[E-Book] How to Manage Capacity Before it Becomes a Problem

[E-Book] How to Manage Capacity Before it Becomes a Problem

This E-book will help you with a simple ‘follow the outline solution’ on how to properly manage capacity, so if you ever have to resolve capacity issues, you are ahead of the curve and ready to implement remediation.

Key Points Discussed:

  • Solutions to deal with Analysis Paralysis
  • How to detect capacity issues through Threshold Management
  • Using Opmantek Products to Manage Capacity
  • Simple Steps When Managing Capacity Issues as Incidents
  • Approaches to Baselining for Monitoring and Support


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[E-Book] 7 Secrets to Managing Technical Teams

[E-Book] 7 Secrets to Managing Technical Teams

This E-Book discusses how to deliver effective management that understands and tailors to both attitudes and actions that gain the best outcomes from your team. This is particularly true when managing engineers and technical teams. Download this E-book now to learn the 7 Secrets To Managing Technical Teams.

Key Points Discussed:

  • Why highlight the importance of great products.
  • Recognise and award problem-solving success.
  • Set objectives, goals and timelines but don’t prescribe processes.
  • How to provide specific feedback both through data and experiences.
  • How to create a developing talent pool.

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[E-Book] Fix Issues with your Network Bandwidth

[E-Book] Fix Issues with your Network Bandwidth

Network bandwidth has always been a precious commodity and given our current circumstances, with so many people working from home, many companies have not had the bandwidth they need in the right places. This E-book builds a foundation for your organization to start taking the right steps to managing your bandwidth.

Key Points Discussed:

  • How to detect bandwidth issues
  • Further diagnose those issues
  • What actions you can take to relieve those bandwidth issues.

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A single pane of glass with opCharts and NMIS

A single pane of glass with opCharts and NMIS

What is a single pane of glass and why is it so important?

The phrase, Single-pane-of-glass is often used as a synonym for a dashboard, however, it is more than that. It is a dashboard that is able to summarise data from multiple sources and display it in a clear and coherent manner on a single screen (pane of glass).
There are a few benefits to using this type of dashboarding in your organization:
Increased visibility – Your operations team can ensure that the status of your network is always visible and issues are quickly noticed.

Reduced operational complexity – Your team will have the ability to see the complete operational environment in a logical display that will reduce any complexity within your infrastructure.

Reduced time to a root cause analysis – There are no silo’s within the organization, all technologies, vendors, operating systems are displayed in a single location.

A true single-pane-of-glass management system will support:

  • Multiple vendors
  • Multiple technologies
  • Multiple operating systems

This management system will also allow you to:

  • See the current state of all systems in one location.
  • See the full history of all systems in one location.
  • Provide operations teams with a single place to login and see live data.
  • Be flexible enough to incorporate new technologies.

An example of a well-designed dashboard is displayed below:

Note the clear layout of all the dashboards, all of the elements are clickable to retrieve live data and be further inspected.

opCharts A Well Designed Dashboard - 700
This can be built for free today using NMIS and opCharts
First, install NMIS, there are two choices in going about doing this:

1. Install NMIS from scratch. Here is a link to an NMIS installation guide available on the Opmantek Community WIKI.

2. Install the Opmantek Virtual Appliance that has NMIS and opCharts already installed and configured, here is the Virtual Appliance Installation guide.

If you installed NMIS from scratch then you need to Install/upgrade opCharts
Install/upgrade opCharts – opCharts Installation Guide
Get a free trial license key for opCharts –  here


How much data is the right amount, and how much is too much?

Before getting into creating a dashboard you should understand what goes into designing a useful dashboard.
1. Limit each dashboard to 5-7 groups of data.
2. Group layout should be organized by data, time- period or visualization.
3. No group should have more than 5-7 data sets.
4. Each data set should be easily distinguishable from the other data sets in the group.
5. Similar data sets across groups should use similar colours/icons.
6. Colours and shapes should be used with purpose and definition.
7. The entire dashboard should be visible at one time, as should each group.

While looking at the image below, we can understand why the dashboard is poorly designed:

opCharts Bad Dashboard - 700

Creating your Single Pane of Glass Dashboard

Now that you understand what separates a well-designed and useful dashboard from a poorly designed one it’s time to create your own.

Start by creating a new dashboard:

Navigate to menu -> Views -> Dashboards

opCharts Create New Dashboard - 700
On the following screen, click the blue “+” icon to create a new dashboard

From this screen you can add data in one of two ways:

1. Give your new dashboard a name, description, and assign it to a dashboard group if required. You can begin by adding components to the dashboard by clicking the add component button. A new component info box will open up and you can select the data you wish to display, change the size of the window and design the dashboard in a way you see fit.

opCharts Save Dashboard - 700

For example, you may want to add a Map you have created to your dashboard, you can do so by navigating to Menu -> Views -> Maps then selecting a previously created map. When the map has been loaded, click the drop-down menu on the top right of the map and select Add to Dashboard.

opCharts Add Map To Dashboard - 700

The add to dashboard menu will open up, select the dashboard name from the drop-down menu that you wish to add the nap to then click save. Once you navigate back to your saved dashboard this map will be displayed. You can follow this same process to add any components to your dashboards.

2. The second way to add data is from the new dashboard screen, click the add component button. This will open up the component info menu allowing you to adjust the width and the height of the component you are adding to your dashboard. After selecting the size, click the data source type drop-down menu to select the desired data for the Dashboard. Once the Data Source Type is selected, another drop-down menu will appear allowing you to choose the specific data point you want to display on the dashboard. You can repeat this process to organize and add as many Components to your Dashboard as you want.

opCharts Add Components - 700

Watch our webinar on dashboard design:

Open Source Software and Chilli Con Carne

Open Source Software and Chilli Con Carne

I am a big proponent of Open Source Software and all the things it has delivered for individuals, organisations and society. Where would we be today if it wasn’t for GNU, Linux, Apache, MySQL (MariaDB), MongoDB, JavaScript, JQuery, Perl, Python and PHP, not to mention NMIS and Open-AudIT?

These and so many earlier Open Source projects were foundational and fundamental to the Internet as it grew and have been the Grand Parents, Uncles and Aunts of the more recent explosion of Open Source projects based around new innovations which would have only been created because of this heritage.

The classic birth of an Open Source project is, “well I really like this (software|language|database) but it does not meet all my requirements, I think I will write one” or “I have this problem and nothing existing really solves this problem the way I need it to, I think I will write one” or even better “this open source (software|language|database) is so good, how could I help to make it better”.

Open Source isn’t all about writing code, people can contribute in all kinds of ways, including testing, documentation, project management, requirements analysis and so much more.

Ultimately for me, Open Source Software is the awesome result of people with diverse backgrounds, skills, experiences and probably most importantly requirements working together to create a solution which embodies the definition of synergy. The result is something which is more generally useful to more people, because of the diversity of this input.

Which brings me to Chilli Con Carne, I love Mexican food, as soon as I first went to Montezuma’s Restaurant in Taringa Queensland as a teenager I have loved Mexican food. From travelling to the USA and then living in California for a while, I learnt about the different types of Mexican, how different Tex-Mex is to Mexican food. More recent trips to Mexico I have learnt how awesome and diverse Mexican cuisine is.

But Chilli Con Carne is not Mexican, it is really Tex-Mex and for me it also brings some of the slow food movement ideas by cooking what you need, using local produce in a traditional way.

I have been cooking Mexican food for years using meal kits and finally, I decided I could do better by doing something myself, so with the help of YouTube and Jamie Oliver, I found a great recipe, which I adapted to what I had and it produced an awesome result.

I was talking to my Opmantek colleagues about it, and they contributed some “code changes” to make it better MarkD suggested smoked paprika instead of paprika, that was an amazing improvement, MarkH sent his Chilli Con Carne recipe and I adopted the brown sugar and chocolate, this added a richness and smoothness to the dish.

Cooking is the ultimate in iterative development, cook, test, taste, improve, repeat. The current iteration of my Chilli Con Carne recipe is included below and it keeps changing and developing as I get new ideas and input from others.

For me, Chilli Con Carne is just like Open Source Software, the product of synergy.

Open Sauce Chilli Con Carne Recipe

I would call this a mild recipe, my kids have eaten this no problem, adding more chilli flakes or using hotter chilli’s would make this as hot as taste prefers.

This batch makes enough to feed 8 with some leftovers, I usually cook a big batch and freeze some convenient meals later.


Mexi Spice Mix

  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Juice from lemon

Vegetables Chopped Roughly

  • 2 rough cut onions
  • 1-2 red capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 1-2 yellow capsicum (bell peppers)
  • 1-2 green capsicum (bell peppers)

Chilli’s cut up fine and remove seeds

(Leave the seeds in if you want some more heat)

  • 1 large Poblano chilli
  • OR 2 Aussie green chilli
  • OR your favourite chilli’s

Other things to add

  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin water, use water from beans
  • Coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tins black beans including water
  • 2 tins red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (optional)
  • 60 grams unsweetened baking choc pieces (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons hot chilli flakes


  • 1.4kg beef chunks



Marinate the Meat

Make the Mexi Spice Mix, combine with meat make sure it is really spread through all the meat. Leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as you have time for, overnight is good, an hour or so is ok.


If you don’t have time to marinade that is OK, just prepare the same way and straight into the pan.

I cook using a large electric fry pan, which works well and I can leave it cooking overnight if I have time.

The intense part (10-15 mins)

  • Hi heat
  • Braised beef on the stove top
  • If not already marinated add in Mexi spices
  • Add in veggies, then tomatoes and black beans and chillis
  • Break cinnamon stick

The easy part (~60 mins)

If you want the chilli thicker, cook uncovered, if you want it thinner, keep it covered.

  • Reduced to cook for 15mins (level 9 180C)
  • Stir and cook for another 15 mins
  • Reduce heat to simmer and check after 15 mins
  • Reduce heat as needed and check every 15 mins

Extra flavour as needed

While cooking check flavour and add as taste proscribes, but add in small doses, stir through and taste again after 10-15 mins.

  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

The relaxing part (as long as you have time for)

  • Cover the dish
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer, probably the lowest setting you have
  • Leave for as long as you can, 2 hours good, 4 hours better, leaving overnight is awesome
  • Keep an eye on total moisture.

Soupy Tip

If too soupy, scoop off some of the liquid and keep as a soup, you can add beans to it and cook it up a little longer, but so much flavour in that soup.


Serve as you like, in a bowl, cover in cheese and add some sour cream, accompanied by corn chips is pretty good.

If you prefer a thicker chilli, serve in soft tacos or burrito wraps.