In my honest opinion, there is a lot of confusion in the market. This is exploited by vendors to sell you something: it is not suited for you or doesnt have the right fit for you. This needs a little bit of explanation. If you want to manage your infrastructure, Network and System Management is the mother of all: You manage you infrastructure and this can be done only by monitoring. There is a lot of confusion between the different terms being used in this market.
- Network Managenent Software
- Network Management Tools
- Network Monitoring Software
- Network Monitoring Tools
- Network and System Management
- Network and System Monitoring
- Network and System Monitoring tools
- Network and System Monitoring Software
There is also a difference between a System and a Server. In the list above sometimes System is replaced by Server. Are there systems that that cann't be classified as network devices (like routers, switches and firewalls), where you cann't install an agent or that cann't be seen as a server? Storage and Virtualisation Nodes are a few that needs some special attention because this is a concentration of IT resources where traditional monitoring, based on SNMP, is limited.
The two worlds: Networks and Servers
First of all you have two separate types of monitoring: Network and System. Network monitoring is dominated by SNMP information retrieval from network devices. System monitoring is frequently using an special agent on a server that pulls data from systems.
If you want to manage your network, you need to monitor your network and the same is true for systems
If you want to manage you systems, you need to monitor your systems.
Without monitoring you are in the dark. Monitoring is normally done by using som kind of system that collects data.
The key components for management
The key components for IT management are:
- Collecting data
The next level is automate or start actions based on trends and alerts.
Definition of a tool, a toolset and a management framework
Normally a knife is a tool used for something to cut. Based on the product / material you want to cut, you get a special knife. A knife is a generic name for a device that can cut. A Swiss Knife is a collection of some tools. There is a little knife, and some more little tools.
- An IP or port scanner is a tool. This is also called a point tool.
- A sniffer like WireShark is a tool.
- A toolset is something that has several tools that can be used in general situations.