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Gartner Magic Quadrant 2016: Network Performance Monitoring & Diagnostics


ChannelE2E spends considerable time tracking RMM (remote monitoring and management) software for MSPs. But what about Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) solutions -- where companies like N-able parent SolarWinds competes heavily?

Overall the NPMD market is growing about 10 percent annually, according to Gartner. Generally speaking NPMD solutions can monitor network traffic and infrastructure to mitigate outages and optimize performance, Gartner says. The solutions typically blend diagnostics, analytics and root cause analysis capabilities to complement monitoring, Gartner adds.

So who are the key market players and how do they rank? Here's the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2106 for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD). We've included some "pros and cons" analysis from Gartner, along with ChannelE2E's views on each company's partner program.

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2016: Network Performance Monitoring & Diagnostics (NPMD)

Gartner Magic Quadrant Niche Players

Niche rankings sorted alphabetically...


  • automicGartner Strengths: "Automic's user interface (UI) provides a unique visualization of service health using a scorecard dashboard that caters to network operator workflows. Automic's monitoring, integrated with WAN optimization and automation, provides a competitive advantage. Automic maintains a strong roster of technology partners and European channels, including BT, IBM and Microsoft."
  • Gartner Cautions: "Automic's performance business is not growing, which may lead to reassessment of current NPMD strategy. This may impact resources devoted to NPMD R&D, sales and support. Plans to integrate monitoring with Automic's release and workload automation core products are targeted to application development and DevOps use cases, with limited applicability for NPMD. End users cite dissatisfaction with Automic's cost of maintenance and implementation as compared to other vendors."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Automic has a partner program, but the company positions itself mostly for corporate IT operations, applications, development or specific offices (CIO and CFO).

Flowmon Networks

  • flowmonGartner Strengths: "Flowmon Networks provides a competitively priced option that would appeal to smaller and midsize organizations with flow-based monitoring requirements. Flowmon's NPMD solution is highly scalable, with an ability to support 100G environments and 250,000 flows per second. Flowmon's strong focus on security-related incidents enables it to provide its customers with a greater understanding of how malware, network abuse and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks affect network performance, versus traditional NPMD vendors.
  • Gartner Cautions: "Flowmon's solution is designed to support both NPMD and security use cases, but is not optimized for either use case. Company size and profile remain low from a marketing perspective, limiting growth opportunities. Support and maintenance is currently limited to 5x8 support based on European time zones, providing a challenge for non-European clients. 24/7 support is anticipated in 2H16."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Flowmon's partner program pushes beyond traditional resellers and embraces MSPs focused on cloud services.

Genie Networks

  • logoGartner Strengths: "Patented technology to identify application types from large datasets in a memory-efficient manner will be increasingly relevant with the proliferation of SaaS adoption by end users. Appliance and VM-based options offer customers multiple form factors. Attractive pricing and carrier-grade scalability continue to stimulate enterprise customer interest."
  • Gartner Cautions: 'Tight CSP and APAC prioritization may compromise adoption beyond these vertical and geographical focal points, although the company's European client base continues to expand. The product's user interface is dated and limited when compared to more sophisticated products in the market space. Analytics capabilities are less sophisticated than competing products, centered on automated baselining to support anomaly detection and security-focused use cases."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Genie Networks' partner program focuses mostly on resellers. However, the company has had success with some big MSPs leveraging its platform.


  • infovistaGartner Strengths: "InfoVista's strategy is to focus on and deliver increased scale to meet the demands of the carrier networks and large enterprises. VistaInsight and the 5View suite are multitenant, carrier-grade solutions optimized to meet the specific requirements of CSPs. Extensibility of the InfoVista solution allows it to meet sophisticated use cases that many other vendors cannot meet."
  • Gartner Cautions: "End users continue to report higher than average implementation and maintenance costs. InfoVista has a heavy reliance on European and Asia/Pacific (APAC) carriers, which make up the bulk of the installed base. Extended services engagements are common to meet specific requirements of target service provider customers."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: InfoVista works with some key partners across the globe, but appears to have limited reach into the U.S. channel ecosystem.


  • niksunGartner Strengths: "Niksun maintains a leading position at high speeds, with packet capture of more than 100G, with faster processing and more storage in the recently released Supreme Eagle hardware platform. Niksun has a unique strategy for machine-to-machine and Internet of Things (IoT) environments, leveraging its ability to scale. Niksun has recently added support for deployments in virtual environments, with virtual versions of its NetVCR product."
  • Gartner Cautions: "Niksun's focus on both security and performance buyers may hinder its ability to service both markets effectively. Gartner has observed limited advances in application level visibility, analytics and root cause analysis. Gartner has seen limited market presence and visibility compared to other vendors in this analysis, which may limit their growth potential."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: A partner program is in place but we aren't hearing much about it.


  • paesslerGartner Strengths: "Paessler's rapid development stream means that new and updated sensors are released frequently — on a quarterly basis. Easily accessible freeware options reduce the barrier to adoption and enable a low-pressure sales engagement model. Embedded clustering allows for fault-tolerant monitoring without the complexity of additional software components or third-party technology."
  • Gartner Cautions: "The packet sniffer module has limited capabilities, including an inability to save packet data to disk, and fewer supported application types and protocols than competitive products. Paessler focuses on selling via Web and resale channels, limiting their ability to meet specific large-enterprise requirements. Paessler has recently started targeting smaller and midsize MSP and SaaS providers, which may dilute their focus from their core SMB and midmarket enterprise heritage."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Paessler has worked in and around the MSP industry for several years, and is well-known within the IT channel.

Next Page: Gartner Magic Quadrant Visionaries...

Gartner Magic Quadrant Visionaries

Visionaries rankings sorted alphabetically...


  • corvilGartner Strengths: "Integration and interoperability, such as the ability to identify business-relevant events and stream these directly to third-party systems such as Hadoop and Splunk, are differentiators. Modularity of overhauled product enables rapid delivery of new decoders, analytics and dashboard capabilities outside of the main development cycle, based on an agile development approach. Corvil's licensing model is causing pricing disruption in the market space, with a separation of software pricing from the underlying hardware."
  • Gartner Cautions: "The company's profile remains low, particularly from a marketing presence that limits lead- generation opportunities. Despite the recent improvements, the user interface remains geared to the network subject matter expert, limiting the speed of adoption and the appeal to those less technically proficient. SNMP and flow-based data source support remain comparatively weak."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: The company's partner engagements typically involve technology companies like Cisco, Gigamon and more.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

  • hpeGartner Strengths: "The vendor offers a broad portfolio of complementary availability and performance monitoring products, with unique integration of products such as HP Network Automation. HPE's product roadmap is compelling, and includes the monitoring of converged infrastructure, SDN and NFV frameworks, and leveraging IT operations analytics (ITOA) for analytics. Execution against this roadmap will be key. HP Services has a global presence with a strong reputation to implement and maintain its clients' solutions."
  • Gartner Cautions: "With the history of organizational changes at HPE, customers continue to express concern over HPE's direction and vision in the NPMD space. Product release cycle is slow, with multiple years between major releases of NNMi and RUM. End users have cited limitations in HPE's ability to integrate with and export to third-party solutions outside of the HPE software ecosystem."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, created when Hewlett Packard Co. broke into two companies in 2015, has a solid track record in the channel. CEO Meg Whitman has restored channel commitment in the business, and HP Enterprise delivered surprisingly strong revenues in early 2016.

Next Page: Gartner Magic Quadrant Challengers...

Gartner Magic Quadrant Challengers

Challengers rankings sorted alphabetically...

CA Technologies

  • ca-incGartner Strengths: "The broad portfolio includes many functional areas, offering clients a set of products coupled with internal services capability to implement and maintain the solutions. CA Technologies has commenced integration across its broad NPMD solution suite, leveraging both the architectural strengths of the CA UIM platform and agile deployment methodologies. Positive financial viability continues to show that there is limited risk to business stability in doing business with the company."
  • Gartner Cautions: "CA's NPMD solution is an amalgamation of various product lines from several acquisitions with limited integration, which introduces significant complexity in UI and workflows. End users report dissatisfaction with the high cost of maintenance and a high percentage of overall spend required for implementation services. Packet analysis capability from Application Delivery Analysis has yet to be brought into standard monitoring and troubleshooting workflows."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: CA Technologies has worked closely with small and midsize service providers with extensive success. The company has expanded beyond network performance management toward "the application economy" -- basically taking steps to help MSPs ensure application performance for end-customers.

Cisco Systems

  • ciscoGartner Strengths: "Cisco is in a unique position to support its pervasive networking installed base, offering very deep support for Cisco visibility technologies. Strong support for wireless LAN infrastructure and performance monitoring, in conjunction with traditional data center technology, is a competitive differentiator in the NPMD space. Cisco has strong financial viability, resulting in limited business stability-related risk."
  • Gartner Cautions: "With limited support for non-Cisco environments, Cisco Prime Infrastructure is mostly used as a point solution, often requiring buyers to purchase other management tools for comprehensive performance monitoring. Analytics capabilities remain limited, with Cisco's NPMD solution primarily focused on reporting and presenting large reports of metric data. The Network Analysis Module has a dated user interface, and packet analysis workflows are not well-integrated into Cisco Prime Infrastructure."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Cisco Systems generates more than 80 percent of its revenues from channel partners. And the figure is even higher if you include Cisco's sales into service providers.

NetScout Systems

  • netscoutGartner Strengths: "Feedback from end users has been positive on the updated service representation in the latest version of the nGeniusONE platform. NetScout has a large and loyal customer base. NetScout's patented Adaptive Session Intelligence technology provides technical differentiation in support of growing scalability requirements."
  • Gartner Cautions: "NetScout's acquisition of Danaher's communication business appears to have resulted in overlapping product lines, which may result in execution challenges. NetScout has been described as being a premium-priced solution by end users who interact with Gartner (for example, in client inquiries and one-on-one meetings at Gartner events). NetScout's ability to derive and use application context from network data should not be confused with full APM capabilities."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Netscout's service provider strategy seems to target larger wireless, cable or wireline network operators. Keep a particularly close eye on the company's machine-to-machine monitoring strategy and automated analytics.


  • Gartner Strengths: "SevOne leverages its rapid flow analysis engine and patented horizontal scaling architecture to offer very high flow processing and reporting on a single appliance. SevOne has developed capabilities in the growing IoT monitoring space, with the scalability and granularity required to monitor in such environments. End users rate SevOne's support highly for delivering on requested enhancements, with its productized xStats adapters that include a 10-day guarantee for new device certification."
  • Gartner Cautions: "SevOne has made limited progress in taking advantage of packet data in its core monitoring and troubleshooting workflows, which are still focused on flow and SNMP data sources, while integration of log data shows some progress. End users cite issues regarding product stability, and SevOne's steps to improve quality have limited innovation in recent releases. SevOne's focus on large enterprises and CSPs may limit their ability to serve the broader market."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Some very large MSPs and communication service providers -- CSC, Comcast, Verizon -- have adopted SevOne. Major cloud and network hardware makers are onboard. A reseller program also is in place.


  • solarwindsGartner Strengths: "With a low-cost entry point and strong brand and marketing presence, SolarWinds has amassed a large user base, and it is often the first choice of many SMB buyers requiring NPMD capabilities. SolarWinds provides an easy-to-use interface with quick value out of the box, with very simple implementations. The useful ecosystem of tools beyond NPMD gives users a toolbox of capabilities, including topology mapping and network configuration management."
  • Gartner Cautions: "The conservative approach to new technology support has seen support for hybrid IT environments lag behind competitive vendors. End users cite weakness in SolarWinds' ability to handle large environments, and report limited data analytics for tackling complex problems. SolarWinds provides an indirect sales model only, with no professional services. This creates limitations for enterprises requiring nonstandard or complex implementations."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: SolarWinds has a long history working with resellers, MSPs and service providers. From the SMB sector (where N-able completes) up into midmarket and enterprise areas, the SolarWinds team understands service providers.

Next Page: Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders...

Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders

Leaders sorted alphabetically...

NetScout Systems (Fluke Networks)

  • netscoutGartner Strengths: "Fluke's current offering and strategy are focused on providing powerful root cause analysis capabilities, coupled with an easy-to-use platform for the network engineer. Visual TruView is a single appliance-based product, but allows the configuration of different personalities so the customer can repurpose and use each appliance for multiple types of data acquisition. Fluke's strong presence in the EMEA and APAC markets is synergistic with NetScout's extensive North American coverage."
  • Gartner Cautions: "The overlapping functionality between NetScout's and Fluke's product lines and potential integration challenges may challenge Fluke's ability to execute against its roadmap. Fluke Networks has demonstrated limited ability to harvest business and transaction intelligence from its data sources, with little extensibility or programmability support. Gartner has observed that marketing remains a challenge for Fluke, with messaging not well targeted toward senior management, and with minimal messaging around its position in NetScout's product line."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Fluke mainly targets financial services, the federal government, healthcare and industrial automation customers. The company briefly mentions service provider opportunities but the information is extremely difficult for the average site visitor to find.


  • Gartner Strengths: "Technical breadth and depth are often cited as key differentiators in competitive evaluations. Corporate reorganization has led to a tighter alignment between Riverbed's core SteelHead line of business and SteelCentral, both technically and commercially. SteelCentral Portal offers a consolidated application and network dashboard view of several interrelated and dependent resources."
  • Gartner Cautions: "Personnel churn has been observed throughout 2015 in parallel with leadership and organizational changes, creating some disruption. While we have seen improvements in scalability, Riverbed's SteelCentral NPM product has seen limited innovation in 2015. Despite progress made with SteelCentral Portal, users are still required to navigate multiple underlying SteelCentral NPM products with varying GUIs and workflows."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: Riverbed has a long-established channel partner program that spans roughly 3,000 VARs, integrators, service providers and more.

Viavi Solutions

  • viaviGartner Strengths: "Responsiveness to customer demands is demonstrated through the delivery of a software and portable edition of GigaStor to help address limited deployment options. Viavi's Matrix NPB is appealing to small-scale enterprises looking for NPMD and NPB capabilities from the same vendor. Packet capture and inspection (via GigaStor) capability is well-regarded by Viavi clients."
  • Gartner Cautions: "Significant ownership upheaval and senior management churn appear to be slowing down the ability of the performance management BU of Viavi to execute on its vision and strategy. The NPMD solution requires multiple components with differing user interfaces that are not consistent across products. Viavi's primary focus is the service provider vertical, which is not in alignment with Observer's core enterprise user base."
  • ChannelE2E Spin: In addition to a solution provider partner program, Viavi works closely with wireline, wireless and cloud service providers.

That's all for this particular Magic Quadrant report.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.