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Network Automation Manager (NAM): Scale Simply Anywhere

Level 8

SolarWinds® Network Automation Manager helps remove your scalability concerns. Designed to cater to our largest customers, this solution integrates all the core network management modules on a unified platform (aka, the Orion® Platform). SolarWinds has been the worldwide market leader in network management software since 2017, according to IDC*.

No longer do you have to worry about which network management modules you may need. NAM includes functionalities from the following SolarWinds solutions into a single license: Network Performance Monitor (NPM)NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA)Network Configuration Manager (NCM)IP Address Manager (IPAM)User Device Tracker (UDT), and VoIP & Network Quality Manager (VNQM)

NAM Deployment OptionsNAM Deployment Options

We designed NAM with you as a network admin in mind. With NAM, our goal is to help you do your job faster with more depth of data so you can quickly resolve issues. NAM offers the following:

  • Simplified network operations
  • Enterprise scale for all network management needs
  • Built-in High Availability and scaling
  • Improved distributed site management with new Orion Remote Collectors (ORCs)

Simplified Network Operations and Automation Management

We constantly hear from network admins, and one of their biggest frustrations is not being able to see their entire network infrastructure in one place. Wouldn’t it be nice to get insights into network faultnetwork availability, performance, bandwidth, configuration, and IP address management in a single console? NAM puts all your network management muscle into a unified console and allows you to deep dive into traffic, flow, faults, and config changes.

  • Customize to Your Needs
    I think IT pros would agree no two networks are alike. I would want dashboards, maps, alerts, and reports I could easily customize to accommodate the specifics of my environment.
  • Quick and Easy to Implement
    I also dread when my IT management vendor tells me I can be up and running in a jiffy, but I need to get a professional service (PS) quote and an army of PS folks to help me get installed. With NAM, you get enterprise network monitoring with do-it-yourself installation and deployment. This means you can be up and running faster without relying on professional services or consultants, so you can get back to the other projects on your list. 

Enterprise Scale: Integrated Automation Management Solution for Enterprise Scale

For large environments, IT pros repeatedly tell me they need a network management solution that doesn’t make them worry about scale and can grow with their environment. This is especially true for huge enterprises with geographically dispersed sites; they need a platform capable of managing thousands of devices. Fortunately, with NAM, you can scale environments from 1,000 nodes to tens of thousands of nodes with comprehensive performance, traffic, WAN, and switch port monitoring; automated change and configuration management; and IP address management in one integrated network automation software solution.

Even greater news came with the release of NPM 2020.2—NPM can now monitor up to one million elements per Orion Platform instance. The previous maximum per-instance capacity was 400,000 elements as of the 2018.2 release. We couldn't be happier with the additional value this expanded scale provides to enterprise environments facing difficult decisions about what to monitor as they reach capacity limitations. As of the 2020.2 release, the maximum load you can place on a properly resourced NPM instance has increased by 250%. The Orion Platform has never been better equipped to comprehensively monitor global-scale environments with device-level precision.

Built-In High Availability and Scaling

Don’t you hate it when you’ve been nickeled and dimed trying to figure out how to ensure your platform is highly available and can scale? With NAM, you no longer have to worry about this. NAM includes high availability, and you don’t have to worry about how many pollers you need to stack to meet your initial needs. Additional polling engines (APEs) are stacked automatically, and you can poll up to 40,000 elements per server. You can review details about the scalability requirements for NAM here.

Improved Distributed Site Management: Orion Remote Collectors (ORCs)

Admins who manage distributed sites and branches constantly tell us they need a simple way to poll all their sites. Now with the release of 2020.2.1, NAM supports the much-anticipated Orion Remote Collectors.

What are Orion Remote Collectors?

ORCs function as a lightweight distributed polling option providing additional deployment flexibility. They provide a localized polling option with automatic data storage and forwarding for easy monitoring, even in low-bandwidth/high-latency environments. ORCs can monitor endpoints using agentless protocols such as SNMP and WMI, but they’re not a replacement for additional polling engines/remote office pollers and are fundamentally different in their architecture and capabilities.

ORCs only provide a limited set of polling capabilities for NPM and SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor.

Use Cases: ORCs are beneficial in environments where users want to provide device monitoring but don’t want to do it across the WAN or install expensive infrastructure to run a full polling engine.

There are several use cases for ORC capabilities, two of which are summarized below. You can review the details of these use cases in the following:

ORC Deployment for Remote SitesORC Deployment for Remote Sites

Orion Platform Deployed On-Premises With Remote Collector Monitoring Remote Locations

ORC Deployment for Cloud-based OrionORC Deployment for Cloud-based Orion

Orion Platform Deployed in the Cloud With Remote Collector Monitoring On-Premises

Here are some benefits of ORCs:

  • You can utilize agent technology for communication with the Orion Platform
  • No direct connection to the database necessary
  • Simplified architecture capable of being deployed in remote locations
  • Ability to poll/cache over unreliable networks (stores up to 24 hours with no connection to poller)

ORC Requirements

You can find more details about ORCs here.

You can also find full details about requirements and supported polling technologies here.

* IDC-defined Network Management Software functional market. IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker®, May 2020, 2H 2019

Does NAM sound like something capable of helping your business? We’d love to hear your comments and learn about your experience with NAM.