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.”

3-Steps To Increase Your Automated Event Management

3-Steps To Increase Your Automated Event Management

Recent advances in Operational Process Automation at Opmantek means that our MSP customers can deliver exceptional value to their clients; exceeding their SLAs whilst becoming incredibly sticky.

Are you facing any of the challenges below?

  • Cost pressures as clients try to drive down prices.
  • Ability to meet your SLAs due to overworked technical teams.
  • Absolute reliance on one or two technicians to keep your clients happy.
  • Challenges in retaining level 3-4 technical resources.
  • Significant burdens in maintaining accreditation.
  • Managing increasingly complex client networks.
  • Retaining skills associated with client legacy networks.

Resolve these challenges with incredibly rapid ROI and amazingly low TCO

Opmantek has long believed that Operational Process Automation is one of the foundational pillars for a successful network management strategy. A key piece to this is ensuring that actions are undertaken in a consistent manner each time, with no variation from what is outlined as the standard protocol.

This will help you to:

  • Simplify the procedure
  • Reduce cost
  • Deliver consistent outcomes with your agreed SLAs

Through the use of “context sensitive event actions”, you may now replicate troubleshooting actions and escalation procedures, dynamically.

Example Use Case

1. Issue with Cisco Interface Identified

Here’s the event log for the entire network. Our event management system automatically parses incidents on your client’s networks into Events.

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2. Context sensitive action bar initiated

Once a specific event has been identified “Context Sensitive Actions” are displayed against the event either automatically or by guiding your NOC team through the steps to remediate.

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3. Cisco remediation commands executed

The system automatically creates a ticket in the system, pings the affected nodes and Troubleshoots (TS) the Cisco Interface. Once those actions conclude, the results are displayed on the event itself! The operator may now take further action or simply close out the Ticket.

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All of this can happen without the NOC or your client knowing there was ever an issue. Save time, save money and increase your clients’ satisfaction. If you’re interested in taking advantage of these incredible capabilities, please fill in the form below;

Book a Demo

Changes in the Wind at Opmantek

Changes in the Wind at Opmantek

Like every CEO, I was anxious at the beginning of COVID-19. How would that affect the business and staff? So we were expecting the worst and like many companies, we prepared the business and the team for change.

 

Fortunately, for us, just like many businesses, it afforded the team time to think about what they are doing, where they are heading, and what is and isn’t working for them. Just like us, many businesses revaluated their direction and operation. Out of that exploration came improvements to their processes and ways to reduce waste. Everyone got a bit smarter.

 

During 2020, we had a higher engagement than we expected from organisations that saw the importance of their networks and infrastructure. With more people relying on the business’s digital side to get work done and with IT staff working from home, network management became a primary focus for CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs. Heads of IT for all verticals had to ensure that their applications and supporting infrastructure were robust and no surprises. They had to now more than ever support their customers and provide the same level of support to their staff.

 

Network Management and Network Management improvements were no longer on the back burner. They are now front and centre.

 

More and more people were reaching out to us and talking to our teams around the world. Some of the largest organisations joined our family. They chose us as they trusted our team and software to deliver outstanding visibility of their networks and infrastructure, flexibility to fit their business process and great value. Organisations such as NextLink Internet out of Texas signed a 10-year agreement with us. NASA is using us for their next moon mission, Artemis. Only three members of Opmantek were born – yes, they were babies at the time – when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. Now we all get to do a little bit to get the first Woman and next Man on the Moon, a great honour for all of us.

 

We are proud that we have built great software that our customers recognise as the best. However, what makes us all pleased is that our customers believe in our team.

 

[White Paper] NMS Security Architecture Considerations and Approaches

[White Paper] NMS Security Architecture Considerations and Approaches

This whitepaper by Principal Consultant of Neon Knight Consulting Anthony Kirkham covers how organizations can increasing the probability of detecting breaches using actionable guidance that will strengthen their Network Management’s security posture. Download the asset below.


Key Points:

    • How quick detection may be the difference between being able to respond quickly and effectively, or, incurring a severe business and reputational impact.
    • Practical guidance & solutions on securing Network Management systems and associated infrastructure
    • Mitigation Strategies to Prevent Malware Delivery and Execution
    • Mitigation Strategies to Limit the Extent of Cyber Security Incidents
    • Mitigation Strategies to Recover Data and System Availability
    • Tools & techniques can be used to provide high value in improving the security posture through Visibility.
    • Why Align with Zero Trust Architectures
    • & more!

Get the White Paper

SD-WAN la nueva tendencia en gestión de MSP´s

SD-WAN la nueva tendencia en gestión de MSP´s

SD-WAN ha sido tendencia este 2021, en organizaciones que implementan ampliamente la tecnología, principalmente los proveedores de servicios gestionados (MSP’s), ya que permite resolver las limitaciones de ancho de banda que en la actualidad comienzan a ser un problema, cabe mencionar que, esta tecnología mejora la experiencia de los usuarios al utilizar servicios de internet que proporcionan velocidades de descarga superiores a las actuales. “Durante 2020, Doyle Research espera que varios proveedores marginales de SD-WAN salgan del mercado o sean adquiridos”. Por lo que, es de suma importancia que los ejecutivos de TI evalúen cuidadosamente la viabilidad al adquirir una marca de SDWAN, ya que en la actualidad existen varias opciones disponibles y cada una de ellas proporcionara ventajas y desventajas que podría marcar el éxito o fracaso en su operación.

“SDWAN ha aumentado su uso en múltiples plataformas de infraestructura, como lo son (IaaS), Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud y Oracle”. La mayoría de los proveedores de SD-WAN aprovechan el punto de acceso local más cercano que permite a los usuarios conectarse a internet con su proveedor de servicios contratado(ISP), esto ayuda a que se pueda transferir mas rápido la información al punto de presencia mas cercano reduciendo significativamente la latencia, lo cual es de suma importancia para negocios como, tiendas de autoservicio, farmacéuticas, restaurantes, agencias automotrices, entre otras.

Ya que SDWAN esta comenzando a utilizarse de manera gradual, es importante que los proveedores de servicios de internet puedan monitorear lo que pasa dentro de dichas nubes,  por lo que deben evaluar la capacidad que tienen para integrarse sin problemas con gestores/administradores de TI líderes en el mercado, incluida la conectividad desde el gestor hacia el CPE, para observar el desempeño de la sucursal, APIs personalizables, optimización del rendimiento, mapas georreferenciados y visibilidad de eventos de extremo a extremo, es aquí donde Opmantek ayuda a potenciar dichas características para el monitoreo de los CPEs de clientes, así mismo hace posible el monitoreo de los dispositivos que viven en la nube, inclusive si no tienen conectividad a través de ICMP. ¿Esta usted interesado en este tema?, de ser así no dude en contactarnos en latam@opmantek.com, en donde tenemos una solución hecha a la medida de sus necesidades.