I have some limited background with Solar Winds. I used them in the past in much smaller networks for network management and their solution is certainly well suited for that. One thing I really like about SolarWinds is that they know exactly who they are and what they do. They are not going to be a best of breed solution in any area but they are certainly a viable solution in just about every area of network management.
During their presentation they featured two newer capabilities of their platform, logging & event correlation (aka SIEM – Security Information and Event Management) and wireless heat maps (new in v11.5 Beta). My quick assessment of this was it was both of these features were basically Splunk and Cisco Prime light.
Solarwinds SIEM information: http://www.solarwinds.com/log-event-manager.aspx
NPM v11.5 Beta info: https://thwack.solarwinds.com/message/239508#239508
I was especially impressed with the logging and event correlation piece as this is not an easy area to be competitive in but I think Solar Winds has nailed exactly what they needed to do. The provide a very solid offering in this area which will be a huge benefit to smaller organizations who look to Solar Winds for end-to-end network management.
One key point on the wireless management piece is that they currently only support Cisco APs. Hopefully support for other wireless products will be rolled in soon but I am guessing the vast majority of Solar Wind’s target market are going to be Cisco shops.
I was pleased with SolarWinds presentation. They know who they are and they have fun with it. They are doing exactly what they need to do to continue to dominate in the market they service, adding features that were probably out of the reach for smaller organizations prior.