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: 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.
[White Paper] An IT Managers guide to Network Process Automation

[White Paper] An IT Managers guide to Network Process Automation

This guide is designed for IT Managers looking to implement Network Process Automation in their organisation.

Key Points:

  • Focus on good operational practices.
  • Picking the right tasks.
  • Handling of common issues through automation.
  • Mapping out the automation process.
  • Time savings.
  • Checklist.

The guide discusses the best approach for change management and team buy-in, provides a methodology framework to use when considering the automation of a manual task in a network environment and the steps to take in order to identify an effective test case for your organization.

Get the White Paper

Network Process Automation, focus on tasks

Network Process Automation, focus on tasks

The most successful IT projects that I have been involved in are those where change management and user acceptance  have been recognised as a top priority.  With research organisations citing that up to 47% of jobs will be lost to robotisation it has never been more important to have user support for an automation project.


At the recent Automate 2019 conference, many of our customers and partners shared their experiences in introducing automation to their organisations and it seems that no matter the size or complexity of the organisation, one key response always emerged when this type of project was announced to staff and management.  FEAR.  People were terrified that in supporting an automation project, they were potentially putting their job at risk of being taken over by robots.


Whilst businesses are going to see automation create new ways of working and creating value, what needs to be clearly communicated to staff and stakeholders prior to undertaking an automation project is that it is more than likely that process automation will enhance their performance in their current position, rather than take the position away.


When introducing process automation to a business, it is the ongoing, repeated, time-consuming TASKS that will yield the best outcomes for automation and these are the processes that will be replaced.


To get your staff thinking more positively about the benefits of automation, ask them to think about the time that is spent each day on running and analyzing reports, making configuration changes across multiple machines, recording change and maintenance requests – they will soon realise that these tasks that will likely be automated are actually the preliminary steps that must be taken in order for them to complete a job.  So by automating these tasks, your staff can actually complete their job more efficiently and effectively!


It is not the tasks that are completed but the outcomes that are produced that indicate a job well done.  If your staff see their value as their ability to input or output data, they will lose to robots.  If they understand that their value comes from the other creative and intangible skills that they bring to a role, they will realise that there is little to fear.


To take a look at some of the ways that Opmantek customers have used automation to enhance their network operations, improve efficiencies and to move from a responsive rather than a reactive operation model, contact us and we can show you how we have successfully implemented this for other organizations.

Managing Network Agility and Digital Diversity is Essential for IT teams in 2019

Managing Network Agility and Digital Diversity is Essential for IT teams in 2019

It’s that time of year when every research organisation and tech magazine is sharing their top trends for 2019.  When it comes to IT Infrastructure and Operations Management trends, the focus is on catering for larger, more diverse networks and ensuring security and compliance as more and more ‘things’ are connected to an enterprise network.

According to Gartner’s Top 10 Trends Impacting Infrastructure & Operations for 2019 Network Agility (or lack of?) and Digital Diversity Management should be key focus areas for this year.

Network agility (or lack of?)

Moving forward we will continue to see our networks underpinning critical business processes across a broader range of connected devices.  Network teams over the past few years have been focused on increasing availability but to ensure future success the focus needs to go beyond this and on to how all network operations can be performed at greater speed.  RPA and building greater network agility that delivers automation and orchestration is key to success in this area.

“Network teams must collaborate heavily with other business units as new opportunities in 5G and edge computing arise”

As cloud-based infrastructure becomes more prevalent and the scale of ‘things’ and endpoints increase, networks will need to evolve to cope with the increased stress that it will create on the network.

Digital diversity management

When Gartner refers to Digital diversity management, they are not talking about people, but rather the growing combination of new, obscure and ageing assets and technologies that are now being utilised within modern organisations.

”The importance of identifying, discovering and monitoring those that directly impact or support the business cannot be understated”

Maintaining accurate inventory and ensuring visibility and management of assets are major challenges that will emerge between 2020 and 2025.

What can I do to get ahead of the trend?

Opmantek software leads the way in IT Audit and Network Automation and Management for large and diverse networks. With over 10,000 hardware vendors preconfigured and a unique device modelling feature that enables you to discover, monitor and manage ANY DEVICE.  For a free demonstration on how Opmantek Software can help you gain control of the networks of the future fill out the form below.

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