Mar 27 2012

Ipswitch Survey Reveals Broad IT Buyer Confusion Around Network Monitoring Software Licensing Models

Complex Licensing Models Push Prices Higher for Comparable Functionality and Value

LEXINGTON, Mass. ─ March 27, 2012 ─ Ipswitch Inc.’s Network Management Division, developer of the WhatsUp Gold suite of innovative IT management solutions, today released results of a survey focused on the network monitoring software licensing process.

 

The survey explores the scope, causes and impact of IT buyer confusion due to complex software licensing and its effect on purchase behavior. Key findings from more than 1500 respondents reveal:

  • More than 50% of network professionals report selecting an insufficient IT monitoring license level to monitor their infrastructure and applications assets
  • A whopping 67% of mid-sized businesses and 75% of enterprises exceeded the limit of their selected license level at the end of their first year
  • Estimating errors are more likely when selecting a network monitoring license based on “elements” instead of a direct count of, say, the number of “devices”
  • What constitutes an “element” is a major cause for this confusion and budget overspending for comparable functionality and value. The surprise most often occurs at the first-year renewal, when organizations are locked-in to pay more.

 

What ‘Counts’ as an Element Inhibits Apples-to-Apples Evaluation

Element-based licensing approaches can vary dramatically from vendor to vendor. Survey respondents cite challenges to compare solution costs, where elements could be calculated based on combinations of multiple parameters including the number of network interfaces, IP addresses, disks, CPUs and monitors deployed – for both physical and virtual entities.

 

“IT management professionals often don’t completely understand the element based licensing process,” explained Ipswitch NMD President Ennio Carboni. “This results in suboptimal value from licensed monitoring capacity. Customers either overcompensate to buy at higher priced tiers, or they buy less and compromise the level of monitoring they need. WhatsUp Gold has always offered a clear, device-based licensing model that keeps things simple.”

 

Ratios of the number of elements-to-devices also vary by organization. Based on the survey feedback, larger network deployments indicated the number of monitored “elements” to the number of end “devices” (like switches, routers, servers etc.) monitored were at ratios of 8:1 (8 licensed elements for every monitored device). For medium and smaller size networks, the ratio of monitored elements to an end device was in the range of 5:1 (5 licensed elements per device). Even in data center heavy environments where the proportion of servers is much higher than network equipment, the number of monitored elements per device across the infrastructure was greater than 3 (at least 3 monitored elements per device).

 

Based on the survey results and with the intent of clearing up the market confusion on network monitoring licensing, WhatsUp Gold will include a comparative element count in all of its price sheets and web listings with immediate effect.

 

“Network admins, managers and procurement experts know that having the right information at the point of purchase is essential to making a solid financial decision,” said Ronnie Ray, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Ipswitch NMD. “The element equivalence annotation to our pricing does just that. Customers can now compare apples-to-apples during an initial purchase and effectively plan for future budget impact as they increase their level of monitoring.”

 

WhatsUp Gold Premium offers combined network management and application monitoring capabilities at the best value in the marketplace.  For example, a WhatsUp Gold Premium 100-device license (or, at least 300 elements) is priced at $2,695.

 

The survey reflects input from a broad range of IT professionals managing networks of small, mid-sized and enterprise organizations throughout Europe and the U.S.

About the Network Management Division of Ipswitch, Inc.

The Network Management Division of Ipswitch, Inc. is the developer of the WhatsUp Gold suite of innovative IT management software. WhatsUp Gold is deployed on over 150,000 networks worldwide and delivers comprehensive network, system, application and event log monitoring and management solutions for small and medium businesses and enterprises. The award winning solution supports a wide range of IT management tasks including automated discovery, mapping, real-time monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting and reporting.

Founded in 1991 and currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Ipswitch, Inc. is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, and has offices in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, Madison, Wisconsin, Livonia, Michigan, as well as its European headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Asia Pacific headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Ipswitch sells its products through distributors, resellers and OEMs worldwide.

To learn more about WhatsUp Gold, please visit:

https://www.ipswitch.com/forms/free-trials/whatsup-gold/