New network management tools

Enterasys, 3Com and Cisco released new network management software last week, writes Antony Adshead.

Enterasys, 3Com and Cisco released new network management software last week, writes Antony Adshead.

The products range in scope from high-level administration of metropolitan and provider networks through to automated distribution of application software across corporate networks.

Cisco's Supervisor Engine III is aimed at those using the company's Catalyst 4006 switches. It prioritises traffic from the backbone to the edge of the network in metropolitan and enterprise networks.

The software caters for quality of service applications such as voice and video streaming. It is also designed for those who need to control high-bandwidth physical connections and regulate bandwidth to specific connections in Ethernet-based systems.

Version 3.5 of 3Com's Network Supervisor features what the company calls an "Advanced Package". This includes a Bulk Agent Upgrade facility that allows network supervisors to download the latest versions of software drivers for 3Com devices from the Web and distribute them to networks of up to 2,500 IP devices.

Downloads are activated by a live update feature and are then distributed throughout the network using the Bulk Agent Upgrade. Previously, some version enhancements of software would be skipped by administrators because of time constraints - this software allows the work to be done with a few mouse clicks.

Network Supervisor 3.5 also includes multiple SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) strings to enhance security, and a network mapping capability which allows full visualisation of networks by IP subnet or a flat Layer 2 view.

Netsight Atlas from Enterasys is a suite of system-level management tools. It features plug-in applications that the company claims will make it easier to carry out discovery, event management, alarm logging and network mapping.

New network management tools
Research carried out by Ingenium for Intel Landesk has found that 54% of UK network managers believe the growing use of notebook PCs in the business has complicated network management.

Sixty-five per cent of respondents also feel that large-scale software distribution creates a major headache and overwhelms network and server bandwidth. The proliferation of mobile devices is seen by 63% of network managers as leading to higher support costs per employee.

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