Tolly’s 2022 Network Visibility Capabilities Report demonstrated how Auvik delivers industry-leading time to value. The report takes a deep dive into how Auvik stacks up to the competition across a variety of criteria. Which is all well and good from a purely analytical standpoint, but what does it mean for your day-to-day? After all, we’re IT pros, not accountants.

So instead of rewriting the report, let’s look at some key findings through a different lens: the practical benefits for IT teams and MSPs—and provide examples that help quantify the true cost of switching to Auvik.

How was the test conducted?

Tolly Test Report logo

Tolly simulated an experienced network engineer going from zero to network visibility with 4 different solutions.

IT teams and MSPs have a lot of options when it comes to network monitoring tools. Every tool boasts a list of features and benefits. But the only real way to figure out what’s best for a given scenario is to test it in a production-like environment. The Tolly team did just that with Auvik and three major competitors. One of the competitors was an open-source tool (referred to as “OS” in the report), one was a commercial tool with a per-sensor license model (PS), and one was a commercial tool with a per-node license model (PN).

The test parameters were meant to mimic a network engineer running a proof of concept (PoC). The engineers had network expertise in general, but no specific familiarity with any of the tools. The engineers were limited to 10 hours maximum to install and configure each tool beginning with the guidance provided by installers and using publicly available docs if needed. From there, they drilled down into the evaluation of network topology mapping, subnet display, and quality of device metrics.

The test network consisted of 50 unique devices including:

  • Six LANs with their own subnets
  • A core switch connecting the subnets
  • A Cisco ASA firewall between the core switch and the Internet
  • A mix of network vendors and models (e.g., HPE ProCurve, Cisco SG300, HP Comware, and a Ubiquiti access point)

Fast time-to-value: productive in minutes, not hours

IT pros can be more productive in less time with Auvik.

At just six minutes, Auvik was the fastest of the solutions to install (less than an hour for full configuration), and its hierarchical approach to network credentials — like SNMP community strings or usernames and passphrases — eliminated the tedious task of manually inputting credentials for each network device.

In practical terms, the Tolly report demonstrates how Auvik can make it to deep network visibility faster than any other platform. If you’re a network MSP, that means it’s easier, and faster (and cheaper) to onboard new customers in less time. If you’re an internal IT team, that means you spend less time with tedious tasks and more time focused on real problems.

What does this mean for me?

How do these findings from the Tolly report help you answer the “why switch to Auvik?” question? The NoctisIT case study (PDF) provides a great example of why it’s not just about reducing the time IT staff wastes with tedious tasks. NoctisIT is an MSP that effectively began using Auvik as a customer-acquisition tool. Six months after adopting Auvik, Noctis closed 100% of its prospects. Being able to immediately provide customers with deep network visibility was, for them, a game changer. NoctisIT CEO Jason Whitehurst said, “Auvik gives me immediate visibility into the infrastructure that I can’t get anywhere else. I don’t do assessments without it.”

An intuitive interface saves time and money

Find what you need, when you need it.

Another of the major highlights of the Tolly report was Auvik’s intuitive interface. The ease of use allowed the engineer to get the system fully configured without referencing documentation.

That intuitiveness can save time when it counts (and it always counts!). IT pros must drill down quickly to solve issues and reduce mean time to recovery (MTTR). Similarly, network engineers are more effective when they can understand network health at a glance without wasting time digging through docs to find the report they need.

What does this mean for me?

The qualitative finding in the Tolly report helps explain a quantitative finding from a Forrester study on the Total Economic Impact of Auvik. In that study, Forrester found that network management savings achieved with Auvik exceeded $1 million over three years. Instead of digging through logs, Auvik makes it simple for engineers to focus their attention where it matters, which adds up over time.

Full network visibility

With Auvik, you get more device details and better network docs and visualizations.

Auvik Site Topology Map example
Auvik’s dynamic network maps make it easy to visualize the network and keep documentation up-to-date.

The Tolly report highlighted how Auvik’s dynamic topology mapping solved the problem of accurately displaying network information that is challenging to represent in static maps. From Auvik’s dynamic maps, administrators can drill down by subnet and VLAN to capture more data. Then, they can go deeper and capture details from specific devices. None of the other solutions provided a similar hierarchical layout; in some cases, items represented as “devices” were just network interfaces.

Additionally, dynamic maps help automate the problem of maintaining network infrastructure docs. Instead of manually updating Visio stencils that quickly go stale, admins can use network documentation based on real-time data. None of the other solutions provided a dynamic topology map at all.

What does this mean for me?

Talking to IT pros, we’re often preaching to the choir about the importance of network visibility. The tricky part is trying to quantify how important it is. Alex Hoff, Auvik’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, provided a great practical example of IT cost savings with Auvik in his article Better Network Visibility Can Add Thousands to Your MSP Bottom Line. Here’s How.

In it, Alex crunched the numbers to estimate that with Auvik, a small MSP with 40 clients and 5 technicians could save over $9,000/month on maintaining network documentation and configuration backups.

If you want to use the same tool Alex did to calculate your potential cost savings with Auvik, check out the Auvik Opportunity Calculator.

Screenshot of the Auvik Opportunity Calculator

Works with all your network vendors

One tool that supports all your network vendors can reduce tool sprawl and license costs.

Like most network management features, asset management and the concept of device support have a lot of important nuances that can impact the value of a tool. Displaying basic SNMP MIB-II values like sysLocation and sysDescr, plus basic interface metrics is “support”. But what if you need to know the software version? CPU utilization? More detailed throughput metrics?

Often, the need for additional functionality one tool lacks leads to IT onboarding another tool. As tool sprawl grows, network management becomes more complex and less efficient. Auvik’s large library of supported devices and the granularity of the metrics it captures from devices, help set it apart. The example below from the Tolly report demonstrates how Auvik not only displays devices but also gives IT the information they need to truly support them.

A comparison of the data attributes Auvik and competitors display
A comparison of the data attributes Auvik and competitors display when monitoring a Cisco ASA Firewall and HP ProCurve LAN Switch. Note that “Backup configuration” is NOT an attribute, it is the ability to run a configuration backup. (Source: Tolly, June 2022)

What does this mean for me?

The value from an IT operations perspective here is simple, all else equal: Fewer tools mean less complexity, which equals more productive network teams.

Similarly: Better data = better decisions = better business outcomes

Of course, there is also a quantifiable benefit to using fewer tools to get the data you need: lower licensing costs. Forrester’s study found using Auvik to replace multiple tools can provide risk-adjusted three-year license savings of almost $600,000.

In the day-to-day grind of IT, getting lost in the details can be easy. Taking a systems view of your network and understanding how it all ties together can make you more efficient. Tools can do it all for you, but the right tools can help you get it right. A key theme in the Tolly study was how Auvik’s benefits complement one another. A fast install process gets you to an intuitive UI that gets you to the data you need to solve business problems.

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