I love the idea but it's not for everyone. Not exactly hidden either -- you did find it after all... It depends on your monitoring needs and network/security setup. I have many firewalls in my environment and not all networks route to one another. That said... the IPAM doesn't support multiple APEs at this time which was a big factor for us. I personally would love a centralized deployment but at least for us, the functionality just wasn't there yet when initially deploying.
IPAM v4.5 they're working on supporting APEs which is great but not yet released. I'm looking forward to that as that will bring some possible consolidation efforts.
Certainly worth consulting with support if you're unsure what you may need or how you'd like to set it up.
Yes its like a mini poller specifically targeted at small remote office locations. The full polling engine has no license restriction and is limited only by performance constraints. However; the ROP (Remote Office Poller) comes in a 250 and 1000 element licensing option. This means that you choose the most appropriate ROP license for the number of devices that you want to monitor in your remote office. Now because the ROP monitors only a restricted number of devices then its price is much lower than the full polling engine and now you can afford to deploy a ROP to each of your remote offices and have local monitoring taking place. This means that you have reduced load on your WAN links and if a WAN link does go down for a few hours/days then the ROP is sill taking measurements for you and when the WAN is fixed all results will be shipped back to ORION and you will have no gaps in your data. I agree its a little hidden but its a great feature.