Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold 14.1 Premium Edition review

£2404
Price when reviewed

WhatsUp Gold has always offered SMBs an affordable network monitoring solution, but the software has a sharp focus on larger businesses and enterprises as well. Version 14.1 (officially now developed by Ipswitch Network Management Division rather than just “Ipswitch”) delivers plenty of new features, integrated into a single console for easier management.

The Standard Edition is the entry point and offers device discovery, mapping, monitoring, alerting and reporting. The Premium Edition adds support for WMI to deliver application as well as device monitoring. This allows you to configure monitors for apps such as Exchange and SQL Server, and automate actions such as restarting failed services.

The new Welcome Center offers a tour of the key features and access to the new Assistant, which makes device discovery easy. It includes a SmartScan tool that queries each device’s SNMP MIB, or you can scan an IP address range and a Windows network or import a host file.

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold 14.1 Premium Edition

WhatsUp Gold had no problem identifying our test servers, workstations, switches and routers, and spotted that some clients were VMs on two VMware ESX Server 4 systems. It also correctly identified systems running Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003 and Server 2008.

The main interface hasn’t changed for a while, but its tidy tree structure clearly shows scan results and groups of monitored devices. Select a group and the main window alongside displays all members, and colour-coded icons make it easy to see their status.

Dynamic groups gather devices together based on specific attributes, such as status, OS and monitoring capabilities, but creating them is anything but easy. You need to be sharp on SQL query structures in particular.

A web console remotely accesses the console and brings workspaces into play, where you can customise views using drag and drop operations. The display can include graphs, device status tables and performance monitors for CPUs, disks, memory and network interfaces. Split Second Graphs provide real-time graphs, charts and gauges and can include the Windows Task Manager.

Active monitors query devices and services at regular intervals and are linked with actions, allowing you to carry out tasks in the event of a failure. The Premium Edition allows you to check the availability of Exchange, SQL Server and other mail servers and use WMI queries.

WhatsUp Gold 14.1 extends the active monitors to include APC UPSes, HTTP content, folders, files and printers. Even cooling fans and power supplies can be checked, but only Cisco, Dell and HP switches or routers are currently supported.

The new Device Roles feature speeds up discovery by applying sets of predefined active monitors, actions and alerts based on what it thinks the device is. Reporting has been beefed up with a PDF export option, and the new Alert Center informs you when thresholds have been breached.

We’ve always been impressed with WhatsUp Gold and version 14.1 of the Premium Edition adds even more valuable features, all accessible from a single console. Dynamic group creation needs to be simplified, but this is a classy network management act offered at an affordable price.

Details

Software subcategoryOther software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes

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