Too Many Tools

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

I visited a customer yesterday who is using eight (!) tools for network management (this count includes NetMRI). It wasn’t much of a surprise to find out that they are using only a fraction of each product, often only one specific function. One product was used for displaying a map with red/green icons showing up/down status of important devices in each region of the network. Another was used for interface utilization statistics, which they used to look at utilization when a site manager called to complain about slow network (or application) performance. Yet another application looked at Netflow data collected from the high utilization interface, so they could tell the site manager who was abusing the link and what application (or TCP/UDP port numbers) were in use. Other products were used for configuration archiving and reporting or syslog and snmp trap reporting.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking their tool selection. In the absence of something better, they’ve assembled the tools they need to accomplish their tasks and this is a well-run organization who uses these tools to their advantage.

Network management with too many tools is common, but not a good idea. That’s what I’ve seen over and over in the market and is one of the reasons why I started building NetMRI. There had to be a better way. Buying, supporting, and learning how to use all these tools is very inefficient. I just continue to be amazed by the way network management is currently cobbled together from a myriad of products. We’re working to change that by making NetMRI provide useful information instead of raw data by correlating the data and presenting it in a way that makes sense to network staff.



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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