Your favorite tools

In a previous article, I invited readers to tell me about their favorite management tools. Many thanks to all who responded. It’s clear some of you are passionate about your favorite tools, declaring " I LOVE IT! " " Well worth the money " and " I wouldn’t be without it. "

Here are some examples:

* MRTG. Several readers selected this product, which displays WAN link utilization.

* NerveCenter from Veritas. Several readers like this correlation engine that minimizes the alerts seen by operations staff. It was noted that there is initially a steep learning curve, but once it’s learned, the product is flexible and has great functionality. One reader particularly liked that NerveCenter doesn’t poll if a situation doesn’t warrant it.

* NDS Expert and Config Central from NetPro. One Novell user says NetPro’s solutions help resolve NDS problems more quickly and save time for service packs and upgrades.

* NetSaint. Several readers like this product, which monitors hosts and services on the network in a _NIX environment. Its extensibility was mentioned as an asset.

* Big Brother. A favorite UNIX systems management tool.

* Perl module. Although it’s not pretty, it allows one reader to get home in time to help his children with their homework. In particular, this tool is useful to this reader for a mass survey and change of router SNMP community strings.

* WhatsUpGold from Ipswitch. One reader says it is cheap and easy to set up and use; has a great online discussion group; can be easily tailored for complicated things; and features detailed SNMP monitoring, various alert mechanisms and a customizable Web page for customers of service providers.

* HP OpenView Network Node Manager. Several readers made disparaging remarks about the large framework products because they have high prices, are complex and difficult to deploy. On the other hand, several readers love their framework products. Most noteworthy was topology mapping and graphing tool in HP’s Network Node Manager. Several readers think it’s the best mapping tool.

* Unicenter TNG from Computer Associates. One reader says it allows him to manage his IT infrastructure all from one place, has good security features, and allows him to find the nodes that are the most talkative.

* Spectrum from Aprisma. One reader favors it for its ability to proactively monitor and manage a wide variety of hardware devices, besides being touted in the industry.

* ipMonitor from MediaHouse. One reader says the software was up and running in 30 minutes. It’s configured through a Web browser. Also mentioned was its SNMP monitoring, application level monitoring and the variety of notification options. The reader notes that ipMonitor is also very affordable at $495 for an unlimited number of nodes.

* OptiView from Fluke Networks. Readers raved about this product. One reader stated: " I ALWAYS have my Fluke OptiView with me " and it’s " well worth the money. " This reader says it helps to diagnose Windows 2000 ADS and replication issues and helps with security audits and firewall tuning and creation.

* PacketShaper from Packeteer. One reader uses it to manage Web bandwidth, report on activity and usage, and discover troublesome Internet activity (such as Napster downloads in a work environment). The reader also noted that the product could use more horsepower.

This story, "Your favorite tools " was originally published by Network World.

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