One of the fastest growing service markets for VARs and systems integrators is in network design, configuration and management. As more network products enter the market and eager customers emerge to make use of them, the complexity of being able to deliver such services expands at an exponential rate.
Enterprise graphics software publisher Micrografx, has expanded its range of products to include a new network management tool which integrates LAN discovery, intelligent documentation and design functions into a single solution. It is designed for use by network managers, systems integrators and VARs.
NetworkCharter Pro is a new tool from Micrografx which uses a graphic interface over a complex database of network information. It is a full scalable tool which can be used by resellers in all phases of quoting on or delivering network solutions to all sorts enterprises. The database information is all stored on a library of over 10,000 networking devices for which quarterly updates are available.
The three key functions of the product are in discovery, documentation and design of networks. To review the design of any subnet, up to the router, NetworkCharter Pro uses IP or IPX communication protocols to discover devices and generate a concise diagrams. Resellers could apply this when they want to assess a network for the purpose of quoting on its maintenance or upgrade programs.
When all the different devices that make up the network are discovered, documentation is generated by linking each device to its specifications as listed in an extensive and quarterly updated library which currently carries in excess of 10,000 products. Many standard and custom reports can be generated from the 30-50 pre-defined attributes for each device, while there are more than 600 pre-defined and user-definable fields for the addition of other data.
NetworkCharter will also be used extensively for designing common and complex networks by using question-and-answer driven wizards. The Design Wizard creates large or small networks which are populated with the 10,000+ products in the library. Each device can be individually configured to meet the specific requirements of the network being designed.
Device Selection and Device Configuration Wizards are also included and they each leverage the extensive library of workstations, servers and network components enabling the identification and configuration of devices such as cards, piggybacks (including added memory, firmware, cards and modules) and control software.
NetworkCharter Pro is distributed throughout Australia by Tech Pacific and will sell for $1785 with the 12 month subscription (four updates) costing an extra $695 per year. There is also an entry level version that sells for $595, but it can only find 150 devices on a network (the Pro version is not limited) only stores 5,000 vendor devices on the library while subscriptions to update the vendor devices are not available.