ManageEngine OpManager 12.3 review: Superb value for SMBs

Dave Mitchell

15 Jan, 2019

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

From £1,850 exc VAT

ManageEngine’s OpManager has gone through a number of transformations over the past two years and the latest edition, v12.3, delivers even more new features. Its revamped web console makes problem detection and troubleshooting even easier, it has over 39,000 vendor templates for accurate device identification and virtual host support now includes Citrix XenServer.

Licensing doesn’t get any simpler: it’s based purely on monitored devices, regardless of the number of interfaces, sensors or elements each one has. The Essentials version is great value too, with prices starting at only £1,850 for a 50 device license pack.

OpManager also stands out for its advanced virtualization monitoring. A standard license includes VMware, Hyper-V and XenServer support – something many other vendors only offer as an optional, paid-for feature.

OpManager’s light touch on its host system also gets our vote. We downloaded the small 135MB executable, installed it in 15 minutes on our Windows Server 2012 R2 host and watched it load a single Windows service and default PostgreSQL database.

Discovery doesn’t take long either with the wizard-driven routine asking for IP address ranges, sets of device credentials and schedule details. Our discovery profile took 7 minutes to scan the lab network and we could see a list of all discovered devices from the Inventory tab. OpManager offers accurate identification; it correctly spotted our HPE network switches, Windows 10 desktops, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts, printers and NAS appliances.

The new console sees all menu options moved to the top with a ribbon bar providing easy access to features such as dashboards, device inventories, alarms and maps. Existing users will like the option to switch the page layout back to the previous version, which has a menu bar down the side and network summary across the top.

The enterprise dashboard provides a widget-based overview of device availability, alarms, the busiest devices and an infrastructure snapshot showing a list of device categories. The new design supports drag-and-drop customisation and although you can’t remove any widgets from the default views, you can create your own dashboards.

The heat-map widget is a must-have feature in any dashboard, as it presents a grid of coloured blocks representing each device, their status and quick links to each one. Another valuable feature is the NOC (Network Operations Center) views where you can select dashboards and present them on a big screen for your support department.

OpManager provided plenty of virtualization details with a summary dashboard, separate ones for Hyper-V, VMware and XenServer plus another showing VM sprawl. For our Hyper-V host, we viewed a page showing VMs using the most host resources with separate tables for CPU, memory, storage and network utilization.

Workflows automate responses to events or errors and associate sequences of conditions and actions. These are simple to create using the Workflow Builder, where you drag and drop conditions and actions into its central pane and apply them to selected devices.

The optional Application Performance Management (APM) add-in snaps neatly into the OpManager console and provides in-depth details on a huge range of applications, databases and cloud services. The Storage add-on is less appealing as many of the RAID, FC switch and tape library devices listed as supported are obsolete.

OpManager’s new iOS app delivers monitoring on the move. With it loaded on our iPad, we logged into the OpManager host and viewed our custom dashboards, all monitored devices, alarms and the APM module.

This latest version of OpManager delivers a wealth of new features and remedies most of its predecessor’s shortcomings. It’s swift to deploy, includes integral virtualization monitoring tools and looks great value for SMBs.