7 Best Tools for Network Administration

Introduction

There are plenty of tools available that allow us to do all types of network administration work. Today, we’ll see some handy and the most useful tools that let network administrator to debug, understand and configure networks a bit easily. The goal is to make inventory of essentials to have in toolbox when there is need of debugging or network configuration.

Tools

So let’s begin, here is a list of tools that network admins do not separate when they put their network administrator’s hat.

1) Go Deep with WireShark

A great open source as well as cross-platform tool, it is basically a network protocol analyzer also called as Sniffer. It allows examining data from a live network or from a capture file stored. We can interactively browse the capture data, explore all the layers of packages and able to see all of their content. It is a very useful tool when we are protecting network from malicious attack. It also has several interesting features such as the ability to apply filters to quantities of captured packets. For example, to display only connections or exchanges between IPs indicated that in a specified language.

Wireshark also has a function “Follow TCP Stream” that tracks live interaction and TCP connections between two machines in a single window, then contents of packets being translated and formatted dynamically. There are many tools like Wireshark, but Wireshark offer numerous options and each has many features such as graphical command line, including features such as tcpdump CLI, or tshark.

2) Putty

There is no need to mention popularity of this tool among administrators separately. This is very simple tool to use and also essential for network administration. It’s a basic tool for remote configuration of different elements. It initializes SSH connections, telnet, or series. In addition, it is a tool with a simple executable exe file that does not even need any installation, also very light weight. It provides several configuration tabs with other options that are kind accessories. Some of these parameters still greatly increase its functionality and capabilities.

Note: one of the missing features of Putty is the ability to manage multiple views within the same window. However, there is a small application that performs this function and enables us to manage, resize and split terminals of Putty.

Also Read: How to create Putty shortcuts in Windows?

3) Traceroute

Available of Windows, Linux, Mac OS and IOS Cisco, is a tool that allows following the path of whole package throughout its adventure in a network. This is a handy debugging tool in case of malfunctions and network configuration to see if routing configurations are correctly applied. The operation of Traceroute is quite simple and interesting.

4) Supervision

Supervision is a suite of tools that is a tool in itself, but it’s a process that is widely used in network administrations because it allow to be informed of the status of machine and active elements of the network in real time and also send alerts.

It is a tool that quickly becomes indispensible for medium and large networks. Among the most used tools, note: Nagios and Shinken. There mode owner PRTG, which is also talk about it.

5) Metrology

Some people get confuse between Metrology and Supervision so here we will see what differentiate them from each other. Unlike, Supervision, Metrology will not perform to send an alert or establishment of the state of a host or service at time T, but will have to lead the graph plotting describing metrics (values) of a flow, the use of a resource, etc…

Metrology enables the establishment of a base-line, which is a reference line of network status at a time T or during a so-called reference period. This usually allows detecting unusual behavior of the network during peak load, performance losses, etc… Among the Metrology tools one might note Cacti and Munin specifically, which probably the best known in free mode.

6) Nmap

This is a free tool widely used in defense of network attack. As its name suggests, it has the function nmap discovery and mapping of networks through more or less extensive requests to a network or to a specific host. For example, it’s very useful to know, which ports are open on a host and therefore how it seen from the outside, but also know by what protocol we can go on such manager such as SSH, Telnet, etc… Nmap mostly used from the command line, but there is also a GUI version available on both Windows and Linux.

7) Ping

Ping is one of the first orders to which one learns to use when starting machine and its use is still common during all these of years of practice. This is one the first tests we do when we try to verify that a network link is operational between two hosts. Its use is very similar on all OS.

Conclusion

These are the 7 essential networking tools that widely used by network admins when they put network administrator’s hat. What about you? Apart from this list what tools you would consider or regularly use when configuring or troubleshooting a network?

Also Read: Top 10 tools for Linux System Admins

Nilesh

 

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