Your favorite tools, Part 2

By Audrey Rasmussen, Network World |  Networking

* Freshwater’s SiteScope. This was noted for its ability to manage Web infrastructure. One reader pointed out its ease of implementation, and it has been called well-written software.

* RippleTech’s LogCaster. This was picked for its event aggregation capabilities, low cost and out-of-the-box functionality.

* Nettasking’s MAX NMS. Several readers really like this for its ability to help identify and resolve infrastructure issues. It is also noted for its threshold notification features, which allow administrators to "keep track of issues before they become real problems. This ensures that we have an always-on infrastructure for end users." In other words, it helps to deliver a reliable service. One reader noted that "itѺs extremely easy to implement; I do it in less than 1 hour and it already starts collecting data from my Cisco-based network."

* Ecora. This was named for its usefulness in server documentation. It creates a report of an IT infrastructure in natural language. This product was specifically noted for its ease of implementation and the fact that it is Web-based.

* EasyVista. According to a reader, hardware and software inventory is best done through EasyVista, which is a subscription-based service offering for PCs. EasyVista is liked by this user because it is Web-based and works out-of-the-box.

* Valencia Systems’ Aruba. This is a performance and service-level management tool. One reader was introduced to this product by a hardware vendor during a field evaluation. The vendor was using Aruba to monitor network performance and produce service-level reports for the field trial. The product is easy to implement, and it took less than 2 hours for installation and initial setup. The reader quickly had Web-based reports that showed how the network performed. Another feature that is especially liked is that " each user has a secure, partitioned view of the network. "Reporting can be done via the Web or e-mail. This reader notes that " after initial setup, the system runs virtually unattended. Staff time is spent on analysis and problem resolution rather than on reporting system maintenance."

As in the last group of product picks, ease of use, ease of implementation, and quick time to value were recurring themes. It clear that administrators don’t have the time for long implementations, as well as tools that take a lot of time to maintain. Of course, the functionality and the value of that functionality are also consistent themes through both groups of favorite management tools. The cost of certain tools was mentioned quite frequently as well.

It’s important to note that there is no clear winner. There are many tools that are favorites for many different functions and reasons. Also, it seems point solutions have won out over product suites, in this particular sample.

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