NetMRI in Higher Education

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

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


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.