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SolarWinds NPM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SolarWinds NPM is the #4 ranked solution in our list of best Network Monitoring Tools. It is most often compared to Zabbix: SolarWinds NPM vs Zabbix

What is SolarWinds NPM?

Check the health and performance of your entire network for easier troubleshooting and faster results using SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor. NPM lets you quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance problems and outages. Now with built-in deep packet inspection and analysis you can immediately determine the impact of network or application latency on user experience.

SolarWinds NPM is also known as Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer.

SolarWinds NPM Buyer's Guide

Download the SolarWinds NPM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

SolarWinds NPM Customers

Microsoft, Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, and MasterCard

SolarWinds NPM Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SolarWinds NPM pricing:
  • "It is relatively inexpensive compared to other products in the same category."
  • "USD $15,000 annually for maintenance."
  • "It's expensive and there are costs in addition to the standard licensing."

SolarWinds NPM Reviews

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AA
Manager of Operations - Enterprise at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Make monitoring key performance factors in your enterprise customized and effective

Pros and Cons

  • "The product covers our needs for the basic care and feeding of servers, whether they are physical or virtual."
  • "Technical support and releases are not particularly reliable."

What is our primary use case?

Our installation is on-premises on a virtual machine. When we purchased NPM I was particularly interested in the features of Orion. We were going through a maturation process propagating the monitoring of applications throughout the server policy here at the university. It was more to monitor various applications that are primarily used for individual schools. For example, we have the school public health, and we have the school of nursing and they have different needs. You have all these applications like Banner and Canvas and other web-based applications that get used by particular areas. We are working with one application now for COVID-19. There is an application that has been spawned from that, but mostly our monitoring is for up/downtime, space, memory, availability, and those types of things critical for performance analysis. We are just now getting more into monitoring databases and a broader scope of applications as well.  

What I am mostly referring to is not the whole Network Performance Monitor suite. This is the actual operations monitoring piece of it. We have the network and we are responsible for set up and monitoring of those particular tools.  

What is most valuable?

We identified the five areas that we wanted to have be our key performers, like memory utilization, CPU utilization, and those core components. Just the basic care and feeding of servers, whether they were physical or virtual.  

What needs improvement?

We were looking at using DPA (Database Performance Analyzer) which is another component of the NPM and that looks like it takes care of an area we had not really dove into yet. But in talking to the DBA, they like another product that they want to use for the database monitoring. It is an Oracle product called OEM (Oracle Enterprise Manager).  

In talking to the DBA's, there was a lot of functionality that they were just used to and they had issues because they did not see some things that they thought were important but missing in the DPA product. That is the only thing I have run into so far with the product that seems to be a shortfall. Everything else is pretty good.  

I do not really have other suggestions for additional features beyond working on the development of DPA to make it a more complete tool. We are still learning the product.  

There may be some things that they could improve in the reporting aspect of the product. You can create custom reports and those types of things. But the product seems to be missing some depth in that area and it leaves a little bit to be desired. For example, the filtering system and formatting reports and things like that seem to have room for improvement. You are a little limited on the information available on that front and the utility could be improved.  

They do have some templates that you can use for report setup. It would be nice if you could maybe make your own. That might make it a little bit more easy to generate other reports that follow the way you like to do things.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We purchased SolarWinds NPM (Network Performance Monitor) about three years ago.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SolarWinds is a pretty good, stable product, but we have had some issues with support. That is especially true of the last release we upgraded to. There were some SQL issues that we were looking for them to help us out with and, finally, it took so long that someone on our internal SQL team had figured out what the problem was. So, I would say that the upgrades to the product itself from what we went through can be somewhat of a pain point and maybe there needs to be more rigorous testing.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Typically, I don't think scalability is an issue. If you are talking about individual users, we have anywhere from 20 to 25 people across the typology. Probably one of the biggest users is a resource/research support group where they have various servers on the Orion Monitoring System. They actually take on their own responsibility and monitoring role for their servers. So, there are some groups that adopted monitoring through Orion, and then there are some other groups that have quite a bit more of a blasé approach to it and do not really think it is important.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had a lot of opportunities to use technical support. When we did I was not particularly impressed with their response time or expertise.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup with Orion was somewhat complex. They do have templates in there that you can utilize, but most of those you are going to have to customize anyways. We found that it was easier just to go ahead and do our own.  

The way that I found it to be complex was that we had to do a lot of our own scripting to collect the data that we needed. Once you have got a template set up, you can pretty much populate that information to the Orion database, but I mean there is some pain to get started off. Overall we got involved in a year-long project where we were meeting on a weekly basis discussing all the issues. I think it took us a little over a year-and-a-half to actually declare success on the project.  

Only after that declaration of success were we able to get on to monitoring and dissemination of information to various users and get started with the monitoring. But our monitoring is a lot better than what it used to be. We were using Homegrown, Nagios, and Check_MK. People were not paying attention to alerts. I think the way we handle it now has really helped users mature in that way. We have still got a lot more work to do though.  

We started out with an implementation strategy, but there were some challenges when our directions got changed on us by senior leadership. We would have a plan and a direction and head down a path to implement those particular types of solutions. We would set up the alerting and monitoring and then three months later somebody would come up from an executive level and say, "Hey, we need to monitor this as well." So, we would have to make some changes just like any project. We had to learn to be flexible with it to meet people's needs, but having clearer goals from the outset would have made it easier and quicker in the long run.  

What about the implementation team?

We did just about all the work on the implementation on our own with an internal team. Right now, I have got one person that is in charge of the actual product itself. They take care of all the changes, releases, upgrades, deployments, the agents, and those types of things. I have another individual who is responsible for creating tickets and disseminating the information to the owners of the server monitoring in various groups to get their alerts fixed. It does require attention but it does not take a large group for maintenance requirements.  

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

I do not handle the negotiations on pricing, so that is outside my realm of influence. I know that our initial purchase was about $200,000.  

What other advice do I have?

One of the things I would suggest to people considering this product and products like it is having a clear agreement upon targets of what you really want to monitor. If it is applications or servers or whatever it is, it just makes sense to come at your choices with a plan. Implement that on the front end by picking out what is important instead of coming back on the back end and trying to do things after-the-fact.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this solution as about an 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.
DB
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable and awarded bandwidth analysis that provides important information about performance and traffic

Pros and Cons

  • "A product that is well-tested and trusted in demanding situations."
  • "The only thing that can be improved is to continually add to the existing capabilities of the product."

What is our primary use case?

We are a reseller of SolarWinds, so that is our primary use. SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer is actually a marketing name. That is the brand name of a couple of products in a suite. The main product of the network management suite is NPM, or the Network Performance Monitor, which is qualified as a global market-leading product and has won a lot of awards in the past few years. It is the flagship for network management software.  

The cool thing about that product is that you can use it to also monitor your network cloud connections through the internet. That is quite a unique feature. With this NPM piece, called NetPath, users can see how their applications on the internet are behaving performance-wise. So, for example, you can see how your Office 365 use, status, and performance are doing on the internet. Our customers would otherwise not have a clue when they have performance issues without using this tool.  

What is most valuable?

What is good about this product is that the customers get real insights into the behavior of their network. They can see what is flowing over it. They will know what kind of data it is, like whether it is YouTube movies or if it is application information. This allows them to get an exact picture of how their network is being used.  

What needs improvement?

I see a tendency in the industry that a lot of software is going into the cloud. Customers now have to install it on-premises or they could install on-premises software in the cloud. That is also possible. So I see a tendency that software is becoming more cloud-related and I think that it is valuable for customers. SolarWinds should continue in this direction.  

As far as areas that can be improved, we already have NetPath functionality. Maybe that can be improved even more to add more options for visualization.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution since 2013.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable. It has been a proven software solution for a couple of years. 
We have sold this to global banks who use it to manage their global networks. For this purpose, it needs to be very scalable and very stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a very scalable solution as well. It is meant for large businesses but small and medium-sized businesses can also use this product. They can all use it, but I see more and more big companies — enterprise companies — coming to use this software. This includes data centers, global industries, banks, other financial institutions, insurance companies, and big brand names.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We do not have to contact the technical support for SolarWinds that I am aware of. Sometimes I have heard of support cases that are resolved really quickly by SolarWinds for their clients. We can not have any kind of issues in production. The company knows this so takes this responsibility for support very seriously.  

So I would say that overall they have good support.  

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

I have been working with another HP product called OpenView a long while ago, but that software is now disappearing and it is being replaced by HP with SolarWinds. The big bank I worked with has already replaced all the HP OpenView software with the SolarWinds product.  

The main difference between SolarWinds network monitoring software and other software is the price and the ease-of-use of the tool. The software has also been made by network engineers for network engineers. The designers are in the industry as well. So they speak the same language and the software is being endorsed by other IT engineers.  

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to set up. We also deliver consultancy and I recommend to all our customers that they have us involved in the configuration of the software. It is easy to install but then when it is running, it has to be configured. We are good at that.  

What about the implementation team?

We recommend an integrator or consultant while deploying it because this part is very important. That is a bit of marketing, of course. But we are experts with a lot of experience. We see what happens with the customers and we already know what they need and why they have the product, so we recommend they take some help from us with this. 

We do mostly one-on-one consultancy with someone who can do the job. He is engaged for a couple of days and depending on the customer's requirements he takes care of those needs. For example, some of them want to have an integration with other software, like ServiceNow.  

If they want to have SolarWinds integrated with something like ServiceNow it takes a bit more time because it adds a level of complexity. Then the client should also get training in the new product. We provide certified admin training for the software. We train about eight people at one time and they get a certification at the end of the week after a five-day training. Having a SolarWinds certified staff member is very valuable for our customers as then they are experts as well in-house.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people who are coming to SolarWinds is that they do a training on the website and take advantage of exploring the trial version. The free trial will allow them to use the product and get to know the features before paying for it. I always recommend that smaller organizations start small. You can make the initial purchase of a very simple license which is not very expensive. Then you can build it out later to a bigger scale and then use the software company-wide.  

So the advice is really to begin small and build it out and take more licenses as you need them. You can pick the functionality that you need at the current time and scale-out. Sometimes you need more functionality or you may need more analysis as well. You can take another module and put it into the Orion platform to integrate it. Sometimes a customer might say they are having some database performance issues. We use the Orion module DPA (Database Performance Analyzer) and then they get to see a lot of information about how their applications are using the databases — like an Oracle SQL server. Another company is also producing a database performance monitoring tool for Progress Databases and some other open-source flavors. So over time, the picture is getting more and more complete to cover everything that clients want to do.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine. The reason I would give it a nine is that our customers are evaluating the software and they are big brands, like famous names in the banking industry. They really rely heavily on the software for their business. Before they purchase it, they go through a fairly strict selection procedure to get everything they need, find out if it is stable, and how well it is running. They make the product pass rigorous testing and evaluation. So if it is good for them, it is a proven solution. It is stable, scalable, reliable and not too expensive.  

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
Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AN
Senior Network Engineer at Element Critical
Real User
Top 20
Good Performance Analyzer feature, excellent access to knowledge base resources, and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is extremely stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard. We haven't had issues with bugs, glitches, or crashes."
  • "In terms of scalability, there is room for improvement. When you start monitoring, if you have so many interfaces and you're trying to monitor them at a faster interval, or a shorter interval, you get to a point where you need to request another node."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily used the solution for routers and switches.

What is most valuable?

The "Performance Analyzer" feature is the solution's most valuable aspect. It's able to do the bounded graphs of all the interface stats, from errors to broadcasts and to current traffic. With a click of a button you're able to, in one interface, look at historical data for those items.

From the troubleshooting point of view, just having that peace of mind is great. I think it was kind of a neat feature they added. However, it obviously depends on who's using the platform. I use it as a troubleshooting tool mostly for historical data. That's kind of why I have a monitoring system. We rely heavily on that. We are supposed to be on 24/7 so if some resource is knocked out we can just do troubleshooting using historical data. Performance Analyzer was one of the core features I thought was pretty cool.

What needs improvement?

The idea that you can automatically trigger alerts from the TRAPS received is still something that still hasn't really taken off or worked properly. We have to manually go into the database and create SQL queries or SQL queries, to be able to match those and trigger those as alerts. On the engine itself, the Orion platform, just being able to receive the TRAP and generate the alert or something like an alert is a manual process.

We have all of these other networks that rely heavily on their own vendor protocol for monitoring, and then what the vendor has in place is just a place to be able to northbound, whatever it received to another server. 

It becomes tricky when you're trying to, for example, dry contact monitoring for power, etc. Those are not necessarily your network, they're using dry contacts. Just analog. The vendor needs to get all the information, and then put it into a format that actually works to be able to be received by other networks.

Basically, it's just important to have some sort of TRAP alert generation. There's no point of us trying to do queries into the database.

For how long have I used the solution?

Before I joined my current company, I had been using SolarWinds for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard. We haven't had issues with bugs, glitches, or crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, there is room for improvement. When you start monitoring, if you have so many interfaces and you're trying to monitor them at a faster interval, or a shorter interval, you get to a point where you need to request another node.

If you have a router that has over 400 interfaces, you need a very robust server. If you don't you'll end up running into issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never really reached out to technical support. I understand that it's alright. The very few times I've needed assistance, I was able to get some things from the SolarWinds page and their knowledge base. That's where almost everything you would need is found. 

For the most part, I've not had issues that required me to go past their knowledge base. The other thing is, when people do try to reach out past the knowledge base, the support staff always bounce back with a question like "Hey, did you check the log?" It can be frustrating because obviously you've looked and that's why you're calling. Because the answer isn't there.  

For the most part, they do a great job of having people share stuff on their knowledge base. Once you get access to that, most of what a general user would need is on there, if they running into something. The few times I've actually worked with support, it was in relation to something that was related to an enhanced feature. The experience, overall, I'd say has been okay.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

It's easy. A user can download the file, then they simply click the installer and it provides simple step-by-step click-through style instructions. It's been very intuitive for the most part. Before installation, it's important to consider space requirements, resources for the server, etc. before jumping in. Users will also need to consider (if they're running netflow) whether to save the data on the email server or not. It's possible to run out of space that way, however. There are various guidelines, however, at the end of the day, the installation process isn't complex in and of itself. 

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

I no longer work at the company that uses Solar Winds, so I don't have information about what they were paying or what they pay now. The current package I'm using myself is a free package as I do a comparison between PRTG and SolarWinds.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're in the process of doing a comparison between SolarWinds and PRTG. 

What other advice do I have?

At my old company, we were always using the current version of the solution. We'd like to keep up to date with the latest releases. The company even changed over when there was a move from a 2012 Windows server to an updated version of Windows (16).

We had a single server located in one location and all the other devices were networked. Sometimes SolarWinds was used as a slot receiver and trap receiver for some of those devices that have their own "NMS" (network managed system). It's not really proprietary, but we had a northbound interface to be able to send syslogs or TRAPS. SolarWinds was used as the one central location to be able to receive and process alarms and alerts for any trigger actions.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. The solution is kind-of expensive, but at the end of the day, it's quite robust. It has several great functionalities. It has groups, maps, almost everything. It's just a matter of the price point that makes it somewhat prohibitive.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DS
Systems and Data Warehouse Supervisor at MMSD
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to proactively resolve issues, resulting in significant time savings and minimal downtime

Pros and Cons

  • "The alerting and usage tracking notifications on disk space capacity, network and processor utilization."
  • "Complex and overly detailed setup."

What is our primary use case?

This solution has many different roles in our company. There is the application support group who configure it for monitoring specific services within applications and our desktop or operations group which monitors toner in laser printers. My group, which is primarily networking and servers, use it for bandwidth monitoring, server processor utilization monitoring, and for disk space monitoring. So we use it for a lot of different things. There are probably 200 services that are being monitored within our financial system to make sure that it is running optimally. I'm an infrastructure supervisor and we're customers of SolarWinds.

How has it helped my organization?

The outcome of using this solution is that we've been able to become more proactive on really resolving issues before users know that there's a problem. Outages have reduced by probably around 90% because we're able to take and proactively add space to a disk or add processors to a server before users know there's a problem. It means we can take something down at night and fix it, rather than disrupting work in the middle of the day. 

What is most valuable?

The alerting and usage tracking is a valuable feature because it alerts us when we're getting near capacity on disk space, network utilization or processor utilization. It helps us manage our capacity and enables us to be proactive.

What needs improvement?

This is a complex product to set up and I think it's really too detailed and could be simplified. It's a change from their older product which was very easy to set up and manage. The new one is more difficult because it's far more detailed. The solution does everything we ask of it, but it takes a long time to deploy.

Additional features and improvements would be to simplify initial data gathering so that we can deploy easily and then refine it over time. Ideally, we'd like to be able to get something up and running in a week and then go through and decide, for example, to monitor things on one particular server and not necessarily on others. They could possibly create a generic installation and then let us go back and refine it. We spend a lot of time without having all of our equipment monitored because it takes so long to initially set up each server. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think this is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the solution is easy to scale although it does require a lot of resources. When we initially set it up, we had about a quarter of the resources that we currently have and we set it up too conservatively which caused a lot issues. When the consultant reset it, we quadrupled the amount of resources that the system has. We have about 10 people that get alerts and are actively involved with the system. The system requires about 10 staff hours for maintenance, updates and verification that everything is working.

As we refine it to monitor services, we are going to increase the usage. So right now we have it monitoring a database server, but we're not monitoring all of the services within that server. So we might have 30 databases in there. We're not yet monitoring each of the individual databases.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have very few issues that require technical support, we only contact them a few times a year. They generally resolve things pretty quickly and our issues are generally related to improving deployment. 

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

We used to use a product called ipMonitor, which is a much simpler solution. It's one-tenth of the cost and we used it strictly for alerting. It would tell us when a server was down, but not that the server was running at 70% utilization for the previous week. ipMonitor was strictly a something is working or a something is not working solution.

How was the initial setup?

The server configuration for installation took about a week. And then another two to three weeks to get it installed across all of our servers. We're making modifications every day. We initially set it up ourselves and then about two years after the initial installation, we hired a consultant to redo the installation and make it more efficient because it wasn't initially configured optimally. It's the amount of detail you need that will determine how much time you spend setting something up.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI has been in the savings in downtime during business hours.

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

Our annual maintenance fee is USD $15,000. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HP had a similar product that we looked at but it wasn't nearly as universal as SolarWinds products. HP has a product to monitor servers and a product to monitor networks, but they don't have one product that does both well, SolarWinds monitors everything very well.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend taking into consideration that you will need more server resources than you think. Knowing that means you can save on having to rebuild the whole environment later on. We ended up going from one server to four servers and it's running much better now. Don't skimp on the server resources you get with the application.

I would rate this solution a 10 out of 10. 

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.
PM
Technical Support Specialist at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Network monitoring that alerts you and is customizable, but it's expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The biggest thing for me is that it provided enough information for me to monitor. It alerts and provides you with the information you need."
  • "Sometimes there are issues when upgrading to a new version of the product."

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RP
Senior Vice President and CIO at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Lets us track down brownouts in a multi-host, multi-guest virtual environment

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "The solution's network discovery and node addition processes need more work."

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DineshNekkanti
Digital Innovation at Bobcat Company
Real User
Top 10
Good sharing display, excellent technical support and useful for hybrid monitoring

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support has always been great. They are very responsive. We've been satisfied with their level of support."
  • "There needs to be more integration of widgets, especially for reporting purposes."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to try to monitor all of our AWS services, including the servers and the cloud. We use both, and this actually helps us with monitoring and certain applications.

What is most valuable?

The best part of the solution is the sharing display. It gives a general public ID wherein everyone can link to a public display. That's a good feature.

What needs improvement?

I expected more from the solution. I thought it would be just like the Orion Platform. On Orion, for example, you can spot all the different widgets and everything from the dashboard. This solution is less simple. There are charts and lines and numbers. It might be helpful if the solution offered some more extensions, like a log that could add up your display on the dashboard.

I have mixed feelings about the solution. I started off thinking that this would be a replacement to all of our other dashboards, like Cloudworx. However, it didn't show me that promise. I wouldn't want to replace the other dashboards that we started with because it wouldn't generate reporting. It would be helpful if it would help visualize information better.

There needs to be more integration of widgets, especially for reporting purposes.

The solution would benefit enormously from more automation, especially around reporting.

For how long have I used the solution?

SolarWinds NPM has been in our company for two years now, but we have just recently started to utilize the solution effectively. We've begun to get the full effect of the product, I would estimate, only in the past few months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is weak in comparison to other solutions. CloudWatch is far better in the stability aspect. The solution is a bit slow.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has the potential to scale. I'm not sure if my company has tried to do so or if they plan on doing so, so I can't speak from any personal experience.

We are actually in the process of replacing a lot of items. This solution didn't do the things we expected, so don't know the likelihood of scaling it in the future, or continuing to use it.

For the most part, our IT teams are the ones that are on the solution. Not everyone in the company is on it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has always been great. They are very responsive. We've been satisfied with their level of support.

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

We didn't previously have any other hybrid platform to monitor. We were just using CloudWatch for our AWS services. With SolarWinds, we have the potential to take a look at everything across the board. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was really smooth.

I personally did not handle the deployment part, however, the rest of the team who supported me had handled the process and it was my understanding that they didn't have any issues.

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

I don't deal with licensing or pricing, so I wouldn't be able to guess how much we pay for the services or if they are monthly or yearly. I'm not sure what our license agreement looks like.

What other advice do I have?

We just use the product. We're not consultants or resellers.

I'm not sure of which version of the solution we are currently using. It may be the most recent.

I do believe that in the future, users will gravitate towards using one solution for monitoring all the servers and applications. However, right now this product needs a lot of plugins. Currently, a lot of improvements are needed before the solution gets to a good place in terms of usability.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DP
Senior Executive IT Program Manager at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Reliable monitoring with good reporting and good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "We don't have any issues with the stability of SolarWinds NPM."
  • "One of the challenges with SolarWinds is that in order to pull the data, we have to have a lot of false positives."

What is our primary use case?

My team uses SolarWinds to do some of the network monitoring. I look at the reports.

What needs improvement?

One of the challenges with SolarWinds is that in order to pull the data, we have to have a lot of false positives.

False positives or positive falses are a concern because you want to be as accurate as possible and get them down to zero, which is what you want on your network. Once a week with the reports there, is always a false positive or vice versa where it's showing that it's up and really it's down.

We are looking at how we can overcome that issue. Is it a work issue, or does it come from the tool itself? It will show that something is down when it's up and every once in a while if something is down it shows that it is still up.

We would like to be able to pull information from the vendor's OEM. It would be helpful to have crosswalks or if it could have a running list that goes out of models, software, and it can pull out the end of life, or end of service life dates. Also to suggest the recommend current version to use, that way you can do the comparisons without having to do a manual search. That would be beneficial.

Similar to other tools, I would also like to see a graphical map of your network that highlight in green, red, or yellow, and if you see a specific device you can click on it and it will help you drill down on the details of that device.

There are other things that it should be able to do, such as when it comes to monitoring the infrastructure and my server, and there are issues developing like the circuits degrading or latency is increasing it should give you a notification to know what is going on, rather waiting for the device to go down which at that point it would be too late. You want to be able to do proactive monitoring and reaction.

We want to get to a monitoring level where if it is monitoring the server, the CPU, or the storage level you could have presets where it will identify and give you warnings to say that you are at 70% or 80% storage capacity. This would allow you to get ahead of it before you run out. 

It would be the same for the CPU utilization and knowing if it is running 20 or 30% premiums normally or is it running at 90 or 100% and you have to add CPUs.

It could let you know if you have other tools or applications that are running too hot or if they need to be changing out that tool or is it something else.

To have something in place where it can help us to do some analysis and be proactive would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I don't use this solution, I oversee a team who uses it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We don't have any issues with the stability of SolarWinds NPM. 

We had one problem, but it wasn't a stability issue, it was a hack that occurred earlier this year that affected everyone using SolarWinds. After that, it took a bit to get it stabilized to where it is now. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Our team that has worked with technical support hasn't had any complaints. It goes pretty well. 

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

I am familiar with several tools.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

They will be putting NetScout on their network to look at some of the differences and to look at the pluses and minuses of each of the two tools.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate SolarWinds an eight out of ten.

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