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SolarWinds NPM Room for Improvement

Manager of Operations - Enterprise at a university with 10,001+ employees

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.  

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

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

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

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Senior Network Engineer at Element Critical

The idea that you can automatically trigger alerts from the TRAPS received is still something that still hasn't really taken off or worked properly. We have to manually go into the database and create SQL queries or SQL queries, to be able to match those and trigger those as alerts. On the engine itself, the Orion platform, just being able to receive the TRAP and generate the alert or something like an alert is a manual process.

We have all of these other networks that rely heavily on their own vendor protocol for monitoring, and then what the vendor has in place is just a place to be able to northbound, whatever it received to another server. 

It becomes tricky when you're trying to, for example, dry contact monitoring for power, etc. Those are not necessarily your network, they're using dry contacts. Just analog. The vendor needs to get all the information, and then put it into a format that actually works to be able to be received by other networks.

Basically, it's just important to have some sort of TRAP alert generation. There's no point of us trying to do queries into the database.

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Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
565,689 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Systems and Data Warehouse Supervisor at MMSD

This is a complex product to set up and I think it's really too detailed and could be simplified. It's a change from their older product which was very easy to set up and manage. The new one is more difficult because it's far more detailed. The solution does everything we ask of it, but it takes a long time to deploy.

Additional features and improvements would be to simplify initial data gathering so that we can deploy easily and then refine it over time. Ideally, we'd like to be able to get something up and running in a week and then go through and decide, for example, to monitor things on one particular server and not necessarily on others. They could possibly create a generic installation and then let us go back and refine it. We spend a lot of time without having all of our equipment monitored because it takes so long to initially set up each server. 

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Technical Support Specialist at a consultancy with 11-50 employees

I can say that SolarWinds is good on the market, but it's also expensive. The price is an issue.

It would be nice to have the device tracking software as part of the Network Monitoring suite. If you go with Spiceworks, which a free shareware product, they will give you all of that type of information. They will tell you that this is all of the features you have and this is what is up and what is down, and they will tell you if the device is a laptop or if this computer is plugged into this port, which is handy. SolarWinds has that tool, but it's an additional license.

Sometimes there are issues when upgrading to a new version of the product.

The market is always changing, but one thing that would add value would be analytics. Many put that into a SIEM-type solution, but from a network point of view, if I had analytics on my network to expand with then it would be helpful. I would say normally this port does this much traffic and over the last six months it's doing that much traffic, and then all of a sudden, today, it's doing an amount that isn't normal. It means that something is wrong in your environment and you can start an investigation.

When you are dealing with a large network, there is a lot of information coming through. If you had a system that did some sort of analysis and collating of information into smaller blocks, you could quickly look at a dashboard and say these are ten points I need to go and look at because these are things that are not 100% correct in the environment.

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Senior Vice President and CIO at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

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. 

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Digital Innovation at Bobcat Company

I expected more from the solution. I thought it would be just like the Orion Platform. On Orion, for example, you can spot all the different widgets and everything from the dashboard. This solution is less simple. There are charts and lines and numbers. It might be helpful if the solution offered some more extensions, like a log that could add up your display on the dashboard.

I have mixed feelings about the solution. I started off thinking that this would be a replacement to all of our other dashboards, like Cloudworx. However, it didn't show me that promise. I wouldn't want to replace the other dashboards that we started with because it wouldn't generate reporting. It would be helpful if it would help visualize information better.

There needs to be more integration of widgets, especially for reporting purposes.

The solution would benefit enormously from more automation, especially around reporting.

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Senior Executive IT Program Manager at a computer software company with 201-500 employees

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.

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Implementation & Support Specialist at 360Factors

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.

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Enterprise Solutions & Services Head at Duroob Technologies

One of the problems that SolarWinds has is when the data becomes too big, it will start getting slower. 

It's not at all for enterprise customers. I don't recommend enterprises to go for SolarWinds. They should go for a bigger tool.

They have had a rather large security breach in the past. It's cost some companies customers. 

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Vice President Of Global Operations at a computer software company with 51-200 employees

The downside was the expense. At large, large companies, that's okay. However, at companies like mine where we're building a tech startup, it can be cost-prohibitive.

They've had some issues with security, and confidence in their product is probably down.

Technical support can be slow to respond.

I would like to see more of a focus on edge computing and edge device monitoring.

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Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

We have replaced SolarWinds with LogicMonitor. 

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Technical Specialist, consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

I think the graphical environment, the GUI still has to be improved. Other tools like Power BI provide a more graphical dashboard for executives to show what's going on with operations. SolarWinds has the data but the representation needs to be enhanced for an executive view. It requires a large amount of customization to get to a point where you are able to have something concrete for the upper management team.

For additional features, I'd like to see something more in automations, the graphical interface, and some dynamic dashboards or at least the ability for integration with some dashboard tools. 

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Data Center Engineer at a retailer with 5,001-10,000 employees

My team has had a lot of issues with support.

The solution should offering monitoring for the database and for the TC (traffic controller).

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Assistant Director of Information Technology at TOWN OF CULPEPER

The interface can be a bit cumbersome at times. There is a steep learning curve if you wanted to get into it in any depth. 

I would say that both the installation and use of it can be complicated initially. It isn't for someone who doesn't have a lot of expertise or knowledge.  It does have a significant learning curve.

After the initial installation, the configuration is where more knowledge is required.

The reporting could be improved. 

I would like to see some enhancement on the reporting side, such as making it easier to create reports or have a larger assortment of canned reports.

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Systems Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

The solution could improve in many areas, such as the marketing and description of the products, providing areas of improvement, cloud capabilities, and being able to be more streamlined with the current integration points with other applications.

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Instrumentation Superintendent Systems at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees

There are still huge concerns about security. The image of Solarwinds NPM took a huge knock due to SUNBURST and SUPERNOVA. Security experts are still concerned. I would suggest that Solarwinds put more effort into rebuilding trust with the customers and the market.

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System Engineer - Infrastructure Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The integration needs to be improved. SolarWinds has many modules for things like application monitoring and network performance monitoring, but sometimes they are not as good as others that are being used. This means that we use other tools and eventually, we want to integrate them into SolarWinds. It might also be the case that we have other tools, like Splunk and Windows Event Collector, and we want to integrate them but can't.

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Managing Director at a consultancy with 51-200 employees

An area of the solution that needs improvement is the multitenancy. I'd like to see more features that deal with multitenancy in the next release.

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Senior Systems Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees

It has covered everything, so no improvement is required at their end. The only thing is the price. 

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Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The interface could be made more user-friendly. There are lots of features but using them is a little bit difficult. For somebody doing network monitoring for the first time, it is quite difficult to use. For example, they could add better dashboards.

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Server and Network Monitoring Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees

This product could improve by adding cloud monitoring. I want SolarWinds NPM to do much more integration, and have more involvement in cloud monitoring, like AWS or Google, or Azure. I feel like it requires lots of improvement for cloud monitoring in NPM.

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Senior Solutions Specialist (Network & Security) at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees

SolarWinds needs to be improved such that it is on par with the leading products in the market. There are better products available, albeit more expensive.

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Accounts Officer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

I would like to have a Syslog server module for this product. That would make the solution better.

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IT Security Architecture & Implementation Manager at Banque Saudi Fransi

Having more technical and support resources available in Saudi Arabia would be helpful.

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Business Consultant. at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

It would be nice if SolarWinds added some technical protocols like Modbus. The market needs a simple solution for monitoring a technical device.

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Optical Network Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees

With regards to suggested areas of improvement for the product, I would like to see the price come down, and in addition I think the network element mapping tool is not as robust as it should be. 

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Vice President, SaaS Operations at a computer software company with 201-500 employees

If they did some type of synthetic monitoring, it would have been better.

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

The solution could be more secure.

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Managed Services Engineer at a computer software company with 51-200 employees

It would be good to have high security. This is a concern after the attacks. 

They also need to focus more on the application side.

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IM Infrastructure Specialist at Anglo American

The root cause analysis and installation faults are not clear.

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librarian at a educational organization with 10,001+ employees

An area for improvement would be the use of modular licenses, which are not practical for big clients.

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Help Desk Technician at NERIC BOCES

It is difficult for stakeholders to translate technical requirements, which results in difficulties selecting a platform or implementing a solution.

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Learn what your peers think about SolarWinds NPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
565,689 professionals have used our research since 2012.