SolarWinds Fortifies MSP Platform


The Austin, Texas-based company on Monday is slated to roll out version 8.0 of its Orion network performance management platform as well as NetFlow Traffic Analyzer, a new component for the modular Orion family, said Kenny Van Zant, chief product strategist.

SolarWinds is coming off its strongest sales quarter in its nine-year history, and the latest improvements to Orion are designed in part to assist partners who helped drive those historic sales numbers -- MSPs, according to Van Zant. "This is the year we plan to get to know our MSP partners much more," he said.

Orion 8.0 brings custom management information base (MIB) support, enabling SolarWinds' partners to better control and gather data from a wider range of device characteristics on an IT network, such as the temperature of a switch, fan speeds on a router and the battery status of a UPS, Van Zant said. The new version also features improved alert options and policies plus support for the SNMP version 3 protocol.

In addition, Orion can now receive SNMP traps when such notifications are sent by network devices experiencing unusual events, and the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer module comes with support for Cisco NetFlow statistics, Van Zant said.

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SolarWinds has gone from a relatively unknown IT network monitoring software vendor to one of the hotter brands in the MSP market, thanks in part to a large number of solution providers and MSPs looking for alternatives to enterprise IT management platforms like Hewlett-Packard's Openview and IBM's Tivoli and midmarket MSP platforms from vendors such as N-able Technologies, Kaseya and SilverBack.

"What partners like about SolarWinds is our simplicity of use," Van Zant said.

Four out of five new SolarWinds partners recently turned to the vendor after outgrowing a homegrown IT monitoring system, becoming frustrated by a rival product or struggling with an enterprise IT monitoring platform that "required a manager to manage the management system," he said.

Pricing for Orion 8.0 starts at $2,475 for 100 interfaces. NetFlow Traffic Analyzer starts at $875 for 10 interfaces.