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SolarWinds NPM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SolarWinds NPM is #3 ranked solution in best Network Monitoring Tools, Infrastructure Monitoring tools, and top Cloud Monitoring Software. PeerSpot users give SolarWinds NPM an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. SolarWinds NPM is most commonly compared to Zabbix: SolarWinds NPM vs Zabbix. SolarWinds NPM is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 23% of all views.
SolarWinds NPM Buyer's Guide

Download the SolarWinds NPM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is SolarWinds NPM?

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

SolarWinds NPM Features

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

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

SolarWinds NPM Benefits

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

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

Reviews from Real Users

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

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

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

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

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


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

SolarWinds NPM was previously known as Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer.

SolarWinds NPM Customers

Microsoft, Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, and MasterCard

SolarWinds NPM Video

SolarWinds NPM Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SolarWinds NPM pricing:
  • "The standard licensing fees are what we're paying. It's about $20,000 a year for all our licensing."
  • "We pay for SolarWinds NPM yearly. We buy it and then we renew it, but it's not subscription-based. I don't remember the value exactly, because it's my manager who manages pricing, but we pay $60,000 per year for all the solutions. Pricing will also depend on the number of devices. We have a lot of devices."
  • "The licensing is based on the number of nodes, interfaces, and volumes."
  • SolarWinds NPM Reviews

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    Manager of Operations - Enterprise at a university with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Make monitoring key performance factors in your enterprise customized and effective
    Pros and Cons
    • "The product covers our needs for the basic care and feeding of servers, whether they are physical or virtual."
    • "Technical support and releases are not particularly reliable."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our installation is on-premises on a virtual machine. When we purchased NPM I was particularly interested in the features of Orion. We were going through a maturation process propagating the monitoring of applications throughout the server policy here at the university. It was more to monitor various applications that are primarily used for individual schools. For example, we have the school public health, and we have the school of nursing and they have different needs. You have all these applications like Banner and Canvas and other web-based applications that get used by particular areas. We are working with one application now for COVID-19. There is an application that has been spawned from that, but mostly our monitoring is for up/downtime, space, memory, availability, and those types of things critical for performance analysis. We are just now getting more into monitoring databases and a broader scope of applications as well.  

    What I am mostly referring to is not the whole Network Performance Monitor suite. This is the actual operations monitoring piece of it. We have the network and we are responsible for set up and monitoring of those particular tools.  

    What is most valuable?

    We identified the five areas that we wanted to have be our key performers, like memory utilization, CPU utilization, and those core components. Just the basic care and feeding of servers, whether they were physical or virtual.  

    What needs improvement?

    We were looking at using DPA (Database Performance Analyzer) which is another component of the NPM and that looks like it takes care of an area we had not really dove into yet. But in talking to the DBA, they like another product that they want to use for the database monitoring. It is an Oracle product called OEM (Oracle Enterprise Manager).  

    In talking to the DBA's, there was a lot of functionality that they were just used to and they had issues because they did not see some things that they thought were important but missing in the DPA product. That is the only thing I have run into so far with the product that seems to be a shortfall. Everything else is pretty good.  

    I do not really have other suggestions for additional features beyond working on the development of DPA to make it a more complete tool. We are still learning the product.  

    There may be some things that they could improve in the reporting aspect of the product. You can create custom reports and those types of things. But the product seems to be missing some depth in that area and it leaves a little bit to be desired. For example, the filtering system and formatting reports and things like that seem to have room for improvement. You are a little limited on the information available on that front and the utility could be improved.  

    They do have some templates that you can use for report setup. It would be nice if you could maybe make your own. That might make it a little bit more easy to generate other reports that follow the way you like to do things.  

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We purchased SolarWinds NPM (Network Performance Monitor) about three years ago.  

    Buyer's Guide
    SolarWinds NPM
    July 2022
    Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
    622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SolarWinds is a pretty good, stable product, but we have had some issues with support. That is especially true of the last release we upgraded to. There were some SQL issues that we were looking for them to help us out with and, finally, it took so long that someone on our internal SQL team had figured out what the problem was. So, I would say that the upgrades to the product itself from what we went through can be somewhat of a pain point and maybe there needs to be more rigorous testing.  

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Typically, I don't think scalability is an issue. If you are talking about individual users, we have anywhere from 20 to 25 people across the typology. Probably one of the biggest users is a resource/research support group where they have various servers on the Orion Monitoring System. They actually take on their own responsibility and monitoring role for their servers. So, there are some groups that adopted monitoring through Orion, and then there are some other groups that have quite a bit more of a blasé approach to it and do not really think it is important.  

    How are customer service and support?

    We have not had a lot of opportunities to use technical support. When we did I was not particularly impressed with their response time or expertise.  

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup with Orion was somewhat complex. They do have templates in there that you can utilize, but most of those you are going to have to customize anyways. We found that it was easier just to go ahead and do our own.  

    The way that I found it to be complex was that we had to do a lot of our own scripting to collect the data that we needed. Once you have got a template set up, you can pretty much populate that information to the Orion database, but I mean there is some pain to get started off. Overall we got involved in a year-long project where we were meeting on a weekly basis discussing all the issues. I think it took us a little over a year-and-a-half to actually declare success on the project.  

    Only after that declaration of success were we able to get on to monitoring and dissemination of information to various users and get started with the monitoring. But our monitoring is a lot better than what it used to be. We were using Homegrown, Nagios, and Check_MK. People were not paying attention to alerts. I think the way we handle it now has really helped users mature in that way. We have still got a lot more work to do though.  

    We started out with an implementation strategy, but there were some challenges when our directions got changed on us by senior leadership. We would have a plan and a direction and head down a path to implement those particular types of solutions. We would set up the alerting and monitoring and then three months later somebody would come up from an executive level and say, "Hey, we need to monitor this as well." So, we would have to make some changes just like any project. We had to learn to be flexible with it to meet people's needs, but having clearer goals from the outset would have made it easier and quicker in the long run.  

    What about the implementation team?

    We did just about all the work on the implementation on our own with an internal team. Right now, I have got one person that is in charge of the actual product itself. They take care of all the changes, releases, upgrades, deployments, the agents, and those types of things. I have another individual who is responsible for creating tickets and disseminating the information to the owners of the server monitoring in various groups to get their alerts fixed. It does require attention but it does not take a large group for maintenance requirements.  

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

    I do not handle the negotiations on pricing, so that is outside my realm of influence. I know that our initial purchase was about $200,000.  

    What other advice do I have?

    One of the things I would suggest to people considering this product and products like it is having a clear agreement upon targets of what you really want to monitor. If it is applications or servers or whatever it is, it just makes sense to come at your choices with a plan. Implement that on the front end by picking out what is important instead of coming back on the back end and trying to do things after-the-fact.  

    On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this solution as about 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 Infrastructure Analyst at Textron Systems Corporation
    Real User
    Simple to set up with good visualizations and helpful support
    Pros and Cons
    • "The stability is fantastic."
    • "There should be a little bit more integration in some of the other tooling and utilizing the APIs of devices or tools could be a little bit better."

    What is our primary use case?

    We've been using SolarWinds for our network monitoring. It's basic advanced network monitoring, up-down of Rogers switches, as well as metrics, latency, wireless metrics, where users are, errors on interfaces, route cables, and things of that nature. We're just pulling as much data from our network devices as possible to present that in an easy pane of glass.

    What is most valuable?

    I find the NetPath to be very valuable. It visualizes that traceroute that you can share with anyone in the business. For example, when they say, "Hey, what's going on? The network's slow because my application or my server's having issues" you can show them this nice graph that visualizes where there may be congestion or if there isn't any congestion at all.

    Its initial setup is simple. 

    What needs improvement?

    So far, it's been pretty good, however, due to the whole solar flare thing that happened two years ago, a lot of cybersecurity and leadership's kind of looking to replace it with something else. We're currently just trying to find other info or anybody else who's comparable in terms of other network monitoring solutions.

    Wireless monitoring needs improvement. We need to get a little bit more information from the thin clients or wireless LAN controllers than we already do. It's very minimal at this point and getting more information would be pretty vital.

    There should be a little bit more integration in some of the other tooling and utilizing the APIs of devices or tools could be a little bit better. It would help to present information - rather than trying to get the highest level of administrative access to present minimal information. There are a lot of aspects where they give you base information, however, for other necessary gleams of information, you may need to have high-low. For instance, for Linux servers, you need to have pseudo access to get the necessary information to monitor and that's kind of a hassle.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using the solution for about three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is fantastic. We haven't personally had any issues other than a few gripes about the lack of information. However, as far as it being stable, for me, it's been pretty solid.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's possible to scale, however, it comes at a cost. You have to go through them and there's a whole nother license piece that costs a large lump sum to grow your polers to start importing more if your initial server is getting towards a limit. It's scalable, with the caveat of it's going to cost you.

    We have about ten to 20 users. It's a mix of network analysts, CIS admins, storage administrators, and application administrators.

    We do not plan to increase usage at the moment, mainly as we're pretty much utilizing it as much as we need to, however, it is pretty much monitoring our entire environment or maybe couple hundred switches, some routers, couple hundred servers, and applications and things like that. We pretty much monitor our whole environment and our environment's not really growing anymore. We're pretty good right now.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is pretty good. In the few cases we have reached out for any support, they've been pretty responsive. Also, their online resources and knowledge bases are very extensive as well.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We actually didn't use anything before this product.

    How was the initial setup?

    The implementation process is pretty straightforward. They give you an MSI and once you have your servers and databases set up, it's just a couple of clicks and it's set up.

    For overall importing of everything may have taken a couple of weeks to have things up and running due to how our organization is structured and how we can gather information to pull into SolarWinds and our implementation strategy. For example,  who set up servers and applications. We start getting with the appropriate aims to get whatever monitor or whatever polling method we need, whether it was S and NP strings or accounts for any server monitoring with administrative access or whatnot. Then we look at the network and do those automatic scans from there. Once we start pulling in that information, we start actually organizing all the nodes in there to properly alert and monitor. It takes maybe a month or so to get it to a baseline.

    For deployment and maintenance, honestly, it's just me by myself doing it. It would be easier with a few more people.

    What about the implementation team?

    The setup was done in-house. We did not use any third party, like an integrator, reseller, or consultant.

    What was our ROI?

    As far as assisting in being proactive in our network, it's been a great help in helping us maintain a healthy environment and being proactive and making sure things are up to date and upgraded.

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

    The standard licensing fees are what we're paying. It's about $20,000 a year for all our licensing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There weren't any other options were evaluated. We saw SolarWinds and noted our other sister companies use that. We just went with it to be standardized within our entire conglomerate.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a customer and end-user.

    I would definitely advise others to do their homework. There are a lot of different modules you can buy with different licensing. You need to understand what you're looking to monitor, and what you're trying to present to your business, and then do the homework on the solution itself and see how that fits your needs before just going and buying it or even talking to a sales representative.

    I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's pretty good at its job. I haven't really delved into too many other things. I've tried to look at other tools recently and in my opinion, solutions like Nagios or Zabbix aren't the best. I haven't really looked into other things like Datadog or LogicMonitor yet, however, I'd say this solution is kind of a leader in the pack for what it's doing. Still, there's definitely room for improvement.

    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.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    SolarWinds NPM
    July 2022
    Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
    622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Senior Technical Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Good customization, helpful features, and great reliability
    Pros and Cons
    • "There are a lot of options for customization of the dashboard, alerts, and reports."
    • "If they could combine everything into one product, that would be very helpful."

    How has it helped my organization?

    If there's a connectivity issue, the packets have dropped, or the traffic is going through any of the routers, you can see where that is just stuck.

    The individual’s bandwidth we do not know. For monitoring purposes, we can find the exact amounts through this NPM, Network Performance Monitor, and Network Traffic Analyzer. We can see who is using how much bandwidth and where the traffic is stuck. It provides visibility to show what the issue is in our network.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is very good. Previously, in the solution, there was no more option for customizing the reports and the alerts. However, they’ve improved. Now, in the last two years, since 2021, they have had a new release, a new version, and there are a lot of options for customization of the dashboard, alerts, and reports. 

    Over the last couple of years, they have introduced features like NetPath and PerfStack. That is very helpful for any of the admins to troubleshoot issues to know precisely what is going on in nodes.

    What needs improvement?

    If we go for the NT license, then we have to purchase the NPM, Network Performance Monitor. That is a dependency. In all of the SolarWinds products now, there are only these products. For example, Net Traffic Analyzer is a product. If we go for the licensing, then we have to purchase a Network Performance Monitor. There's dependency there. If they could combine everything into one product, that would be very helpful.

    The NT is the enhanced version of the NPM. They have not put a license on the different monitors of the NT. However, they have to include in the same manner in the NPM itself.

    For NetPath services, right now, we have to manually install the events in the nodes. If there was something from the console side, we could post the event to the nodes. If there was automation, that would be helpful. Already there's automation for other types of things or in other features, like for communication of the nodes. However, for the NetPath feature, if we could automatically move the event from the console side to the application side, that would be a great feature.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I’ve been using the solution for the last five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It’s stable.

    In 2020, as most people know, there was an attack on SolarWinds. At that time, there was a problem. However, in 2021, everything was good. If it wasn’t, we would have been looking for another solution. Everything has been stabilized.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We are using one in five total devices connected to that SolarWinds. We are using an AP, Additional Polling engine that will scale the solution. Scalability is there.

    Only the licensing part is different. We have to purchase more licenses on that part. Currently, we are monitoring 12,000 nodes. If we want to go to the 13,000 nodes, then we have to purchase one additional license, the Additional Polling license.

    We have about 50 people using the solution. They are system admins. In the North, the solution is used vastly. In the South, the solution is used by the different departments. I'm not part of the South. I'm part of the North.

    We do have plans to increase usage.

    How are customer service and support?

    For L2 or L1 problems, we are giving the support. For the L3 level, if the issue is beyond our reach, then we contact the support team from Solarwinds.

    We have an online number. We have to call that number, and we’ll get support. They will support you, for example, if the system is down. Otherwise, you can open a support ticket, and they will help.

    Overall, the support is good.

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

    Now we are using Tripwire also for some of our customers. It is also good.

    I am not using any other products. However, there are some solutions that are free tools.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. We have to just go to NetPath and just connect to the database. Once the connection is established to the database, then we will be up on both devices. There are a lot of options for onboarding the devices. It is easy. Anyone can do it.

    There's an admin guide. There's a very helpful guide that SolarWinds has provided on their customer portal. There are training options too. You are well prepared.

    The deployment took two to three hours to install the product and five to six hours for the entire deployment. It’s pretty fast if you have a good strategy.

    While one person is enough to deploy or manage the solution, it would depend on how many devices you are dealing with.

    If you are going to monitor 2,000 devices, one person is enough. If you're going to monitor a large number of devices, you might need two managers for all devices.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are the third-party vendor for the bank. We deploy the solution, and we support them. We provide professional services as well.

    What was our ROI?

    The basic ROI is the fact that the client is happy, and that’s all that matters.

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

    I’m only a technical person. I don’t have access to the pricing.

    Extra costs come under support and maintenance. Obviously, we always consider support and maintenance under the same licensing cost. They'll only provide one year of support and maintenance.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We had to go for the SolarWinds. We are not able to work with any other solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    Once the solution is implemented, we'll populate whatever the dashboard is. However, some of the things will not populate. There is a need for services there. We can use the NetPath services feature. We can export that feature to the dashboard. However, it will be easy for any of the system admin to troubleshoot the issue.

    I’d rate the solution ten 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.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Angela Bustamante - PeerSpot reviewer
    Monitoring and Process Analyst at Seguros SURA
    Real User
    User-friendly and strong tool that monitors devices, routers, and switches, with good technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like that SolarWinds NPM is a strong tool for monitoring network devices, switches, and routers. It's also a user-friendly tool. My team also likes how scalable it is."
    • "We also had to be attentive to vulnerabilities, because SolarWinds NPM have some issues in that area. We had to work with our security team, so that they could help us check and backup the data, and check what they needed to secure."

    What is our primary use case?

    SolarWinds NPM is a good tool. It's a strong monitoring tool that we use to monitor our network devices, routers, and switches.

    What is most valuable?

    I like that SolarWinds NPM is a strong tool for monitoring network devices, switches, and routers. It's also a user-friendly tool. My team also likes how scalable it is.

    What needs improvement?

    There are some areas for improvement in SolarWinds NPM. One is that their dashboard needs to be friendlier. We want them to take their dashboard to another level. For example: with our databases, we develop services and we want to put those on the dashboard, while making them more visual. This would be good to improve in the tool.

    The integration of SolarWinds NPM with other tools is also another area for improvement. For example, we'd like to have the ability to manage the unit with other tools, because we need to have better control to manage the alerts. How can you load that capacity with only that kind of information?

    We also had to be attentive to vulnerabilities, because SolarWinds NPM have some issues in that area. We had to work with our security team, so that they could help us check and backup the data, and check what they needed to secure. You have to do a test, find what needs to be improved, then make the corrections on SolarWinds NPM. You have to be very attentive when using the tool, but it's an area to improve not just in SolarWinds NPM, but for any tool.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using SolarWinds NPM for a year and a half.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SolarWinds NPM is a stable tool.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SolarWinds NPM is a scalable tool. My team likes working with it because they really like its scalability.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support for SolarWinds NPM is very good. I'm rating their support five out of five.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup for SolarWinds NPM was easy. I didn't do the configuration, but I watched our installer very closely, and he installed the tool quickly. For example: if you have a new module or a new product, you can do the installation very quickly.

    What about the implementation team?

    The deployment of SolarWinds NPM was done in-house.

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

    We pay for SolarWinds NPM yearly. We buy it and then we renew it, but it's not subscription-based. I don't remember the value exactly, because it's my manager who manages pricing, but we pay $60,000 per year for all the solutions. Pricing will also depend on the number of devices. We have a lot of devices.

    What other advice do I have?

    We have the SolarWinds NTA (NetFlow Traffic Analyzer), and we also use another solution from SolarWinds: the SolarWinds SAM to monitor some on-premise servers. It also monitors the GPU, memory, the availability status and processes. We are now monitoring databases, particularly Oracle databases, to check their status and also check internal information. We detect all this information and equip our system so that it has the information, and we're doing it manually because that doesn't happen automatically with SolarWinds.

    We have 30 people who use SolarWinds NPM and they're part of the operations, network, and infrastructure teams that do the diagnostics when something is wrong. We also have team leaders and some managers that watch the data in real time, plus the configuration and monitoring teams. We have 2 engineers responsible for the deployment and maintenance of the tool.

    As for plans of increasing our usage of SolarWinds NPM, we've bought more modules recently, and we keep using the tool to monitor our network and infrastructure, together with other tools. For example: we have some very practical tools that our monitoring team uses to make diagnostic alerts such as McAfee. At the moment, our main tool is SolarWinds NPM, and we keep using it, especially for monitoring cloud devices. This is very important to our organization because we've migrated to the cloud. If you're doing cloud migration, you have to picture how you can monitor devices on the cloud.

    I would recommend SolarWinds APM to others looking into using it. We're using a lot of it. We also have the SolarWinds SAM, and I would recommend it for monitoring databases and servers, and you have to do a little development, but it's manageable. I would also recommend SolarWinds NPM because from experience, it's able to do its job.

    My rating for SolarWinds NPM is 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.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Network Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Easy to set up, integrates really well with the Cisco platform, and has helpful support
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is scalable."
    • "The only real caveat that we have or that I have an issue with is when I go on vacation, it's a little hard for me to go and modify alerts so that I don't get alerted about things when I'm on vacation."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use SolarWinds as a monitoring platform.

    It monitors all of our network gears for up-down status, for the most part. We can also see utilization being high at a given location.

    What is most valuable?

    The alerting has been the biggest aspect we appreciate. In regards to utilization, it can be proactive in regards to addressing situations before some cases arise before the users even see them.

    The initial setup is simple.

    It integrates really well with the Cisco platform. We are a Cisco shop. I don't know how well it's going to integrate with us moving to Aruba or going with other vendor hardware, how well it's going to integrate, I guess we'll find out.

    It is scalable.

    Technical support is helpful.

    The stability is good. 

    What needs improvement?

    The only real caveat that we have or that I have an issue with is when I go on vacation, it's a little hard for me to go and modify alerts so that I don't get alerted about things when I'm on vacation. There's not a way to turn me off from alerts easily.

    There really hasn't been anything that we've needed that it hasn't been able to provide. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for at least 17 years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable. there are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've got about nine different Sys admins that use it on a day-to-day basis, at different locations, to check on different things.

    How are customer service and support?

    Contact support was great. They're very knowledgeable. They knew what we needed, once we explained our problem. In some cases, they helped us figure out a different solution than what we were looking at. They knew the product pretty well for everybody that we've dealt with.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We didn't use a different solution. That's what was here when I started 17 years ago and that's what we've stayed with.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was pretty straightforward. We just went through a complete redeployment part of upgrading to the latest and greatest as we upgraded servers and databases and the whole nine yards. We just simply did a fresh install. It was pretty easy.

    It probably took us about a couple of days. We had to go back in and once we re-added the location, we had to go back and tweak what we wanted to monitor, and that kind of stuff. We didn't simply just do a migration. It was a little bit of doing the network re-discovery and then going in and tweaking the individual locations. 

    The one thing we did migrate over was the alerts. We didn't have to recreate alerts from scratch, however, it took us a while. We've got 400-plus devices that we monitor. It took a little while to get all of the devices back in the way they originally were.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did everything in-house. We did not use consultants or integrators. 

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

    I don't know anything about pricing. It's not an aspect I deal with.

    What other advice do I have?

    We deal directly with Solarwinds. 

    We have been keeping the solution updated. 

    I would recommend the solution. A lot of our colleagues use it and we like the way it works. I'd rate it ten out of ten. 

    I'd advise potential new users to give it a good rundown and see if it really fits what they need. Don't just try it with one or two things. Do the 30-day evaluation. I have folks that have used it and try to find some way to break it really. Load it up the way that you want to run it and actually take time to dig down into it. So far, there hasn't been anything that it hasn't been able to do for us. However, it's designed for that Cisco environment and that's what we've always been. I can't really talk about it outside of the box.

    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.
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    PeerSpot user
    Senior Vice President and CIO at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Lets us track down brownouts in a multi-host, multi-guest virtual environment
    Pros and Cons
    • "As we look to add more servers to our virtual environment and to understand the impact, the solution allows us to dig into the historical charts related to capacity planning."
    • "The solution's network discovery and node addition processes need more work."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have been making use of the most recent version.

    We use it for monitoring our uplink ports on our routers and switches. We also use it to monitor our servers and we utilize its disc space and processor memory. We do the same thing for the routers and switches.

    How has it helped my organization?

    An improvement the solution has brought to our organization is that it enables us to track down what I call brown outs in a multi-host, multi-guest virtual environment. It allows us to see why and when this occurred and to know what else was transpiring at the time that we had received an end-user complaint of the system running slowly. 

    What is most valuable?

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

    What needs improvement?

    The solution should make things easier to set up on a node by node basis. When turning on the network scanning to try to set up nodes, it has a tendency to grab everything in site, every port on a firewall, for example. One should have the option of picking through these before they're automatically added, so that there should be no need to go through them manually and delete them. The solution's network discovery and node addition processes need more work. Once the nodes have been added, there is a need to go in and delete them manually. 

    I cannot think of additional improvements that are worth mentioning. The solution does a pretty good job all around. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using some version of SolarWinds for 20 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is very stable. We don't see many outages of the actual platform. The sole exception would concern us taking a process in which we would be restarting it on a monthly basis. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is very scalable. I've never seen a problem with this.

    I don't have any plans to increase the usage in the future. I would not say that the solution is being extensively used, as we're not necessarily monitoring everything that we could, there being no need for some of this in our environment. I would make use of the performance monitor should I wish to dive deeper into a running system for detailed analysis.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    As I have been using the solution for so long, I have not had any need for technical support. 

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

    I have used other products prior to SolarWinds NPM. I switched because the solution provides a consolidated view of everything. 

    How was the initial setup?

    A moderate level of knowledge of the product's use is required for installation. 

    The initial installation occurred a long time ago. While, for me, this process would not take long, somebody who is new and who has never used the solution may take a day or two to do installation and to become fully up to speed of what is being added, the reason for doing so and how the solution should be configured. 

    Installation is not easy for a person who lacks the requisite experience. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I did the integration myself. 

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

    I renewed the licenses around two-and-a-half to three years ago and do not have the relevant numbers off the top of my head. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would estimate there are three insfrastructure managers, with myself as the head of the IT department. There is at least one other technician working on the wide area, local area network.

    My advice to others is to add their nodes manually, not to let the network discovery and auto ad run.

    I rate SolarWinds NPM as 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 Executive IT Program Manager at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Reliable monitoring with good reporting and good technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "We don't have any issues with the stability of SolarWinds NPM."
    • "One of the challenges with SolarWinds is that in order to pull the data, we have to have a lot of false positives."

    What is our primary use case?

    My team uses SolarWinds to do some of the network monitoring. I look at the reports.

    What needs improvement?

    One of the challenges with SolarWinds is that in order to pull the data, we have to have a lot of false positives.

    False positives or positive falses are a concern because you want to be as accurate as possible and get them down to zero, which is what you want on your network. Once a week with the reports there, is always a false positive or vice versa where it's showing that it's up and really it's down.

    We are looking at how we can overcome that issue. Is it a work issue, or does it come from the tool itself? It will show that something is down when it's up and every once in a while if something is down it shows that it is still up.

    We would like to be able to pull information from the vendor's OEM. It would be helpful to have crosswalks or if it could have a running list that goes out of models, software, and it can pull out the end of life, or end of service life dates. Also to suggest the recommend current version to use, that way you can do the comparisons without having to do a manual search. That would be beneficial.

    Similar to other tools, I would also like to see a graphical map of your network that highlight in green, red, or yellow, and if you see a specific device you can click on it and it will help you drill down on the details of that device.

    There are other things that it should be able to do, such as when it comes to monitoring the infrastructure and my server, and there are issues developing like the circuits degrading or latency is increasing it should give you a notification to know what is going on, rather waiting for the device to go down which at that point it would be too late. You want to be able to do proactive monitoring and reaction.

    We want to get to a monitoring level where if it is monitoring the server, the CPU, or the storage level you could have presets where it will identify and give you warnings to say that you are at 70% or 80% storage capacity. This would allow you to get ahead of it before you run out. 

    It would be the same for the CPU utilization and knowing if it is running 20 or 30% premiums normally or is it running at 90 or 100% and you have to add CPUs.

    It could let you know if you have other tools or applications that are running too hot or if they need to be changing out that tool or is it something else.

    To have something in place where it can help us to do some analysis and be proactive would be helpful.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I don't use this solution, I oversee a team who uses it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We don't have any issues with the stability of SolarWinds NPM. 

    We had one problem, but it wasn't a stability issue, it was a hack that occurred earlier this year that affected everyone using SolarWinds. After that, it took a bit to get it stabilized to where it is now. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Our team that has worked with technical support hasn't had any complaints. It goes pretty well. 

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

    I am familiar with several tools.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    They will be putting NetScout on their network to look at some of the differences and to look at the pluses and minuses of each of the two tools.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate SolarWinds an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Fazal Azeem - PeerSpot reviewer
    Implementation & Support Specialist at 360Factors
    Real User
    Top 10
    Helpful support, good alerting and reporting facilitate troubleshooting of network problems
    Pros and Cons
    • "We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down."
    • "Fortigate firewalls are one example of a product that we are unable to monitor properly via SolarWinds NPM."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have been using this tool to monitor our multiple network devices, interfaces, physical and virtual memory, application servers, databases, and applications to keep a track of what is causing an issue that we are having.

    Either it is the network, or it is the application, or it is the database queries that are causing our users to experience slowdowns. Due to alerting mechanism, we get notified if anything is responding slowly or if anything goes down so that we can resolve the issue as quickly as possible and keep providing best services to our customers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We had been having some issues recently with network choking at a specific time, and we had been working on multiple things to identify the root cause. Using those methods, we were unable to trace it.

    We decided to install a tool that would show us where the issue is being produced, and we can monitor our internal and external network traffic. We are able to determine whether the issue is being caused at the ISP end or our internal network, and with the help of SolarWinds NPM, we were able to track down the root cause of the issue.

    What is most valuable?

    We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down.

    In the event an interface goes down, we have multiple reports that include availability monitoring, network uptime monitoring, and network downtime monitoring. These reports are on multiple schedules such as the end of the day, end of the last business day of the week, monthly, and quarterly. This gives us the ability to provide reports to our management and let them know the performance of our network.

    What needs improvement?

    Even though SolarWinds NPM provides monitoring for a vast number of vendors and products, they do not support all of them. They should keep in mind that due to ongoing threats and daily malware attacks, companies have deployed network security and hired security professionals who are doing penetration testing. Certain devices provide ongoing security features, which can keep our network secure.

    Fortigate firewalls are one example of a product that we are unable to monitor properly via SolarWinds NPM.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SolarWinds NPM for more than two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of SolarWinds NPM is very good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability-wise, it is very good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support from SolarWinds is the best.

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

    We previously used ManageEngineOpManager, but we switched because it did not have enough features.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We had to do some customizations, which was great to provide better visibility of our entire network.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented it through a vendor and their level of expertise made us choose this tool. They gave such a great demo that we didn't even have to consider other options.

    What was our ROI?

    We achieved ROI within six months.

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

    The licensing is based on the number of nodes, interfaces, and volumes.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were recommended SolarWinds by a friend so we tried it and purchased it. We did not evaluate other options.

    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
    Download our free SolarWinds NPM Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: July 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free SolarWinds NPM Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.