New Network Monitoring Reviews March 2017: Roundup from Our Users

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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


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.


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