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.

 

[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 E-Book

4 important Open-Source Network Management Statements Addressed

4 important Open-Source Network Management Statements Addressed

To Open-Source or to not Open-Source, that is the question.

Does your company use Apache, Tomcat or Linux? Do you use Wireshark? If you do, you are already using open-source software.

Open-Source software is cost-effective assuming that you have IT staff, good training, documentation and access to quality support.

Yes, that’s true. But that can be true for any software product that your technical team is responsible for. However, you will blow out costs if you choose the wrong software, lack commitment, have skill set issues, or you suffer from implementation problems or other long term problems.
At Opmantek, we never want this for our customers. Before COVID-19, we offered on site training, which we’ve now switched to remote. (We look forward to meeting our customers again face-to-face.) We have a complete key-turn implementation service (sometimes referred to as white glove). We offer further development and customization to suit your business, advice and recommendations through our consulting services. And most importantly we offer complete support for all our Open-Source and Commercial products.

Open source isn’t counterculture anymore. It’s the establishment.

Klint Finley – Wired.

Open-Source software that comes with commercial modules will provide you access to enterprise features.

True. At Opmantek, our business was initially providing commercial support for the Open-Source products and due to demand for enterprise and MSP features, additional commercial modules were developed to fill customer requests. Our Enterprise Support customers also help guide our product roadmap.

Open-Source software is continually evolving through community activity.
At Opmantek, our community is made up of the Open-Source users, Customers and our staff. We pay our development staff to maintain and continue the development of the open-source products and to support the community as well as improving and maintaining our commercial modules.

Open-Source software support is commercially available for the product.
Opmantek offers commercial support for the Open-Source software. Rather than repeat ourselves you can read all about our support here.

Even Microsoft went from “Linux is a cancer” to “We love Linux”.

They now use and release open-source software such as it’s popular .NET programming framework and they even use Linux to run parts of its cloud service Azure and have shared their own Linux tools within the community.

Open-source software is not a dirty fork, it’s the way of the future.

Background:
Opmantek provides Open-Source software NMIS and Open-AudIT community and continues to provide commercial support for these products for almost 10 years. Opmantek has further developed these products over the years, while keeping them open-source and offering commercial enhancements (Enterprise features, MSP features, huge scaling capabilities and automation) via additional modules that make up Opmantek’s Automated Network Management Software. It can be used on any network and monitor any device.