CrossNodes Product Briefing: Networking Management Software

To confuse matters in network management, a new bit of marketing nomenclature has hit -- eBusiness Infrastructure Management. We examine the differences (if any) between infrastructure, network, and system management software.

 By Dayna Delmonico
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In the hope of making an established market sexier for the "webbies", or perhaps to kick-start tech stocks on Wall Street, don't look now but there's a new buzzword in town -- eBusiness Infrastructure Management. All you savvy veteran network and systems managers should feel free to laugh out loud -- we did.

It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out it's just a new buzzword for network and systems management. The line between classic network management software and high-end systems management software has really blurred in the past few years. So much so that you can start with fundamental LAN management and grow all the way to multi-site Enterprise management without changing vendors.

Your definition of network management and systems management software depends on how long you've been around IT and the organization you're in. These days the terms are often used synonymously but they started life with differences. Systems Management has been around from the days of minis and mainframes and grew out of a need to centrally manage computers in the data center. Network management software came about in the mid 1980's as the proliferation of microprocessor-based Local Area Networks (LANs) of PCs and servers took off. By the mid 1990's, the line between the two types of products began to blur as legacy systems were supplanted by workgroups, LANs, client/server architectures, and WANs. Now they're our eBusiness infrastructure!

Traditional Network Management software's purpose is to monitor a network's components usually to diagnose and correct problems. Functions usually include:

  • Inventory/device management
  • Load balancing
  • Network mapping
  • Reporting
  • Software Metering
  • Remote Control


This article was originally published on Jul 30, 2001
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