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Netformx DesignXpert 9.0

Originally published online in a different form

Claim: Netformx's DesignXpert provides tools to discover network designs and topology. It also details device specifications and requirements to help prepare complex network proposals quickly. The goal is to reduce procurement time and accelerate time to implement upgrades and develop new network services.
Context: Demand is high for new network solutions that maximize current resources, centralize them in data centers and provide redundancy and load balancing. Developing and implementing these solutions is a long, error-prone process that often results in mismatched requirements and high costs.
Credibility: DesignXpert automates network design and procurement by discovering devices and their specs and developing cost estimates from a database of more than 70 manufacturers. Netformx is focused on procuring Cisco equipment, and its ability to make further headway will depend on the product's integration with other equipment manufacturers and their procurement processes.

Netformx DesignXpert 9.0, $6,870, includes software and first year of database access to update the device library www.netformx.com

Infrastructure upgrade projects have a tendency to run late and over budget, and that's often the result of not knowing the current state of the IT environment, the extent and costs of the upgrade, or all of these. Netformx DesignXpert 9.0 goes a good way toward making sure your next upgrade won't be "under construction" long after the last nail should have been hammered into place. It autodiscovers the current state of the network, including Cisco router configuration files, in no time. With that information in hand, it will scope out necessary upgrades with bills of materials and polished proposals that maximize your current investments in an upgraded environment.

DesignXpert helps design, configure and acquire equipment for your network down to the supported modules on each device. Its multivendor device library contains information, including price, for network devices and their components. It also has a validation tool that can help provision network equipment to get the maximum return on investment. Competing products, including Cisco System's Dynamic Configuration Tool, provide many product details, including prices, but don't autodiscover the network, offer a graphical drawing environment, or generate a bill of materials or final purchase request/order, as DesignXpert does. Doing all this yourself would mean using multiple programs and copying and pasting between them. It could take days--even weeks.

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