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vRealize Network Insight OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

vRealize Network Insight is the #24 ranked solution in our list of Infrastructure Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to SolarWinds NPM: vRealize Network Insight vs SolarWinds NPM

What is vRealize Network Insight?
VMware vRealize Network Insight delivers intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security. It helps customers build an optimized, highly-available and secure network infrastructure across multi-cloud environments. It accelerates micro-segmentation planning and deployment, enables visibility across virtual and physical networks and provides operational views to manage and scale VMware NSX deployments.

vRealize Network Insight is also known as Arkin.

Buyer's Guide

Download the IT Infrastructure Monitoring Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

vRealize Network Insight Customers

NTTi3, VCIX-NV, VMware Networking and Security Business Unit, Illumio, CompuNet

vRealize Network Insight Video

Archived vRealize Network Insight Reviews (more than two years old)

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ZlatkoMitev
Cloud Architect at IBM
Video Review
MSP
It's intuitive and user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "The gradual way the Network Insight shows you all the relevant information about your networks. It's pretty good. You can really dig deep deep inside and see where the problem is, where it comes from, what you have inside, how did you configure it. Also, it has alerts so you can have pretty much quite a big overview about your network. This is really something good."

    What is our primary use case?

    At IBM we enable vRealize Network Insight in our mission-critical architecture, so we'll be using vRealize Network Insight to monitor and get deep inside to our networking, including with NSX.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's intuitive and user-friendly. It can be a bit painful to deploy. Product provides excellent overview across physical and virtual networks in your virtual environment . In large organizations where vSphere / SDDC / Private Cloud deployments have thousands of VMs and network segments that product definitely bring significant benefit in terms of monitoring, troubleshooting and granular details of network deployment and traffic of connected devices (physical or virtual ) and last but not least holistic view of your network domain. 

    What is most valuable?

    The gradual way the Network Insight shows you all the relevant information about your networks. It's pretty good. You can really dig deep deep inside and see where the problem is, where it comes from, what you have inside, how did you configure it. Also, it has alerts so you can have pretty much quite a big overview about your network. This is really something good.

    What needs improvement?

    I would give 7 to 8. There is always room for improvement.

    For example:

    Deployment process ,Appliance and Proxy VM, is getting configuration done in VM Console. This configuration can definitely be done on web interface (e.g. vROPS) for sake of simplicity and admin sanity.

    LDAP / Active Directory integration configuration is not straight forwards as with other products on vRealize portfolio

    Roles and User permissions configuration differs from other products, and in scenarios where certain group of individual need to have specific permissions across vRealize products  configuration is not out of the box.

    Clustering across Geo locations (Dual Site scenarios or different L2 Domains) or any other mechanism that can provide HA or maintain data availability across sites.

    Offering few sizes of deployment would benefit customers that don't have big foot print in on-prem or cloud, but still would like to get the product into their infrastructure, for whatever reason. Current size of the virtual appliance is not suitable for small and medium size environments. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You can deploy proxy VMs, so it means that if you need to monitor different segments or different deployments of NSX you always can deploy a proxy VM and then monitor those networks within your vRealize Network Insight.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have never actually had a chance to talk with the technical support about the product, but I assume they are brilliant.

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

    We did not. Since the NSX footprint growth in data centers the majority of the cloud providers who are the companies start looking for something to have more gradual detail on the infrastructure in how the network goes and what the network traffic is, so it's better for troubleshooting, better for holistic overview of your network infrastructure. Before that, we didn't use anything. That's why the troubleshooting was a bit difficult.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is straightforward. You need to have an IP address. You don't need to do any additional configuration of the appliances, but once you deploy the appliances then you need to do the configuration on the cause-all, which I think it's a bit more not that straightforward and not that intuitive. It could be better to have the initial configuration of the pliers to be over a web interface or some other wizard.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    OS
    Technical Coordinator with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    It is a cost-effective solution because we now spend less time investigating network flows

    Pros and Cons

    • "A lot of time is saved when you use this type of software solution for the network. We have moved systems into the new data center and the servers and systems are much faster because of the very low latency between virtual machines."
    • "I want to be able to monitor a network flow that is approximately two weeks back, but I haven't found an easy way to do this."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use it to monitor and log the traffic for our virtual servers. We are migrating our virtual servers into a new software-defined data center from a legacy infrastructure. When I migrate the reports into the new infrastructure, I use vRealize Network Insight to monitor or log the traffic from the servers and implement those reports into the NSX firewall. Therefore, our servers will be ready for our migration into our new data center.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We now have a lot less administration after implementing the new service or removing an old system from our new software-defined data center. It has removed investigation time into ports and server traffic on virtual machines. Thus, it saves time.

    Network and management is so much better within this solution and the whole software-defined network when we use NSX. I also manage the NSX firewall which flags the security in NSX. A lot of time is saved when you use this type of software solution for the network. We have moved systems into the new data center and the servers and systems are much faster because of the very low latency between virtual machines.

    What is most valuable?

    I can see the network traffic which is being used by the servers that we are going to move into our new data center. This avoids an investigation and asking administrators of the system which ports they need open, since I am able to see it beforehand (before I move the servers) and implement all firewall routes.

    I use the flowchart to see the network flows which are going in and out of the servers. I export this information into an Excel worksheet and remove common traffic ports, which we are implementing for every virtual machine.

    The solution is very intuitive. I know junior consultants who easily use it and don't have much experience. 

    What needs improvement?

    I want to be able to monitor a network flow that is approximately two weeks back, but I haven't found an easy way to do this. Right now, I am not getting the result I want. So, I want to see the timeline two weeks back from now, including all the flows. I haven't figured out how to do this. If this is not possible now, maybe in the next release, as this would be a very nice function for me.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has never been unstable nor gone down.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It suits us perfectly and scales with our departments.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have no personal experience working with technical support.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller and our experience with them was good. They implemented our entire software-define data center.

    What was our ROI?

    We have spent less time investigating network flows, so it is absolutely cost-effective.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a great solution.

    You do need knowledge and understanding of network traffic, protocols, and ports to understand when you do a search, since you receive flowcharts about the ports in use. This is more technical knowledge of how your network works. However, the tool is very much intuitive.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, SolarWinds, Zabbix and others in IT Infrastructure Monitoring. Updated: October 2021.
    543,089 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    NZ
    System Engineer Technician at Bechtle
    Real User
    It will show you what is happening on your network and what your network traffic is doing

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution helps reduce time to value, increase performance, provide deep visibility, and easily manage networks."
    • "The initial was straightforward. You can have it up and running in one hour."
    • "The virtual appliance has rebooted."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary scope of vRealize Network Insight is deployment of NSX to visualize north-south and east-west traffic. We mainly use it to implement data on the NSX.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It shows the customer what's going on their network. The product makes it much easier to show the customer the needs of their network virtualization. This is interesting because a network admin thinks they know what's going on in their network, but they don't.

    We format the network flows with the customer for certain times. After that, we can see what their needs, sizing, etc.

    What is most valuable?

    It is the first time that you see what your network traffic is doing, where it's going, and where it's coming from. A customer is usually surprised to see how much data is being transferred from the Internet or to the Internet, but also from the east-west traffic as well. It's very interesting because VMware mainly configures their switches on a CLI-base. 

    If you have something you want to investigate further, you can just click on it. Then, you can investigate down to the point where you or the customer says, "That's enough information. I don't want to go any further." That's the intuitive part. We don't have to use any algorithms. It's all configured beforehand, which makes it easy and fun to use.

    The solution helps reduce time to value, increase performance, provide deep visibility, and easily manage networks.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The virtual appliance has rebooted, but overall, the stability is good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial was straightforward. You can have it up and running in one hour.

    What was our ROI?

    It has brought more money into our company.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We show the solution to customers who need to implement NSX or will be moving into the virtualization, because even nowadays, there are still companies which are not virtualized. The graphical interface makes it easier for customers to see the benefits of it.

    We also have Cisco customers who use Cisco switches. Cisco has a CLI tool where you can check throughput, performance, etc. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Use the product. It's pretty cool.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    BS
    Virtualization Manager at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Provides deep visibility into what is happening with traffic and helps us manage our network

    Pros and Cons

    • "It provides deep visibility into what is happening with traffic and helps us manage our network."
    • "vRNI needs more remediation where it hooks into NSX."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for vRNI is to have an overall dashboard for east-west traffic in our hospital. It is used to catch anomalies, like system which are not being used or being overutilized. Its performance is great.

    How has it helped my organization?

    vRNI has improved our organization mostly through our NSX deployment. When we deployed NSX, we were able to watch the flows and create the rules which are normally unseen. When we are going through an application, we have a list of ports (allow or denied rules in NSX). With vRNI, we are able to watch what is happening. If something is not listed or spec'd out by the vendor, but still necessary, like interfaces or engines, we can catch them without causing downtime to the production application when we implemented NSX.

    It definitely helps us manage our network. It provides that deep visibility into what is happening with traffic. You usually don't think of where your traffic is coming from (e.g., this server is connect to that server), but you have your authentication level and other flows that you never even think of. This product helps us with the visualization.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features of the vRNI is to be able to catch anomalies as they pop up. 

    If we have a question about how something is being used, or not being used, we can go to vRNI, review it, finding systems that should have been decommissioned. They are just sitting there as unclaimed resources. 

    vRNI is extremely user-friendly. Out-of-the-box, we can hook it up to our vCenter and our Cisco switches too. It will pull on the flows and immediately, within the first ten minutes, you can see the traffic. It is very intuitive. It will find the normal flows as it records the traffic. It is a very nice product.

    What needs improvement?

    vRNI needs more remediation where it hooks into NSX. This was just brought up at the keynote speech.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We are totally stable. Out-of-the-box, it starts running day one. We have not had an issue so far.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    As far as scalability, give vRNI disk space and it scales out.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We have not used tech support with vRNI so far. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the initial installation. It was very straightforward and simple: Give it an OVA and IP address and point to the vCenter and switches. 

    We have not gone through an upgrade process yet, but I don't think it will be an issue. We will see when we get there.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our NSX team helped us do the install in the beginning. So far, we haven't had any questions about it since the initial installation.

    What was our ROI?

    The solution has reduced the time that we spend on other products. For example, with NSX, we were able to quickly find things that we would normally spend days trying to figure out.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We never even a solution existed until we saw vRNI.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate the vRNI a ten out of ten. It has given us value since day one. We can see more than before. This helps.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Nilesh Raut
    Senior Consultant at DynTek
    Video Review
    MSP
    With this solution and NSX we can troubleshoot any issues proactively

    Pros and Cons

    • "If we deploy NSX it shows us how the workflow will flow in the organization, what the roadblocks are, and what we need to do to overcome those hurdles. When we run this product, it gives us reports which describe problems with physical switches. We work with the network team to get them all resolved."
    • "If it had some kind of plugins with vSphere, more effective plugins with Horizon View or other VMWare products, if it had interconnectivity, I think it would be more effective than it is today."

    What is our primary use case?

    For this product, we wanted to introduce NSX into our environment. Previously, we were using all Cisco, so we wanted to try Network Insight to find the vulnerabilities in our environment and whether our environment was compatible with NSX. That was the premier objective in using this product.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It improves efficiency. Sometimes, to implement a project we have a bottleneck which takes a lot of time in dealing with the network team. But now, with NSX deployed and Net Insight there, we can troubleshoot any issues proactively. It helps us get things deployed very quickly.

    It has reduced time to value.

    We see about a 20 - 25 percent increase in performance, because of this solution.

    In terms of more easily managing networks and improving the visibility, that's the best side of this product, and we're enjoying it. It helps us to manage the network easily.

    What is most valuable?

    It gives us the workflow. If we deploy NSX it shows us how the workflow will flow in the organization, what the roadblocks are, and what we need to do to overcome those hurdles. When we run this product, it gives us reports which describe problems with physical switches. We work with the network team to get them all resolved.

    It's very intuitive. The GUI is very effective. It's a very good product, it's very easy to explore.

    What needs improvement?

    Log Insight from VMware is similar to what Network Insight does. If it had some kind of plugins with vSphere, more effective plugins with Horizon View or other VMWare products, if it had interconnectivity, I think it would be more effective than it is today.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We can add more appliances. It's easily scalable.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Initially, we had to use a lot of technical support because nobody had much expertise. But eventually, we developed expertise. We had to call support to get things done. Now, if there are any complex issues, we get into support calls.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have upgraded it, we applied one patch. It was easy because it's appliance-based, so we just got the pack and uploaded it.

    What was our ROI?

    We have ROI data, but it's confidential so I cannot disclose it. But overall, we have had a very good experience. We have had a good return on investment on this. It's a very good product.

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

    Cost-wise it's reasonable, maybe because we have all VMware products under one umbrella, so they have given us a good discount. But overall, it's very efficient and rich in features.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We considered Cisco and we considered some other small vendors, as well as Palo Alto. But eventually, because we are a VMware shop and our entire team was working with VMware, we went with this product.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate it a nine out of ten. I'm a little bit skeptical, I never give a ten. But otherwise, in the next release, if they made it more intuitive - it's definitely intuitive - but if there were some more features and it let us know about east-west traffic as well, that would be more helpful.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Sean Bettencourt
    Supervisor of Systems Engineering at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    For NSX deployment we no longer have to manually determine what is needed to microsegment VMs

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feture is NetFlow to help us understand how VMs communicate with each other over ports that are known and ports that are also unknown to us. Our company is a security company, so it's very important for us to know exactly which VMs are doing what at all times."
    • "It especially helps with deploying NSX, that you're not having to manually chase down and figure out what you need to do to microsegment VMs. This gives a nice option where you can say, "Hey, this VM, show me what flows are there." I can export it out and then import it as an NSX rule and job done."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case for the product is for preparing for NSX deployments, looking at flows between VMs, and to help us troubleshoot also.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has helped us tremendously to be able to easily deploy NSX in our environment with microsegmentation. It has also helped us with time to value. It has helped with network visibility for sure.

      What is most valuable?

      NetFlow to help us understand how VMs communicate with each other over ports that are known and ports that are also unknown to us. Our company is a security company, so it's very important for us to know exactly which VMs are doing what at all times.

      It's very intuitive and friendly to use. It's a very Google-like search, you just type in a VM name and it pops up with that information and you can look at all the flows right from the single pane of glass.

      What needs improvement?

      It's kind of hard (to come up with room for improvement) on an almost-perfect product. Room for improvement: Maybe a little more help in regards to when you're searching for something, give me little "help bubbles" about what those terms will help search for.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The product itself is very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is very scalable.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We have used tech support for vRNI for doing upgrades and for deployment considerations, and the experience was fantastic.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in the original deployment. Very straightforward, very easy to deploy.

      The upgrade experience for vRNI is probably one of the easiest out there. You enable a support tunnel, you let them know, and they do it all remotely, and it just works

      What was our ROI?

      The ROI for vRNI is, in my opinion, that it especially helps with deploying NSX, that you're not having to manually chase down and figure out what you need to do to microsegment VMs. This gives a nice option where you can say, "Hey, this VM, show me what flows are there." I can export it out and then import it as an NSX rule and job done.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      There was nobody else on our shortlist when we chose vRNI.

      What other advice do I have?

      The rating for the product would be a nine because I don't know of anything that would be a ten. Nothing's perfect.

      Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
      VA
      Corporate FED (forensics and eDiscovery) at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Helps us understand what is happening in the VDI space and respond to issues

      What is our primary use case?

      We currently use it to find specific defects in our network flows. We're trying to streamline all our virtual needs with respect to network flows.

      The primary use case is to make sure that we disperse our dollars in the right sense; that we use it the way we're supposed to use it, optimally. The idea is to understand how it works and do more of it and eliminate things that don't make sense.

      In terms of performance, so far so good. Nobody is complaining.

      How has it helped my organization?

      For the people who know how to use it, it's easily manageable. We want to increase the technical knowledge of the personnel who handle these types of things. I don't think we're there yet. But the few who use it, what it brings to the table has definitely helped us move forward.

      What is most valuable?

      It enables us to understand what is happening in the VDI space and respond to things that don't work.

      What needs improvement?

      It's intuitive and very user-friendly, but we probably have to train our technical team, or the IT staff who are plugging into it regularly, on how to optimize its use. VMware probably needs to come in and train and we need good documentation.

      I had a meeting with the technical account manager, and I brought to his attention that the lack of access to documentation on best practices is something that we need to address. That's something that he said he is working on. We have a meeting tomorrow and he is going to bring all of us onto the same page and, hopefully, that issue can be resolved. I came in to make sure that we can harden our security infrastructure, especially when it comes to VMware. And one of the things that I learned recently was that there are so many documents that we don't have access to regarding the use of VMware. My technical account manager promised me that the documentation will be provided to whomever needs access to it.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      I don't think downtime is a problem. However, stability is still in question because I don't think we have tested it to the core. We have not rolled it out to as many people as we wish we could. But so far, for the few that we have rolled it out to, performance and stability are acceptable to management.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We can see that it is scalable, but once again we're not there yet. We need to do more testing to confirm that it is actually scalable.

      What other advice do I have?

      I love what we can do with this and I love everything it gives to us.

      I rate it a nine out of ten because I don't see users complaining a lot. For what we need, for the most part, we get it. It's not 100 percent, it's not like something we distributed to the whole organization. But I'm sure the CIO will want to do that when we can. 

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      MR
      Sys Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Allows us to see how network devices function: glitches, fluctuations, packet drops

      Pros and Cons

      • "It allows us to see how the network devices function as well as to see network glitches or fluctuations or dropping of packets."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it to monitor the network, the infrastructure. It's performing well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        If any VMs have an issue or there is a network issue or slowness or something similar, we can take a look at where the problem is being caused. It doesn't matter if it's a physical or virtual switch.

        What is most valuable?

        It allows us to see how the network devices function as well as to see network glitches or fluctuations or dropping of packets.

        It's easy to use. It's easy to integrate with the existing network infrastructure. My network team is happy with it.

        What needs improvement?

        It needs improvement in terms of its efficiency.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Less than one year.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We just started to use it, so we really don't know much about the scalability.

        How was the initial setup?

        Although I wasn't involved in the setup, from what I heard, it was quite straightforward, in terms of configuration, etc.

        What other advice do I have?

        We just started with it recently. We are still working on it, to get familiar with the product.

        The first criterion, when selecting a vendor, should be technical support. Whenever we call, we should get technical support. Support is the main thing.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        AS
        Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Provides a unified view of the whole system and even helps with capacity planning

        Pros and Cons

        • "It gives the visibility that was either broken or there in pieces only. This solution provides a unified view of the whole system, back and forth. It has helped to reduce time to value, increase performance, more easily manage networks, and provide deep visibility."
        • "I would like to see them expand the capabilities to infrastructure types other than just VMware."

        What is our primary use case?

        The use case is to get insight into the network, how many resources are being used. We look at the GUI and see what kind of traffic flows are happening east-west, and who is talking to whom, and how much bandwidth is consumed. That can even give us some idea about capacity planning.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It gives the visibility that was either broken or there in pieces only. This solution provides a unified view of the whole system, back and forth. It has helped to reduce time to value, increase performance, more easily manage networks, and provide deep visibility.

        What is most valuable?

        • The netflow
        • The information flow
        • Who is talking to whom, top-talkers
        • User-friendly

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see them expand the capabilities to infrastructure types other than just VMware.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        So far it has been stable. We are not using it to a stress-test level yet, but it seems stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We are not using it at the full-blown scale, but for the limited scale, it works well. It's fast, it's not slowing down.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support has been pretty good.

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

        We used multiple other tools before. And even now, it's all in parallel. We have different tools running in different domains.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        This provides a holistic view. The other computer tools provide certain pieces of it. This has a more holistic approach, the big picture.

        What other advice do I have?

        It's definitely worth investigating. You need to look at the environment, but it's worth the time to look into it and see if it fits with your purposes.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        KV
        Senior Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Consultant
        Helps improve our SLA times by pointing us directly to problems, but it needs to support additional network hardware

        Pros and Cons

        • "Whenever we say "valuable" with respect to the network, it's more towards the security. The firewall rule issues it shows us and the recommendations that we get from vRNI are the most valuable features because they are actually making our network more secure."
        • "compare-to-competition; I would recommend the product. I don't think there is any other product like this on the market right now."
        • "While it's not exactly a feature, what normally happens when we are trying to look at the VM flow portion is - although Network Insight does have options to integrate a few physical switches into it - we can't really get an end-to-end flow of the network. We might be using a few switches that are not supported by Network Insight. That is where they can improve, in the support for more physical switches and network devices."

        What is our primary use case?

        It's not just on the networking side that we use it. We use vRealize products in our product data, in developing software, as a managed cloud provider. We use vRealize Network Insight as part of our product, which can later be used by the support team to check all the problems which are arising in the network itself. We use software-defined networking, SDN. That's one reason we are using it.

        In terms of its performance, we are still in a beta version of our product itself. We are not using it greatly in production yet but we will be using it in two or three months, down the line. There are network flows that we need to know about, if there are any anomalies in the network itself - depending upon the network that our team has deployed. That's the reason we use the vRNI tool, to look into all these parameters.

        We also use it for a few performance parameters, depending upon if there are any configuration issues in the network that we have deployed. vRNI has given us a few recommendations on how we can actually set up our firewalls.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It saves us on our SLA times because we are getting directly to the troubleshooting points. That is one of the main things that we are benefiting from. Whenever we have problems with our environment, we are able to solve them a bit sooner than we might otherwise have been able to. These benefits are directly connected to monetary benefits. It has helped to reduce time to value.

        While increased performance depends upon what we are using in our networks, Network Insight is more towards how we actually see the entire network as a whole. Performance is mostly determined by what physical parts we are using in the network. While vRNI does not exactly increase the performance, we can better use the network we do have.

        Finally, it provides deep visibility.

        What is most valuable?

        It has its own UI where you can actually see all the problems. It can directly list all the problems that we're having in the network. Not only that, but it also gives us recommendations on how we can troubleshoot issues. That helps us to go to the problem in the network and not look around at a hundred places to actually troubleshoot a single issue. That's one of the most common use cases we have, troubleshooting the problems in our network.

        Whenever we say "valuable" with respect to the network, it's more towards the security. The firewall rule issues it shows us and the recommendations that we get from vRNI are the most valuable features because they are actually making our network more secure. 

        I also think it is intuitive and user-friendly. I've been using this product for a long time now. If you look at the UI, you see how user-friendly it is. It has a lot of features in it and it has a lot of options that you can go through. Everything that you actually need to know is covered in the product.

        What needs improvement?

        While it's not exactly a feature, what normally happens when we are trying to look at the VM flow portion is - although Network Insight does have options to integrate a few physical switches into it - we can't really get an end-to-end flow of the network. We might be using a few switches that are not supported by Network Insight. That is where they can improve, in the support for more physical switches and network devices.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It is quite stable. We haven't had any downtime with it.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We have not tried to scale it yet.

        How was the initial setup?

        The implementation is quite straightforward. We were able to go ahead and install it with the plans and recommendations that were provided.

        We have also upgraded it. There are two proxy platform VMs when it comes to Network Insight. In the newer versions what I discovered is that you can directly install it through the UI, so it's a little automated. In the older versions, we had to do it from the CLI. So this is a new feature in it.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would recommend the product. I don't think there is any other product like this on the market right now.

        I rate this product at seven out of ten because the product is great but there are still a few more improvements that can be made to it, as I said above. It could have more physical devices integrated and supported.

        When selecting any type of vendor, our most important criteria is support.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        MT
        Infrastructure Admin at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
        Real User
        Enables us to easily see the path that the VM traffic is taking

        What is our primary use case?

        We want to use it for the basics, checking out traffic flows. One of the main reasons we got it was that we have a new mobile application, and we'd like to track all the traffic between the different layers: DMZ layer, database layer, app layer.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable feature is being able to easily see the path that the VM traffic is taking, what ports are in use.

        What needs improvement?

        It's pretty much user-friendly, but it could always be friendlier. Anything that would make it easier would be helpful.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        So far, it has been pretty stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        As far as I know, the scalability is good.

        How is customer service and

        What is our primary use case?

        We want to use it for the basics, checking out traffic flows. One of the main reasons we got it was that we have a new mobile application, and we'd like to track all the traffic between the different layers: DMZ layer, database layer, app layer.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable feature is being able to easily see the path that the VM traffic is taking, what ports are in use.

        What needs improvement?

        It's pretty much user-friendly, but it could always be friendlier. Anything that would make it easier would be helpful.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        So far, it has been pretty stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        As far as I know, the scalability is good.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        We have not had to use technical support yet.

        What other advice do I have?

        Make sure you check out the demo, make sure you have enough time to check out the demo, run it in your environment for a while, and study up as much as you can on it.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JR
        Infrastructure Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Gives us much better insight into how we're deploying and how we perform after we deploy

        Pros and Cons

        • "What's valuable to us is the ability to get a view into the virtual space, which is something we haven't had before. Before, it was done by collecting from network endpoints and extrapolating into the virtual environment. Now it's coming directly from the virtual environment."
        • "In a very general way, I would like to see an improvement in interoperability with third-party product, from other vendors."

        What is our primary use case?

        The primary use case is for tracking flows within the data center and it has worked very well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It has given us much better insight into how we're deploying and how we perform after we deploy. It has also definitely helped to reduce time to value, and definitely helped provide deep visibility.

        We tend to rely on vROps for the monitoring aspect, the performance piece of it, but that's because we're particularly focused on capacity right now. I expect to run the two in parallel when we're in a more operational model, where I will have the day-to-day folks deeply involved. Right now, it's still primarily run by engineers.

        What is most valuable?

        What's valuable to us is the ability to get a view into the virtual space, which is something we haven't had before. Before, it was done by collecting from network endpoints and extrapolating into the virtual environment. Now it's coming directly from the virtual environment.

        It's intuitive and user-friendly. It makes perfect sense to somebody familiar with the VMware world.

        What needs improvement?

        In a very general way, I would like to see an improvement in interoperability with third-party product, from other vendors.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        We've had no issues at all with stability. It has been solid.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is still untested by us.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        The team has used technical support, although I am not familiar with the outcomes. We've generally been happy with VMware support across the board, so I can't imagine the experience has been different for this product.

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

        We came to the conclusion that we needed to invest in a new solution by working with the VMware team. It was not an impulsive decision by any means.

        What was our ROI?

        The best ROI is "sane deployments." It's not intuitive, but it has actually helped us keep the number of deployments down, and we definitely get placement right the first time much more often.

        What other advice do I have?

        If you're VMware shop, investigate this deeply because it makes sense to live in the ecosystem.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        MN
        Manager, Data Center at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
        MSP
        It helps pinpoint what we need for analyzing and for troubleshooting

        Pros and Cons

        • "The most valuable features are the monitoring and tracking. It's also intuitive and user-friendly. The screen looks exactly the same as the other appliances for VMware, so it's easy to navigate."
        • "I would like to see more reporting features, more dashboards."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it for networking and it has performed well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It helps pinpoint, in the logs and the like, what we need for analyzing and for troubleshooting. It has also provided us with deep visibility.

        What is most valuable?

        • Monitoring
        • Tracking

        It's also intuitive and user-friendly. The screen looks exactly the same as the other appliances for VMware, so it's easy to navigate.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see more reporting features, more dashboards.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It hasn't caused any problems so it's pretty stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We haven't scaled yet so we don't know about the scalability yet.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        The network team has had to call technical support a couple times. The help they got was great.

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

        We switched to this solution after it was suggested by my TAM.

        In terms of selecting a vendor, we have a very stringent vetting process. Thank God, VMware was one of them that met the criteria. It was a no-brainer.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the setup in terms of deploying the OVA files. It was straightforward.

        What was our ROI?

        We have seen ROI by using it. We used to use a few tools combined to get to what we're getting by using this solution now. We don't have to pay as much support, we don't have to buy three or four tools to do what we need done.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        For me, it was a no-brainer because we would like to integrate everything with VMware. I hate to go to another supplier, use another tool, to do the same thing.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would definitely endorse the solution.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        JP
        Engineer at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Enables us to set up appropriate rules to make sure we comply with our security frameworks

        Pros and Cons

        • "It has enabled us to set up and do application discovery, as far as network traffic is concerned, and set up the appropriate rules that we need to make sure we're compliant with our security frameworks."

          What is our primary use case?

          For us, it's for a security tool, to analyze flows and network traffic and to try to progress along the path of microsegmentation.

          In terms of monitoring network flows, if we're trying to set up microsegmentation rules in our distributed firewall, we'll say, "Okay, let's just start with a case." We'll try to isolate an app, and isolate all the network traffic there. We'll analyze it, validate or do discovery using vRNI, and then set up the appropriate rule.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It has enabled us to set up and do application discovery, as far as network traffic is concerned, and set up the appropriate rules that we need to make sure we're compliant with our security frameworks.

          What is most valuable?

          We have the real-time updates that we can see, so that's been pretty valuable. The mapping is really good, so that has also been a pretty good feature for us.

          What needs improvement?

          It's somewhat user-friendly but some of the data that's presented is not always clear. But that's like any tool. You just have to get used to using it.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          The stability is great. There is no problem with it.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is fine.

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

          We invested in NSX, so we wanted a tool that would give us visibility into that virtual layer.

          When selecting a vendor what's important for us is whether they are able to fulfill the requirements that we have defined in our business case.

          What other advice do I have?

          There's no real advice. You'll know if you need something like this or not. You don't just purchase it and then hope for the best. You have a use case for it.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          Technica7099
          Technical Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
          Real User
          Provides insight into dataflow so that we can design our NSX firewalls

          Pros and Cons

            • "The UI, even though once you get to know it, it's easier, still it's hard to figure out by yourself. You have to go read, watch videos. It has a lot of data on it. So that is an issue."

            What is our primary use case?

            It's mainly for monitoring so that we can design our NSX firewalls.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Previously, we had no idea how the dataflow worked. We knew how all the applications and servers worked, but we never knew how the dataflow was happening. vRNI provides more insight into the dataflow.

            It definitely saves times because we are not using this for performance monitoring and not really for monitoring for troubleshooting.

            What is most valuable?

            Dataflow. We tag our virtual machines and then we try to find out the traffic between the web server and app servers, and the traffic between the Dev servers and Prod servers, so that we can build the firewalls around them.

            What needs improvement?

            We just started using it so I don't really know a lot of the features yet.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            The stability is good. It has never crashed.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            I haven't tried to scale it yet.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            We had the VMware Professional Services team when we started with our NSX project. They helped us set this up and familiarized us with how to use it. They were helfpul.

            What other advice do I have?

            If you have a VMware suite and you are going to use NSX, then I would definitely recommend vRNI.

            I rate the solution at eight out of ten. I'm still getting familiar with it. The UI, even though once you get to know it, it's easier, still it's hard to figure out by yourself. You have to go read, watch videos. It has a lot of data on it. So that is an issue.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            Avinash Chundu
            System Engineer at Cabela's Incorporated
            Real User
            Traces the flow of each and every packet, reducing troubleshooting time significantly

            Pros and Cons

            • "vRNI can trace the flow of each and every packet and it is easy for us to troubleshoot all the issues that we do have with the networking. We can trace down the packet to a point where it has been dropped."
            • "The most valuable features are the packet trace flow and that the view of the whole environment is deep."
            • "The graphical interface of this environment is so good with all the views, the graphics, and everything in them. It's really easy for me. It doesn't need an engineer to work on it. It's easy enough that anyone can get into the environment and look for issues or look at how communication is going on across the VMs. It's pretty much straightforward."
            • "The compatibility with each and every component of the infrastructure is the main thing that I am looking for. I would like them to make sure that it's compatible with different kinds of storage systems, etc. I have seen the compatibility list. I feel it can be more compatible than it is right now."

            What is our primary use case?

            Our primary use case for the solution is to monitor the end-to-end network aspect of our environment. The performance is really good. We don't have any delays or the like. It gives us really good performance.

            How has it helped my organization?

            vRNI can trace the flow of each and every packet and it is easy for us to troubleshoot all the issues that we do have with the networking. We can trace down the packet to a point where it has been dropped.

            It has reduced the time to value, increased performance, and allowed us to more easily manage networks and gain deeper visibility. I see this product as most effective in the troubleshooting area. Every time I try to troubleshoot something it minimizes my troubleshooting time to about one-tenth of what it would otherwise take me.

            What is most valuable?

            The most valuable features are the packet trace flow and that the view of the whole environment is deep.

            We use the trace flow to monitor each packet. For example, if we have any networking issues, we use the trace flow to follow the packet and find out exactly where it has been dropped and then we try to fix the issue at the place where it has been dropped. That's how we troubleshoot it.

            Also, the graphical interface of this environment is so good with all the views, the graphics, and everything in them. It's really easy for me. It doesn't require an engineer to work on it. It's easy enough that anyone can get into the environment and look for issues or look at how communication is going on across the VMs. It's pretty much straightforward.

            What needs improvement?

            The compatibility with each and every component of the infrastructure is the main thing that I am looking for. I would like them to make sure that it's compatible with different kinds of storage systems, etc. I have seen the compatibility list. I feel it can be more compatible than it is right now.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It's really stable. I really like it.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We haven't really scaled it across. While we do have it in our production environment, we haven't applied it across the whole infrastructure. We are at a point where we are working on that.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Tech support has been really good. They're really responsive. They'll get onto a WebEx whenever we need them, so it's really good.

            How was the initial setup?

            I was involved in the initial setup and it's really straightforward. It's not complex at all. Anyone can do it.

            What other advice do I have?

            If you are having too many issues with your network, having issues with tracing the flow of your network, this is the product you should be using to troubleshoot the issues.

            I rate it a nine out of ten. It's not a ten because of the compatibility issue.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            TS
            Network Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
            Real User
            Gives us insight into VM-to-VM communication, end-to-end transparency

            Pros and Cons

            • "It helps a lot because, until now, we didn't have the tools to figure out the micro level, VM-to-VM kind of traffic; that was not in the current environment. We could not figure out VM-to-VM communication from the other tools. This is the tool which gives us end-to-end transparency."
            • "I want to see more in terms of microsegmentation. As of now, I can see the rules, but they are not in a readable format that I can convert to microsegmentation and can fit into NSX Manager."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it to capture the logs from the network and then build and figure out the policies for microsegmentation. In addition, if anything goes down, it captures the logs.

            We have it integrated with vCenter and NSX Manager. It captures the logs from there, and then it updates the logs. From there we can figure things out. Also, we can make a bubble and then we can figure out the grouping.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It helps a lot because, until now, we haven't had the tools to figure out the micro level, VM-to-VM kind of traffic; that was not in the current environment. We could not figure out VM-to-VM communication from the other tools. This is the tool which gives us end-to-end transparency.

            It has helped reduce time to value. It helps us to troubleshoot, to know exactly where the problem is.

            What is most valuable?

            I like the automation part. For the network, it can capture the logs and we can do automation from there. We get all the logs whenever we want and it keeps the logs for a month or so, so we can just go in and figure out what the issue was, as much as one month back.

            What needs improvement?

            I want to see more in terms of microsegmentation. As of now, I can see the rules, but they are not in a readable format that I can convert to microsegmentation and can fit into NSX Manager. I'm looking for that kind of feature.

            Also, while it is user-friendly for the virtual part, it is not as friendly for the physical part.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            We have not had any outages, any crashes.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We are using about 400-plus hosts, so it is capable of a big scale. We haven't scaled up beyond that, but it is good.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Technical support is very helpful.

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

            We did not have a previous solution. We just implemented NSX recently, so we just installed vRNI along with that.

            How was the initial setup?

            For Network Insight, the setup is very straightforward.

            What other advice do I have?

            I would tell a colleague who is looking into this or a similar solution that vRNI is a great tool because, without it, it would be impossible to manage the operations part.

            I rate vRNI at eight out of ten. For the other two points, I would need more regarding the microsegmentation part. It doesn't give me the clarity I want. It captures a lot, but it doesn't give complete clarity. That is something I am looking for.

            When looking for a vendor, support is the main criteria.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            MichaelGonzalez
            VMware NSX Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
            Real User
            Allows us to go from virtual through NSX, up to the core, and see all of that in one pane of glass

            Pros and Cons

            • "It allows us to go from virtual through NSX, up to the core, and see all of that in one pane of glass, it's pretty easy."
            • "Also, the ability to troubleshoot all the way across the NSX part of it to the physical and actually watch the packets go through and then see where the bottleneck is or where the interruption is. We run queries on the network flows within the application to find where they are in it and it graphically tells us how the packets are actually going through the system."
            • "It's very user-friendly in the sense that the querying is just regular language like you and I speak or write. You don't need to know any SQL-query type of language to be able to get what you want out of it."
            • "As a troubleshooting tool, it's a level-3 troubleshooting-skills tool and it's very easy to use and very easy to find the information that you need."
            • "The only real improvement they can make is to add more third-party vendors into the environment, mostly switch manufacturers, because it's really limited to Cisco equipment and there are a lot of companies out there other than Cisco."

            What is our primary use case?

            They have a legacy environment that they're trying to use microsegnmentation on. So the use case is to facilitate that because they don't necessarily know a lot of the firewall rules from the original environment, which was a physical environment. Now that it has gone virtual, they want to use the vRNI to get better firewall rules in there and make it more streamlined.

            The main usage of it is microsegmentation and troubleshooting, not real monitoring of the environment, because we have other tools that do the monitoring of the environment. But when it comes down to bringing in new environments and making sure they're microsegmented, it's pretty easy to use for that purpose. No other product is available to do that.

            And we use it for troubleshooting because it allows us to go from virtual through NSX, up to the core, and see all of that in one pane of glass. It's pretty easy.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Right now, since the PoC, in the environment that we're using it on, for troubleshooting any issues that come up, or in the case of the microsegmentation, it's very valuable because it has allowed us to add firewall rules that were specific to what we needed, and not the extra firewall rules that other people thought we needed.

            It has allowed us to easily take the physical environment and bring it into virtual and then put together the firewall rules that were needed, not necessarily firewall rules that everybody thought we needed, which were already in the old firewalls. We were able to do that much quicker doing it this way, rather than trying to weed out all the rules that didn't necessarily need to be there.

            Troubleshooting-wise, we did have a problem in the environment and it made it easier to find the actual issue, the real issue, not something that we thought was the issue.

            What is most valuable?

            The microsegmentation is valuable, especially for this environment.

            Also, the ability to troubleshoot all the way across the NSX part of it to the physical and actually watch the packets go through and then see where the bottleneck is or where the interruption is, is valuable. We run queries on the network flows within the application to find where they are in it and it graphically tells us how the packets are actually going through the system.

            It's very user-friendly in the sense that the querying is just regular language like you and I speak or write. You don't need to know any SQL-query type of language to be able to get what you want out of it.

            What needs improvement?

            The only real improvement they can make is to add more third-party vendors into the environment, mostly switch manufacturers, because it's really limited to Cisco equipment and there are a lot of companies out there other than Cisco.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Trial/evaluations only.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It seems to be very stable. I don't know how it's going to be when we go into production. Right now, we have a single instance of it, but in production, it has to be a cluster environment and we haven't really tested that part of it.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            When it goes into production, it's going to have to scale from this one, small installation to a much larger installation for our purpose. It seems like it will do it pretty easily, but we won't know until we actually do it.

            How was the initial setup?

            It was pretty easy to install and the documentation for laying it out seems to be easy to follow, design-wise. It was very straightforward.

            We've upgraded four times with it and the upgrading was pretty easy as well.

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

            It could be cheaper, of course.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We're not really comparing it to any other vendors. I don't know of anyone that does microsegmentation and whose solution is integrated within VMware's environment

            What other advice do I have?

            It's a pretty good system if you're doing troubleshooting and microsegmentation. As a troubleshooting tool, it's a level-3 troubleshooting-skills tool and it's very easy to use and very easy to find the information that you need.

            I rate it a seven out of ten, only because it doesn't have all the vendors - at least the switch vendors - in there. They only have Cisco, for the most part, and you really need all of them to make it because companies don't just use Cisco for everything.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            RL
            Senior IT Manager at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            We can see everything going on in NSX and get a good picture of our environment

            Pros and Cons

            • "We can see everything going on in NSX and get a good picture of our environment."
            • "The product is slightly complex use, while still being user-friendly. It could use more training modules, as it is not a straightforward product."

            What is our primary use case?

            Our primary use case is to use it do design and for troubleshooting the future.

            We have had the product for three weeks now.

            How has it helped my organization?

            We can see everything going on in NSX and get a good picture of our environment.

            It is still in our lab environment.

            What is most valuable?

            • Its open design.
            • Figure out what's being used in our environment.
            • Building roles.

            What needs improvement?

            The product is slightly complex use, while still being user-friendly. It could use more training modules, as it is not a straightforward product.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Still implementing.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It is pretty stable.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            The technical support has been good so far.

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

            We've owned NSX for three years and now starting to deploy it, which is why we went with vRNI. We did not even consider another solution to go with it.

            How was the initial setup?

            The initial setup was simple. It took about an hour.

            What about the implementation team?

            They are coming onsite in about two weeks.

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

            It's an expensive product because we have a lot of nodes. 

            They should include the product in NSX because it's important to have it for deployment.

            What other advice do I have?

            Do the training before purchasing. Research the product and its competitors.

            Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: technical knowledge. They need to understand their product.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            JG
            Principal Architect at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            Visualization enables us to classify network objects and applications and see their interactions

            Pros and Cons

            • "The most valuable feature is the visualization. It's really handy to be able to classify network objects as with applications and see the interaction between them."
            • "There's enough information there, especially in the visualizations, but I would love to see this in a kiosk mode, where I could have a dashboard for interested stakeholders to see and appreciate what's going on. Then, moving on to a more practical level for our Help Desk, our operations team could benefit by seeing, in real-time, a visual view of the network."
            • "The only reason I would not give it a nine or a 10 is for cost reasons. It seems to be one of those things that really belongs as part of the product inherently and not as an add-on. That would be my only concern."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it for auditing our firewall compliance. For network segmentation, we want to see that we are compliant and that we are staying compliant with the business goals.

            We've been using it for about six months and the early work we've been doing with it is promising, it looks good.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It hasn't yet changed the way our organization works, but that's our hope.

            What is most valuable?

            The most valuable feature is the visualization. It's really handy to be able to classify network objects as with applications and see the interaction between them. That is really good.

            What needs improvement?

            There's enough information there, especially in the visualizations, but I would love to see this in a kiosk mode, where I could have a dashboard for interested stakeholders to see and appreciate what's going on. Then, moving on to a more practical level for our Help Desk, our operations team could benefit by seeing, in real-time, a visual view of the network.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Less than one year.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It seems stable, it's fine.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We haven't seen any trouble with scalability yet. We haven't done a full deployment, but so far it seems good.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            We haven't had to use technical support, and that is good.

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

            We are a heavily compliance-driven, regulatory type of business, so I needed a way to bridge the gap between an operations team that actually does firewall changes and our business stakeholders to see that the changes they made actually met their business requirements. That was the glue that we didn't have before, that was my motivation.

            The selection certainly goes hand in hand with NSX, and we're pushing NSX pretty hard. That was a key factor.

            How was the initial setup?

            The setup was straightforward, it was good. I did it personally and it was easy.

            What was our ROI?

            In terms of value, I think we are getting what we paid for. If we can get it into the other use cases I mentioned above, I think the ROI will be quite positive.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            Our company did some work with SolarWinds, but they're not quite the same thing. Also, Dell's old Foglight, I don't know if they're still around. That was another one, but it was not really in the same arena. They didn't really do what we wanted.

            What other advice do I have?

            It's easy enough to try. Get with their account team, get some trial licenses and give it a whirl. It's worth spending a weekend to give it a shot.

            It's hard for me to give it a 10 out of 10, it's hard for me to give it a six out of 10, so my rating is in the middle. The only reason I would not give it a nine or a 10 is for cost reasons. It seems to be one of those things that really belongs as part of the product inherently and not as an add-on. That would be my only concern.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            PS
            Enterprise Solutions Architect at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
            Real User
            Visualization of applications enables us to familiarize our applications analysts with ports

            Pros and Cons

            • "The solution is extremely intuitive and user-friendly. When you log in to the application you are presented with a dashboard that is very reasonable for an initial user, and you can then customize it to your specific needs. But for all the data that we've found, we've only had to go through two or three drill-downs to get into that information."

              What is our primary use case?

              Like most companies, we don't necessarily know what ports are necessary for our applications to talk to each other, so we're hoping to get insight on that for increasing our microsegmentation with NSX.

              In terms of monitoring network flows, we're just looking specifically at the flows within one VDS, so we can dive down through that VDS and isolate virtual machines. Then it gives us that visualization. We have not moved into the physical side of that at this time.

              It's performing very well. We're still going through the learning pains so we haven't quite got out of it most of what we're looking for, yet. We understand that it is in there, we just don't understand how to get it yet.

              How has it helped my organization?

              We're only at the evaluation stage but the benefit we're looking for is to speed the production deployment of the applications in a microsegment environment. We would love to get to that ring of Zero Trust but we're just not there today.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable features for us are the visualization of the applications. We can actually take them and expose them to our applications analysts as well because they want to know, it's just that they're not necessarily exposed to ports. As somebody told me the other day, "A port is something you plug a cable into."

              The solution is also extremely intuitive and user-friendly. When you log in to the application you are presented with a dashboard that is very reasonable for an initial user, and you can then customize it to your specific needs. But for all the data that we've found, we've only had to go through two or three drill-downs to get into that information. So far, we haven't found anything that is very misleading. Sometimes you'll get into some misleading things, "Oh, this is not where I wanted to be," but we really have not found that with the product.

              What needs improvement?

              One of the things I've asked about is regarding Log Insight, with their syslog collector. There seems to be a lot of overlap between that and vRNI. I've asked if one of those is going away or if they're moving together and I really haven't been able to get a clear answer. I would like to know that.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Trial/evaluations only.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's been very stable. We have not had any problems at all with the deployment.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We haven't made it to the point where we're scaling yet. We haven't hit any performance issues that would cause us to evaluate the scalability.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is very responsive, knowledgeable, and they're quick to get things done.

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

              We didn't have anything in this space on the virtual side. As we moved deeper into the virtualized world, we lost some of those traditional physical network visibility tools. We were using some of the native NSX visibility tools incorrectly and causing NSX problems, trying to expose that information to our analysts. This was the solution that they gave us that would fix that. I think AppDefense now adds some of that back, but hopefully, they'll work together.

              The most important criteria when we're looking at a vendor are

              • reliability
              • usability.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We initially went with what we were using on our traditional memory side, your traditional network monitoring. CA Spectrum is what we use on that side. We've looked at that and some basic netflow monitors.

              What other advice do I have?

              We would absolutely recommend it. In fact, we've had that experience where it was recommended to us and we said, "We need this, we need to do this."

              We are very positive so far with everything we've seen in this tool.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              Brett Frank
              Sys Admin at Aurora public schools
              Real User
              Tightens security and gives us deep visibility into our network

              Pros and Cons

              • "It has really tightened down the security. That was something that we were lacking. It has also given us deep visibility into our network. We can really get down and see all of the traffic within the data center, between the VMs, between the applications, database servers, other application servers, web servers. We can identify everything that is communicating, and we can see it all on one product."
              • "I find it user-friendly and intuitive. With the GUI interface that we do use on a regular basis, it's easy to navigate, it's easy to see, easy to query. We get reports. It's easy to use."

                What is our primary use case?

                We use it to manage our servers, our virtual vSphere environment. It has performed exceptionally. We're able to get a lot of versatility into our network, into our STDC, with the VMs and the NSX that we also have running.

                How has it helped my organization?

                It has really tightened down the security. That was something that we were lacking.

                It has also given us deep visibility into our network. We can really get down and see all of the traffic within the data center, between the VMs, between the applications, database servers, other application servers, web servers. We can identify everything that is communicating, and we can see it all on one product.

                What is most valuable?

                The most valuable feature is the visibility into what's going on, our traffic going through the data center. We'd like to put in micro-segmentation, eventually, so that we can actually protect our data center, our VMs, within the environment. It would just add another level of security. It gives us the visibility to do that.

                I find it user-friendly and intuitive. With the GUI interface that we do use on a regular basis, it's easy to navigate, it's easy to see, easy to query. We get reports. It's easy to use.

                What needs improvement?

                I'm not quite sure what features I would like to see in a future release. We haven't explored everything in the product yet. We're able to pull out of it what we need right now.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                We haven't had any problems with stability. We pretty much implemented it with a brand new solution - we implemented it at the same time as a data center refresh we just went through. We're really looking to be able to take it to the next level and put some micro-segmentation into our data center and this tool will help us do that.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                Scalability has not been an issue at all. Since it's a brand new build, I'm not quite sure yet because we haven't had the need to add additional servers or additional VMs. But I don't anticipate any challenges there.

                How are customer service and technical support?

                The technical support has been great. We have vendor support as well as technical support with VMware. We really haven't run into too many challenges with this product at all so I can't say that I've even had to call tech support yet on it. It has been running pretty flawlessly.

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

                We had a previous version of the hardware - I'm not going to say who the vendor was - but we had a previous hardware implementation that had to be pulled out and then we had to bring in a newer version of it because it did not meet our needs.

                We went with this solution because I was working with that vendor when they actually made good on the deal and made it more attractive for us to stay with their solution instead of going to bid again.

                The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is the ease of working with them. Honesty, communication, obviously. We want them to let us know if there are any pitfalls, anything to give us a heads-up on, we'd like to hear that. We've had some problems in the past with some vendors that didn't disclose everything and that caused some challenges. We are definitely looking to work with vendors that are trustworthy.

                How was the initial setup?

                The initial setup was very straightforward. A big reason why we come to these shows, like VMworld 2018, is to get some more knowledge and training and talk with the professionals. We worked with VMware on the setup, and with our network engineer and our sysadmins. With their help, it was pretty easy to implement, no challenges there.

                What other advice do I have?

                I would rate it an eight out of 10. It's not a 10 because of our experience with the vendor. I believe the product is a great product and, obviously, the VMware applications that we're using, we have had no issues with them.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                SA
                Virtualization at a university with 10,001+ employees
                Real User
                Made migration to NSX much easier, micro-segmentation would not have occurred without it

                Pros and Cons

                • "The most valuable feature is the profiling of the applications for micro-segmentation... It has made the migration to NSX much easier. Most of the sys admins within the smaller silos, they have no idea what ports are needed to run their stuff at all. I am pretty sure the micro-segmentation would never, ever have occurred without it."
                • "I would like to see application identification. That would be cool."

                What is our primary use case?

                We mostly use it for profiling applications. It works quite well.

                How has it helped my organization?

                It has made the migration to NSX much easier. Most of the sys admins within the smaller silos, they have no idea what ports are needed to run their stuff at all. I am pretty sure the micro-segmentation would never, ever have occurred without it.

                What is most valuable?

                • The profiling of the applications for micro-segmentation.
                • The alerting is quite nice.

                It's user-friendly. It's not super intuitive. It's a rather complicated program. It's networking, and networking is relatively complicated. But it does a really good job of displaying the relationships between things.

                What needs improvement?

                They can always build upon it and add more stuff, but as it stands right now, it's perfectly fine.

                I would like to see application identification. That would be cool.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                I've never had any issues with it. It's up and running all the time.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                I've not had to try scaling it at all. The standard sizing, so far, has been more than sufficient.

                How is customer service and technical support?

                Technical support has been responsive. The response has always been immediate. Whether or not they've fixed it immediately is a different story. Most of the things I've come to them with have needed some investigation and took a week or so.

                How was the initial setup?

                The initial setup was trivial.

                I have had the opportunity to upgrade it to a newer version several times. It has actually improved over time. It's much easier now. You can now just upgrade with the GUI. A single click of a button and off it goes. Before, you had to download all the packages and then manually SFTP them to the server and manually hit the install.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                This was really the only solution that provided the features that we were looking for.

                What other advice do I have?

                The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is whether or not we think they're going to survive for more than the next license cycle.

                I would rate this solution a strong nine out of 10. It would be a 10 if it were free.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                Nicholas Aronne
                Product Manager at Sovlabs
                Real User
                Automates many tasks, allows our developers to quickly develop, provision, de-provision

                Pros and Cons

                • "We're a smaller company so it automates a lot of the tasks and lets us focus in on building out our own solution. It's quicker, there is less building of manual solutions, and less downtime. It allows our developers to quickly develop, get provisioning done, de-provisioning, etc; the stuff that you would expect to be able to make it streamlined."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We actually write a plugin for vRA that allows customers to integrate with third-party vendors, such as IPAM solutions, DNS, SolarWinds, BlueCat, Infoblox, and about 30 other modules. We both use vRNI and build for it.

                  It has been performing really well.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  We're a smaller company. It automates a lot of the tasks and lets us focus in on building out our own solution. It's quicker, there is less building of manual solutions, and less downtime.

                  It allows our developers to quickly develop, get provisioning done, de-provisioning, etc; the stuff that you would expect to be able to make it streamlined.

                  What is most valuable?

                  The most valuable feature is the Extensibility Framework.

                  It also lets us automate a lot of the mundane tasks that we would do manually, and keep them consistent and repeatable.

                  One of the first things that you'll see in 7.5 is that they improved on the user-interface: being able to filter on stuff, having a cleaner interface, and easy navigation.

                  What needs improvement?

                  In terms of room for improvement, customer education is number one. It has nothing to do with the product itself but it would help if there were an understanding of its limitations, or the fact that it is a framework, that it is extensible and that you're not getting everything out-of-the-box. What you are getting is the framework out-of-the-box. Knowing that, you're going to look to either build your own custom solutions or you're going to go to companies like ours and get a solution that is already supported and maintained, so you can focus on your company's main mission.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  It's pretty solid. We haven't really had any issues with it. Being a VMware partner, we usually provide feedback to their product management team. But on the whole, it's pretty stable.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  It can definitely scale, from a smaller company like ours, all the way up to a large company like VMware, Dell EMC. It works great either way.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  I was not involved in the initial setup but we just did an upgrade and, while I wasn't directly involved, the overall experience was pretty good. It worked as expected and then we worked with support for any issues that we found during the upgrade process.

                  What was our ROI?

                  Reduction in roll-out time, decreased time to value, is our ROI.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  For the most part, it is user-friendly. It continues to grow and mature. It's definitely headed in the right direction. The fact that they continue to want to improve the customer experience is important. The product is great to begin with but they realize that nothing is perfect and they want to keep improving it.

                  Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                  DavidPowell
                  Partner consultant at Kis
                  Consultant
                  Enables us to see Layer 3-bounded network traffic that we wouldn't otherwise be able to see

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "It allows you to see traffic that you couldn't otherwise see, which is traffic within your Layer 3-bounded network, meaning east-west traffic. It's hard to get that any other way."
                  • "It is user-friendly. It's pretty simple to deploy and to run. It gives you pretty easy-to-understand reports, very graphically intense, so you can visualize what's going on in your network."
                  • "It has definitely helped us to meet compliance rules by assuring that all traffic is going to where it's supposed to go. It can be used to report that you are in compliance, as well as helping you get into compliance."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    The primary use is to identify different types of traffic that are in the network and identify what policies we need to apply to meet our security requirements.

                    The performance has been excellent.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It has definitely helped us to meet compliance rules by assuring that all traffic is going to where it's supposed to go. It can be used to report that you are in compliance, as well as helping you get into compliance. We use it on an ongoing basis to show our clients in our cloud that traffic is not going to them that isn't supposed to be. We have customers that have to be assured that our environment is safe for them, and it gives them that confidence, that knowledge. We retain customers longer.

                    It has reduced time to value for sure because it would be very hard to do this any other way. We would have to sniff packets, and that's just very labor intensive.

                    What is most valuable?

                    It allows you to see traffic that you couldn't otherwise see, which is traffic within your Layer 3-bounded network, meaning east-west traffic. It's hard to get that any other way.

                    To monitor the network flows, all you have to do is install it. It has an OVA that you deploy to vCenter, and then it will sit there, and it will listen on the network, and it will catch traffic within the virtual environment.

                    It is user-friendly. It's pretty simple to deploy and to run. It gives you pretty easy-to-understand reports, very graphically intense, so you can visualize what's going on in your network.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Reporting could be a little bit smoother. I would like it to be more intuitive to create a report that would automatically send stuff out on a periodic basis; for a management-oversight reports and the like. You can probably do that right now, I just haven't figured it out in the interface yet.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's very stable. The way that it deploys and the way that it performs, it does exactly what it's supposed to do.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I don't know that I can speak to the issue of scalability, to a giant enterprise level, but we have quite a few servers in our farm, and virtual machines, and it has scaled well to that.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    My experience with technical support has been very good. The amount of time it takes for them to get back to you truly depends on each incident. For me, it wasn't an emergency situation, so it took a couple of days. But if we do have a situation where something is down, then they get back to us immediately.

                    In term of customer service, we are a VMware partner, so we get different customer service than other people do, but ours is very good.

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

                    There wasn't really anything similar to this before. We knew that there were things going on, but we really couldn't tell. We didn't know how to get at it and, when we found this solution, it was a no-brainer that we were going to try it. They give you a trial version on it so you can see if it's going to be of value to you before you purchase it. It showed its value right away. This solution came to us. We weren't actively searching for it at that particular time.

                    The most important criteria when selecting a vendor, for us, are that 

                    • we know the vendor has been around
                    • we have confidence in them
                    • they have a good support system.

                    We are always going to have issues with products, so if they can help us overcome those issues, then we're much happier with the product.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup is very straightforward. It's set-it-and-forget-it.

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

                    Cost always has room for improvement, you could always make it cheaper. But I think it's a good value for what you pay for it.

                    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner-consultant.
                    Ralph Stoker
                    Infrastructure architect at State of Ohio
                    Real User
                    Gives me insight into which servers interact with other elements in the environment, helps me to maintain them

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "The most valuable feature for me is the different views that you can get when selecting an application or a VLAN. It shows you the traffic flows. It gives you a visual representation of something that, in text, just may not make as much sense."
                    • "It's user-friendly. It's similar to the GUI that most VMware products are moving to, and the consistency across those makes it easy to switch from one product to another. Also, the search bar at the top is plain text and it helps you, it guides you along with your search query, so that helps. The first day you're in there you can start building actual queries."
                    • "When we talk about those micro-segmentation rules, there's an Export function. It is very macro-segmentation oriented instead. So if you choose an application, it will find the tiers within that application and say that it's communicating on, say, port 80 to a separate VLAN. There might be 200 machines in that other VLAN. You don't want to open port 80 at all of them. So we need a lot more granularity in those suggested firewall rules."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We are attempting to discover legacy network transactions and convert them to micro-segmentation rules with NSX-T.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It hasn't improved the way our organization functions, yet. It's only been in for two or three months and we're still trying to figure out the best way to pull the data out so that we can start building those firewall rules. But we anticipate that, once that time comes, it will cut massive amounts of time in the process of building those rules.

                    What is most valuable?

                    The most valuable feature for me is the different views that you can get when selecting an application or a VLAN. It shows you the traffic flows. It gives you a visual representation of something that, in text, just may not make as much sense.

                    That is valuable to me because, from my perspective, I don't own any of the applications, so I don't know how they would communicate normally. This gives me a little insight into which servers interact with what else in the environment and it helps me to maintain them in a more appropriate manner. I can see who's tied to what, and whether or not they're critical.

                    It's also user-friendly. It's similar to the GUI that most VMware products are moving to, and the consistency across those makes it easy to switch from one product to another. Also, the search bar at the top is plain text and it helps you, it guides you along with your search query, and that helps. The first day you're in there you can start building actual queries.

                    What needs improvement?

                    When we talk about those micro-segmentation rules, there's an Export function. It is very macro-segmentation oriented instead. So if you choose an application, it will find the tiers within that application and say that it's communicating on, say, port 80 to a separate VLAN. There might be 200 machines in that other VLAN. You don't want to open port 80 at all of them. So we need a lot more granularity in those suggested firewall rules. It's a good start, but it's still going to require a lot more work on our side to actually make it a real rule, instead of what it's trying to do with the macro rule.

                    I would like to see better micro-segmentation rules. That's key for me. That's our primary use case for it at this point. We might add others in the future but, at this point, that's what we need, and we're not quite getting it.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    Less than one year.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It has been rock solid. We have never had an issue with stability.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We haven't had to scale it, which is surprising, because with almost all of the other VMware products that we use, we have scalability issues. This solution seems to handle it better than most of their other products.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    Tech support has been great. We even get access to the BU when we have questions about the API. We're very satisfied with it. 

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

                    We did not have a previous solution. We have a project to migrate from legacy networks into NSX-T. This solution was installed to facilitate that move, so that we can get there. It was recommended by our VMware TAM Services and by some of the engineers who were working for NSX-T.

                    The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are access to information, whether it's documentation, knowledge-base articles, or tech support; and stability. There is nothing more frustrating than having to touch the product frequently to make sure that it's up and running for you.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup was very easy. The deployment is just OVAs and it is really small, really fast to deploy. Just make 'em talk to each other and everything's happy.

                    What was our ROI?

                    If we can get it to provide those firewall rules it will literally save hundreds of man-hours, if not thousands of man-hours. So the ROI would be huge. But we're not quite there. When we get there, I anticipate the ROI will be much better.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I want to say it's a 10 out of 10. If they fix that micro-segmentation thing it will absolutely be a 10. Right now it's about an eight out of 10. I think it's just a big jump. If they can fix that micro-seg, that means so much more to me, so I would give it that extra boost for that. But the usability of it, how nice the interface is, those are great. If they improve the API that might get us to a nine, but if they get the micro-seg, I'll give them the other two points.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    SM
                    SDDC Practice Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                    MSP
                    The ability to use the natural language query and see the visualization can be quickly intuitive

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "The ability to use the natural language query and see the visualization is quickly intuitive, and it works very well."
                    • "I would like to see more interoperability on the firewall and low balancer sides."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We are able to analyze application flows through the network.

                    It is performing very well. It allows us to do a quick analysis of protocols, applications, and network pathing for our customers, then it has them analyze their needs for working application availability.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It's very hard to find anything that works this well.

                    There are two different benefits that we derive out of the tool:

                    1. The assessment-based approach: When we go in to do services work or we are trying to understand sizing, what we need to deploy from an NSX perspective is an assessment tool. This helps us be very narrow and specific-focused. It allows us to assess and give quotes back very quickly. 
                    2. We use it in our services practice. Before we go and do any type of NSX services engagement, we use this tool on the customer's site to look at the environment and figure out some of our scoping and how we will scope our services. It allows us to be more efficient and pinpoint around the use case and actual solution.

                    What is most valuable?

                    The number one most valuable feature is the visualization of the network flows; being able to see them in a very rich, visual way is the most impactful part of it. We use it to monitor network flows in a couple different ways. We use it as an assessment tool to go into customers and look at network flows, then figure out where the applications are talking to each other, how they're talking to each other, what protocols they're speaking on, and what other servers they're connected to from the network. This is very valuable for helping us either plan application migrations or be able to figure out things like distributing firewall rules, etc., so we can easily be able to identify and distribute the firewall within the product, which is primarily what its designed to assist with.

                    The second most important thing is the segregation of all the different protocols which are in the ports. We are able to identify and analyze each one of these protocols. This is extremely useful when we are talking about applications moving from on-premise to cloud.

                    It is very user-friendly and intuitive, especially given some of the natural language queries that it allows for. This is one of the benefits of the tool and the dashboarding which comes with the visualization of it. The ability to use the natural language query and see the visualization is quickly intuitive, and it works very well.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I would like to see more interoperability on the firewall and low balancer sides.

                    I like that you can integrate in Palo Alto networks. There is Cisco switching in there as well. We can see the actual path tracing through these products. I would like to add in there any other integrations from a services perspective, such as Big-IP F5 and some other APIs. Palo Alto has a little bit of an advantage, which is fine, but it would be great to see a little bit more integration, especially on the GUI side when we are tracking about some of that pack and flow. It would be great to be able to see other vendors be integrated into the product as well.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    Three to five years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    We have never experienced any downtime with this product.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We typically have been using it in medium-sized businesses, so we haven't scaled it out to thousands. We have small customers and a couple customers who we do larger amounts in the thousands. However, for us, it's in the hundreds VMs and/or hosts, and we have had no issues at that level. We have been able to scale horizontally and vertically.

                    It's controller-based and VM-based. It takes a couple different VMs to run it, and it seems to be covering all the scale that we need.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    We use our channel resources. Therefore, we have Channel Sales Engineers and Core SEs, then we also have NSX Channel SEs. If we run into problems, and things are not working right or we are getting a display that we're not familiar with, we typically use our resources. Thus, we don't typically call into the general VMware support.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    We have an assessments team that we use for the assessments. If we are doing a no-fee assessment when we are installing, we have a team who will do this and help the customer run it for 30 days for a trial run. 

                    We typically set it up ourselves from an assessment perspective, then when we do services delivery, we typically will do that as part of our service. We will bake that in to whenever we do an NSX engagement, and we will always do at least a vRNI assessment. Then, this helps us be able to sell that product to them as well. When they see the visualization and the ease in which you can monitor the environment, we typically we try to sell vRNI in addition to NSX.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    It depends on the technical level of the customers who we are working with. Some customers are very comfortable dropping in OVAs and VMs. It's fairly straightforward for us to do that. We typically include this as part of our vRNI service.

                    What was our ROI?

                    The solution has helped us to reduce time, increase performance, reduce costs, and even easily manage networks. We are probably seeing 10 to 20 percent labor savings because we are able to be very specific and focused on what we want to do. It ends up saving the customer money and makes us be more efficient on our cost deliveries.

                    We are a managed service provider so we spend a lot of time helping customers transition into the cloud. Application and rationalization are critical, so having this tool allows us to have another tool in our toolkit. This tool is critical because from a VMware perspective, it's really the only tool that does application rationalization. It gives us rich feedback that we need. We help customers move workloads to the right cloud. It's invaluable for us because it gives us that rich data to help us be successful. 

                    It reduces costs. It takes something that may be challenging and makes it more usable and visual by being able to bring in tools, seeing what their impact is, such as microsegmentation and application rationalization, and seeing it quickly.

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

                    It seems like it is fairly competitively priced. We are able to do fairly well with selling it. It seems well-priced, and we're able to do very well with the product.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We use a couple different tools, like RightScale, for application rationalization. Obviously, it's very challenging to get data out of a virtualized environment. vRNI does it better than anything we've used in the past. This is the biggest differentiator over other tools that we have been using. Now, we use vRNI along with other application analysis tools that we use in other practices within our company. We have been able to essentially add a lot of value using this tool with other practices and offerings that we do around application rationalization.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    We typically just deploy the latest version that we have, and that's it. We don't go back and do upgrades. Either the customers are doing that themselves or we don't have a specific service that does that. 

                    This is a must have product if you're a very big gamma customer. You have to have a way to analyze how networking is slowing through your environment.

                    We used to have the 1000V when we had Cisco for our Cisco customers, and we could use some of that solution, but there is not really any other tool that will provide the type of fidelity and richness of beta that you will need from your VMware environment regardless of whether you're deploying NSX or not, giving you that rich visualization of what's happening in the network layer and what's happening with the application layer within that networking layer in VMware. This is the only tool that you can obtain this level of richness from it.

                    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
                    ITCS user
                    Network Administrator at Modern Woodmen of America
                    Real User
                    Enables me to represent network data in a way that management, and non-network engineers, can understand

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "One of the most valuable features is the ability to look at the traffic flows, to look at NetFlow data."
                    • "I'd like to see better support for being able to search the hardware NetFlow data. It ingests fairly well, but you can't tell, in a lot of cases, what source the data came from. I'd like to see more support for picking specific sources. That way you could really make a compelling use case. There are also some difficulties where it can't exactly trace the path between source and destination but if you hit the reverse flow on the same search it shows the entire path."
                    • "There are some random glitches in the Web UI, but they are usually pretty cosmetic in nature. I don't really seem to use any browser other than Chrome with it. I also get some weird errors from time to time on the hardware NetFlow Collectors, where it doesn't sync data."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We use it for network troubleshooting, to provide some capacity reports, and to help generate rules for NSX microsegmentation.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It allows me to really represent network data in a way that management, and non-network engineers, can understand. That makes it easier for me to make my point.

                    What is most valuable?

                    One of the most valuable features is the ability to look at the traffic flows, to look at NetFlow data, whether it originates from the VMware host or from the harbor host.

                    What needs improvement?

                    I'd like to see better support for being able to search the hardware NetFlow data. It ingests fairly well, but you can't tell, in a lot of cases, what source the data came from. I'd like to see more support for picking specific sources. That way you could really make a compelling use case.

                    There are also some difficulties where it can't exactly trace the path between source and destination but if you hit the reverse flow on the same search it shows the entire path. It continues to improve, but I'd like to see better support for hardware stuff.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's pretty stable. There are some random glitches in the Web UI, but they are usually pretty cosmetic in nature. I don't really seem to be able to use any browser other than Chrome with it. I also get some weird errors from time to time on the hardware NetFlow Collectors, where it doesn't sync data. 

                    But overall, it's pretty reliable and what I need is in there and its miles ahead of what we had before. So the above are not really complaints, more just observations. It's been getting better since we first deployed it when was on 3.23.4, and we're on 3.8 now.

                    It's really easy to upgrade. We did have one issue during one upgrade, I believe it was the 3.7, where it was just a bad patch and the upgrade went sideways.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I have it deployed across four vCenters, four proxy VMs. It seems to take up an awful a lot of resources, but it seems to scale pretty well. We added an entire environment to it and it didn't seem to have any problems with that at all. It adjusted the data very quickly, and I can find what I need really fast.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    I have used the technical support and technical support was awesome. They got done what I needed done, without any hassle. They called me up, said, "We got it fixed." It was great.

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

                    We used a combination of legacy netflow products, some freeware and the like.

                    My criteria for selecting a vendor include: is it somebody we already have a relationship with? Do I have to go through the vendor selection process on my end? Is it providing a compelling enough use case to warrant the effort we need to be able to go after it? At a high level, does it fit needs that we have today? What's it going to allow us to get done?

                    The project workload I have is so high that if it doesn't help me with my day-to-day work, or answer questions or solve a problem, I just don't have time for nice-to-have things. Network Insights has been pretty critical, helping me out. I'm working on so many projects running the business that I need all the help I can get with that. It's been great.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    It was a super easy setup. I deployed it myself in about an hour, and I have been working with it ever since. We deployed it, initially, for an assessment and then we turned on the demo license and I said, "Okay this is awesome", and we bought it.

                    It's incredibly powerful for how easy it was to set up.

                    What was our ROI?

                    The value that I have seen is that I spend less time troubleshooting the same problems. It has insight into the virtual environment and the hardware environment, so I'm able to trace problems fairly quickly. I can turn around to a ticket and say, "No it's not the network, here's the graph, this is why". That enables me to get back into project work, which is mostly security, and that benefits the business a lot. It takes a lot off my plate.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We looked at some Netscout stuff but it just wasn't working out. We looked at Cisco Tetration Analytics instead but it wasn't giving us what we wanted.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    There is not an easier way to do this. If you have unlimited time, maybe go look at something else. But if you don't, then this is would be the way to do it.

                    I rate it a nine out of 10. It's a fantastic product, it's great. Some of the things I think it should be able to search on, it doesn't. I would also like to see tighter integration with some logging and SNMP-type information. I also use Splunk so I'd like to see something with Splunk. I know it can do vRealize Log Insight but that doesn't seem to do a whole lot for me yet. I only gave it a nine because I know there's so much more potential there. I would tell anybody "Get it". I rated it very highly but there's a lot more potential and room to grow.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    BC
                    Staff SYS Admin at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                    Real User
                    Allowed us to set up NSX without having to determine each port and IP address that should have access or be blocked

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It allowed us to set up NSX and to do microsegmentation, without all of the pain points of having to determine each port and each IP address that needed to have access, and which ones needed to be blocked."
                    • "The most valuable feature for us is that insight into what our network is really doing - it's a fairly complex network. Not having to go through thousands of lines of network configuration to find firewall ports that were open or closed, for various ports, was very valuable. It went out and found everything we need very quickly."
                    • "After you use it for a little while you become accustomed to it but the layout doesn't feel very intuitive. You have to dig around and find the exact place where you can find the information, where you can actually see your east-west traffic, etc. I would like them to bring that information more to the forefront, instead of having to find it."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We used it for our VDI solution to track down all of the network beginning and endpoints.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It allowed us to set up NSX and to do microsegmentation, without all of the pain points of having to determine each port and each IP address that needed to have access, and which ones needed to be blocked.

                    It also sped up our time to value. It brought the time it took to implement way down to a number of days, instead of a number of weeks.

                    What is most valuable?

                    The most valuable feature for us is that insight into what our network is really doing - it's a fairly complex network. Not having to go through thousands of lines of network configuration to find firewall ports that were open or closed, for various ports, was very valuable.

                    It went out and found everything we need very quickly. It did everything we needed it to do.

                    What needs improvement?

                    After you use it for a little while you become accustomed to it but the layout doesn't feel very intuitive. You have to dig around and find the exact place where you can find the information, where you can actually see your east-west traffic, etc. 

                    I would like them to bring that information more to the forefront, instead of having to find it.

                    Once you have learned how to use everything, it becomes easy to use.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It was very stable. In bringing it up we did not have any issues.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I have not been able to get an accurate impression of the scalability. We only use it across one network. It's a large network, so it seems to have scaled for that. I don't know how it would scale for something even larger than what we have currently.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    We actually had a technician on site. He was very quickly able to get with the other levels of technical support to get answers for us to any questions he was not able to answer.

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

                    We ended up going with VMware and a VDI solution and this product was a recommendation alongside of that. We looked at it and it looked like it would do the job.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup was very easy to do. But we did have the technician there, walking us through the whole process. He was familiar with it. But it was not that difficult of a setup.

                    We have not had the opportunity to upgrade to a newer version.

                    What was our ROI?

                    It prevented us from having to spend about $5,000,000 on new desktops and laptops. It cut that down to about a quarter of that price.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    Because it looked like it would do the job, we didn't look at anything else.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    I would rate this product an eight out of 10. I might give it a higher rating if we used it more. We used it for a period of time and then we stopped using it. There was nothing wrong with it, we just didn't use it enough to see it as a 10 out of 10.

                    The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is finding one who will actually give what is promised.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    LH
                    Systems Engineer at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
                    Real User
                    Helps us verify whether certain servers/applications should be communicating

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "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."
                    • "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."
                    • "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, what 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."

                    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.
                    it_user526068
                    System Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                    Vendor
                    You can view flows inside your network, though the GUI needs improvement

                    What is most valuable?

                    The way you can view flows inside your network.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We're able to implement intersects using this tool.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Make the GUI easier to use.

                    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                    I recommend for anyone deploying this solution that you are going to have to get everything to point to that piece of software. So, you get a good rating, thus getting you good data.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's good. Solid.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It's good.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    I haven't used technical support.

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

                    We weren't using anything previously. We…

                    What is most valuable?

                    The way you can view flows inside your network.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We're able to implement intersects using this tool.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Make the GUI easier to use.

                    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                    I recommend for anyone deploying this solution that you are going to have to get everything to point to that piece of software. So, you get a good rating, thus getting you good data.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's good. Solid.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It's good.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    I haven't used technical support.

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

                    We weren't using anything previously. We were going to implement the NSX, so we knew we needed to use this solution.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I was involved in the initial setup. It was pretty straightforward.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    In-house.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    No one else. Just VMware.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    If you are going to implement NSX, it's a great tool. It really helps. The network piece, they should look at that, and see what to do with NSX.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: good support.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    AP
                    Systems Engineer at Mednax
                    Real User
                    Makes it easier to identify issues and troubleshoot them

                    What is most valuable?

                    Going through our logs within the system, it's easier to identify issues. For example, the filtering in order to show correct errors. In addition, the troubleshooting timeframe shortens a lot with our product.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    Instead of gathering so many resources, such as, multiple system engineers, network engineers, and search engineers, now it's all in one shop. One person can actually troubleshoot the issue without bringing in so many people. The troubleshooting time has been greatly reduced.

                    What needs improvement?

                    The pricing is steep.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    The past two months.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    I have had no issues so far, since the deployment. It's been pretty stable.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It is very easy to work with; you can add nodes as you go. As your environment grows, you can add nodes to it, increase it, then scale out.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    Technical support is great. They do excellent work. They stay on top of their tickets and support cases. We get updates on a daily basis, so I'm very satisfied with the support.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I was involved in the initial setup and it was straightforward.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    We have a temporary in-house person. I recommend having a temporary in-house person.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    Turbonomic.

                    We chose VMware for their product, their environment, and the confidence level of using the product itself.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    The way technology works, you've got to catch up. If you're basically staying in a legacy environment, and everything is moving rapidly, you've got to stay ahead of the game.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: customer support.

                    My recommendation: If you're looking to minimize your downtime, your troubleshooting, and the amount of resources being used in order to look at logs and troubleshoot an issue, this is the solution.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    it_user730227
                    Senior Infrastructure Architect at Cognizant technology solutions
                    Consultant
                    Creates faster access and searchability of the logs for troubleshooting

                    What is most valuable?

                    Login site gives you the opportunity to collect logs from all of your hypervisors and your virtual servers, then put them all in one location and make them searchable.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It's faster access and searchability of the logs for troubleshooting.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Better integration into VRB.

                    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

                    We did our due diligence, studied best practices, read the documentation, prepared a plan, presented the plan, and everybody understood what's going to happen.

                    It is best to have a contingency plan to back out if things go wrong.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    Stability is there. A 10 out of 10.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    Scalability is about a 10 out of 10.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    I have not used technical support for this solution.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I was involved in the initial setup. It was straightforward. It took about 10 minutes.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    We used an in-house team.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    Dell EMC, Hitachi, and sometimes Microsoft.

                    We chose VMware because they have one of the better products on the market for what they do: virtualization.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor is that they're there when you need them.

                    For someone looking at this solution: Look deep.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    it_user730296
                    Systems Admin at American century investments
                    Vendor
                    Better able to understand our needs for future growth and budgeting purposes

                    What is most valuable?

                    Capacity management: the forecasting of capacity.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We are better able to understand our needs for future growth and budgeting purposes.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Price. Honestly, the way it's licensed is challenging.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    The stability is good.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    So far, it's been okay.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    It's been good. They are knowledgeable. We can reach the right person.

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

                    As we started moving to more critical applications of this infrastructure, we needed to be able to manage it at a higher level than we had been.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    For the most part, it was pretty straightforward. Some of the advanced configurations were a little bit more difficult.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    In-house.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We used Microsoft for monitoring solutions as well, then VMware. We chose VM because it's more integrated with what we're trying to do with the infrastructure.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    The most important criteria for selecting a vendor: Functionality of the product, it's got to work, then responsiveness of the support.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    it_user730434
                    Enterprise Server Engineer at Christus health
                    Vendor
                    Enables us to troubleshoot issues and helped us implement our NSX product

                    What is most valuable?

                    vRNI taught us to troubleshoot issues and help us implement our NSX product. Therefore, it's been one of the most valuable tools of the product.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    We're in a huge NSX implementation right now and trying to understand each application. vRNI's been very helpful in helping us protect each one of those applications.

                    What needs improvement?

                    They are already working on it, which is really nice. It would be the capability of actually identifying certain applications, like SQL, file servers, DNS, AD servers, and making it easier to identify those types of systems.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    Stability for vRNI - it just works. We haven't had any issues with it.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    The scalability is great. We haven't had any issues with the capability of the machines, NSX, or with the implementations of both.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    Personally, I have not called technical support.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I was not involved in the initial setup.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    We had an inner engagement, and their engineers highly recommended using the tool, as far as the implementation for NSX.

                    Before this, we weren't using another solution at all. We're pretty much using VMware for this type of environment.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Support is very important, to be available especially for issues that may be new with the features which we're trying to implement. We tend to request support quite a bit, so support is definitely very important.

                    I would definitely advise, especially healthcare companies that need to secure their products, NSX using vRNI as their tool. To implement it, I would highly recommend that they invest the time to learn how to use vRNI.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    it_user730260
                    Master Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                    Vendor
                    ​Provides a map of what's going on - on the network

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Provides us a map of what's going on - on our network.
                    • Allows us to start microsegmentation.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    The benefits are it gives us insight into our network, which we can't get anywhere else.

                    It's helping us to scope our firewall rules.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Maybe improve the fonts.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's really stable.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    It's very scalable.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    No.

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

                    We were not previously doing something else. When we were going to NSX, we knew we needed to do this. This is just part of our movement towards that.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    I was involved in the initial setup. It was really straightforward.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    In-house.

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

                    Look at the following:

                    • Stability
                    • Interoperability with what you own
                    • Price.

                    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                    For this, really nobody. Just VMware.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    If they have VMware, and they're gonna stick with it, then this is probably the tool they want to look at for their network flow.

                    Just know what your network is and what you intend to do in terms of segmentation. Know your network, know your environment.

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