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NETSCOUT nGeniusONE Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of NETSCOUT nGeniusONE competitors and alternatives

DU
Network/Systems Admin at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Found devices I didn't know existed and has decreased our mean time to resolution

Pros and Cons

  • "It also automatically updates network topology. Once it discovers something new, and we allow it, it will update it within the interface. Then, when you log in to the cloud, it shows it. It's kinds of neat. It shows you exactly where things connect. We can see and connect the dots."
  • "Sometimes we get false positives, which every now and then is not a big deal. But it would help if they made it a little easier to suppress some of the alarms."

What is our primary use case?

We really needed something for reading logs, so we can go back in time, and also something to monitor our network and our infrastructure in real-time. I use it for everything as far as monitoring in real-time goes, to see what's going on in our network, along with Kace. 

It's deployed on-premises, but it's using the cloud to get to you. You can use it on-premises, but we prefer the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Its network discovery capabilities are very quick and very precise. It really drills down and finds different devices. It found devices I didn't know existed. As a network administrator, that is horrifying. Our team is pretty small and we were hired to tighten things up. Auvik has helped us to do that. It has taken a while, but we found some little switches that people put in years ago that I didn't even know existed.

In addition, it has decreased our mean time to resolution. Something that would take me a couple of hours now takes 30 minutes.

What is most valuable?

For what I do, the real-time monitoring is the most important feature. When I log in, I can drill down into the network where I'm seeing the issues. It sends an email, "Hey, I cannot communicate with the server." Sometimes it's a false positive, but when I see it several times, there is something else going on and I drill down into that.

It also automatically updates network topology. Once it discovers something new, and we allow it, it will update it within the interface. Then, when you log in to the cloud, it shows it. It's kinds of neat. It shows you exactly where things connect. We can see and connect the dots. It shows you, for example, that this switch has access here, which has access there. And maybe you didn't want it to have access there. It helps you drill down and say, "I didn't want to go this far."

It does out-of-the-box backing up of your running-config for your routers or for your switches. If I need it, it just takes seconds. I can just go to our Auvik port in the cloud, and it's there.

You have to use MFA with it, always. And it's constantly updating for security, and that's very important in today's environment.

What needs improvement?

This is not even a bad issue, but when Auvik can't get to your network or can't get to a device for whatever reason, it does send you alerts. But sometimes we get false positives, which every now and then is not a big deal. But it would help if they made it a little easier to suppress some of the alarms. But that's really a feature I don't have to have. Sometimes more is better. If you had to twist my arm and to make me come up with something, that would be it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We bought Auvik in the fall, about eight months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Generally, we have not had an issue. If it's going to be offline, Auvik will tell you well ahead of time that they're going offline for maintenance. It's almost never down. It's only been down twice and the most recent time it was back up very quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. I would definitely give it five stars on that. In our environment, it's looking at 1,562 devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only had to use their technical support a couple of times and they were top-notch. They were polite and, both times, it was a very dumb question on my part and they didn't make me feel dumb. They are very sharp men and women.

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

We didn't have a solution before Auvik, other than manual scripts that fit our needs until we grew. Once we grew and it got so overwhelming, Auvik really helped with that. It was very robust, but it wasn't all over the place. When it was said and done, we really loved the whole platform. It was very user-friendly.

How was the initial setup?

It tells you right out-of-the-box the credentials that it's going to need, such as SSH, your logins, et cetera. You set up the network that you want it to go monitor and, with the IDs and passwords, it pulls all the information in. You have to open up and allow Auvik in from your firewall. There are some prerequisites you have to take care of to use it and you may want to suppress a few alarms, out-of-the-box. It took a couple of days and then it had what we need, right there. 

It took some getting used to, but I started figuring things out. And they were always available for any questions that we had.

Currently, it's just our director,  the engineer, and myself who are using Auvik in our company. We're looking to get everybody more access but we just haven't gotten there yet. I'm still trying to figure it out myself, to learn more as I go with it. 

As a cloud-based solution, it requires no maintenance on our side, unless we have to update a password. But there's nothing for us to do in Auvik in terms of maintenance.

What was our ROI?

For me, part of the return on investment is just knowing it's there. If you need to pull back for litigation, or our 911 facilities are down, that's when you get your return on investment. You don't know how much your return is because it prevents stuff from happening, stuff that could be very costly.

The time to value is excellent. It's worth every penny that you pay for it. It will save you money. It might not be something that finance or an accountant can see, but if you look at what it's preventing, or what it's helping you monitor in the long run, where downtime and the like could be an issue, it helps you get ahead of the game and you're saving money in that way. We're government, so we're not making money outside of taking your taxes, but at the same time, it is saving money. You may not be able to put a dollar value on it, but I can tell you, you are saving money.

For me, it's security. That is why we have it; for security and to help prevent something from happening that would cost a bunch of money. That's where it saves you. And for auditing purposes, it helps you with litigation.

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

I didn't deal with the pricing of it. Our director did. It took some back and forth negotiating, but we did get close and came to a compromise. Definitely look for your sales rep to take care of it. They really went out of their way to help us out so that we could get the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at several products, including Splunk, NetScout briefly, and PRTG. SolarWinds was a product the company used before I got here but we just didn't use it after I started.

With Auvik, I really like the reporting. That's really what sold it, along with the layout. It was just easier to get around and it made more sense. I don't have to sit down and really study logs. And it works in real-time. Some of the other products took a while to give us the reporting, but with Auvik it is right there. If I have an issue with, say, a switch or there is a network where everything is going down at times, Auvik has a great reporting tool and I can just pull up my reports. I can see all the problems I've had. And you can pinpoint things. It tells you, "Hey, you might want to look here. And these could be the reasons why this is happening." The other products didn't do that.

The auditing of the syslogs was important to my director. That was a big selling point for her and that's how we finally got her to buy Auvik. She really likes those for auditing purposes. It was exactly what she was looking for. And for the rest of us, the engineers, it had what we were looking for. It does it all.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to use their technical support. Yes, you can learn it on your own and it will help you, but don't be scared to use their technical support. Their support is top-notch. Most of them have probably forgotten more about network security than you have ever known about it. Use them. They want to help you. They have training available, so use the training. They offer it to you as part of the package. Watch the videos and do the training, but do not be scared to use their technical support. They're there to help you.

For what Auvik's doing with the switches, I use it all the time. I always look at my emails for any reporting that it does. I usually know a site will go down, because of alerts from Auvik, before anyone calls. Anything from Auvik goes to my alarm. As soon as it reports, I know they're down, even before they call. I use it a lot.

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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DAVID-TAYLOR
Senior Network Engineer at Montgomery College
Real User
Top 5
Shows question being asked, breaks it down and it'll just show you who's not answering

Pros and Cons

  • "What ClearSight will do is it actually maps out the conversation for you."
  • "I would like to see a multi-user version where you can have a launch platform and, potentially, instead of buying six licenses you buy 12 seats or something like that."

What is our primary use case?

We were using ClearSight Analyzer as an analytics platform and a performance platform and it's served us quite well, but when NETSCOUT bought it, NETSCOUT integrated it into their nGeniusONE platform, and it's not the same product anymore. 

I use it in place of Wireshark. It's better than Wireshark.

What is most valuable?

Sometimes we're tasked with analyzing traffic flow for an application that we don't know what it does. We speak to the programmers, we speak to the DBAs and they don't have a clue of how it works either, which is very unusual. What ClearSight will do is it actually maps out the conversation for you. Effectively, you can get the same thing out of Wireshark, but it's a lot more looking when you don't know.

Let's say you've got a multi-tiered application with a front-end, some middleware, and then something on the back-end (your database is on the backend). It draws the arrows and it shows you the timing between the front, middle, and back-end and their interactions. And if somebody stops talking, it draws the arrows and shows you.

It just keeps going back to the same thing. You see the question being asked, so it breaks that down and it'll just show you who's not answering. It's a lot more intuitive than Wireshark.

What needs improvement?

I wouldn't want the interface to go towards the web because they did have a version that was inside of the TruView product. It was more web-based and, to me, the web-based applications lose the robustness of the intimacy of a true character interface. I liked that they were on that path and I hope that they stay on that path because it just looks like it's a better product.

I would like to see a multi-user version where you can have a launch platform and, potentially, instead of buying six licenses you buy 12 seats or something like that. From a centralized platform, you could have multiple users using that particular product in a series of different ways. That's what I'd like to see, rather than having everybody running a standalone one on their own workstation.

For how long have I used the solution?

We had ClearSight Analyzer going back to 2014 when Fluke owned a product called TruView.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

ClearSight Analyzer is more of a one-to-one type of a thing. You don't buy ClearSight Analyzer and then have 30 people on the same product at the same time. We use it more one-off.

How are customer service and technical support?

Everything that I got from Fluke was perfect. That was the quintessential organization, I loved them. I was upset when they sold the product to NETSCOUT.

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

This is the best protocol analyzer I've used and I've used some from WildPackets and quite a few other places. They were onto something when they made it and they're still onto something now.

My organization is big, it's multifaceted, it's got a bunch of different remote offices. I think at the time we had about 12 of their solutions geographically dispersed. One of the problems that we have is, as an example, a user could call us on a Thursday, we would get a ticket and they'd tell us that something is slow. We start looking and turning on the captions and everything and I'd get the data and realize that I didn't see anything slow. 

The reason why this product was so effective is that with the TruView platform, I had it set to "capture," and kept eight days in the buffer so I could go back on it and get the packets from before the problem started and when the user says it started. Then I can start analyzing it and see what changed in the flows. TruView really kept all of the data there as well as the NetFlow data and everything else.

You take this and you combine it with the packets and you're actually seeing the statistical versus the actual packets themselves and you knew what was going on in your network and you know what changed. Turns out, in many of these instances what would happen is the user would have a patch pushed to it, some kind of Windows update or something, and that's usually what would break things, it was never the network that was causing the problem.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty easy. You put a key in and boom, it's off and running. ClearSight was the easiest thing to deploy. 

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

When I bought the product inside of the TruView product, I had 12 licenses in there and then I bought six standalone licenses. So that meant I could run it on my laptop. 

It was pretty modest because you could get it in different ways. I think the six licenses, at that time, were about $1,000 each. But then again, I work for a school and educators tend to get discounts on things. So maybe it cost us about five or six hundred a copy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I think this was the best packet analyzer that I have been able to find, and I've still been looking at a bunch of others. WildPackets does quite a bit but it does it differently. Maybe at this particular junction, I'm a little more biased just because sometimes we get familiar with something and because it's so intuitive we're less open to earnestly evaluating something else.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate ClearSight Analyzer a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Get our free report covering Gigamon, SolarWinds, Dynatrace, and other competitors of NETSCOUT nGeniusONE. Updated: November 2021.
554,676 professionals have used our research since 2012.