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What tools do you use in addition to SolarWinds? Take us on a tour and get 2000 thwack points

Community Manager

The SolarWinds UX (User Experience) team is interested in learning more about other tools you use in addition to/to supplement SolarWinds. Do you use other monitoring products in addition to SolarWinds? We want to see how you use those and understand use cases!  Do you use other IT products you wish integrated better with SolarWinds? We want to see that, too! Please comment below or email Kellie Mecham directly at kellie.mecham@solarwinds.com for more details.

234 Comments
Level 10

We mainly utilize Solarwinds for NTA. It appears to be the best solution for the job.  As far as all other monitoring/management we utilize Netsight, which seems to be ample, considering we are mostly an extreme/enterasys shop. We do utilize NPM as more of a secondary monitoring solution.  We are also in the process of implementing SCOM, and I hope to integrate that at some level at least with Solarwinds. I know SCOM can be somewhat limited, but there may not be systems that fall out of scope of that tool. We shall see.

I know Solarwinds tends to be pretty Cisco friendly, but we do not have much of that in our environment. From what I can see, there isn't much integration with netsight/Solarwinds. If there was some form of integration with that tool, it could be quite useful - but as it stands right now, we basically have two standalone solutions with some overlap in capabilities (with the exception of NTA as I mentioned).

Level 15

Very good.

I related about use of th WHD.

You need to improve a lot And have implementations that other tools have. I'll report in an email with calm and show what I see in the other the best competitive tool.

As a supplement to Solarwinds I use Spiceworks, Wireshark, Angry IP Scanner, WinSCP (and its Putty tool), Cisco (Configuration Assistant, and Network Assistant), I still use WSUS with Patch Manager as a Check, VMware vCenter Console for more details.  I still like the Dell Equallogic and HP P2000 SAN interfaces because I can see a graphical interface of the drives, because in IT we all like blinking lights.  I use my Shoretel interfaces for my IP Phone system since they have a face superior dashboard and tools to your VoIP solution and you currently don't support Shoretel or at least didn't when I made the purchase.  Don't forget about my Barracuda web filter for traffic on my fiber to the internet.   My Windows Administrator tools are always close to my heart as I have to look at DHCP daily, and feel its easier than the IP tool in Orion.  

Currently i have a active license for NPM, SAM, NTA, VMAN, Patch Manager.  Databases started showing up but I don't have that module.   and the IP Manager tool is a trial that is expired.  I love my Dameware and WHD, those are always on. 

I have played with some Manage Engine tools their free ones and different Syslog and TFTP servers.   Usually from IPswitch.  I also use tools from Sysinternals for my admin work.   I think that about does it.  I would love to give you a tour my be faster to come on site LOL.   It might take a while. 

Level 12

The SolarWinds UX (User Experience) team is very proactive and actually wants to hear what you have to say about particular topics that they post for SolarWinds clients to respond to. I would highly recommend the experience of a meeting with the UX Team and helping define what SolarWinds can or should be in the future. #thwackpoints too...

Level 10

I mainly utilize SolarWinds for server health and operation via SAM. It has been a great tool for performing trend analysis and determining which applications and processes utilize the most resources. We've been testing the NPM & NTM modules for our Cisco & Calix gear. We don't see any issue with our switches, routers, and ASA devices from Cisco. However, we've run into some minor issues with SNMPv2 and the Calix C7 & E7 equipment we have. Still, even with the testing I love the reports and metrics I'm able to pull.

To augment this, I also use Wireshark, Angry IP Scanner, Find MAC Address (by Lizard Systems), Putty, & Nmap to track down end devices. While I'm dreaming here, if SolarWinds could integrate with the WSUS console and determine which hosts had not contacted in or were missing updates, that would be the ultimate update!

Level 10


We are using Nagios, NFSEN, IPPlan, Cisco CSM and Cacti. Working on getting Solarwinds to replace them (NCM, NPM, NTA, FSM, VNQM and LEM)

We use Nagios, Scruitinzer and Spiceworks.

We also use Atalassian Jira for ticketing/change management.

Level 13

We replaced Scrutinizer with NTA to accompany our install of NPM, NCM, and IPAM.  We use ServiceNow for ticketing but, are migrating to ServicePro (previously know as HelpSTAR).  The server side uses SCOM and HP NNM.  I'm looking for a good solution for our security team to use to centralize firewall/server log management.  I'm also looking for a good alert management tool, I was interested in Alert Central however I am kind of put off by it's lack of updates as of late.

Level 13

Budget is always an issue for us, especially the last couple of years, and projected for the next 3-4 years as student enrollment is down, the state legislature has cut funds for higher education budgets and isn't allowing state colleges to raise tuition to compensate.

We currently have NPM, SAM, NCM, NTM, and Engineer's Toolset.  These don't fully cover all we need to see, monitor or maintain.

We have vSphere for VMWare, but plan on moving to Hyper-V since the cost for education is so much better (part of the enterprise licensing for education, no extra cost).  I use Cisco Prime Infrastructure, mainly for managing and maintaining the Cisco wireless network.  We use Cisco UCS manager to monitor and manage the Cisco UCS hardware and service profiles.  Our SAN admins have HP tools to monitor the 3PAR SAN.  Our SCCM admin uses that for all of our imaging and patching and wants to bring up SCOM since it is basically free for us (again, part of the enterprise licensing for education, no extra cost).  There are thoughts that SCOM may replace SAM for server monitoring because of the cost savings.  We will see.

We can't get rid of Scruitinizer just yet even though I'd love to, even though we already have NTA. As we are multihomed, BGP and AS information is essential and is unsupported in NTA when using sFlow, as we are a Brocade shop we have little choice. It's very frustrating.

Level 8

Splunk for Syslog aggregation, and Right IT Now for node and interface status (alerts trap from SolarWinds to this application).  Splunk connects to SolarWinds database to pull other information together for a searchable database of node information (in addition to collecting syslogs directly from network devices).

Level 19

Splunk, Opnet ARX, NetBrain, NetQoS RA. NetBrain is the bomb. SWI should buy them. You can DL the Personal Edition for free and test drive it.

Level 13

I'm actually demoing Splunk this week for Syslog aggregation.  How is it?  Have you used LEM?

Level 13

We are looking at Netbrain strictly for it's dynamic mapping since, Network Atlas and even NTM leave a lot to be desired.

Level 7

BMC (yikes) products ...

     ProactiveNet for our server health

     TMart for internal website monitoring


Webmetrics for external website monitoring


AppDynamics for Application Performance Monitoring (expensive)


We are new customers of SolarWinds and for now we will be replacing TMart with SolarWinds WPM.  I installed a demo and was very impressed.  My hope is that we can replace all our BMC junk with SolarWinds in the future but it's not my call.  I am certainly pushing our managers to consider it though. 

Level 19

NetBrain is in a different league that SWI's mapping products. The dynamic L2/L3 mapping is great for troubleshooting and modeling changes. SWI offers basic mapping functionality, which I believe was their goal. NetBrain is very feature rich and not cheap. For me it is a must have.

Level 8

hi

Level 12

All,

I typically see a number of different Provisioning, CMDB, and Ticketing systems when working with Clients. These interactions can be one way or bi-directional connections based on the requirements from the Client.

Best Regards,

Derik Pfeffer

Loop1 Systems: SolarWinds Training and Professional Services

Level 8

bored someone msg me

Level 19

Splunk is a great tool for logs. It makes it very easy to find events. Correlating events takes a bit of learning Splunk's query language but once you have that part down the flexibility is great. Splunk tries to position their product as SEIM but I think that is a stretch.  I have spent weeks on LEM and I find it incredibility hard to understand and use. But I am not a SEIM person so that could have a lot to do with it.

Level 7

I forgot to mention that another team uses Splunk (also expensive) in a limited capacity only for security log monitoring.

Level 17

VROps, SCOM, Splunk, NetBrain (might still be out there), UCS, vSphere, Cherwell, Not sure if Cacti is still running somewhere collecting specific logs for some 1 guy... we are so big and widespread that other departments and entities have in the past implemented their own solution for monitoring what they need.

MVP
MVP

DanielleH‌ & meech

SolarWinds Products Used:

NPM, NCM, SAM, NTA, VMAN, DPA, Kiwi Syslog, WHD, ET

3rd Party/Other Tools Used:

MRTG, NFSEN, Cacti, Rancid, SpiceWorks, Splunk, and FrontRange/HEAT

MRTG/Cacti:

Very lightweight graphing tool, allowing us to produce numerous simple/basic graphs on a single page, and able to load those graphs in seconds. (compared to 1-2+ minutes for NPM)

Also, very free, as it has been forever...

NFSEN:

Very lightweight netflow monitoring tool, based on/from MRTG graphing, allowing us to alert on netflow traffic stats more granular and specific than NTA.

We are able to alert on changes (spikes or drops) in packets, traffic, or flows, dynamically comparing current stats to past xx timeframe, percentages, etc...

This tool is also very free, has been around for a very long time, and is super fast.

Rancid:
I had set this tool up, prior to purchasing NCM, to manage our network config backups.

While we no longer use this tool, it is still installed, and standing by, in case NCM needs to go sit in timeout.

This is also a free tool.

SpiceWorks:

I do not use these tools very often, however, I do occasionally run inventory on a few subnets, and compare stats against NPM/SAM.

Also, while troubleshooting various random, yet critical, Orion issues, I have used this tool to monitor my Orion Core servers to make sure they were actually working.

Splunk:

We had this tool in the past (8+ years ago), stopped using it for some reason, and are supposed to be getting it again sometime soon.

We currently have a bunch of homegrown syslog servers, however, I believe those are going to be replaced with Splunk.

We recently repurchased Kiwi Syslog, though, it is only used for a very limited subset of Calix E7 nodes. (something like 30 nodes out of 1300+... or something like that...)

FrontRange/HEAT:

We use this tool for our Problem and Change Management tickets.

While we have WHD living on a server, somewhere, I have not used it since it was installed/setup, which was at least 6 months ago.

Thank you,

-Will

Level 10

Whatsup, and some Atlassian products (Jira, Confluence), a bit of Splunk are tools here.  We use Solarwinds for some of the network monitoring, but mainly use Whatsup for server and applications.  I'm working on getting them on to more of the Solarwinds products, once they let me get my grubby hands on it.  🙂

Level 13

Keep this coming, please!  I'll be following up in the coming days (and maybe weeks).  Very interested in having people show us what else you use!

Please participate if you can.  I have done a number UX engagements and only good can out of it. 

With the information you provide, Solarwinds will make better and more integrated products.  Later you will get to use them to better manage and monitor your systems.  In the end participating becomes a great cycle of happy!  Plus, it is good for 2000 thwack points.

Kellie,

As you know from our calls, I use VCenter, a lot for management.

RT

Level 7

We use Solarwinds for most monitoring (NPM, SAM, IPAM, NCM, NTA). In addition to managing Solarwinds I also use Netsight fairly frequently due to having quite a few Extreme switches, allowing an easier way to pull configs and see all my switches in detail. We use SNMPc to monitor our customers. This allows for a a very quick real-time status for each customer.

Level 7

Hi

ManageEngine Netflow Analayzer. I found it much better and simple for using than SW NTA.

Level 10

We use Solarwinds (NPM/NTA/NCM/SAM/IPAM/UDT) as our primary platform but also use HP's Insight Manager for our remaining physical tin and then Huawei's eSight Manager for our router's (All Huawei), we are phasing out both Opmanager products and Sitescope.

Level 10


Come on! I know someone out there still uses swatch!

Level 13

SolarWinds Products (NPM, SAM, NCM, NTA, WPM)

We also use EG monitoring for the Citrix devices because it monitors up to the end user level. And then, Splunk for our syslog. We also use Netscout for the granularity of the bandwidth traffic monitor in some of our routers.

Level 10

Now called SwatchDog, I had completely forgot about that guy! I used it to monitor some logs on an REHL server to ensure the jobs for a database were running correctly. I don't think I've used that in nearly 6 years...

Good call!

Level 12

Primary Solarwinds Products ( NPM , SAM , NTA , Tool Set , ) Security Team uses LEM and we have a small foot print of WPM but phasing it out eventually-

Other Tools we use

New Relic  APM and Browser

Site 24/7 - URL uptime monitoring

Extrahop- Network Team

Thousandeye's - Network Team

Level 10

We use AirWatch since we have a mix of Aruba and Cisco Access Points and a variety of SSID's for various business purposes. Other than that, it's an all Solarwinds shop with NPM, NCM, SAM, OFSMM, NTA (which we only use for the corporate devices - we don't send Netflow back over the WAN - we look at top talkers on the local router), UDT, IVIM, and VNQM. We have 3 Solarwinds Certified Pro's in my team. We have constructed dashboards for the Store Support people and also the NOC. The Security Team is currently evaluating LEM for file integrity monitoring, also.

MVP
MVP

Splunk for log files.  Especially log files that are not windows event logs or contain customer data so that we can mask it out.  Orion does not does this well and powershell is not a viable solution.

Nagios for unix based MQ queue monitoring....need that unix agent !!

Perl and Powershell for scripting.

We gave up on RightItNow...

Looking at HP Openview OMi for use as a MoM, unix agents, etc.

Still need a data warehouse solution for Orion.

Still need a calendar/scheduling ability with Orion.

Level 11

We use an assortment of tools...   Monitis, ThousandEyes, Nagios, Check_MK, and are in process of rolling out Splunk.   I would much rather a single pane of glass solution that could handle most of this.  Multi-tenant is a big need as well.

Level 7

Our Primary Tool is SCOM, We are also using NPM, NCM, NTA, Hitachi High-Track, VMware VROps, and Brocade Network Adviser.

Level 7

We use OpsGenie with SW

Level 8

We use SCCM for software inventory, OpsGenie for filtering Solarwinds alerts during on-call rotation, and storage reporting/metric from the HP 3par console.

Level 8

How do you like Opsgenie?

Level 9

We currently are using the following SolarWinds products: NPM, NCM, Engineer's Toolset.  SW is our primary monitoring tool and does nearly all of our alerting where possible.  We would like to see more work with SW's trap and syslog functions as these are also very useful to us in generating certain types of information and alerts.  For example, on our core network devices we want to know immediately when an interface flaps and will utilize the SW Trap Viewer to do configure alerts when these events take place.  It would be great to see both Trap Viewer and Syslog Viewer integrate better to the web console to where we can more easily manage the traps and related alerts as opposed to doing it on the actual server.

Due to the vast number of traps and syslogs that we receive we will only maintain a week or two of these logs with SW.  We use Splunk to maintain an extended history of our syslogs and traps.  Splunk is valuable in its ability to easily search and drill down to specific issues, and to do it very fast.  In contrast, SW can be a bit slow when querying the logs and clunky in sorting through it all.

Cisco Prime is our tool of choice for managing/monitoring our wireless networks.  I don't do a whole lot with wireless, so I can't speak very intelligently on the comparisons between using Prime and the wireless functionality that SW offers.

In our Avaya VoIP solution we are currently relying on the Avaya gear to provide monitoring and reporting.  However, we are working to add our Avaya infrastructure to SW to see what kind of visibility it can provide us.  We may look into evaluating the VoIP and Network Quality Manager add-on to see what value it can provide us and how reliable it can be in getting us the critical alerting that we would require from it.

Other tools we are implementing include Extrahop to gain more visibility to how our applications are working over the network and nGenius to look deeper into packets traversing the network.

Level 10

None

MVP
MVP

Splunk, NetQoS, eHealth, Cacti.  Cisco Prime is coming.

SAM templates for each would be awesome.

Level 10

I'll have to join the rest of the people here and add SPLUNK as our log file intelligence tool. Active Directory, firewalls, DNS, DHCP, Exchange.... we even coded our own monitor for our own internal apps. The funny thing is, they tried to sell themselves as a competitor to SolarWinds, provided we build all of the scripts and monitors. It was difficult to remain professional and not laugh in their faces. Salespeople! Whaddayagonnado?

The only other monitoring products we use are from Fluke Networks. We have a Network Time Machine, which has been useful for tracking down elusive problems that occurred in the middle of the night. We also have their OptiView XG, for tracking down issues with our Wireless controllers, as well as users with infected smartphones.

We use Frontrange Heat for tickets, and all things ITIL. At some point, we are hoping to build some sort of integration between Heat and SolarWinds, for the automation of handling issues.

Shavlik does our patch management.

Level 9

Currently we are Using solarwinds Products like NPM, NCM, SAM, NTA, VNQM and IPAM, In addition other products like Cacti, this tools have a feature or module named weathermap and it has a feature show us a pop-up over each of the graphs, for our Networking Engineers this function is very important and we have tried to make anything similar with orion  but has been imposible

Level 12

We use NPM, NCM, and IPAM. 

For our ticketing system we use Supportworks,  there is no integration between the two.

We wanted the ability for  Supportworks to create automatic tickets when an alert was triggerred.

There was no integration between the two products, so we created an agent (.EXE) that passes variable from Solarwinds to Supportworks to give us this functionality.

Level 7

We use a product called CiNAS from Cordell for monitoring SNMP traps, because it can post them to an alert screen and remove them when the "clear' trap arrives.

Level 10

On the NOC side, We use:

SolarWinds:

SAM

NPM

IPAM

NTA

NCM

WPM

SRM

VMAN

Others:

Nagios

RRDTool

Nagios is used primarily for the Unix side of the house, which is like a good chunk of our systems. We monitor these in SolarWinds as well, but Nagios gets used more due to the easier/better availability to monitor various Java components.

RRDTool is used for quick graphing of real-time data. It's lightweight and uses very little data, so less stress on our infrastructure/time to poll like in NPM. This is vital when we are stress testing the network with new applications and trying to determine what the breaking point is and on what devices.

I'm actually looking at potentially rebuilding our whole SolarWinds environment near the end of the year. We are currently running SAM, NPM, and IPAM in three separate data repositories (though they all live on the same SQL box) and are wanting to integrate the three databases so that our web console is more of a single pane of glass... This is going to be a pain as I think the only way to do this is nuking one database from Orbit at a time, and reinstalling a product so that it points to the same database -- for example: Remove SAM and reinstall with the database in the same db as NPM. That, or standing up a fresh environment with temporary keys that will run in tandem with the current environment, then rediscover the network once all products are installed to the right DB. Good times.

If anyone here has had a similar experience or is thinking about the same thing, PM me. Would love to pick brains...

Level 9

Is anyone using VMTurbo? Keep commenting here or send me an email Kristin Bongiovanni.

Level 10

Solarwinds:

NPM

NCM

SAM

WPM

Others:

Nagios

vSphere Operations Manager

NetApp OnCommand