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Consolidated Management Tool

Posted on 2014-04-17
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Last Modified: 2014-05-05
Hi Gurus,

We are looking for some intelligent consolidate tool, which will manage; all of our networks, applications, databases & our storage too.

We need something intelligent, not only sending emails, but also try to start/restart the effected application or whatever it may be, means, some tool, which can do the Level 1 support by itself and then we'll come into the picture.

What do you think ... doable/possible?

Please do share your experiences/advices/thoughts and everything.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:mkhandba
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btan earned 167 total points
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spiceworks comes to mind for inventory management and monitoring. Primarily it is designed for network administrators working in small- to mid-sized businesses and managing up to 1,000 network devices.
http://www.spiceworks.com/free-asset-management-software/
 though not the extend of security log analysis which is more common for SIEMS. You drill into the network and device mgmt
http://www.spiceworks.com/network-management/
they have extensive hot to to get one starting off and community help
http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to
Spiceworks also has a full help-desk system through which users can submit service requests. The system then lets you assign and track tickets until they are done.. Also administrators with this tool will easily be able to see which applications are installed at the company and which users are running old versions. It can also kick off Windows remote control sessions for hands-on tech support.
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by:dlethe
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If you want something commercial that has a heck of a lot more functionality, and intelligence to automate decisions,  try http://www.gfi.com

But really this is a wide open area. You need to add constraints. Things that differentiate and eliminate options are

1. budget for software licensing
2. Operating systems of equipment
3. Makes/models of storage
4. Where is your pain? What are the 3 most time consuming  and expensive things that
5. Are you  24x7 with your own trained support , so you are familiar with programming SNMP, MIBs, and looking at event logs intimidating.
6. What appliances, routers, switches, NAS, etc   do you have, and do you want a heterogenous centralized system that ties 90-95% with work, or only care about  50%

 If you don't get real specific so experts can eliminate options, then you might as well be asking what computer is best to run programs that crunch data.
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by:eeRoot
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Solarwinds has several products for each of these categories.  They are expensive, but work well.
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by:btan
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Another few for consideration include

Lansweeper - http://www.lansweeper.com/pc-network-inventory-software.aspx

- Computers and devices are automatically sorted into categories to provide you with quick overviews of your network. Devices are organized by device type; computers are organized by domain, model, OS and OU. IP range locations can be created as well to custom sort your machines.

- Software inventory information for all network computers is automatically scanned and displayed on computer webpages, including version number and publisher. To ensure system resources are not being wasted on unneeded software, you can authorize software packages as they are scanned. Current unauthorized installations can be removed using the Remote Uninstall tool and you will be notified of any new installations that are detected over time.

MangeEngine IT360 - http://www.manageengine.com/it360/features.html

- monitor the availability and performance of network, servers and applications. The inbuilt ITIL-ready Service Desk helps reduce the complexity of workflows in production and makes it easy for the IT administrator to run IT operations effectively.

- integrated Service Desk with support for ticketing, problem management, change management, knowledge kase, automated trouble ticketing etc

Some thoughts:

actually it is not the technology that managed the asset movement only, we must not neglect it still remains with human personnel to manage the whole Enterprise SOP processes - the fundamental discovery and baseline configuration can be automatedly provisioned and tracked but change mgmt should have the approval workflow reviewed so that unique authority actions are tracked and always ready to be audited. It may not be too good to have an over intelligent systems as we may missed out shadow IT if we only know what we know. Trust but verify the system running .... we can never be trusting on external parties access and outsource management.
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by:small_student
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What I understand from the questions is not asset management, but rather network monitoring and management/fixing.

I would suggest Nagios. Nagios is absolutely great for monitoring and it has the ability to run tasks when an event occurs. For example delete log files that are over a certain size, run the backup for the database if there is no recent backup...etc.

Of course this would require the admin to write some scripts that would manage the tasks in mind so that when an event happens nagios will run the script on your behalf.

With nagios and some scripting skills there are no limits to what you can do of auto management
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by:dlethe
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"With nagios and some scripting skills there are no limits to what you can do of auto management"

True, but then again there are also no limits with a C compiler, and coding skills.  But it is important to  realize that if you don't have the skills, and want bugs fixed and somebody to call when you need help, that commercial software is the way to go.

(P.S. not meant as a criticism to small_student - more as a heads up to posters, that when you want recommendations,  you need to have more extensive list of requirements )
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by:btan
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Good pt. there is a limit to what technology can facilitate to our functional roles and the important take away is never forget the ultimate ownership still remains with the system owner and not the tools, which simply is to optimise the requirements. Scaling up and outsourcing is key considerations and also if compliance to certain audit is critical then probably the tools should also get into reporting of the specific standard needed as baseline e.g. PCI DSS, SOX etc.
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by:mkhandba
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Folks please stay tuned, as the work is still on, will keep all informed.

Thanks again.
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by:mkhandba
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by:mkhandba
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I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for mkhandba's comment #a40038624

for the following reason:

This seems to be the best answer, if any one don't agree ... do share the best ... then
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by:dlethe
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Respectfully you asked a rather generic question about network tools, experiences, and shared thoughts.  You received them.  None of the answers were incorrect given the  constraints you asked for.

Points should be rewarded to all experts who contributed.
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by:btan
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Pls help to elaborate more on "...I think got the answer ...", this is to help the forum in large and with much insights from experts, to end the closing with such broad inputs are not well understood
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by:small_student
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The link that the OP posted as the answer has the accepted solution as Nagios + Cacti, I suggest that the answers that proposed nagios are correct in this case.

I also agree with dlethe that all answer are correct since the question is quite generic
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