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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable and awarded bandwidth analysis that provides important information about performance and traffic
Pros and Cons
  • "A product that is well-tested and trusted in demanding situations."
  • "The only thing that can be improved is to continually add to the existing capabilities of the product."

What is our primary use case?

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

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

What is most valuable?

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

What needs improvement?

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

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

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution since 2013.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and technical support?

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

So I would say that overall they have good support.  

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

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

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

How was the initial setup?

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

What about the implementation team?

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

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

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

What other advice do I have?

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

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

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Enterprise Information Security Architect at a agriculture with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides valuable security knowledge and helps us improve network performance
Pros and Cons
  • "It has definitely helped us improve our mean time to resolution on network issues."
  • "Many of these tools require extensive on-premises hardware to run."

What is our primary use case?

From a security perspective, we are watching for behind the scenes data exfiltration, or tubulous, or malicious network traffic, that our other tools may not be detecting at a basic network layer.

We are also using it for performance issues in trying to figure out if a site is experiencing issues with slowness. Also, we try to determine things like whether we are exceeding the bandwidth of the link or whether there is a bottleneck or something that's not negotiating correctly on the network.

Also, we use it for TAP to try and do inline network traffic analysis from a security perspective or from a performance perspective as well.

How has it helped my organization?

It has definitely helped us improve our mean time to resolution on network issues.

From a security perspective, I think they've been good as far as giving us knowledge.

I wouldn't say it's really transformed what we do. It's just another tool that gives us the information we need or helps alarms for us. But it only alarms on a handful of things. I think there are six or eight alerts that we've deemed critical.

Beyond that, it's just mostly the performance where I think it helps out. But that's like any NetFlow performance tool. Having insight into what's going across your network is critical for any huge network to function correctly.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ability to do TAPs because we have a distributed network.

The ability to set up one tool to stream that data over to us has been helpful because that way, we don't have to have other infrastructure and be really close to where the activity is. 

The security features have been good for helping create some correlation. For example, when you tap in, what else happens from the network perspective. 

Otherwise, just the general network performance monitoring is probably the number one thing that gets used. If we're having slowness issues then it can tell us what the bandwidth and usage are. We can find things like what is using up all the bandwidth and then find out how can we break that apart or route that differently, through a different WAN connection or internet connection.

What needs improvement?

An issue that we are having is that people have tools to do a security analysis of network traffic and people have tools that do NetFlow analysis, but typically the security tools do the NetFlow as well. We need the security piece and there are many good NetFlow tools out there, but they don't have that. I feel like they didn't segregate the product classes enough.

When you're doing research, you are looking for network traffic analysis, not NetFlow tools or network performance monitoring. This is the type of thing that I have been running into. You have to search for something that sounds very much like the other things, but it's not.

Many of these tools require extensive on-premises hardware to run. It is for their own performance and to support their own tools, including machine learning. It's as though you have to buy this hardware stack, and I feel that contributes to the price. This is versus having my collected data and then feeding it up into the cloud. I feel like a lot of monitoring tools or a lot of analysis tools are going that route. I don't think that StealthWatch is there, yet. It isn't good when you get to the point where you need to buy a huge stack of hardware. Instead, I just pay a license for how much data I send to the cloud. It is maintained there and that way, year after year I don't have to buy new hardware when it goes end-of-life.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company has been using Cisco Stealthwatch for a couple of years, but I have only been with the company for less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not been made aware of any stability issues with the tool. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My understanding is that it has been easy to scale, although I was not around for it. We have not had astronomical growth, but it sounds like it runs stable and there haven't been any performance issues with it.

We have 10 to 20 threat prevention engineers and network engineers of various levels who use it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in contact with technical support.

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

I have not used another similar solution in the past. I think the only thing that would even come close was using Azure Advanced Threat Analytics, but that only really analyzes network traffic coming to the domain. It checks, for example, if there is sketchy network traffic hitting your domain controllers.

In my previous jobs, I used network performance tools, but nothing that was the same as StealthWatch where it combines that performance and security analysis together.

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

This is an expensive product. We have quit paying for support because we don't want to have to upgrade it and keep paying for it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at the capabilities of SolarWinds NetFlow and realized that it can't replace our Cisco StealthWatch.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the previous version.

Our situation was that it was really expensive to keep up maintenance and the hardware was about to go end of life, which meant that we had to purchase a new hardware stack. Also, we were trying to get out of the data center business, so keeping StealthWatch is not really an option.

It doesn't fit where our company wants to go, but at the same time, it's one of three products out there that actually does what it does. Otherwise, you have to start linking NetFlow into the UEBA space.

My advice for anybody who is considering StealthWatch is that if you're going to maintain an on-prem network, I think it's a good solution. That is if you want to feed the bill and have something that is top of the line. But if you have a cloud journey underway and you're trying to downsize your data centers, it's going to add a big hardware footprint. This is just something to consider.

Overall, this is a good product but it would be better if it were cheaper and it fit our future plans better. Everybody had been happy with it, and the major reasons we're getting away from it are the footprint and the costs.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
VP of IT Infrastructure at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Cost-effective and works well for Cisco switches, but the setup is difficult and time-consuming
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the support for monitoring Cisco switches."
  • "The main problem with Zabbix is that you have to spend time writing templates for all of the products that you have."

What is our primary use case?

This is a network monitoring solution that I was playing around with to see if it would meet my needs.

How has it helped my organization?

Zabbix helped me to identify issues on the system, as well as ports that were open.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the support for monitoring Cisco switches. It is easy to use because there is a free template for it included.

What needs improvement?

The main problem with Zabbix is that you have to spend time writing templates for all of the products that you have. It would work great if I had the time to do it, but considering that I have all kinds of different devices, I don't want to spend the time doing it.

If they included more prebuilt templates of devices that are in use today, then it would be very helpful. For example, they have a template for a SonicWall 3600, but they don't have one for a SonicWall Tz300. They do have some base templates but they are not customized for these specific products. For some products, I was able to download one, but not for all of them.

The documentation needs to be improved.

The deployment is complex and should be simpler to complete.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zabbix for about a month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once the product is started, it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I didn't really test the scalability. For me, it wasn't scalable because I only used it for the devices for which I had templates. I was the only person who was using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did not contact technical support.

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

I was using Kaseya Traverse, which I bought because I have a large Kaseya installation. I thought that it would monitor sFlow, but it didn't, so I returned it and then replaced it with LogicMonitor.

Basically, the problem was that in order to support sFlow, I would have to have a virtual machine for each of the network switches that I wanted to monitor. So if I had 50 switches then I would need 50 virtual machines to monitor sFlow. When they told me that it supports sFlow, then technically, they are correct. However, what they didn't tell me was that for each switch, you have to create a separate collector, which didn't make any sense.

With SolarWinds NetFlow, you can have multiple switches with one collector.

How was the initial setup?

After I downloaded Zabbix, it was a pain to set up. I would say that it is complex in terms of the instructions. I was getting errors, and apparently, I was not the only one. I had to look at two or three different websites to get it set up. I found that if you follow the steps that come with it, which were not very detailed, it did not work. I had to search through different forums in order to figure out the error that I was getting. By the time I had finished, it took me three or four hours to figure out why I was getting the errors, and I had to reinstall it four times in the process.

In total, I would say that the deployment took at least 12 hours.

What about the implementation team?

I completed the deployment myself.

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

I was using the free, Community Edition.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Zabbix is to seek the help of somebody who has actually done it before. Otherwise, it's not worth their time. Also, find somebody who can provide you with the templates that you need, or who's got familiarity with building them. It is a good solution if you have the time to build the templates and figure it all out. This requires knowledge of SNMP, as well as all of the devices. Then, you have to put it into XML and create a template that Zabbix can use. It is not a straightforward solution.

The reason that I stopped using Zabbix and bought LogicMonitor is not that it didn't work well. Rather, I needed a solution that was complete, where I didn't have to do the development.

I would rate this solution a four out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Techincal Support at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable solution for backend application monitoring
Pros and Cons
  • "This product provides good visibility into applications at the backend."
  • "There should be a facility to integrate with other monitoring applications that are currently running in the environment."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and DX Spectrum is one of the products that we implement for our clients. In conjunction with DX Infrastructure Manager (CA UIM) and DX APM, this gives our customers visibility into what is happening end-to-end in their applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Some of our customers are large banks and government agencies, and they are getting value from using it.

What is most valuable?

This product provides good visibility into applications at the backend.

Some of our customers like the Service Desk aspect of it.

What needs improvement?

IP conflicts cannot be resolved automatically in the case where an IP address changes. This is one of the capabilities that SolarWinds has.

There should be a facility to integrate with other monitoring applications that are currently running in the environment. For example, if a customer is already running SolarWinds then it would be helpful if integration between these two was easy to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with DX Spectrum for about 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, it depends on the environment. Sometimes, the application does not function well because of the type of security and policies that are in place. Certain policies will block the application, making it unstable. We learned this after some of our customers complained and we investigated to determine why.

When we come across a situation like this we start working with their security department to address the issues, and then everything will start working well.

Overall, I think that it's a really stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support for this product is not encouraging. When our customers have issues, there is a delay in response from the support team. This causes some of our customers to doubt the solution.

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

One of our customers was using SolarWinds, but have since switched to DX Spectrum because they were issues with it. Once they implemented DX Spectrum, they were able to determine the root cause of their problem and solve it.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. The length of time required for deployment depends on the environment. For example, in a financial institution, it takes between one and two months because we need to do some information gathering and have confidence that we are meeting the requirements.

There are times when we are mid-deployment and the customer will stop us to say that they want something new. In cases like this, it slows down the implementation phase.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team handles the deployment for our customers.

What other advice do I have?

One of the issues that we have is that our customers are not aware of the product's full capabilities and what it can do for them. We are running our own campaign to give our customers a better understanding of the benefit they can get from it.

In summary, I think that it's a fantastic and durable product. For me, it is nice and I am actively recommending it to my clients.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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