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I'm looking for a network management tool that could provide me with tools for measurement

I'm looking for a network management tool that could provide me with tools for measurement. I searched at Google and was referred to a Web site, www.infosim.net, I went through the content. And found that their PME application - Performance and Networking Management tool, is pretty interesting. Seems like it's a German product. I would like to seek your expert advise on this network measurement application. Was wondering if your experience using this applications before? Your expert view would be most appreciated!

InfoSim's products appear to be new offerings on the market. Certainly they are new to me. Their history indicates that they are an academic spin-off, created around 1998/2000, and primarily operating in Germany.

As I indicated, their network measurement and management products are not familiar to me. However, based on the write-ups, I can say several things about their approach. It might be useful to reference a previous response on Best Practices for network monitoring: https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/answer/Practices-for-monitoring-a-networks-performance

First, let's look at the advantages:

  • They take a "synthetic" approach to generating a network view, combining all the data available, including SNMP, RMON, passive flows and active sampling (netflow, sflow, ping), Cisco SSA agent, and other sources like application-specific queries (DNS, HTTP, SMTP).
  • They offer various forms of graphing and reporting that appear flexible and relevant
  • They offer host discovery and automated topology generation
  • The system offers information at several Layers of the application/network path, from Layer 2 (frames) to Layer 7 (application).
  • Next, let's look at the disadvantages:

  • They state explicitly that it is necessary to own and control all the hardware (switches, routers, etc.) in order to implement their solutions – seeing into and through networks you don't own (more and more important these days) will be unlikely
  • Most of the their data sources are point sources (which can be highly valuable) but only the SSA and ping sources provide end-to-end views – SSA is only between Cisco devices and ping is minimal as a data source – this makes it difficult to resolve end-to-end paths that involve end-hosts
  • The system mines information across many Layers of the application/network path, from Layer 2 to Layer 7 – depending on how they do this, it may make troubleshooting easier or harder
  • Extrapolating any of this to an actual experience is just so much guesswork. They make evaluation copies available – so if it sounds like the right choice, download and give it a try.

This was last published in October 2003

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