SolarWinds Upgrades System Ops Controller

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-07-01 Print this article Print

A new central control console and improved monitoring aim to solve problems of distributed networks.

Network management software provider SolarWinds July 1 upgraded its flagship Orion software product line designed to help companies gain more control over large or geographically distributed networks.

The new Orion Enterprise Operations Console and updated Orion Network Performance Monitor version 9 feature enterprise-level fault- and network-performance management that scales with the monitoring needs of growing networks, SolarWinds chief product strategist Kenny Van Zant told me.

"This software discovers everything in a system, and shows the red lights and green lights of all applications in a system," Van Zant said. "Essentially, this is the heartbeat of an enterprise system."

As company networks become essential to the success of businesses of all sizes, network engineers need improved tools to maintain stability and to quickly react to problems that arise. Ensuring optimal network performance while managing and troubleshooting the proliferation of new devices within a network is no small task, particularly for administrators of large, geographically distributed networks, Van Zant said. 

Key new features are: the operations console itself, which puts all system information into a Web-based user interface that can be accessed from anywhere using custom views; a Universal Device Poller, which collects virtually any statistic available on an SNMP-enabled device, including information stored in device MIB tables; and intuitive Web administration, in which users can add, delete and modify nodes from anywhere in the network.

Retail and education, which often have widely distributed networks, are ideal for this kind of product.

Users can download the software and typically be up and running in around an hour, Van Zant said.

"The new Orion console provides a consolidated command center from which users can monitor," Tracy Corbo, IDC's senior analyst for network management, told me.

"This is important, because the challenge is to consolidate monitoring into a single pane of glass. There are lots of tools to monitor, but it makes it much easier if you can monitor from a single console."

The new additions address the need to simplify networking monitoring activities, Corbo said, but the problem for network administrators is to get a reliable metric of what is going on in the network.

"This broadens SolarWind's product offerings to help network administrators better meet the demands of reducing downtime and addressing latency in the network," Corbo said. "It's not about device monitoring anymore; it's about using the monitoring tools to paint a complete picture of what is going on in the network so network administrators can do their jobs more effectively."

Ten-year-old, privately held SolarWinds is based in Austin, Texas, and has about 50,000 customers worldwide.

Pricing for Orion EOC is $4,995 for any number of monitored Orion servers; the first year of maintenance is included free.  Pricing for Orion NPM starts at $2,475 for 100 monitored elements, including the first year of maintenance.

Orion Network Performance Monitor version 9 is available now for download here.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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