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Solarwiinds NPM product review..

  1. What industry is your company in?  Telecommunications
  2. How large is your IT shop? (Small (1-250 elements); Medium (251 – 2000 elements); Large (2001 to 10000 elements); Extra-large (greater than 10,000 elements) We have an extra large IT shop, and it still continues to grow!
  3. Which SolarWinds product are you writing this review for? This is for Network Performance Monitor but NTA has provided some benefits that have really enhanced NPM so I mention both.
  4. What problem were you trying to solve when you purchased? We needed continuous network monitoring for dozens of nationally located sites, and the ability to observe features such s CPU load, memory, packet loss, etc.
  5. Did you consider options other than SolarWinds? Who? There are other network performance monitoring tools that are on the market, but SolarWinds had an upper hand because of the amount of support and features it can offer. For instance, I have not seem many other companies that offer the amount of support Solarwinds' thwack community can offer.
  6. How are you using the product and what benefits have you seen?

NPM is currently has two separate instances in our company with more than 13 polling engines to assist in the monitoring process. We have had this product for many years, around seven I believe, and have recently begun to expand on it's initial features by adding NTA. With the recent update, NPM 12, NTA became integrated with NPM information at the new view level which has several added benefits and time saving value. Also the ability to monitor and manage F5 loa balancing is a major asset for NPM. Other features that we are eager to expand on is the ability to monitor custom elements. After doing some research on this in the THWACK community I hope to implement groups in combination with these custom features to save time when trying to view something. For instance, NPM offers the ability to unmange an objet but does not provide any type of unmanaged report or provide fields offering explanations for why the node is unmanaged, if this is temporary or permanent, etc The only "complaint" we have with NTA/NPM is the reporting feature. While it is known that these are not the main feature of these services it would be nice if SolarWinds would give more freedom in the report building area if they are not going to expand on the features already provided.

Overall I would say that having Network Performance Monitoring capabilities has really enhanced our ability to troubleshoot network issues, provide more consistent service throughout the company and give insight to trends and patterns on device history. It has even helped us prevent some issues before they reach the critical explosive point and stop working. NTA in combination with NPM can be fabulous in some troubleshooting areas because of the ability to monitor bandwidth and user activity from set locations. On top of that there's a large amount of community support through the forums, and SolarWinds has training classes that can take you to the next level in your environment.

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