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ManageEngine OpManager Competitors and Alternatives

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CB
Senior Operations Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 20
Enables us to get up and running much faster, while still maintaining a customized look and feel for our clients

Pros and Cons

  • "We get full visibility into whatever the customer wants us to monitor and we get it pretty rapidly. That is very important. Only having certain metrics that other platforms will give you out-of-the-box means you only get a small picture, a thumbnail picture. Whereas with LogicMonitor, you get the entire "eight by 10 picture", out-of-the-box. Rather than some availability metrics, you get everything. You get metrics on temperature, anything related to hardware failure, or up and down status."
  • "The only functional area I can think of that has room for improvement would be the dashboards. They could use a refresh. It would be nice if there were more widgets and more types of widgets."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring our customer networks, for monitoring network devices, and we also use it for monitoring our hosted environment.

We're a managed service provider. We have LogicMonitor deployed so that we not only have our devices input into the system, but we also manage a lot of resources for our clients in it. We have it set up so that they can only see their items in there, through a lot of access control. We have a local presence with the collectors, the polling stations, while the data resides in the cloud. Once we pull the data, it then shifts all the data up to the cloud for long-term storage. LogicMonitor is all SaaS-based, other than the local collectors.

How has it helped my organization?

Before LogicMonitor, we were using another tool, and deployment of that tool took a lot of time, effort, and energy from our team, and it was very customized. While the end-product could have been great, because everything is so customizable, the problem was that we couldn't get up and running very quickly. With LogicMonitor, we didn't lose any of that customized look and feel, but we were able to get up and running so much faster. We went from onboarding even simple networks over the course of weeks to down to about a week.

We're able to monitor most of the things that our customers worry or care about. That's mostly because of the flexibility of LogicMonitor. The beautiful part about this is that if something is not currently in the system at the moment, the support from LogicMonitor has meant that it gets ramped up pretty quickly.

For customers who have multiple monitoring platforms, it's definitely very easy to simplify and get to a situation where there is one place for monitoring everything. That's definitely been helpful for them.

LogicMonitor's collectors, along with its templated integrations and dashboards, enable us to automate our onboarding process and roll it out to new customers. We've learned how to make it our own, based on what LogicMonitor provides us. We've been able to make ourselves more efficient, absolutely. The faster we can get online and onboard customers, the faster we can get to the point of turning their service on. That means that we can go from a non-paying customer who has agreed to work with us, to a paying customer who's now fully onboarded. We then have them working through the specifics of a managed services solution, outside of the monitoring tool, which is very important for us.

The breadth of things it's able to monitor, the simplicity of the deployment, and how quickly we can get it up and running are the biggest factors when it comes to helping us win new business. Functionally, there are no aspects of LogicMonitor that hinder that ability. It has definitely helped our margins, as an MSP, especially on the monitoring side, because we can get up and running so quickly. It's an absolute must for us to have the tool.

Seeing how easy it is to manage devices, how simple it is to add, remove, or modify a device, and the amount of data that's included out-of-the-box whenever you add a device, makes it far superior to any product. There are no add-ons needed. You license a resource or a device and you don't have to worry about adding a plugin to get all the additional metrics and the full depth of device data. This just happened last week on a customer demonstration call with a customer that has experience with SolarWinds. The customer saw how easy it was to get up and running on LogicMonitor and they were immediately sold and said, "Okay, give me a quote." That's a real scenario in which this product helped us. It's those aspects that not only help us gain new customers, but also to retain customers.

Overall, LogicMonitor saves us time. It's hard to quantify how much now, given that we've been using it for as long as we have.

When I consider LogicMonitor for future-proofing our business, with the ability to monitor customers' future IT environments, I'm pretty comfortable with it. That's because anything that we have come to them to request—whether it be a new feature, or having input into the UX and UI designs—they've been very open and very responsive to. Their support has been very accommodating. When it comes to looking at what could potentially be coming down the road, or to being future-proofed, I feel pretty good, given my experience with the types of special requests I've brought to them.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the flexibility it gives for monitoring a particular device. There are a variety of ways we can get data into LogicMonitor.

In addition, it is an open platform that gives us the ability to add third-party application integrations, such as Slack or ServiceNow or Webex Teams.

There are also integrated features that allow for forecasting growth within the environment, not only for standard metrics like CPU and memory, but also for hard drive space utilization. Those are some pretty interesting and exciting features that are included in the platform.

On top of that, LogicMonitor has the ability to map out an environment at the network level.

It also enables us to drop a collector and automatically pick up everything in the target IT environment and map relationships. Obviously, you have to have the ability to reach the device. If there is anything stopping you via firewalls, then you can't get to it. But from a hypothetical standpoint, once a collector is in, we can capture everything very quickly based on an IP scheme. This has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that we can capture everything very rapidly. However, if there is a misconfiguration on the client's network, then there could be the possibility of grabbing devices that are not needed. So there is some TLC that needs to be done when handling these, but it is a very useful aspect of the tool when it comes to onboarding.

In terms of instant visibility into all of the technology we will monitor for customers, it depends on the customer. But anything the customer wants us to monitor is leveraged. Some customers will say they only want to monitor telephony, while some will only want to monitor their network. We get full visibility into whatever the customer wants us to monitor and we get it pretty rapidly. That is very important. Only having certain metrics that other platforms will give you out-of-the-box means you only get a small picture, a thumbnail picture. Whereas with LogicMonitor, you get the entire "eight by 10 picture", out-of-the-box. Rather than some availability metrics, you get everything. You get metrics on temperature, anything related to hardware failure, or up and down status. It's pretty important for being able to provide a valued service to the customer about the overall health and availability of their environment.

We use LogicMonitor's dashboards quite a bit. In fact, we have our own customized dashboards. We use pieces of the templated dashboards and they definitely help in guiding us to places where we can pull certain indicators of how our customer is doing. Overall, we almost always end up having to adjust the dashboards to fit our customer needs, but the templated dashboards are significantly helpful. They tell us the different methodologies that we can use. We then take them and tailor them for the specifics that we need.

It's super-easy to customize the templated dashboards. For example, we have a school district customer with a campus. The template dashboards give us templates for wireless and templates for general networking and a few other things. We pick and choose the different widgets that we want out of those dashboards and we put them on the single dashboard for that particular school. That provides them visibility into all the things that are critical to them without having to go through multiple dashboards. We get rid of the things that they don't care about, things that our next customer may care about. We try to come up with dashboards that are specific to our customers' wants and needs and to give them, as much as possible, a single place to look for something.

LogicMonitor also hits the vast majority of technologies and complex environments when it comes to coverage, including on-prem, hybrid, cloud, et cetera. It does a really good job at covering the most-used technologies.

What needs improvement?

The only functional area I can think of that has room for improvement would be the dashboards. They could use a refresh. It would be nice if there were more widgets and more types of widgets.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using LogicMonitor for two and half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Up until two weeks ago, I would have said the stability of LogicMonitor is phenomenal. We had never had an issue. But two weeks ago, they had a bumpy week and a half.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is based on our customers. The process for scaling the product out, for handling the resources from the collector side, is very simple. The one thing we've had issues with is that, when it comes to certain widgets on the dashboards, there are limitations on how many instances can be displayed through a widget. That is something that has caused us to rethink the way that we do our dashboards. Not that that's a bad thing, because it allowed us to actually come up with building dashboards for the client, and that has worked out really nicely. But that is one area where the scalability of the product has been a headache.

Not counting our API accounts, we have around 50 people using LogicMonitor. A lot of them are our frontline staff who are using the system to monitor, alert, notify, and to assist customers with getting their environments back up and running. The other accounts are used by our clients to log in and see their dashboards and devices. There are also folks on the backend, like me, who manage the environment, add the devices, manipulate the devices, delete devices—housekeeping.

We use LogicMonitor quite extensively and we have plans to increase our usage. Any of our clients who were not using us for monitoring before, rather we were being used for other projects by them, are either onboarded now or they're coming on board. The percentage of our clients that we have within monitoring is growing day by day and week by week.

How are customer service and technical support?

We leverage their tech support quite a bit. They have a chat and a phone feature. For the most part, we leverage their chat and we use them for a very wide variety of things. Overall, I've been very pleased with their level of support. They've done a really good job of turning things around and helping where we've needed the help.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched from our previous solution because deployment time was entirely too long and it was too complicated.

How was the initial setup?

Once we were given our initial tutorial of the product, before we onboarded ourselves, it was very easy to do and we have found onboarding and implementation very pleasing. In terms of an MSP onboard, their documentation is some of the best documentation I've seen from a vendor. Based on their documentation, you can very easily onboard yourself. But we also had an executive-level onboarding demonstration.

Our original deployment had professional services involved and it took three or four weeks. But our customer deployments usually take a week. The biggest issue with our customer deployments is having the customer give us the right level of access. Slowdowns don't usually happen from the LogicMonitor side, they're usually from the customer side.

In our own company, we don't have a ton of devices to monitor, so it was really about making sure we got everything incorporated into the monitoring platform, including our cloud services.

In terms of maintenance, the collectors have software that needs to be maintained. The collector software is relatively easy to update. We can do it all from the portal itself. It handles the updates and restarting of the services, and it does so pretty quickly. Generally speaking, there is no downtime for the customer, whenever that happens. Outside of that, there are data sources and other source files that need to be updated on a monthly or  quarterly basis, according to how they're released. At times, those can cause some false positive alerts if they are not handled correctly on the import. In general, I'm the one who handles deployment and maintenance in our company.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves, but we had a few days of LogicMonitor's professional services to get the initial deployment going. Those services were more of a consulting function. Overall, we didn't need nearly as much help as some customers might.

What was our ROI?

LogicMonitor has given our customers visibility into issues they didn't even know existed. In some cases, when we do assessments, we will actually load a customer's devices into LogicMonitor. In many cases, it gives us visibility into things like misconfigured stack modules or broken stack modules. Stacks or switches won't be stacked correctly. They'll actually be just this side of failing, and nobody has noticed it. Sometimes there are environmental issues that the customer hasn't noticed, where a particular location gets hot every day around the same time. They don't notice it and eventually it's going to result in something failing.

New customer onboarding, for us, usually consists of two things. One is getting access so that we can get it deployed and get visibility into the customer environment. And the second part of it is access for our team. We don't want the LogicMonitor component to take a lot longer. And, in fact, we're able to get LogicMonitor up and running for our customers much quicker than they're able to give us accounts.

It also reduces mean time to repair. When we see an alert, more often than not it's intelligent enough to help us come up with some sort of a solution faster. We can see a service or a server or a switch go into a critical state. A lot of the time, without something like LogicMonitor, which has the full visibility into the device, you would have to log in to the device and do some troubleshooting to figure out what's going on. It could just be that the temperature of the chassis is elevated and it's causing the system to underperform. I can't tell you how much time it saves us on something like that, but scenarios like that are what we experience on a daily basis. It definitely cuts time off of our troubleshooting and response. It's everything from temperature alarms, to disk space, to bad memory modules, and bad hard drives. You name it, we see it. And instead of having to log in and troubleshoot for an hour or two hours, the data is right there in front of us already and we can automatically dispatch somebody to go repair the device.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're currently paying $525 per month per device for monitoring, and a dollar per device for configuration management.

We've had customers who have reduced their costs by not having multiple platforms for monitoring. That said, especially with super-large environments, the cost model for LogicMonitor is the one area where we run into issues. It's the one area where it can hinder our ability to win new customers. But that's only in very specific cases of very large customers. We're usually competing with something like SolarWinds. SolarWinds is on-premises and the cost model is very different. Sometimes we have challenges with large environments competing against that kind of cost model, where we're paying per node. When there are 3,000 or 4,000 nodes, that cost model can get very expensive very quickly.

There are three different licenses that we can get. There is the monitoring license, there is a configuration-monitoring license, and there is a log license. We've generally gotten the configuration-monitoring version. We're trying to get to a scale where we can get those numbers down. What we'd love to see is the scale of cost per device going down. The numbers get skewed, even still. The cost for 2,000 or 3000 devices shouldn't be the same as the cost for 500 devices, and by a large margin.

The AIOps is the log portion of the solution. We would love to use it, but the way that they have it licensed, we haven't been able to. They want to license it for our entire portal and it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to us. For us, it's challenging the way they have it licensed right now. We're working toward it.

It does give us the ability to charge a premium price but it's a little tough to call something a premium product in the monitoring world—even though we may see it as a premium product—because our customers don't look at it that way. For them, it doesn't matter how great the monitoring tool is.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at three or four others, but that was several years ago. We chose LogicMonitor because of the simplicity of deployment and the time to get up and running. It's simple, but it's still as complicated as it needs to be to do all of the things that we need it to do.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using LogicMonitor is that other products are inferior. Also, compared to what we knew with the legacy monitoring tools, LogicMonitor has done a great job. There are definitely better ways of doing things than the traditional monitoring tools did. If a new customer has SolarWinds or OpManager or some other on-premises tool, sometimes they're afraid of the cloud tools. What we'll say is that the amount of things that it can do far outpaces the legacy tools.

What other advice do I have?

Think thoroughly about the structure you want to have in place. Don't just start implementing. Think thoroughly about how you want to be set up, how you want to manage the devices, how you want to manage the people, and how you want to manage the alerting. Plan, scale it out, and implement it properly so you don't have to go back in and do some cleanup work on the backend after the fact.

I would rate LogicMonitor a high nine out of 10.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: MSP
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GB
Sr. Network Security Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Builds and updates network topology in real time, making that information immediately available

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the best things about Auvik, and it's why it's one of my go-to products, are the remote access capabilities. Without a VPN and without any other way in, I'm able to get in and work on and troubleshoot my devices through the remote access console. It has multiple options for that and has been very useful and a huge time-saver. That's one of the killer features. It's one of my must-haves and that's why I like it so much."
  • "The automated, out-of-the-box device configuration backup capability is one of the key features for me in Auvik. To manage a network, one of my key requirements is to be able to rebuild that network if something catastrophic happens. Having up-to-date backups is a must, and this is a tool that I count on to get that right, and it has always performed as I expect."
  • "The logging features could be a little bit better polished, although that aspect is relatively new. It comes in as raw data, with different formats for different vendors. It's not immediately clear to people what's going on with some of that and you have to read through the codes. Some of the higher-end logging solutions, like Splunk, which is very expensive, can parse through it and correlate items better. Improvement to the logging features would be a value-add, but I'm still very happy that it exists."

What is our primary use case?

I do internal IT for a company and I use Auvik for most of my daily tasks as they relate to firewalls, switches, and routing.

How has it helped my organization?

The automation of network mapping enables junior network specialists to resolve issues directly and helps to free up senior-level team members to perform more involved tasks. It can be a key tool in environments where somebody who doesn't have a strong network skillset can go in and see, "Is it good, is it not?" and be able to make a decision on whether it needs to be escalated to me or not.

It also automatically updates network topology. One of the things that I really enjoy doing, when I first get into a new environment with it, is to watch it rebuild the map as it learns in real time. I can see its process and for me, as a very technical guy, that is one of the most entertaining things to watch, as it learns and updates the changes in a network in real time. It saves time maintaining network topology since the tool actually does it automatically. I have a high level of confidence that the information is correct, and it is immediately available. Just last week, I got a call from one of our internal auditors who needed to provide some information. He said, "Yeah, this usually takes a few weeks. Can you provide firmware information and serial numbers?" During our phone call, I was able to get into Auvik, pull the list, get it sent over to him and say, "Here you go. We're done."

Auvik has also decreased our mean time to resolution. Being able to go in and look at what's not broken, very quickly, and get that confirmed, means that I can look at what I actually need to fix. It eliminates a whole bunch of other problems and a whole bunch of checking. It has reduced our MTTR by up to 80 percent in some cases.

And because we've got it triggering PagerDuty alerts, if something problematic really fires off, I will know about it and be in the tool looking at what's going. I can say, "Hey, this is a problem we need to alert," or, "This isn't a problem and we just need to be aware," very quickly.

Another benefit is the TrafficInsights feature which shows network bandwidth usage without the need for expensive, in-line traffic decryption, and it does it very well. That is a very nice-to-have in my current role because we don't have issues with our network bandwidth. But in other environments that I've been in, where there were issues with bandwidth, it is a very well-put-together tool allowing me to find the answer and say, "This is what our problem is." It enables me to tell the business that we either need to spend more money on bandwidth, or we need to deprioritize a certain type of traffic. It gives that information in a format in which I can give it to somebody who is less technical than me. I can show them the graph and say, "This is what's going on and why."

TrafficInsights helps to show you where your system is experiencing performance issues around capacity and what is the busiest traffic. It can help improve network performance by letting me know exactly what's going on. It lets me see whether it is an application misbehaving, a lack of bandwidth, an upgrade that we need to make, or a configuration. It gives me these choices so that I know for real what's going on. In some cases, people "feel" that something is going on, but this gives me the facts to know what's going on. I would estimate TrafficInsights has improved our network performance by 50 percent.

In multiple environments I've been in, we've been able to eliminate other tools and use Auvik as our single network management solution. In those environments, I've had up to five tools that I have been able to decommission by using Auvik. In that environment where there were so many tools in place, replacing them probably saved $100,000 a year.

What is most valuable?

Some of the key features that I get out of it are that it is a well-rounded monitoring solution, so I know when something fails—whether it's a device or a service on the device. But it also performs backup, in inventory, of some of the key things to control and manage the network.

And one of the best things about Auvik, and it's why it's one of my go-to products, are the remote access capabilities. Without a VPN and without any other way in, I'm able to get in and work on and troubleshoot my devices through the remote access console. It has multiple options for that and has been very useful and a huge time-saver. That's one of the killer features. It's one of my must-haves and that's why I like it so much.

In addition, for products in this category, Auvik's ease of use is one of the best. It's really built for people like me. I'm heavy into the parts of IT that are not server-related, including routing, switching, firewalls, et cetera, and it is organized for somebody like me. It is the network engineer's toolset. It gives me what I need upfront in a way that I understand well. Auvik speaks my language.

When it comes to its network discovery capabilities, It is the best that can happen. I've used it in multiple environments, and as long as I've got the right starter information, it can go find information in an hour that would otherwise take a person weeks. It's very good and very quick. I've been able to benchmark it against competitive tools and it is way more useful, giving me information that I actually need and can use.

The automated, out-of-the-box device configuration backup capability is one of the key features for me in Auvik. To manage a network, one of my key requirements is to be able to rebuild that network if something catastrophic happens. Having up-to-date backups is a must, and this is a tool that I count on to get that right, and it has always performed as I expect. I am able to very quickly and easily audit that the backups happen and I know that they're there. I can also restore to a previous point with very little hassle, if anything goes wrong. Compared to other backup solutions, it saves me 80 percent in terms of my time.

What needs improvement?

The logging features could be a little bit better polished, although that aspect is relatively new. It comes in as raw data, with different formats for different vendors. It's not immediately clear to people what's going on with some of that and you have to read through the codes. Some of the higher-end logging solutions, like Splunk, which is very expensive, can parse through it and correlate items better. Improvement to the logging features would be a value-add, but I'm still very happy that it exists.

There are a few edge cases where I have found support for devices to be a little bit lacking. I'm migrating away from Check Point right now and Auvik and Check Point do not get along at all, so it was very troublesome to get those put in place.

Another issue that I know is already in progress, but that will be very nice, is full integration with PagerDuty. I'm using email connectors right now that have a little bit of a lag, so once the APIs are in place between Auvik and PagerDuty, it will give me better alerting when something breaks. I know that's on the roadmap because I've talked to them about it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between two different companies, I've been using Auvik for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The availability is 99 percent. They do have maintenance windows where it's not available. I've been happy with their communication on the maintenance windows and they pick the times very well when it's not going to be available. I realize that everyone needs maintenance, but it works out very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've used this for everything from companies that are in a single building up to a company that had offices in 20 time zones with almost 100 offices, some of them with 1,000 users, and it was able to scale up to that. I've never had worries about how big this can go.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is fair to good. There have been a few times where I've had to escalate to somebody higher, when I thought the lower-level person should have understood it, but I've always ended up with a good answer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and, as far as the product category is concerned, it's the most straightforward. I've used this in an MSP environment and I've done deployments into close to 30 companies with Auvik and it is, by far, the fastest way to do it for a fresh deployment.

We can get the initial install going in a few hours and we can be confident in the data in a week or two. Comparing that to other tools, it would be an initial deployment of a week or two and two months until we're confident with our data. It has probably reduced the time spent on setup by 90 percent. And when dealing with an MSP, it cuts down a client onboarding by at least a month, which lets revenue start coming in earlier.

The implementation strategy depends on the size of the environment that we're going into, but we usually put in collectors at key locations and first let them do their discovery and see what's out there. Then we'll tune them down so that the collectors are monitoring from the right locations. But we like to get as much data in as possible, initially, and then tune downward.

As a cloud-based solution, it requires just about no maintenance and that's one of the other benefits of Auvik. With other solutions, we have spent more time updating and babysitting the servers and fixing our tools, instead of fixing our environment. That's a major plus.

What was our ROI?

When I was first evaluating it and we were going through pricing models, I was able to make the case that, for a team of five, this would be better than adding a person to the team when it comes to getting work done.

When I was new in this environment, I was trying to get a lot of stuff together. I brought Auvik as a solution to my supervisor and said, "This is what we used at my last company," and he was familiar with my last company. He viewed them as very good at what they do. I suggested we take a look at Auvik. As soon as he got the pricing during the first sales call around Auvik, he said, "Sold. Well worth that money." They didn't even have to finish the presentation. He saw what was being offered and he also based his decision on the fact that I'd used it before. The cost easily made it worth it in his mind for what it would provide to us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is fair for the value and time saved that you get out of it. The larger you go, the more sense it makes per device, because as you hit different pricing tiers, it becomes much more affordable per device.

Auvik is billed by network device. They've got a very clear-cut definition of what is a device and what isn't a device, and that's very convenient. Anything like a server, or a phone, or an access point, is not billed but they are still captured for data, which is very useful. Auvik is very upfront that the solution is not a good server monitoring platform, but it's a fair server monitoring platform and that comes along for free with everything else. My server guys have another system they use for monitoring servers, but they find being able to look at Auvik as well has been a huge value-add.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used LogicMonitor, PRTG, the N-central suite, the ManageEngine suite, and the SolarWinds products.

In terms of the differences between those solutions and Auvik, I would summarize them this way: Auvik is a tool built for the network guys, primarily, whereas a lot of other tools are built for the server guys first and then add in network. It's a tool really built for what I care about and it values my time. I'm able to get it put in fast, I'm able to use it fast, and my information is fast. It lets me do more with less.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely go through the proof of concept testing. The results speak for themselves. It's a fully rounded product and everyone I know who has used it has been happy with it.

When you're first deploying it, understand how you need to set up your locations. Otherwise, you're going to end up redoing work. If you're in a larger environment, you need a little bit of knowledge about where things are to be able to put stuff in the right places. If you're small, you can just drop it in and be super-happy with what it gives to you.

Overall, compared to everything else out there, it's a solid 10 out of 10. I haven't found anything that gives me what I need better.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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MB
Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Feature rich, scalable and user-friendly, but open-source products are free and do the same thing

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a user-friendly product that requires almost no maintenance."
  • "It would be a much better product if Microsoft provided management packs with the product."

What is our primary use case?

We are using SCOM for service monitoring integrated with some third-party dashboard. It is our end-to-end service monitoring solution.  

What is most valuable?

The feature I like most about SCOM is that it is easy-to-use. I find it very user-friendly. I also like the knowledge base which it has. You can find the resolution to questions or issues directly within the SCOM itself. It will alert you with a recommendation of what you need to do at the same time. This sort of self-diagnosis or prompting is one of the great values you get from SCOM compared to other solutions.  

What needs improvement?

The dashboard is one place where the product can be improved. We finally needed to get a customized dashboard from the NOC (Network Operation Center) team. The dashboard that was included with the product just did not do what we wanted it to do.  

I am not sure, exactly, what should be included with future releases. There are already a lot of features there in the product. The main thing I can suggest is that Microsoft also provides management packs for monitoring third-party products with the product. If that were included with SCOM, that would make the product even greater. For example, to monitor an Oracle database, you need to look around to get a management pack separately. It could just be included instead.  

You can monitor any non-Microsoft product with Microsoft SCOM if you have the management pack for that product. You need to purchase that management pack. You can get them sometimes from Microsoft and other times from the third-party vendor.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) from Microsoft for almost five years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From the time we did the configuration, the product has been stable. It may be different in other cases. It really depends on the design you implement. If you want to add functionality, you can add it. It depends on the business. If you want Apache or you want a singular-server implementation you configure it as you need to. If it is configured correctly it should remain stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SCOM is scalable. We do not have an issue with the number of users or with the number of machines and the devices we are monitoring. It does not have any issues in that respect.  

We support the product with a system admin team which is the only group that deals with SCOM directly for maintenance issues. Right now, the team is only five people. Even there, these five people do not use the product on a daily basis. The configuration is something that you do one time if you do it correctly. There is monitoring, which is done by the NOC team and that is ongoing. 

In case some maintenance is required like a change in business requirements or addition of services, then the SCOM team will do it. This does not happen all the time. But monitoring is done by another team separate from the maintenance.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had to use the Microsoft support since maybe four or five years ago. It was during the time we were doing the implementation. We had a few calls with them — maybe two or three calls — for some configuration-related questions. That was all. It was handled efficiently and we got the answers we needed. But we have not had to use the support team since.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have had the opportunity to use other products in this category. Not at the current organization, but in other organizations before this. One was WhatsUp Gold. If I were to compare these two solutions, SCOM has more advantages and is really the better product.  

How was the initial setup?

It is actually pretty simple to do the setup. I think it really can be implemented on the same day that you get it. You can do the complete installation and configuration in one day.  

But adding services, that takes time. It depends on the business and your scope, what you need to add, what you need to configure when it is added. I consider that as a separate part because it is not the fault of the product that you have additional requirements. The additions made for service monitoring depends on the customer, the requirements that they have, and what they need to add.  

What about the implementation team?

The installation was done by our company with an in-house team. We did not need help from the vendor or an integrator except for some basic questions.  

We do maintenance as required also in-house and we handle the upgrades from one version to another version. All those maintenance details are managed by the system admin team.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you compare the pricing of SCOM to some solutions now available — like ManageEngine — I think it is a bit more expensive. But at that price, you get more in Microsoft System Center. SCOM is a bundled product, it is not only SCOM. You get a complete suite of Microsoft System Center products. There are five products in the bundle. There are no additional costs for SCOM itself and everything is included in the license. The only additional costs that you may have is in getting management packs.  

On the other hand, open-source solutions are available that are mature or maturing and they are very good. They may pose a better solution because they are free.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people who are looking for a solution like SCOM would actually be to advise them to move from licensed software to open-source. You can go to Nagios or most other open-source products and they do the same thing as SCOM. There is no need to pay additional money to get the same services.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate SCOM as a seven-out-of-ten. It is a good product, but so are the free open-source products it competes with.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Fazal Azeem
Implementation & Support Specialist at 360Factors
Real User
Top 20
Helpful support, good alerting and reporting facilitate troubleshooting of network problems

Pros and Cons

  • "We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down."
  • "Fortigate firewalls are one example of a product that we are unable to monitor properly via SolarWinds NPM."

What is our primary use case?

We have been using this tool to monitor our multiple network devices, interfaces, physical and virtual memory, application servers, databases, and applications to keep a track of what is causing an issue that we are having.

Either it is the network, or it is the application, or it is the database queries that are causing our users to experience slowdowns. Due to alerting mechanism, we get notified if anything is responding slowly or if anything goes down so that we can resolve the issue as quickly as possible and keep providing best services to our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

We had been having some issues recently with network choking at a specific time, and we had been working on multiple things to identify the root cause. Using those methods, we were unable to trace it.

We decided to install a tool that would show us where the issue is being produced, and we can monitor our internal and external network traffic. We are able to determine whether the issue is being caused at the ISP end or our internal network, and with the help of SolarWinds NPM, we were able to track down the root cause of the issue.

What is most valuable?

We have configured multiple alerts for our network devices, including routers and switches, so that we are notified if any interface goes down.

In the event an interface goes down, we have multiple reports that include availability monitoring, network uptime monitoring, and network downtime monitoring. These reports are on multiple schedules such as the end of the day, end of the last business day of the week, monthly, and quarterly. This gives us the ability to provide reports to our management and let them know the performance of our network.

What needs improvement?

Even though SolarWinds NPM provides monitoring for a vast number of vendors and products, they do not support all of them. They should keep in mind that due to ongoing threats and daily malware attacks, companies have deployed network security and hired security professionals who are doing penetration testing. Certain devices provide ongoing security features, which can keep our network secure.

Fortigate firewalls are one example of a product that we are unable to monitor properly via SolarWinds NPM.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SolarWinds NPM for more than two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of SolarWinds NPM is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it is very good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from SolarWinds is the best.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used ManageEngineOpManager, but we switched because it did not have enough features.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We had to do some customizations, which was great to provide better visibility of our entire network.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through a vendor and their level of expertise made us choose this tool. They gave such a great demo that we didn't even have to consider other options.

What was our ROI?

We achieved ROI within six months.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is based on the number of nodes, interfaces, and volumes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were recommended SolarWinds by a friend so we tried it and purchased it. We did not evaluate other options.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
GK
Deputy Manager - Infrastructure at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good for monitoring but complicated to configure and it needs to be more customizable

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is monitoring."
  • "Having a more customizable interface and dashboard would be an improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Zabbix for monitoring our infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is monitoring.

What needs improvement?

Having a more customizable interface and dashboard would be an improvement.

The interface could be more user-friendly because it is can be really complicated if an end-user has to configure it. The administrator usually has to take care of that.

I would like to see more SNMP and storage support.

Application monitoring should be included in the future. I would like to see voice telephony monitoring and database monitoring.

The reporting functionality is limited.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Zabbix for the past four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no problem with scalability. The only people who use it are the IT staff, which is between 10 and 12 people.

How are customer service and technical support?

As we are using the free version, we do not have a support contract.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are using the free, open-source version.

What other advice do I have?

This is not a product that I recommend. Instead, I recommend using SolarWindows or ManageEngine for monitoring because there are more features on Zabbix with limited usability. Reports are also limited. Basically, you get more features in SolarWinds or ManageEngine.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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