- What industry is your company in?
- 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)
- Which SolarWinds product are you writing this review for?
- What problem were you trying to solve when you purchased?
- Did you consider options other than SolarWinds? Who?
- How are you using the product and what benefits have you seen?
I'll answer these questions in a narrative format:
The company I work for is not only a traditional telecom, but also a provider of VoiP, IPTV, Internet and a myriad of other next generation services. My team is not an IT shop, but an Operational organization. Instead of monitoring back office systems, we are tasked with monitoring all network infrastructure and application middle-ware that provides or supports services to our customers. We currently monitor, across multiple instances of solarwinds, over 13K devices, 128K interfaces and over 800 applications.
We leverage, primarily, NPM, NCM and SAM to monitor our network and application infrastructure. Prior to our solarwinds implementation, we maintained a myriad of open source applications including cacti, nagios, network weather map, smoke ping, et al. Maintaining these applications quickly became a nightmare at the scale that we were monitoring devices. (see our volumes in the previous paragraph,) especially since our monitoring needs are in (at the time of this writing) six different states in North America.
The most appealing feature that we have found, outside of the essential monitoring capabilities and application component monitor scripts that we can customize, is the ability for us to define our own snmptrap template, including custom varbinds derived from database properties. Our solarwinds implementation sends snmp traps northbound to IBM netcool which provides us with a single pane of glass to monitor alarms from every component and element manager in our network. Because of this robust functionality, not only are we able to provide our NOC operators with relevant context from current alarms, but we are also able to provide them with historical data from solarwinds to help them determine trends and recurring conditions as well as relate conditions to recent configuration changes.