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What Is The Biggest Difference Between NETSCOUT and SolarWinds?

We are evaluating both NETSCOUT and SolarWinds.

What is the main difference between the two?

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it!

PeerSpot user
5 Answers
Principal Solutions Architect at Accedian
06 November 19

SolarWinds consists of several modules from NetFlow/IPFix to config management. Typically the NetFlow piece is used in comparison with NetScout nGenius/Infinistream ASI.

NetScout Infinistream and nGenius is a closed Packet stream to disk solution that provides deep insight into how client-server applications
work over the LAN WAN. I believe NS still has the ability to ingest NetFlow, SFlow, JFlow, and IPFix.

The question you pose is quite complex for those not familiar, the only similarity is that both solutions allow IT staff the ability to obtain
information from the network. NetFlow is a sampled view often collected only from WAN routers. That has been historically used for Capacity Planning and Security workflows. NetScout depends on streaming packets to disk acquiring packets from a packet broker, tap, port mirror/span session.

So they are actually night and day. Netflow is a sample and does not provide the insight that a packet capture provides for those who understand

Product Line Management and Business Development Director at Accedian
06 November 19

SolarWinds NPM and nGenius One are very different in nature and capabilities.

SolarWinds NPM has a wide range of capabilities to monitor the availability of network devices and services, track network paths (by active testing).
nGenius One is more of a traffic visibility solution that captures traffic and shows the characteristics of the conversations going through the network (including the network and end-user performance).

If you are looking at the second, you certainly want to look at Accedian's Skylight which offers a massive advantage when it comes to performance visibility!

IT Infrastructure Manager at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
06 November 19

Although both products can overlap in what information they provide, nGenius One primarily uses packets from the network to monitor application performance and excels at deep packet analysis. SolarWinds primarily gathers data from SNMP, WMI, Netflow and other metrics to monitor the status of equipment (up, down, temperature, interface data, etc) as well as providing application performance statistics.

Ravi Khanchandani - PeerSpot reviewer
Founder Director at Techsa Services
Top 5Leaderboard
07 February 20

Common aspects of Solarwinds NPM and NetScout - Provide information pertaining to the network - latency, response time, the path taken, traffic info

Key differences - Use of different techniques - SNMP vs Packet capture

SNMP may give you added information like node status, hardware health, performance statistics, device-level information Packet capture may give you added information like TCP retransmissions, packet loss.

Solarwinds will rely on SNMP configuration on a device to send status, statistics and discovery using Polling as well as send Traps on specific incidents NetScout will rely on various port mirror taps into the network where the traffic needs to be analyzed in detail.

Skills required for Solarwinds are fairly minimum (maybe just understanding how SNMP works - polling & traps while NetScout skills will need you to master TCP/IP communication with details of the packet fields - source IP, dest IP, source port, dest port, various flags, etc.

Shankar HN - PeerSpot reviewer
IT strategist at Convergent Wireless Communications
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
06 November 19

From my experience, I would suggest PRTG Network Monitor over both instead of getting into details as to which one of NETSCOUT and Solarwinds is better. Both Solarwinds and NETSCOUT are expensive. NETSCOUNT is into loggerheads with Gartner report. Gartner rate Solarwinds well and PRTG Network Monitor is as good or even better than Solarwinds but far less expensive. I would recommend evaluating PRTG Network Monitor also to assess its suitability to meet your requirements.

Related Questions
Michael Bruen - PeerSpot reviewer
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Hi community, I work at a Healthcare company with 5K+ employees. Currently, I'm looking for an APM solution. We already have Solarwinds for network monitoring but I have read and heard from colleagues that Dynatrace is an outstanding product (the head of our development team swears by it).   The Network Operations team already has experience with Solarwinds (good and bad) and I am concerned...
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Shibu Babuchandran - PeerSpot reviewer
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Hi @Michael Bruen ​, Probably, the below data has already been published on PeerSpot and can help you identify the difference. Hope this helps. Please kindly share your views.
David Fourie - PeerSpot reviewer
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11 February 22
Dynatrace is the leader in the APM market with reason, it is well worth giving it a decent evaluation for full end-to-end monitoring of infrastructure and code.
Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Delivery Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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Hi community, What questions should one ask before purchasing a network monitoring tool? Help your peers ask the right questions so that they'll make a better decision.
2 out of 17 answers
reviewer459630 - PeerSpot reviewer
Principle Solutions Architect at Entuity
18 September 19
Network monitoring is a broad topic with many different sub-topics that may or may not be relevant to your immediate or foreseeable circumstances. You owe it to yourself to build a list of what you need to monitor with some general weighting as to how important each one is to you. If some items are absolute requirements make sure that's noted but be prepared to consider adopting multiple tools if the list strays outside the strict bounds of pure network monitoring. Increasingly, new network technologies are breaking away from industry-standard approaches to monitoring such as SNMP so, if any such equipment is within scope you'll need to be extra vigilant to ensure that its monitoring is covered. Basic functionality would include automated network device discovery, interconnection/topology discovery, end host to access switch port discovery, device resource monitoring, interface traffic/utilization monitoring, event generation to warn of reachability problems, threshold crossings, status changes and a multitude of other relevant concerns. You may also need to consider reporting and network device configuration monitoring and management. As networks tend to have frequent changes to their configuration and interconnections it is important that these be handled in as automated a way as possible to minimize the administrative overhead and stay accurate to the reality of the network. If the nature/mix of traffic and conversations needs to be understood then technologies such as flow analysis (NetFlow, sFlow, etc) may need to be added to the mix. One aspect of network monitoring often overlooked is the number and type of servers that need to be provisioned to host it in a production environment. The most efficient deployments for a small to medium sized network would allow the entire monitoring system to be hosted on a single server which could be either physical or virtual. If, in order to host the production (not evaluation) system you need to deploy different parts of the system on different servers, possibly including a database on its own server, you need to factor that into your decision making. Finally, you need to be acutely aware of exactly how the product is licensed. If, for example, the monitoring of each interface counts towards the overall license consumption it is tempting to cherry-pick a few key interfaces on each device to monitor. This often skips the monitoring of the interfaces connecting the end-user PCs and means that you're building blind spots into your monitoring architecture from the outset. A bad foundation often leads to an unsatisfying end result.
Adrian Moran - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr Service Desk Agent Tier I, II at a tech consulting company with 10,001+ employees
18 September 19
Before buying some network monitoring tool you need to know: 1. What the purpose of the monitoring tool will be: * just monitor the network * notify when something happens (warning critical event) * gathering historical data for previous revision * show information in graphic time periods, number of events critical or warning. 2. Who will be using the tool, besides the technical guy who will install the application: * A common user that just will be seeing and perhaps fwd the incident * Administrative user that should keep upgrade for new devices, alerts or notification * Technical admin user that should keep up to date software and server 3. If this will help you to detect future issues and apply a fix before happen. 4. If this will help you to identify issues that could cause a malfunction in the network. 5. If this will help you to be proactive and improve network reliability. 6. If this will be friendly to the end-user or not.
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