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I am looking at the various options available for network performance management software, some of the solutions I've found so far are:

  1. Proprietary: HP - ProCurve
  2. Universal: SolarWinds - Orion
  3. Open Source: OpenNMS

I am trying to discover the benefits of each package over the other and reasons as to why you would go for one (Such as size of the network, overall cost etc..).

I'm curious as to which ones other people use and why? Each customer has their own needs and requirements and it would be great to hear some of yours.

Thank you for your time.

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This really depends on what you mean by "network management", since no single tool will do everything a network admin needs to do. –  Cypher Nov 10 '10 at 22:04
    
Ah, I mean as in software to help you locate any errors, highlight areas of weakness, keep it running efficiently etc. –  Jamie Keeling Nov 11 '10 at 13:46
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6 Answers

For Open source, we use PandoraFMS, Cacti, Munin, and Nagios. Try them all and see what works best for you.

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We currently use SolarWinds - Orion in our network. We have a mainly Cisco Environment and that is the tool our Cisco engineers wanted.

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We use SolarWinds Orion. Don't know the rationale for the selection. –  jl. Nov 10 '10 at 19:56
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I prefer Zenoss Core. It's highly flexible but can have a steep learning curve. SolarWinds was nice but it's inflexibility for certain things made it a royal pain for me.

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OpenNMS is awesome if you're just planning to do network hardware performance monitoring. Using it as a general purpose monitoring system is ia bit more tricky than most of the other opensource monitoring tools.

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I have used Paessler PRTG Network Monitor for the last 3 years or so. It is good value for money, their support guys are helpful, and it has been rock solid in terms of stability. It has a very advanced web based front end, a windows tray app, mobile apps, and can be extended indefinitely with your own scripts.

There is a limited version for free, but it is well worth the outlay to keep tabs on your network environment.

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flow-tools + Highly tuned FlowViewer

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