Today we'll be discussing a comparison between Whatsup Gold vs Solarwinds for network, server and application monitoring and management. Finding the best monitoring software for your network is something many IT professionals will not spend enough time doing, but its crucial to the success of your job and business that you make the right choice when deciding on which software solution to use.
A good network monitoring and management suite will allow you the flexibility for growth and the support system behind it when your are in need of it the most.
Having a software suite the covers as many bases as possible will ensure that your one-step ahead of the next possible disaster or system failure – and quite possibly save your job and make you the hero of the office.
Deploying a robust network management and monitoring solution is often compared to shopping for insurance policy for your home or car – we dread having to deal with finding a suitable insurer and coverage, but when we find the right one, you can rest assured that when something does happen, your policy is there to protect you.
The same goes for choosing a server and application monitoring solution – it can be tiresome and expensive to find and deploy correctly, but when a critical server or application goes down in middle of the night during the work week, its best that you are alerted before anyone comes screaming to you with why “everything” is down.
Lets jump into what we're going to be looking for when comparing the differences between WhatsUp Gold and Solarwinds.
- Server and Hardware Monitoring
- Critical Application Monitoring
- Vmware & Hyper-V monitoring
- Scaling and Extensions
Server and Hardware Monitoring
There are 3 categories that will be included in this section: Uptime Montioring (via Ping/ICMP), Event Log Monitoring and Performance Monitoring.
These 3 categories are arguably the most important aspects to track and monitor on your hardware within your datacenter or server room. Each of them have their own sub-sets of triggers, events and thresholds that should be set accordingly, along with corresponding alerts that will alert you when have those thresholds have been met.
Uptime Monitoring is considerably the most crucial metric to monitor. This will include monitoring network availibility, power to the server or rack, operating system blue screen's and crashes and any other related service disruptions. We'll look at both Whatsup Gold and Solarwinds and compare their capabilities in terms of uptime monitoring.
Monitoring Event Logs is another integral part in the process and will help you understand what errors, warnings and successes the operating system and its hardware are facing. The faster you receive events, the faster you can fix the issue before any further downtime occurs. To fastest way to find out if a service or application has an issue is by analyzing the event logs. This is an important feature that is absolutely necessary when comparing the two software packages.
Last but not least, Server performance monitoring is essential to ensuring that critical business applications (exchange, etc) are running at peak performance for both internal employees and customer facing applications. A poorly performing application can not only impact your customers but your bottom line as well. Ensuring that servers and applications are performing at their best is key to delivering fast and consistent service for everyone who needs access to it.
|Hardware Monitoring:||Native Monitoring for Dell, IBM & HP Health Indicators|
|Server Management:||Kill Processes along with Start/Stop/Restart and Shutdown/Restart Servers.||RDP, Ping, Browser, Telnet and Traceroute|
|Memory/Ram, Disk, Utilization and CPU/Processor|
|Remote viewing of Task Manager|
|Event Log Tasks:|
|Requires Plugin for Event viewing/managing (Event Log Management plugin)|
|Download Now||View Website|
Business Critical Application Monitoring
After the hardware, Application monitoring is by far the next most important piece of the puzzle in terms of business critical services that needs to be monitored. As we all know, applications can fail or crash unexpectedly regardless if the hardware layer is running smoothly.
Below you'll find a table of some common applications and whether or not these monitoring applications support them and to what extent:
|Native Templates for Common Applications:||Yes||Add-On required (Application performance monitor)|
|Number of Applications Supported:||Over 200+.||Not as Comprehensive|
|SQL Server Monitoring:||Performance, Query, Fragmentation, Log Sizes, etc etc.||Add-On required (Application performance monitor)|
|Exchange Server Monitoring:||Mailbox Stores, Mailbox DB, Mailbox Capacity and Quota's, Logs and etc etc.||Add-On required (Application performance monitor)|
|Centralized Event Console/Dashboard:||Yes||Requires Plugin(Event Log Management plugin)|
|Download Now||View Website|
Vmware and Hyper-V Monitoring
Many of our environments are now almost fully virtualized, running on multiple redundant hosts and such, making the actual hypervisor the main focus of monitoring. As our server rooms transform from tons of hardware into streamlined virtual hosts, its absolutely necessary to keep a close eye on the vitals of the actual hypervisor and its corresponding hardware.
This is where both Solarwinds and Whatsup Gold comes in and does the heavy lifting for you in terms of monitoring, alerts and reporting for your virtual environment, regardless of the platform your using. There are many pre-bundled tools and software utilities that come with the hardware that can be used for high-level monitoring, but for a more granular level of monitoring, we suggest using one of the two software suites below, depending on the level of stats, alerts, reports and counters you want to monitor.
|Hypervisor Compatibiltiy:||Both VMWare vSphere & Hyper-V||Add-on Needed for VMWare vSphere|
|VM Inventory Summary:||Display resources and counts for Host and Virtual Machines by Hypervisor.||Add-on needed to view vCenter inventory|
|Add-on needed in order to monitor VM Stats including CPU, Memory, Disk and Network utilization.|
|Download Now||View Website|
Not only does Solarwinds offer Hypervisor and Virtual machine monitoring natively, but it also provides added performance metrics, sprawl management and capacity planning by default with no additional add-ons.
Add-Ons and Extensibility
Developing an all-inclusive monitoring solution isn't an easy tasks for any software firm. Technology is evolving very quickly and in order to keep up with the ever changing landscape, companies are adapting their products to provide a solution that will encompass as many core facets of network monitoring and management as possible.
More importantly though, is finding a software solution that will provide the best coverage necessary for as many of these core services as possible. Having multiple software packages from different vendors and integrating them together can be a pain point for many network admins and engineers, thus its good to look for the most comprehensive suite possible from the get go.
Solarwinds Server and Application Monitor has taken the necessary steps to make their software suite encompass as many facets as you can think of, including Network Performance monitoring, Storage Resource monitoring and Virtualization monitoring all under one roof. These added features really make it stand out amongst the crowd and give it the edge in terms of a full software package.
WhatsUp Gold offers a single application for monitoring and has also created add-ons to cover some other software and hardware technologies for greater coverage. This includes add-ons for virtualization (Vmware included), applications and a few others. These add-ons improve the core features of Whatsup Gold making it a great alternative if Solarwinds doesn't pan out for you.
All in all, the WhatsUp Gold vs Solarwinds battle comes down to which features you need and which ones you can live without. Modern network infrastructures are predominately virtualized due to costs savings and redundancy, which really puts Solarwinds in the lead in terms of core features, as they support VMware and Hyper-V out of the box. Solarwinds provides a 30 Day free Trial that will give you plenty of time to get it configured and tested within your environment.