When I was in college at Vanderbilt University, and then later at the University of Maryland, computing was done on a central mainframe. (Yes, the dark ages of computing.) In the 1980s, I worked at the U.S. Naval Academy and was able to observe first-hand the initial boom of networks in higher education.
These days, computer networks are key to higher education, for research, attracting students, and for general administrative functions. It is no surprise that with the importance comes a focus on reliability and efficiency. Back in the USNA days, networks were primarily research tools and if there was a bit of downtime, only a few people were affected. Not today. Universities are just like any major enterprise in their reliance on the network.
Correspondingly, it is no surprise that NetMRI is gaining a lot of acceptance in higher education. At one site, I was talking with their lead technical person, who said that the scripts that he had developed incorporated most of the functionality of NetMRI. I noted his graying beard and asked if he had an apprentice who would take over his work when he retired. I could see the light bulb go on in his head – he needed a commercial product that did what he had been doing so that he could retire in a few years and not leave the organization with a collection of scripts the only he knew how to use.
Today, we enjoy working with network administrators at places like Duke, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Colgate, Eastern Michigan, and Northwestern. These, along with those I’ve not listed, are great places and great people. They are accustomed to research, and therefore they provide a lot of good feedback on the functionality that we incorporate into NetMRI. Check out how one university uses NetMRI in a webinar for higher education (under Resources/Webinars), Improving Your Network GPA.
Re-posted with Permission
NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under http://www.infoblox.com/en/communities/blogs.html