System offers single view
Software released today by network automation vendor Netcordia can supply network administrators with an up-to-date picture of the internal changes that are made at every node of their network, to pinpoint which ones matter.
An upgrade of the company’s flagship NetMRI configuration management toolset, the new software automatically detects all adds, moves and changes made to a network, and picks up where alterations might led to degradation or business service failure.
Whether malicious or inadvertent, change is the number one cause of problems for network mangers.
Netcordia said that two-thirds of network administrators identify internal causes as the greatest threats to network availability, according to its recent survey of nearly 450 network professionals.
Half of the group cited inadvertent changes as their biggest worry. These cause problems because network administrators have to first identify what changes are made, when and by who, and they then need to chase down what business service is impacted.
Configuration and change management is considered one way of addressing the issue. It is also seen as a key element toward streamlining and improving the overall effectiveness of network operations.
Although it is considered as vital to business well-being as a well-run IT asset and service management process, most sites still lack mature network automation tools. “The sector is not as mature as the data centre systems monitoring market perhaps” Netcordia VP Yama Habibzai told us, “ but the level of automation that can be achieved with latest network automation software is actually very high.”
He said that Netcordia’s product is often seen as an alternative to older systems such as Cisco Works, or HP’s Node Manager.
New interfaces and some additional diagnostic capabilities that have added to version 3 of NetMRI outpace anything else on the market, Habibzai said. The system provides administrators with views and summaries of network health that allows for detailed analysis and comparison of different networks and services.
The system will automatically track top problems and troubled devices, monitor trends and hone in on new problems and the most important risks. The upgraded system also improves the way compliance policies are defined and pushed out, he said.