Make Sure Your Network Management System Is the Right Size - Page 2

 By Drew Robb
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"What you really should pay for are end-to-end diagnostics, proactive prevention of failures (due to traffic, device failure or configuration errors) and easy integration with other toolset," said Bolton.

In addition, he calls attention to the following points to pay attention to when attempting to right size a network management application:

  • Operation and deployment costs. These can affect how rapidly the IT department gets a return on its investment (ROI).
  • Automated processes. Increased efficiency and lower risk of human error are key to keeping a network running smoothly.
  • Mean time to repair (MTR). Consider systems that help shorten MTR and help get a network up and running after a problem has occurred.
  • Simple integration. Seamless integration into complex network management frameworks will decrease deployment costs, resources and time.
  • More than monitoring. Look for network management systems that help predict problems, and have remote capabilities.
  • Policies. Using a system that helps IT managers enforce best IT practices and compliance policies makes life easier for maintenance and management of the network.
  • Centralized dashboard. Switching between different tools and software can be tedious and time consuming. Choose a product that has a web-accessible comprehensive platform, with automated configuration and a centralized dashboard from which you can monitor and manage the network.

Bolton emphasizes that the products from the big boys do a lot of things well and are right for some organizations. However, he challenges the network management industry as a whole to address ease-of-use and ease of deployment.

"Those two things resonate with all buyers as it is important for scaling up or down," he said. "Scaling is location, people, services and applications and few vendors make solutions simple enough to handle changes in all those areas."

This is particularly important in light of emerging trends. Bolton talks about the proliferation of new applications, communications devices and network users.

"Social networking applications are being implemented to support business goals, and communication devices like iPads and iPhones are increasingly being accepted more by IT departments," said Bolton.

This, he said, is going to place even more stress on already overloaded network administrators.

This article was originally published on Dec 11, 2010
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