Mid-to-Large Network Monitoring Solutions/Challanages?

Unanswered Question
Sep 5th, 2008

My organization is currently facing some challanages with Network Monitoring/Management/Trending/etc... The previous Network Admins have created some, lets just say challanages with the network. So, I am having to do a lot of research on best pratice for design and concepts.

My largest hurdle right now is network monitoring and management. We currently have three main campus's, two of which are in large city connected by a 1gig and 100mb backup fiber connections. The other campus is cross country which is connected through a partial DS3 connection. As well as quite a few small remote sites.

We have a total 94 switches and routers, 4 of our switches are 6509 while the majority of our access layer switchs are 3560 and a few 3750 alonger with two ASA firewalls to handle security and VPN.

This network currently has no monitoring or management. If, a user tells us that there was a problem with their connection at a specific time, we have no way to verify it because of no monitoring and history information. It is also not possible to get an idea of capacity management as well as trending.

The Cisco LMS seems like a pretty nice solution, however it seems like their trend analysis and capacity planning are kind of lacking but seems to be improving with the HUM add-on. But, we just recently meet our new Cisco rep for lunch and when I asked him if we could get some more information/demostration on Cisco LMS, he was asking me what it was. It seems odd that Cisco isn't pushing their own network monitoring solution.

Would anyone have some good suggestions for network monitoring? We are not a *nix environment so an open source solution will not be very viable. And because of the size of our network, a solution such as Solarwinds Orion is also out of the picture because we are pretty close to being over their max number of interfaces for their app.

I have this problem too.
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vmiller Fri, 09/05/2008 - 09:47

Break down some functions first:

What do you have for inventory/asset mgmt?

Ciscoworks handles this pretty well, along with config and syslog management.

For performance, here is a link http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6535/index.html

there is some trial performance software.

Consider netflow on your devices, there are any number of collectors and reporters available as purchased or freeware.

ericn8484_2 Fri, 09/05/2008 - 13:40

We currently do not have any type of inventory or asset management nor do we have any performance monitoring.

For network equipment, here is our inventory:

72 - 3560 Switches

15 - 3750 Switches

04 - 6509 Switches

11 - Varying routers

05 - LWAPP Controllers

09 - Voice Gateways

02 - ACS servers

02 - ASA servers

01 - WCS server

170 - Access points

My first priority is getting performance monitoring and trending setup. I would like to have some easy to manage reports that will help me focus on areas that might need to be investigated as potential bottle necks. As well as having some historic information used for looking into trouble tickets where some users might have had some problems for 5-10 mins but has since cleared up.

The second vital portion is assest management. When I started to work on this network there was very crude network maps and not all of our equipment was even listed. To make it worse some of the maps that we did have were not even accurate. It would be nice to have tracking software to ensure we know of all the equipment in production and the health status of them.

It surpises me that this network has become this large with no assistance with montioring or management.


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