The Netcordia NetMRI product is an appliance. The hardware is actually quite small so the system has a little footprint. The product uses SNMP, SSH and telnet to discover information about systems on the configured network. The product does not use a software-installed client to monitor the devices. This allows the device to see the network traffic from all endpoints and not just workstations. This device moves endpoints, which are sending non-policy compliant packets, to a separate VLAN from other privileged users. The user interface is among the easiest to use for products in this category. Little time is needed to become familiar with the interface. Hopefully, in the future, the NetMRI product will include a central logging and reporting feature to help administrators create trends of policy violations on the network.
The installation of the NetMRI is quite easy as the device is configured through a web browser. The device also had keyboard/ mouse/video interfaces, but the installation guide mentioned nothing of using these ports, so they were left unexplored. The unit does have a front LCD panel, but no configuration is possible through the panel. While the installation was easy, having to change the IP addresses of a workstation, then the device, and then the workstation again, was a bit annoying and inefficient.
The documentation for the NetMRI product was a printed installation guide that quite adequately described the installation process. The installation guide made mention of a user guide for further configuration of the NetMRI device. This guide was not included in print format, nor was it enclosed on a CD, and we could not find a way to download the guide from the Netcordia website.
The support for the NetMRI product is included for the first 90 days after purchase and the support can be extended with purchase support options.
The price for the NetMRI device is at the higher end of products in this category. The product does not offer the wealth of features of other products to offset the high cost, so the NetMRI product is geared toward organizations that have a specific need.