Network Monitoring Solution Customer Reviews

Editor’s Note: Occasionally, Enterprise Networking Planet is proud to run guest posts from authors in the field. Today, Russell Rothstein, founder and CEO of IT Central Station, pulls together the highlights of some IT Central Station user reviews of network monitoring solutions.

By Russell Rothstein

There are literally dozens of enterprise network monitoring solutions in the market, and choosing the right solution for your needs can be confusing. Which tool is right for you and your needs?  You can choose from toolsets from large commercial players such as Solarwinds, Fluke Networks and OPNET or look to open source solutions such as Zabbix and Nagios. How do you decide?

I founded IT Central Station to help network engineers and other enterprise tech users find the best software by offering hands-on reviews by real users. I would like to share some of what we’ve learned with the readers of Enterprise Networking Planet.

IT Central Station is like Yelp or TripAdvisor for IT software, but unlike other review sites, all of our reviewers are strictly validated to ensure that each review is authentic and based on a real user’s experience. We are an open, vendor-neutral site, and we do not endorse one vendor or another. If you use network monitoring solutions in your job, you can write your own review and promote your expertise to a community of IT decision makers.

Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM): Aaron Leskiw, a network engineer at a large consulting firm, wrote a fascinating in-depth review of Solarwinds NPM. He writes that NPM has an excellent UI and “does an all-round great job at automatically discovering network devices.” He likes its support for syslog, virtualization, and VSANs. On the other hand, he says that that stock reports feel limited. He is also disappointed about the lack of Hyper-V support, although you can poll it with SNMP.

Nagios vs Zabbix: These are two popular open source solutions for network monitoring, and a number of our network engineers take an opinion on which one is the superior solution. The majority of our reviewers prefer Zabbix, and the debates get quite passionate about which solution is best. One of our reviewers writes that “if you’re fed up with Nagios or doing a brand new deployment, taking a serious look at Zabbix will be worth your while.” He says that Zabbix offers a quick and simple install, support for multiple platforms, a variety of templates covering most popular software, integrated graphs, and escalation management.

IBM Tivoli Netcool: One of our users gave Netcool a four-star review. She would have given it five stars, except for the fact that it is a highly complex product and required significant training in order to get up to speed. Once she was trained on the solution, she found it very useful for her needs.

ManageEngine OpManager: A real user of OpManager writes that he chose OpManager because it is feature-rich; has strong automation features, especially for troubleshooting and network mapping; and supports Hyper-V and URL monitoring. On the other hand, its large feature set can also increase complexity, and he has encountered some difficulty loading custom MIBs for obscure devices.

On our site you can also find reviews from real users of Fluke Networks, Riverbed OPNET AppResponse Xpert (average rating: four stars), Microsoft SCOM (three stars), AppNeta (three stars), and many other networking products.

We also offer a free report, Network Monitoring Software: A Peek Into What Real Users Think, that includes the highlights of reviews from real network engineers and managers. Just register to get the report.

IT Central Station also offers reviews of network performance management software, network troubleshooting tools, enterprise routers, and other networking gear. All reviewers are validated with their LinkedIn profile to ensure our posts are authentic.

Russell Rothstein is founder and CEO of IT Central Station. He has spent more than two decades in the enterprise technology industry at the crossroads of technology and business. Before founding IT Central Station, he worked at enterprise tech vendors including OPNET (acquired by Riverbed) and Oracle. Russell was co-founder of Zettapoint (acquired by EMC) and Open Sesame (acquired by Bowne/RR Donnelley). He received a BA in computer science from Harvard University, an MS in technology and policy from MIT and an MS in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Follow Russell on Twitter @RussRothsteinIT.

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