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.

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.

How To Thrive In A Post-Covid Era: 10 Predictions For Enterprise Network Infrastructures

How To Thrive In A Post-Covid Era: 10 Predictions For Enterprise Network Infrastructures

An enterprise network serves as the foundation for reliably connecting users, devices and applications, providing access to data across local area networks and the cloud, as well as delivering crucial insight into analytics.

But in the wake of a year that was no doubt shaped by COVID-19 and the disruption it brought to the industry, how have enterprise networks been impacted, and what are the requirements moving forward?

What were previously technology nice-to-haves and future infrastructure intentions, are now swiftly becoming business imperatives.

In this blog, we’ll explore our top 10 predictions for network infrastructure in 2021.

 

1.   Cloud Application Delivery

 

The traditional office-based-model has no doubt permanently changed and flexible working arrangements brought forward by the pandemic will continue. A Boston Consulting study from last year found that 63% of employees want a hybrid model whereby they continue to work from home part of the time.

Organizations will further turn to the cloud for application delivery, placing an investment in remote connectivity and new security functionality.

 

2.   Businesses Turn to Big Data and Analytics

 

The requirement for businesses to be agile, change and adapt is more prevalent than ever, and decision-makers need to identify trends and ultimately stay ahead of the curve through outcomes-based strategies.

Big data is becoming an imperative tool in every organization’s arsenal, though its presence is superfluous without the appropriate means to disseminate and analyse it.

We predict this will drive the recruitment of data professionals and further, the simplification in data management through self-service means, accessible to non-data-professionals.

“It’s really about democratizing analytics. It is really about getting insight in a fraction of the time with less skill than is possible today.” – Rita Sallam, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

 

3.   The Year of Mass Adoption for Cognitive / Artificial Intelligence

 

With big data, comes big responsibility and moreover – big processing requirements, which is where AI will be heavily recruited.

2021 will be the year of mass adoption for AI, as businesses of all levels have experienced a paradigm shift into a digital-first model. Corporate networks have been tested through remote working arrangements, uncovering major reliability issues and security threats. IT leaders are looking for a set and forget solutions that automatically provide optimization and security, which is where software such as Opmantek’s NMIS, opEvents, opConfig and Open-AudIT can assist.

Opmantek software is a key system used by IT operations teams across all industries — it acts as the dashboard of a car and tells them how fast everything is going and lets them know when something is faulty. It even predicts future faults, and that’s a big part of the AI. The longer you run our software, the smarter it gets — it learns about your IT Infrastructure and starts to automatically manage it better and deliver better information to the IT operations team.” said Danny Maher, Chairman of Opmantek .

 

4.   Hybrid Clouds in High Demand

 

Agility, speed, security, scalability and compliance are all considerations for IT decision-makers.

Though, there’s never a blanket / one size fits all solution for every business use case, and so the demand for hybrid cloud environments will continue to grow. The traditional model of cloud providers is that of a one-stop-shop. However, we predict as demand grows; cloud market leaders will introduce greater interoperability and further allow users to introduce cloud tools across their existing on-campus networks. Collaboration between cloud providers may even be on the cards as users demand greater flexibility.

 

5.   Networking Virtualization

 

Network virtualization offers many benefits by automating and simplifying processes, including network configuration flexibility, improved control over-segmentation, speed, increased security and cost savings.

According to research by Spiceworks, 30% of businesses currently use network virtualization technology — and an additional 14% plan to use it within the next 2 years.

 

6.   Unified Communication And Collaboration Tools Are Here To Stay

 

End-user adoption is often one of the greatest barriers for IT professionals looking to implement new software. However, seemingly overnight, employees were catapulted into a reality where unified communications as a service (UCaaS) was no longer just an occasional collaboration tool, but rather a necessity of the employment.

We have changed our habits and the way in which we do business. Even as the workforce begin to transition back to office or hybrid office/work from home environments, there’s no doubt that UCaaS is here to stay. Providers will introduce new functionality and continue to diversify their offering to accommodate hybrid working in 2021.

 

7.   WiFi Gets an Upgrade

 

Businesses and consumers alike want things faster, easier and more efficient, and WiFi is no exception. Enter WiFi 6e.

6e not only offers new airwaves for routers to use, but it doesn’t require overlapping signals.

One of the major benefits of 6e is a reduction in network congestion, specifically in areas where users are closely spaced.  As the pandemic continues to unfold, rush hour and crowded spaces are less of an issue, so it may be a waiting game as to when in 2021 we realise 6e’s true potential.

 

8.   IoT (Internet of Things) – More than just Alexa

 

As digital transformation is on the rise, so is IoT and its use cases. A SecurityToday article forecasted that by 2021 there would be 35 billion IoT devices installed worldwide.

IoT is already revolutionizing the way key industries do business, however, healthcare will double down in 2021. Reduced access to face-to-face medical contact has accelerated the need for remote care, and according to Allied Market research – the global internet of things in the healthcare market is expected to reach $332.672 billion by 2027.

 

9.   A Focus on Cybersecurity

 

In light of recent high profile cybersecurity attacks which infiltrated private companies, state and federal organizations by inserting malicious code into trusted software; cybersecurity and secure network monitoring will be paramount.

If you have data or services of value, you need to protect it properly. Keith Sinclair – CTO & Co-founder of Opmantek says, “It is critical to business continuity and data security that you have security controls in your environment to mitigate risk.”

 

10.    Infrastructure Management Software Leveraged

 

Application demands are continuing to grow and networks must respond. Network professionals must find means of simplifying these increasingly complex systems and environments. Here’s where automated network management software will be leveraged.

Opmantek Software serves to augment a network engineering or system administration role. As well as emulating actions that network engineers take within a network management system, it can also perform advanced maintenance tasks, assist in the interpretation of network data and communicate effectively with other digital systems in order to categorise, resolve and escalate potential network issues.

 

 

For more information about Opmantek and the services we provide, get in touch. Our network engineers are available to chat through specific issues you may be facing within your own network environment.

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[White Paper] Optimizing and Automating Event Management to Support Incident Management

[White Paper] Optimizing and Automating Event Management to Support Incident Management

This guide is designed for those who’d like to find a better way to filter out and optimize the amount and type of events showing up in their operations team’s Inbox; providing the information needed to troubleshoot and resolve incidents on their network, before the customers and the business sees the issue. 

 

Download this White Paper by Network Operations Expert Rob Pavone for strategies and solutions on reducing the organization’s mean time to resolution (MTTR), eliminate the unnecessary “noise” seen from the event notifications & more. 

Key Points:

    • What the difference is between Events & Incidents
    • How to Filter, correlate and suppress Event Notifications
    • Learn proactive ways to automate, detect, diagnose and action events
    • Enriching Event Information to support incident management
    • What are the musts for integrated management processes & tracking tools
    • How to use Opmantek’s tools to specifically support your solutions
    • Case study solutions on how to reduce your teams MTTR (the Opie Challenge)

Get the E-Book