Packet Pushers: Detect, Diagnose, And Act Podcast

Packet Pushers: Detect, Diagnose, And Act Podcast


Podcast: Download (46.2MB)
Keith Sinclair, CTO and progenitor of NMIS, joins Greg Ferro on Packet Pushers

They discuss:

  • What NMIS does and how it works
  • Protocol support including SNMP, WMI, SSH, RESTful APIs, and more
  • The persistence of SNMP
  • Opmantek’s approach of detect, diagnose, and act
  • Automation capabilities
  • How NMIS uses dashboards, portals, and maps

What have we Learnt through Navigating in an Economic Downturn & Pandemic?

What have we Learnt through Navigating in an Economic Downturn & Pandemic?

Between suffering from uncertainty to naturally flourishing, the ability to adapt out of dead market space will have made all the difference for your business in the past year. Whether you are in a country that is on track for normality or being hit by a new wave of infections – All businesses have needed to evolve.

 

For those of us operating in the tech industry, we have experienced several significant economic events – especially the .com crash of 2000 and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. We know what happens during an economic slowdown while there are some unique factors at play in relation to COVID-19; here is what we have learned.

 

Innovation should not be put off

Undergoing a 3-year change progression in a mere month was and continues to be a reality for many businesses across the globe. On countless occasions funds have been pulled from investments, particularly those in technology; deemed as a costly non-essential to cut in order to keep the boat floating. However, innovation needs to be cultivated and fed, without businesses prioritising technology their future fitness will remain grim. Opmantek’s automated network management tools were built on the premise of empowering companies. These tools give users the flexibility to operate in diverse environments with speed and scale at a fraction of the cost so you can keep innovating.

 

Having healthy finances is necessary

In the IT industry, an error caused by a triggered event in your network could cost a wave of rippling expenses. During periods of economic uncertainty what you don’t know can hurt you. Utilising technology such as one of Opmantek’s opEvents will reduce the impact of network faults and failures using proactive event management. Adding tools such as these to your arsenal allows you to gleam intelligent insights to make educated data and cost-effective driven decisions.

 

Optimising your data is the way forward

Your market no matter which side of it you are on has changed, so your business needs to change with it. More data, more data, more data, let’s face it cultivating and finding quality data is a superpower. So how is it possible to see it all? How can it be automatically configured and how can you keep up with it when it changes? Most organizations cannot give accurate location data of their assets, Open-AudIT gives you this information in seconds. Reduce the degree of uncertainty and make data-driven decisions, simply by running tools such as Open-AudIT to develop meaningful reports and resources. Optimising your data is the way forward, to learn how you can audit everything on your network with Open-AudIT book a demo session with our experts here.

 

Continual agility across all facets of business will be imperative to navigate through the next phase of this economic climate. Those that are familiar with nimble project management within the software development world – use similar methods in your financials too –be very conscious that your ability to plan twelve months is now a lot lower than it used to be and you need to undertake agile planning and forecasting. This will be a time of continual change however by; continually pushing innovation and utilising tools that give you the best possible view of your data to drive decision-making process, the path forward will be a lot clearer to navigate.

 

How to Manage Complex Event Responses

How to Manage Complex Event Responses

Managing complex event responses can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right automated network management software, the process is simpler than ever. Let’s take a look at how an automated system can help you manage complex event responses.

 

What is a Complex Adaptive System (CAS)?

Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) are made up of components (or agents) in a dynamic network of interactions that are designed to adapt and learn according to changing events. These interactions may be affected by other changes in the system and are non-linear and able to feed back on themselves. In the Australian healthcare system, for example, complex adaptive systems have been used to analyse systematic changes.

The overall behaviour of a CAS is not predicted by the behaviours of the agents individually. The past of CAS systems is partly responsible for their present behaviour and they are designed to evolve over time.

 

Event automation and remediation using opEvents

opEvents is an advanced fault management and operational automation system designed to make event management easier than ever. With opEvents, you can improve your business’s operational efficiency and decrease the workload of your staff by expanding on NMIS‘s efforts and improving automated response techniques using scientific methods.

opEvents elevates NMIS’s Notification, Escalation and Thresholding systems by blacklisting and whitelisting events, handling event flap, event storms and event correlation and supporting custom email templates for each of your contacts.

Basic event automation

In order to carry out event automation successfully, there are a few simple steps that you need to take:

1. Network management – identify the top network events you respond to frequently (daily, weekly, etc.)
2. List the steps you take – troubleshooting and remediating – when the issue occurs
3. Identify how these steps can be automated
4. Create an action to respond to the event

Let’s take a look at how opEvents handles events natively:

Event action policy

Event Action policy is a flexible mechanism that dictates how opEvents reacts when an event is created. The policy outlines the order of actions as well as what actions are executed by using nested if/then statements.

Event correlation

Setting event correlation helps reduce event storms inside opEvents. opEvents will use rules that are outlined to group events together and create a synthetic event that contains event information from all events that have been correlated.

Event escalation

opEvents allows for custom event escalations for unacknowledged events. You can set custom rules based on your business or customers.

Event scripts

Events can call scripts that can be used to carry out actions such as troubleshooting, integration or remediation.

Event deduplication

All events that are related to stateful entities are automatically checked against the recent history of events and the known previous state of this entity.

Developing a CAS system

In order to develop a CAS system, it’s essential to complete the following steps:

1. Identify an individual event
2. List the steps you take – troubleshooting and remediating – when the issue occurs
3. Decide what automated action(s) can and should be carried out (data collection, remediation)
4. Identify who needs to be contacted, when (working hours, after hours, weekends) and how (Email, text, service desk)
5. Decide what should happen over time if the event is not acknowledged (remains active)

 

If you would like to learn more about Opmantek’s event management services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team or request a demo.

Why IP Address Management Is Important

Why IP Address Management Is Important

Whether you’re a small organization or an enterprise, efficient management of IP addresses can be the difference between a functional network and an inaccessible service.

Increasing complexities, growing device numbers, Cloud Computing, IoT and BYOD continue to heighten the importance of managing your IP address space.

Relying on manual record keeping for network connectivity and core business functions can prove risky, even for the most organized of spreadsheets.

What’s Needed for an Efficient IP Address Management Strategy

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Accuracy

Accurate IP delegation and record keeping, ensuring no conflict or associated service outages.
opAddress can allocate and track IP addresses dynamically. Search, view and manage address information, ensuring a critical information baseline is established.

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Simplicity

An easy to use system that minimizes data entry, making the process for IT teams faster, more efficient, and less tedious
With powerful out-of-the-box capabilities, opAddress requires little or no configuration. Automatically discover the network addressing of production networks and quickly edit or reallocate addresses as needed.

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Security

Accurate, up-to-date data to help identify new devices and ensure only those authorized are on your network.
New data is captured and recorded by opAddress every thirty minutes.
Gain full visibility over IP address by device and analyze historical information.

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Scalability

Future proofing and capacity planning to accommodate increasing device numbers and network complexities.
opAddress is extensible to grow with your business. Handle complex environments such as multiple tenancies, subdomains and overlapping address spaces with ease.

Ready to see what opAddress and NMIS9 can do for your organization?

Book a Demo

Using a Commercial and Open Source approach to Tackle Network Assurance

Using a Commercial and Open Source approach to Tackle Network Assurance

Join Keith Sinclair as he joins the Passionate About OSS Podcast and talks about how using open source software is a key building block to running your networks. The podcast is also available on Anchor.fmSpotifyGoogle PodcastsRSSPocket CastsBreakerRadioPublic or streamed below;

Show Notes

Have you noticed the rise in trust, but also the rise in sophistication in Open Source OSS/BSS in recent years? There are many open-source OSS/BSS tools out there. Some have been built as side-projects by communities that have day jobs, whilst others have many employed developers / contributors. Generally speaking, the latter are able to employ developers because they have a reliable revenue stream to support the wages. Our guest on this episode, Keith Sinclair, has made the leap from side-project to thriving OSS/BSS vendor whilst retaining an open-source model. His product, NMIS, has been around since the 1990s, building on the legendary work of other open-source developers like Tobias Oetiker. NMIS has since become one of the flagship products for his company, Opmantek. Keith and the team have succeeded in creating a commercial construct around their open-source roots, offering product support and value-add products. Keith retraces those steps, from the initial discussion that triggered the creation of NMIS, its evolution whilst he simultaneously worked at organisations like Cisco, Macquarie Bank and Anixter, through to the IP buy-out and formation of Opmantek, where he’s been CTO for over 10 years. He also describes some of the core beliefs that have guided this journey, from open-source itself, to the importance of automation, scalability and refactoring. The whole conversation is underpinned by a clear passion for helping SysAdmins and Network Admins tackle network assurance challenges at service providers and enterprises alike. Having done these roles himself, he has a powerful empathy for what these people face each day and how tools can help improve their consistency and effectiveness. For any further questions you may have, Keith can be found at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kcsinclair Disclaimer. All the views and opinions shared in this podcast, and others in the series, are solely those of our guest and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the organisations discussed.
opEvents Prevents Event Storms During A Snowstorm

opEvents Prevents Event Storms During A Snowstorm

I dropped into a quarterly business review that one of the Account Managers was doing with one of our customers last week. I like to do this from time to time to hear it for myself directly from the customer. It helps me understand the customers and gives me an opportunity to discuss our platform post sale and integration.

This particular customer is a Telecommunications Carrier out of North America who runs a lot of wireless and fibre and are rapidly expanding.

The Head of Network Operations was on the call, and for the purposes of keeping the identity private, let’s call him Joe.

Joe talked about the snowstorms and how it impacts their network and field services team. The way it works is that the NOC team gets an alert, does some diagnosis and decides what process needs to occur. To send field service staff means that the problem is something that cannot be remotely fixed. Sending the team out in bad weather to work on wireless equipment is hard on the people who do the work, but at the end of the day, to quote Joe, “we pride ourselves on great customer service.”

Before this customer had opEvents installed, they would have a high rate of field service calls that would result in no fault found during snowstorms. This means that the field services team were not being sent to fix real field related problems. For any company with a field services team, you know how important it is to send these guys to real problems.

The impact for the customer was that to clear all the events would take days, with over 50% being false reports.

During recent snowstorms, opEvents would handle the alert and find the source problem. The NOC team then could send the field services team out in the snow to investigate and fix the problems. Joe said that the level of accuracy in the alerts was fantastic and the NOC and Field Services Team rebuilt their trust and had confidence that they were being sent to a real fault.

When Joe studied the impact that the Opmantek Platform brought to the table, opEvents reduced event storms to zero, deduplication was no longer a problem and only pushed real events to the team. Field service calls were reduced and the network was brought back to normal in half the time.

“We had a lot of competitors’ customers switch to us during the snowstorms. The amount of downtime we suffered was minimal as we were right on top of any faults, we knew where they were and their severity and deployed our field services team accurately. It puts us ahead of the market.”