18 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2009 11:13 PM by acherman

    Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

       As far as I understand it, if you have Orion SLX installed, all your add-on modules HAVE to be SLX. Why is this?

      I would love to have Netflow and APM, but we will monitor only a hand full of interfaces and servers, so why do we have to purchase the Expensive SLX version?

      Unfortunately I can only think that SW built it this way to extract more money from us. As far I am can tell there is no logical reason why we cannot have Orion SLX, but have a SL100 Netflow add-on module right?

      I for one cannot justify to my manager paying £11,110 for APM ALX add-on module, when all we need is a £2,775 AL100 module.

      Solarwinds, is there any planning to enable this feature? I am Very sure many more customers would purchase add-on modules and be happy, without the  feeling of being a little ripped off.

      What do you guys think? 

        • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules
          Mark Roberts

           As far as the APM module is concerned, you can buy the license size you require for the number of monitors you are going to put into place.

           It is therefore not a requirement to purchase the unlimited ALX with your Orion SLX. If you only need a few monitors you can happily go ahead with the AL100.

            • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

               Yes, APM is not tied to the size of the Orion. 

                • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                   Ah, great news on the APM.

                  What about NTA, VOIP, Wireless modules? 


                    • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                       Wireless is a flat fee.  NTA and VoIP are tied to the size of the NPM installation because in both cases, the value of the product is tied directly to the size of the network.  That is, even if you're only collecting NetFlow on some interfaces, the value of the traffic is a correlated with the size of the network.

                        • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                           That is an interesting take on it! But I still think the customers should have the choice of which licenses the should have, without being tied to the most expensive option.

                          In fact I think that SW would probably make more sales, as much much more customers would buy the smaller versions than a few buying the larger version, prob making SW more money in the long-run and keeping customers happier. 

                          So is there any plans in the future to do this?


                            • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                              Denny, I think I have to agree with Videotech on this one. Orion itself is licensed based on the maximum number of elements you wish to monitor. Shouldn't the same principle apply to the add-on modules? Shouldn't each additional function be licensed based on the maximum number of devices or elements to which one wishes to apply this functionality? If there's always a one-to-one correlation between all the elements in Orion and the number of licensed "elements" associated with a particular add-on module, then it's a moot point, but is that ever really the case?

                              I'm in agreement that a more flexible licensing approach is likely to lead to increased sales of the smaller licenses, thus increasing disbursement of the add-on mods among existing Orion customers, as well as possibly making the Orion "suite" more attractive to prospective new customers who would benefit from the additional flexibility. This would lead to a larger customer base for the additional modules, which in turn will likely result in greater customer feedback as to their effectiveness in real world situations, thus allowing SW to tune and refine them into more effective products.

                              Actually, if you really want to make a hit, you might want to think about making all the mods follow the same model as the wireless mod. That way, all additional mods have a flat rate of $2,495 and wouldn't have any silly licensing limitations whose only purpose in life is to cause your customers to spend endless sleepless nights worrying about how to convince the bean-counters to spend the additional dough so we can play with some new toys. :)  OK, maybe that was a little silly, but I do think that additional licensing flexibility would be better for all involved.

                                • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                  NTA is not licensed by interface. We decided against that approach because all interfaces are not created equal.  The most direct measure of value would be "flows", but it would be difficult for anyone to know ahead of time how many flows they wanted to monitor.  We use network size as an imperfect proxy for how much data is likely to flow through NetFlow devices.  Larger implementations of Orions are typically managing larger networks.  In the same way, VoIP is not licensed by call path but by Orion size because larger networks have more VoIP data and the value of the VoIP monitoring is typically greater. 

                                  You're suggesting that we bump the balancing between higher prices and greater volume in favor of greater volume.  We'll certainly discuss that option.  You'd probably be surprised at how many people within SolarWinds read most or all of what's on Thwack.  It's not just the product managers and Support.  So these comments will be discussed.  That doesn't mean we'll reach the same conclusion that you do, but I can assure you that they're taken seriously.

                                    • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                      I absolutely agree with the other commenters here.  Who is the world is going to monitor 5000 netflow sources?!?! 

                                        • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                           Exactly my problem here. I just recently upgraded to Orion SL500 with VoIP and NTA. We blew through those interfaces in three months and I desperately need more, but already sepent $16K+ on the original upgrade (from SL250 as well as adding NTA and VoIP for first time). If I only had to add on the upgrade for Orion to SL2000 I could get it pushed through but I will probably never monitor 500 Netflow interface or VoIP for that matter. For that reason alone I got shot down before immediately at my request for additional money. Sales even tried to discount the module pricing for me to compensate, but management just won't go for it.

                                            • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                              I'm in the same boat.  I need the netflow, voip, and apm module.  APM isnt' a problem since it doesn't need to be the same level.  voip and netflow are b/c I need twice as many basic monitoring elements with Orion, and prebably less than 100 element/nodes for netflow and voip.  It's really hard to get the funding for this when you know you can't justify paying for elements/nodes that you won't use.  From a customer standpoint, it can be seen that they are wasting money if they at most have 100 netflow devices, but have to buy support for 500 just because they have more elements to monitor.

                                                • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                  As I said earlier, NTA and VoIP are not licensed by interface.  They're licensed according to the size of the network because the value of NetFlow is a function of the network size.  And we use the size of your Orion implementation as a proxy (admittedly, an imperfect one) for network size.  So you're not paying for more interfaces, you're paying for the increased value of the monitoring.  I don't expect that those posting here will agree with the rationale, but it's not an arbitrary one.

                                                    • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                      How can that be justified when we as a customer currently have 13,000 elements which requires us to purchase the SLX edition of Orion but only have five 6509 chassis that are capable of Netflow these in turn have 500 elements between them so only 3.8% of the overall but we've got to go and spend £8,300. This is the reason why we went out and got Scrutinizer they license per device so they have a 5 license for £1,500 and we're now looking at the Denika add-on for IP SLA monitoring.

                                                      Management wanted everything in a single interface until we told them the costs and they couldn't justify the expense.

                                                      Its a shame really when Solarwinds have such a great product and add-ons but have such a ridiculous pricing modal.

                                                      • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                         I think we all understand HOW you're currently licensing the modules, but we don't agree with it.  In my opinion, the simple fact is that assuming that we have more network equipment monitored than server equipment.  the netflow and voip are useful ONLY for routers and switches, but what if you had more elements being used for servers (if you were monitoring multiple interfaces and volumes).  I agree that it's imperfect, and I know it's not arbitrary, but I wish a different metric was used to assess the value of your product and the value it would be to my network.  Like jonchill, I'll probably be going with a different product for netflow monitoring simply because I cannot justify the cost.

                                                        In my opinion, the hard sell comes from the fact that you can't know how valuable a specific service is in a network.  In my case, I could use the 2000+ element orion, the voip module, and the netflow module...but I couldn't justify the cost.  that number of elements would have gone into monitoring volumes and server interfaces on the switch-side...which have very little to do with voip or netflow.  I have 1 netflow capable router at the moment, so if i wanted to use netflow i would have to buy the package to match the 2000-element orion, which is in no way justifiable.  Same with VoIP.  I have voip at less than 40% of my sites, but I would have to buy this larget package for voip monitoring.  So to get some voip monitoring and orion, i had to purchase the cheaper one and hope that we can upgrade.  It's a frustrating situation.  My question would be, how does solarwinds feel about that?  Am I a special case or do other customers run into this same problem?

                                                          • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                             Denny, I think its pretty obvious how the community feels about the VOIP  & NTA add-on pricing. We are close to making a decision on where to go for the Netflow monioring (NTA or Scrutinizer). I would love to you NTA, but to be perfectly honest unless the pricing structure changes, solarwinds will continue to loose out to Scrutinizer and other products on this one, as well as making it's customers feel hard-done buy if they are forced to pay over the odds.

                                                            I know you said these views would be taking into consideration and that many people from Solarwinds reads these forums, but can you confirm that discussions have been had within Soalrwinds by senior management on this matter? If yes then what is the conclusion??

                                                            I am egar to know if I should hold out for a cheaper NTA, or go ealsewhere.


                                                              • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                                I can assure you that all of the product managers share your concerns with the executive team.  They have discussed it, and take it seriously.  That doesn't mean that they'll change their mind.  It's important to keep in mind that there are lots of customers who approve of the licensing model and who appreciate that the value derived from NTA and VoIP more than justify the price.   Contented folks aren't as likely to post about it on Thwack.

                                                                So, yes, executive management definitely is listening.

                                                                • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                                  Hello gents,

                                                                  Totally agree with what most of you are saying about the licensing issue. Working as the SolarWinds distributor in the Middle East, companies and ministries often go to tender.

                                                                  When writing these tenders the exact requirements of the client are drawn up. So from a tender i recently responded to they needed NPM SLX, Netflow 100 and VOIP 250 - i was stunned to find out only recently that i have to now propose Netflow SLX as well as VOIP SLX. The increased pricing has now ruled me out of the tender as cheapest price wins. This is where other vendors such as watsupgold are capitalizing and winning the market out here.

                                                                  Client is king - fulfill their requirements and they are happy - try to convince them to go with unlimited VOIP license when only 250 are needed will defintely result in lost opportunity.

                                                                  A real shame considering the product suits the Middle Eastern market as an SMB NMS.

                                                                  Any plans to change this structure so i can respond to some tenders.

                                                                  Omar Khalid

                                                                  Project Facilitator


                                                                  2nd Floor, Darwaza Tower

                                                                  Mubarak Al-Kabeer Street

                                                                  PO Box 39919, Al-Nuzha 73060

                                                                  Kuwait City

                                                                  Tel (Office) +965 2247 0154 or 2247 0169 or 2247 3160

                                                                  Fax           +965 2247 0168

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                                                                  "Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit - wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"

                                                                    • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                                      I absolutely agree, it has knocked me out of tender response also due to this limitation on the licensing model

                                                                      I am not trying to build a centralised Solarwinds environment where I will invest early in the unlimited modules, and then let customers pay me to monitor their environment over remote links

                                                                      In the end, it probably means reduced revenue for Solarwinds but not a huge difference, but it means if a customer has a lot of elements, but a small amount of VoIP/Netflow to look at, i will be able to provide them it by just hooking into their network, and if necessary, deploy a dedicated poller on their network without having to buy more module licensing

                                                                      I would definitely rather have the ability to purchase reduced modules like the NTA and APM is sold


                                                                        • Re: Orion SLX licensing with non-SLX add-on modules

                                                                          I had never read this thread before the last two responses popped up.  We are also discouraged by being forced to match license levels.  I recently added NTA here.  I mentioned we are nearing the limit on our NPM licence and Sales did their best "sell" in discounting the upgrade, but of course I would have to upgrade NTA as well - even though I did not want to add any more NetFlow/sFlow monitoring.  I will never hit that limit and therefore will never be given the budget to upgrade.  Other options are being found and tested almost monthly now.