Cisco is one of the most well-known suppliers of network equipment. The company produces several types of network devices and also offer a wider array of network hardware such as gateways, wireless access points, and firewall among others.
If you use Cisco’s network equipment or if you use the products for network services, you’ll need an effective tool to monitor and manage them. There are many Cisco network monitoring tools to choose from, but it is always better to do some research before you decide on the best one. Without any doubt, Cisco’s components for networking, from Meraki switches, firewalls, dashboards and even consultants, are worth the investment.
Why is network monitoring important?
Before we delve into Cisco network monitoring tools, let’s understand why monitoring is important for your business. Most businesses undertake network monitoring for:
- Performance – to assess the productivity and efficiency
- Security – to ensure the network and enterprise data security
- Troubleshooting – you can’t fix something if you don’t know what is wrong
- Capacity planning – for better capacity planning of the resources
That brings us to the crucial point – what are the top 5 Cisco network monitoring tools? If you are not sure of the answer, don’t worry. Let us take a quick look at them.
#1 Solarwinds NPM w/ Network Insights for ASA
This is one of the most robust Cisco network monitoring tools. It offers several functional
features such as:
- Availability, performance and health monitoring
- Network discovery
- Event reporting
Solarwinds offer several up-to-date features like total visibility, health and performance check, firewall monitoring, and more. You can install the Solarwinds NPM only on Windows OS. A demo or a free trial is available.
#2 PRTG Network Monitor
This is not only one of the most user-friendly tools but also hassle-free to use. You don’t need separate licenses to enable different features while using this tool. Instead, it is an all-in-one tool providing you with everything you might need.
PRTG Network Monitor keeps a tab on various features such as health monitoring, bandwidth utilization, network traffic analysis, alerting, and more. You can install it on Windows OS only, but it has Apps for iOS and Android.
#3 ManageEngine OpManager
This tool offers features such as automatic network discovery, performance monitoring, and reporting. You’ll need an additional license for enabling features like network traffic analysis and configuration management.
It is highly customizable, and you can install it on both Windows and Linux OS.
#4 WhatsUp Gold 2017
This network monitoring tool has been around for a long time and it offers an all-in-one solution with features such as performance monitoring, traffic analysis, and reporting.
You can install it on Windows OS only.
#5 Cisco Network Assistant
This a free network management tool from Cisco designed to manage a range of Cisco devices such as routers, switches, access points, IP phones, and more.
It can support up to 80 devices and so could be the ideal tool for SMEs. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
While your choice will depend on various factors like cost, complexity, and robustness among others, choosing the right Cisco network monitoring tool is a very important process.
A good system is one that should warn you if something goes wrong and help to troubleshoot. It should help in network planning as well. So, choose accordingly.