This week, we\u2019re continuing our rundown readers\u2019 recommendations for their favorite network management tools. Last week\u2019s column included nine tools, and we have even more suggestions below.These are all user recommendations. It\u2019s been a struggle to keep this a user-driven (rather than vendor-driven) list of recommendations. And I\u2019ve got the battle scars to prove it.One reader likes Aprisma Spectrum xsight for fault isolation, saying, \u201cit is awesome in conjunction with Attention Software for sorting out alarms and paging people.\u201d He also uses CiscoWorks \u201cto manage and maintain our firmware and configuration of our Cisco network.\u201dMulti Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) was a favorite, which, according to one reader, \u201cis great for gathering statistics on usage of network bandwidth and server monitoring.\u201d MRTG is free, and it\u2019s offered through a GNU General Public License.PingPlotter is a recommended ping and trace-route utility that costs $15. Our reader fires this up when a problem is reported to see where the issue is occurring. FREEping is another recommended pinging tool that can be downloaded for free. A reader reports that it \u201cis very, very simple and yet so useful to gather network object reachability.\u201dA reader recommends HP OpenView because it provides \u201cvery good maps to work with.\u201d He also likes that it is \u201cprogrammable to do exactly what you desire,\u201d specifically with regard to correlations and e-mail or paging alerts when faults occur.NetScout is recommended by a reader for its troubleshooting and performance management capabilities. He says, \u201cIt is a software and hardware combination, but it does work with most network elements (switches and routers) and presents in a single view the health of the enterprise.\u201d\u00a0Servers Alive is another reader recommendation. A reader says he likes it because it\u2019s simple, does a good job of network event and status monitoring, and is relatively easy to set up. He runs a small network and finds that this simpler, inexpensive tool works well in this environment. Support via a mail group \u201cis remarkably good,\u201dSNMPc Enterprise from Castlerock Computing is recommended by a user who says that \u201ccompared to the other biggies\u2026 it\u2019s much easier to use, and ridiculously cheap. It\u2019s surprisingly extendable, and with the new release, easier to manage the NMS itself.\u201d The only shortcoming he reports is that it only runs on Windows. He also says \u201cthe package takes just a little bit to get accustomed to, and once you get going, just gets easier to work with.\u201dAnother reader sends in his recommendation of NexVu as \u201cone of the more interesting tools we have been working with.\u201d It\u2019s a network management appliance that \u201cacts as a performance monitoring tool, protocol analyzer, RMON probe and terminal server - all rolled into one.\u201d It is attractive as an alternative to more expensive sniffer devices and it provides real-time performance reporting for the reader\u2019s Siebel application system. \u201cSo far we like what we see in the product, and the support from the vendor has been very good.\u201dNetIQ Qcheck and Chariot are suggested by a user who says that Qcheck is a free tool that is \u201cultra simple\u2026 awesome for quick checks of network performance between two host, great as a troubleshooting tool.\u201d He says his help desk uses it. It requires a performance endpoint on each host to be tested. The endpoints are also free, and are available for a wide variety of systems. \u201cI\u2019ve demanded that the endpoint be loaded on every desktop and server in our enterprise, and it has paid tremendous dividends in reduced problem resolution times.\u201d Then he says that Chariot \u201ccan stress-test any network I\u2019ve been able to imagine. It\u2019s great for design and proof of concept. Add the Sniffer plug-in, and you can use real data to test a network, not to mention it becomes simpler to use.\u201d He issues a caution that you need to be careful about putting this in untrained hands because it can \u201cstomp almost any network into little pieces.\u201dSo here ends our readers\u2019 choices for network management tools. Stay tuned next week for their favorite management tools for the desktop.