Several of our mid-size, municipal and federal clients have required assistance with their Solarwinds Network Monitoring software. They needed help to ensure that the modules they purchased were installed correctly and optimized for best performance. They also needed devices added tuned to critical alerts and pruning any false alarms.
Solarwinds is one of the best network monitoring tools available for business but not for home use. Among the many different modules, some of the popular are Network Performance Manager, Network Traffic Analyzer, Network Configuration Manager, and User Device Tracker. The first three modules allow you to add devices so you can monitor the health of systems, the services running on them, and get notified of issues, backup and restore configuration and even schedule image updates. It is great for a business running in a 24/7 environment. Network Traffic Analyzer (see image below, it works by enabling netflow on devices so you can monitor bandwidth usage, analyze traffic behavior traversing through the devices and application traffic alerts. Reports can be run using the defaults available, or you can create your own customized format. Alerts can also be customized.
Solarwinds is a great product for troubleshooting and pinpointing the causes of network outages and issues as the dashboard has widgets readily available to show you the Top N sources by utilization and application. You can filter traffic by source, destination, type of application such as port number (either source or destination), IP address, and much more. It supports IPv4 and IPv6. The dashboard can be customized to suit your needs so you only see what is critical and applicable to you.
To get the best use of Solarwinds to monitor your network, it requires some time to get everything installed. The SQL databases and installation locations are important, especially in a high-redundancy situation. Some common issues we see are related to server performance so you should make sure that the system running has a robust CPU, memory, and adequate storage.
Solarwinds is not just for monitoring networks but is also used for systems such as servers, laptops, desktops, and other endpoint devices. It can be configured to monitor and alert you on any window services running on a system. It has remote monitoring of devices located apart from the corporate office as long as there is network connectivity. Network topology can be created to show the location of each device in a map view. This is found on the dashboard of Solarwinds when you log in.
Our clients utilize our expertise to help them scope out products such as what module(s) is needed, along with installation, configuration and tuning. They count on us to analyze the installation for best practices and continue to manage their Solarwinds installation. It should be noted that on-going maintenance is required to avoid any issues.
Solarwinds networking monitoring software is purchased on a subscription basis and renewed yearly.