If you're like most IT guys I talk to, you're constantly on the prowl for those perfect little utilities across the Web that can dramatically improve certain aspects of your network-maintenance duties. You've probably assembled your own toolkit full of these perfect tools. Maybe you even have a portable USB drive full of them and carry the device from site to site. But what if you don't have time to scour the Web for tools?

Last week, I had a chance to speak with company representatives at SolarWinds (which recently acquired Neon Software) about an enticing collection of 48 network-engineering utilities called the SolarWinds Engineer's Toolset.

The 48 applications install in minutes, letting you quickly address virtually every network-engineering challenge you can think of, from configuration management, network discovery/mapping, and fault management to bandwidth and network performance monitoring. Engineer’s Toolset was the first product that SolarWinds introduced in 1998 to provide network engineers with real solutions that address the tough everyday problems that network engineers face. Engineer’s Toolset is now used by more than 30,000 network engineers worldwide.

Version 9.0 of the Engineer’s Toolset introduces the first true real-time NetFlow analysis tool, letting you quickly troubleshoot network traffic problems and remediate network issues from your desktop. You can download the Engineer’s Toolset at the company Web site. The cost is $995, plus maintenance.