I have about 8 cisco switches, 3 x 2901 routers, 3 x asa 5510 firewalls.
I'm new to the networking arena. what is the best tool to monitor these devices, collect logs, and see the traffic and port status?
I have heard about Netflow, cdp however I'm a bit confused on what I really need.
Free obviously would be best as I don't really have budget at the moment for any sort of monitoring software.
That small? Try Cisco Network Assistant. It's free.
No offense Leolaohoo but at my previous job we had full blown modified version of Nagios (in house engineers tweaked it as it is all SNMP based) that we were using to Monitor large companies networks. I'm talking about companies like Sears, Cocal Cola etc.
If you have programming skills and know SNMP , there is no monitoring tool as powerful as Nagios.