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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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.