller blocks, you could quickly look at a dashboard and say these are ten points I need to go and look at because these are things that are not 100% correct in the environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SolarWinds for about ten years.

We have four or five users, and we have approximately 150 devices that it's monitoring.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have contacted technical support once or twice. I logged a ticket and they responded quite promptly, and they tried to help me with it.

The only time that I have had any issues was when I was upgrading. I had one surprise in my ten year period. When I upgraded to a new version of the product, the upgrade failed. It leaves you in a position where you can't go forward and you can't go backward. You're stuck. You almost have to reinstall it from fresh and start over, which is not a great point to work from. You would like to keep all of the history and information that you have built.

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

It's expensive and there are costs in addition to the standard licensing.

They have additional modules, for instance. They have a device tracking software that is an extra module. It tells you which device is connected to which port on your switch. It's a module that you have to pay extra for, at about $2,000.00 to $3,000.00.

It becomes expensive when you add all of these modules, just trying to do work with basic network tools.

What other advice do I have?

We don't have any plans to increase usage in the future, but we do have some additional plans on providing it as a service to other companies. That said, I don't think that we will be changing anytime soon.

I have recommended this product more than once. It's one of the better products on the market, and it also has an extensive suite.

If people are looking for network monitoring software, and are willing to pay for it, and don't want a free version, I have always said that SolarWinds is one of the better options.

I think that there is room for improvement. I have seen other products that do similar, where some elements are better and some are worse. I think that it's a good all-round product, but it can be better.

I would rate this solution 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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