By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-07-26 Print this article Print

HPs OpenView Network Node Manager Advanced Edition 7.01 is likely one of the most familiar network infrastructure management products in use today. And along with CAs Unicenter Infrastructure Management platform, HPs Network Node Manager is one of the biggest supporters of third-party integrations.

The basic foundation of Network Node Manager remains unchanged from even several years ago: a basic SNMP polling tool with extraordinary support for a wide range of network equipment.

It seems that almost nothing is too archaic or esoteric that someone, somewhere hasnt added a specific MIB to HPs Network Node Manager library.

Although the products core is familiar, a network tuneup is a lot easier with OpenView Network Node Manager 7.01 than with previous versions of the product—as well as with the other products that we tested—because of what HP calls Intelligent Diagnostics for Networks.

ID for Networks is basically a root-cause-analysis tool for Layer 2 and Layer 3 problems.

We could get accurate information about misconfigured routers and subsequent service outages on portions of our test network within minutes using ID for Networks.

Network Node Manager integrates with a wide variety of LAN and WAN monitoring and performance measurement tools. Indeed, we were unable to think of a single common LAN or WAN scenario that we couldnt have tested with Network Node Manager.

One thing that unfortunately hasnt gone away in Network Node Manager is the way it frequently opens new windows to display information. We had to click more than six times to get to a problem router; this resulted in a veritable mushroom bed of interface windows spread across our monitor.

Despite the clutter, Network Node Manager is the master of providing relevant detail in a careful manner. We think IT managers who are using any version of Network Node Manager today already have enough basic information at their fingertips to make good decisions about future network growth.

Having said that, making use of Network Node Managers prodigious amount of information does require a certain hands-on approach that administrators might—but shouldnt—shy away from.

During our tests, HPs Network Node Manager was the last of the products to complete the probe of our small network, by about an hour, but it noticed state changes almost immediately. Network Node Manager needed more prodding and configuration than the others to go beyond the boundary of the main test network. Documenting additional local segments and one remote WAN segment required us to play around with Network Node Manager for about an hour.

Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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