Buyer's Guide
Network Monitoring Software
January 2023
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Iain - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Technology at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Automatically backs up all configurations and is extremely intuitive, but its pricing is a very big barrier to adoption
Pros and Cons
  • "Auvik is phenomenal at network monitoring as well as for other functionalities such as remote access or backups. A really cool feature that it has is that it takes a backup of all of the configurations automatically. Auvik periodically, most probably on a daily basis, logs into all the switches and firewalls that you have on-site to see if there is a change, and when there is a change, it does a new backup of the device. It logs changes for you. If you start experiencing some issues, you can go back to those logs to say, "Oh, there is a change made last week, Thursday," and with Auvik, you can just roll back to that snapshot nicely and quickly."
  • "It is amazing in keeping device inventories up-to-date. It mostly keeps them up to date as things change. There were a couple of hiccups where a device would get replaced and the mapping would break, and we'd have to go in and fix the mapping. It was with devices that Auvik couldn't fully discover or devices that would change frequently, such as cell phones or other devices on the network that are dynamic and change all the time. The integration would just show up with an IP address and a MAC address. There was no other information in them, which wasn't very helpful. They were the devices that Auvik wasn't able to discover fully. If they had full SNMP or SSH credentials and Auvik knew what the device was and it was matched correctly in Auvik, then Auvik could push it through."

What is our primary use case?

We used it for network monitoring and network health. We had it deployed at all of our sites. We are an MSP, and we've got about 30 different managed clients. All of them had an Auvik collector at each site to monitor the network for changes or infrastructure health. We have an RMM solution for remote monitoring and management of our workstations and servers, but that tool doesn't monitor network infrastructure. 

How has it helped my organization?

Its monitoring and management functions are very easy to use. With some of the other solutions, their built-in database of OID markers isn't great, and you need to manage all of your own MIBs. With a lot of competitors, if a device isn't in its catalog, we need to go and add it to the catalog ourselves, which is a big challenge, whereas Auvik has a phenomenal database behind it, and it is generic, which is another benefit of Auvik. It's not vendor dependent. So, whether you're using Cisco switches, Ubiquiti switches, NetGear switches, TP-Link devices, Hyper-V or VMware, FortiGate firewalls, or Barracuda firewalls, Auvik typically supports them. It has very broad support.

Its integrations are exceptional. The multitenancy in it is also phenomenal. It's very easy to jump from one client to another while also keeping those clients separate. So, if you have someone who is only managing a couple of sites, that's all they can see. They can't see everything else, but someone with a little bit more access can see all of the sites. Being an MSP, we have a lot of different sites that we're accessing. When we have a co-managed environment, a tech for client A can go in and see all the information relating to client A, but they won't be able to see anything for client B.

The time that it has saved is almost impossible to measure. For example, we had a client, and their firewall had failed. We picked up a new firewall. We were going to go set it up, but the last backup that we had on the client's server was from a year and a half prior. It was well out of date, and it was missing a lot of the recent changes. With Auvik, we were able to go in and download the latest backup and restore it instantly. It has saved all those hours that we would have spent troubleshooting or finding missing rules, as well as the management time of having a tech periodically go in and do all of those backups. Because the whole system is automated, it's very hard to measure how much time we saved, but it is a lot of time.

It is the best in class for visualizing the network mapping/topology of the organizations we were monitoring. It is extremely intuitive. One of the big things is everything is all color-coded. So, whether a connection is layer one or layer three, it is very easily highlighted with a blue line versus a gray line. If it is wired versus wireless, there is a solid line versus a dotted line. All of the device types have their own category associated with them. So, if you're looking for a firewall, you just look for the red dot, and you can pick that up pretty easily. If you're looking for a switch, you look for the orange dot. Finding devices on it is very intuitive.

They also had a great feature of being able to collapse and group some of the devices. If you had ten security cameras connected to one switch, rather than having ten little black dots on it, it was able to group them into one item saying security cameras, and you can click on it and expand. It's something that I didn't think about that much when I was using the product because it seemed normal and intuitive. Moving away to a different product that doesn't have the same mapping level or the same features has made the switch a little bit more difficult. You can still get there at the end of the day where you can find the devices, but it is just not as easy.

It was absolutely helpful in reducing repetitive, low-priority tasks through automation. That goes back to things like backups. The fact that it would automatically go through and do the backups, and we didn't need to spend the time to go through and check that was phenomenal. The remote internet connection checks were very useful. ISPs can be very difficult to work with when you're trying to discuss service or packet loss or interruptions. Rather than telling the ISP " We're experiencing this issue," the reports coming out of Auvik gave us a great ability to go to the ISP and say, "Hey, here's some more data. We're dropping packets at such and such rate." Auvik gives you historical benchmarks and reports, and because we already have got the history of it, to troubleshoot, the ISP doesn't have to start gathering reports from that point.

If you have a client that has two locations and a data center, Auvik can group all of those collectors into one client, and you can have a larger view of all three locations and how they interact with each other in one overarching network map, whereas Domotz splits it into three separate locations. Domotz is great in the sense that you get one flat rate per site, but what it won't do is that it won't integrate those sites together. They would be three separate agents that need monitoring within Domotz.

The remote access feature was very useful. If a client's server was offline, we didn't need to VPN in or go to the site to turn on the servers. Auvik gave us the ability to turn on the server remotely without having to go anywhere. It saved us time on that side of things. Over the four years that we were working with it, on average, it has saved us about 150 hours.

Auvik has a phenomenal granular access model where you can even make your own custom role. If you have a co-op student and you want them to only have read access, that's easy to set up. If there is a more experienced person, but they're only allowed certain sites, it is very easy to restrict their access.

Auvik's SSO integration is one of the best I've ever seen. When we were first adopting SSO, Auvik was the first vendor we integrated it with because Auvik was able to get SSO set up where it's one per user or per tech. It's not a big bang migration, and you can have a trial with a couple of techs first, and if it works, roll it out to more.

We had integrated Auvik into ITGlue. When we're onboarding a new client, rather than having to manually add each device into ITGlue, after Auvik has scanned the network and picked up all the devices, we can import all the devices from there. From an accuracy standpoint, being able to import devices saved us from the manual entry and saved us from user errors, such as mistyping a map address or something else.

It definitely reduced the mean time to resolution. The spanning-tree notifications from it were helpful. We've had a couple of instances where a client found a cable that they thought was just loose, and they were being helpful by plugging it in somewhere, which created a loop on the switch. We got to know about it from Auvik. We knew which port it was plugged into and what the solution was to fix it instantly. It reduced our mean time to resolution to about a quarter of the time. We were able to fix things that would've taken an hour to resolve in 10-15 minutes.

What is most valuable?

Auvik is phenomenal for network monitoring as well as for other functionalities such as remote access or backups. A really cool feature that it has is that it takes a backup of all of the configurations automatically. Auvik periodically, most probably on a daily basis, logs into all the switches and firewalls that you have on-site to see if there is a change, and when there is a change, it does a new backup of the device. It logs changes for you. If you start experiencing some issues, you can go back to those logs to say, "Oh, there is a change made last week, Thursday," and with Auvik, you can just roll back to that snapshot nicely and quickly.

Its UI is really intuitive. It's really easy to get a hold of it. It's very easy for non-technical people to understand. One of our problems with some of the competitors is that they've got a fairly grayscale UI. It sounds very pedantic, but the color scheme of Auvik made identifying which devices were which and how they were connected to each other easy. It was a very useful feature that is underrated. 

Another feature that worked really well for us was the remote access tool. If we needed to log into one of the network devices, we didn't have to jump on a server, workstation, or local device, or connect through a VPN. Auvik was able to give us direct UI access to any device on the network.

What needs improvement?

It is amazing in keeping device inventories up-to-date. It mostly keeps them up to date as things change. There were a couple of hiccups where a device would get replaced and the mapping would break, and we'd have to go in and fix the mapping. It was with devices that Auvik couldn't fully discover or devices that would change frequently, such as cell phones or other devices on the network that are dynamic and change all the time. The integration would just show up with an IP address and a MAC address. There was no other information in them, which wasn't very helpful. They were the devices that Auvik wasn't able to discover fully. If they had full SNMP or SSH credentials and Auvik knew what the device was and it was matched correctly in Auvik, then Auvik could push it through.

It is not at all cheap. We migrated to Domotz because of its pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used it for about four years, and we just migrated away from it.

How are customer service and support?

It was probably one of the best ever. I went to school with three other guys. When we graduated, three of them went to work for Auvik support. Full props to the support team. They are phenomenal. I would rate them an eight out of ten. There's always room for improvement. I do wish that they had more open-source pfSense support. There were a couple of things that I was hoping would come out as features but they didn't.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We didn't have a solution in place. Auvik was our initial solution, but now, we have migrated away from it to Domotz because of pricing. What really triggered it for us was that our firewall of choice is pfSense, which is open source. Auvik, by default, would categorize pfSense as a Linux server, which is essentially what it is. We would then manually categorize it as a firewall. Firewalls are on the list of billable devices for Auvik. However, we weren't being billed for them because Auvik was originally categorizing them as Linux servers. When we were onboarding the product, we mentioned this to our account manager, and we told him that none of our firewalls are being categorized as billable devices. The account manager at the time said that it was a bank error in our favor, and because they were not able to categorize it properly, they were not going to bill us for those devices.

We then costed out our offering with it and had that set with all of our clients. Recently, Auvik was able to fix that bank error, which essentially doubled all of our prices. This makes for a very hard conversation to go to clients and say that we need to double our prices to them because our vendor has doubled our prices. That was a challenge. 

I'm okay if you're going to double our prices, but the support for pfSense, for which they weren't billing us before, is fairly limited. With most of the firewalls, if you have site-to-site VPNs, they show up on the network map as a site-to-site VPN or remote access VPN. Auvik will monitor the usage on those to say, "You have 10 remote access connections, and everything is okay, or you're up to 50 people connecting remotely, and you're starting to get degraded service." All of these additional firewall monitoring features weren't available on pfSense, which was fine because they weren't billing us for it. Now that they wanted to start billing us for these devices, I had asked them if we were going to get support for all of these additional features. They said no because they are not looking to expand their pfSense development. That was frustrating. So, it basically came down to whether we double our costs and pass that onto all of our clients, or whether we look for an alternative, such as Domotz, that doesn't have as many features and is not as pretty in a sense, but it halves our cost. So, we ended up halving our costs instead of doubling them.

As part of onboarding, we got talking with some of the Domotz dev team, and all of the features that were missing have been added as feature requests. We're working with their engineering team to implement some of the features that are not quite there yet.

How was the initial setup?

It was significantly easier than onboarding Domotz. Virtually, every alert or trigger that we could have wanted was built in by default. We didn't have to set up custom alerts, custom triggers, or their base alerting standards. In fact, if anything, it was too much. We had to turn off some of the alerts that were misfiring or not a hundred percent accurate, but there was nothing that we wanted that we couldn't get out of the box.

Its setup was easier. Everything was a lot easier. Even onboarding of new devices was easier. Auvik would identify them a lot easier. Our current solution is a lot more finicky and has more manual elements to it. It's definitely something that Auvik was better at.

What was our ROI?

Its time-to-value is instant. Before we even onboarded the product, we could see the value in it just from the demo.

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

Auvik is definitely one of the more expensive platforms. It is not cheap at all. If cost is an issue, Auvik isn't on the table at all, but they do have a fantastic solution for the cost. If budget isn't a concern, they are probably the market leader.

We migrated away from it to a competitor called Domotz because of pricing. Auvik bills per what they call a billable device, which is a firewall, a switch, and a controller. All of those count as billable devices. Domotz, as an alternative, bills per site. It's a flat fee for the whole site. So, whether you've got 3 switches or 10 switches, it's the same cost.

Auvik's premium product has a couple of other features with regard to NetFlow and some of the traffic analysis on that side. They've also got Syslog now in their premium product. However, we found their premium product to be fairly expensive. The whole product is very expensive, even for their standard offering. So, to bump up to premium, it's a lot more expensive. We trialed it for a bit. It was very useful but not worth the extra cost.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of comparing Auvik’s cloud-based solution versus on-prem network monitoring solutions, it is a tricky balance because while the Auvik database and the backend are all cloud-based, you still have an on-premise collector doing some of the management for you. The management of it is cloud-based, but there is an on-premise component to it. There are some alternatives, such as PRTG or Zabbix. They're all on-premise alternatives, but they are very much a pain to manage, particularly when you have multiple sites and multiple clients. Having the backend cloud-based is very useful. However, that's a feature that they share with Domotz. Domotz is cloud-based in the same way.

Overall, I'd give Auvik a seven out of ten. Tech-wise, it's a ten, but its pricing is a very big barrier to adoption.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VSO at Navitas Life Sciences
Real User
Top 5
Provides data accuracy for availability and policy harmonization
Pros and Cons
  • "Our response time is within 30 minutes for any support. This solution provides alerts immediately, so we are within our SLA, giving efficiency to our support."
  • "This solution is available in SaaS. The reason why we have not gone to SaaS is they do not have a country-specific separation of assets. There are GDPR and other requirements that might require country-specific sensitive information to be filtered as well as other things that need to be taken care of. Normally, if we need to do any compliance, like ISO27000 compliance, they don't have such a report within their system. This kind of report is missing from their SaaS. That is one of the reasons that we have gone to the on-prem version, where I am assured that my data is secure."

What is our primary use case?

We are geographically spread across 11 countries. At each location, we have a firewall and other critical IT infrastructure. We have to log in to all the systems and different URLs, so we are very dependent on some individuals who have the knowledge, control, or access. Moving to this system, I have a single portal where I can access all 10 locations' firewalls from that portal with easy manageability.

We are in the life sciences domain with a lot of customer-hosting apps in our AWS cloud. We deployed this monitoring system in our on-premises environment to monitor all the critical IT infrastructure.

We are using the latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the solution to automatically trigger processes to help to resolve issues when the solution detects compliance violations. While they don't have a report, this feature is in our environment. For example, our system is ISO27000, but it can miss this, instead our system goes through the on-premises process. We have segregation of duty, data storage, and the level of data encryption as well as how the server is being protected from the onset. We took all these things and kept them since it is under our validated environment. Any system implemented with us has to follow through this process. We can confidently say that our system is there, but the moment we move to SaaS or hybrid, we won't have control because they don't provide this. So, they need to build in this sort of solution for SaaS or hybrid. 

I have a Moscow office. In Moscow, I don't have an IT engineer. We have a very small team in a satellite office. We can easily manage the firewall, servers, and other things from here. When we are operating a central kind of implementation for any new initiatives, that is a big challenge for us. However, by implementing this monitoring tool, I can write any policies or procedures centrally. The process is harmonized so I don't need to worry about whether these policies play well with a particular Germany or Moscow firewall. This is more like a control mechanism. We could see the responses after implementing this tool.

Manual or time-consuming activities have been reduced by implementing this solution. Getting this information from each site takes a lot of time. Sometimes we get the wrong updates where the accuracy is not intact. By implementing a centralized tool that manages availability and the health situation of far away systems, this was ideal rather than doing it manually. Though, it was a learning curve for us.

What is most valuable?

The most important part is the real-time network monitoring dashboard. It pops up when you log into the system so it gives you clear-cut, real-time availability of the firewall/gateway-level infrastructures.

My network team, the server team, and I have different dashboards. There is also a complaints manager who has different access. These different dashboards are important because we are in the life sciences domain, and segregation of duty is very important.

The role-based dashboards summarize data points as well as provide charts and topology diagrams in a single window. We support all other regions from India. Therefore, it is better that the dashboard is a single point of entry to each site, managing those infrastructures. 

The dashboards tell us the details. For example, even in the firewall, I can go to the port level. Then, on the port level, I can deep dive on the configuration. It will also go into the level of services, memory, CPU, and storage availability. From the dashboard, you can look at that specific infrastructure or asset.

The graphical user interface is very good. It is readable, which doesn't need a technical expert to do that. That is critical. You don't need a network administrator or some other administrator to see the monitoring or anything else. Non-technical people can log in and understand it. 

Infraon's individual tunnel monitoring capabilities are more critical on the firewall side because we have a lot of Point-to-Point Tunnels created. The tunnel usage is more critical when you have a ransomware attack or any other attack has happened. When I implement a policy for a particular configuration, it will apply to all the tunnels. That makes easy for us to manage or maintain. This is a very important feature.

What needs improvement?

The reporting capabilities are a challenge and could be improved. We have been trying to connect to it from our help desk ticketing system, because the ticketing system manages asset tracking, which has been a bit challenging for us. Otherwise, they give some reports that are okay, but we do not use them much because we work in the dashboard. 

This solution is available in SaaS. The reason why we have not gone to SaaS is they do not have a country-specific separation of assets. There are GDPR and other requirements that might require country-specific sensitive information to be filtered as well as other things that need to be taken care of. Normally, if we need to do any compliance, like ISO27000 compliance, they don't have such a report within their system. This kind of report is missing from their SaaS. That is one of the reasons that we have gone to the on-prem version, where I am assured that my data is secure. I can take the report and show it to them from a compliance point of view. However, the moment we go to a SaaS model, I don't have control of the data and where the data is stored. I don't receive any complaints-based reports from the SaaS model.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for four to five months, including the implementation and PoC. We did the PoC in November 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We have never had an issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since it is on-prem, storage and our virtual environment are within our control. There has been no issue in terms of scaling up with the system. The scalability is good.

We have five to six people working in the system for different purposes. I log into the system based purely on availability, systems' health statuses, and other things. At the same time, a network engineer will have much more involvement than that. 

Within our system, we have around a 34-member team. Out of those 34 members there are only five or six people using this system because I don't want to give everybody a login with access to it. Since we centralize the management of the system, there are only a few people who have access. We built it in such a way that we manage it with limited resources.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. They are very aggressive. They understand that requirements are very important. 

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

Earlier, we were using Zabbix, which is open source. We had a lot of challenges with it. We had to build a distributed Zabbix environment, giving it a different kind of report. We were set up on that. While the product was very good, we were not capable of properly implementing it. 

Infraon IMS reads firewall logs, which is an important reason why we chose this product. There were other products where we had an issue reading the logs of firewalls and other things. Most of the tools provide an SNMP log, but we can reach syslog and other firewall logs with this solution. The best part: Our policies can be driven from this system and applied to multiple firewalls. For example, I am writing a rule for some URLs or specific sites to be blocked. I can then write one single policy which can be pushed to all 10 different locations. Earlier, we used to log into each system and do this process. Now, the system takes care to push these common policies.

This tool was introduced by one of our vendors. Through them, we got to know this tool and engage with it. 

How was the initial setup?

We built a PoC where we provide all this information. That PoC was running in 30 days. Effectively, once the PoC was complete, we upgraded the system to production. That is how it happened. So, the implementation was very smooth. 

We started with a PoC for around 20 assets. This takes a day or two, but it took a lot of time to understand the configuration and make changes. That took a couple of weeks because we were not familiar with their dashboard and they were not familiar with our life sciences domain requirements and regulatory requirements. That was the challenge. Once they understood our requirements, the configuration part was more like a day-to-day job.

What about the implementation team?

The team is very eager and aggressive on this. Priya put a lot of effort into the system. She provided more clarity on how to implement it. She also understood our requirements. Any tool implementation is successful based on the people who were involved and how well they understand the customer requirements and implementation. In this case, the vendor's team was good. 

Maximum two to three major players were involved from our end, maybe someone from network admin and another person on the server side. They were directly involved, but there were a few other people, like the site engineers, who contributed but weren't directly involved.

For setup and training, we only ever worked with the Everest team.

What was our ROI?

It gives us a lot of time savings. 60% to 70% of our time has been saved.

We are able to see the availability. Before people know that the infrastructure is down, we are able to get this information from the system. That is critical as far as infrastructure operations. This solution provides cost savings and is effective.

Our response time is within 30 minutes for any support. This solution provides alerts immediately, so we are within our SLA, giving efficiency to our support.

It improved our data and availability accuracy over doing the work manually. Once we installed this central system, our site engineers who provide the data started believing in the data's accuracy.

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

The cost model is within our budget. I have less than 180 critical assets, but the moment that I have 1,000 assets, then the license model is totally different. I don't know whether they are capable of handling that kind of a load. They could revisit the licensing model. They are not mature enough to define this license. We had a discussion about that. 

They have given us different services as a separate license, but the cost is not there proportionally against those services. The cost was one number, but the number of services were specific to the license. For example, for server licenses, they have X quantity, and network licenses also have X quantity, but they cumulate the cost and then provide it. They don't provide the unit cost. Normally, when you work in costing, you should have some kind of clarity about standard, professional, or enterprise kinds of models, or go with a unit-based license. So, we redid our licensing cost and they provided it. So, they should work on their licensing model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated ManageEngine and this solution. After doing the PoC for Infraon IMS, we were happy with it so we ended up implementing it. We didn't go with other tools because of cost and the support from the bigger players is limited. We got burned with an implementation of a bigger player previously and were not keen on going that way.

Normally, you have a product for different sectors. For example, network management will have a separate tool from server management. Here, it is a mixture of these tools in one system. Additionally, you can do vulnerability and penetration testing from this associated product. You can do network auditing, vulnerability assessment, and penetration tests on a particular critical infrastructure. Plus, you can do monitoring. I didn't see many tools that had this combination of services. There are many enterprise tools available, but we cannot afford those. This solution was something that we could afford and achieve what we really required.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this tool for people who want to have data accuracy in terms of availability and policy harmonization. They should look for this tool.

We are very good at integrating it with third-party applications, like AWS and other information security platforms. For our SOC, we build using some other tools, like Acunetix as SAS programming. We have integrated all these things.

I haven't seen any workflow automations.

We plan to increase our licenses going forward. However, Everest is a small company, and that has risks. I don't know their five- or 10-year plan. They need a proper roadmap for customer support, engagement, etc.

I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10. The licensing model, the compliance report, and integration of other tools are little challenges that we have with the tool. Though, we are happy with the tool. Aside from that, our requirements have been fulfilled. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
RISHI GUPTA - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Valuable relationship building that discovers and auto-builds to make cleanup easy
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable asset is relationship building because the solution discovers and builds auto relationships in a way that makes cleanup very easy."
  • "The solution should improve the classes of discovery assets to disregard more junk data."

What is our primary use case?

Our company has historically used the solution for IT infrastructure. We started deploying the solution in 2017 and have moved through nine versions since then. We are partners with ServiceNow and have a very good relationship with them.

Recently, we established a complete platform that will allow us to do IT infrastructure software and OT assets for manufacturing. We have planned a very long journey with ITSM and Discovery. 

We are working on a new deployment in Asia that includes the new Discovery version on Orchestration and the Automation Engine in Tokyo. We will soon be onboarding HRSD, Legal Service Delivery, OT for manufacturing, and ESG. We have a developed a very complete roadmap.

Our company deploys for enterprise businesses ranging from 10,000 to 1.5 million employees. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable asset is relationship building because the solution discovers and builds auto relationships in a way that makes cleanup very easy. Normally, when you discover data you get a lot of junk so only 30% of data might be useful. 

With the solution, it is easy to establish a relationship and discard the 70% of data that you don't want to use. 

What needs improvement?

The solution should improve the classes of discovery assets to disregard more junk data. The most painful task is eliminating the 70% of junk data. 

Currently, you can define classes of configuration items to discover, but the process is very limited so it still picks up a lot of junk data. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution since 2009. 

The CTO of ServiceNow was a manager at my previous organization where my team was responsible for innovating ServiceNow manufacturing. 

I have presented white papers on ServiceNow knowledge in Europe and Vegas. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. The only thing you have to be careful of is following best practices while maintaining it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good and very easy. You can keep adding mid-servers, expanding your database, or adding servers. When you scale up, you just have to go through the solution's entire cycle.

Scalability is rated a nine out of ten. 

How are customer service and support?

Paid support is very good. Normal support is pretty bad because you can keep logging tickets but nobody responds. 

The training materials are really good so you can train your team without depending on support to solve issues. 

Support is rated a five out of ten. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not super easy but is much more convenient to use when compared to BMC Discovery. We use the solution to discover assets on-premises as well as in the cloud via an Azure data connector to the Azure platform. 

Setup is rated a seven out of ten.

What about the implementation team?

We implement the solution for customers along with implementation partners. We have multiple partners because each one has their own unique set of skills. We work directly with ServiceNow to choose partners through the co-development team. Right now, we are working with HCL and DXC. 

The solution's deployment time depends on the environment you want to discover. 

At my prior employer, a team of five people discovered 67,000 servers across the US for HCSC. It took four to five months to set up. Discovery, cleanup, and completion of the CSDM layer took an additional four months. The entire project with deployment of the complete CSDM layer was done in nine months.

Our current project targets 1,700 servers so it should take us about two weeks. 

Ongoing platform maintenance requires a very minimal workforce. The solution alone isn't maintained, but the complete ITOM platform is maintained. One person maintains the ITOM that includes the solution. Another person maintains the data. 

What was our ROI?

The solution itself will not give you much ROI and will be a very expensive investment. 

You have to club the solution with a gamut of services. You need to use the complete CSDM layer for data servicing, data modeling, monetization of services, capacity management, configuration management, and future predictability. Only then will you achieve an ROI. 

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

The solution is not inexpensive so pricing is rated a three out of ten. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The solution is much more convenient to setup and use than BMC Discovery. 

What other advice do I have?

Proof of concept for the solution doesn't make much sense. It totally depends on the capability of your partner. Choose the partner very carefully while you plan to use the solution. If you get a very competent and capable partner, then life will be easy. If you have a partner who only does technical implementations, then that won't help you. You need to have CMDB and CSDM experts on the team because the solution is for CMDB and CSDM. If you don't design your data model really well, then the solution will not give you much result. 

The solution is not fully automated so you still need to make some effort. You have to go through the complete remodeling cycle for non-useful data elimination whenever you add a new LAN segment or new mid-server on a new data center or service. It is a little bit of effort, but it is worth the effort. 

Based on the necessary but important effort, the solution is rated a seven out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Hussein Taha - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Enterprise System Administrator at Misr Technology Services
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
We can monitor all the VMs in our environment and access full insight reports for all the VMs, but the solution is not stable
Pros and Cons
  • "SCOM has helped us to monitor all the VMs in our environment, especially the Windows servers."
  • "The GI is difficult to work with and the reporting servers are also difficult."

What is our primary use case?

SCOM is used as a monitoring solution for managing Windows-based IT infrastructures within our organization.

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM has helped us to monitor all the VMs in our environment, especially the Windows servers. This is our scoop, we monitor all the VMs that have OS Windows servers. The best part of SCOM is that we have a major comeback with it and can apply something that could act as a counteraction. Once an action appears, there is a counteraction in order to avoid any interruption to the service. This is the best way the solution has improved our organization.

What is most valuable?

The solution provides a full insight report for all the VMs in our environment. SCOM also tells us whether the VMs are healthy or not, as well as provides brief information about the management console in each site and the agents under these management consoles.

What needs improvement?

There is no room for update or enhancement in SCOM because Microsoft has retired it as an on-prem solution and moved it to the cloud. The current version will be the last on-prem given Microsoft's push to move all their solutions to the cloud.

The GI is difficult to work with and the reporting servers are also difficult. Another dimension that makes SCOM difficult is the number of components. The reporting server, the database, and the two components of the database (operational and warehouse) are all difficult to work with. This is why SCOM is a difficult solution to implement, configure, and troubleshoot.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is not very stable. Sometimes we find alerts in the event viewer that we don't understand. we have to spend hours trying to figure out what the events mean. Sometimes we have to request support from Microsoft engineers, who may take a long time to respond, and the case may take longer than expected to resolve.

I give the stability a six out of ten.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. We currently have six members, but we should add management consultants depending on our workload. We need to go through the Microsoft documents first. We need to calculate and prepare for our Virtual Machine (VM). We need to identify the storage, memory, and CPUs for our VM. This is important because we don't want to lose our solution or have bad performance. A bad performance will affect our environment. We also need to make sure the latency is less than 12 milliseconds. This is important because the management console needs to communicate with the database. If the latency is more than 12 milliseconds, it will affect the outcome of these records and the management console will be unhealthy.

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

Previously we used SIM by SolarWinds.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is difficult to implement and troubleshoot. Sometimes we need the prerequisites for a task, but we encounter issues that we don't understand or that are not reasonable.

The first time we deployed the solution, there were three of us, but now that we have more experience, we can do it on our own without the requirement of additional people. 

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was completed in-house.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen a return on investment. We have a lot of latency issues with the solution that is related to the network coverage between the sites. We have ten data centers using a management console but our database is centralized in the capital of Cairo. 

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution a six out of ten.

First-time users of SCOM need to be well prepared. There should not be too many management consoles. The SCOM gateway can be used as a way to transfer data to the management console, and the management console will have low latency so it can act as the management console for these sites. It will handle the queuing for the data through the centralized database. This is the best practice given to me by the Microsoft team because of an issue that occurred in our environment that took some time to be resolved.

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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Director of Professional Services at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good visibility, and support, but it would be easier to have remote sessions into the box
Pros and Cons
  • "It lets you know what your infrastructure is like and what state you are in."
  • "It would be nice to have everything in one place. Now they have Intune for the desktops and SCCM to handle their servers."

What is our primary use case?

We use it and our clients use it for device patch management, servers, and management processes.

We deploy it for clients but we don't usually maintain it for them.

What is most valuable?

The best thing about SCCM is the patch management. You can make sure that all of your devices are there. You can see all of them and see your levels.

It lets you know what your infrastructure is like and what state you are in.

SCCM internally works great. On your internal infrastructure, it is fantastic. It gives you everything you want it to do.

What needs improvement?

Because of the way SCCM is, we are moving to the Intune platform similarly to the way that everybody else is. Microsoft is slowly migrating SCCM to the new Intune product for management.

There are so many issues with SCCM, but they are already working on migrating the desktop to the intune platform. They have already improved the management and the patch management. They are also looking at cloud integration and being able to deploy it in Azure properly and run the Azure infrastructure.

The main or legacy issue is not being able to do remote management of devices without being on a VPN to get their updates. It didn't work well on non-corporate networks. This has been resolved by the new Intune platform.

It's Microsoft, they have their issues, but they are getting better. They are integrating it with their office products, and their platforms.

In the next releases, I would like to see them make it easier to do remote sessions into the boxes.

It would be nice to have everything in one place. Now they have Intune for the desktops and SCCM to handle their servers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SCCM for ten years.

We were using some of the older versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is only as good as your infrastructure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of SCCM is good but now that it is on the intune platform, it's even better.

The usage and how extensively it is being used depends on the client and the client's roadmap.

How are customer service and technical support?

As gold partners, you have a direct line to Microsoft technical staff. It is easy for us to get support.

Our experience with the support is a positive one.

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

I have been using Zabbix for ten years. I have deployed it in my infrastructure.

I have integrated it with Grafana.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

Depending on the customer and their infrastructure, it could be easy. If it is a small infrastructure the installation could be quite quick. You could fire up SCCM, sent the probes, let them detect it, and put it in. 

For large infrastructures or complex networks, it can be more difficult. It can take as long as a day to get it all set up and running or it could even take a week.

One of the joys of SCCM is that one person could easily maintain it but we have two people from the service desk.

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

They are always changing their price model, which I don't like. It would be better if they didn't keep adjusting their price model.

The price model is different for every client. It depends on the corporation, the company's subscription balance, and how many machines they have. For us, it fluctuates. 

Some clients have a smaller infrastructure, and for those with large infrastructures, it will cost them more. Others will also have multiple versions of it for backup and failovers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was looking for a comparison to see if I want to propose them to some of my clients.

What other advice do I have?

If you are implementing from new, go with Intune directly, don't use the on-premises version.

With the transitioning state to the cloud versions, I would rate SCCM a seven out of ten.

They have handled desktops very well but they haven't transitioned servers very well.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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