At the moment I am researching which is the best tool to buy for an enterprise network in terms of discovering network performance and so I thought I would ask any readers of this blog for their recommendations.
First a bit of background I work in a support team in a large enterprise and we often get calls reporting the "network is slow". Now we have some tools that help us monitor the utilization of the links but they cannot show us the top talkers across the links. Our current tool set also does not allow us to see what protocols are being used across the link and we have no chance of being able to prove what application is causing the problem. It always turns out to be an application or patch deployment that causes the problem, however we usually have to let the users suffer from a "slow network" until the problem goes away. To me this is unacceptable service and I have started investigating products that can give us a bit more visibility into the network.
Ideally what I would like is an application that can pull NetFlow stats from the routers and via some sort of probe be able to investigate switched traffic. I would require the product to determine application responsiveness and ideally be able to build a baseline over time. We may also be consolidating data centres fairly soon and so discovering the relationships between servers would be a great bonus. As I want to make sure we migrate all the servers that talk heavily to each other as a package and we do not leave a server behind that then hammers the WAN link by talking to it's peers in the new data centre. Finally I would be interested in how the various products cope when WAN optimization is introduced into the network.
I have been looking at tools from MAZU, OpNet, NetScout and NetQoS but if anyone else has any recommendations I would be most grateful.
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