ManageEngine OpManager 12.1 review

A resource-light and feature-heavy network monitoring package at a good price

Price
£480
  • Resource-light; Wide variety of tools
  • Manual needs improvement; Console lacks customisation options

Many network monitoring products can be host-resource heavy, but not so with ManageEngine's OpManager 12.1. From a tiny 102MB executable, it expands to provide an excellent range of tools driven by a single Windows service.

Prices start at 480 for the Essentials edition, which supports up to 25 devices and unlimited interfaces. Costing from 811, the Plus edition is better value, as it adds support for 25 NetFlow monitors, plus management packs for 25 device configurations, one firewall and 250 IP addresses.

Deployment on a Windows Server 2012 R2 host took fifteen minutes with the routine loading a default PostgreSQL database. The new web console looks very smart and we started by firing off a discovery of the lab network.

This is wizard assisted so you can choose an address range, add sets of credentials, schedule it to run at regular intervals and fire it off immediately. Each discovery profile can be accessed from the reports section, edited and run on demand.

The web console is a cheery affair and opens with a big ribbon across the top, with at-a-glance overviews of device counts, alarms, servers, virtualisation hosts and more. The enterprise dashboard provides a map-based business view along with graphical details of the top alarms, busiest applications, device availability and a handy infrastructure snapshot with a list of device categories.

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The enterprise view can't be customised, but we could add our own dashboards and decide what monitored elements we wanted in them. Widgets can be added but we found it really annoying that they can't be dragged around the interface making it impossible to customise it.

The heat-map widget provides a grid of coloured blocks representing each system and their status. Hover the mouse pointer over a block and a pop-up box shows the associated system, while clicking on it takes you straight to its vital signs.

The OpManager discovery was fairly accurate and it found all our printers, routers, firewalls and NAS appliances, while for our servers, it correctly identified all their OSes. Only our Windows 10 desktops threw a spanner in the works as, OpManager thought they were all running Windows 8.

Workflows can reduce the load by automating responses to certain events or errors. These associate sequences of conditions and actions and are simple to create as the Workflow Builder uses drag and drop.

To create a workflow, we selected conditions and actions from the left pane, dragged them into the main builder window and from the trigger section to the right, chose the devices we wanted to apply them to. They're really versatile as you can watch for pretty much any condition and use actions such as powering off a system, restarting a service, rebooting a VM or copying a file.

ManageEngine has successfully ported its optional Application Performance Management (APM) plug-in over to OpManager 12.1 - although it took us a while to find it as the manual wasn't much help. Select the Server section in the top ribbon and it magically appears as a tab in the main screen below.

It supports over 80 applications, databases and Windows services out of the box and the discovery will add any it finds to the APM dashboard. Cloud monitors are also included and we had no problems creating one to keep an eye on our Amazon Web Services account.

The poor documentation steepens the learning curve and the web console isn't perfect but there's no denying OpManager is offering a lot of monitoring tools for the price. Feature such as workflows and the APM plug-in make it very versatile and it requires minimal host resources.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 268

Verdict

The poor documentation steepens the learning curve and the web console isn’t perfect but there’s no denying OpManager is offering a lot of monitoring tools for the price. Feature such as workflows and the APM plug-in make it very versatile and it requires minimal host resources.

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