Network management software company SolarWinds on Tuesday updated its flagship Orion software, with a focus on making it easier to monitor large or geographically distributed networks.

The ten-year-old, Texas-based company is known for selling its products online, but last year founded its first European base in Cork and is recruiting channel partners to boost its European presence.

SolarWinds competes with the likes of HP, IBM and CA in the systems management sector, claiming its main advantage is ease of use.

For instance, the company said the latest Orion software, available immediately, can be downloaded and set up within about an hour, compared to weeks of configuration and tweaking for some other products.

The Orion Enterprise Operations Console (EOC) is the main new introduction to the Orion software family, providing a single console for monitoring the entire enterprise network of between 100 and several hundred thousand network interfaces.

It collects data from remote Orion servers running Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM) and any of its modules, the company said.

The EOC is optimised for wide area networks (WANs), allowing for large-scale monitoring without affecting WAN performance, the company said.

Orion NPM has also been upgraded to version 9, with new features include a web administration tool that lets users complete node administration tasks from any browser, and a universal device poller for collecting a wide range of data from SNMP-enabled devices.

Orion EOC is priced at $4,995 (£2,507) for any number of monitored Orion servers, with a year of maintenance included. Pricing for Orion NPM 9 starts at $2,475 for the first 100 monitored elements, including a year's maintenance.

The company also makes the ipMonitor system for medium-sized businesses, a product acquired from the eponymous developer last year and updated to version 9 earlier this year.