SolarWinds vs. WhatsUp Gold: The Knockout, Drag Out Fight for the Best SolarWinds NPM Alternative

SolarWinds and WhatsUp Gold from Progress are well-known leaders in the Networking Monitoring space. If you have looked, or are looking, for a Network Monitoring solution, chances are you’ve heard of both and have maybe given each a whirl. If you are considering SolarWinds NPM, have you looked carefully at WhatsUp Gold as a SolarWinds alternative?

What Do Customers Say?

Like any great debate, we at Progress have a point of view – that WhatsUp Gold is (for most shops) a superior SolarWinds alternative, and we will lay out our case as objectively as possible. In that objective vein, let’s first examine what actual customers say about WhatsUp Gold best exemplified through G2 reviews which are based on actual customer experiences.

In G2, WhatsUp Gold has been consistently ranked as a Leader, and this year has won top honors as High Performer, Mid-Market Leader, Users Love Us, Momentum Leader, Most Implementable and Fastest Implementation in G2’s Grid report for Network Monitoring. For more details, check out WhatsUp Gold vs Solarwinds reports.

“Progress WhatsUp Gold has been named a Leader based on receiving a high customer satisfaction score and having a large Market Presence. 95% of users rated it 4 or 5 stars, 79% of users believe it is headed in the right direction, and users said they would be likely to recommend Progress WhatsUp Gold at a rate of 90%. Progress WhatsUp Gold is also in the Network Management, Network Automation, Network Traffic Analysis (NTA), and Dark Web Monitoring categories,” the G2 Grid Report explained.

What Makes WhatsUp Gold Such a Great SolarWinds Alternative?

WhatsUp Gold is no Johnny Come Lately. In fact, the product was first introduced in 1996, so it is now old enough to be President of the United States. In fact, during its early days, this reporter remembers talking to customers who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on large Network Management Platforms such as CA UniCenter to manage their networks and hundreds of thousands trying to get them to work – often unsuccessfully. What were network managers using to actually track their network? You guessed it. WhatsUp Gold.

"Progress WhatsUp Gold lets you find and fix network problems fast -- usually before end users notice which is the holy grail of IT. Its unique, interactive mapping interface lets you intuitively see up/down availability and performance at-a-glance for everything connected to your network. Easily customizable drag & drop dashboards make it easy to see the detailed status and performance of every device both on-premise and in the cloud"

The philosophy that worked back then is still very much in place today: the solution is all about making network monitoring simple with all the features fully available via remote access. The unique, interactive mapping interface makes it easy to see what’s happening, and the licensing and pricing is straightforward and transparent. And, unlike SolarWinds NPM, WhatsUp Gold can provide everything you need to keep deep tabs on your entire network environment. Here are some key features and benefits:



WhatsUp Gold Key Features

  • Installs in minutes and finds your network via powerful discovery
  • Virtual infrastructure monitoring
  • Ability to monitor via all standard industry protocols
  • Wireless Monitoring
  • Intuitive mapping interface
  • Cloud Monitoring
  • Device-based licensing
  • Configuration Management
  • Drag and drop dashboarding and reporting
  • Powerful REST API Support
  • Netflow Traffic Monitoring
  • Integrated Log Management
  • Application Performance Monitoring

The Enterprise Customer Take

After 35 years in the networking business, WhatsUp Gold has thousands of customers, from small to mid-market right up to the world's largest enterprises. See how a Fortune 500 Aerospace & Defense company feels about WhatsUp Gold:


The Solutions Provider Take

You’ve heard what customers have to say, now let’s hear from a top solutions provider. Earlier this year, solutions provider Advanced Cyber Solutions compared SolarWinds to the number one SolarWinds alternative and found WhatsUp Gold to be the far superior choice. In its detailed and extensive report, Comparing WhatsUp Gold and SolarWinds, Advanced Cyber Solutions extolled WhatsUp Gold’s virtues as a SolarWinds alternative:

“The winner for us has to be Progress WhatsUp Gold. Don't get us wrong, it is a difficult and well-fought battle between them, however we think that on the licensing and cost alone, SolarWinds prices itself out of the competition; and without any real justification.”

Advanced Cyber Solutions continued, “Despite small nuances, the two solutions largely offer the same features and capabilities; and would both be a great addition to any IT team looking for a network monitoring solution. But, return on investment is key, and having to demonstrate the additional value from SolarWinds versus WhatsUp Gold in comparison to the gulf in cost to get SolarWinds to include the features found in WhatsUp Gold (particularly the Total Plus edition), we are uncertain it will make it past many a purchasing department.”

WhatsUp Gold’s All-in-One Solution vs. SolarWinds’ Expense and Complex a la Carte

SolarWinds NPM stands for Network Performance Monitoring, and that is just about all it does out of the box. Want more, you must buy more. WhatsUp Gold has long come with the ability to monitor your network, applications and servers – virtually anything with an IP address can be tracked. On top of that is network traffic analysis, application performance monitoring and configuration management. Getting all that with SolarWinds means ordering gobs of modules from it’s a la carte menu.

With SolarWinds, only network monitoring comes standard. Server Monitoring, Application Monitoring, Network Traffic Analysis and Configuration Management are all optional add-ons which cost extra. WhatsUp Gold also includes in-depth Inventory Reporting, integrated Windows Server Monitoring and Cloud Monitoring. None of these are available in the base version of SolarWinds NPM.

Other features standard with WhatsUp Gold but requiring the purchase of a SolarWinds plug-in include:

  • Operating System SNMP Monitoring
  • Windows Event Log Monitoring
  • REST API Monitoring

This simple approach makes WhatsUp Gold an ideal SolarWinds RMM and SolarWinds MSP alternative as managed service providers want to provide as much remote access functionality as possible.

Simple Inexpensive Predictable Licensing

SolarWinds historically requires minimum purchases for each area of function, leaving many shops with unused but paid-for licenses. In contrast, Progress offers device and points-based licensing. In the latter case, points can be applied exactly where the customer needs them, or re-assigned as needs change.

This is another reason WhatsUp Gold is the perfect SolarWinds MSP alternative and SolarWinds RMM alternative.

In addition, SolarWinds charges by the port being monitored, and many devices have multiple ports. Progress bases licenses on devices, so all ports are covered. This means that while SolarWinds will charge you per port for a 24-port switch, Progress treats it as one device and doesn’t care whether it’s got 24, 48 or 128 ports. There’s no need to count your licenses or undermonitor with WhatsUp Gold.

It’s Easy to Give WhatsUp Gold a Free Whirl

Progress offers a free two-week WhatsUp Gold trial with all the features of the full product. "In very little time, you can get WhatsUp Gold up and running within your environment. Simply install it on a Windows server, then add your networks credentials, (which you’ll already have from your other monitoring solution) discover your networks (which you can output from your other monitoring solution), and then tell WhatsUp Gold which systems you’d like to monitor,” explained Progress WhatsUp guru Jason Alberino in a recent blog. “Alberino, known as the, worked with WhatsUp Gold for years before joining Progress as Product Manager, Senior OE Product Management. “The key point is that WhatsUp Gold can monitor anything you can populate data about. I’ve been working directly with customers implementing WhatsUp Gold for 7 years, so I have seen it all. I’ve very rarely encountered a use-case WhatsUp Gold can’t cover in some way, shape, or form.”

Most users can go from initial download to getting actionable data from their network in about 30 minutes. Which means there’s no risk at all in trying WhatsUp Gold on for size: if you can spare 90 minutes you can find out exactly how it compares to Solarwinds in your own network. You have absolutely nothing to lose and huge potential savings in time and money to gain, so why not try it for yourself?

Just want to kick the tires before you take a test drive? Check out our interactive demo here.


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