Infrastructure monitoring products: Users pinpoint the best and worst features

Monitoring software for servers, networks and applications is supposed to help IT departments spot problems early and avoid business downtime. At IT Central Station, IT managers provide their peers with insights about the pros and cons of four leading products: CA Unified Infrastructure Management, SevOne, Nagios and Opsview Enterprise.

IT monitoring software probes various parts of the infrastructure -- servers, networks and applications -- and alerts IT about problems before they can cause an outage that affects the business. According to IT managers in the IT Central Station community, the most important criteria to consider when choosing infrastructure monitoring software include compatibility with existing infrastructure and customizable views.

Four of the leading IT infrastructure monitoring solutions are CA Unified Infrastructure Management, SevOne, Nagios and Opsview Enterprise, according to ratings by IT Central Station members.

But what do enterprise users really think about these tools? Here, users give a shout out for some of their favorite features, but also give the vendors a little tough love.

Editor’s note: These reviews of select infrastructure monitoring tools come from the IT Central Station community. They are the opinions of the users and are based on their own experiences.

CA Unified Infrastructure Management (UIM)

Valuable features

“It gives a good baseline as to how we go about monitoring our clients, as each one is different but can fall into a specific category of infrastructure monitoring.”
-- Daniel B., Enterprise Tools Architect at a tech services company
“We're able to predict how close we're approaching our thresholds so we can head off a disaster, and we can troubleshoot it before it becomes a big problem.”
-- Gary G., Senior Director of Technology Services Operations at a tech services company
“The ability to be able to pull data out of multiple data sources and surface it all into a single tool. Some of the other tools that we had were very limited, [but] with UIM you can scrape virtually any data source.”
-- Craig D., Manager, End-to-End Monitoring, at a manufacturing company

Room for improvement

“UIM supports AS400, but it is somewhat limited.”
-- Dan H., Managed Services Operational Engineer at a tech services company
“Whenever there is an IP address change to the server … it won't update automatically, [so] we have manually validated the probes. This should be improved.”
-- Franklin P., Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm

You can read more CA UIM reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable features

“The reporting capabilities provide us with important metrics and data that help us with oversight of our system, network and overall IT infrastructure, both in terms of applications and hardware.”
-- Abdul K., Senior Software Engineer at a communications service provider
“The features we are seeing the greatest benefit from are the enhanced reporting, net-flow data collection, and the data retention.”
-- Jonas S., SaaS Engineer at a tech vendor
"The graphing function can be tailored for all levels of management reporting.”
-- Ken O., Network Management Development and Support at a tech services company

Room for improvement

“I think that the downstream suppression could be improved. Suppression must all be done manually [now], but this improvement is on SevOne's roadmap, I believe.”
-- Eric S., Chief Technology Officer at an aerospace/defense firm
“I'd like to see a configuration management feature that lets me customize analyses and data points important to me at any specific time.”
-- Harish K. , Network Engineer at a tech services company
“We would like heat mapping and more detailed data, but in a general sense the initial mission was to get a more informed viewpoint of traffic in our network, and they knocked that out of the park.”
-- Mark L., Network Engineer at a government agency

You can read more SevOne reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable features

“The dashboard and heads-up display [are] practical and useful for enterprise/network operations center use cases.”
-- Sid R., Vice President of Operations & Client Support at a tech services company
“Our infrastructure is now [monitored] proactively and we don't have to wait for complaints from the customers or internal operation team … regarding any issue with the service.”
-- Ammar S., Manager of Infrastructure at a financial services firm

Room for improvement

“A better UI for graphing would make it better.”
-- Roshan N., Senior DevOps Engineer at a tech company
“I’d like to have the option to configure Nagios using the Web interface. Although the command line interface gives a lot of customization options, I'd like to take a break from looking at lines of words.”
-- Kelvin L., Client Engineer at a tech services company
“[Nagios needs] to get a standard GUI and a better notification system. For my system, I've developed the notifications [in-house] because [Nagios] basically just sends you an email.”
-- Paulo D., Network Engineer at a tech services company
“Scaling Nagios to cover multiple regions or data centers is challenging. It requires another tool which I never incorporated. Due to this gap I used a dedicated Nagios server within each specific operation.”
-- Eric A.,Web Operations Engineer at a renewables/environment company

You can read more Nagios reviews on IT Central Station.

Opsview Enterprise

Valuable features

“The most important feature is the distributed, highly available monitoring clusters in the enterprise editions. As we run multiple sites around the world and every second of service disruption costs us money, this feature is critical.”
-- Noah G., Systems & Monitoring Engineer at a communications service provider
“The most valuable features for us are the modification profiles and the initial dashboard. They're also the two main things we use the most.”
-- Oscar H., NOC Manager at a communications service provider
“The most valuable component of OpsView might be the very good Web GUI. It provides a great overview of all hosts and services; furthermore, adding new monitoring targets and modifying existing configuration is possible.”
-- Valentin H., Cloud Architect at a communications service provider

Room for improvement

“Some aspects of the GUI functionality need improvement. We've discussed them with Opsview and they plan on making improvements per customer request.”
-- Dervia M., Internet Services Support & Maintenance Manager at a communications service provider
“I think it still has room for improvement to auto discovery. I also think it can be improved [when monitoring] VMware as well.”
-- Joe P., Systems Engineer at a maritime company

You can read more OpsView reviews on IT Central Station.

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