Auvik Network Management Review: A breeze to deploy

There are many cloud-hosted network monitoring options out there, but Auvik can claim to be one of the fastest to deploy. Two versions are available: the Essentials edition provides network mapping, monitoring, alerts and device configuration management, while the Performance edition adds features such as Syslog collection and data analysis. flow for detailed application visibility.

To use it, you just need to install a collector agent on each site – and it’s painless because it’s a lightweight service that will work on any version of Windows. The back-end, on the other hand, is hosted in AWS data centers and protected by both single sign-on and 2FA procedures. All Collector data is encrypted and outbound communications are only permitted with its cloud servers.

Integration is child’s play. After creating our cloud account, we used Microsoft’s Authenticator app to confirm secure administrative access, created our first site, and downloaded the agent installer. After running it on a Windows Server 2019 host, we were prompted for a unique API key and then a secure connection to our cloud account was created.

Auvik immediately starts its discovery process, and during the scan you can enter credentials for SNMP, WMI, SSH, telnet, and VMware. We were impressed that it only took about 16 minutes to create a fully populated network map for a full subnet.

From now on, the network is scanned continuously – you can set an interval in seconds – while the map displays your network configuration. Colored link lines between devices distinguish between Layer 1, Layer 3, and VPN connections, while dashed lines indicate wireless links. We found the map quickly updated to reflect network or device status changes, and every device icon is active, so you can hover over a node to see a status window context, or click to load its details in the panel below.

The Home Dashboard panel provides a convenient overview of activity with charts of the busiest devices, open alerts, SSL VPN status, and status of VMware host hardware components. The software provided complete visibility into our Hyper-V host, displaying details such as CPU, memory, storage, and virtual switch utilization, traffic throughput, and the status of each virtual machine.

To help you stay on top of any emerging issues, Auvik provides 58 pre-configured alerts, ranging from a downed device or service to high storage usage, plus the ability to set your own. Notifications can be sent by email or through various messaging platforms, including Teams, Slack, and FreshDesk.

While Auvik’s primary focus is clearly network, service, and device availability, it can also ensure the security of critical infrastructure devices through automated backups, restores, and configuration comparisons. The Performance edition adds a TrafficInsights dashboard where NetFlow, sFlow, and J-Flow data is ingested, analyzed, and presented as informative graphs.

Auvik’s per-device license initially seems expensive, but it’s not difficult to customize the setup so that only your important devices are monitored, and you save money by not having to provide a dedicated host on-site. Since it’s so versatile, so easy to deploy, and so simple to manage, it’s a good choice for SMBs who want a clear picture of their network.

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