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Unified Network Management Tools?

Good Morning Team Cisco,

I have been asked to provide some research on a unified network management tool. Here are the requirements:

  • Auto-discover network devices (switches, routers, servers, PC's, etc)
  • Provide device harware details i.e. make, model, memory, SN, OS version
  • Provide interface statistics down to port level
  • Generate topology maps (L2 & L3) showing all discovered devices with the capability drill down into the device
  • Ability to identify trunk ports and the VLANs traffic traversing that trunk port
  • Export data to MS Excel, Visio or csv file format

I know that there are tools like Whats Up Gold, Solarwinds, Quest, etc. I've used multiple systems, but they each have their own strangths and weaknesses. I would like to know what other thought and if what application would provide the most comprehensive capability.

The goal is to not have to use multiple systems.

Thanks,

Michael

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New Member

Unified Network Management Tools?

Hi Michael:

I’d like to suggest that you take a look at Entuity (entuity.com). Entuity has been offering an all-in-one network monitoring solution since 1997 used globally by enterprises and MSPs of all sizes. It covers virtually all of the requirements you mention above, but doesn’t stop there.

The latest version integrates all the requisite, contemporary network management functionality including automated, continual discovery of inventory and topology; configuration monitoring; event alerting and root cause analysis; elemental and flow-based performance; and extensive reporting into a single tightly-integrated solution with near limitless scalability.

Entuity is well known for its rapid deployment, ease of use, low cost of ownership, technological sophistication and openness to integration with other management systems in an enterprise. Some of the more salient benefit s include:

  • Entuity gets the job done. All technical aspects of modern converged networks are covered to provide network operators with complete, actionable big picture data as well as fine gained low level information needed to understand the network.
  • Entuity gets the job done at a reasonable cost. It shouldn’t require a plethora of products and a team of experts with advanced degrees to keep the system operational. Simplicity, operational efficiency and short learning curves are becoming as important as the coverage of the technology itself. Entuity excels in this category.
  • Entuity's technology supports the business. It is more important than ever for the various stakeholders in IT and business to understand how the network supports (or doesn’t support) their efforts. Entuity includes a comprehensive set of reporting capabilities (including export of reports and data in a variety of common formats) and UIs that cater directly to the needs of a business oriented audience.

Entuity delivers actionable business insight based on automatically discovered and captured network data and analytics. Real-time notifications of physical network and configuration changes, visibility into virtual server environments, and open data accessibility help prevent business service interruptions and enable transparent business-level reporting. Real-time and historical critical network management data is captured in Entuity to provide a reliable source of network asset information for service delivery and assurance, troubleshooting forensics, requirements trending, integration with a core Configuration Management Data Base (CMDB), or to be used by other applications.

Regardless of the product(s) you ultimately choose, I would like to suggest that you compare them to the seven points listed below. Over time, we’ve found that many Entuity customers place these points at or near the top of their wishlists:

Entuity   Network Management

Other   Network Management Solutions

Products

  • One complete product for network management: discovery of   inventory and topology, event notifications, Root Cause Analysis, elemental   and flow performance, dashboards and reports. Minimal staff needed to   install, learn, and maintain.
  • Several unintegrated or loosely integrated products that require dealing with multiple integrations. A team of consultants does the installation then leaves you to manage all the pieces with a busload of your own people.

Scalability

  • Federated   architecture for seamless expansion. Minimal staff needed to add devices and   technologies.
  • True, distributed multi-server   architecture with server based database storage makes adding servers easy,   maximizes scalability, and provides centralized reporting and administration.
  • For   enterprise-class competitors, scalability is a major forklift change that is   very complex and labor intensive.
  • Low   end products can handle only a few hundred devices per server. No   multi-server support. Do not aggregate data from multiple servers into one   report. No centralized administration—distributed poller option simply moves   the bottleneck to the central server.

Agility

  • Flexible device definition architecture   expedites support for new devices and technologies, such as virtualization,   cloud, wireless. Basic device support is immediate. Advanced device modeling in   days.
  • Full software releases twice per year for support of new   technologies as they become available.

  • Throw hardware and people at problem, hard to set up and manage, requires more power, provides less incremental capacity. Adding device support takes months or years.

  • Full releases usually happen once per year or longer, delaying adoption of new technologies.

Licensing

  • Most   flexible pricing model in the industry—by device, object, annual, perpetual,   subscription (any term, any payment schedule), true up. Central licensing   server available for allocating licenses to monitored devices and objects at   will.
  • Little or no flexibility in pricing models. Often handled through product discounts.

Data

  • Data is comprehensive, deep, open,   flexible, customizable. Only vendor that lets you export the entire database   or chosen sections of it to and external normalized SQL database, where you   can use your own tools against it as desired
  • Reporting   facilities are intuitive and consistent across the product. Includes 100+   pre-built reports covering many use cases and presentation styles.

  • Superficial, multiple unintegrated products  and data sources, where data is unreachable in proprietary vendor data  stores. Access to data is rigid. Must use their query tools, which limits  what you can do with your own data.
  • For  reporting, where multiple products are needed to fulfill network management  requirements, there are often many different reporting solutions used across  them. Custom reporting capabilities are generally limited or non-existent.

Openness

  • Support   devices from a variety of vendors, not just those from market leaders such as   Cisco, Juniper, or Huawei. Also support load balancers, firewalls, wireless   access points, servers, VMs, and more.
  • Network  device vendors provide solutions that are usually limited to their own  devices, creating blind spots and restricting innovation. Many are actually  provisioning or configuration tools, not network monitoring or management  tools.

Automation

  • Continual, automated discovery of virtual   and physical assets and their inventory, real-time event notification and   root cause, dynamic performance threshold alerts, automated report   scheduling.
  • Enables   proactive management, and guards against slowdowns and outages that reduce   production and profits.
  • Provide  little to no automation, or if automation is present, it exists across  multiple unintegrated products, limiting its usefulness.

In the meantime, good luck with your research. If you would like any additional information, please send an email to info@entuity.com. I’ll get it and put you in touch with the right people to address your needs.

Regards

Roger

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