SolarWinds, the IT management software provider, on Wednesday announced a major refresh of its network management product portfolio, boasting support for networks up to four times larger than in the previous generation of products.
While SolarWinds updates products about twice a year, this is first major revamp of its network-management products in a couple of years. Products impacted include: Network Performance Monitor (NPM), Network Configuration Manager (NCM), IP Address Manager (IPAM), NetFlow Traffic Analyzer (NTA), and VoIP & Network Quality Manager (VNQM).
For SolarWinds MSP partners, today’s product upgrades primarily impact MSP network specialists, said Denny LeCompte, senior vice president, product marketing, at SolarWinds.
“For MSP network specialists these refreshed products are extremely valuable,” he told us.
Overall, the two key deliverables in the network management product portfolio are increased visibility and increased monitoring capability.
By adding intelligence, auto-generating and contextually-aware maps, SolarWinds has improved network visibility for MSPs.
“Unless you’re super diligent, as the network changes, it falls out of date and maintaining it is a pain,” said LeCompte. The intelligent maps automate any changes.
Another improvement to visibility is providing deeper network insights. Network Insight for Cisco Nexus is the most recent Network Insight; the vendor already supports F5 and ASA.
“There are certain devices that are especially important to your network and the Cisco Nexus is one of those. When we do a Network Insight, we do work to get users deeper – and more detailed – kind of information about the network,” said LeCompte.
“In the hybrid IT world, networks are growing larger, more complex and more distributed, making them even more challenging to manage and troubleshoot,” said Christoph Pfister, executive vice president of products at SolarWinds. “This is a big reason why over half of enterprise IT professionals in our SolarWinds 2018 IT Trends Report said they do not feel as confident in their IT environment's performance as their midsize and small business counterparts.”
The second key deliverable in the portfolio upgrade to NPM is quadrupling the monitoring capacity for a single server and increasing the number of collectors that can be used with a single server.
The fourfold increase in monitoring capacity allows IT professionals to accelerate and simplify their network-management process while reducing the resources needed for monitoring activities, making it easier to consolidate tools.
“The product is now very mature, very scalable and could stand toe-to-toe with all of the big vendor products,” said LeCompte. “It’s a pretty big deal — you could be a pretty large customer and NPM could be the right choice.”
The most recent version of IPAM, which automates management of IP addresses by automating requests, should also be of interest to MSPs. From directly within the product, an MSP could ask for a static IP address and then the partner could do the provisioning.
“Any partner that focuses on network services would want to use all of the latest products,” said LeCompte.
The new NTA is a big performance upgrade. Even if an MSP doesn’t need higher performance, they’d still be able to run the product with fewer CPU demands or demand on a disk.
And lastly, the latest version of VNQM adds support for monitoring of SIP trunks and getting call data records, when using Cisco technology.
Products will be available later this month, the company said.