Solarwinds as a NOC monitoring tool?

The higher ups in my company are pushing us to use solarwinds as our primary monitoring tool, but from what I've seen, and contact with the sales reps it doesn't seem to be the best tool for this job.

We currently use what's up gold, it has an easy to see map layout. It's quick to see nodes and links that are down etc and it automatically raises alerts via SNMP.

From looking at solarwinds it seems to be a tool to use if you were wanting to dive deep into stats, rather than something which provided instantaneous alerting of live incidents.

Can solarwinds be used as the only network monitoring tool, or do you supplement it with something else?

  • It depends...

    For some shops the Solarwinds suite does most everything they need while in others it is a tool in the toolbox that comprises several products that cover the needs of that environment.  It depends on what you have that needs to be monitored and how you are able to interface with it.

    While SNMP is useful, at some point in time you will find that it gets dropped.  If a server or device or appliance gets too busy, SNMP (UDP) is one of the first things dropped to preserve cycles for more important work.  It is a fire and forget protocol so if it doesn't make it to the intended target no one knows.  In many ways it is a message in a bottle, most times it works great but sometimes a current throws it off course and there is no validation it got there.  

    What are you watching (servers, switches, routers, firewalls, services, ports, interface metrics, etc.)?
    Are you running agents or agentless?
    How about logfile monitoring?
    1 datacenter or several?

    With more info we can give some better advice.

  • You can create your own views with the tool and it does have the ability to ingest SNMP Traps for alerting purposes. It should be able to do everything you need.