8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2009 4:01 PM by ElisabethZakes

    Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset


      i'm a first time buyer of Solar Winds, we run a small/medium sized Networking company which deploys mainly wireless and VSAT links. Even though we have a number of Banks on our network which are pretty keen on a high level of service, I'm concerned that the Engineers Toolset might be overkill for my needs.

      Can anyone give me their take on this? Any comparativate indication would be a great help!





        • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset

          You could just download the Toolset eval and try it out for a couple weeks (as well as IPMonitor and/or Orion). It might help to know what your needs are, and why you're interested in Toolset.

          Toolset is meant for diagnostics & troubleshooting, whereas IPMonitor and Orion are for network performance monitoring.  Can you explain your needs a little bit more?

            • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset

              we have a number of key activities:

              1) troubleshooting our VSAT WAN environment, Microwave Networks and LAN environment, things like network analysis, issue diagnosis etc.

              2) Performance management for our network and on behalf of our clients. where we are in Nigeria, clients tend to buy capacity far below what their actual requirements are and then blame the providers, us as a case in point, for lack of performance. we need to be able to aggressively monitor and manage the performance of our network, anticipate bottlenecks and take aggressive actions. we also have to meet strict SLA's and are heavily penalised if we don't so we would need the toolset to assist us in meeting our SLA obligations.

              3) Reporting on all our nodes and client locations to the business and clients to corroborate that we are delivering the capacity and performance that we are contracted to do and also to assit us in demonstrating to the client where they are running congested links due to a lack of capacity or LAN issues and be able to suggets the necessary fixes.

              These probably are our key activities (amongst the many more!) and we really would need whatever toolset we acquire to address all these issues.



                • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset

                  It sounds like you would be a good fit for the Engineer's Toolset and the Orion Performance Monitor. I recommend that you try out the free evaluations to see if they  meet your needs.



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                    • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset



                      thanks for the response, i will download the evaluation packages for the Performance Monitor and the Engineers Toolset and try them out. one last thing though, my Solar Winds rep keeps telling me i need the Netflow Traffic Analyzer module as well. it seems to overlap what the NPM does already, or am i wrong? any thoughts on this?



                        • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset

                          The NetFlow Traffic Analysis module (NTA) integrates with Orion Network Performance Monitor, but its functionality is more geared towards analyzing NetFlow data.  Where Orion NPM tells you interface traffic utilization numbers over time, NTA can tell you the traffic breakdown across that interface by host, application, country, domain, ToS, etc. over time.  It provides a lot more detail, but requires routers capable of exporting Cisco NetFlow v5 or v9, Juniper J-Flow, or sFlow v5.  Its storage requirements are somewhat high - routers generate a LOT of NetFlow data.  From what you mentioned about managing and reporting on client capacity and SLA, I wouldn't say that NTA is a need based on that alone.  However, if you find that planning and managing your own capacity requires isolating the traffic requirements of a particular host, group of hosts, TCP or UDP service (or group of TCP and/or UDP ports), ToS, and the like, then I would say that you do need NTA.

                          If you decide that you don't need the Orion NTA module, you're not without NetFlow analysis tools, either. There is a NetFlow Realtime tool in the Engineer's Toolset, which is geared to a more "right now" analysis of NetFlow data.  Its capacity and feature set are more limited than that of NTA, but it does give you the ability to do NetFlow analysis when your needs don't require a full-scale NetFlow monitoring and analysis package like Orion's NTA module.

                          You might take a look at the Orion online demo to see a better picture of NTA's features.  Hope this helps.

                      • Re: Engineers Toolset  V  Standard Toolset

                        To add to what Steve mentioned, here is a comparison between IPMonitor and Orion.  It sounds like you could really benefit from Orion's alerting capabilities.