NETSCOUT NGENIUS 3900 SERIES PACKET

Mfg.Part: 3903NAPC3100 | CDW Part: 2942209

This item was discontinued on January 20, 2019

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NETSCOUT NGENIUS 3900 SERIES PACKET
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NETSCOUT NGENIUS 3900 SERIES PACKET is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 3.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enables deep packet inspection at a 10-gig level while TAPs allow our security team to look for risks What is our primary use case?One use case that we purchased it for is deep packet inspection at a 10-gig level. Prior to that, we only had deep packet inspection up to one gig.We are utilizing the tool right now for deep packet inspection, and for everyday dashboard monitoring to show our customers what their current traffic is, how their everyday business needs are consuming their traffic, and what kind of traffic is specifically on their network.Also, the nGeniusONE is providing TAPs for all of our core traffic and is sending it to our security team for them to sort through and look for security risks. That is actually probably the single biggest purpose we're using it for.How has it helped my organization?We did a big shift in how we do some of our internal business. To see what the impact would be, we got a baseline of our day-to-day traffic and performance. Then, as we did a proof of concept of the new solution that we were working on, we could see how much that was going to change our performance and our growth, per user, and that enabled us to ramp up bandwidth and resources as needed for that big change.We wouldn't have been able to prepare our network in a way that would have kept everything functioning properly, without that information.What is most valuable?There are so many valuable features. Deep packet inspection is probably the strongest, but also its ability to slab certain traffic and give visibility into traffic at an application-layer level.The way that our company is set up, we provide that type of information to the agencies we support. They're basically our customers - government agencies - and they want to know information about their applications' performance, and the health of their applications, usage, troubleshooting, etc.In addition, it is user-friendly.What needs improvement?The areas it covers are so vast that the improvement would be in the user's understanding of what it can do. Having that information available to customers more easily might be helpful, although I believe it is available to customers easily through their website.There are so many pieces of their product that integrate with one another that perhaps a recommendation for improvement would be some sort of bigger overview and map to help understand how all their pieces integrate together. On the plus side, they always have resources available, instantly, when you have a question about it. It's not like that information can't be found.For how long have I used the solution?Three to five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable. We've never had any problems with it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The newer technology scales very well, especially in the virtual environment. Some of the hardware that I purchased four or five years ago, since it's a hardware-based system, limits how it can grow and scale. But truthfully, five years for a deep packet inspection tool like this is quite good.There are some hardware components that communicate to the nGeniusONE that I'm likely to be upgrading within the next few years. My traffic has grown to the point where I need more and, since it's hardware-based, it can only scale so far.nGeniusONE itself scales very well. It's cloud-based.We are moving to a virtualized environment in our data center, and NETSCOUT is making very scalable nGenius solutions so that we'll have some virtual instances of it. Our plan is to expand that into our virtualized environment and be able to have some inspection of the traffic that stays in our data center. We've already started that process. Our bottleneck is the internal resources to do it. It will probably be done by the end of next year.How is customer service and technical support?We have a relationship with a NETSCOUT engineer, so I usually just email him or call him, or email or call our rep, and they get us an engineer right away. I think that type of direct relationship with an engineer at NETSCOUT is a common scenario because in speaking with him, he talks about similar interaction with other customers in this region.I have used their support via a ticket. Their response is quick, and they usually just get us right over to the local engineer. It can usually be resolved without escalating.Which solutions did we use previously?We used a solution by SolarWinds, and we also used a solution by another provider. We realized we needed to change when we had a distributed denial of services attack that spanned greater than one gig.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. They had a lot of automation in place that could take configuration files, etc., and automatically incorporate them into their system. The way that the tool communicates using normal SNMP communication made it a super-easy install. It was very easy to get online.I have a hardware version of it here, and with getting everything wrapped and cabled and connected, we had it online in about three days.We had an implementation strategy mostly because we had a business case on what we wanted it for. So we had a strategic plan in place to get it up and running and providing us the information we needed as quickly as possible. We proposed the strategic plan to NETSCOUT and their Professional Services were able to meet everything that we needed.There were three people involved in the deployment. We had the NETSCOUT Professional Services engineer, and we had two resources from my company, one of whom was really just a backup. Their roles were to deliver the strategic plan to the NETSCOUT engineer and to receive onsite training as services were turned up.What about the implementation team?We had Professional Services help us with it and it was a breeze. It was easy to set up. Their Professional Services were the only ones needed.What was our ROI?For the business case that I mentioned above, when we took a baseline of our traffic to show the changes and the differences, there was a big return on investment.But giving our customers the power to have some visibility into their own traffic has been a huge return on investment. Not only are they able to identify their needs and their growth, and take up less of my resources' time to do an investigation into what they need - so it has saved resource time; but we're also able to identify their growth patterns at an earlier time, so we're not spending money on things that will need to be replaced.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Their pricing is very competitive with other solutions. I'm getting to the point to where I'm going to have to upgrade my licensing level, and it's a pretty big hop. But what I like about NETSCOUT's licensing is that it's shared across all their platforms. They don't create a new licensing scheme for every one of their products. So for nGeniusONE, you buy a certain license level and it works on all of their products.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There were plenty of other options, other things that we were looking at. We looked at trying to accomplish the same thing with tools we already owned like SolarWinds.We went with nGeniusONE because NETSCOUT's roadmap in development met some of the strategic things we were trying to accomplish.What other advice do I have?The advice I would like to have if I was implementing it for the first time is to have a good understanding of what you're trying to accomplish; not for one single thing, but for all the things that you would like to accomplish. Then, plan and design your NETSCOUT purchase accordingly so you're not just doing one piece here and one piece there and then trying to figure out the integration later.In hindsight, NETSCOUT engineers have been really good at helping us put those pieces together, but it would have been helpful to spin it all up at the same time and to have had it strategically set up to move us to the future, where we needed to go.If you count all of our customers we probably have over 100 people using it. Their roles include network operations, security operations, network engineering, and we have our agency monitoring.Some of the shortcomings that we've had with our NETSCOUT products have been because of our own internal resources, not because of the product. We just don't have the time or the bandwidth to implement some of the things that we need. With that being said, I would give NETSCOUT a ten out of ten.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2019-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enables us to be more proactive regarding bandwidth, but it is not simple to deploy, operate, or maintain What is our primary use case?The main application that we use is NetFlow: all the NetFlow traffic, monitoring, bandwidth utilization, top-talkers, etc.How has it helped my organization?We are using nGeniusONE to run our bandwidth capacity management reports. In the past, we used to be very reactive, we used to depend a lot on suppliers to tell us which sites are our hot sites, meaning, which have high bandwidth utilization. Now we do this in a much more proactive way and we are moving to a more predictive approach in that aspect, thanks to nGeniusONE.What is most valuable?The most important feature in my regular operations is the NetFlow traffic analysis. It also has a packet inspection or packet analysis although that's something that we use less.In addition, the ability to be able to do detailed traffic analysis such as top-talkers, application-specific monitoring, and understanding them through patterns, is helpful. We're also able to gain an understanding of voice calls, voice traffic, whether we have packet loss in a certain part of the network or jitter or high latency that might be impacting the network. All of those are nice functionalities.What needs improvement?Most of the functionality I mentioned above could be improved, to be honest.Also, it's not intuitive, it's not simple to use. It is probably the only monitoring tool, out of all the ones that I have, that I really need an expert on, an expert from nGenius, a contractor that I have to pay, to manage the tool. And that's because it's simply not easy to use. Netscout needs to focus on making it easier to use. I should not need to pay an expensive resource to be able to manage the tool for me. With any other tool, I'm able to do that management internally. They should focus on the user experience, not just on the capabilities that they can provide. User experience is important these days. That would be one area where it could be improved.Another, which might be related, is that it's almost like "white elephant." There are so many features that it makes it hard to know it all. You end up paying for things that you don't use and probably don't even need. It might be better if Netscout came up with a modular way to pay for what you're going to use and not pay for all of this "white elephant" without being able to take advantage of all of it.I also think that it's a little too dependent on physical agents all over the place. If they were able to move a bit more to the virtual environment that would be better. I believe that we still depend too much on physical appliances to get the most out of the tool. And by the way, I recently found out that they do have some virtual environments that they can deploy but I'm not sure that it's widely known yet.Those are the main areas that I would improve.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I haven't necessarily encountered issues from the stability perspective, but I certainly find it inconsistent in the way it drives reports. For example, if you follow the standard procedure to monitor size or to monitor bandwidth, you're going to find that for about 30 percent of them you will have to do some level of tweaking and customization to make it work. It seems to either have a number of bugs in the tool that we have been reporting and they have been fixing as they go, or it's just part of the functionality that we have to do things differently for a lot of sites. It's not stability, it's more from a standardization perspective. I think that they would do better if they simplified the rollout process.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I have not had any problems with scalability.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is great. But then again, I would expect it to be great because I'm paying a fortune just to have a dedicated contractor from Netscout in my office, to be available. But I don't know if we'd have the same level of support, I don't know if it would be as easy to improve and patch and continue with the operation, if I were not paying for dedicated support.On a scale of zero to ten, I would say support is a five. I don't think many tools out there in the market require having a dedicated person just to support a monitoring tool.Which solutions did we use previously?Before Netscout we were in the "prehistoric era" and we were not using another tool. Netscout was the first tool that we started using for this purpose.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was very complex and that relates, in part, to the simplicity issue that I mentioned earlier.Not just the initial set up, even migrating from one version to another, like 5.3 to 5.5, was an entirely new setup from scratch. We had to change boxes, we had to change software, we were not able to migrate databases. We had to load everything from scratch. It's like we were installing the tool for the very first time. It was a very cumbersome process.It all comes back to the user experience feedback that I provided earlier. That's the biggest opportunity area for Netscout. It is not simple to deploy, not simple to operate, not simple to maintain.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Again, it's kind of a "white elephant." If you are able and you are willing to use everything that Netscout provides to you, it's probably a relatively fair price. The problem is that it's such a large and such a complex tool that I'm not sure that many companies would be able to use it entirely, the way it's expected to be used.So what I'm paying today, based on the value that I'm getting out of the tool, makes me believe that I'm overpaying. You pay for the entire thing whether you use it or not. And these days, that's not the wisest way to go.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There are a few other options that we are currently evaluating. They include SevOne, LiveAction, and ManageEngine. Now, I understand that most of these tools are only providing a subset of what Netscout can provide. I'm perfectly aware of that. But that's exactly what I meant before about the modularity. Right now, I feel that I'm overpaying for a huge product that I'm not fully leveraging and I'm not sure that I want to fully leverage. I would rather pay less money for a tool that is going to give me exactly what I need, even if it doesn't have all the functionality that Netscout can provide.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2018-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Packet capture, NetFlow collection, and the real-time communication monitoring are key What is our primary use case?This is our traffic analyzer replacement. We use it to provide some functionality for our operations to do live captures so they can manage instant management.What is most valuable?The big features we use are definitely the packet capture function, NetFlow collection, and the UC analyzer to monitor real-time communication in our environment.What needs improvement?This is a typical thing, but every time they do a major code upgrade, we get hit with some nasty bugs. Some of them literally stop the whole platform from collecting traffic data. They should really do more Q&A on software stability before release.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Other than those bugs I mentioned, we haven't encountered any issues with stability. The system has been rock solid. It's just stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?As far as we can see, the scalability issue is mostly that we need to spend more time to tune the software to understand our environment a little better. Other than that, we haven't found any scalability issues. Scalability is related to the hardware sizing and I think we did a pretty good job on that front.How is customer service and technical support?The tech support team has been helpful. They are easy to engage and they're willing to engage the resources that we need to communicate with. I have no complaint about them.Which solutions did we use previously?We did have a different solution in place before. We reviewed a couple of vendors and ended up with Netscout after doing a PoC in our environment.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was a little simpler than what we have with Netscout now, because our environment grew.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated NIKSUN but the accounting was way worse than what we have with Netscout.What other advice do I have?You need to spend some time to make the system to fit into your environment. Once you get it there, it works pretty well.I give it a nine out of ten. It's only to the point that we still need to do some feature requests for things we want to do. The toolset was there but, initially, it wasn't GUI-based, so it took some time for them to implement that.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2018-11-12
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