SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is the #7 ranked solution in Network Traffic Analysis tools. PeerSpot users give SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is most commonly compared to Cisco Secure Network Analytics: SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer vs Cisco Secure Network Analytics. SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 19% of all views.
SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Buyer's Guide

Download the SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer?
SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer enables you to capture data from continuous streams of network traffic and convert those raw numbers into easy-to-interpret charts and tables that quantify exactly how the corporate network is being used, by whom, and for what purpose.

SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer was previously known as Netflow Traffic Analyzer.

SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Customers
Oceaneering International, Asia Pacific Network Information Centre, 335th Signal Command, Immofori
SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Video

Archived SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Reviews (more than two years old)

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Managing Director at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy to deploy, reasonably-priced, and everything can be managed in one place
Pros and Cons
  • "The integration with other SolarWinds products is good."
  • "I would like to see more artificial intelligence capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product to analyze network traffic flow. For example, we analyze the traffic that is using a lot of bandwidth to determine which application or information stream is responsible.

What is most valuable?

Everything is done in the Orion Suite, so you can look there to find dashboards and reports.

The integration with other SolarWinds products is good. It works well in combination with the other tools.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more artificial intelligence capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer for about four years.

Buyer's Guide
SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
November 2022
Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
655,774 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it is fine.

How are customer service and support?

SolarWinds is a traditional software company, which means that you can get help from them.

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

SolarWinds is a great product with a lot of possibilities, but also, it is not the Holy Grail. None of these solutions are. The suitability and choice of products depend on what is best for the customers. It's situation-based, and it depends on the requirements.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and it only takes a couple of hours to deploy. It is easy.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team implements and deploys this solution. I also train people on how to use it.

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

The pricing is reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, for my use cases, this product is very good and I recommend it. My advice is that if you decide to implement SolarWinds then they have a few other good products that you can use.

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.
PeerSpot user
IT Project Lead - Danone North America at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Straightforward to set up and they have good support that is quick to answer questions

What is our primary use case?

SolarWinds, in general, is used for inventory and monitoring. We use the Network Traffic Analyzer module mostly for support and debugging of issues and such.

What is most valuable?

They have instructional videos and other information available on the site to assist you with learning it. Even if you don't have an integrator or somebody teaching you how to use it, you could probably pick it up pretty easily.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better customization capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the Netflow Traffic Analyzer for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is always good. They are good people and they answer questions quickly. They know their product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We contracted an integrator to assist us with the initial implementation and deployment.

Now, we're getting ready to redeploy an entirely new suite and we're doing that internally. We are able to do this now because we have a new person on staff who has experience with this type of thing.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good product and I recommend it. 

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.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
November 2022
Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
655,774 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Network Services Manager at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Good reporting allows us to proactively deal with bandwidth-related issues
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to look for any increases in bandwidth over time so that we can plan before it becomes critical."
  • "It's not a cheap product, so the pricing could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product for monitoring our bandwidth. We run daily reports, send the data to Tableau, put that in a map of Texas, and look at all of our sites. It tells us if we're nearing 80% and when we need to increase bandwidth.

How has it helped my organization?

Using this solution helps us to better manage our bandwidth. We have it handled with no problem. We export information every morning so that when everybody gets to work, we can look at it and tell exactly what is going on in terms of bandwidth.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to look for any increases in bandwidth over time so that we can plan before it becomes critical. We have our threshold set at 80%, which means that when we hit that capacity, it's time to start looking at things like whether there is a problem in the network or whether an increase in bandwidth needs to take place. Essentially, it gives us a tool where we can manage our business proactively instead of reactively.

I have 19 direct reports that use this product.

What needs improvement?

It's not a cheap product, so the pricing could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product appears to be very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product seems to scale just fine. We've got 862 satellite sits we're looking at and we receive data from more than 340 land sites. I'd say that it has scaled very well for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had really good support. If we have issues then my technical person makes one call and gets help.

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

Prior to SolarWinds, we were using WhatsUp Gold. We weren't getting out of it what we needed, so we did a trial of SolarWinds and really liked what they saw. That is why we changed.

How was the initial setup?

I was not managing the team when the setup took place, but I didn't hear of any major issues so I would say that the initial setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

in house implementation

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

We purchased it outright but there are ongoing maintenance fees. From what I have seen, price-wise, it is close to the competitors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When selecting new products, we always put out an RFI to see who has what out and available. Afterward, we evaluate those and make a selection. The NOC was responsible for choosing the product and then it came over to my team, the network service group. Since the NOC was responsible for the comparison, I don't have information on the other solutions that were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

As this solution is implemented now, we're running fine and it is difficult to see things that can improve. It's giving us all of the information we need. For example, we have SNMP traps set up and we are able to look at offices across the entire state of Texas. It's a pretty big job. We are very much sold on this solution and plan to continue using it.

My advice for anybody who is considering SolarWinds to get the free 30-day trial, install it, test it, and see if it meets their needs. They have a lot of different modules available, so you buy the ones that you need and implement them.

Overall, we are happy with this product. That said, nothing is perfect and there's always something better.

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.
PeerSpot user
Senior System Engineer at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A reliable platform for assessing bandwidth utilization, but technical support could be faster
Pros and Cons
  • "What I like the most is the bandwidth assessment."
  • "It's scalable, but it could be simplified because it's not completely easy."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for bandwidth utilization.

What is most valuable?

What I like the most is the bandwidth assessment.

What needs improvement?

It's scalable, but it could be simplified because it's not completely easy.

The price could be reduced to make this product more competitive.

Support could have a better response time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable product and we plan to continue using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

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

Previously, we did not use another solution.

How was the initial setup?

It didn't take much to deploy.

We configured feature by feature.

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup was done through professional services.

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

While the pricing is fair, it could be better.

What other advice do I have?

I am quite satisfied with this solution and I would recommend it for anyone who is considering using SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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
PeerSpot user
Crismar Baste - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Tech Support Engineer | Project Implementation Head at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Has good monitoring, overall good performance, and an easy deployment
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the bandwidth analyzer, the monitoring, the network analyzer, it has overall good performance, and an easy deployment."
  • "The pricing is expensive."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are: 

  • The bandwidth analyzer
  • The monitoring
  • The network Analyzer
  • It has overall good performance
  • Easy deployment. 

    What needs improvement?

    The pricing is expensive. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer for six months. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It stable, we haven't experienced any issues or bugs. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have tested the scalability and have found it to be scalable. 

    We have several large clients who use SolarWinds. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't needed to contact technical support because I never had a problem with it. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The deployment is easy. I deployed it myself and it took around one day. 

    What other advice do I have?

    The product is a great experience to use and I never experienced any problems with this software application. I would recommend it. 

    I would rate it a nine out of ten. In the next release, I would like to see improvement in the area network health, the servers and the network equipment. They can see and can monitor all the equipment from network to server because inside the server are the backups, the systems of their company, and the backup files.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Networks Lead Engineer at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Simple to use, provides valuable insight into traffic usage, and generates comprehensive reports
    Pros and Cons
    • "The monitoring is perfect, showing you the details for the utilization of resources and network bandwidth."
    • "The Atlas module that is used for building the network map is very bad."

    What is our primary use case?

    I was using this solution in my previous company for four years and am trying to bring it to my new organization. We are currently running a PoC.

    What is most valuable?

    The GUI is simple and easy to use.

    The monitoring is perfect, showing you the details for the utilization of resources and network bandwidth.

    It provides the ability to track users to see who is generating higher amounts of traffic and what the person is doing.

    The notifications are helpful.

    At the end of the day, you can get very comprehensive reports showing you everything that is happening in the domain.

    What needs improvement?

    The licensing should be improved. I don't like the licensing because it is geared to the interface and not the device, which increases the cost.

    The Atlas module that is used for building the network map is very bad.

    I would like to see improvements made to the dashboard configuration.

    They should provide more templates for the vendors.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with SolarWinds for more than four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is a stable system and very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    This solution does not have support available in the Middle East region. The relationship is through the partners but this is insufficient because they are not highly skilled and cannot really support you.

    Whenever you approach the SolarWindws team, they normally have fixes that come out with every new release.

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

    The price of this solution is exceptional. 

    What other advice do I have?

    This solution does an excellent job but nothing is perfect. There are some things that need to be improved.

    I would rate this solution a nine 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Bill Lamon - PeerSpot reviewer
    Information Technology Manager at B&I Contractors
    Real User
    Alerting capability useful for monitoring abnormal usage, but internal network visibility could be better
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is the alarm that is set up to trigger based on bandwidth utilization."
    • "This solution does not do a very good job when I am trying to look deeper into my internal network, in particular with respect to individual ports."

    What is our primary use case?

    This solution allows me to see what we are using in terms of bandwidth on the WAN. I can use that in conjunction with Observium to figure out what endpoint on the network is pulling a lot of data, and what type of data it is.

    One of the problems is that I am using two different products with two different dashboards to chase down the same problem. The bandwidth analyzer alerts me to the issue of excessive bandwidth usage, but then I have to look at the second product to figure out where. I have to find out what switch, what port, and potentially what host, so it takes a little bit of investigating to really narrow down what's going on.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution gives us a simple way to monitor traffic that is coming in and out. It shows me how much bandwidth is both inbound and outbound, and it is shown clearly on the dashboard.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the alarm that is set up to trigger based on bandwidth utilization. When we are alerted then we know that we have to look further into the issue.

    What needs improvement?

    This solution does not do a very good job when I am trying to look deeper into my internal network, in particular with respect to individual ports.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer for between two and three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a stable solution. It works and I really don't have any issue with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are three of us who use this solution from an administrative point of view. I am the manager of the department, there is a senior engineer, and there is a junior network engineer who uses it as well.

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

    We did not have anything in place before implementing this solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    One of my internal engineers deployed this solution within the company.

    What other advice do I have?

    This was a good solution when we began using it a few years ago. However, now as the company is growing, I have more data lines coming in and I have more endpoints, I want to combine products. I'm looking for a single pane of glass dashboard to keep an eye on the entire infrastructure. As it is now, I have three dashboards that I have to keep track of.

    Right now, this solution is doing what I need it to do. There is probably more room for improvement but I use the product in a simplistic way so there are things that I have not learned about it. Ideally, I would like a single product that does everything we need.

    I would rate this solution a six 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.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Network Specialist at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Alerts us whenever a device is down but it cannot do metric performance monitoring
    Pros and Cons
    • "SolarWinds has improved our organization because whenever a device is down, we get an alert."
    • "It does not flow. It cannot do our metric performance monitoring. So it is very limited. They can do it but in a very limited fashion. It is only good for SNMP-based alerts."

    What is our primary use case?

    SolarWinds is a traditional enterprise network monitoring platform. It provides an event-triggered alarm. 

    This is as opposed to ThousandEyes which is an application for delivery and performance metric monitoring. ThusandEyes is a service delivery tool for SaaS-based applications, with service delivery monitoring and circuit performance metric monitoring. Also, whereas SolarWinds is on-premises, this solution is cloud-based. Their analytic tools are on a cloud-based portal, but we have a physical, agent-based performance monitoring tool installed across the site.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SolarWinds has improved our organization because whenever a device is down, we get an alert. Or when a major interface is down, we get an alert. This is important since we need to know when a device or major link is down.

    What is most valuable?

    In the case of ThousandEyes, the feature I've found most valuable is that it is an active synthetic monitoring tool. It provides per-hub packet loss latency information across the private and public internet. This provides us with capability outside our network.

    SolarWinds is traditional. It's old school and SNMP-based. It provides event-triggered alarms. We rely on the features to monitor our network device to see if it is online or not. It tells us if the interface is down or up or if the device is down or up.

    What needs improvement?

    Regarding SolarWinds, no major comment or improvement. We just use it. Because it's an old-school technique, we only rely on it for alerts, events, system logs, etc. That's why I said we don't put any effort into it.

    Since we've only just begun using ThousandEyes, we're not sure yet. But there probably will be issues.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SolarWinds for a long time.

    In terms of ThousandEyes, we just deployed it. We finished the Proof of Concept and deployed before the New Year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of Thousand Eyes is good. It meets our use case requirements.

    As for SolarWinds, it is a traditional platform used everywhere. It has been on the market for 15 to 20 years. And within our organization, it is stable, too.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    ThousandEyes will definitely be scalable because it's a cloud-native solution and they use a leveraging agent to collect. Cloud is more scalable compared to an on-premise deployment.

    It is only our network team of 15 networking admins working on these two applications. And it requires around one or two people for deployment and maintenance of these solutions.

    We are using SolarWinds every day as our monitoring platform and we don't have any plans to increase usage.

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

    Before using ThousandEyes we only used SolarWinds.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of ThousandEyes is very straightforward. It's not complex. It is really simple from a deployment and configuration perspective. Because we have multiple sites, the majority of the deployment time is for logistics and not for configuration or setup. It's very straightforward and simple to set it up. We are a global enterprise, so it did take a while. We used a vendor as a professional consultant service to help us deploy. It was a good experience working with them.

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

    We pay for yearly licensing on both solutions. 

    We have already seen a return on our investment by going with ThousandEyes. We already see the benefit, which is that we get visibility. That's the only thing we wanted. We can pre-benchmark service delivery and monitor across different sites on the cloud.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing ThousandEyes, we evaluated Riverbed. We select a solution based on our use case. Our main purpose here is to monitor service delivery on the cloud and Riverbed cannot do that. Riverbed could replace SolarWinds but does not have that capability, which ThousandEyes does. So that's the main difference.

    What other advice do I have?

    As for advice for people looking to implement either solution, it's on a case-by-case basis as each person has different requirements. In our case, one can do somethings and can't do others. It's not the silver bullet that can fix everything, but we selected them based on our requirements.

    On a scale of one to ten, I'd rate SolarWinds a 5. It does not flow. It cannot do our metric performance monitoring. So it is very limited. They can do it but in a very limited fashion. It is only good for SNMP-based alerts.

    Regarding ThousandEyes, I would give it a seven, because you can set a threshold but they are not really alert-based. They can generate an alert but they can't say if a device is up or down, they cannot monitor.

    So you basically have to supplement with each other, that's why we still have both.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    DariusBwalya - PeerSpot reviewer
    ICT Training Consultant at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Easy to set up but the monitoring should be faster

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for this solution is for monitoring.

    What needs improvement?

    One thing I have noticed is that it is very slow to pick the dynamics of the network, so that is something that could be improved. There is some sort of lag in the reporting, and I would like to see that being faster. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the program for about seven years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I think it is quite stable and that's why we stick with it. We often switch to something else. For instance, we recently changed to another antivirus program. But this program is stable so we haven't chosen another solution over this one yet. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The program is scalable enough for our usage. We currently have 8,000 users so we may have to buy extra modules soon.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy and straightforward to set the program up. The setup is very user-friendly.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a vendor team at first and from there on we did everything ourselves. Deployment took about a day. 

    What other advice do I have?

    On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this solution a seven. Some things that might improve, is that I would like to see it being able to detect mobile gadgets too, like smartphones. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Head of Network Department at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Stable with a straightforward setup and good traffic analysis

    What is most valuable?

    The solution's most valuable feature is its traffic analysis.

    What needs improvement?

    Sometimes the system is confusing; they should simplify it to make it easier in future releases.

    There are many applications we cannot monitor with the solution. They need to open it up to make it easier to monitor across multiple apps.

    The solution needs to work with Windows 2003 and 2008. 

    Technical support needs improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is okay, but it depends on the person who takes up the ticket. Sometimes we don't get the kind of service we should.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend the solution. I'd rate it eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    PeerSpot user
    Head of IT Governance Service at ITGSTORE
    Real User
    A stable solution with good performance analysis but in need of better pricing
    Pros and Cons
    • "The performance analysis is a valuable feature. With the performance analyzer, we can see the realtime monitoring, the realtime performance, and historical performance on specific components like virtualization storage, CPU, servers and network equipment."
    • "The price of the solution is a bit high for our clients. They should consider adjusting their price model."

    What is our primary use case?

    For the first installation for our customers we use it for traffic analysis to determine which users consume the most internet bandwidth. then to have a visibility on the internal traffic in the network. 

    What is most valuable?

    The performance analysis is a valuable feature. With the performance analyzer, we can see the realtime monitoring, the realtime performance, and historical performance on specific components like virtualization storage, CPU, servers and network equipment.

    What needs improvement?

    I recognize that SolarWinds has a reporting feature that will give us reports that we can customize. However, it's not clear how I can integrate the existing solution like BI solutions to SolarWinds. The solution seems to lack an API for other integrations.

    The price of the solution is a bit high for our clients. They should consider adjusting their price model.

    We'd like more application control in future releases. automatic identification of applications in the traffic. this feature is included in the new generation firewall.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution since 2014. Start working on Orion NTA version 3.0

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is okay. I would rate it three out of five. Their reaction time is not so good. You might have to wait one or two days before they can work on your ticket.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use the on-premises deployment model.

    I would rate the solution seven out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    PeerSpot user
    IT Director at NEDCO
    Real User
    Helps diagnose issues and relieve network congestion, but the licensing needs to be improved
    Pros and Cons
    • "With SolarWinds, we are now able to accurately gauge bandwidth consumption."
    • "The licensing should be more realistic so that we can adjust the number of nodes according to my needs, rather than in fixed increments."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have a collection of SolarWinds solutions.

    Our primary use for this tool is to monitor our network. We have a LAN and WAN to monitor. We use the product to get an overview of the performance to let us predict potential issues and act preemptively before we have real problems. The product helps us monitor the load on the network and on the different network lines. 

    We are planning to expand our use because they offer some good advantages with broader product use. It is used on a daily basis and it is one of the key tools that we use to maintain our network and keep track of our infrastructure.

    We are using an on-premises deployment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have faced some problems with our Oracle connection line in the past. For example, once we had a remote crash that affected the connection of more than two hundred users. So we've faced this kind of delay on our network. So, when this happens, we would go first to check the load on the connection line (we have a fibre connection) and we would check the traffic speed and the volume of data on the line. With Netflow Traffic Analyzer, it was very helpful to find out when the line was getting more congested.

    Recently, there was some problem with one of the applications that we upgraded to. We could see the problem and we took all the necessary action to get things back into normal before the issue had a chance to get worse. SolarWinds helps us to monitor potential issues so we and our users do not experience downtime.

    What is most valuable?

    It's a fantastic product overall, so it is difficult to define one feature being the best.

    It is fantastic to know the Traffic Analyzer can show us where the potential problems are. You become very familiar with the bandwidth being consumed by different lines and how all the traffic is moving between different departments and different applications.

    At times, we faced a lot of issues with users on the internet because of the consumption of the bandwidth. It was very hard to try to find exactly what was going on and what applications affected traffic. With SolarWinds, we are now able to accurately gauge bandwidth consumption.

    What needs improvement?

    One of the things that can be improved is the licensing, as it is limited to a number of nodes. They limit it to five hundred nodes before jumping to the next level. When we exceeded that limit, we had to go directly to two thousand nodes. We did not really need that many but I still had to pay for that. The licensing should be more realistic so that we can adjust the number of nodes according to my needs, rather than in fixed increments. For example, one thousand nodes would have been enough. Jumping to four times the volume was too much.

    We recently upgraded to a more recent version of this solution and we had an issue with backing up the data. We were unable to make proper use of the databases from the previous version.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using the SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a stable solution and we are happy with the product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is a scalable solution, but it is related to the licensing.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not personally contacted technical support for this solution. The feedback that I have received from my team is that the support is good.

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

    We did not use another solution prior to this one.

    How was the initial setup?

    The feedback I got from the person who performed the initial setup is good. He's happy with the product and is continuing to do the upgrades as we need them.

    My understanding is that the deployment took less than two hours.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our own technical team handled the implementation, and we did not need any help from anybody outside of the company.

    We have three people who are taking care of our network. There is the network manager and his two staff.

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

    The licensing for this solution is based on the number of nodes.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There were members of our team who had experience with other solutions, but we adopted this one after installing and using the evaluation version.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are planning on upgrading to the SL2000 model.

    As of today, I am satisfied with this solution.

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    MarkS - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Analyst at Hawkbridge Consultants
    Real User
    Has a lovely graphical interface, it's easy to use, has powerful reporting features, and excellent support
    Pros and Cons
    • "In terms of the implementation, we've actually used SAM, the server and application monitoring tools. The network configuration tools are very useful in terms of bulk upgrading switches and infrastructure. Also, the Network Traffic Analyzer was extremely useful to track down errant users soaking up bandwidth."
    • "The problem is that SolarWinds is trying to bolt in too much and that can leave bugs, which you have to then sort out, leaving the product unstable. SolarWinds needs to try and slow down and improve the stability of the product, as opposed to bringing out more and more features."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use SolarWinds as a core tool to monitor our internal infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    In terms of the implementation, we've actually used SAM, the server and application monitoring tools. The network configuration tools are very useful in terms of bulk upgrading switches and infrastructure. Also, the Network Traffic Analyzer was extremely useful to track down errant users soaking up bandwidth.

    Quite a lot of our internal investigations are actually using the Network Traffic Analyzer to find out which computers are soaking up the network bandwidth.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest problem with SolarWinds is that they've tried to integrate a lot into the core modules. I think it would actually really benefit if they are more focused. It's packing a lot of technology in now, it's very confusing areas in respect to what the product can potentially do. Even though it's split into very specific core modules, there's quite a lot of overlap. I think anybody being dropped in front of SolarWinds for the first time could initially be overwhelmed.

    I think it's a very comprehensive product. It could do to even be toned down a bit. It is very powerful. They keep on pushing more and more features and I don't think it's a good thing, because we've noted quite a few stability issues with the product. I'm not saying 100% of it is all SolarWinds really related, but it's doing a lot. It's a very complex product and it's difficult to troubleshoot it when it goes wrong.

    The problem is that SolarWinds is trying to bolt in too much and that can leave bugs, which you have to then sort out, leaving the product unstable. SolarWinds needs to try and slow down and improve the stability of the product, as opposed to bringing out more and more features.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SolarWinds for the last five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of our environment, it's reasonably stable but not perfect. The stability can be improved. 

    I think that it's really difficult to tell just whether the issues are environmental problems or whether it's SolarWinds itself. Certainly, core modules in SolarWinds would crash. Specifically, SolarWinds information services would crash quite a bit. I was constantly talking to SolarWinds about optimizing the product in order to try it to get it to working better. It's got quite heavy demands in respect to the SQL environments as well. It has got some stability issues, but it may not solely be down to SolarWinds.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have, in terms of total numbers of nodes, including switches and nodes, perhaps six or 700 switches and nodes.

    I think the product is very scalable but it's also very expensive to scale it. You have to pay for multiple steps of the initial implementation cost in order to scale the product. For example, if you spent 50,000 pounds putting in SolarWinds, you can pretty much say that you're going to pay the same in order to put another poller in because it's literally duplicating the environment across multiple pollers. It's quite expensive in order to scale the product.

    We've utilized SolarWinds to its maximum for the environment that I've been testing it in. Certainly we've invested in six of the SolarWind's modules, and I don't think that there's anything further which we want to buy at this stage.

    If one starts to notice performance issues, then it's worth considering putting in other pollers. And if you put in other pollers, that's really expensive because you effectively duplicate the license costs. It's fairly scalable in terms of up to the limits, the licenses you've purchased but if then you want to go really beyond the limitations of a license and put additional polling stations in, and then it gets expensive.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I think their technical support is excellent. It really is very good technical support. I can't fault SolarWinds technical support. It's very, very good.

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

    We were previously using Zabbix. We also looked at alternative products such as Nagios, but SolarWinds was actually decided on only because it's got a lovely graphical interface, it's easy to use, has powerful reporting features, and excellent support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is fairly straightforward. Once you actually get familiar with what it's doing, it's fairly easy to implement and use. There's not a problem installing it and actually using it, but it's just a complex product.

    In terms of actually installing core modules, it took a couple of hours.

    To fine tune it, you're probably looking at really a month of operational stats. Because obviously it goes off and it builds baselines, based on the current infrastructure. Then those need looking at and optimizing for the environment it's working in.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did the implementation ourselves but we took advantage of the Smart Start programs, which are opportunities given by SolarWinds in order to train.

    Time to actually fully deploy is quite straightforward. To install all six SolarWinds modules, you could easily do it in one day. Then it's about 30 days to actually build baseline stats and optimize, and then you're going to probably spend really the next six months optimizing the alerts and dashboards.

    We could say that everybody, in terms of the team that I was working with, was involved in SolarWinds in some shape or form. In terms of core people looking after the product, perhaps three or four staff members are needed. 

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

    There are additional costs if one wishes to purchase other modules or increase the available functionality then you can pay for additional licensing options. It gets very expensive once you actually decide to scale the infrastructure but if you stick actually within the current license limits, which you may be licensed for, then that would be reasonably cost-effective.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to someone considering this solution would be to look on the THWACK forums, which is the SolarWinds community support. It's a user support forum. I'd pose lots of questions on THWACK and I'd take advantage of the 30-day trial as well, which is available for all corporates initially when you want to use a product. You get 30 days free of charge to try out a product without obligations.

    SolarWinds is fairly competitive. There are lots of tools and products out there so you really do need to look at what options are actually available before jumping in and going down the SolarWinds route. I think if anybody purchases the SolarWinds route, then they are buying into a solution as opposed to just purchasing a package. Once you put SolarWinds in, you're then tempted to go out and explore other SolarWinds modules and then very, very quickly you become absorbed into the SolarWinds community.

    I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user1109319 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Head of Technology and Inspection at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Dashboard alerts me when a critical device goes off in the network but it needs more system intelligence
    Pros and Cons
    • "The dashboard alerts me when a critical device goes off the network."
    • "Customer Support is quite complex."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for analyzing traffic and monitoring performance.

    What is most valuable?

    The network performance monitor I have embedded has been able to give me a customized dashboard. The dashboard alerts me when a critical device would go off in the network. I get an SMS alarm. 

    What needs improvement?

    One improvement could be the system intelligence. I think another would be to show a kind of session mark that shows you the latency between each hub, but with much more intelligence. I know they do that but to make something that works very well I would want to see more terminals so that I can look where the need is happening. Of course, the network could be much better. 

    I need to see something with AI. I know they don't have it, and I need to see straight through to integration and cloud monitoring. The application for monitoring should be enhanced with a better quality experience, in terms with what their customers are going through. Instead of looking at Bit-Coin sites they need to have insights like translating. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solutions for five years, but more aggressively over the last two years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In terms of scalability, so long as you have the licenses the solution is scalable. You can add and add on the devices. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer support is quite complex.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was complex. The part that is complex is that you have to mark the devices, you have to time the parameters, you have to monitor, and you have to set them up. It wasn't a straightforward thing. I'm not sure if there is a simple tool you can use to monitor or not. 
    These tools are a bit complex, they need monitoring. Implementation took about five days.

    What about the implementation team?

    The setup was done by consultants to make sure everything was consistent.

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

    I think the price is fair. I haven't quite done price-to-price on a comparable product but I do think the price is fair. I'm looking at AI too. Artificial Intelligence that will monitor the cloud.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would give the solution a 5 out of 10, there are opportunities to improve.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Network Engineer at Brookfield Property
    Real User
    Saves time in everyday operations by managing all of our devices using a single pane of glass
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like that it is able to monitor multiple devices and it's vendor-agnostic."
    • "This solution would benefit from having more security-based communications between the actual devices and the software itself."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this solution for everyday network monitoring. This includes the flow analytics, and seeing what's online and what's not online. It is a key part of everyday operations.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Visibility in the network is huge. Using the NetFlow analyzer, along with their NPM and NCM modules, are key for keeping our network up to date and for visibility.

    This solution is a huge time saver. Without it, you're making and you're analyzing flow patterns and making changes on a switch by switch, or router by router basis. This gives you that single pane of glass where you can really manage all of that, and push out to all of your devices no matter what the size of your environment is.

    What is most valuable?

    The NCM module is by far the most useful feature, as I am able to provision and employ changes to our entire infrastructure with a single tool. 

    I like that it is able to monitor multiple devices and it's vendor-agnostic.

    What needs improvement?

    This solution would benefit from having more security-based communications between the actual devices and the software itself. After dealing with a bunch of other vendors who are very security-focused, it would be nice to see that included in other products as well. It may be a case where they have not kept up with certain security aspects as technology has changed.

    I would like to see visual maps for all of the devices that are interconnected. They do have a feature that exists now, but I think that it can be worked on. There are some competitors out there that are doing a better job at that.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is limitless and scales very well. You can use these tools for a single branch network or your entire enterprise and there is no difference in the deployment. 

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

    There was no solution in place before this one. The network really scaled up quickly, and it had not been necessary before adding more branch properties led to more problems. 

    What about the implementation team?

    The original deployment was completed before I started to work with the system, so I am not sure who deployed it. As we scale, it is us, the engineers, who do it all ourselves. I feel that it speaks to the product because we don't actually need professional services, as it's pretty easy to do it yourself.

    What was our ROI?

    This solution makes us more effective, allowing us to save time.

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

    For our environment, we pay approximately $25,000 USD yearly. It is a lot cheaper than a lot of the other vendors.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I know that we evaluated NetBrain. Although they do not necessarily claim to be a network monitoring tool, a lot of the features offered by SolarWinds are also available. My understanding is that the price point was an issue.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anybody who is researching this type of solution is to know your environment. Regardless of the vendor you choose, know the costs associated with all of your endpoints.

    I love using the tools provided in this solution. There is always room for improvement, but ultimately, I have always been happy with this product.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Mohamed Talbi - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network and Security Engineer at Neurones
    Real User
    Provides valuable information on protocol utilization and has a useful system of alert escalation
    Pros and Cons
    • "This solution gives us important information about the utilization of protocols, particularly in terms of how often they are used."
    • "I would like to see more training videos and additional material for learning how to use this solution."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this tool for network supervision, and our environment includes Fortigate firewalls and Cisco switches.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution gives us important information about the utilization of protocols, particularly in terms of how often they are used.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable functions are the ability to show the Network Flow and the system of escalation.

    What needs improvement?

    I had a problem during the installation of this solution, and I was not able to find a solution in their forum. I would like to have a more efficient and more complete forum for support. I was eventually able to find the solution on another site.

    I would like to see more training videos and additional material for learning how to use this solution.

    Better integration and communication with third-party tools, including other NPMs such as Nagios, is needed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Six months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a very stable solution.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In terms of support, I would rate them five or six out of ten. It was difficult to find videos for training. Overall, I am not satisfied with the support.

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

    I have experience with Cisco tools, as well as Microsoft.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have used many tools and this one is very interesting, but they need to provide better support and better training material.

    I would rate this solution an eight and a half out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user2979 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Engineer at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Many administrators turn to NetFlow analysis to help identify not just what kind of traffic is flowing on the network, but also top devices creating the traffic.

    As networks get busier, they also tend to get slower. Trends like increased use of cloud services, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), video and VOIP all create incremental stress and pressure on the network. BYOD can also introduce challenges like increased use of photo and video sharing, and peer-to-peer traffic.

    Upgrading networks can be very costly, and usually is only a short-term fix.

    One solution: NetFlow

    Many administrators turn to NetFlow analysis to help identify not just what kind of traffic is flowing on the network, but also top devices creating the traffic. This allows them to take action to manage excessive bandwidth consumption, possibly saving money on expensive upgrades.

    SolarWinds recently gave us a preview of the newest version of their NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA), expected to be released later this year. NTA has always done a great job at helping to decipher Flow data, and the new version has some interesting new features designed to make it easier for administrators to understand and take action to manage network traffic.

    How well does it work? In this review we look at a couple of the new features, and test out NTA’s abilities.

    What is the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer?

    If you aren’t yet familiar with the product, NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is a traffic analyzer that can receive standard “Flow” data generated by devices from Cisco, Juniper, Extreme, Foundry, Riverbed, HP, Nortel, or Huwawei. It can support various implementations of the protocol including NetFlow, sFlow, IPFIX, etc.

    Flow data shows how much, and what type of data is passing through a network interface. For example, it might show that IP Address #1 sent a 50 Mb data stream to IP Address #2 on port 80, and so on. Given the large volume of data on today’s networks, Flow data can be huge and hard to work with.

    Analyzers like NTA attempt to take all that data and make it meaningful, and also add other features like alerting and historical reporting to help administrators gain network utilization intelligence.

    New Features

    One of the biggest changes in NTA 3.10.0 is the new chart styles. Gone are the old static charts, instead NTA now has charts that can be dynamically changed for custom date ranges on the fly using a sliding scale below the chart. Checkboxes allow users to turn on or off the display of different chart elements, making it easy to simplify the view by removing unnecessary data.

    The charts also add a nice hover pop-up information box that appears when hovering the pointer over chart elements. The box shows detailed values for the element in question.

    Users can also now click and drag to zoom in on charts, making it faster to zoom in to get a closer look at chart detail.

    The speed of the new charts is impressive. Charts load very quickly compared to previous versions, and changes to date-ranges or other parameters are reflected almost instantly.

    Other new features include enhanced support for sFlow v2 and v4, as well as enhanced support for interfaces that can’t be managed with SNMP – such as vSwitch interfaces.

    NTA also has a lot of great features that have been there all along. Some of them include:

    Designed for Administrators

    NetFlow Traffic Analyzer delivers a good user experience from the start. Default views include a series of dashboards that identify a range of possible problem areas – top talkers, top endpoints, and top applications, to name a few.

    The dashboard allows users to drill-down for greater detail. Want to know specifics of an endpoint that consumes a lot of data? Click on the endpoint to get detailed views of the kind of traffic flowing to and from that device. Drill down links help pinpoint when, where, and how much traffic is generated.

    A nice feature is the ability to save customized views of the network. For example, if an administrator wants to monitor a specific traffic source or application, they could create a view that instantly bring up that traffic source – saving time and speeding problem resolution. They can email links to that “view” to other users, enabling fast sharing of data.

    Forensics and Drill Downs

    A strong case for having a NetFlow analyzer is the ability to troubleshoot network problems when there are no obvious errors or outages. NetFlow Traffic Analyzer allows administrators to drill-down to see not just volume, but also what kind of traffic is flowing through the network. So when network performance problems crop up, admins can instantly tell whether the cause is a single bandwidth hog or some other activity.

    NTA does a nice job of enabling views that can be filtered down to specific time windows, a great way of looking back to determine the cause of an incident, and possibly pinpoint the source.

    Application Mapping

    NTA adds another level of visibility into the network by helping to identify application traffic out of the general flow data. It can map common applications like Oracle, and many web applications like Facebook or online gaming sites.

    So rather than a list of IP addresses and ports, admins see a readable, useful picture of exactly what kind of traffic is generated. This could be used to identify and shutdown bandwidth vampires, or perhaps to determine how much bandwidth to allocate to QOS queues, enabling better traffic management and possibly avoiding costly bandwidth upgrades.

    CBQOS Mapping

    Speaking of QOS, the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer can also help to manage your CBQOS policies. Admins can view traffic segmented by QOS policy, allowing them to confirm that queues are allocated appropriately for voice, video, or other critical applications.

    Alerting

    Drawing on their history of making network monitoring tools, SolarWinds has enabled NTA to raise alerts when interfaces become saturated above a defined threshold. Alerts can be delivered via SMS Text, email, and other common notification methods.

    The alerts can contain a couple of helpful items to pinpoint problems. The first is a list of top talkers – so you can instantly see who is generating the bulk of the traffic. The second is a direct link to details of the specific flow that triggered the alert – saving time by providing a quick way to jump to the NTA interface for further investigation.

    Summary

    SolarWinds’ NetFlow Traffic Analyzer is a must-have tool for any administrator who receives complaints that the network is slow – but can’t find the reason why. It provides deep insight into exactly what kind of traffic is flowing across the network, including details on what applications are being accessed and which devices are generating all of the traffic.

    NTA is designed to be integrated with the SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, which is their complete network monitoring system. NTA is available as an add-on module to Network Performance Monitor, and pricing starts at $1795 (USD) for 100 devices.

    Unfortunately, that also brings up the only complaint with NTA – it’s not available as a standalone product, it must be purchased along with, and integrated into the full Network Performance Monitor product. There’s good reason for this – it provides a high level of detail, full SNMP management of devices, etc, but unfortunately doesn’t provide a good stand-alone option for businesses that may already have a full network management suite, and just want to add NetFlow analysis.

    Other than that minor complaint, it’s a thoughtfully designed piece of software with a comprehensive UI providing a variety of ways to find the information you need.

    If you need better insights into your network performance, then we recommend trying out a 30-day free trial of NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, or try out the online Live Demo environment to test out its abilities. Our bet? You’ll be surprised at what users are really doing with your bandwidth.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    PeerSpot user
    Field Systems Engineer Level 2 at a tech consulting company
    Consultant
    Review of Network Traffic Analyzer

    Disclaimer: I work for a company that has a partnership with Solarwinds and provides services for Solarwinds products.

    I have had nothing but good things to say about the Solar winds products. I have the pleasure to use NPM, IPSLA, NTA, and Engineers Tool Kit. We have a large network that without NPM would be hard to monitor and find problems. NTA allows us to keep good tabs on what people and systems are doing on our networks. It is nice to know who is playing World of War craft as an example or which server is pegging an interface. IPSLA has giving us the global view of how our network can handle real-time data. We have been able to vastly improve how implement routing and QOS in order to provide better throughput that result in a higher SLA compliance.

    Network Traffic Analyzer
    • Quick View of Bandwidth hogs
    • Easy to read Per Interface throughput views
    • Customizable protocol monitoring for consumption breakdown

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: November 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.