Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold 15 Premium review
WhatsUp Gold has benefited from a steady development program for many years, but version 15 of this popular network monitoring software heralds a veritable sea change. Ipswitch is focusing sharply on the package as a web application, and has redesigned its main interface to make it easier to use and capable of delivering much clearer information.
The Standard edition provides device discovery, mapping, monitoring, alerting and reporting. The Premium edition, on review, adds WMI support for enhanced monitoring of applications, including Exchange, SQL Server and other SMTP mail servers. It can also keep an eye on Linux and Unix servers, and includes the same Split Second Graph real-time monitoring tools introduced in version 14.1.
Ipswitch offers a wide range of optional plugins, which previously complicated deployment since they had to be loaded individually after the core product was installed. This has now been streamlined: you can install everything at once simply by entering one licence key.
SNMP and WMI are basic requirements, so all systems should be prepared first by enabling these services. Installation is a swift process, but WhatsUp Gold no longer supports Windows XP as a host system: it requires IIS 6 or 7. On our Windows 7 host, it automatically installed the latter.
Network discovery is swift and the SmartScan tool queries each device’s SNMP MIB. However, before running discovery, we recommend playing with the Device Role settings, as these can apply predefined sets of passive, active and performance monitors, plus actions and alerts to each system.
On first contact with the new web interface it’s clear how much work Ipswitch has put into it. The old workspaces were difficult to configure; these have been replaced with a slick new dashboard.
It has a ribbon-style menu bar across the top, which can be collapsed when not in use. Another important addition is the in-context navigation: when you choose a system or device to monitor, it stays selected regardless of the view or menu option selected. Previously, if you dropped out of a Workspace view to look at something else, you had to recreate the view.
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