It would be ideal if every network device you managed across all your client sites was from the same manufacturer, but for most MSPs that’s not the case—over 75% of MSPs manage four or more network vendors for their clients, and some manage upwards of 20.
Even though taking care of diverse networks is standard procedure for most service providers, managing gear from multiple vendors is still, well, complex. It means handling different operating systems, different languages, and more.
And though standardization is ideal, it’s not always feasible. For example, Eric Schlissel, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based GeekTek IT Services, doesn’t push standardization for one key reason.
“When a client has already invested money into infrastructure that’s passable, that’s fine— because they can spend [that money] elsewhere. We don’t like to change things just to make it easier for our techs. Our approach is to partner with our clients, and Auvik makes it easier to deliver on that.”
So how does Schlissel manage the complexity that stems from network vendor diversity? With Auvik—which supports more than 15,000 network devices from over 700 vendors.
“Using Auvik makes the need for homogeneous stacks irrelevant, because it’s a unified tool for managing all types of network hardware. As long as there’s a minimum level of functionality across the network stack, we can manage it. Auvik is an equalizer.”
Ross Leisner, a data center engineer at Systems Solution, says inherited networks frequently have equipment from multiple manufacturers—which is why he uses Auvik to streamline remote network management tasks.
“While a Meraki management portal may be great to manage Meraki devices, it’s not so great to manage other devices. Auvik allows us to have a unified management pane, where no matter what, we have an understanding of the network without having to reinvent the wheel every time.”
Being able to access devices from all vendors through a single dashboard reduces the time it takes Leisner’s team to troubleshoot issues.
“We’re looking at the same areas for the same kind of information across all vendors. We don’t have to worry about spinning up another appliance to manage this set of devices and that set of devices. We have one spot we go to collate everything.”
As well, by eliminating the need to be familiar with different vendor languages, Kyle Etter, the CTO at Computer Integration Technologies, says he can assign more complex tasks to lower-level technicians.
“Most engineers have familiarity with a few product lines—then there’s a drop off, which means a lot of investigation time, which is costly. Having a product that automatically has that [agnosticism] gives us the confidence we’re getting the widest swath of coverage possible through automation versus manual.”
Leisner says his team has seen their efficiency rise by 75% from using Auvik to manage diverse networks automatically and simply.
“Once you add the vendor layer of abstraction, that’s where things get cumbersome, so it’s nice to have that single pane of glass. I can’t stress enough the time savings and the peace of mind we have through Auvik—anywhere you can save time and money and make things easier for your clients, that’s a win.”