I read this article from InformationWeek recently on Cisco ruling the data center but there being threats on the horizon and it got me thinking about the IT management software landscape.  For years if you wanted to manage your network or servers well, you were forced to buy a management platform and tailor it to your needs.  Many big name vendors (who shall remain nameless) charged folks through the nose for features they showed you in a demo and then charged you again to build those features (through services) in your environment.  What’s that got to do with proprietary features you may ask?  Well here it is – more than likely someone in your business bought those big unwieldy platforms because they were sold a vision, and in that vision were a sprinkling of features that made their mouths water.  You know the features – the ones you imagine in your head right after you spent three days over Christmas tracing cables or rebuilding servers.  They were proprietary features that you could only get if you bought the platform – the whole enchilada.

So you’ve been around the block with that story once, maybe twice to three times now, and you’ve got to wonder whether the products that offer 95% of what the big platforms do are good enough.  It’s the software equivalent of what the Information week article talked about when they refer to vendors like Force10 (now Dell) using commodity silicon and focusing on price per port and raw performance.  It’s the ethos we have in building our software at SolarWinds.  Build the things you can actually use, make them surprisingly easy, and do it at a price most of the market can afford.  We believe that there are lots of problems that can be solved using this approach and that you, the IT user know it’s a better way to build and buy products.

I hope you agree that the future of IT management software is squarely grounded in the idea that companies (and the people in those companies) build complete products for other people, to help them solve problems and actually remove complexity from their life, and they make these products easy to try and easy to buy.  If you do, then welcome to the SolarWinds Way!

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve added to our family of products, so in addition to having the best network management products out there (if you haven’t tried NPM network monitor you should), we now have the best systems management products out there and we’ve got a number of problem areas covered (feel free to try any or all):