11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2012 8:28 AM by KMSigma

    An Orion Admin's Feedback


      I work for a large company and we are currently monitoring 916 nodes (as of today) over 11 timezones.  When I was introduced to the Orion Suite of products, we were running the 9.0 track of Network Performance Monitor.  It was exactly what we needed at the time.


      A few revisions later and additional network expansions, we moved to the Orion 10 core.  We added Application Performance Monitor (now Server Application Monitor) and Network Configuration Manager.  NCM has saved our bacon several times when we encountered bad configurations after power outages, reboots, or bad copy/paste jobs.


      Another few years passed and we tacked on IP Address Manager and IP SLA (now Voice and Network Quality Manager).  This has helped us countless times when we migrated to a complete Voice (and Video) over IP Solution in our environment.


      Add another few years and we added on (through our most recent module acquisition) Network Traffic Analyzer and User Device Tracker.  These two were by far my favorite purchases thus far.  I think that given another revision or two for NTA and some feedback that I've given regarding UDT, that these products will greatly improve in the next few revisions.


      That's our history.  We're running just about every module available for Orion, have a secondary polling engine, and a separate web interface.  It's a big deployment, but that's what you need as this information becomes more important to more teams and we want to keep it for longer periods of time.  I'm currently spec-ing out a new SQL Server for us going forward, and it's going to be a beast.


      So that's my environment in a nutshell, but that doesn't really mention anything about my feedback.  I wanted everyone who reads this to know how my company got here.  Now you have a framework for my real feedback.


      Long & short, the people at Solarwinds (support, sales, product management, etc.) have been the best vendor with which I have ever worked.  I know that there was a time that the slogan/motto was "For geeks, by geeks" and this still hold true for me.  Whenever I speak with support, they grab in whatever resources are necessary.  They don't just read off a sheet.  If they encounter something that they haven't run into before, they pull in the senior technicians, then they pull in the developers, then they report it up through the structure so that this issue is resolved for me and for everyone else.


      I can't say that every single thing that I've requested (read: "complained about") was corrected in the next revision, but it was resolved within the next few hotfixes, service packs, or version releases.  Everything has been fixed and we run a very complex environment.  I need to especially thank Mav Turner for working with me regards to NTA, Jennifer Jobst with IPAM, Michal Hrncirik with NPM, Jiri Cvachovec for UDT & NCM, and especially to Kellie Mecham for listening to some of my inane questions regarding "why" things are reported this way and not that way.


      In summary, my biggest push for moving to the Solarwinds product line is that the products, though they may not meet every requirement everywhere for everyone, the support, development, and product management staff take every suggestion into consideration.  If it possible to get what you are looking for, they will try to get it in there for you.  They also value feedback and community-driven experiences (hence this forum).  If they ever want me to give my two cents on a product feature again, I'll be happy to do so.


      Postscript: If you are a frequent user of any of the Solarwinds products, take the time to review the Betas, RC's, and to take the surveys that normally accompany these notifications.  The information provided actually gets read, and I'm guessing that it doesn't get read by a third party, it actually goes to the people that drive the direction of the product.

        • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

          Our experience has been almost exactly the same as you have described.  The SolarWinds software, employees, and community have all been absolutely awesome to work with.  Clearly our favorite vendor.  The only thing they are lacking is a Service Provider Licensing model which would really help us sell more services on top of the SolarWinds software.

          • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

            I know the teams will be more than pleased to hear your experience and satisfaction with the SolarWinds family of products (and especially the individual shout-outs!).  From a community perspective, I am so glad you mention the importance of participating in the Betas and RCs.  As you said, you really are talking with the people who make the product and we always embrace an opportunity to hear what is liked, what needs work, and what needs to go.  We hope the forums have made it easier to participate in these programs and get in touch with Product Management, Dev, Support, and the Ux teams. 


            I've added 1,200 points and the Spread the Word badge to your profile.  If you decide to share your story via the social media icons above or on 3rd party sites, please link us there.  This will earn you a bonus 300 points per share!

            • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback
              Kellie Mecham

              Kevin and Byron, you made my day as you have many, many days this year.  Thank you for all of your time, and your honest feedback which helped improve so many products this year!

              • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                Thanks guys! But without your help there won't be such a great products. So thanks to you as well.



                • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                  I agree!  We have had a very great experience with SW and all of our modules.  Keep adding modules as the need arises and funds are available and I try to participate in all Beta and RC's as much as possible.

                  • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                    I would like to echo these thoughts.  I have been a customer for 7 years with two companies and I continue to be impressed with SW as both a product and a company.  I'm not sure however if I have ever talked with this meech person that you have referenced.  just kidding of course.

                    • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                      I have used Solarwinds for approx. 1+ years.  I have made a total of three cases with them.  The most recent was yesterday.  I barely finished hitting the Submit key, and the phone was ringing with a call from SW tech support.  The technician was knowledgeable and after an hour or so on the phone had me running.  The case number was 41922, and Tim Rush sent me an email after we finished on the phone.  Tim was outstanding to work with.  Thanks for the quick support in my case.



                      • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                        I agree with all.  We use NPM and SAM.  The ease of use for both products is amazing.  NPM has provided valuable insight to various network issues.  It has also been instrumental in notifying us when we have had issues with our phone system.  The products seem to keep getting better and more useful with each release.  I've opened one, maybe two, cases with tech support since I've been here.  They have been quick reacting, courteous, and have followed through to the cases have been resolved.  Kudos to all at Solarwinds.  Thanks for making such great products and listening to feedback from customers.

                          • Re: An Orion Admin's Feedback

                            I’ve got to say that I’ve opened more than 2 cases, but then again, I have a pretty expansive environment and we use Solarwinds Orion for more and more every day.


                            I really appreciate that I’m not the only one who is seeing this kind of “bang for the buck” with the software.  It’s one of the best suites of software that I have ever used (and this is saying something).


                            Recently, the best help that I’ve gotten was the inclusion of PowerShell into the SAM architecture.  I’m a huge (read “HUGE”) proponent of PowerShell.  I use it every day; either updating scripts that I’ve already written, or pulling ad hoc numbers for a report.  The extensibility of the scripting language goes part and parcel with the extensibility of the Solarwinds Suite.


                            I hope that I never get to a place where I cannot use Solarwinds Orion.  If I ever change to a similar job, I’m going to make sure that Orion is a mandatory part of my software suite.


                            Hey Solarwinds – how about bundling in DNSStuff’s professional reports (which I purchase personally because it’s so awesome) into the Engineer’s Toolset?  The Engineer’s Toolset hasn’t “saved my bacon” like the Orion suite, but it has come in very, very, (super awesome) handy on more than one occasion.


                            Thanks to everyone for the great feedback.  Do me a favor and keep posting.  This community forum, the support teams, the development teams, and the customer service IS the reason that Solarwinds is successful.