SolarWinds for Cisco Environments

In general, our products are vendor-agnostic, and this is important to us.
Using Network Performance Monitor (NPM) as an example: If a vendor is following the SNMP RFC, we can retrieve data, correlate KPIs, and forecast situations.
However, sometimes, this is not enough, just like eating half a portion of pasta carbonara.


As CiscoRegistered is the most popular network vendor in our customer base, we focus on providing a little more information out-of-the-box and make (work) life more comfortable, such as via support for non-RFC OIDs. 
Also, we added support for CLI/API access to collect statistics that are not available at all via SNMP.


Let’s jump into our DeLorean and travel back in NPM’s history to…five years or so!

10.4        Hardware Health

10.7        Support for EIGRP and VRF

11.5        Wireless Heatmaps
12.0        Cisco SwitchStackRegistered

12.1        Meraki
12.2        Network InsightTm for Cisco ASA

12.3        Network Insight for Cisco NexusRegistered

12.4        Support for ACI

Some of these features have been around for ages. I arrived just before the NPM 11.0 release, so for me, things like hardware health have been there “forever.”
The SwitchStack support was the first highlight for me, followed by the ASA integration in both NPM and Network Configuration Manager (NCM).

By the way, do you know that most of the features in the list are based on community requests?


On top of that, other OrionRegistered Platform modules support VOIP, DNS, and DHCP solutions from Cisco, and you can attach those with a few clicks.
Finally, there is NetFlow. Over the years we have added support for NBAR2 and WLC flows into our NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA).


There are various statistics out there discussing Cisco’s market share and how it changed over time, and I don’t want to get in an “I don’t like them at all” discussion. Trust me, I’ve had enough of those already. I prefer JunOS when it comes down to the CLI.
But also, I love both pasta carbonara and all`Amatriciana, and there is nothing wrong with it.


Still, Cisco is basically everywhere. You guys keep on using it, so we keep on adding new features into our network products to help you support your infrastructure.

So, the good news is that we’re attending Cisco Live! EMEA in Barcelona. You will find us in booth S20A starting on Monday, January 28, and the code word to remember is “T-shirt.”

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Anonymous
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  • I have a wide range of clients using SolarWinds and they're finding out that moving to other vendors means they lose some of their visibility in the products.

    • While the Meraki feature provides some basic information about the APs, there is a lot more information available in the Meraki API that SolarWinds doesn't show. For switches/security appliances, you get up/down and interface statistics. Granted this is a mix of Cisco potentially not having the information available and SolarWinds not collecting the information. There are no details on WAN status, firmware information, CPU/memory, routing tables, etc. NetFlow is a complete mess from the MX devices. And Meraki monitoring was broken for months because of TLS requirements changing and the products weren't updated.
    • Customers moving away from Cisco switches to HP/Avaya switches (Edit: Aruba, not Avaya). No switch stack information provided by NPM but the information is there in the MIB. Considering NPM 12.0 came out over 2 years ago, this is disappointing to not see other vendor support being added.
    • Looking forward to what NetworkInsight for Palo Alto can provide - we don't come across many Cisco ASA's anymore.
    • We're seeing a lot more Viptela but monitoring is minimal. Similar with other products that don't use SNMP (or minimal) and are moving to API.

    Still, Cisco is a pretty safe bet for your large enterprise customers.

Comment
  • I have a wide range of clients using SolarWinds and they're finding out that moving to other vendors means they lose some of their visibility in the products.

    • While the Meraki feature provides some basic information about the APs, there is a lot more information available in the Meraki API that SolarWinds doesn't show. For switches/security appliances, you get up/down and interface statistics. Granted this is a mix of Cisco potentially not having the information available and SolarWinds not collecting the information. There are no details on WAN status, firmware information, CPU/memory, routing tables, etc. NetFlow is a complete mess from the MX devices. And Meraki monitoring was broken for months because of TLS requirements changing and the products weren't updated.
    • Customers moving away from Cisco switches to HP/Avaya switches (Edit: Aruba, not Avaya). No switch stack information provided by NPM but the information is there in the MIB. Considering NPM 12.0 came out over 2 years ago, this is disappointing to not see other vendor support being added.
    • Looking forward to what NetworkInsight for Palo Alto can provide - we don't come across many Cisco ASA's anymore.
    • We're seeing a lot more Viptela but monitoring is minimal. Similar with other products that don't use SNMP (or minimal) and are moving to API.

    Still, Cisco is a pretty safe bet for your large enterprise customers.

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