Datamation Readers Name NetCrunch Number One

With a browser interface, the network monitoring software allows companies to effectively take control of their infrastructure.


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Posted February 27, 2007

Cynthia Harvey

In its first year on the ballot, AdRem Software’s NetCrunch handily defeated the other candidates in the Network and Systems Management category of Datamation’s 2007 Product of the Year awards. Key features of NetCrunch include network monitoring, server monitoring, and customizable network maps that can be securely accessed through a Web browser.

AdRem prides itself on its advanced features and ease of use. “We are constantly improving NetCrunch to meet the needs and expectations of network administrators and we feel honored that they voted NetCrunch best product in the Network and Systems Management Category,” says Borys Skraba, AdRem Vice President and Marketing Manager.

First introduced in 2002, NetCrunch version 4.3 hit the shelves last month and contains several improvements over previous editions. Specifically, the latest version allows users to browse larger event logs and streamlines event notifications. “Today’s enterprise networks require more extensive monitoring and generate larger amounts of data,” explains Skraba. “NetCrunch 4.3 optimizes event database access and provides easy access to all important network events, preventing redundancy and information overload.”

Prices for NetCrunch start at $2,395 for the Premium 100 version and top out at $7,990 for the Premium XE version with unlimited Web access. All editions include a one-year Professional Services Agreement. Currently, several thousand customers use NetCrunch, primarily network administrators in mid- to large-size enterprises, as well as educational and government institutions.

Using NetCrunch

Those customers include Caribou Coffee, a Minneapolis-based coffee house chain with more than 450 locations in 18 states. Caribou markets its gourmet coffees and other branded merchandise through third-party retails outlets and their own online store.

Having so many locations presents a unique set of challenges to those charged with maintaining the company’s networks. According to Scott Ficek, Caribou Coffee’s Director of Information Services, one of the company’s core values is “The customer always comes first, everything else waits.” Unfortunately, before the company installed NetCrunch, customers sometimes had to wait on network problems.

"Someone at the store would need to notify us that they could not ring credit cards, and we would figure out that the line was down,” explains Ficek. “The customer would usually be accommodated by the store automatically going into modem back-up. Unfortunately, this system took credit card authorization from sub-5 seconds to up to 40 seconds."

Now, however, NetCrunch constantly monitors Caribou Coffee’s WAN, and alerts Ficek’s team of problems before they interrupt the customer experience. “We are notified immediately when the service goes down and can fix the problem usually before the sales clerk notices,” notes Ficek.

In addition to the alerts, Ficek also appreciates NetCrunch’s color-coded maps, which allow him to monitor the entire network at once. The Caribou team uses these maps to identify where problems might be developing so that they can take preventive action.

“NetCrunch has helped us make sure that our stores are serving customers first and not worrying about network outages,” concludes Ficek. “It is cost effective, robust, and sophisticated.”

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