Which product or product lines are you specifically referring to when comparing it against Engineer's Toolset? It would help to clarify what other products are missing against Toolset vs what is missing in Engineer's Toolset.
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I rely on the Toolset for one place to go to for all my troubleshooting needs. A few of the items I frequently use to make my days and nights easier include:
- WAN Killer allows me to prove throughput across new WAN pipes, ensuring the contracted bandwidth is actually being provided.
- Bandwidth gauges are up and running 7x24 on a dedicated Toolset PC, with their Historical Graph feature enabled, set to show 10-second updates for resources that are mission critical (e.g.: Internet bandwidth consumed, 10 Gig WAN links between states, etc.). My boss or the IT Director or the CIO stop by at any time and can instantly see the state of the Internet and WAN. It makes me shine in their eyes.
- I like the Advanced IP Subnet Calculator. Despite being able to access free ones online, this one's handy and familiar and flexible and intuitive to me.
- If you've ever been isolated from the Internet and you need to troubleshoot DNS, the DNS Resolver is a headache-reducer. Internet-based DNS resolution tools often won't be able to resolve your internal DNS entries; that's where the Toolset shines!
- I rely on Ping Sweep to refresh the FDB and ARP entries in my network gear, and to show me what addresses are available or down in real time.
- After using Ping Sweep, I use Switchport Mapper to discover and display every MAC address, every IP address, and every DNS entry for every device plugged into every port on a switch. This tool is particularly useful to me since I need this information to provide maintenance notifications to users of the equipment if/when there is a schedule maintenance window that will affect their access.
- Enhanced Ping is very useful for monitoring key systems in real time during critical changes. It's nice to know immediately which systems become unexpectedly unavailable, or to prove which ones ARE available, during major maintenance events.
- The MIB View and MIB Walk tools help me learn the monitoring capabilities of new products.
There are many other tools in the Toolset, and when you learn them and use them, your company will see how you are the Rock Star of the organization. It's all about having the right tool at the right moment, and being familiar with how to correctly and safely use it. Where else will you get all this in one package?
The Engineer's Toolset has become mandatory for all my Network Analysts to have on their PC's and laptops. And if you know what you're doing, it's free to install on your Orion poller servers, which makes it even more universally available and useful.
You could put together your own home made bunch of apps, from many different sources, with varying degrees of support and information available to help you use them. But the Engineer's Toolset has what my team needs, when where we need it, all in the same convenient package and format that is quick and easy to use.
And it's supported by Thwack and Solarwinds! Need I say more?
You also asked "Why buy other Solarwinds products if you have the Toolset?" The answers are many:
- The toolset travels with you, or stays on your PC
- The tools are unavailable to you and your team when your laptop or PC are off
- The Orion suite of products are Enterprise grade, meaning they're:
- Web based for easy access by multiple teams
- Built to handle lots of simultaneous tasks and heavy load
- Able to apply limitations on who can access which views, who can do what tasks
- Created specifically to track long-term trends with wonderful graphs and customizable reports
- Made to make your life easier by offering alerts and programmable actions when triggered by changing conditions on your network
The list of differences and strengths seems unending--you can make some comparisons between the Toolset and NPM and NCM and NTA and SAM and etc., etc., but simply put, the Toolset is your private workman's box of tools, while Orion Products are the factory--industrial systems that can be configured in infinite ways to serve anywhere from a small dedicated team of It experts to groups of thousands of customers. You wouldn't want to monitor 60,000 elements with your little Toolset, and NPM is built to easily scale to that size and do the job well. Similarly, you wouldn't want to be relying on NPM for your troubleshooting at a remote WAN site that is down, isolated from the Internet and the WAN--that's what your Toolset is for.
If you have departments and customers and need for 7x24 monitoring and alerting and tracking and troubleshooting and syslogging--you shouldn't plan to do all that with the Toolset on a laptop. Get Solarwinds NPM and expand to SAM and NCM and the other modules, and watch your downtime decrease and your business's efficiency and client satisfaction and uptime increase.
Use the Toolset for individual and localized troubleshooting, use the Orion suite for the Business, and then scale it up for the Enterprise.
This thread is still useful, still valid for me. I use it to justify budget for my team's tools.