SolarWinds NPM vs Zabbix comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Oct 11, 2022

We performed a comparison between SolarWinds NPM and Zabbix based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions say deployment is straightforward and easy.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    SolarWinds NPM users like the customization options of the dashboard, alerts, and reports, and say it is a strong tool for monitoring network devices. Users mention the integration capabilities need to be improved.

    Zabbix users say it is a mature solution that integrates well with Microsoft Office but that its UI needs improvement.
  • Pricing: Users of SolarWinds NPM consider the solution to be affordable. Zabbix is open-source and free of charge.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions are satisfied with the technical support.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report seeing an ROI.

Comparison Results: In this comparison, Zabbix comes out slightly ahead because it is open-source whereas SolarWinds NPM is not.

To learn more, read our detailed SolarWinds NPM vs. Zabbix Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,785 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Is Zabbix or SolarWinds NPM better for infrastructure monitoring?
Answer: Disclaimer: Following 2+ decades of working with big-vendor IT Ops Mgmt Software - including being technical consultant employed by a global ITOM vendor - I have formed a business focussed on Zabbix. I will do my best to remain neutral. For me, both are flexible, highly configurable, stable solutions with a solid history and reputation. In terms of raw features there very little to choose between them. IT monitoring solutions have, in my opinion, entered a 'Red Queen Game' phase of evolution. This means that big vendors are introducing features purely because other vendors have them rather than because customers need them. In turn, this leads to justifying annual license increases to support features that are not relevant to the vast majority of customers. To balance that statement a little, I'm sure every individual feature in a given product is used somewhere. Big vendors must recoup development costs. For example, if a large multi-national Telco demands a feature then that feature will be developed and incorporated into the product. The cost of that development will be recouped in the following year's maintenance renewal contract and spread across ALL users of the product irrespective of whether a given feature is used. However, I digress. Your question was regarding Zabbix vs. Solarwinds Where there is a significant difference is in the Total Cost of Ownership. Zabbix is a true Open Source solution with zero licensing cost. Paid support is available directly from Zabbix. I can't comment directly on SolarWinds support, however the majority of major vendors typically charge approximately 22% of the original purchase price (plus an annual uplift) for support and maintenance. Zabbix support, directly from Zabbix, is not dependant on the number of devices being monitored. Zabbix's support is based on the number of Zabbix servers and proxies deployed. I believe, albeit only anecdotally, that Zabbix offers better scalability and performance compared to Solarwinds. Where Solarwinds does seem to impress is in the visual side. Graphs and navigation is "prettier" than Zabbix. Both solutions offer agent-based and agentless monitoring, discovery, templates, alerting, correlation etc. In my opinion, because the IT monitoring market has evolved to become almost commoditized there is no "better" or "worse" product. The criteria is no longer which is the better product, but which product meets your specific needs at your specific budget. And don't forget that with any tool you will need to administer and maintain it. At this point, the ability and skills of the administrator needs to be considered as well. For me, it's Zabbix every time but then again, I would say that wouldn't I.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The ability to quickly identify downtime is the most valuable.""Reporting tools are a great feature along with the ability to create customized reports for you""The most valuable features in SolarWinds NPM are the network search and diagnostic tools.""Network performance is the main issue clients are facing. SolarWinds checks if a node is down, and we can set thresholds for performance metrics. For example, we set it up to get an alert automatically if a value is over 80 percent. It has a full dashboard that covers CP, hard disk, and node monitoring.""SolarWinds dashboard is very fast. Also, their interface is very good, it looks very user-friendly. The product allows me to see a summary of the network being monitored at a glance.""The most valuable features are language support and technical support.""As we look to add more servers to our virtual environment and to understand the impact, the solution allows us to dig into the historical charts related to capacity planning.""Being able to easily, and quickly obtain disc space statistics from servers and determine how much was free or used on various volumes."

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"There is a problems page that shows us every warning or problem that occurs on our VMs globally. The map screen is also really useful because this is something that was missing. I don't know every other tool in the market. So, I don't know if this is a good point of only Zabbix, or other tools are also doing it, but from my point of view, this is the most useful page that I use, along with the problems page that efficiently lists the problem, recovery time, ending hours, starting hours, and so on.""We have found that Zabbix is more easy to use than other applications.""They've already added extra features, such as noise-canceling and facial recognition, which is great.""Setup was straightforward. Initial deployment took two or three months.""Every new asset placed in the environment can be automatically detected, predicting human failures.""There is less computing power needed for scaling.""The initial setup was very quick. The first time it was long because I didn't know it yet. I was only using Windows. The first time was very difficult because of the operating system.""The product is very stable."

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Cons
"The solution could be more secure.""If they could combine everything into one product, that would be very helpful.""We decided that we were no longer going to trust that their products have not been capitalized.""They need to work on their automation and automatically discover devices. They are not very good at automatically discovering devices.""The solution is not always good with new features, so it's take a long time.""The dashboards for this solution could be improved. We would like to divide the dashboards to give a clear view to our management team to show what we have and what deficiencies exist in our network.""The solution could improve in many areas, such as the marketing and description of the products, providing areas of improvement, cloud capabilities, and being able to be more streamlined with the current integration points with other applications.""The solution needs to integrate with additional SDN technologies that are part of the hyper market."

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"When using this solution in enterprise monitoring, you are able to see that there are some issues with equipment that could be causing a problem. Sometimes you want to make a root command that you do not want to be executed automatically. What we have tried to do is open an SSH session directly from the solution's interface but it is not possible.""There are some features of Zabbix that are not good for reporting. The DX Spectrum solution has better reporting.""The APM monitoring has room for improvement, although I hear that the new 5.2 version has some improvements in that area, and I'd like to give that a go. I would like to see a few more templates out there for different styles of monitoring. I use the Grafana interface for reporting. I would also like it to have an out-of-the-box ability to email reports. You can create reports, but to be able to email those reports would be really helpful. I've got users who are not interested in logging in and generating a report. They want it all pre-canned and sent to an email address. It would also be really handy if we could pin certain reports up onto platforms such as Teams or SharePoint. A GUI for the proxy server would be cool to have for debugging purposes and for the support teams to have a look at, but I don't know whether that's really feasible to do. I get enough from the log files themselves.""Correlation of events would be a wonderful addition.""One of the things we don't like is that Zabbix has a license structure with a price that is high compared to the competition. It's very high, for example, compared to something like Microsoft Teams.""Its UI needs to be improved a little bit more so that an end-user is also able to handle it. I can handle it, but others should also be able to handle it in a better way. It becomes complex when we are growing and need to add proxies. We need more scalability features and documentation for different use cases. A lot of articles are available, but they need to be in proper documentation. For example, when you have thousands of servers that have to be monitored in different regions of the world, there should be some kind of documentation to describe how you can create proxies and add them. Sometimes, when you are using the database, it can get overloaded. When the network is growing, the number of transactions becomes very high, and the database gets overloaded. There should be information about how to reduce the load on the MySQL database, which is what Zabbix is using. The market is growing a lot, and it should be enhanced for a lot more things. We are currently bringing enhancements at our end for different use cases. For example, when dockerization is going on, how can we check the logs inside the Dockers. We should also be able to monitor and check the number of logins and add features such as SSO login and two-factor authentication as a protocol. These are the security features and concerns that we have to deal with. Currently, we are developing modules to add features to Zabbix, but they should also work on these features.""I think the reporting part of Zabbix can be improved in terms of more user-friendly graphics to display the collected data. Many simple users who don't know how to use Zabbix properly might get confused by the reporting, although at the same time it is very versatile for my company.""The product could be more secure and more stable."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The licensing is based on the number of nodes, interfaces, and volumes."
  • "There are a lot of sub-products and it just continued to increase the price."
  • "There is a permanent license and also a subscription level which has annual fees. The price of the solution is fair."
  • "There can be fees in addition to the licensing fees if you add on."
  • "The NPM component of the system costs approximately $1,000 USD per year."
  • "We have a multi-year license for the use of this solution. There are additional costs for recourses in the environment."
  • "Quite highly priced"
  • "There's standard licensing, and then it depends on the size of the customer."
  • More SolarWinds NPM Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "My manager is very happy because it doesn't cost anything."
  • "This is an open-source solution that can be used free of charge."
  • "We were searching for an open source solution and Zabbix fit the bill because it is free and open source under the GPL license."
  • "The solution is free. However, many open-sourced tools start out free but eventually start charging."
  • "Its licensing is fair. It seems to be much cheaper than others."
  • "It is open source. If you want to have a subscription or official support, you can pay for it. They have different plans, which are not that expensive. The plans are based on per monitoring server, not per monitored equipment. So, it is not at all expensive, and you can also live without the support if you want a cheaper option."
  • "There is a license required for this solution and we pay annually for our license."
  • "Zabbix is open-source so if one wishes to implement it in-house, they must have qualified professionals to set up and optimize databases, Linux/Unix OS, PHP, Apache, and depending on what is monitored, a full-stack network and systems administrator may be needed."
  • More Zabbix Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Harikanth N
    it_user1043517 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user1043517 (Head of IT Governance Service at ITGSTORE)
    Real User

    Hello ,

    just to let you know about my modest contribution, indeed its two tools are very practical: The choice of one of the solutions depends on two factors:
    - The price and the competence of the system administrators

    Zabbix is ​​a free tool and requires a strong Linux, Scripting skill for all that is custom supervision. integration with third-party tools ( Grafana Dashbord , Ticketing Tools ...)

    Solarwinds is very intuitive and complete (reporting, view, resources, NOC view) all its features are integrated and easily configurable.

    Regards

    Arsène

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It actually depends on the exact purpose or kind of devices (network devices, servers, something else). Some tools are better for only network devices while others are better for a cloud monitoring or… more »
    Top Answer:From my point of view, SolarWind is the best tool.
    Top Answer:We are partners with SolarWinds and we sell a lot of Network management to large enterprises also because of scalability, products like Network Performance Monitor & Netflow Traffic Analyzer are… more »
    Top Answer:I'm supervising all the IT departments, and Zabbix seems quite good for them. It provides graphics and information in real time. We get alerts about crashes on the system, enabling us to quickly… more »
    Top Answer:Zabbix is powerful, but it is difficult to understand initially. There are many things that can be improved, but we might not be using Zabbix to its fullest extent. The software has more features than… more »
    Top Answer:I rate Zabbix eight out of 10. It's a good solution for everyone's needs. Maybe same users that we have, few users for the moment because we don't have a very big important network. I think that… more »
    Ranking
    Views
    22,906
    Comparisons
    16,710
    Reviews
    42
    Average Words per Review
    462
    Rating
    8.0
    Views
    50,707
    Comparisons
    39,720
    Reviews
    42
    Average Words per Review
    553
    Rating
    8.4
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer
    Learn More
    Overview

    SolarWinds NPM is a network monitoring solution that enables you to detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues and outages quickly and efficiently. The solution is a powerful tool that can help you increase service levels, reduce downtime with multi vendor network monitoring, simplify the management of complex network devices, improve operational efficiency, and much more.

    SolarWinds NPM Features

    SolarWinds NPM has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Increased scalability
    • Fault, performance, and availability monitoring
    • Dynamic network discovery and mapping
    • Cross-stack network data correlation
    • Customizable topology
    • Dependency-aware intelligent alerts
    • Intelligent maps
    • Automated capacity forecasting, alerting, and reporting
    • Logical and physical network monitoring
    • Monitor Azure vNet gateway visibility

    SolarWinds NPM Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing SolarWinds NPM. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Comprehensive monitoring for advanced network devices: With SolarWinds NPM, you can gain insight into the health and performance of your load balancers, Cisco ASA and Palo Alto Networks, firewalls, and Cisco Nexus switches.
    • Hardware health monitoring: SolarWinds NPM makes it easy for you to monitor, alert, and report on key device metrics, including power supply, fan speed, and temperature.
    • Customizable performance and availability reports: With this feature, you can choose from more than 100 templates to schedule and also generate custom network performance reports.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the SolarWinds NPM solution.

    PeerSpot user Andrew N., Senior Network Engineer at Element Critical, says, “The "Performance Analyzer" feature is the solution's most valuable aspect. It's able to do the bounded graphs of all the interface stats, from errors to broadcasts and to current traffic. With a click of a button you're able to, in one interface, look at historical data for those items.” He also adds, “From the troubleshooting point of view, just having that peace of mind is great. And, The solution is extremely stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard. We haven't had issues with bugs, glitches, or crashes."

    Daniel S., Systems and Data Warehouse Supervisor at MMSD, mentions, “The alerting and usage tracking is a valuable feature because it alerts us when we're getting near capacity on disk space, network utilization or processor utilization. It helps us manage our capacity and enables us to be proactive.”

    A Senior Vice President and CIO at a financial services firm explains, “As we look to add more servers to our virtual environment and to understand the impact, the solution allows us to dig into the historical charts related to capacity planning. It also gives us visibility of spikes and allows us to track down the reasons for their occurrences. So too, it makes room for potential processes that have gotten hung or runaway and to know when it's time to reboot a server or service.”

    Dinesh N., Digital Innovation at Bobcat Company, states, “The best part of the solution is the sharing display. It gives a general public ID wherein everyone can link to a public display. That's a good feature.”


    Fazal A., Implementation & Support Specialist at 360Factors, comments, “We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down. In the event an interface goes down, we have multiple reports that include availability monitoring, network uptime monitoring, and network downtime monitoring. These reports are on multiple schedules such as the end of the day, end of the last business day of the week, monthly, and quarterly. This gives us the ability to provide reports to our management and let them know the performance of our network.”

    Zabbix is a free software tool traditionally used for monitoring your organization’s IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, virtual machines, and cloud services. Zabbix makes it possible for you to maintain control of your infrastructure by collecting any metric from any source. The solution also offers agentless monitoring, synthetic monitoring, custom collection methods, and data transformation.

    Zabbix offers:

    • Network monitoring
    • Server monitoring
    • Cloud monitoring
    • Application monitoring
    • Service monitoring

    Zabbix Features

    Zabbix has many valuable key features, including:

    Action Log, Anomaly Detection, Auditing, Automated Actions, Availability Reports, Capacity Planning, Custom Scripts, Custom Templates, Data Retrieval, Drill-Down Reports, Encryption, Event Correlation, History Data Analysis, Metric Collection, Multiple Authentication Methods, Multiple Severity Levels, Native WMI Support for Windows Agent, Network Discovery, Notifications, Root Cause Analysis, Trend Prediction, WMI Support, Web Services Widget-based Dashboards, Zero-Maintenance

    Zabbix Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Zabbix. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Flexible deployment options: Zabbix can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud to help you stay fully in control of your data.

    • Unlimited scalability: Zabbix is scalable to any infrastructure. It can easily scale for your personal home, or can scale for a large enterprise environment.

    • Ready-to-use templates: Zabbix comes with ready-to-use templates which makes it easy to integrate with systems you already use.

    • External vault: Zabbix enables you to keep your data secure and safe by providing an external vault storage option.

    • High availability: By using Zabbix’s high availability solution, you can negate the risk of data loss and gain 24/7 uptime.

    • Partner and vendor-backed: The solution is backed by 250+ global partners and multiple external vendors, giving you confidence in the solution.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Zabbix users.

    PeerSpot user Shibu B., Regional Manager/ Service Delivery at ASPL Info Services, says, "The solution is quite mature and very stable. The monitoring capabilities of the product are excellent.” He also adds, “The solution is very easy to scale and the product is open-source, meaning there aren't any licensing costs associated with it.”

    Julian L., Senior Specialist Critical Infrastructure at an educational organization, comments that the solution is “A complete solution that doesn't cost anything, does what I need it to do, and has easy-to-use templates and very good scalability.” He also mentions “The agents are pretty cool. They're easy to roll out. The standard out-of-the-box templates are also pretty easy to use. The integration with other learning products is also good.”

    Faycal N., CEO/Founder at Zen Networks, praises the product, mentioning, “Its overall flexibility is most valuable. When our customers have some custom applications that are not necessarily covered by the community or a standard monitoring tool, we use Zabbix to build our own modules with our own templates. This feature has been useful in using Zabbix for infrastructure and IT monitoring. It has also been useful for industrial equipment monitoring. Zabbix is very lightweight. It is efficient in terms of performance because it doesn't use a lot of resources."

    Offer
    Learn more about SolarWinds NPM
    Learn more about Zabbix
    Sample Customers
    Microsoft, Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, and MasterCard
    Bodybuilding.com, LLC., ITtelligent Consulting Services,Eltele AS, Total Server Solutions, LLC., ChinaNetCloud
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government10%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Aerospace/Defense Firm8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise63%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    SolarWinds NPM vs. Zabbix
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about SolarWinds NPM vs. Zabbix and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,785 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    SolarWinds NPM is ranked 4th in Cloud Monitoring Software with 48 reviews while Zabbix is ranked 2nd in Cloud Monitoring Software with 43 reviews. SolarWinds NPM is rated 8.0, while Zabbix is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of SolarWinds NPM writes "Simple to set up with good visualizations and helpful support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Zabbix writes "Very mature, easy to scale, and free to use". SolarWinds NPM is most compared with PRTG Network Monitor, ManageEngine OpManager, LogicMonitor, Nagios XI and Meraki Dashboard, whereas Zabbix is most compared with Nagios XI, Nagios Core, Splunk, Centreon and PRTG Network Monitor. See our SolarWinds NPM vs. Zabbix report.

    See our list of best IT Infrastructure Monitoring vendors, best Cloud Monitoring Software vendors, and best Network Monitoring Software vendors.

    We monitor all Cloud Monitoring Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.