Since I do quite a bit of work in the trenches, I am always looking for utilities to make my life easier.
In this case the NetFort Span Port Configurator meets all my basic tool criteria, seems to work flawlessly and does exactly what it professes to do. It simply allows you to easily configure certain models of Cisco switches SPAN sessions. I like the added touch of showing the port descriptions and the ability to save your changes to the startup file. In case you were wondering, it supports SSH as well as telnet and does not require you to have other terminal applications installed like Putty.
My first criterion is that it not be a huge multi Giga Byte application and should be able to run from a laptop. No SQL, WEB or other servers required. There is a time and a place for enterprise style solutions or tools but in my case, I don’t want to drag that much hardware around with me for the majority of my troubleshooting engagements.
The second criterion is that it be simple and intuitive. I should be able to look at the screen and get a sense of what to fill out and what the tool will do. Every tech-head loathes having to go to the help screen or worse, the manual. I would rather have many small programs that did specific tasks well than one huge application that only met a fraction of my needs.
Lastly and the toughest criteria would be if the application is a portable, self-contained application. I write the odd piece of code myself and I can appreciate how difficult this last point is which is why this last one is more of a bonus point and not a requirement.