IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) is the #3 ranked solution in top Server Monitoring tools, #5 ranked solution in Log Management Software, #5 ranked solution in top Cloud Monitoring Software, #7 ranked solution in best Network Monitoring Tools, and #7 ranked solution in Infrastructure Monitoring tools. PeerSpot users give IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) an average rating of 8.4 out of 10. IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) is most commonly compared to SolarWinds NPM: IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) vs SolarWinds NPM. IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 65% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 27% of all views.
IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: March 2023

What is IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM)?

The IBM® SevOne Network Performance Management (IBM SevOne NPM) solution helps you spot, address, and prevent network performance issues early with machine learning-powered analytics from a single source. Boost network performance and improve your user application experience by proactively monitoring your multivendor end-to-end network across enterprise, communication, and managed service provider networks.

Transform raw network performance data into intelligent and actionable insights. The IBM SevOne NPM solution goes beyond detection, combining industry-leading expertise and advanced technology to help your IT team plan and optimize your network and act on what matters: improving network performance to provide an exceptional customer experience.

For further information, please visit

IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) was previously known as SevOne.

IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Customers
ATOS, Devereux, Spark New Zealand, Access4, Rogers Communication, Lumen (formerly known as CenturyLink)
IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Video

IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) pricing:
  • "Although I don't have exact details in terms of cost, my experience has been that SevOne is willing to make a deal with the customer."
  • "The pricing has not evolved with the market, which is one of the reasons we are moving to a new product."
  • "There are different options available for licensing, with the per-device option being more expensive but more flexible."
  • "Many tools price things based on the number of KPIs that you're collecting around a device. In many cases, there could be hundreds of metrics that you need to collect. SevOne provides device-level pricing. That gives us the flexibility to turn on, and expand on, the metrics that we're collecting around those devices, without taking a financial hit."
  • "A blocking point is the high upfront cost because it is challenging to get it accepted and the purchase approved."
  • IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Reviews

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    Manager of REN Operations at Rogers Communications
    Real User
    Easy to use, facilitates proactive problem detection and resolution, with helpful and responsive support
    Pros and Cons
    • "We find that the reporting is particularly valuable in terms of not only communicating with our peer teams but also with the executives."
    • "The reporting of NMS is good, but it could be better."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use SevOne for performance management. We're managing an internal corporate network for a large Canadian telco. This includes the data centers, the branch offices, media locations, retail stores, and all of those kinds of connections. We use it obviously to monitor performance, and we also use it to do some performance alarming, and things like that.

    We use it extensively to help us communicate with other teams, and with executives so that we can present valuable network data in a pleasing way. It's also accurate, easy to read, and easy to digest for non-network teams, executives, and others.

    It was very successful during the pandemic because there was a lot of focus on things like capacity, work from home, and VPN capabilities. It really allowed us to highlight those metrics very easily, and communicate that up to the executives on a daily basis in the early days of the pandemic. It helped to bring that sense of wellbeing that we were not in any danger in terms of system capacity, or things like that. When everybody was sent to work from home, a lot of companies tipped over because they weren't prepared for it, but we didn't have that problem.

    SevOne was initially installed on a VM on my network, and then another network within the organization implemented it a couple of years later. As the value was identified and other parts of the organization began consuming it, other networks began implementing it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We don't use much of the flow data but other than that, the data it collects is very comprehensive. It's as comprehensive as you want it to be. You can glance over the surface, or you can dig really deep. It all depends on how you configure it out of the box, including what you want to look at and what you want to measure.

    Having this depth is really important if you want to get ahead of the problems and head them off before they become customer-impacting. One of the things that happened in our organization was when the pandemic hit, a lot of our customers also went to work from home. Consequently, it drove a lot of traffic volume onto our customer-facing networks. Having SevOne in place prior to that identified a lot of critical choke points that weren't necessarily identified by other traditional monitoring techniques. Other vendors weren't picking them up.

    I am not responsible for the customer-facing networks but I know that when we installed SevOne and got it working on some of them, it identified a lot of choke points, and it led us to fix a lot of capacity issues before the pandemic hit. This allowed us to continue to do business in a big BAU fashion as opposed to reacting to a crisis. We were ready for it because, in part, SevOne helped us to find those problems before they became critical. When people went home to work, and all that traffic volume hit our network, we had already rectified the problems.

    SevOne's collection abilities cover multiple vendor's equipment, which absolutely is important to us. On my network specifically, we have a vast number of different platforms, more so than most. That's probably reflective of our corporate network, so things become somewhat less standard over time. As a result, SevOne's ability to work with just about any vendor's equipment was definitely valuable for us. The other networks in the organization are a bit more uniform but ours had a lot of different platforms, different kinds of load balancers, different kinds of switches, and there are many different kinds of firewalls. There is no question that this flexibility and compatibility were important.

    SevOne can certainly bring together its analytics, reports, and workflows in a single dashboard. For example, the Data Insight overlay is great, and it comes with a lot of built-in dashboards and reports that have that analysis already included. You can take something like that and you can edit it to repurpose it to your needs, or you can use it as an app to build something for yourself. It also drills down really nicely. You start at a general level and then you can drill down to the specifics. You can start with a group, you can drill down to a device, you can get down to an interface, and so on. It's a good tool in that sense because you can look at it with as much detail as you like.

    It's pretty easy to use. It's intuitive and menu-driven. It's got the familiar menu across the top as well, that you can tab through. If you know how to use a mouse and a keyboard, you're not going to be lost. But again, with a bit of training and a bit of insight from the developers of the platform, it can really unleash a lot of new ideas and new abilities, but right out of the box, it's pretty easy to use and pretty easy to figure out.

    Using SevOne has enabled us to detect network performance issues faster, and before they impact end-users. You can just look at the capacity, and the ability to identify those interfaces that are being over-utilized, over time. Whether you're looking at the last weekend or the last week, or the last month, finding over-utilized links is important. It allows you to either offload that traffic somewhere else or augment that capacity. Importantly, SevOne allows you to get ahead of that. You can anticipate reaching a capacity issue in advance of it impacting your customers.

    Another thing to consider is that we have a very large WAN. Canada is a big country, so my network end-to-end is from coast to coast. With such a large network, having real-time information on those links and how they're being utilized, or whether they are up or down, allows us to find and address issues before they become serious problems. You know, if you have two links and one's a primary and one's a backup, and your backup goes down, SevOne helps you understand that there is a gap and that you can get that addressed before the primary fails and you find yourself in an outage situation.

    These are the ways that we use it on a daily basis. I am in operations but I know that in our engineering teams, they do the capacity planning and the network planning, so they use it too. You can easily set up a threshold, as well, to alert you when certain links get over-utilized or become highly utilized. Again, you can get ahead of the impacts and ahead of the customer complaints.

    In 2020, we went for 11 months on my network without a major incident. We didn't have even one P1 or P2 incident, which is something that we'd never done before, and I credit SevOne with that success. A lot of the issues that we found and fixed with SevOne, prior to going into the pandemic mode of working, may have caused us problems. Our ability to detect and address issues ahead of time, which included monitoring, capacity planning, reviewing those numbers regularly, and paying attention to the alerts of critical links when the pressure increased in terms of capacity, allowed us to stay ahead instead of being purely reactive. It's been a godsend and has brought us 11 months of stability, the likes of which I'd never seen before in 15 years with the company.

    In terms of speed, SevOne makes it so that we're faster than the NOC. As a company, we're supposed to rely on the NOC to find these faults, get the alarms, and respond. That's how it works with the other networks in the company, generally speaking. But with us, because we're so deeply integrated with SevOne, we tend to know these things immediately, or within five minutes of something happening on the network because of our chosen five-minute interval.

    The bottom line is that it's five minutes or less before the operations group is alerted to a critical situation on the network. Whether it is a hardware fault or something else, we know the issue and the impact of it almost immediately. We find ourselves informing the NOC, "By the way, this happened and you guys should get organized because there's something coming." This means that as an operations manager, I'm quicker on the draw than the NOC, which puts me ahead of most networks.

    What is most valuable?

    We find that the reporting is particularly valuable in terms of not only communicating with our peer teams but also with the executives. This is an excellent feature that we didn't have before.

    The reporting and workflows absolutely help us to understand what is normal and what is abnormal in our network. Out of the box, it's immediately going to highlight things that you didn't know were there. For example, we have a large retail fleet of stores, and they have a network connection, but they also have a backup LTE connection. This means that if their landline fails, they switch over to a wireless network, and continue to work that way.

    Before SevOne, we were largely blind to when those switch-overs took place. But with SevOne, there's a report that comes right out of the box called The Top End. Which, if every morning you run it, it's going to tell you where your top utilized points are. For me, it was interfaces. Having it pointing out the top-utilized interfaces quickly allowed me to find those stores that had switched over to LTE because the bandwidth used on an LTE connection is many times higher, percentage-wise, than what you're going to see on a landline.

    If you're looking at something and all of a sudden there is a store that's at 1,000% capacity, it is pretty obvious that it has switched over to LTE. At that point, you could address that operationally. But prior to that, you might not know, and there could be stores running on LTE. Then if that LTE failed, they would be dead in the water instead of it switching over to a backup. Ideally, the primary will be fixed while it's running on the backup. However, if you don't know it's broken, you can't react to it.

    The out of the box reports have helped speed up time to value for us. As soon as you open the box, you're going to get insights into your network, just based on the content that is going to slap you in the face. In our case, with the LTEs, you knew immediately what was happening by using the Data Insight. This system comes with a lot of canned reports and dashboards that are already built-in, and all you have to do is plug your data into it. It's going to tell you a lot.

    We're using one for building dashboards for other parts of the business. The organization has a retail business and a big media business. The media business includes radio stations, television stations, and other sites like that, which are not necessarily offices, and not necessarily data centers. They run on the corporate network, but they're a separate part of the business per se. So, being able to just take an out of the box report, or an out of the box dashboard, and plug the retail hosts into it, or the retail data into it, allowed us to spin-off a separate dashboard that the retail support center can use in their own monitoring of their business.

    The retail SevOne Data Insight dashboard allows them to do their own monitoring. I am the operation's manager, so I'm the one who's responding to the alerts, but it keeps them in the loop. It gives them that insight, and that ability to look around and see things for themselves, rather than always having to engage the network team just to ask a question.

    Now that we have done that for retail, we're going to do the same things for other parts of the organization. They will be able to see for themselves that the Data Insight is amazing, and it comes with so many different canned reports that you can just plug a device group in, or an object group in, or even a single device, depending on how you have things organized. From there, it will give you a professional-looking, informative, and usable out-of-the-box report that you could look at immediately with a minimum configuration of your instance and immediately gain those crucial insights as an operations manager.

    We have also made use of the ability to customize reports. When we started using SevOne only, the NMS, we had to build a lot of that ourselves. What we create is reusable so if I build a report, I can share it with colleagues and they can avail themselves of it. But, you have to create that workflow within your team. Data Insight sort of fixes that, but the important part is that we created a lot of our own custom reports and we still do.

    Ultimately, I'd like to get to a place where we are the report creators, in operations. That way, people would come to us with requirements and we would build their reports. This would allow for a bit more control in terms of who's doing what and how things are set up in SevOne. There's a lot of value in that because you can build it for your customer, which I think is the greatest advantage.

    Every customer has a different requirement. Whether you're talking to an executive, another technical team, or to an engineering group, they're all looking for a different insight from the data. Having those custom reports and the ability to build one from scratch, depending on who your customer is, and who your audience is, and what they're looking for, has made things a lot easier operationally. I can set up a report that goes to a team every morning so that they can see what the last 24 hours look like from a network performance standpoint. This way, if they're having some kind of problem with their application, they can see with their own eyes that there have been no changes to the network side.

    The presentment might be a report that comes in a PDF format or a dashboard that we've built for them. On a dashboard, they can choose to look at data in real-time or go back a year, for example. It depends on how it has been set up. In any case, the offering of SevOne plus Data Insight is a huge advantage in that sense. It means that you can really provide the data that people want in a way that they can understand and consume. It can be tailored to that audience, which will vary between entities such as executives and technical teams.

    The ease of building custom reports depends on your background. If you have any kind of an IT background and you use these kinds of tools, it's pretty straightforward. We've had some training on SevOne, but we were also using it prior to training. So, it's intuitive in that sense, if you understand and have used these kinds of tools in the past.

    Also, if you have any kind of GUI experience, it's pretty straightforward. It's got the menus across the top and you can drill down to the different applications, or use cases. We found it pretty insightful, but that said, the official training that you can get from SevOne will definitely enhance your ability to do that stuff. They bring a lot of insight when they show you what you can do. It's pretty simple to do the basics, to get something done with it. But the training does obviously enhance that ability.

    Essentially, you will get better with the training but you can do it without.

    The ability to close alarming gaps in real-time is helpful because when you're running a big network, you sometimes don't know that you have an alarming gap until you have a fall, and that's how you find these things. SevOne allowed us to quickly, in real-time almost, close those alarming gaps because we run the SevOne instance ourselves in a hands-on fashion. As such, we can quickly set up new traps, or new alarming on interfaces where it wasn't before, in order to capture data that we weren't necessarily capturing before. We found that really useful, and as an operations team, it allowed us to take our fate into our own hands. We now have the ability to fix things in real-time ourselves, in terms of alarming and closing those kinds of gaps.

    The system provides us with continuous network analytics, and we have it set in five-minute increments that go back for one year. The comprehensiveness of the analytics makes our operations easier. For instance, it frees us up in so far as it keeps other teams out of our hair because we can quickly provide them with the data they need. When issues arise, the team with the best data tends to win the standoff, and SevOne can really arm you well.

    For example, when teams are saying that there are network issues, you can quickly show that there are not. It is like the Mean Time to Innocence concept, but it also gives you confidence in your network because you can see the performance statistics and the Delta change over time with your own eyes. It's a great little tool.

    The completeness of the view of network performance is as complete as you make it. Of course, there are limitations based on licensing. In the beginning, we had to pick and choose where we spent those licenses. We have since solved that problem by purchasing more.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting of NMS is good, but it could be better. The challenges and deficiencies in the reporting are fixed with the Data Insight overlay. Generally speaking, the NMS reporting is excellent and it's fairly easy to use, but it can get complex as you get deeper into it.

    Buyer's Guide
    IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM)
    March 2023
    Learn what your peers think about IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2023.
    690,226 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SevOne for approximately four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is rock-solid. In the past four years, it has been great, and I can't think of any stability problems. It has never been unavailable. We have a cold standby in another data center and we have never had to use it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This product is eminently scalable. It is a matter of compute resources and licenses.

    We have between 25 and 30 people who use SevOne on the front end. Those are the other operations teams and their engineering counterparts. 

    I am in the process of publishing some dashboards for some other parts of the organization, such as the retail support center and the media teams, so our usage is going to expand. These are not going to be power users but rather, they are going to be limited to a specific dashboard and a specific set of elements, as opposed to being able to look at the entire network. 

    Counting those people, that is going to be an extra 20 users. Then, when the NOC gets integrated, we will probably be up to more than 50 users.

    It is slowly but surely being implemented on each network in the company, and becoming the performance front end for each of these networks. We are a cell phone provider, we are a cell service provider, we are a cable television provider, and we are an internet provider. As such, we have many different customer-facing networks nationwide, and all of our networks except maybe the one used for radio broadcasting will end up using it. Through this, the user base is expanding.

    The main reasons for the expansion are that it is so intuitive and accessible, and I found it just takes the pressure off me as an operations manager to check on these things for people when they can check for themselves, and see in real-time that the network is fine.

    How are customer service and support?

    We work very closely with SevOne. We have a customer success director that we meet with biweekly, to make sure that we're getting what we want out of the deal. They ask us to provide feedback on how things can get better and what they can do better. In my experience, they're very open to that kind of feedback and we've definitely given some.

    In terms of the customer success meetings, if there's something that we can't figure out how to do, they help us figure out how to do it if there is a way. They will help us deliver on our requirements if it's, at all, capable within the tool. And if it's not, they go back to the drawing board and they're more than happy to try and make things work the way you want them to.

    In addition to the customer success department, we use regular technical support. Often, the customer success department will give us a heads up about something like a code upgrade, or a vulnerability, or something that we need to address. From there, we would engage their regular support in order to get a ticket opened and get that arranged.

    Certainly, there's not much daylight between customer support and customer success. There's a lot of coordination there. If we want to raise concerns about a ticket, it's quickly addressed by customer support, or the sales director, or whoever. They are very responsive in that sense.

    In terms of technical support as a standalone function, we've been pretty happy with the support we've gotten. So far, so good. There have been a couple of things that we've raised that they've never been able to get to the bottom of, but it's certainly not a showstopper. Overall, we've been impressed.

    We've never had a dud or anything like that, where we got somebody that wasn't able to deliver on our requirements. In situations where we've asked for more than the helpdesk, or the regular support can deliver, the customer success teams have gotten us in touch with the people in SevOne who have the knowledge that we sought.

    In the beginning, we worked with a guy that really helped us understand how to get the most out of SevOne itself. It was an amazing meeting. You meet these certain people in life that just blow your mind about how deeply they understand the way things work in the back end, and this describes the person who initially helped us with the product. Essentially, he was really good at helping us understand the value we could get out of SevOne, out of the box.

    Then, we had another meeting like that a couple of weeks ago, where we were just getting into Data Insight and wanting to get the most out of that. They set up another meeting with a guy who was just an amazing guru of Data Insight, and just working with him for an hour and a half on a call and seeing some ideas, and what could be done, and how to get from A to B, was really valuable.

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

    We did not have a similar solution in place prior to SevOne, although we did have some imperfect spotty solutions that covered certain portions of our network. What we had was nothing that was comprehensive like this. We had lots of fault management software, as well as Cisco Prime for Wi-Fi performance, and other such products. In terms of having one end-to-end performance tool, we didn't have it, and I think that's what really opened our eyes.

    Fault management and performance management are different and what we did have was profoundly manual. As a result, a lot of stuff got missed.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. If you know what you want, you can just go through the list, and it basically involves ticking boxes or radio buttons to turn on the features you want or turn off the ones that you don't.

    I was not part of the initial setup because it wasn't on my network. What happened was we bought SevOne when our network operations team was part of IT. Sometime after that point, we were reorged into the network part of the organization and came under a new director who ran several other operations teams. It was that exposure to SevOne, through our team, to this director, that allowed him to see the value of it immediately. After that, he was pretty quick to say, "How do I get this to my other networks?"

    After that, they stood up their own instance and put it into their critical elements. Since that point, they put in the rest of their elements and it's continuing to expand. I don't think they're going to stop there. I think they're bringing in other networks within the organization and the deployment continues.

    Importantly, if you don't know what you want then SevOne is going to be there to help you get it to where you want it. They've been excellent. You can call the help desk, the support center, or you can call your customer support person, and they will find a way either to get you the data or to get you in touch with someone who can help you, or they'll call you back and do it themselves.

    I don't know how long the initial deployment took, but our second deployment took about two weeks. It was completed by one or two people on our side. They set up a VM, installed the application on it, imported the data, and started configuring it. In total, fewer than five people are enough for deployment.

    The maintenance requirements are pretty low. We have to do upgrades, but it doesn't take anyone as much as a day to complete them. It's not very labor-intensive in terms of support and over the past two years, we've needed to engage support only two or three times to assist with upgrades. Overall, it is not a product with heavy manual maintenance.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did not set it up initially. We had another manager that brought it in at the time, and he'd used it at another company in Canada, which was a bank that he had worked at. He knew exactly what he wanted out of the box.

    He deployed it, set it up, and only then did he turn it over to us.

    The setup process is simple, straightforward, and obvious enough that you really don't need a third-party integrator. We're moving on right now to integrate it with Netcool and other solutions that our NOC is using. For alarming, they use Netcool.

    The other networks have already done this and they're ahead of us, but we're in the process of integrating it now, and it's not hard. The hardest part is getting the NOC onboard and configuring their side, as opposed to SevOne. With SevOne, it's as simple as pointing it toward the new tool and it starts sending traps there.

    What was our ROI?

    With respect to ROI, that 11 month period without a P1 or a P2 incident was the best return on investment I have seen as an operations manager. One does not make money with this product, but in terms of savings, you are not addressing P1s in the middle of the night because you saw that coming thanks to the performance data.

    There is also time saved in terms of engaging with other teams. You can provide your data right upfront and data is often unassailable. This means that when a team comes to you saying, "Oh, your network is not performing.", you can pretty quickly put data in front of them either real-time on a screen, or in a PDF, or in any way that you want to deliver it and show them the data that says, "No, the network is performing. So, whatever your problem is, it is not here."

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

    Although I don't have exact details in terms of cost, my experience has been that SevOne is willing to make a deal with the customer. They are certainly not pricing themselves out of the market. There is lots of room for negotiation in terms of pricing, in terms of components, and things like that.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have not evaluated other options. We've just been leaning on this, heavily.

    What other advice do I have?

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with this product and how it's used day-to-day.

    SevOne is a product that can integrate network performance management across ITSM and business decision-making tools, although that is not something that we have implemented. That said, the data that it produces is very insightful for that type of planning. Capacity planning and engineering are examples of that. I'm fairly certain that it will enhance your decision-making, although it may depend on how you want to set that up. Specifically, you might want it to do that automatically with some kind of an API call between SevOne and another tool, or instead, just provide the metrics to feed into that decision-making process.

    There is definitely a culture of continuous improvement with SevOne. With every code upgrade, there's a quality of life improvement and there are customer suggestions that get worked into it. As a company, they're definitely open to working with us, as well as others, to make things better and to bring about those customer asks.

    The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this product is that whatever I thought I knew about my network, I was wrong. When we turned it on, it immediately highlighted a lot of issues that we did not know about. That goes for my network and it goes for the others as well. It is an eye-opener when you first start seeing the metrics come out of it.

    My advice for anybody who is considering SevOne is not to hesitate. You will be amazed by what you learn about your network. You will be amazed by what you thought you knew but isn't true about your network. It will give you a level of confidence in your network to allow you to focus on other things, like making your network better as opposed to constantly fighting a losing battle against the challenges that can sometimes consume an operations team.

    Being able to produce the data in a pleasing and understanding way really stops a lot of the burn, or the churn, that happens to operations, where you waste a lot of time chasing things that aren't there. It has really helped us in that sense. It saves a lot of time and a lot of frustration. It allows us to produce the data, and then move on to the next thing.

    It also frees up my guys a lot, to search for those problems that they can find and identify ahead of time, and then fix. It gets you out of that reactive mode as an operations manager, where you're constantly reacting to incidents.

    Suddenly, you have that time for preventative maintenance, where instead of reacting to incidents, you can actually go out and find these problems using SevOne. You can make use of the performance analytics and see things coming down the pipe before they become impacting and get them fixed. As an operations manager, that's invaluable. You're going to get a lot of value out of it with very little effort on your part and, the more effort you put into it, the more value you get out.

    In summary, SevOne solves a lot of problems for me. Not only has it allowed me to see my network in a way that I hadn't seen before in terms of performance, but it allows me to communicate with my peer teams, and my executives get that data constantly. Especially during COVID, it was very helpful. That said, nothing is perfect, and there is always room for improvement.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    DevOps Manager at Spark New Zealand
    Real User
    Top 20
    Gives us the capability to measure the things that are important to us which helps us drive value to customers
    Pros and Cons
    • "The comprehensiveness of this solution's collection of network performance and flow data is one of the basics in the field for what it does. It meets all of our needs. So for all those areas, for the most straightforward collection capabilities, right up to NetFlow and even telemetry, it meets all those demands. Not only just basic or fundamental SNMP collection capability, but the product also supports what we need for the future with telemetry streaming. So it's very comprehensive."
    • "We need to be thinking about streaming telemetry protocols. They already have the port for enhanced visualization, which they already have through Data Insight."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it pretty extensively for all of our network performance management needs. It's monitoring Spark core and network performance. It's managing our managed-data customers' equipment on site, and it's also used to look after monitoring our internet links as well. We use it for any performance-related stats or information of that type. It has the capability for that.

    It's all on-premise at the moment. We don't have the Data Insight component of the SevOne offering at this stage. We're still looking at that, but we predominantly use the platform to give us collection capability, and we'll use the data and visualize it on other platforms as well. So we have engineers that can use the data directly or natively in the tool, or we'll take the data or the collections and use those for other purposes, including billing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It does the out-of-the-box reports and workflows to automatically help to understand what is normal or abnormal in our network. We need to see the Data Insight option to get some more of the smart features to the package. We don't have that option but for a baseline and comparisons, it's sufficient for what we need at Spark. And the capacity we use it in is more to do the collection, so we run other analytics over the data as well. The primary benefit is that we have good collection capability, which is what it gives us.

    That is critically important to us. It underpins customer reports, which are contractual obligations, but we also use it for billing data. We must have accurate billing data for some of our wholesale customers. It's critical in that regard. We are so confident in SevOne that we even use it for billing.

    The solution's out-of-the-box reports generally help to speed up its time to value. It's quite straightforward to get it to generate reports out-of-the-box. We have teams that use it and like that style of the interface. Even though it's an older interface, they can set up things whenever they want with whatever metrics they need to look at. It's very easy to use.

    SevOne brings together its analytics reports and workflows in a single dashboard. It's required to have the Data Insight package to properly do that, which we don't have, but the product does offer that. It would require further investment from us to leverage that but it does do it quite well. We're set up in a Splunk shop. So it's very similar in terms of what you can do with Splunk visualizations but just does it much faster and more near real-time.

    It provides continuous analytics of our network. The old adage is that you can't manage what you're not measuring. SevOne gives us the capability to measure the things that are important to us. We need that otherwise our operations teams are blind and we can't deliver the value to our customers who have expectations around having a whole bunch of these reports made available to them. It's very critical.

    It enables us to integrate our network performance management data across our ITSM and business decision-making tools. We have ServiceNow, so we integrate our network performance alerts up into ServiceNow. It's pretty standard.

    It's really straightforward to integrate the network data with these solutions. Our integration architecture is reasonably good to leverage and so we easily integrate. We haven't had any problems with it.

    We use SevOne in a troubleshooting capacity for some teams, but I would say the predominant use is more to give those teams a decent quality time series chart at the right level of granularity. They need to be able to troubleshoot and support any work internally and with customers as well. Our internet links, for example, are all monitored at one-minute intervals, which is an absolute minimum requirement. If we have any disruption in internet services in New Zealand, then everyone is impacted. SevOne gives us that level of granularity, which those operational teams use all the time. They're heavily reliant on it.

    The integration of network data with our ITSM helps to improve collaboration between operations and support teams. It's just a means of managing the incident, and SevOne provides a source of those, but we don't try to overload our operations teams with spurious alerts based on SevOne. It's only specific criteria that will trigger a ticket for them. It does help our business operations and functionality, but we don't go crazy about how we set it up.

    It offers a complete view of our network performance. We have quite an expensive environment and a lot of different technologies. We do use it to give us views across each of the separate technology domains, whether it's a customer network or our core. We don't tend to tie everything together in an end-to-end view because of the way our network is configured, but for the views that we need across the various technology domains, it does a good job at that.

    We are enabled to detect network performance issues faster and before they impact end-users. We don't necessarily get full advantage out of it in that regard, because performance alerts are a lot harder to manage than hard volts or up-down problems, but the tool does give us that data. Whether we choose to use it all the time or not is a different question.

    What is most valuable?

    The product just does what it says on the box. We came from two very complicated tools that were hard to get to do the very basics. SevOne does the basics very well. It's a no-fuss solution. It's easy to configure and administer. I have a small team. I don't need a lot of people to run it. It scales very well. It meets performance and collection demands. It just ticks all my boxes and therefore gives me very good SNMP collection capability.

    The comprehensiveness of this solution's collection of network performance and flow data is one of the basics in the field for what it does. It meets all of our needs. So for all those areas, for the most straightforward collection capabilities, right up to NetFlow and even telemetry, it meets all those demands. Not only just basic or fundamental SNMP collection capability, but the product also supports what we need for the future with telemetry streaming. So it's very comprehensive.

    It is very important to us that it provides that. We need to be doing the fundamentals but we also need to have an eye on the future because SNMP is not going to be here for that long. It will tend to drop off over the next five to ten years. And so we still need to do that, but we need an eye on the future for streaming as well. That's something that SevOne has put investment into ensuring their product can support it. It's pretty critical.

    Its collection abilities cover multiple vendors' equipment. I don't think we've had an issue with any equipment that we haven't been able to interface to and collect data. We have quite a heterogeneous environment here. We have a lot of different kits. We haven't had any issues interfacing with our different equipment. So it's very flexible.

    It's important to us because, like a lot of telcos, while we may be small on a world stage, we still have made various investment choices over the years, so we have a lot of different network technologies. We've got to be able to talk to Juniper, Nokia devices, and Cisco devices. That was one of the criteria when we were looking at assessing our options in the space, and one of the reasons why we went with SevOne, in addition to the other benefits as well.

    The dashboard is very straightforward. It is quite streamlined. The legacy UI is not as flashy as it could be, but that's not where their product's going. It's in the data insights, which is far more beneficial for most users.

    We have dashboards, but we tend to be event or exception-driven. So the dashboards are there if triage teams or customers need to look at reporting for historic purposes. It does have a fit for customers more so than us operationally because we will use exception or event-driven data if we're looking at performance and other issues.

    What needs improvement?

    We need to be thinking about streaming telemetry protocols. They already have the port for enhanced visualization, which they already have through Data Insight. I can't really think of anything else that needs improvement. It's meeting all the needs in those areas for now and the things they're claiming for the future are where we're hitting as well. There are some areas around multi-cloud or hybrid cloud solutions that we need to look at because we do have more of our workloads in the cloud so we need to consider how we can monitor the foreign stats in that regard. It's not something we've specifically looked at for SevOne at this point in time, but that would be something for us to consider.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, I can only recall one incident in the last four years. Most incidents are due to Kafka feeds, which are not part of SevOne, that we feed data to. I think we've had one problem with one upgrade, but otherwise the platform's stable. It just works. 

    One other issue we've had is where we didn't dimension the box sufficiently well, we changed the polling interval and level, and we didn't have enough capacity, but that was simply an under-dimensioning problem on our side.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I bought SevOne because it scales. The rules are very clear for what you want to collect and how frequently, and you dimension it accordingly. It just scales. We have no issue with that whatsoever.

    There are several hundred users using it. We predominantly have tier 1 operations people, but the majority would be what we class as tier 2 network engineers so that they're doing an operations role, but in a second-level capacity, and they would be using the tool directly. Then the majority of the rest of the audience are customers who are checking the performance stats because we're providing reports to them of utilization on their links, various other utilization metrics, and availability performance metrics to them as part of the managed services we offer to them. There are several thousand customers.

    I have one team that looks after it, they have six people who don't only exclusively look after SevOne. They look after a whole bunch of monitoring and management tools. So we have one staff member and a backup. It's essentially two people, but they're on other apps as well. So we have a very lean number of people working on the tool.

    We have licensed it for all the usage we need across Spark. It's already fully deployed at the moment for everything that we need in our organization, so it wouldn't expand much beyond that.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is pretty good. We don't log many calls with SevOne. We try to be as self-sufficient as possible, but for upgrades, patches and queries, they have been really good. Compared to some of our other vendors like IBM who aren't so Flash, SevOne has been really good and easy to deal with.

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

    We previously used several other solutions. We used an IBM product and we also have smaller solutions still around the company, but they'll ultimately be replaced with SevOne.

    We switched to SevOne because the other platforms were too expensive and weren't performing. It was largely a cost-out opportunity for us and a chance to also deliver a better functioning package up and network performance management tool to our business.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward. It was really more of an issue just to get the money. And then once we had the money, it was very straightforward to roll it out.

    We were driven by two migrations off of legacy components. It took us less than six months to get off the first system we were exiting, and then we spent another six months getting off the subsequent system. So it was probably about a year before we got off two of our original legacy performance management tools. And most of that was really around getting the data feeds sorted out, ensuring all the devices that need to be managed were part of automatic feeds into SevOne. SevOne itself is straightforward because it's an actual appliance base and it does not require much effort required to band it up.

    Our implementation strategy was to replace like for like before exploiting any extra features of SevOne. We were collecting team metrics of 20,000 boxes. Then the replacement had to do the same as a starting point in order for us to exit the old system. So it was pretty much like for like, in terms of the implementation. And we did have a mix of PaaS and VM boxes as well. So we do have a mix within our environment for the collectors.

    What about the implementation team?

    I have a team at Spark and we largely like to be self-sufficient. So my own team did some training and is quite familiar with tools in the space. They were able to run with the new technology and set it up. We had established a project team that carried out the implementation and the migration off our legacy platforms. That was all in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    We haven't actually measured ROI but in terms of the total cost of ownership, SevOne has certainly saved the company quite a bit of money. It's basically avoidance of paying high licenses with other suppliers is what we've saved. Our operations teams have a system that gives them the potential to give meantime to repair and it gives them the better ability in that area. We don't measure that so much. It's more about the savings we have from moving from one toolset to another. It's also operational efficiencies. I have five performance management tools and we can have one. People have got one place to go.

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

    As with any vendor tool, having a good commercial contract is part of what makes the tool successful, and we got a lot of value out of it very quickly because we were able to secure a good commercial arrangement. It lived up to everything else that SevOne claimed on the box. So we were able to get the value straight away. 

    Every vendor's licensing model is different. SevOne took quite a bit of exploration to understand the license. But if a customer is looking at it, just to understand what they're getting into in terms of managed objects and what counts towards a managed object, then they'll be fine. They'll know what they're up for and you don't get any surprises when it comes to buying additional licenses. The last thing you want to do is invest in a tool and then find out that there are ongoing incremental costs as you add more. My advice would be to secure a good deal upfront at a good price and then it becomes more attractive within the business to sell it.

    We have ongoing support and maintenance, so that's an annual OPEX for us, but that's very reasonably priced. If we look at the total cost of ownership of SevOne to our previous toolsets, then SevOne still comes out way ahead by comparison.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did evaluate other solutions. We looked at the market and ultimately chose SevOne. 

    We did look at doing upgrades to our existing platforms. We also looked at Splunk but that wasn't good value for money in terms of just doing SNMP monitoring. We also looked at some other open-source solutions as well.

    We had a good license deal from SevOne, which made it appealing, and because we have such a good discount, that really helps in terms of our selection process. The other vendors are all pretty much doing the same sorts of things. So it was most important to get a good commercial deal with the supplier and SevOne was the only one who really stepped up to do that. 

    In terms of other criteria, we wanted the scale. We wanted ease of deployment. We wanted the fundamentals to be done straight away and easily, and we wanted low support and high value in terms of meeting our varied business users. It ticked all those boxes.

    What other advice do I have?

    We haven't done too much with software-defined, but we have certainly looked at the telemetry capabilities, and it does support those. While it doesn't support all of our technology in that space, it does support two-thirds of what we need to do and the other options to support telemetry. Another kit we have is something that we can work with SevOne to do, which is an offer they've made to us. It's quite good.

    Support is very key, and with all of our vendors, we want to have good technologies, good function, and capability, but we want to have a good relationship with the supplier, and SevOne has made a lot of changes organizationally and consolidated back to the US. Despite all of those changes and acquisitions, they've still maintained an excellent relationship with us. I only had an update from the COO earlier in the week, telling us where things were going. You don't get too many suppliers that make an effort to reach out in that capacity, which is really good.

    We have not done too much in the way of customization. We haven't really needed to. The product is fully featured enough to meet all of our needs in any performance area but it does have options to do that if we needed it, we just haven't had a demand for it.

    My advice would be to take the time to plan out what you need and just validate that it'll work with the technologies in your environment. I would also probably go with the Data Insight module from day one. I wouldn't use the native interface within the product. So plan for that as part of any deployment, and then you'll get a lot more value upfront.

    SevOne is one of the biggest strategic investments we've made. It just works. It just does what we want with no fuss about it. SevOne is built on open-source technologies. If I had a bigger team, I could have written my own, but we didn't. So it was convenient to buy an off-the-shelf solution like SevOne because we knew it would just work and tick all those boxes and we'd get the value straight away, and for very little license outlay compared to what we were paying. It was a bit of a no-brainer.

    I would rate SevOne a nine out of ten. To make it a perfect ten, it should be free. They're almost at a perfect ten. The only thing that worries me with SevOne is that they were acquired by Turbonomic and now by IBM. The only reason I bumped them down a point is because IBM now owns them and in an ironic twist, we exited IBM four years ago and now we're back with them owning the product we moved to. My concerns are not the technology, I think they have a good technology future, but it's more around the vendor who they're owned by now that that causes me concern.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM)
    March 2023
    Learn what your peers think about IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: March 2023.
    690,226 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Senior Manager of Global Network at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Good integration with ServiceNow, licensing model needs to be improved
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature as of late has been the API integration with ServiceNow."
    • "Their virtualization solution is not compatible with our Kubernetes environment, which is one of the reasons we are ending our relationship with them."

    What is our primary use case?

    My use case at the initial startup was very simple. I had a carrier, which was a backbone globally implemented, and I needed a monitoring solution. The type of solution I needed had to capture SNMP traps, poll my equipment, perform traffic analysis, deal with historical data, and things like that. This requirement has remained constant through the entire seven years of implementation with them.

    At the end of the month, we're ending our relationship with this vendor for a variety of different reasons. Among the problems is the pricing model that they have, although a lot of it has to do with the fact that their virtualization solution isn't compatible with our Kubernetes environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SevOne has enabled us to integrate network performance management data across ITSM and our business decision-making tools, predominantly through the ServiceNow platform. We also did a Salesforce implementation where SevOne leveraged Salesforce to determine if a circuit was production versus non-production. Essentially, this distinction implies whether we should care about it, or not.

    The integration with Salesforce was pretty easy, where most of the work was on the Salesforce side. It was probably one of the simpler integrations that we did for the platform.

    The comprehensiveness of SevOne in terms of collecting network performance and flow data, when we started using this in 2013, was very limited. It was developed predominantly for a Cisco network and I'm a hundred percent Juniper. As such, it required a lot of work to get the platform to not only understand it but to speak in terms of Juniper MIB files, and even the nomenclature. For a Cisco network, it would have been a situation where you opened the box, plugged it in, and walked away. With Juniper, it was very much not that.

    At this point, our collection capabilities are limited to just Juniper equipment. This is restricted by the tool that we have, which only covers Juniper networks.

    With respect to streaming telemetry, we do not have it implemented. We were working with them to try and understand what they could do in this regard, but I do not believe that they supported streaming telemetry at the time.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature as of late has been the API integration with ServiceNow. Honestly, the biggest bang for the buck I've got out of SevOne has been this development. The bi-directional integration with ServiceNow has saved me a lot of money in man-hours, over the course of the last few years.

    I don't have an exact figure for how much money I have saved, but I can say that it's hundreds of thousands of dollars. What it comes down to is when you're able to automate the console work with the ticketing system, you're saving people from copying and pasting, and other such menial tasks. For example, you are able to auto-populate tickets, update tickets, change the status of tickets, and also do verification to see if something is valid. You can make determinations such as whether there is a ticket currently open or whether there was a ticket previously open. Automating things like that, so a human no longer has to do them, can save hours a day per human per shift.

    The out of the box reports and workflows are very sufficient for helping to understand what's normal and abnormal in the network. Out of the box, the reports were certainly there and even though it didn't necessarily understand Juniper, the minute we turned it on, we had a bunch of data. In fact, there was a lot of data that we had never previously seen before on the backbone, made available to us just by virtue of turning it on. It just needed to be cleaned up and polished.

    We were aware of the reporting when we decided to implement SevOne, as we had done a lot of pre-sales work with them to make sure we knew what to expect out of the box. Even if we needed to do a lot of customization, it was certainly expected, and that's what we saw. It was important to us because we needed to immediately show some sort of value with all of the work that we'd invested over the course of the implementation. I needed to show almost a day-one value, and that certainly did help.

    With respect to customization, the reports themselves didn't take too much effort. We have had a resident SevOne engineer help manage the platform and tend to those apps throughout the entire implementation of SevOne. From my standpoint, it was simply a case of asking the resident engineer for what I needed or what I expected, and whether it was a function of hours or days. Shortly after, I would have exactly what I needed.

    An example of how we have customized reporting is the top talking report. It is important because we have a lot of customers that are very bandwidth-intensive. This report is for aggregate bandwidth and it is from a trap-generation standpoint.

    I also have a performance metric where we monitor a specific group of circuits that are notorious for having capacity issues with customers. Essentially, it is a top talker traffic graph where I get the top ten circuits for the past 24 hours, and it's a live graph. I get it as a report, but I can also watch it in real-time.

    SevOne provides continuous analytics of our network and it's important because if you're in a network where you're polling every three minutes or every five minutes, then you could be missing important events. There's a lot of stuff happening and it can be very damaging in a matter of seconds. If you're not polling or collecting data to absorb that frequency or that duration, then you're not doing anything. You're completely overlooking the important stuff. Being able to see in some form or another, not always in the graph, but being able to see that real-time activity and have it called out to a human is exceptionally important. Again, it doesn't need to be a graph, but that's one of the things we leverage SevOne for.

    With respect to giving us a complete view of our network performance, it's been very good. I don't know how many times a week I have a STEM vice president come to me and ask me what's going on with the backbone or how the backbone is performing with a certain world event or corporate event. Whatever it may be, I can get a very good visual summary, very quickly, just by virtue of logging in. It's just a matter of making sure that you have the right graph. You have to tell SevOne what you need and have it presented to you in the right way. Otherwise, it doesn't know. Once you accomplish that, it's immediate.

    SevOne has enabled us to detect network performance issues faster, and before they impact end-users. It is very good at capturing those events, documenting them, opening a ticket, and letting a human know about them. There is a definite ability of proactiveness with the tool.

    If I consider where we were in 2013, it could take several hours or days to detect events in some cases. I have examples of catastrophic events happening that we never even knew about, that SevOne is able to capture. I estimate that we are 60% faster on average at capturing and actioning events, hopefully proactively.

    What needs improvement?

    Their virtualization solution is not compatible with our Kubernetes environment, which is one of the reasons we are ending our relationship with them. I didn't spend a lot of time evaluating with them why it was the case. It was simply not a roadmap item for them, so it was a pretty quick conversation.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SevOne for approximately seven years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This product is very scalable, especially if it's just a matter of growing the network. You add more devices, make sure your licensing is in check, and the system ingests it as that equipment is green-lighted.

    If you're changing technology, adding layers upon which you want them to monitor, it is still scalable, although it takes a little bit more work.

    We have approximately two dozen users in the organization.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is very competent. We have had an immediate reaction to our issues, even without the resident engineer involved. Their technical support is 24/7. That said, I've actually had very minimal interaction with them, aside from some hand-holding during software upgrades. Other than that, the platform has been rock solid.

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

    Prior to using SevOne, we were using an internal homegrown solution.

    After we got done building it, it largely sat idle until we started onboarding customers. As customers grew, a need for a focused operations group, tooling, processes, and procedures arose. That's where SevOne came in. We needed a legit platform to monitor the backbone rather than use existing processes and procedures that just didn't work or didn't apply.

    Essentially, with the growth of the backbone and the responsibility of it, we realized that we needed an enterprise-grade solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We knew that the biggest hurdle we had to overcome was the Juniper compatibility, so that's where we focused the resources in the planning.

    The means of actually getting it installed, upgrading the software, and then actually discovering the network worked as expected. It crawled, it discovered, and it did everything we needed it to. It just needed to be tuned for a 100% Juniper network.

    Of course, the Juniper tuning took many hours of post-sales engineering support as well as a resident engineer. It took a lot of work on the SevOne side to actually get it to that point.

    In total, the deployment took approximately three months.

    What about the implementation team?

    I and a colleague were responsible for deployment.

    Maintenance requires one FTE.

    What was our ROI?

    In terms of ROI, I don't have a whole lot in terms of metrics. However, I would say that with DI, someone has definitely started to come around from a visualization standpoint. Not only do you get an alert with an indicative color like red, orange, or yellow, but it is well represented for different stakeholders. It is not only useful for the engineer sitting at the desk but also for the tier-three that supports that engineer, all the way up to the vice president, who just wants to know how things are going.

    They've come a long way in developing that. Back in the day, all people wanted was something that told them the status; red is bad, green is good, yellow means that you should look into it. That was all the information that they had. These days, people want predictive analysis and they want to be able to trend failure. They want to be able to dig into the numbers a little bit more and graphically represent that. To this end, DI is actually something that they're doing to chase that down and fill that void.

    Historically, that hadn't been the case. I think DI came out approximately four years ago, and I think that's something that they're really doing to try and add value to the platform.

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

    The pricing has not evolved with the market, which is one of the reasons we are moving to a new product.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we implemented SevOne, we had been evaluating other options for a couple of years for varying needs, although not necessarily the backbone. During that process, we had noted that SevOne would be the most accommodating and capable for our needs.

    At the time, it just wasn't possible for us to implement it.

    What other advice do I have?

    SevOne is capable of bringing together its analytics reports and workflows in a single dashboard, although I don't actively use that specific dashboard. The stuff that I use with SevOne is very specific to a need at the moment and as such, I don't require the use of a collapsed view. In my world, it's hard to summarize everything in one place. Everything is going to be compartmentalized, so I have multiple dashboards with different data. It isn't that I don't want to use a single pane of glass but it just doesn't serve any purpose for what I need on a daily basis.

    Overall, this is a good product and we had a really good relationship with the vendor. When it all started, I had a pretty basic need that I was unable to get any support internally for. We had spoken with them before, and at that initial time, I had some internal obstructions to bringing them onboard. The problems were not financially related and over time, as usual, things changed and the obstructions were gone. Once that happened, I was given the opportunity and the power to develop my own tooling suite for my team, and SevOne was a pretty easy discussion at that point in time.

    The relationship continued to be a really good one up until a couple of years ago, when we were growing and of course, they wanted in on that, but their pricing was not adapting to what we were seeing in the market. They were still doing pricing from 2013 when we bought in. Naturally, anytime I expand tool usage, it works in my best interest to make sure that what I'm using is still the best implementation for not only the cost but also, the scalability at the time.

    The biggest lesson that I have learned from using SevOne is that leveraging your platforms to do more work in place of a human, isn't always a bad thing. A lot of people think that you're just trying to replace humans with automation and software. What it really boils down to is that you're enabling those humans to do something else that is more important. It's not a function of eliminating jobs. It's letting the humans work on more important, complex items, and let the software and the automation do what they can to contribute to that equation.

    It's not that it's necessarily been a challenge or an obstacle for me, but it is important to consider it when explaining the process. When you explain to someone that we're changing this process because SevOne can now do a certain aspect of it, with human involvement starting somewhere further down the line, you have to be able to sell that as an improvement to the process. Ultimately, it's allowing that human to focus on other things that have previously been neglected.

    This problem of automating a task that is historically done by a human has been a lesson that I've learned with SevOne. The reality is that you have to let automation do what it can, and let humans do the more important engineering work. Getting away from that stigma and letting the software do its job and really focusing on releasing that, allowing the humans to do the more technical and engineering-level work, is really an act in cost-savings and from a Human Resourcing standpoint, you're getting more bang for your buck out of it. You don't want to pay people a lot of money an hour to sit there and say that red is bad and green is good. If you can get away from that, you're going to be more efficient.

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Network Analyst at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
    Data Insight reporting tool has templates that you can create for all kinds of reports
    Pros and Cons
    • "Data Insight reporting tool is the most valuable feature. They came up with it a couple of years ago. The most pleasing factor is the dark theme. You don't have a white background. It has templates that you can create for all kinds of reports that you can hit on the fly. It's much better printing of the reports. If you want to send PDFs to people, the reports are actually decent. Whereas for years, the old architecture of the PDFs was rubbish and even our customers said, "We have to manipulate your PDFs because they all have bad margin breaks. SevOne fixed that a couple of years ago with the new Data Insight. It's fantastic."
    • "There are a lot of pain points. My main problem is that we don't have a high availability system. There are 20 peers. We're going to lose the end-of-life appliances that are old. If we lose a peer and it doesn't come back, we lose all that data. The reason we don't have high availability is because it's double the charge."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use SevOne to manage about 10,000 network devices on our system. We monitor those devices with all the performance data, run reports, and see alerts. We have a manager of managers that sits above SevOne that actually displays all of our alerts, does some correlation and other things. We also provide some maps and reporting.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SevOne also enables us to detect network performance issues faster and before they impact end-users. We were monitoring the load balancers on our backstage passes for access to the network. And we can see, it went from around 3% to around 75% over a couple-of-week period where they had to send in all the remote access and change everything. SevOne really did a number for us, during the pandemic, of isolating which load balances were overloaded with users working from home. So that right there, was worth its weight in gold, because the management created all these reports for load balancers, for access for remote workers, and that's all they focused on, for a couple of months. So that was nice.

    It has saved at least 50% because if we're just using ping and a couple of other tools, you can't really see that, all these devices went down at the same time, that segment, or that peer.

    What is most valuable?

    Data Insight reporting tool is the most valuable feature. They came up with it a couple of years ago. The most pleasing factor is the dark theme. You don't have a white background. It has templates that you can create for all kinds of reports that you can hit on the fly. It has a much better printing of the reports. If you want to send PDFs to people, the reports are actually decent. Whereas for years, the old architecture of the PDFs was rubbish and even our customers said, "We have to manipulate your PDFs because they all have bad margin breaks. SevOne fixed that a couple of years ago with the new Data Insight. It's fantastic. I would say the reporting of the new Data Insight is my favorite feature. 

    We also have the Wifi Controller feature and we're starting to turn that up. That's going to be nice because we're going to be able to monitor wifi. Our group used to monitor wifi, about 10 years ago, maybe even longer, and then they took it away and gave it to Cisco Prime LAN. And they come to find out that Cisco Prime wasn't monitoring it as well as they thought. So we got some quotes from SevOne for a wifi solution, and now we're implementing that. We're excited about the wifi solution.

    We also use NetFlow and Databus. It's not that new, maybe five years old. But everybody's starting to get on board where we just send our raw data to scientists. They correlate all the data into how they want to report on it. Those are a few of the new things that we like to use.

    I would rate the comprehensiveness of SevOne's collection of network performance and flow data a ten out of ten. I've used Concord and eHealth before this. I used HP OpenView for 15 years. Right now, SevOne is top-notch for me because it's an all-in-one package, and it's easy for the operator to learn. If I can learn it, anybody can learn it. But it has a lot of features underneath that. I am one of the admins, but we have some really top-notch programmers that go in and get that in-depth data. I operate as an admin, I help people out, create policies, and everything. But when it comes to the in-depth stuff, I leave that to the scripters. I'd rather just click on the GUIs and let somebody else scrub through the comments.

    It's extremely important that SevOne's collection abilities cover multiple vendors' equipment. We have F5 Firewalls, Palo Alto load-balancers, intrusion protection devices, ClearPass servers, Aruba, we got it all. SevOne has a good process. We also like the certification where we get the MIBs and the OIDs from the customer or the vendor. And they say, "We'd like to monitor this CPU key performance indicator." Or "These HC octets and the interfaces. If it's above 80% we want an alert."

    With the vendors, we just take a new vendor like Aruba, they'll want to monitor the fan speed or whatever, we'll take that OID and send it to SevOne. Their certification team is top-notch. They have a 10-day turnaround, but for us, they always provide it quicker. We tell the customer 10 days but we sometimes tell the customer too, that they're always quicker. And they always are.

    The process is easy. As long as the homework is done ahead of time, either by us or the vendor, we just provide SevOne with the OIDs, they provide us with a file, and we import it into SevOne. We apply it to the right vendor and all our key performance indicators are there. It's wonderful.

    We're also just starting to monitor software-defined and streaming telemetry-based networks in our environment. We got a new manager and he's been pushing it. He loves SevOne. We use Data Bus, NetFlow, and we're doing the telemetry stuff. I don't really understand it, but we're working with some scientists on ride controls, to send them that data. When they started doing this, I told them "You better get some sharp people down here." And they did. 

    The manager is a great manager. He's holding everybody's hands to the fire, and I got a bunch of burn marks on my hands. But we're getting progress. SevOne was great, but we weren't taking it to the next level. And other people were coming up with other tools, saying "This tool does this." And we said, "Well, SevOne does that, if you want us to do a proof of concept." So we've been doing all these proof of concepts.

    In the old days, reports had nice baselines and stuff that we could use for deviations. With the new Data Insight reporting tool, now we have percentiles that we could have in the old ones, but when you had a reporting tool that wasn't that good, you're not real excited about baselines and stuff.

    With Data Insight, we can see baselines and deviations. We can decide how many deviations we want to view. We can do percentiles. We can do time over time, and the graphing in which you can separate the graphs. Data Insight is a game-changer for reporting. 

    You can look at the reports and it's just a picture, so your brain can say, "Whoa, that's out of normal. There's the baseline and there's somebody making a backup in the middle of the day or something." So, the out-of-the-box reporting is very nice. Every time they upgrade us, they upgrade Data Insight and they add more templates that their team has decided that the crews could use out there. They're great. I always see the new templates and I just copy it all over to my environment and change the names so people don't see.

    The dashboards are fantastic. I don't use them as much as I should. I just started creating some. I'm doing it in the new Data Insights. You can customize it to your customers. We don't do much of that because we don't have a big enough crew to manage all the users out there, there are hundreds of users. And if we had to be their reporting gurus, we'd be hung up all day long, just clicking on reports for people. 

    I love the dashboards because you can put it all in the front. You can have heat maps on the CPU. If you want it to have a dashboard for all of F5 you could just have the dashboard for F5 and say, "Hey, we're having CPU problems. I just want a heat map. Show me something red that I can click on and go troubleshoot." It's so nice.

    What needs improvement?

    There are a lot of pain points. My main problem is that we don't have a high availability system. There are 20 peers. We're going to lose the end-of-life appliances that are old. If we lose a peer and it doesn't come back, we lose all that data. The reason we don't have high availability is because it's double the charge.

    I wish there was some way that we could just get a snapshot of our system so that if one of our peers failed, we could go through the process and get it back to where it was. If we built another peer, and it took us four days to build another peer and get all the firewall rules and everything it would be nice when it came back if we had a snapshot that said, "Hey, peer two, that died." Then can we just slap all that data onto the new peer two and have all that historical data, as opposed to just importing it new, and it wouldn't have any data from the past. That's kind of a pie in the sky thing. But I would like some kind of backup system.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for about eight years now, which is actually a long time. Usually, our applications come and go. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is dynamite. We are having some issues in our VM world, where we don't have visibility to our peers that are out in the VM world. Sometimes our teams might get a peer locked up or whatever, but it's never SevOne's problem. When we had our appliances, it was rock solid. There were no issues with SevOne. You had a disk array and if you had a disk that went bad, you just ordered the disk and dispatched somebody out. I'd give them a positive as far as stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability seems to be incredible. We're adding peers one after another. We got the wifi solution and then we just added four new peers, two on the east coast, two on the west coast of the United States. We just order more peers and get them built. SevOne sends us the OVA files. We install it, we open up a case of SevOne. They help us bring it into the cluster. And boom, we've got another whole peer ready for another 1000, 2000 devices. So its expandability is very nice, much better than OpenView and the other things I worked on.

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

    We previously used HP OpenView. That was my thing. I liked it because of the maps, you could have all kinds of cartoons and stuff in the background. That was fun for the graphic artist people. SevOne just blew HP OpenView out of the water.

    We had four servers and around 10,000 devices out there and we just couldn't handle it, it was just too much for HP OpenView. HP OpenView stagnated because I used it for about 15 years, and the last five years it looked like it was dying on the vine, with the support and stuff. They changed systems and our people in charge of budgeting and projects, decided not to go the route that HP suggested and went the SevOne route, which I'm glad they did.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was the sidekick for the setup but it seemed to be pretty easy. I had installed, from setup, HP OpenView systems with four D80 servers around the world. The SevOne environment was pretty good. We were small at the beginning.

    Without the planning and everything, just when we got the devices and turned them up, it took around a week or two. We were in our own little lab, testing.

    We had a database and we were taking Cisco devices first. Once we had all key indicators identified that they wanted to monitor, we did it. Then we slowly brought in each vendor with the certified files and checked them as we imported them. It was a good plan.

    What about the implementation team?

    We've used SevOne any chance we can get. We call them in all the time. They have a really tight relationship with my boss. They bring them in whenever there are questions on anything. And their support team is fantastic. We open up calls and get our tickets taken care of nicely.

    What was our ROI?

    SevOne is definitely earning its money because different departments are requesting SevOne monitoring for certain situations. And it's extra-billing, of course. I never see any of it, I just see the devices and we add them and we charge them. So they're bringing in money. 

    They're getting their money back.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    They were constantly looking at other products. I don't look at them. I don't even have time to think about other products. They looked at NerveCenter but NerveCenter is different. My customer is constantly looking for other replacements that are cheaper. Everybody's looking at their budget and asking "How can we get cheaper?" 

    At one time they suggested ThousandEyes. It's much cheaper and easier. Well, they had ThousandEyes monitoring a little section of their network and they realized that there's no way ThousandEyes can do it. It's just too big of a network. ThousandEyes can do little stuff but overall, I work on changes all the time and I do my SevOne stuff, and the guy does his ThousandEyes stuff and his stuff is not quite right. 

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to read the PDFs they have and then look at the videos on YouTube. That's what I do. I'm not a voracious reader, but I go to YouTube a lot. 

    I would rate SevOne a nine out of ten.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Network Tool Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Responsive and thorough support, good alerting, and it is easy to integrate with other tools
    Pros and Cons
    • "The out of the box reports and workflows are pretty good and they meet our requirements well."
    • "The user management features need to be improved. It would be nice if we had more granular control, or layers of control, out of the box."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are primarily using SevOne to monitor bandwidth utilization. We also use it for proactive monitoring of the CPU, memory, and other resources. Our main goal is to monitor the network health and proactively upgrade before any issues occur.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use the alerting function based on the standard deviation of our network health. When it is beyond the threshold, an alarm is generated and a support ticket is automatically created using the ServiceNow integration. This improves the way our organization functions because we know what we need to upgrade or what issues are in need of attention before they become a problem. It helps us with troubleshooting, as well.

    The out of the box reports and workflows are pretty good and they meet our requirements well. Using Data Insight, we can create variables, filtering, and good visualizations. The reporting has improved with Data Insight over NMS.

    SevOne brings together its analytics reports and workflows in a single dashboard, and we are able to create a dashboard that contains many tabs and links. From this one dashboard, we can go to other reports and pages.

    For DI, it's very easy and clear. For NMS, it is simple, but the visuals are not as pretty as they are with DI, and some of the functionality is missing. There is also a difference in the way that DI exports files, versus NMS.

    We have been able to detect issues faster using SevOne, although it depends on how we set up the alerts. When we create them according to the threshold or any of the status change options, it automatically notifies whoever is watching over those devices. It is quite flexible in the way that we can configure alerts.

    The alerting has saved us time because the operations team can see them act immediately. Also, an incident ticket is created automatically. We used to have to manually check to see which devices were either having issues, or we could reasonably expect was going to have an issue, and then create a ticket manually. Using SevOne, all of this manual work has been automated.

    We haven't done the automation for every case yet but if each was done, we would likely save between 60% and 70% of the time required for each task.

    SevOne provides us with continuous, real-time analytics of our network. Over the long term, the data is aggregated. This is helpful because we can see the history of our network. For example, we can see the state of the network before a problem occurs, as well as how and when it happened. For troubleshooting, it's very useful that we can go back and see how our network was doing.

    We do not have a complete view of our network using SevOne because we are not using all of the features. Unfortunately, I don't really know all of the functions because we have a limited license and limited resources. This means that we have to combine with other tools that can watch the flow and other characteristics in our environment. Although I cannot speak for all of the features, I can say that it is meeting our requirements to this point and so far, we are happy with it.

    What is most valuable?

    The modeling and reporting features in Data Insight are good.

    The visualization and the control we have over what we can see in the reporting are very good. It is also easy to use.

    The integration with ServiceNow is very good. We have set it up to create support tickets automatically after receiving an alert from SevOne.

    The user guide is pretty detailed and easy to understand. If there is something that I don't know or understand then I go to the user guide and just need one click to get the page that I'm searching for, which describes the window that I'm on. The guide makes it easy to find resources and figure out problems on our own. Only if we cannot find the answer in the guide do we contact technical support.

    Integrating SevOne with our other tools is pretty easy. The API documents are pretty good and it's easy to understand the functions that they have if we need to use them. This integration has helped with collaboration between support teams and specifically, the integration with NLI and ServiceNow is helpful for troubleshooting and proactive change. Overall, it is not too difficult to integrate.

    What needs improvement?

    The user management features need to be improved. It would be nice if we had more granular control, or layers of control, out of the box. The way it is now, it is simple to configure, but if we want to add greater restrictions with more detail, it becomes quite difficult to do. 

    Depending on the task, there are too many things to control. For example, there is no problem if I simply need to create a user role. However, if we have to create with LDAP then we need to manage many groups and different cases. This is something that I wish we could do differently.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with SevOne for close to two years. As a company, we have been using SevOne since 2018 or 2019 but I personally became involved in 2020.

    When I started, it was in the pre-production testing phase, and not yet fully deployed.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability-wise, so far, it has been good. The only trouble we had was when we suddenly exceeded our license count. That was because of the mistake that we made in the object rules.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SevOne's collection abilities cover multiple vendors' equipment, and the scalability in this regard is important to us. When we make changes to our environment, such as the addition of new devices from a new vendor, SevOne very quickly upgrades the system to meet our requirements. They are quite flexible and whatever we have, they try to accommodate. I have never heard them say that they could not do something. Rather, if something is not available then we submit a request for it to be supported.

    Scalability really depends on the license. I think that they have a per-device license but this is not what we chose. We opted to purchase the license on a per-object basis, which is why it is difficult for us to scale. We are continuously monitoring the system to ensure that we don't exceed our number of licenses. If we had a per-device license then it would save some unnecessary tasks, and we could use it fully if there were no license limits.

    We primarily have two types of users. There are those who add and monitor devices, and then simpler users that only view the reports. Anyone from our technology department may need to monitor bandwidth, or CPU usage, or another resource, which is something that they can request access for. 

    At this time, it is mainly the network operations team that handles troubleshooting, and our team, which is in charge of proactive updates. Between our two groups, there are 261 users.

    Over time, our usage will increase, albeit slowly. We have to be careful that the SevOne functionality does not overlap with our other tools because we don't want to duplicate it unnecessarily.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is very good, as are the sales engineers and the general troubleshooting staff. Compared to other vendors that we have worked with, they are really good and very helpful. They respond quickly and their explanation is very thorough.

    Overall, they communicate better with their customers than other vendors do.

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

    Prior to SevOne, we used CA eHealth. SevOne provides better visuals with more variety and better detail, and it gives us more control over what we can see. Overall, our new system is easier to use, easier to configure, and the visuals are nicer.

    We switched to SevOne because eHealth reached end-of-life.

    It is difficult for me to compare between tools because I did not begin working with SevOne until 2020, so I do not know much about the old tool. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I don't know how long the initial deployment took, but I just recently added two extra nodes, and I am setting them up right now. Because we have the VMs, setting up is pretty easy. It is just a matter of the firewall rules and how we monitor only the objects that we want to monitor.

    Our license is based on the number of object accounts and this is a challenge for us because if we enable every interface or every object on the device, it will exceed our license limit. Initially, we had trouble with how we can limit the number of licenses, and also how we can monitor only the objects that we need to monitor. Ultimately, it means that our object rules are a little bit complicated.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house team deployed it with the help of a SevOne sales engineer and their customer support. The process included four or five people from our side. One person was contracted to do the actual configuring of SevOne, and another was mainly in charge of creating reports. Somebody else was responsible for helping to transition and move our data from the older system to SevOne, making it easier for the end-users to adapt to the change.

    With respect to maintenance, I'm the only person who regularly works on the setup and configuration. There are one or two other people who are working on the reports.

    What was our ROI?

    One of the returns we get is an assurance, based on data, as to whether upgrades are necessary for our branches. For example, if one of the branches is complaining about throughput or anything else, then we have data to show them. In this way, we can decide whether an upgrade is really necessary, or not, which is of value to us.

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

    There are different options available for licensing, with the per-device option being more expensive but more flexible. If the company has a sufficient budget then I would recommend using a per-device license. Although it is more expensive, it is better because it saves time. However, if you already have other servers or solutions in place that perform the same function, and you don't have the requirement on a per-device level, then the per-object license is a better choice, as long as you know the exact number that you need.

    There is separate licensing and pricing for the support, which also has different options available. We opted to purchase the standard, business hours support. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have not evaluated other products for bandwidth monitoring since I have been with the company. Prior to that, I'm not aware of any that they considered.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are not using all of the features of SevOne. For example, we are not using Net Flow at this time. We are still deciding on what we should do with the data that is being produced by SevOne. For example, we are working on how to manage the users' access because it depends on the visibility that is needed. We don't want everybody to see everything.

    To accomplish this, we have to use both NMS and DI creatively to control what users can see and what they cannot. User management is a bit complicated, although I think that most devices are like that.

    Essentially, we're trying to combine NMS and DI to meet our requirements. We want to configure it so that some people are very restricted to certain areas that they can view, which is something that we now control using the reporting. They do not have access to NMS, but on DI, they have access only to only a specific report. The problem with doing this is that we have more work to do when we define the role to the user. With their restrictions, they are unable to create a report, so it needs to be provided by us and then we need to give them permission to build it.

    I understand that some organizations will not need to have this level of detail for user access control, and for them, the user management page is pretty easy to understand. This is an advantage. However, we need to have a greater level of granularity, so simplicity is a disadvantage. It's both.

    My advice for anybody who is implementing SevOne is that before deciding whether the licensing is object-based or device-based, you really need to know what you want to monitor and estimate the number of licenses that you need. This is something that is really important in the beginning and I think that it's something that we made a mistake on. Of course, it is possible to purchase additional licenses later but depending on which model you choose, you really need to think and count how many devices or how many objects you want to monitor. It is also important to understand how SevOne counts objects, before purchasing the license.

    In summary, for our requirement, SevOne does pretty much what we ask and does it very well. It is easy to use, the guide is very clear, detailed, and easy to understand, and the support is great. We are not using all of the functions but overall, the out-of-the-box service and customer support are very good. I am not familiar with the other tools in the same space so I am comparing functionality against different solutions. However, I can say that their customer service is outstanding compared to other vendors.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Associate Director at a wellness & fitness company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    We can look at growth in particular values and combine them to see how they interact to improve our forecast accuracy
    Pros and Cons
    • "SevOne has rich API capabilities, giving us the flexibility to control what we collect and customize the collection, creation, and manipulation of now metrics as necessary."
    • "The one area with room for improvement is probably administration. They added data insights to make a better user experience, but I'd like to see some improvements in the way the system's administered."

    What is our primary use case?

    Generally speaking, we use SevOne as a central data collector for network components, routers, switches, load balancers, WiFi, and SDN. We also use it for server databases, cloud integration, and all the scenarios where we collect information.

    SevOne produces a number of solutions for carriers and enterprises. The ones we use right now are software-defined networks, which are similar to Cisco ACI. We also use the WiFi solution to support Cisco WiFi and some other vendors. There's also a SevOne product for SD-WAN that we'll probably deploy in the next year. SevOne provides resources to come in and set those up. The solutions are basically visualizations and sometimes custom collections that combine the data insights product with SevOne NPM.

    The two solutions provide a series of dashboards that give you insight into how your environment's working. We have full visibility into the health of Cisco ACI, including what's running on it, errors, performance, etc. It's the same with WiFi. We can track every access point, look at each connected station, and see the various metrics relevant to each connection. SevOne ensures everything is configured and operating properly.

    SevOne monitors multiple technologies from different vendors. We're primarily a Cisco network, but Cisco has adopted some technologies from other vendors, and we've had no problem incorporating them. We also do F5 and other standard vendors that everybody uses. We manage everything on the network and infrastructure with SevOne. We have integrations with numerous products, third-party applications, and data from external sources. SevOne is fairly flexible as long as we can bring the information back into the system.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We get the most benefit from SevOne's ability to forecast capacity planning trends. We can look at growth in particular values and combine them to see how they interact with each other to improve our accuracy. We don't just base things on a single metric. 

    If I'm looking at CPU, I'm also looking at queue length. The new company we work with is incredibly lean, so we've done a massive amount of work between SevOne and our other products to reduce the number of alerts that go out. It's not a matter of just filtering—it's also about making the network work smarter.  With SevOne, we're able to combine things and provide information out of the same platform. For example, if I have high utilization taking place, I see the packet drops in my critical applications by looking at QLS.

    I can also look at net flow to tell if their backups run during business hours when they shouldn't. If I combine all that into an incident, my network team knows exactly what's happening when they get it. They can resolve the issue rather than being flooded with tickets that are caused by the utilization exceeding a specific percentage. We get those day in and day out. 

    The network is sized to run near capacity, so we get the maximum use of the bandwidth. That also means it'll fluctuate over the threshold periodically and generate alarms, but we're able to combine it with additional data to tell us whether it's a problem or not. We don't need to raise incidents because the utilization went over the capacity anymore. The reason for the high utilization can be identified, so we can make better decisions on what to alert on. SevOne makes our support teams more productive. 

    We use SevOne with virtualized next-gen network services because we run Cisco ACI, and we're on AWS and Azure. We can monitor network components on all these platforms. The company is in the middle of a transition because we spun off another company. We started on the cloud, so we never migrated from legacy into the cloud. It's a little different, but we are using it to manage the cloud environment. From a practical perspective, SevOne would give you the ability though to do both, so you don't need to change tools if you move from one to the other. 

    SevOne has the ability to transform raw network performance data into actionable insights. Like most products in the network management space, SevOne doesn't have this capability out of the box because networks vary. However, it has the tools to customize it and adjust it as you go along. You get a solid platform that collects information and displays everything you would generally need to see. You can make it more effective by utilizing the data, API, and customization capabilities within the product. 

    SevOne looks at indicators. In SevOne's terminology, a "device" is like a router or a switch. An "object" might be a CPU or an interface. It monitors the utilization or dropped packets on an interface. With each of those indicators, the smallest measurement is the baseline, and they do a baseline on everything. The baseline is based on a polling interval over a period of time. That information lets you review and see what's normal.  

    They don't aggregate. They keep a year's worth of raw data, so I can do comparisons and see what occurred last month in this particular time period, like the end of the month or fiscal year. I can look at those networks and switches involved in those systems and see how they were performing at any given time each month back to a year ago. I can also set up alerts based on anomalies. I can look for standard deviations or numerical values above or below a threshold.

    For example, let's say I'm expecting a certain amount of utilization. If it drops below that baseline, we get alerts that something isn't normal. We combine this in our upper management systems where we apply AI. The manager of managers gives us background information, so the AI can predetermine what might happen next.

    We combine anomaly checks with static thresholds. We'll raise an incident for a static threshold breach, but we'll also have the anomaly data so the AI learns what happened before the breach took place. That way it can predict when it will happen again. It's good as a data collector and for feeding the other systems where we apply a bit more intelligence to the data.

    What is most valuable?

    SevOne has rich API capabilities, giving us the flexibility to control what we collect and customize the collection, creation, and manipulation of metrics as necessary. 

    Any solution can provide the out-of-the-box capability to collect SNMP. But the ability to combine various metrics and apply logical or mathematical operators to yield a new metric offers an enhancement we can't get with a vanilla solution. For instance, we're monitoring our network interfaces not only by utilization but also by QoS packet drops, so we know whether the network traffic is being impacted because the utilization's high.

    The data collection capabilities are pretty broad for time series data. The out-of-the-box capabilities are extensive in terms of anything that's not agent-based, SNMP collection, and AWS API integrations. You can also create your own integration with it and feed it deferred data. It'll take the data and process it the same way it does anything else. It automatically baselines every indicator that's collected. We can trigger anomaly-based or threshold-based alerts off the data. Everything's kept for up to a year with raw data.  

    SevOne gives us real-time insights into network performance. Collection and visualization are almost immediate. There's no aggregation delay while it calculates things and rolls them up. It pretty much displays the data as you collect it. We trigger alarms off of important events and generate events up to our manager of managers, which creates incidents.

    We collect WiFi data in abundance down to individual stations that are connecting to our access points. That can be tracked throughout the day, so you can determine where a user's been connected in order to troubleshoot. You can identify the specific access point they're on. We pull in everything the cloud watch is collecting. We ingest it, display it, look at historical patterns, and do anomaly-based checks and threshold alerts on the data. 

    The data collection is pretty broad in our case. In the former company that I worked for, we had 350 wireless controllers over 14,000 access points. They actually rewrote the collector for WiFi so that they could scale up and finish the collection within a polling cycle. They're also very responsive about updates and adapting the product to demand.

    SevOne's base dashboard which comes with the network performance management cluster is easy to use. It's easy to create graphs and leverage them, but there's a lot more power available underneath. If you understand the principles of grouping and creating custom indicators, you can take the product to advanced levels. The base out-of-the-box functionality is pretty easy to use. The data insights product that sits on top of it provides BI-type functionality. It's no harder or easier to use than other BI tools. It's designed to work with SevOne, so once the connection's been set up and you're pulling the data in, you apply the SevOne groups that you've already created. It's fairly easy to create reusable dashboards. Right now, we run probably about 180 dashboards that my team has customized for various groups.

    The device support is pretty extensive. SevOne has continued to expand device support since the IBM acquisition. I can certify a new device type within 10 business days. If there is a device that's not supported natively, you can collect the MIT files, do an SNMP walk on the device, and send that to SevOne. They'll return the appropriate drivers to install on my system to support it, so I can get the out-of-the-box building functionality out of it. I would say it's pretty extensive. It's vendor agnostic. As long as the vendor has SNMP, API, or some other means of collecting data, we can usually figure something out.

    It's quick and easy to set up reporting and get it running. Reporting is based on how you group devices together, so there's only so much you can do with SevOne's out-of-the-box reporting because they don't know your network. For instance, we have colo facilities separate from my various sites. I have manufacturing sites that are separated, so we group them together in reports. SevOne wouldn't have a way to know how to do that. So the reporting that's available quickly helps to get the job done, but there's more sophisticated reporting with a little bit of time you can develop that provides more value.

    What needs improvement?

    The one area with room for improvement is probably administration. They added data insights to make a better user experience, but I'd like to see some improvements in the way the system is administered. 

    We'd like the ability to do more templates at a global level to affect things across lots of places where we need to go and make adjustments. I'd like to see that become a little bit more unified. It's on the roadmap, so we're waiting to see what direction they take with it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using SevOne for more than 15 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system is highly stable, so we generally have zero downtime. We only take the system down for patching and upgrades about twice a year. There aren't usually patches in between upgrades unless there's a security emergency where they release a hotfix to address something. That's rare. Since we got the system up and running, we've had a few problems with it. We've not had any significant downtime related to the system.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SevOne is highly scalable. It's a global cluster, so it can scale much higher than the current implementation. I'm aware of other customers with 80 nodes in their cluster. Your performance doesn't change with each node you add because each node in the cluster is designed to provide the full capabilities. As you add nodes, you keep increasing that capability. It doesn't affect your response times or anything for querying the data.

    I have not reached the limit. My current company is a smaller enterprise, but I worked on SevOne with an enterprise of 80,000 employees. We had no problem scaling. I know there are much larger customers that scale the system up. I think part of the system design lends itself to scaling pretty well. I haven't found other products in the space to scale better.

    How are customer service and support?

    SevOne support is highly responsive and knowledgeable. We've generally had excellent technical support. I rate SevOne support nine out of ten.

    How would you rate customer service and support?


    What was our ROI?

    I don't think the product cost compares to the savings we get by detecting a problem and resolving a problem faster. We lose more money in an outage than what we spend on SevOne, so I think our return on investment is fairly obvious.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate SevOne NPM eight out of ten in terms of the core functions and how the solution performs them. There's some room for growth in there, but they seem to be on the right track. We're anxious to see where they go with it with the recent acquisitions.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    PeerSpot user
    Sr. System Manager at ATOS
    In addition to network devices, we can monitor server-type devices, saving us from having to get a separate server monitoring tool
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the solution's biggest strengths is its capacity management performance, with out-of-the-box reports through NMS, as well as its ability to collect NetFlow-related data from devices. The collection of network performance and flow data is important because we have many critical business applications."
    • "One area that requires a little bit of improvement is the topology of visualization and being able to map out connections, end-to-end. It's able to do that, but it's not as impressive as we would like it to be. We would like to understand the different interface types and the connection points better, through the visualization. Heatmaps also need further development."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using SevOne to monitor our network infrastructure. We provide monitoring services and performance capacity management for network gear, including routers, switches, wireless controllers, firewalls, and load balancers, to name a few. We have various manufacturers and different device models that we leverage the solution to monitor in our organization.

    Our deployment of SevOne is mostly virtualized. We have gone completely virtual in our environment. We have SevOne deployed in different regions of the world: the U.S., Hong Kong for Asia, as well as in London for Europe. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've been able to expand our service with this tool, without the need for additional tools. In addition to being able to monitor network devices, the tool is capable of monitoring server-type devices as well. That means we didn't have to get a separate tool to monitor servers. We're able to ingest system log information and create alert policies on it. Overall, end-to-end, it is very flexible, enabling us to leverage the lessons learned and apply them to all the different component gear, whether it's server gear or database gear. One of the benefits is that we've been able to leverage one tool to do a lot of things.

    SevOne also enables us to integrate our network performance management data across our ITSM and business decision-making tools. One component of SevOne is called Data Bus and that allows us to stream and share performance data from SevOne with external applications. We have some use case scenarios where we are sharing the performance metrics being captured in SevOne with other applications in the business. Integrating the network data with other solutions wasn't difficult. The way it works is that we're streaming the database, and small JSON payloads, into a Kafka Messaging Cluster, where external applications can just subscribe to that topic, download the data, and use those metrics as needed.

    When it comes to detecting network performance issues faster, the tool is very capable. Being able to set up alerts and policies based on baselines, and deviation from baselines, is pretty good, without our having to set hard thresholds on a performance item. We have discovered things that way. Since leveraging SevOne, we see most of the outages or pre-outages in an alert from SevOne, and we can dispatch to troubleshoot the issue. We depend on it a lot at this point.

    What is most valuable?

    For me, the most valuable feature of SevOne is the capability to monitor any device that has SNMP availability. We can pick up any KPIs that we need, regardless of the model, type, or manufacturer. As long as the device is able to respond to SNMP, we have a way to put our SevOne hooks into the device to capture some KPI data.

    One of the solution's biggest strengths is its capacity management performance, with out-of-the-box reports through NMS, as well as its ability to collect NetFlow-related data from devices. The collection of network performance and flow data is important because we have many critical business applications. Whenever there is slow processing or slow response from these applications, the first thing that the user community will look at is the network. They'll wonder, "What's going on with the network? Why are we getting a slow response?" Having those capacity-management KPIs around the components that make up that application helps greatly to narrow down where the root cause is when there is an incident.

    It's also very critical that SevOne's collection abilities cover multiple vendors' equipment. Depending on the business unit's needs, it may have a combination of many manufacturers. It's very critical for us to be able to have that flexibility and not to have to worry about a specific manufacturer.

    There is also support for software-defined and streaming telemetry-based networks, and we are starting to do a little bit more on that side. That's the direction in which everyone is going: telemetry and data science around the collection of the data, and proactively identifying an issue based on data models. Telemetry, and the ability to capture data in that format, is going to be a big push.

    In addition, SevOne's out-of-the-box reports and workflows for automatically helping us understand what is normal and what is abnormal in our network are very comprehensive. One of the things that we like about the reports and the data we see is that, over time, we are able to create a baseline and look at it versus the actual data points. We are very quickly able to see any deviations from that baseline. It's very useful for us.

    Those reports definitely speed up the solution's time-to-value. We have business timelines to deliver on. The ability to quickly onboard devices from different manufacturers and collect KPI data, and being able to leverage some of the out-of-the-box reports fairly quickly to look at the performance data, is very important to us.

    We are also able to create our own reports. As a matter of fact, we allow many of our telecom engineers to come into the tool and build and customize the reports they need for their specific use cases. It's not only easy to make those reports available, but our user community can be the creators of their own reports. It's easy to use for them. The learning curve is not big. Anybody can start picking and choosing how they want to visualize the data.

    For example, right now, we're working from home. There's been a lot of importance around our load balances, for how people connect remotely through our network. Being able to monitor the behavior, the active users, and any drop in users has been key. We have a custom report that we built around each of the load balancers that people come through from their homes, regardless of the users' locations. We can see the trends of active users, and how many users are dropped down. We leverage that report to communicate to our executive team how well we're providing remote workers access to the network.

    And as you run some of these reports, like the health summary of the devices, you are also able to drill down to the specific KPIs of certain components. You can have a bird's-eye view, and then drill down all the way to the specific item in that report.

    Finally, the solution's dashboard is very important, especially as we do capacity management analysis and as we project the growth of the organization. It helps us understand how certain devices are being utilized. That data is very important for us.

    What needs improvement?

    One area that requires a little bit of improvement is the topology of visualization and being able to map out connections, end-to-end. It's able to do that, but it's not as impressive as we would like it to be. We would like to understand the different interface types and the connection points better, through the visualization. Heatmaps also need further development.

    In addition, you can take a device and look at all the metrics that are being collected or enabled. But having a quick map view of the KPIs versus the alerting policies that we've built around a device, and being able to map that quicker and have a one-to-one correlation, would be useful.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using SevOne in this company since 2013. Personally, I've been involved with SevOne for the last three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's pretty stable. We hardly have any issues with the product. When we encounter issues, they have a good support structure with their help desk. We get a pretty quick turnaround on any issues that we raise with the vendor.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable, especially if you are going with a virtual environment. It's just a matter of deploying the collectors where you need them and quickly discovering devices.

    We monitor around 7800 network devices, which includes routers, switches, wireless controllers, et cetera. In addition, we monitor about 21,000 access points.

    As far as administration of the tool, we have three engineers who concentrate on the various network types to make recommendations on the KPIs and the monitoring. They also handle the onboarding of devices and configuring of alert policies.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn't involved in the initial setup. Before I came onboard, SevOne was running on a lot of physical devices. But I was involved in doing the upgrades and restructuring it to be more virtualized, so that could expand the cluster and the services. Being able to go virtual, drove the ability to scale, based on the demands of the business, fairly quickly.

    What was our ROI?

    We have definitely seen ROI from using SevOne. We've expanded our scope of control and we've increased the number of devices in our environment. Because we have different business units, we have a multi-tenant environment where devices are for different business units. Being able to organize them separately and increase the server count or the device counts has definitely helped us to provide some additional services.

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

    Many tools price things based on the number of KPIs that you're collecting around a device. In many cases, there could be hundreds of metrics that you need to collect. SevOne provides device-level pricing. That gives us the flexibility to turn on, and expand on, the metrics that we're collecting around those devices, without taking a financial hit.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We've looked at other products such as Zenoss and SolarWinds.

    What we liked about SevOne is the ability to onboard any type of device that has SNMP capabilities. We could go to SevOne and say, "Hey, we have this new device," and provide the SNMP OIDs and they quickly certify that equipment for us to onboard. And the partnership we have with them is another aspect we like.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice is to have a good architecture review with SevOne to understand what your business needs are. Make sure that you are deploying the SevOne collectors as close to the network gear as possible, so you have the metrics with no latency over the network.

    The ease of use of the dashboard has improved, now that they've introduced Data Insight, which is their new visualization reporting engine. That is a little bit more user-friendly. They've made good progress with Data Insight to make things even easier.

    SevOne is an eight out of 10. They do a lot of things very well, but there are some areas that need some improvements and they're aware of them. They're working on them for future releases. Every tool has a niche environment, but there's no Holy Grail or perfect tool out there.

    Overall, we feel SevOne is well-positioned. It's a very strong tool. What I like about them is the support structure. Being able to collaborate with them, when we need some additional services or recommendations on the tool, is helpful. It's a tool that positions us very well to provide immediate service and meet the needs of the business.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Solution Architect at a media company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Helps with troubleshooting and capacity planning, customizable reports, friendly and responsive support
    Pros and Cons
    • "In 90% of the cases, new devices are plug-and-play, so when a new version comes out then SevOne has support for it out of the box."
    • "The reports are easy to configure but they are a bit outdated in terms of appearance and visualization."

    What is our primary use case?

    SevOne is used mainly for network monitoring. In my company, there are different services that include mobile data, voice, and broadband. SevOne is being used across all of these three services, and it also covers our corporate network.

    SevOne is also being used for business reporting and capacity planning.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SevOne provides a comprehensive view of network performance data. It supports multi-vendors out of the box, which is very good. In 90% of the cases, new devices are plug-and-play, so when a new version comes out then SevOne has support for it out of the box. This is the case with either network monitoring or NetFlow data. In the worst-case scenario, they have an open framework that we can use as the next step. It helps us to get it up and monitored fairly quickly.

    The ability to support multiple vendors' equipment is very important. In fact, it is one of our top priorities because this compatibility saves us time and money, as we are able to get new equipment set up quickly and without much effort. That's a key thing for us.

    I'm not able to quantify our savings in terms of monetary value but in an ideal scenario, we save two weeks of time. When we add a device, we get data out of the monitoring points. Nine times out of ten, SevOne works immediately. In the exceptions, we reach out to the vendor to clarify what they need from an SNMP point of view. After that, we take it up with the SevOne certification team. With any new vendor that comes up, SevOne provides a 10-day SLA for the free certification. That's a pretty good saving.

    It is very important to us that SevOne supports streaming telemetry-based networks. As with any other company, our network is evolving and we are moving towards telemetry. We are in a pre-discussion phase with SevOne to use the telemetric components so hopefully, in the near future, we will have it in our product suite.

    We do have SDN but as of today, not with SevOne. That is something that we have aspirations for and will look to in the future.

    The out-of-the-box reports and workflows help us to understand what is normal and what is abnormal in our network, and this helps to speed up time-to-value. This is one of SevOne's strong points as I compare them with other vendors that I have seen over the years.

    SevOne gives us the ability to edit and customize the out-of-the-box reports and we do that quite a lot. We take what SevOne has provided and we change it to fit our needs. For example, when vendors change their versions and release, we fine-tune them to accommodate these things.

    It is fairly easy to customize the out-of-the-box reports, although one needs to have a bit of knowledge to do that. I see it as any other product, but there are some limitations to it. There are complex structures from certain vendors such as Cisco that are not easily supported. For instance, Alcatel-Lucent provides multiple SNMP profiles but that cannot be supported in SevOne. This had to be accomplished using other means. It is cases such as this that highlight why you need to have the knowledge but once you have that, it's fairly straightforward.

    Cisco is a vendor that we have had to customize reports for. With respect to temperature monitoring or CPU reporting, some of the out-of-the-box reports don't fit that specific vendor version, so we had to modify them to use the latest MIB and SNMP OID.

    We use SevOne for high-frequency polling, where we can quickly flip it on and the network operations team is able to easily troubleshoot issues.

    SevOne has enabled us to integrate our network performance management data across our ITSM and business decision-making tools. All of the data that we collect is also shared with other consumers, instead of just retaining it and reporting it. This is done via the Data Bus, which is running over the open-source product, Kafka.

    This was fairly easy to deploy and then open using the various device groups and object groups. Once it is open, data can be sent to other consumers. There is no need to do a lot of work. You just quickly enable the component and open it.

    These integrations are key to our organization, where there are a lot of users and a high need for the data. For instance, capacity planning. A bit of analytics outside of SevOne has also been implemented, taking the data from different areas including ITSM, network inventory, configuration management, et cetera.

    This performance data is key, and having such integration means that we get value out of SevOne fairly quickly. We don't need to invest time and money developing in-house products or looking for other solutions. Of course, the SevOne database component comes with a cost, but it's directly related to what the business needs.

    SevOne helps us to detect network performance issues in advance of them impacting end-users through proactive alerting. The monitoring system contains threshold policies that have been configured using the dynamic thresholding approach. Specifically, it looks at a few cases to develop a baseline and calculate the standard deviation. If there is any breach or any high utilization in the specific service of a network, SevOne will provide alerts according to the severity level. It will go to our ITSM and then out to the operational users who will keep an eye on it.

    What is most valuable?

    We are using the basic NMS product, and we use it with DNC pretty heavily. These basic monitoring aspects are the building blocks for performance management, which is key for any organization. It is important to do network monitoring and capacity planning, which SevOne is very good at.

    The Data Bus feature allows us to share data with other consumers, such as other teams in the company.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting is pretty straightforward but this is an area for improvement. The reports are easy to configure but they are a bit outdated in terms of appearance and visualization. SevOne has some alternatives where you can use Data Insight and it's easy to configure, yet outdated compared to other reporting mechanisms out there.

    As we are moving to virtualization, it would be helpful if there was support for Kubernetes or microservices. If this added in the future then this might help us to better manage SevOne in a virtual environment.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SevOne for nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is pretty good. It is the best when compared to other products on the market.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Given the peer-to-peer architecture, scalability is outstanding. You can both vertically and horizontally scale. We have approximately 60,000 network devices.

    We have three or four people in the company who work with SevOne in at least a limited fashion. I am an architect and there are two advanced SevOne developers. We don't manage only SevOne but other products, as well. There is nobody who is entirely dedicated to managing SevOne.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We use SevOne support quite regularly and in geographically different places. Our agreement includes 24/7 support, which is helpful when we have to reach out. Generally, they are very good in terms of resolving the issue or providing any technical approaches, and they're friendly in nature.

    Overall, the support is outstanding.

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

    Prior to SevOne, we used another product. There were challenges with the cost and the growth of the network. Our existing solution couldn't cope, which is why we switched.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is complex by nature but comparatively, it is simple when I consider a few of the other vendors that I have seen. Our deployment took between three and six months to complete.

    When we deployed it, nine years ago, it was on a peer-to-peer architecture with physical machines. We slowly added a few instances to cover its predecessor. We continued adding appliances and within a year or two, we doubled the estate. Then year after year, we have been adding 20% to 30% to it.

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

    Some of the services and functionality are adapted for SevOne via open-source, and the cost is very high. For the price that they are asking, it cannot be justified.

    If the vendor can look into reducing the cost, and then have a different licensing model based on the usage, that would really help. A blocking point is the high upfront cost because it is challenging to get it accepted and the purchase approved. If the cost were lowered or alternatively, if they can split it over several years, for example, that would help to get the product in the door and get going.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we first selected SevOne, we evaluated between 10 and 15 products on the market.

    SevOne was the peer-to-peer technology, from an architecture perspective, which is the first reason we chose it. The second advantage was the good out-of-the-box reporting. Finally, the pricing was comparatively better.

    What other advice do I have?

    We combine our analytics reports but we don't use SevOne in that case. We have data that comes from a non-SevOne system, we take the data feed and we have a reporting layer on top of it. Sometimes, this process takes data from SevOne and helps to provide a high-level service dashboard view. However, we do not use a SevOne dashboard to display it. Rather, we rely on the reports. 

    At this time, we don't directly integrate with ITSM but we have aspirations to involve SevOne in the whole ITSM process. Ideally, any information that has been collected for ITSM can be accessed by SevOne. Also, it's a bi-directional take on the idea, where ITSM can share in the data collected by SevOne.

    My advice for anybody who is considering this product is to test it, hands-on, before jumping to a conclusion about whether to implement it. It is important to compare products from other vendors to see how they perform.

    Unfortunately, you have to try SevOne using different components that include the basic NMS plus Data Insight, to get a really good feel of how it collects the data and presents it. I'm confident that at the end of the evaluation, SevOne will stand out in that space.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Disclosure: PeerSpot 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: March 2023
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.