10 Must have Tools for the Network Administrator
The world is full of tools for Network Administrators. In fact, if you did a web search for Network Administrator Tools, you would come up with about 8,800,000 results in Google alone. Try it; I did.
Some of these tools are free, some are commercial products. Some are good, some are – well, not quite so well.
While many of those 8,800,000 results will be duplicates – okay, probably most – you would still waste a month of your time investigating them all.
Want to “goof off” for a day? Well, then simply investigate the first 4 or 5 pages of results, check out the specifications, maybe download a free trial, and make a few decisions on which ones will be of use to you.
What? You don’t have the time for that? Thought not – after all, you are a Network Administrator, which generally means not enough hours in the day.
Save yourself some time – simply check out our list here, read what they can do for you, and pick out which ones sound good to you. That will save you some time, and using the tools will save you some more – then you can get home in time for dinner, and see if the kids recognize you, and if the dog wants to bite you.
In no particular order.
Solar Winds Professional Toolset 8.2
You may feel this is a cop-out, as this is an entire set, and won’t leave you wanting for much. As with all Solar Winds products, the quality is good and the installation is quick and painless.
So, what are you getting for your money?
There are more than 30 tools in this collection; tools of the Network Discovery, Monitoring and Management variety are all covered.
Bandwidth Monitor will let you monitor traffic on your router.
IP Network Browser will generate a detailed Network Inventory for you.
When a server fails the Network Monitor tool can email you the details.
You also get tools for IP Network browsing, Network address recovery, an Advanced Subnet calculator, a Subnet list and many, many more.
The cool think is that you can download a free trial, install them on your system, and see for yourself how useful they are, before you buy.
Cisco Small Business Continuous Data Protection
Okay, so your organization may not yet be the size of one of the Multi-National giants, but your data is still vital, and accidental (or even malicious) deletion will present a major problem. So, you have a daily backup procedure in place, and feel that your backup systems will protect you.
Have you thought of the loss of time, and additional workload, when backups must be restored, and work since the time and date of that backup may need to be recaptured?
Once initially installed and set up, this software will not require any user input again. It does not only do regular scheduled backups of your data, but does so continually, keeping your data and your backups synchronized.
Other cool features are the ability to lock data away I a vault, where it can not be deleted, and to keep shadow copies, so that you can check an older version of a file even though it has been modified and saved since.
ActiveXperts Network Monitor
Running a WAN or just a LAN? Do you have different databases on different servers? (Maybe MS SQLServer on one, MySQL on another, with instances of Oracle and MS Access too?)
Well, don’t panic because help is at hand. This inexpensive Network Monitor can handle any kind of OLE-DB compliant database.
You can select from a variety of notification options, including email, and sms. The Network Administrator may pre-define a program to be run when a failure is detected, or a process to be restarted and this tool will try to do an auto recovery via this process.
Net Tools 2008
With an installation size of less than 25mb, and a single user interface for all the tools (more than 175 of them), this nifty application – written by Mohammad Ahmadi Bidakhvidi – is free as well!
There is something for every purpose in this package. While I have been unable to confirm it, I have read that even the US Government has used this tool, so it can’t be half bad, can it?
You will find all types of tools in this free collection. Some you will use, some you won’t, and some you may not even recognize, but there is sure to be many you find useful.
They are free, and available individually as needed at live.sysinternals.com/tools
So access them any time you need from any computer which will give you access. It could hardly be simpler.
portaPuTTY – Portable Terminal Emulator
You are a Network Administrator, so no need to explain why you will find this one useful. The beauty of this portable version is that is stores configuration data and session data in flat files. No writing to the registry for this app.
This is an open source, portable, password vault with encryption.
A user friendly, inexpensive, commercial software application, for server monitoring across multiple technologies.
IP Address Tracker
This free tool from Solar Winds makes it easy to scan and track your IP Address information.
Free Cat Tools
Another great Solar Winds freebie makes it easy to manage and backup your network configurations.