It should be noted that almost every company that utilizes multiple servers and active network equipment has to monitor the performance of facilities, minimize its downtime, and so on. To achieve this, organizations can use various tools for automatic troubleshooting of standard problems. In general, network management tools should possess such characteristics as scalability, distribution, and openness to cope with heterogeneous equipment. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the tools associated with such management areas as policy compliance, bandwidth management, and asset management.
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One of the tools associated with policy compliance is the Cisco Compliance Management and Configuration Service (CMCS). It is an instrument that has a set of various means to meet the current objectives of companies. Importantly, it aims to ensure that compliance needs across the entire network are met (Cisco, 2013). This instrument determines the policies with which all the elements of the network should conform and oversees this process. Also, CMCS ensures compliance reporting and analytics through systematic control. Moreover, the tool can activate remediation steps when necessary. CMCS can also automate the workflow in the organization. In general, companies can benefit greatly from the use of this tool since it enables them to grow while supporting their infrastructure (Cisco, 2013). Using the Cisco platform, organizations can determine policy compliance violations and reduce penalties for these occurrences.
Various tools can assist companies in bandwidth management. For instance, these instruments are Wireshark, Switch Port Mapper, Nagios Core, and many other platforms. Wireshark is one of the most common tools. It is a traffic analyzer for troubleshooting, which analyzes the packets that enter or leave the network. It allows managers or administrators to explore network applications and protocols to determine the causes of network problems (Hasan, Ahsan, & Rahman, 2012). An important feature of this tool is that it is cross-platform (works on Windows, Linux, and other major systems).
The analyzer is used for Ethernet and some other networks, and it has a graphical interface for convenient use. Unlike some other tools of this type, Wireshark can recognize the structure of various network protocols. It allows the administrator to examine the network packet by displaying the value of each protocol field (Hasan et al., 2012). One of the drawbacks of this system is that it uses pcap (packet capture) to capture packets. Therefore, it can only capture data from the libraries of these networks. Also, Nagios Core is another popular tool for bandwidth management. It allows the manager not only to monitor the network but also to fix possible issues quickly and track problems in the infrastructure. The program will immediately notify the administrator in the event when some service stops working. This tool is suitable for Linux, Solaris, and other systems.
The common tools for asset management are Asset Panda, ServiceNow, GoCodes, and many other instruments. Asset Panda offers an opportunity to track, manage, and support corporate assets. Unlike other platforms, this tool consolidates the functions of several applications for more convenient and effective tracking. With this tool, each department can schedule requests through a mobile application, and customers can track data in real-time mode (Ang, 2014). Therefore, this application assumes an effective organization of accountability and a high degree of relevance to the data. By resorting to this platform, companies can make use of a single platform to solve all the issues concerning their assets (Ang, 2014). This platform is easy to customize, and it includes all the required functions ranging from auditing to premise management.
All of the tools discussed above have a similar purpose, which is to ensure that all the corporate devices function safely. All of them strive for confidentiality and integrity; nevertheless, they are different from each other in terms of their functionality. Thus, it is difficult to determine the best platform since each company has to choose a tool based on its particular needs. Asset Panda is considered the best tool for asset administration. Its main advantage lies in the fact that it can be easily customized to reflect the peculiarities of the business. Wireshark is the most preferable for bandwidth management. Even though Wireshark captures packets through the pcap, it is capable of working with different data formats and can open data files captured by other programs (Hasan et al., 2012). Nonetheless, it cannot be customized since it has fixed functionality. CMCS is highly recommended for companies that need to ensure policy compliance. It is useful for checking policy violations across different units.
One tool can also be used for managing more than one area. It is convenient in terms of task integration (Ang, 2014). For instance, some policy compliance tools are comprehensive in their scale and can include the functions of other instruments. The tools that fall into the category of Network Configuration and Change Management (NCCM) can often perform some functions of asset and bandwidth management. Such instruments integrate various functions into a single interface, which is a cost-effective solution to company needs.
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Thus, it can be concluded that multiple tools exist that can support companies in network management. Each tool has its limitations; therefore, every enterprise should choose the instrument that meets its particular needs to the greatest degree. Nevertheless, all tools have been designed to monitor the performance of equipment and detect malfunctions that might occur at different stages of networking.
Ang, A. (2014). Asset management: A systematic approach to factor investing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Cisco. (2013). Cisco compliance management and configuration service. Web.
Hasan, M. K., Ahsan, A. A., & Rahman, M. M. (2012). IEEE 802.11b packet analysis to improve network performance. JU Journal of Information Technology, 1, 27-34.