Comparison Paper Argent vs. SolarWinds

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1 Comparison Paper Argent vs. SolarWinds

2 Contents Overview 2 Critical Differences 3 Investment Differences 5 Critical Architectural Differences 6 n-tier Architecture 7 Critical Support Differences 8 Installation And Implementation Differences 8 Service Management Software: Functional Categories 9 Page 1 of 12

3 Overview This document compares and contrasts the network performance monitoring and alerting capabilities in the Argent monitoring products with SolarWinds Orion Products. Both products offer simple-to-use, scalable network monitoring solutions. Yet, there are many significant differences between the products architectural differences as well as implementation differences, and, most importantly, differences in pricing policies and the way technical support is handled by the two companies. In the following sections, we will point out the major differences between these two products in a number of critical areas. Page 2 of 12

4 Critical Differences The following table contains 37 critical production-monitoring requirements. The Argent monitoring products support all these critical requirements. Feature Server/Application Supported Argent SolarWinds Windows NT Operating Systems 1. Windows 200x (including Windows 2008) Yes Yes 2. Microsoft Cluster Service Yes Yes 3. Microsoft Terminal Server Yes Yes Messaging Services 4. Microsoft Exchange Yes Yes 5. Microsoft Exchange 2007 Yes Yes 6. Lotus Notes Yes No 7. Lotus Domino Yes No Internet/Web Facilities 8. Full FTP Site Monitoring Yes Yes 9. Real Turnaround Time Yes Yes 10. Hacker Attacks on an Internet or Intranet Yes Yes 11. Page Changes on an Intranet or Web Site Yes Yes 12. Response Time Alerting for Slow Intranet Sites Yes Yes Capacity Planning and Trend Analysis 13. GUI and web trend reporting tool Yes Yes 14. Custom Web Report Facility Yes Yes 15. Report Viewable via a Web Browser Yes Yes 16. SLA Reports ed to Managers Yes Yes Linux Support 17. Ability to Monitor Linux Yes Yes Flexible Design 18. Option to Install Local OR remote Agents Yes No Page 3 of 12

5 Critical Differences Feature Server/Application Supported Argent SolarWinds SuperConsole 19. Ability to see all Outstanding Alerts for All Yes Yes Monitored Regions on One Screen n-tier Architecture 20. Ability to Divide Monitoring by Region, or Yes No Function, or Server Type, etc. Essential Usability Features 21. Ability to Escalate Alerts Yes Yes 22. RunBooks Yes No 23. Console Comment Field Yes Yes 24. Three Levels of Alert Importance Yes Yes 25. Memo Field for Groupware Support Yes No 26. Ability to Fire Multiple Alerts from a Relator Yes Yes 27. Drag and Drop Support in Relators Yes Yes 28. Master List of All Objects Yes Yes 29. Ability to Import and Export Rule Sets Yes Yes Technical Support 30. Live Support on Weekends Yes No 31. Live Support on Holidays Yes No 32. Live Support Outside Working Hours Yes No Network Monitoring Included 33. Hubs and Routers Monitored at No Extra Cost Yes Yes SNMP Support 34. Complete SNMP Support at No Extra Cost Yes Yes 35. Can Put SNMP Alerts on the Master Console Yes Yes 36. Optimized Long-Walk Capabilities Yes Yes 37. SNMP Macro Facility Yes Yes Page 4 of 12

6 Investment Differences Argent and SolarWinds Orion products both provide comprehensive fault and network performance management. Their cost-effective solutions offer tremendous functionality and have helped place them amongst the top players in network monitoring products. Nevertheless, there are crucial differences when it comes to the kind of investment one has to make while implementing each product. Here is a table illustrating the differences in investment one has to make for each product. Feature Argent SolarWinds 1. Unlimited Number of Management Consoles Included Included 2. Interface to Remedy Included Included 3. Interface to Tivoli Included No 4. Interface to UniCenter Included No 5. Monitoring Citrix Included No 6. Monitoring Terminal Server Included Included 7. Monitoring Lotus Domino Included No 8. Monitoring Lotus Notes Included No 9. Monitoring Microsoft IIS Included Extra 10. Monitoring Proxy Server Included Extra 11. Monitoring Cisco Included Included 12. Monitoring NetWare Included No 13. Interfacing to Insight Manager Included No 14. Interfacing to Dell Open Manage Included No 15. Interfacing to IBM Netfinity Included No 16. Automatic Report Distribution Included Included 17. Universal Browser Interface Included Included 18. Service Level Agreement Included No 19. SNMP Support Included Included Page 5 of 12

7 Critical Architectural Differences We now turn our attention towards the major architectural differences between the Argent Suite of Monitoring Products and SolarWinds Orion Products. Area The Argent Monitoring Products SolarWinds Orion Monitoring Products Remote Monitoring Agents Yes, fully supported No SuperConsole Yes Yes n-tier Architecture Yes No Scalable Yes Yes Page 6 of 12

8 n-tier Architecture With Argent's n-tier architecture, customers can have all monitored servers in a single monitoring region, or optionally, customers can divide monitored servers into different regions by geography, function, etc. Typically, for small environments (under 50 monitored servers), a single monitoring region will be appropriate. However, take the case of a large South-West utility that uses Argent to monitor over 1,200 production servers. Argent engineers worked with this company's technical staff to design a monitoring topology whereby monitoring was done by server function, each of the following has its own monitoring region: All the SQL Server production servers in a one monitoring region All the SQL Server test servers in a different monitoring region All the Exchange 2007 servers in a different monitoring region All the IIS servers in a different monitoring region All the Power Gen production servers in a different monitoring region Best of all, all outstanding alerts from all these monitoring regions are displayed on one screen - the Argent SuperConsole. Other customers create independent monitoring regions based on geographic region, such as East, Central, West, South, Canada, etc. Only Argent has n-tier architecture and the SuperConsole. Page 7 of 12

9 Critical Support Differences With both Argent and SolarWinds Orion products monitoring and reporting on systems and services that run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is crucial that they also be provided with technical support 24X7, all year through. However, Argent is the only product that provides round the clock technical support including on holidays and weekends. In contrast, SolarWinds only offers free online support for all users of SolarWinds products. Customers can also go in for paid support that provides them with access to the Technical Support staff at SolarWinds, new releases of licensed products, and additional applications or utilities. However, even paid support provides customers access to Technical Support only on weekdays and during working hours. They do not have access to this support on weekends or holidays. Installation And Implementation Differences While many network monitoring products typically take days to install, implement, and integrate various components, both Argent and SolarWinds make it a lot simpler to install their products. However, installing SolarWinds Orion Product and getting it up and running successfully still takes a few hours. Installing Argent, on the other hand, requires barely 10 minutes. Page 8 of 12

10 Service Management Software: Functional Categories The key to success in business lies in ensuring that all major systems including important business services and applications run smoothly. The top network monitoring and service management software companies provide a wide range of tools to businesses to make it easier for them to handle tasks such as network monitoring, services and application monitoring, job scheduling, server management and many more crucial tasks. However, most of the services that these software solutions provide can be broadly classified into the following categories. Network Monitoring Systems and Application Monitoring Performance Management Business Service Management Event Management Security Information Management We will now compare the top networking monitoring and service management solutions in the market today and see how they stack up against the competition, in each category. Network Monitoring With business networks getting more and more distributed, it is a challenge to make sure that critical business services are available at all times. The solution is to employ a network monitoring solution that can quickly identify the problem and quickly resolve it. In this category, Argent provides two very powerful solutions, the Argent SNMP monitor and the Argent WMI monitor. The Argent SNMP monitor provides a highly scalable network monitoring solution for a wide range of SNMP network devices and a wide configuration of networks. The Argent WMI monitor provides monitoring services for all Windows based applications and environments. Argent also offers other network optimization tools that basically complement these two products. SolarWinds Orion does not provide the flexibility and scalability of Argent Network Monitoring, making Argent extremely cost-effective as compared to the other solutions. Page 9 of 12

11 Service Management Software: Functional Categories Systems and Application Monitoring Systems and Application Management software monitor and evaluate how business-critical applications are performing on the network. They make it easy to locate and resolve application performance issues. Argent Guardian is one of the most popular application and system management software today for a wide range of servers including Windows 200x, NT, Linux, UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, SCO, Solaris), and the iseries servers. Its patented agent-optional architecture makes it possible to use the Guardian with or without installing agents on the servers. It continuously monitors the health and performance of the servers, quickly alerting IT personnel to problems so that they can be resolved before end-users even realize anything is amiss. The Argent Guardian comes with over 2,500 Rules and pre-defined reports that allow customers to improve immediately the reliability of their applications and production servers. The Argent Guardian also decreases the total cost of ownership because it can effectively and comprehensively monitor all production servers within just two hours of its installation. You can view all outstanding alerts and issue alerts from one central console, using a web-based interface or a traditional GUI interface. The SolarWinds Orion Application Monitor module makes it possible for network engineers to isolate application performance from network performance, reducing the time needed for them to solve performance issues. Page 10 of 12

12 Service Management Software: Functional Categories Performance Management Performance management tracks the health of business-critical services by monitoring key indicators that are related to the quality of service and service delivery. The Argent Guardian is a complete and integrated solution. Unlike many other vendors who provide solutions for various aspects of a business through separate consoles and GUIs, all sold separately, the Argent Guardian provides all monitoring, management and reporting tools in one solution and at one cost-effective price. SolarWinds Orion Application Monitoring allows performance management with agentless, monitoring templates for a variety of services. User Experience Monitors make it possible to monitor the quality of experience, helping engineers find and fix problems before they affect the end users. Business Service Management Businesses know that customer satisfaction depends a great deal on their business services functioning smoothly and without interruptions. The Argent Business Manager is a complete solution that has the capability to monitor all networks and databases and identify, report, and safeguard against outages of business-critical applications and devices across the entire IT infrastructure of the business. SolarWinds Orion, through its Network Performance Monitor and Network Configuration Monitor, tries to provide a more affordable solution though with less functionality for business management. Page 11 of 12

13 Service Management Software: Functional Categories Event Management Event management enables the collection, correlation, and resolution of events. Argent software offers comprehensive event management capabilities through Argent 9.0 a complete endto-end solution for the Event Correlation and Analysis (ECA) domain. For every event, it has powerful collection, consolidation and correlation functions. Despite this, when compared to its rival products, Argent 9.0 requires minimal network hardware resources and yet is very robust. SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Monitor also contains an Event monitor enabling advanced alerting for correlated events and sustained conditions. Security Information and Event Management Security information and event management capabilities are proving to be crucial in enabling networks to simulate and identify real threats, resolve them quickly and meet compliance mandates. The Argent Data Consolidator collects, scans, and consolidates all critical data from various data sources and places it in one or more centralized databases. This provides management with a complete audit trail, allowing companies to comply effectively with audit requests. Further, there is complete fault tolerance built into the Argent Data Consolidator allowing it to identify quickly potential threats, erratic networks, or hardware failures. The Argent Data Consolidator provides what all businesses need today the security of data consolidation. SolarWinds Orion Network Configuration Manager improves the availability of networks by reducing the time needed to identify potential threats, improving security and ensuring policy adherence. Note: Product names and other trademarks referred to in this comparison paper are the property of their respective trademark holders. ArgSoft Intellectual Property Holdings Limited created this Comparison Paper for informational purposes only. ArgSoft makes no warranty, either express or implied, in this document. The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. ArgSoft shall not be liable for any technical or editorial errors, or omissions contained in this document, nor for incidental, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the furnishing, performance, or use of the material contained in this document, or the document itself. Page 12 of 12

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