vRealize Network Insight Review

Helps us verify whether certain servers/applications should be communicating

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for our microsegmentation project. The performance has been good.

How has it helped my organization?

To some degree, it has increased performance, helped to more easily manage networks, and provided visibility. It pulls up more of the physical part of the network.

What is most valuable?

I like being able to see the flows coming in and out of the product.

In terms of monitoring network flows, we use it to verify whether or not different servers/applications should be communicating with each other.

What needs improvement?

It needs to be a little easier to use and to understand the information it's putting out. That would make it more helpful.

If you're not a network person you need to understand things like network policies and concepts. If you gave it to a regular admin, it would be nice if it were easier for them to pick up what is going on, understand the flows and whether or not stuff should be talking to each other, as opposed to just port groups and IP addresses.

Also, if it were more application-aware, more descriptive; if it were able to determine the application that is actually doing the communication, that would be easier. More application information: which user or account it's accessing, is it accessing this application, doing these calls, if it is accessing a script, which script is it accessing. Things like that would provide deeper analytics so I can track what's going on. It would not just be, "These people shouldn't be talking," but who is actually doing these calls.

And it would be good if it could correlate the server and not just a SQL call, but which database, which server, that would be helpful. I would like to see more things along those lines.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. We haven't had any problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have any issues with the scalability. The scalability has been fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't had to use tech support at all.

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

We were buying VMware NSX Enterprise as a security solution, to better lock down our environment. vRealize Network Insight was one of the tools they suggested we get, as part of that package, to make the implementation easier.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

  • ease of use
  • integration
  • interoperability
  • support
  • vendor reputation.

I have been using VMware since v1.5. I know the reputation and the support and that helped a lot. Also, their being the leader in the industry, the direction they have been going, and their forward-thinking, were all part of our decision to go with them. A lot of the other vendors are playing catch-up or they're plugging into the VMware infrastructure, so why would I go to somebody else when I can go with somebody who owns the code?

How was the initial setup?

I set it up. It was pretty straightforward to set up. It was pretty easy, especially compared to some other VMware products.

I have also had the opportunity to upgrade it to a newer version. It was easy. It wasn't bad at all.

What was our ROI?

We bought a package deal so I can't specify the ROI on just this part of it.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure the solution you're looking at is compatible with what you want to do and that it has future growth to it; not just a pinpoint solution but a solution that is part of a bigger vision. You don't want to buy a product that does just this one thing and then you have to buy another product to do something else. Make sure it has interoperability and integration points with some of your bigger infrastructure.

I would rate vRNI at eight out of 10. It would be a 10 if it could bubble up deeper application and user information.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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