At the end of this month, MicroMuse Inc. will address the scalability issues that have dogged large enterprise users of its NetCool/Omnibus event management software.
The network and systems management tool, widely used among service providers and large enterprises to manage IP networks, was re-architected to be able to handle hundreds of concurrent operators and manage hundreds of millions of network alarms in a day.
Also driving the improved performance and scale of NetCool/Omnibus 3.5 were customers looking to keep up with an increasing number of security alarms and wireless service providers looking to manage their services as they scale, according to Brent Compton, director of product management at London-based MicroMuse. “One customer is a security surveillance service provider. Last year they ran just under eight million security alarms a day, and they expected it to grow to 40 million alarms a day,” he said. The user is working with the NetCool for Security Management option.
“Product scalability is a chronic issue we hear about on a regular basis,” echoed Paul Bugala, senior analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. “It gets more difficult as you try to incorporate more analysis in terms of root cause and add more elements to be managed,” he added.
For large-scale NetCool users who use the tool for a variety of different types of uses, the performance boost is a welcomed relief. “We have project managers, command center users and second-line support using our system,” said one NetCool user, who asked not to be identified.
That NetCool implementation at a large telco supports casual users working on hundreds of projects who access the NetCool system via Web browsers and first-line support users. “We use it for service-level views as well,” added the user.
Netcool 3.5 can now support two-tier or three-tier hierarchical processing cores. The previous version was comprised of a single object server and multiple desktops. The new release allows multiple collection object servers to feed pre-processed data into the central processing core, which is directly accessed by desktops. The three-tier architecture includes both collection object servers and the central object server and adds desktop servers that sit between the central object server and the desktops, distributing the read-only processing load.
: MicroMuse to Tackle Scalability”>
“If the object servers you have cant process data fast enough, you have to go out and buy more. Its frustrating for customers to buy a management solution and find they have to manage the management solution itself by buying additional servers and capacity just to manage the data their probes are compiling,” reacted IDCs Bugala. “Having the right product architecture and processing capability within the product itself is a pressing need,” he added.
Along with the new release, MicroMuse is adding a new NetCool option intended to speed mean time to repair. The new Virtual Operator automates responses to common problems, freeing support personnel to work on more challenging problems.
“There are many alarms that happen every day in an average network that a human has to take action on in exact same way every time,” explained Victor Havard, product management director in Dallas, Texas. For example, a node-down message is pinged to determine if it is a valid alarm. “Thats automatically actionable. If the alarm is resolvable thru the ping, it automatically clears the alarm and a human never needs to see it,” he described.
The Virtual Operator is used for each pre-processing object server implemented in a Netcool system to cut down on the number of alarms that must be processed. That helps to improve performance. At the same time, the Virtual Operator can improve mean time to repair because it can work on multiple alarms at the same time.
Virtual Operator, available now on Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris, is $35,000. A later release will support Linux, IBM AIX and HP-UX.
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