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Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

raf2
Frequent Advisor

Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Greetings,

 

We're attempting to evaluate this product against the afformentioned products. We have a multi-site network US and Europe with approximately 200 managed network devices (L2/3). We are gradually moving to H3C comware based devices but still have a bunch of Dell and Cisco in the mix. Looking at dynamic mapping, fault isolation, config control, OS update, traffic analysis. We are also a HP server and blade system customer.

 

Anybody able to give some objective views on these products or ideas for others? We are understaffed and all wear numerous hats (no big brain network engineers)..

 

Thanks,

Ron

11 REPLIES
LindsayHill
Honored Contributor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

A couple of thoughts:

 

* Get indicative prices for each of those products before you spend too much time evaluating them. No point spending a lot of time & effort on evaluating them, then realising that the one you want is way above your budget.

 

* At your size network, it doesn't really matter that much what you choose. Most products will do a reasonable job. So don't waste a lot of time & energy on detailed comparisons.

 

* If you're going to use HP wireless, then you'll probably end up needing to use IMC. So you might as well start with IMC, and see if it meets your needs/budget. If it does, then just go with that.

 

Look at the rest of your monitoring needs - do you need to integrate with other monitoring systems (applications, servers, etc) ? Or does your network team operate in isolation? That affects some of your choices.

MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Well, it depends. What would you like to monitor? Only the IPs? Uptime of Servers? Doing automatic backup of configuration files? IMC standard edition will do very well for H3C and HP switches. For this purpose it is very well priced. Btw, it is licensed by the IPs being monitored.

 

  • And here comes the but. It comes with an embeded Microsoft MySQL express edition with 10GB limit. So add some money for additional SQL licenses And if you want more, e.g. you mentioned traffic analysis == sflow/netflow monitoring, you have to buy additional modules which are licensed by the amount of IPs being monitored. There are many modules for which you have to buy licenses. And depending on type this is rather expensive.

pricing:

HP IMC Standard for 200 IPs/devices: 3700,- €
HP IMC NTA module for traffic analysis (sflow/netflow) for 200 IPs/devices (never used myself): 22000,-€
HP IMC SHM Software module end-to-end service monitoring (never used myself): 1800,- €

+ VAT

+ add money for carepacks

 

  • Pricing in general: Don´t buy in whatever online shop of the vendor. Contact them via email/contact form and ask for special pricing.

 

  • Talking about Solarwinds NPM (only logged into the online demo, after I received the pricing for HP´S NTA modules...). It´s a generic software. Not specially meant for HP products. And it´s different: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/webcasts/intro-to-npm-and-sam.html The software is licensed by the amount of monitors being used (like PRTG). (But all monitors, e.g. for sflow are included in the software package. You don´t have to buy additional modules) So, if you have a server and you want to monitor CPU load, fan speed, RAM usage, that´s 3 monitors... .

pricing:

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor Unlimited monitors + SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor SLX Unlimited monitors  == 27900,-€

+ VAT

+ add money for carepacks

 

 

LindsayHill
Honored Contributor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain


  • And here comes the but. It comes with an embeded Microsoft MySQL express edition with 10GB limit. So add some money for additional SQL licenses

...

HP IMC NTA module for traffic analysis (sflow/netflow) for 200 IPs/devices (never used myself): 22000,-€

 

 

 


Good point about SQL Server. Other databases such as MySQL are also supported, so you don't have to pay for MS SQL. Go with whichever one makes sense for your organisation

 

On the NTA front, it works pretty well, but you're very unlikely to buy licensing for every single node. Normally you'd pick a subset of nodes, usually aggregation points in the network. That pulls down that cost a lot.

raf2
Frequent Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Thanks for the replies. We're mainly concerned with network core out to the edge, firewalls and WAN/Internet ingress/egress. We're in the early stages of implementing an Aruba wireless solution. We understand Aruba's tools are pretty good but it would be nice to have the monitoring solution at least aware of them.  We already have server monitoring in place in several flavors.

 

One of our biggest issues is we have a "black hole" network and very large broadcast domains (class B!!!) that make troubleshooting a pain. We plan to implement class C VLAN's slowly. We need a tool that will help us quickly isolate spanning tree issues. It would be nice to get all the the black hole devices on map and discover just how unhealthy things are.

 

We have Solarwinds IP monitor which is an OK product albiet dated interface. Their net perf monitor seems dated as well.

 

I've got pricing on Solarwinds and IMC and they are fairly competitive. Waiting on netbrain. I do like the Netbrain mapping and fault isolation. Not sure about the viability of the company in the long run though.

 

As for SQL we are an MS enterprise customer any already have dozens of SQL servers so we can find a place for this.

MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

 

On the NTA front, it works pretty well, but you're very unlikely to buy licensing for every single node. Normally you'd pick a subset of nodes, usually aggregation points in the network. That pulls down that cost a lot.


I actually want to monitor each layer 3 device. "Unfortunately" I have "routed access layer" (http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/nsite/campus/ha_campus_routed_access_cvd_ag.pdf) with OSPFv2/v3  and H3C/Comware devices (almost) everywhere, so in my case this would be a lot of licenses. But you´re right if you don´t want/need to monitor everything, there´s no need for such an amount of money needed for licensing.
Lrod78
Occasional Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Hello, 

 

Was wondering if you ended up deciding on a product and how your evaluation of Netbrain went. 

raf2
Frequent Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

We never did setup a Netbrain demo. We did setup a Orion demo. I sat a couple online demo's of IMC and Netbrain. If it was up to me I'd pick IMC but our budgets just got gutted and we'll have to wait until next year.

 

I'm a bit disturbed by the rumor of HP looking to selling off H3C and where that will put continued development of IMC.

Lrod78
Occasional Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Where did you pick up that rumor from?   Do you think it's going to affect just the IMC?

raf2
Frequent Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Initially saw it on a financial web site. HP is shaking things up big time again.  I have no idea how it is going to affect things. I assume HP will keep a stake in the company if it does sell. How will it affect product support and IMC I have no idea but I doubt it will make things better if majority goes back to China.

 

http://online.wsj.com/articles/h-p-seeks-local-buyer-for-its-chinese-networking-business-amid-challenges-1414361269

 

I love the quote about US/China tension and "potential" hacking.. good grief anybody in IT knows  China is a hot bed for development of auto-bot, malware and other exploits for years.

 

RoutingReplies
Occasional Visitor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

NetBrain and Solarwinds are quite different. NetBrain really specializes in L2/L3 maps and automation on those maps. If you want to learn about it without dealing with sales, they've a webinar coming up next week -> http://info.netbraintech.com/WBN2016-09-22End-to-EndNetworkVisibility_01Registration.html.

pablo_rudaeff
Occasional Advisor

Re: Evaluating IMC vs Solarwinds vs Netbrain

Hi Ron,,

In owr network we have the same ammount of equipment. We are working with Solarwinds Swite (npm, ncm, sam, ipam) for a log period of time (8 years). In the las month we installed IMC

I think the main difference between them is that IMC is more network oriented, and Orion is "wide" oriented.

 

In Orion, the correlation between the objects is great, and you have a lot of addins to the main suite.

The answer? we work with the both suites:
Solarwinds for the Helpdesk, server managers, apps managers etc
IMC for the network team

 

Best regards,

Pablo