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IBM Tivoli NetCool OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Tivoli NetCool is #8 ranked solution in top Network Management Applications. IT Central Station users give IBM Tivoli NetCool an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Tivoli NetCool is most commonly compared to SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager:IBM Tivoli NetCool vs SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 33% of all views.
What is IBM Tivoli NetCool?
IBM Tivoli Netcool delivers near real-time, consolidated event management across business infrastructure, data centers, complex networks and IT domains. The software provides full management and automation to help you deliver continuous uptime of business services and applications.

IBM Tivoli NetCool was previously known as Tivoli NetCool.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Network Management Applications Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM Tivoli NetCool Customers
Claranet, Consolidated Communications, Telus, €sterreichische Bundesbahnen (€BB), Telekom Srbija, Bendigo Community Telco, Capgemini, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB)
IBM Tivoli NetCool Video

IBM Tivoli NetCool Reviews

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JT
Director / Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Enables us to tailor the solution to the particular requirements of a customer

Pros and Cons

  • "The scalability of monitoring, the breadth of supported network components, the scale of the number of monitoring events, and the flexibility in customization make this a well-rounded product."
  • "Customization and integration that you need to do to make the product fit your needs is very complex. It is not a product that somebody could easily pick up without any prior training or experience."

What is our primary use case?

Tivoli Netcool is being used for monitoring network and data center IT infrastructure.  

Currently, I am working on a contract for a customer with an on-premises solution using Netcool. I'm a contractor, so I work with various customers.  

What is most valuable?

Some of the things that I think are most valuable in this solution are:  

  • The scalability in terms of the amount of monitoring it can handle.  
  • The breadth in terms of the different applications, devices, protocols, et cetera, that it can monitor.  
  • The scale, in terms of the number of monitoring events that it can handle.  
  • The flexibility in terms of how you can tailor the solution to the particular requirements of the customer.  

What needs improvement?

The Netcool family of products features a lot of components for which the integration between them requires a considerable amount of expertise and time. From a customer perspective, it is quite an expensive solution to initially implement and then support.  

The product pricing itself is relatively competitive. It is more the skills that the user company needs to employ that run up the actual cost. In order to be able to implement it and maintain it properly, they need resources in terms of expertise, consultants, or very experienced permanent staff.  

There are many capabilities included in the wider product set but it seems that not much has really been developed or enhanced recently. Something I would like to see, and that should be possible, is allowing an easy way to model business services and show the health of business services. Netcool is already very good at monitoring individual components to look at the performance and availability of components, but it is not very easy to model complex business services that have multiple relationships or dependencies.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for approximately 13 years now.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are always bugs and there are many fix packs released for the various components. But in general terms, I would say it is a fairly stable product. Some of the newer features around analytics have proved to have many bugs, but these features have been improved over the last couple of years. The base functionality is generally very stable, indeed.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is easily scaled. In our current level of usage, we probably have anywhere up to 50 users in the system at any given time.  

The users are predominantly either in a sort of IT service desk capacity or in a sort of IT administrator category. Roles can vary.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had experience contacting technical support for some issues. Once you get to level two and level three in IBM the support team, I find their level of expertise to be very good. Support can be problematic, though, if you find yourself predominantly dealing with the first level of technical support. It can take some time in order to get complex issues escalated. Once they are escalated, the issues are handled very well.  

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

Within the environment where I am doing the deployment, I would not know if they had been using another solution. I believe the current customer has used solutions in the past, but it is not something that I would have ever touched. The reason for the switch is that the company determined they needed a different solution to meet their needs.  

How was the initial setup?

The basic installation is moderately complex, but all the further customization and integration that you need to do to make it fit your needs is very complex. It is not a product that somebody could easily pick up without any prior training or experience.  

What about the implementation team?

This product is better installed with the help of integrators or consultants.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was brought in on this project for the implementation once the decision had already been made to adopt the Netcool solution. I am not aware of which products they chose to evaluate.  

What other advice do I have?

My general advice to people considering or adopting this solution would be to ensure that the company defines and understands all of the requirements that are expected of the product at the outset before even choosing a solution. Without knowing what the actual requirements are, it may lead to choosing the wrong product. It is always best to start with considering the base functionality and then build up any customizations from there.  

Also, always try to ensure that you make the minimum number of customizations required for the product to ensure that it is as easy to support in the future as possible. Customizations may not always be compatible with future upgrades.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Netcool from IBM as about a seven-and-a-half versus other competing software products. If I had to choose a round number, it would be an eight.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SU
Senior Baseband & RF Engineer at a comms service provider with 201-500 employees
Real User
Robust with good integration capabilities and excellent stability

Pros and Cons

  • "Anything is possible with Tivoli. It's quite a robust system."
  • "The solution is not user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases for the solution are confidential. However, generally, we use it to monitor all the IT elements in our network, plus some other ancillary services. 

What is most valuable?

The solution is a complete package. It has various useful elements including inventory management and incident management packaged inside it.

Anything is possible with Tivoli. It's quite a robust system.

The solution offers a lot of useful integration capabilities.

What needs improvement?

The solution is not user-friendly.

The solution is a bit complex and it would help if it were simplified so that occasional users, such as myself, could manage it better.

As a person who's not well versed in Tivoli, I find handling integrations quite difficult.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for five or six years. However, I only really manage it if someone from that department is going on vacation. I don't have much experience, but still, I can do some basic troubleshooting. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've found the solution to have a stability similar to SolarWinds. It may even be a bit more stable than that. It's quite good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is impressive. It's far better than the competition.

We have less than ten admins that are on the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never been in direct contact with technical support and therefore can't speak to how good they are.

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

I've used SolarWinds before. I found it easy to use and simple to troubleshoot. The front-end software was very straightforward.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little complex. I wouldn't consider it straightforward. 

I'm not sure how long deployment takes.

We have some Tivoli specialists that manage the Tivoli solution. My experience is on the Cisco networking side, and since I don't normally work with the solution, I'm not sure if I can provide too much detail on implementation.

What other advice do I have?

I'd advise companies that it's difficult to get a person that specializes in a bunch of different solutions and can really understand them fully. It's much better to be an expert on one solution than to try to be an expert on many. If a person wants to specialize in Tivoli then they should focus on just that one solution and know everything there is to know about it.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PP
Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Has excellent support and there is a lot of helpful documentation online

Pros and Cons

  • "Support is one of the best aspects of this solution. NetCool is a good product that has good flexibility. There are a lot of documents available online which is one of the best features of IBM Tivoli Suite. Whenever an issue happens, rather than going to technical support, if you find the exact issue in Google, you can get tech notes for that particular issue."
  • "In terms of improvement, I would like to see more AIOps, Artificial Intelligent Operations in the next release. IBM develops new features for Power BI or Cognos Analytics, which is good. As of now, we use Cognos Analytics, we are not using Power BI. They have the Insight concept but we don't like that."

What is most valuable?

Support is one of the best aspects of this solution. NetCool is a good product that has good flexibility. There are a lot of documents available online which is one of the best features of IBM Tivoli Suite. Whenever an issue happens, rather than going to technical support, if you find the exact issue in Google, you can get tech notes for that particular issue.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, I would like to see more AIOps, Artificial Intelligent Operations in the next release. IBM develops new features for Power BI or Cognos Analytics, which is good. As of now, we use Cognos Analytics, we are not using Power BI. They have the Insight concept but we don't like that. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Tivoli NetCool for around seven years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. I've been working with the Tivoli Suite for seven years and it's very, very stable. IBM gives us good features compared to the market. They have good upgrades and good support.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are around five to six different users in my company who use this solution. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. All of the documents and everything is there. There is a lot of documentation available. The technical team is able to do the installation based on the documentation that is available. It's easy to learn. The commands are also easy to learn.

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

The pricing is reasonable. It's reasonable because the support is very good. If there is ever an issue, we can ask them to resolve them so we don't struggle at all to use this solution.

What other advice do I have?

There is a concern about artificial intelligence concepts for Insights because it's a monitoring tool. It monitors all of the network-related or device-related alerts. Those alerts play a major, vital role in this finance or banking sector. If we were to have this artificial intelligence operation concept, it would be very good. Some new projects that we have require AIOps. 

With respect to monitoring, other solutions can't compete with IBM. 

I would rate this solution a nine and a half out of ten. 

We now use Everbridge as a notification tool and we use ServiceNow for ticketing. If the Tivoli Suite had these features then we wouldn't have the need to pay for other solutions. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
SC
Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good for monitoring and good integration, however has a complex setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has very good integration capabilities."
  • "The solution is too expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for monitoring. We're using a Tivoli stack.

What is most valuable?

The solution has very good integration capabilities.

What needs improvement?

The solution is too expensive.

The product isn't the easiest to use. There's a lot of complexity and it isn't easy to manage.

The initial setup is not straightforward.

The product needs to provide better documentation to the users.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a while at this point. It's been about five years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are always a few bugs here and there. However, the main thing is that IBM is no longer investing in the solution anymore. Therefore, no bug fixes will be coming for those that still exist.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 50 users on the solution currently. 

As IBM is no longer investing in the solution, we won't be expanding usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM could improve its technical support in general. Their response times are pretty slow. I would say that we aren't fully satisfied with the level of service provided to us as users.

How was the initial setup?

We didn't find the initial setup to be straightforward. It was rather complex, in fact. The documentation was just not that good and it made the process challenging.

The deployment process took a year. It wasn't too fast.

We have two engineers that assist in the maintenance of the solution currently.

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

The product is pretty costly. It's definitely not the least expensive option. We find the price to be too high.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with IBM.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest this product to others. There are other products right now that may be lighter in deployment and a lot less expensive.

Overall, I would rate the solution six out of ten. I'd rate it higher if they offered more integration potential, or, alternatively, if they create done cohesive product and offered more monitoring software without some many other parts.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
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