Top 10 Network Monitoring Software Reviews – Q1 2017

IT Central Station’s crowdsourced user review platform helps technology decision makers around the world to better connect with peers and other independent experts who provide advice without vendor bias.

Our users have ranked their solutions according to their valuable features, and have also discussed where they see room for improvement. You can read user reviews for the top 10 Network Monitoring Software from Q1 2017 here, to help you decide which solution is best for you.

Users compare and give feedback on the Network Monitoring solutions that they’ve used — based on product reviews, ratings, and comparisons.

network monitoring software reviews

#1 Nagios XI

Nagios XI is ranked by our users as the number one network monitoring solution of Q1 2017, but what do users really think of it?

Paolo Daniele shares that “the most important feature of Nagios is that you can write your own plugin, so you are able to create your monitoring system based on what you need.”

For Hattab Mahdi, valuable features in Nagios XI include:

  • Alerting with SMS and e-mail
  • Monitoring services on hardware status

Mahdi also writes that Nagios XI “improves the time to resolve incidents and administration of the system.”

Brendan O’Farrell describes that “While the UI is functional, I have always thought there was room for improvement here. It is at times assumptive for the not so technical, rather than informative.”

#2 CA Unified Infrastructure Management

The IT Central Station community ranks CA Unified Infrastructure Management as the number two network monitoring software for Q1 2017.

Zafir Yousaf shares (in his video review below) that “the most valuable feature for us is the way it brings silo products together that we’ve invested in over the years, and it allows us to consolidate our views for our customers.”

“I would like to see enhancements to core probes for bulk uploads,” writes Reba Gaines. Gaines explains that “Some probes have the capability to monitor multiple targets. You either must enter them one by one or use scripting to bulk load the targets. I would like to see that functionality built into the probes.”

#3 SevOne

SevOne is ranked by our users as the number three solution of Q1 2017.

Abdul Bari-Khan lists several valuable features of SevOne:

  • Basic Network monitoring;
  • Reporting (performance metrics, third-party data, status maps, device configuration, etc.);
  • Scalability (monitor devices and metrics, and maintain speed); and
  • It’s Linux-based.

“I’d like to be able to stitch together multiple network elements or services for more of an end-to-end view of network performance”, shares LeadDataNwkEng159.

#4 SCOM

The IT Central Station community ranks SCOM as the number four Network Monitoring Software of Q1 2017.

Stevan Davis points to SCOM’s “flexibility, the ability to create Management Packs to monitor different programs or devices. No matter what it is you want to monitor or how you want to monitor, it can be done.”

Mikhail Dolmatov shares that “As I see in the SC 2016 roadmap, the product development team understands that main improvements for the product should be: cross-platform and network monitoring features including stability and extensibility, wider support of dashboarding and cool widgets, the web console should be greatly improved, along with more handy development tools including custom widget development.”

#5 Zabbix

Zabbix is ranked by our users as the number five network monitoring software of Q1 2017.

One of the several pros found in Zabbix, writes kapilmalik1983, is that it “provides a user-friendly GUI interface for administration and configuration for monitoring servers and network.”

As for areas that can be improved, kapilmalik1983 shares that “Installation is a little complex, tedious, time-consuming and prone to user errors. However, once installed, it provides user-friendly interface for all administrative tasks.”

#6 SolarWinds NPM

The IT Central Station community ranks SolarWinds NPM as the number six solution of Q1 2017.

I love the GUI”, writes Christopher Good. He explains that  “Almost everything is accessible through the web interface. It is very user-friendly. It is easy to drag and drop resources wherever you want them.”

Joshua Biggley points to real-time analytics as the “major weakness of the SolarWinds NPM platform today. They’ve done a fantastic job enabling the collection of data. Users are now demanding the ability to generate their own graphs, views, and so on; all of this must be done by an admin today.”

#7 Fortinet FortiSIEM (AccelOps)

Fortinet FortiSIEM (AccelOps) is ranked by our users as the number seven network monitoring software of Q1 2017.

Randy Olds shares that as an Operations Manager, “There are things like dashboards and reports (preconfigured and custom) that let me know that things are operating the way they should be, and when they are not.

Reports and Alerts help identify security risks, identify performance problems, and help in capacity planning.”

InfoSecTL012 adds that Creating parsers to try to make unknown events or currently unsupported devices produce meaningful information is extremely cumbersome.”

#8 CA Spectrum

The IT Central Station community ranks CA Spectrum as the number right solution of Q1 2017.

Frank Tonjes writes that “The best thing about Spectrum is the way it has been designed ‘under the hood’. The concept of models with relationships to other models and each model having attributes. This makes a lot of information available that can be obtained very fast, instead of having to try to do everything via VNM shell or GUI.”

“I would like to see a unified poller, which they have already talked about”, shares Saad Syed. “If I have Performance Center in Spectrum, I don’t need to have separate servers for those same applications. I could have one unified poller, which is getting the traps and also polling information.”

#9 Opsview Enterprise

Opsview Enterprise is ranked by our users as the number nine network monitoring software of Q1 2017.

Reviewer642675 shares that “There are various features in Opsview that our organization finds valuable. We love the accurate alerting, graphs, and customization of alerts.”

Wayne Viljoen adds that “Opsview lacks few features. All of the areas we listed for improvement were implemented in Version 5.

Nonetheless, if it were to become more than a super monitoring tool, I would wish for an integrated CMDB and call-logging module to create a standalone integrated IT service management system out of it. It has the potential!”

#10 Netscout TruView

The IT Central Station community ranks Netscout TruView as the #10 solution of Q1 2017.

Dom Fitzgibbon explains that “Being able to see both packet performance data, Netflow, and SNMP together on one screen makes problem resolution easy to tackle.”

Fitzgibbon also describes how “When I first reviewed the TruView solution today it was quite comprehensive but through the version releases Fluke Networks and now NETSCOUT have continued to make the product better.

While Citrix could be handled better like their nGenius product line (which does an excellent job) it copes with the centralized type of deployment TruView covers.”

Read more user reviews for the Top Network Monitoring Software of 2017 here.

New Network Monitoring Reviews March 2017: Roundup from Our Users

At IT Central Station, the network monitoring category currently has 65 different solutions, over 330 reviews, and is followed by 14,365 members from our enterprise tech users. 

Here are some of our newest and most up to date user reviews for network monitoring solutions published by the IT Central Station user community.

OptiView XG

Valuable Features

Troubleshooting

NetworkAfc36 explains that “since this (his Pharma/Biotech company) is a data center, there are thousands of servers/users” which is why the troubleshooting “packet capture” feature is so valuable.

“The most valuable feature of this product is the sniffer”, says Mike Molfetto, explaining that his Consumer Goods company uses OptiView XG’s sniffer to “troubleshoot user connections by identifying the source and destination, to try to get to the root cause.”

For NetworkEng335, the 10 GigE connectivity helps with troubleshooting, as he shares that “we have a lot of 10 GigE connectivity in our data centers, so we can inject it into the switches, scan the ports and it enables us to capture that data.”

Variety of Applications

ITManagea899 compares OptiView XG to a “Swiss Army Knife”, explaining that his hospitality company uses it for “surveys, heat maps, verification of signal strength, and everything else…it’s the one product that we go to when we have a problem or need to get information, because it can do so much. You don’t have to go back and grab this or that other device.”

Room for Improvement

Lack of Automated Reporting

Mike Molfetto then writes that when it comes to the reporting function, OptiViewXG could be improved in a way that would allow report automation that “dumps the captures to discover what could be the potential culprit.” Molfetto also suggests implementing a distributive model, in order to allow mobile functionality.

Too Bulky

It’s bulky; it’s a big tablet”, writes NetworkEng335. “The physical dimensions need to change a little bit”, he suggests, so that it will be more portable, like an iPad. Except, he adds, “it’s like carrying around an iPad with three inches of bulk underneath it.”

SolarWinds NPM

Valuable Features

Graphical User Interface is Easy-to-use

“I love the GUI”, writes Christopher Good, describing that “almost everything is accessible through the web interface. It is very user-friendly. It is easy to drag and drop resources wherever you want them.”

“An easy-to-use interface for both admins and users is key”, writes Joshua Biggley. Biggley explains that “adoption of any product can be constrained by a UI that is neither intuitive nor visually engaging” and that the SolarWinds NPM framework “empowers a wide variety of admins and users to quickly find value in their installed products.”

Craig Norborg also speaks about SolarWinds NPM’s usability, giving an example of “when you add a node in NPM, it is easy to get it to start monitoring everything it supports and you very quickly see the results of this in the graphs and such.”

Room for Improvement

Notification and Alerting Features

A.J. DiLorenzo argues that the “notification and alerting configuration could be simplified” as “it would be easier to find if it was within the NPM web application instead of in separate client application.”

More Granular Permissions

“I’d like to see a role-based system where you can granularly apply permissions for administrative tasks and be able to assign these roles to people”, writes Craig Norborg.

Christopher Good also brings up the need for “granularity in the permissions sets in almost all of the SolarWinds products.” Good shares his wish to “be able to specify almost everything that a specific user group can do.”

CA Unified Infrastructure Management

Valuable Features

Monitoring Multiple Data Sources

CA UIMbrings silo products together…allows us to consolidate our views for our customers”, writes Zafir Yousaf. Yousaf explains that over the years, his (communications service provider) company has invested in a standard infrastructure; networks, switches, routers, and firewalls. But more recently, since they’ve begun a proposition to “expand to the cloud, Internet of Things, and Big Data, it’s evident to him that CA UIM is flexible enough to manage those silos, too.

Daniel Blanco also speaks of successful infrastructure management that complies well with various technologies/data sources, i.e. “storage, databases, OSs, synthetic monitoring, etc.”

Another user who discusses the advantage of “multiple data sources” is CEO3978, who describes this feature as a “centralized repository for ease of administration and data analytics.”

CEO3978 shares that “prior to CA UIM and CA Performance Center coming along, we had to look at all these systems individually.” Therefore, if one of them was having abnormalities, he explains, it was “difficult for engineers to identify the root cause. This now gives us a single pane of glass to identify the root cause a lot quicker.”

Room for Improvement

Consolidated Deployment Capabilities

Zafir Yousaf discusses the need for deployment tools to be consolidated further, which would include differences such as making the tools “more modular; drag and drop; being able to have a commercial model that also lends itself well with what we’re trying to achieve for our customers…”

Similarly, SrSysEng300 writes that users “should be able to better organize the grouping and deployment…The organization is lacking.”

CA Spectrum

Valuable Features

Alarm Management Utility

Heath Washburn points to CA Spectrum’stotal alarm management utility”, which allows all event alarms to be displayed in one place. Washburn explains that his company uses this utility “as a complete infrastructure management tool”, as all their third-party report into Spectrum.

Fault Tolerance

Engineer0ca8 explains that CA Spectrum’s fault tolerance capability allows his (tech services) company to “understand what’s breaking down (i.e. firewalls, other switches in between, a router, etc.)” essentially where and why, and “where on the path the issue is occurring.”

Room for Improvement

Device MIB Integration

Engineer0ca8 also writes that he would “like to see easier integration and implementation of device MIBs.” His reasoning, he explains is that “I usually find that, whenever we go to add a new device, the MIBs haven’t been certified yet. This is a painful process to get them working in order to find alerts, associate cost codes with event codes, and things of that nature.”

User Interface

“The OneClick UI is a little dated, but still very functional”, writes Frank Tonjes. Tonjes adds that although “they are also addressing this with the new web client, it’s not quite where it can be, but it shows promise and looks pretty good for their first attempt at it.”

Looking to read more network monitoring reviews?

See our entire collection of network monitoring reviews on IT Central Station.

The Best of the Best for 2013—Enterprise Vendor Reviews!

This year’s “Best of the Best” for IT Central Station are the 100’s and 1000’s of enterprise vendor reviews that provide in-depth and head-to-head competitive analysis that leads people to better IT decision making. Yup. More is more in this case.Enterprise Vendors

Think about IT (pun intended). The more peer IT users and decision makers get involved in the premier Yelp for Enterprise IT—as stated in the Wall Street Journal and through the latest sources for IT go-to information—the more the information becomes actionable as a source to vet for buyers of IT and also for analysts, consultants, and vendors who want to cross-correlate what they’ve been hearing.

These reviews are the heartbeat, bread and butter, brains, core, and—you know what we mean—the whole reason you’re even here checking out this post.

Best of 2013 for the Blog

Although reviews are the most important, let’s take a moment to acknowledge blog posts and thought leader posts from guest bloggers.  First, check out the most popular head-to-head post on the blog: Enterprise Vendor Boxing Match—Microsoft vs Tableau

Other popular posts include a real user’s perspective on network performance monitoring in a guest blog from Eric Evans, who is one of IT Central Station’s Expert Reviewers: Inspect What You Expect: The Importance of Monitoring

Eric is a Senior Information Systems and Technology Manager at the 6th Marine Regiment Head Quarters. Click here if you would like to be one of IT Central Station’s guest bloggers.

What about this one that provides a run down of Prioritizing Gartner’s APM Model – The APM Conceptual Framework? This one was posted by Larry Dragich, Director of Enterprise Application Services at The Auto Club Group and who is also an Expert Reviewers on IT Central Station.

Most Popular Guest Blogs

Speaking of guest bloggers, this year’s most popular guest blog is by Fernando Bustillo. He is a Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse expert and has experience working with SAP Business Objects, Oracle, Teradata and other enterprise solutions. Here’s the post: How to Successfully Manage BI Dashboard Projects

Second runner up goes to Fabrizio Volpe.  Fabrizio is an experienced network architect and was awarded the MVP Directory Services Award by Microsoft in 2011 and 2012. He is also the author of Microsoft Forefront UAG Mobile Configuration Starter by Packt Publishing and is an Expert Reviewer on IT Central Station. Here’s the post: Lync 2013 High Availability

Third runner up goes to Robert Goodman. Robert is one of our BI Experts on IT Central Station and recently posted about Real-time Data Collaboration with QlikView. He is the Director of Business Intelligence & Analytics at Georgetown University and has worked with government organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 school districts, NGO’s and commercial entities. Here’s the post: Warning Signs That You Need Better Business Intelligence

Let’s throw in one goodie. This popular post provides access to a: free BI Report

There you have it, the run down from IT Central Station. Happy Holidays and a new Year of lots of great reviews, insights, connections, collaborations, guest blogging, and great IT decision making!

Review Roundup: Fluke Networks Visual TruView

Today’s Review Roundup focuses on network monitoring reviews of Fluke Networks Visual TruView. There are so many solutions on the market and it’s hard to know which is best for your organization. Today we’ll look at what several real users have posted about Visual TruView as a network monitoring solution. Here are a few highlights:

  • David Varnum who is Manager of Engineering at a retailer says “There are only two solutions I keep up and running at all times, and Visual TruView is FlukeNetworksone of them. It gives me complete visibility into the application layer and when problems emerge, I can identify the source and work to fix it before it has an impact on the business.” Read his complete review here.
  • Dermot Tobin who is Senior Project Manager at a local government says “Before deploying the TruView, performance monitoring was fairly manual….With TruView, we have a much better view of application performance, particularly from the user perspective.” Read his complete review here.
  • reviewer68994a who is VP of Network/Comms/Infra at a financial services firm says “As we bring more of the responsibility for managing our network in-house, VPM’s ability to generate utilization reports is extremely valuable. In some cases, VPM can create reports that third-party vendors cannot. And with a small team – we have just 4 people managing the network across more than 100 locations – the ability to remotely identify and diagnose problems saves on time and travel costs.” Read his complete review here.

Click here to read more Network Monitoring Software reviews on IT Central Station. If you haven’t already, sign up with IT Central Station, browse reviews, follow your favorite products, or write a review of your own!

Inspect What You Expect: The Importance of Monitoring

We are once again featuring Eric Evans who is one of IT Central Station’s Expert Reviewers. Eric is a Senior Information Systems and Technology Manager at the 6th Marine Regiment Head Quarters. He has over 15 years of experience working with multi-disciplinary technology strategies and agile information systems management. Contact us if you would like to be one of our guest bloggers.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with a few leaders from various disciplines within IT. One of the biggest concerns thatADD_Evans were voiced was the ability to effectively monitor the performance of their enterprise, systems and other assets. Having been in their position, I completely understood their frustration…one that’s played out almost daily in IT.

Yet, even in crisis situations, few IT leaders are able decipher the handwriting on the wall until it’s too late.

When the famous luxury ship Titanic struck the iceberg, it took two and a half hours to sink. But although the hull was ripped and water was rushing into the compartments, when the first lifeboat was launched, there were only 28 people in it, despite its capacity to hold 65. In life – like on the Titanic – there are only a few people who have the ability to discern the meaning of small events and have the courage to make a decision. The rest go down with the ship.

Monitoring performance should be a top priority for any organization because it allows us to make a transparent and objective evaluation of whether our process and project has been a success or not. Enterprise network management and monitoring – it’s not just routers, switches, and firewalls in today’s data centers. More than ever before, managing a network means managing devices and applications on the network. Across the world, network administrators are consolidating physical servers to VMware, monitoring Active Directory performance, troubleshooting VoIP phone systems, and more.

The implementation of a monitoring and evaluation plan will provide us with the information required to evaluate and demonstrate to stakeholders the success of our processes and projects. Communication of a process or project outcomes and success is a fundamental requirement of all processes and projects.

To coin a phrase that’s echoed by DOD leadership, ‘Inspect what you Expect’. In other words successful business management requires the ongoing monitoring of performance in order to generate data by which to judge the success or otherwise of specific strategies. Improvement in performance can only be realistically achieved when management is properly informed about current performance. To this end it is important to identify key performance indicators that enable management to monitor progress.

In our industry, uptime and availability are critical because downed services and systems can put lives at risk, in addition to costing money. It is our job and purpose to make sure that all services are up, running and healthy.

There are many tools on the market for monitoring performance; one that I have relied on heavily for years has been “SolarWinds”.

SolarWinds is a network monitoring tool that offers advanced fault and performance management functionality across critical IT resources such as routers, WAN links, switches, firewalls, VoIP call paths, physical servers, virtual servers, domain controllers & other IT infrastructure devices.

Further the network monitoring software, combines an easy-to-use interface that lets you quickly deploy the product for production and also apply your organization’s monitoring policies across multiple devices quickly.

Being able to quickly deploy a network monitoring tool is especially important to me, since I typically manage at least three networks at a minimum – often times in austere environments. SolarWinds, provide 24/7 network monitoring of devices which notifies my Help Desk when a critical event has occurred. This has allowed my teams identify, isolate and resolves issues/events more quickly.

Because data availability is critical to our decision makers and business operations, my team leverages SolarWinds as a central management platform for tracking all the connected resources on our networks and as an Asset Management capability.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the value that SolarWinds brought to our Incident Management program by giving my Help Desk the power to immediately visualize how everything is connected. Enabling, us to deliver high-value, cost-effective IT services that support our global businesses. Solar Winds solutions allow us to maximize our IT investments by protecting our critical data and systems. It empowers us to keep business activities moving forward at all times, helping the organization achieve its goals.

This was instrumental in the prevention of service outages and reduced down times significantly. Additionally our top-level decision makers were able to understand and capitalize on the strategic potential of information technology by integrating it into everything they do.

The business environment today offers few second chances for course correction.

Network uptime is a critical, and it’s the life blood of business operation. Our customers should be able to confidently rely on us to ensure that their mission-critical systems are available and running smoothly 24/7/365. Downtime means a loss of productivity, missed revenue opportunities, and potential brand damage.

Read reviews of Network Monitoring Software from real users at IT Central Station. See reviews of SolarWinds NPM, Wireshark and other Network Monitoring Software vendors.

The Weekly Roundup – Network Monitoring Software

This week’s roundup explores network monitoring solutions. There are so many solutions on the market and it’s hard to know which is best for your organization. Today, let’s see what our real users are saying about network monitoring solutions from Wireshark, Riverbed, and Solarwinds. Here are a few highlights direct from IT Central Station users:

Wireshark  was given an average of five stars from multiple reviews. Betty DuBois, owner of a network consulting firm, says: “The best thing about Wireshark is its community and ecosystem”. Aaron Leskiw, a networking expert for a technology consulting firm calls it a “must-have network analyzer”. Finally, Henry Steinhauer, an engineer for a technology services company calls it the “best general purpose tool for troubleshooting anything on the network”.

weekly-roundup

AppResponse Xpert from Riverbed systems weighs in with an average of 4.8 stars. PerformanceGuy, owner of a technology services company gave it 5 stars and says: “Excellent for strategic metrics and as a troubleshooting/analysis tool, but needs better integration with AppInternals Xpert”. User network274, a networking and communications expert for a technology services company gave it 4 stars and says: “Flexible and feature-rich, but support cases often require escalation to R&D”. Last but not the least, Henry Steinhauer, an engineer for a technology services company gave it 5 stars and says: “Perfect for seeing the impact of SOA and complex applications.”

Network Performance Monitor from Solarwinds has been reviewed 9 times so far with an average rating of 4 stars. Our user PerformanceGuy, owner of a technology services company gave it 5 stars and says: “Feature rich, nice interface, and relatively inexpensive.” NetworkEng957, a networks and communications expert from a university gave it 5 stars and says: “Solarwinds network performance monitor adds flexibility and ease of management. It monitors network devices and their states.” NetworkAdmin375, a networks and communications expert for a retailer gave it 4 stars and says: “The most efficient Network Performance Monitor with its added characteristics like sniffing, alerting system, and fault discovery.” Real user mgrntwrk381, a networks and communications manager for a healthcare company gave it 4 stars and says: “Orion NPM is a great real time network activity & performance tracking utility. Web interface is great, but needs minor improvements”. User teenajain, an IT services director for a techology company gives it 4 stars and says: “Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is the SolarWinds Orion entry in the monitoring and alerting systems market.” User nicodiablo, a networks and communications expert for a manufacturing company gives it 4 stars and says: “We moved from nGenius to Orion NPM about 3 years ago and are very happy with the performance, features, and pricing”. Lastly, user network185, a networks and communications expert gives it 3 stars and says: “Quick to get up and running, but not as granular out-of-the-box as you would expect.”

Dozens of real users have written reviews about the network monitoring tools they use every day. IT Central Station guarantees that all reviews are 100% genuine. We protect the privacy of the user community – we validate that the reviewers are real users of the products so that users can say what they really think and be heard!

Click here to see what else people are saying about network monitoring solutions and share your thoughts.

If you haven’t already, sign up with IT Central Station, browse reviews, follow your favorite products, or write a review of your own!

The Weekly Roundup – Wireshark

This week’s roundup explores network monitoring and security software. Let’s find out what people are saying about Wireshark, a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development, and education. Here are a few highlights:

  • Engnr246 says: “One of the best products that can provide the details of what is happening with an application and the full life cycle of the response time… [but] not always simple to setup and get the filtering right when capturing data.”
  • Techie says: “You can easily analyze each and every packet captured from the network based on protocol types like TCP, IP, UDP, etc.”
  • Mgrntwrk381 says: “[the] GUI layout is user friendly and straightforward, which provides protocol-based color coding and comprehensive graphical representation of raw data.”
  • RonSNunes says: “I’ve been working with Wireshark for a long time, since back in the days when it was still called Ethereal. Since then, there has been no alternative for me for Packet Sniffing. Wireshark does exactly what I want and leaves me with no need to look elsewhere.”

Wireshark was awarded 5 stars by real users. IT Central Station guarantees that all reviews are 100% genuine – not vendors, analysts, consultants or bloggers. We protect the privacy of the consumer community – we validate that the reviewers are real users of the products while ensuring complete anonymity so that you can say what you really think and be heard!

Click here to see what else Wireshark users are saying and share your thoughts.

Are you using other products for Network Monitoring? See what people are saying about AppResponse Xpert, SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, NetQos Performance Center and many more.

If you haven’t already, sign up with IT Central Station, browse reviews or write a review of your own!

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