SolarWinds automates key network monitoring tasks

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SolarWinds has added new features to its Network Performance Monitor (NPM) tool to help IT administrators better manage the increasing number of mobile devices connecting to the corporate network.

The ramp up in mobile adoption and the bring-your-own-device trend has added considerable complexity to the enterprise network. However many IT departments are still monitoring networks the way they did about a decade ago. It is not uncommon to see some IT outfit employing a collection of different solutions to keep track of different devices and conduct various monitoring tasks manually.

SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) said its updated NPM now has wireless heat mapping that allows IT pros to maintain automatic, real-time maps of wireless network signal strengths. The tool also enables continuous wireless coverage and speeds up troubleshooting.

A new forecasting feature also automatically monitors critical network resources to help administrators predict future needs and prevent outages.

“With NPM’s new wireless network heat maps, IT pros can automatically map their wireless networks to show signal strength according to their floor plans – whether in a small doctor’s office or a 40,000/sf campus – with a visual display of critical status and performance metrics,” said Chris LaPoint, vice-president, product management, SolarWinds.

With the heat maps, IT departments can now:

  • Troubleshoot client connectivity issues, keeping mobile end-users working with minimal disruption to their productivity
  • Generate user-sourced wireless signal strength surveys for coverage in all network locations, including remote sites
  • Prioritize wireless signal strength where it is most needed and proactively make adjustments such as adding wireless access points,modifying the environment, etc.
  • Use client location tracking to find any wireless-connected device within the network, helping IT keep track of end-users and rogue or  misplaced devices

The new capacity forecasting capability automates planning for bandwith, wide area network, circuits and other network needs. IT departments can now:

  •  Use historical data from NPM on CPU, memory, volumes,connected wireless clients, node, and interface traffic utilization to provide automated assessments of average and peak use
  • Answer the question, “How many days before I run out of disk space /CPU/bandwidth, etc. and it impacts a user’s network connectivity?”
  • Set customizable alerts to proactively secure the necessary network resources to get ahead of those situations

NPM’s starting price is US$2,675. That includes first year maintenance. It will be available within the first quarter of 2015.


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