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IT Monitoring Comparison:  OpManager, WhatsUp Gold, and Longitude

November 28, 2018 | Heroix Staff

IT Monitoring Comparison:  OpManager, WhatsUp Gold, and LongitudeIT professionals are constantly on the hunt for technologies that help them automate problem detection, enabling them to be proactive rather than reactive.

Automated IT monitoring – the monitoring of the IT infrastructure and accompanying applications for performance, availability, and capacity problems is a must have in IT's arsenal.

Here we take a brief look at 3 well known technologies: OPManager, WhatsUP Gold, and Longitude and see how they compare to each other.

Installation

 

ManageEngine OPManager

Prerequisites:  SQL Server 

OPManager comes bundled with PostgreSQL for the evaluation. However given the volume of data collected, SQL Server is recommended for production deployments.

The technology can be installed on a Windows or Linux server. Note however that Windows servers can't be monitored from a Linux server running OPManager.

Further note that Application Monitoring and the Log File Monitoring Agent are separately installed components.

Finally, configuring for failover or redundancy requires SQL Server clustering.  

WhatsUp Gold

Prerequisites:  SQL Server

WhatsUp Gold comes with SQL Server 2014 Express. However the 10GB database size limit can certainly constrains the use of the technology. Consequently a full installation of SQL Server is expected for production environments. 

There is quite a bit of complexity involved when installing and configuring WhatsUp Gold to leverage its Distributed and Failover feature set.

Longitude

Prerequisites: None

Longitude's Windows based installation is self-contained and comes with everything needed to function including a built-in web server and database.

Longitude leverages existing constructs wherever possible to meet the vendor's design goals of simplicity and light footprint.

For example, a Longitude Console that is installed on a VM can readily take advantage of the High Availability features inherent in virtualized infrastructures - often with little or no additional configuration.

 

Interface

 

ManageEngine OPManager

The OPManager web interface operates from within a browser and provides role based access to OPManager's capabilities.  Users can also be configured to authenticate via Active Directory and then granted access to specific "Business Views".

Management from a mobile device is available for both iOS and Android.

The web interface is well organized, however OPManager comes with additional Add-ons, Plug-ins (which require a separate install), and Integrations which increase the scope of web interface.

WhatsUp Gold

The WhatsUp Gold web interface provides role-based access to all of the software's rather substantial capabilities, it can even be setup to authenticate against an Active Directory LDAP server to provide access based on group. 

There is no mobile interface in WhatsUp Gold 2018.

Whatsup Gold offers a broad set of capabilities both in terms of what can be monitored and also how problems are handled once they've been identified.

Properly harnessing the technology requires the user to take the time to learn and understand  and then deploy the myriad of options available in the web interface. 

Longitude

The Longitude Web UI operates from within a browser and provides role-based access to Longitude’s capabilities. The main interface itself is clean, making it quite simple to navigate and understand.

The Longitude Web UI provides access to the most common monitoring, reporting, and dash-boarding capabilities. Those looking to take advantage of even more elaborate capabilities can access an “Advanced” menu.

Management from a tablet or phone is available via a web interface optimized for mobile devices.

 

Scaling and Discovery

 

ManageEngine OPManager

OPManager comes with multiple discovery methods, including Layer 2 device discovery and mapping, input from .CSV, and rule based discovery (i.e. all servers named *SQL*, or that have SQL server process are monitored as SQL Servers).

Discovery can be scheduled and reports generated detailing discovery results. 

OPManager (Enterprise Edition) uses the concept of Probes to scale the technology. The Probes distribute the load across servers and are also installed at remote locations to discover, map, monitor, and detect faults which then roll up to the Central Server. A local web interface also allows local administrators access to the Probe.

WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUP Gold comes with multiple discovery methods, including Layer 2/3 device discovery and mapping.  IP discovery is quite flexible, for example  excluding specific IP addresses. Devices can also be discovered based on roles (e.g. find all Windows servers). 

Integral to WhatsUP Gold's discovery is its mapping capability. The discovery shows how all devices are connected. The user can display and manage their environment using the maps or in a tabular form. The latter being a better option if you have more devices than can be properly interpreted on a screen. 

Discovery can be scheduled and reports generated detailing discovery results. 

WhatsUp Gold use Scalability Pollers to distribute the load across servers. They can collect and transmit data from remote locations to the WhatsUP Gold Server. 

Note: Scalability Pollers support selected capabilities and don't offer the same level of functionality available in the WhatsUp Gold Server.

For full functionality you'll need to graduate to WhatsUp Gold Distributed Edition where full WhatsUp Gold deployments are installed at remote locations which roll up their alerts to the central WhatsUp Gold Console. 

Longitude

Longitude’s Discovery mechanism is multifaceted:

  • Longitude's discovery is application based. For example, when Longitude is configured to monitor SQL Server, it automatically knows the performance and availability metrics to collect, how often to collect them, and more importantly what to evaluate for problem determination.

  • Longitude also regularly discovers changes within a monitored application or server. For example, when monitoring a SQL Server if additional databases, disks, or services are added Longitude will automatically detect and start monitoring.

  • A command line interface allows users to script the discovery of devices and applications based on their environment’s unique requirements.

The word results against compass
Longitude Statistics Servers can be distributed throughout the environment to collect and roll up key performance and availability  metrics to the Longitude console.

Longitude is optimized to collect and send KPIs to the Longitude Console at different time intervals based on the criticality and volatility of the KPIs, this enables the Longitude Console to process massive environments.

 

Dashboarding

 

ManageEngine OPManager

OPManager offers quite a few dashboarding options.  One option is to create dashboards via drag/drop of widgets. Users generate reports/graphs that are then added as widgets to a dashboard.

Dashboards with Business Views allow users to group devices together and add their own background images.

Other dashboard options include Layer 2 device mapping, integration with Google maps, and the ability to maps devices into graphical representations of racks. A 3D data center builder allows user to create a dashboard representation of their data center(s).

WhatsUp Gold

Whatsup Gold provides users with the ability to create dashboards via "wuglets", which display reports/charts. The technology provides users with lots of control as to what and how metrics are displayed.

Maps are central to WhatsUp Gold, showing both Layer 2/3 network connectivity as well as virtual and physical device connectivity

Users can also create custom maps, upload their own maps and adjust icons.  

Maps are used not only for display purposes but also devices can be be managed directly from the maps.   A tabular display is available for situations where a map is less than ideal. 

Longitude

Longitude’s default dashboards are both device-centric and application-centric. Devices can be categorized using multiple user defined criteria.

Longitude’s tree structure allows for devices to reside on multiple branches (i.e. a tree could have branches based on business service, geography, on-premises vs cloud, and any other user defined criteria). The dashboards allow users to quickly identify how problems are affecting their environment without having to drill for detail.

Users looking to expand beyond Longitude’s tree view (i.e. incorporate their own maps, Visio diagrams, flowcharts, or for the display deeper diagnostics) can create more elaborate displays by accessing Longitude’s “Advanced” menu option.

 

Alerting and Actions

ManageEngine OPManager

OpManager supports multiple alert/action mechanisms (i.e. email, SMS, OS command, Log a ticket, and more). 

The technology helps avoid false alerts with device dependencies and alerting based on problem persistence. 

IT Workflow Automation is a drag and drop workflow builder that allow users to configure OPManager to initiate a workflow to diagnose and correct problems, which is a very useful capability.

WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold comes with a lots of different alerting/action capabilities (i.e. email, SMS, run a script, Slack, communicating with IoT, and more).

Alerts can be generated based on any number of criteria including thresholds, availability, and problem persistence.  Defining device dependencies affects not only alerting but what is monitored (i.e. avoid downstream pinging if a router is unavailable), a nice feature. 

Action Policies provide a mechanism for users to easily combine multiple actions together and assign them to devices or group of devices. 

Longitude

Longitude alerting and actionsLongitude comes with alert actions such as email, Text to pager, SMS text to phone, SNMP trap, executing a script, and more.

Alert action scheduling is easy to implement and very flexible.


Users can also leverage Longitude’s event correlation engine to easily build alerting dependencies and automated problem escalation. Event correlation dramatically reduces the number of alerts, allowing IT to focus on the most critical problems.

 

Reporting

 

ManageEngine OPManager

OpManager includes a report builder that helps users easily generate reports as graphs or tables from the collected performance metrics. These reports can easily be added as widgets to a dashboard. Report generation can also be scheduled.

Reports are also available showing OPmanager configuration detail.

Reporting on bandwidth and network performance is certainly a forte of the technology with all kinds of in-depth network traffic and analysis reports. There are also reports for performance, capacity, and configuration of RAID. 

WhatsUp Gold

Whatsup Gold provided a wide variety of reports that can be generated as graphs and tables for inclusion in dashboards. Report generation can also be scheduled.

Reports are also available showing WhatsUp Gold configuration and health.

Network traffic analysis is certainly an area where WhatsUp Gold excels with reports on senders, receivers, and traffic type. 

Users can also drill through the reports to help troubleshoot virtually any performance issue.

 

Longitude

A wide variety of pre-configured reports are shipped for all the device types and applications Longitude monitors, giving users instant reporting. Both tabular and chart-based reports are supported. Users can also opt for the “Advanced” report writer for access to even more sophisticated reporting capabilities.

In addition to reporting on performance and availability, Longitude provides reports for problem/alert history as well as Service Level Agreement compliance.

Longitude’s Capacity Planner allows users to use collected virtualization data to perform “what if” analysis and determine how changes to the virtual infrastructure will affect performance.

 

Pricing

 

ManageEngine OPManager

OPManager is priced based on the number of devices monitored. 

There are multiple pricing options depending on whether you require additional network and storage monitoring, VoIP Monitoring, Failover, and more.

Scaling out the technology via OPManager's  Probe-Central architecture requires OPManager Enterprise (an additional cost).

WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold can be priced per device (an ip address) or via a point system. 

Scaling out the technology comes at an additional cost with pricing for Failover, Scalability Pollers, as well as Distributed Monitoring separated from the base technology.

Application Monitoring (i.e. AD, Exchange, IIS, and SQL) are priced separately. 

On the plus side, the base technology includes Cloud (AWS / Azure) and Storage monitoring.

Longitude

Longitude PricingLongitude Enterprise Edition is priced based per managed device.

A managed device is a Windows Server, Unix/Linux Server, or SNMP based device. 

 

Users can monitor an unlimited number of metrics and applications on a manage device.

There is no cost  for scaling Longitude out as Longitude Statistics Server technology is always included.

Longitude Statistics Servers distribute the collection of data from local and remote locations and guarantee roll up of performance and availability data to the Longitude console. 

 

Conclusion

 

All these products are more than capable in their own right.  Ultimately as a user you’ll need to decide what kind of depth and breadth you truly require.

Technologies like WhatsUP Gold and OPManager cast a wide a net in terms monitoring and alerting. They both do an excellent job, but it comes at a cost.

Technologies that address broad requirements are also bigger and more complex. The more capabilities afforded to a user, the more time and effort is required of them to wade through myriad of options order to take advantage of the core functions.  

Bigger doesn’t always translate to better, as depending on the nature of the problem there is often still significant research and interpretation required to properly diagnose issues.

In addition to administrative overhead, there is often more software and hardware requirements, whether it is the need for SQL Server, Windows Clustering, or simply more hardware there is often a price to be paid for additional and unneeded functionality.

 

The Longitude approach to IT Monitoring


Longitude endeavors to deliver comprehensive monitoring, reporting, and data visualization for your IT environment.

Ultimately, the technology’s mission is to reduce downtime, preempt problems, and make the most efficient use of IT's personnel and financial resources by:
  • Monitoring the most critical technologies

  • Implementing with no fuss

  • Requiring minimal ongoing IT administration

  • Pricing that is fair and all inclusive. All inclusive pricing allows IT to unleash the full potential of the monitoring technology.  

 

 

Want to learn more?

Download a FREE trial of Longitude - Stand up Longitude in just minutes and immediately start seeing how your environment is performing, receive proactive alerts, reveal root causes, automate corrective actions, and more...

 

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