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.

5 Mistakes Evaluating NMS You Need To Avoid

5 Mistakes Evaluating NMS You Need To Avoid

So, your boss has just set up a blend of different software products or a SaaS product to take care of the network monitoring. Did your boss really do you a favour or just add to your headache? Has the situation truly improved, or do you just have more unresolved problems?

 

These are the five most common complaints we hear and solve on day one out of the box.

 

1. Too Many Alerts.

This is probably the most common problem with monitoring tools. Everything is turned on either out of the box or by the administrator’s choosing and organizations must rely on the logs to get the information they need. There is a fear of missing something but setting up alerts should be a thoughtful process, standardized amongst your team, and carefully chosen. Careful and well-considered Integrations with other tools like email, SMS, and ticketing systems are essential – but you can’t be inserting and sending out junk or it will be ignored.

 

2. The monitoring tool is indeed the resource hog and has a slow database.

Many popular monitoring tools are built on Microsoft technology using multiple on-premises servers. To scale, it usually takes building a replica of your multiple server setup and additional software licensing costs (Microsoft Server, SQL and the Monitoring Tool) every time you add a server. Then there’s the ongoing operational management of the multiple servers. With so much data constantly processed, the user experience is slow and poor.

 

3. One size does not fit all / no access to the API.

Many popular tools now are built in the cloud, and you do not own your data. Your data may be rolled up, removed, or you only have access to specific periods of your data. It is no good for longer-term trending or baseline troubleshooting. You need complete API access to your data to integrate it into your business operations.

 

4. Security.

Supply chain attacks are becoming more frequent. We all know what happened this year with many Telecommunications, Managed Service Providers, Internet Service Providers, the US Federal Government forced to turn off their monitoring tools. While patches were developed to work around the issue, the depth of what the hackers got is still not well understood. I feel for MSPs as their SLAs are destroyed. Hopefully, those force majeure clauses get interpreted favourably.

With an on-premise platform, you have to control it 100%. Complete control ensures that the product works within your security parameters.

 

5. Automation.

If you have installed many different tools, setting up some automation between them is extremely difficult. Furthermore, the automation breaks when you need to update or reconfigure one or more underlying applications for other reasons (e.g. Security). A SaaS solution may have various actions that they class as automation; however, they lack the flexibility you need for your environment.

 

Here at Opmantek, we have a strong belief that monitoring tools should be customizable. We believe this helps the overall flexibility, extensibility, scalability and security posture of your organization, ensuring that in the end, you get what you’re really after and that is less downtime!

 

Solve these five problems and more – > ask us how

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.
Additional User Security Standards

Additional User Security Standards

Opmantek is excited to announce improved security monitoring across our software suite through best-in-class ISO 27001 Access Control.

 

This latest update enables administrators to access three new core functions:

  1. Limit setting on concurrent Opmantek software sessions per user
  2. Set automatic account locking for inactive users
  3. Track user login and access history

 

Take advantage of these new features right now by downloading the latest version of NMIS. 

Technical documentation of this new feature can be found here.

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.