The lowdown on network management

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Piece by piece

What are they? Midrange network management software suites have a limited set of features for handling specific network management problems. In size and scope, they fall somewhere between the all-encompassing suites offered by BMC Software Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp., and small, single-solution programs offered by niche vendors.

What are their benefits? They are turnkey, relatively inexpensive, out-of-the-box programs that are highly scalable and designed to integrate with other programs.

Any drawbacks? Yes. Midrange suites don't contain nearly as many features as enterprise network management suites.

When should I use a midrange suite? When you are managing a small or midsize network, or require some specific management modules for an enterprise suite. And when you are trying to save some money.

When shouldn't I use one? When an enterprise suite serves all your management requirements.

Must-know info? Midrange network management suites represent a growing trend for buyers looking for relatively inexpensive, highly scalable network management. They are a good deal for buyers who have analyzed their network problems thoroughly and reviewed a large number of potential solutions with care. Midrange suites are likely to be hot for the next year, but they will never entirely take the place of full-featured products for the enterprise, such as Unicenter or OpenView.

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