In this blog, we compare network monitoring solutions Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds NPM.
The information written in this blog has been provided by Tolly, who were commissioned by Ipswitch to carry out an evaluation of both solutions.
Licenses & Add-Ons
Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold has two licenses, premium which provides core functionality with the option of adding additional feature modules at a cost; and Total Plus, a license which includes all modules in one package, at a cost benefit.
SolarWinds by contrast offers only a premium like license, whereby additional optional are licensed separately. There is no full-feature license.
Features & Functionality
Comparing the two solutions, Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold provides capabilities in a number of areas where SolarWinds does not.
Automatic Dynamic Mapping - Whereby layer 2 and 3 network maps are automatically created with their logical and physical links after discover. SolarWinds instead requires comparative maps to be created manually.
Automatic Wireless Lan Mapping - By connecting to wireless LAN controllers, Ipswitch WhatsUp gold can produce maps lining access points, their broadcasting SSIDs and and devices connected to them.
Detailed Inventory Report - Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold has out of the box inventory reports which can list device types, hostnames, IP addresses, serial numbers, BIOS versions and more.
Microsoft Windows Monitoring in the Base License - Using WMI, both Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds NPM can monitor Microsoft Windows devices for changes in conditions. However, to unlock this functionality in SolarWinds NPM, you must purchase an additional add-on.
Cloud Monitoring - Using APIs made available in AWS and Microsoft Azure, Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold can monitor cloud devices much in the same way that it can for in-house devices. This feature is available in the base premium license.
For network management and monitoring, scalability relates to the number of devices or elements which can be monitored or polled at a given time.
Based on comparative research by Tolly, one instance of both Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds NPM can monitor roughly 8,000 devices each.
For networks which have greater requirements, both solutions offer extendable polling engines which can share the polling load.
Notably Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold includes 10 polling extenders as part of its Total Plus license giving a theoretical reach of 100,000 devices.
SolarWinds provides just one polling engine in its license and charges for any extensions or additional instances.
Pricing is a simple affair with Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold. Each device is counted as part of the license cost. Any number of monitors can be applied to that device, so long as it carries a license. In other words, 100 devices require a license of 100, with unlimited monitors applied to them.
SolarWinds NPM is priced per monitor. As an example, if you wanted to monitor all ports on a 48-port network switch, you would require a license count of 48. This can be both costly and troublesome to license.
SolarWinds licensing complexity is evident by visiting their pricing page on their website. When Tolly compared the solutions in October 2017, there were over 130 line items with seven license options for the network configuration manager feature alone.