What felt like a scene from a spy flick, the NFD6 delegates piled in to Aruba’s offices during #NFD6 for the Solarwinds presentation. Before we began I have had dealings with Solarwinds around their NPM Orion platform and was extremely interested in to what they were going to talk about. Right off the bat I think you could say I was a little broadsided.

Denny LeCompte and Joel Dolisy of Solarwinds gave some background on Solarwinds and their approach. They launched into a discussion conversation that was unlike other presentations. They wanted to talk to us about their products from people who have used them a lot. The delegates got to share war stories, gripes and issues about the products and put the feelers out as to what they were thinking and how they were (and were not)  addressing issues.

Solarwinds definitely demonstrated their authority in the NPM industry and this was apparent with their adherence to the 80/20 rule. Cater for 80 percent of the market. When discussing future trends such as network virtualization, SDN, Open/Cloud Stacks and other ‘hot’ topics, they nodded and stated at this time they are watching the market closely. Delegates were quick to highlight that while this is great you’re aware of NFV/SDN , we also like your product enough to say we don’t want you to miss the boat!

Windows focused and centric for a long time the notion of moving off Microsoft’s flagship pained Joel. He did state that would require a rebuild of most applications written by them and currently through addressing 80% of the market, the demand for non Windows pollers wasn’t a big enough justification – yet. That being said the path to migrate off Windows wasn’t off the cards either.

Performance rings a bell for many users. Due to the reliance on SQL on Windows, as Solarwinds scales there are known performance troughs that are extremely painful. I know personally of friends who have rather large deployments of Solarwinds and doing the bare minimum takes a massive hit against polling intervals. But readers, you must rejoice. Solarwinds is aware of these issues and are focusing on ‘performance’ tweaks to fix database related latency. Through a combination of how the database stores information and schema enhancements, Joel is confident that pains could be soothed.

Solarwinds put their toes in the water and gauged the idea of Solarwinds-as-a-Service. This is quite a clever idea and I know myself and Ivan jumped up immediately. We both realised benefits but quickly out comments turned to the pesky NSA, data governance, and the type of environments who may benefit from this. Some of the larger environments might be actually legally excluded from using this service due to hint of being US-based initially.

What was an interesting twist and a surprisingly refreshing and candid presentation, Solarwinds showed that they like what they do, their customers like what they do, and they incorporate feedback in time to the product. Whilst it is a large feedback loop and one which I think can tighten, the horde over at the Solarwinds Thwack community love and lap up their products.

Here are some other posts from Delegates

Disclaimer: I attended Networking Field Day 6 as a delegate, but was not compensated to attend. I am free to write (or not write) about any of the presentations as I see fit without fear of censorship by the vendor or Tech Field Day. My general disclaimer is here.

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