Sunday, August 27, 2006

MPLS monitoring and engineering tools

We have holes in our tools regarding our new MPLS network. We have a private backbone almost completed. When finished, sometime Q4'06 or Q1'07, it would have 8 P nodes, ~40 PEs, and ~120 CE. One OSPF domain and one CONFED BGP with sub-AS in each region. All P and most PEs are Cisco 7600/SUP7203BXL running 12.2(18)SXD1 and will be upgrading soon to SXF train. We also have PEs those are 7200VXR IOS 12.4(5)a.

The tools needed are to do provisioning, engineering, and monitoring the VPN links we are building on the MPLS network. We are looking into existing tools we own to see what they cover. I will post updates as we get our list of requirements answered and do more research. The companies we are looking at are : Lucent (vital), Cisco, HP, Opnet, and other smaller vendors.

Predictive Monitoring Tools

I was prepping a POC with Proactivenet, and they were pushing on me using the "Proactivenet" agent on my systems. Deploying another agent was not possible, existing tools and agents would have to be leveraged in order to do the correlation, statistical baselining, correlation, and predictive failure. The ability to absorb metrics and data from HP Openview Operations (Windows and Unix) would not be ready until November. The POC is dead until then.

Netuitive is my second vendor the POC with them is now being scoped and accelerated. They will support the agents that we have already purchased and deployed everywhere (approx 3,000 agents). The tool is also much better because they are looking at the low level metrics, versus the collected data that Proactivenet is using. We shall see as these products are fully deployed and tested.

More soon....

BI Updates

I am testing some BI tools:

Microsoft Proclarity
Microstrategy
Panorama Novaview

The POC built on Microstrategy, but need to build a few more reports and such. Next week Panorama will be in working on the POC. Microstrategy is good, but the client and configuration are rather arcane. The web based tools are great, which is most of what my consumers will be using. If they have to use the Desktop product they will be confused, which I don't think is going to be a good fit for us. Microsoft Analysis Services, which are what the other 2 products are the front end to. The cubes and metrics need to be built, which is what I will be doing over the next week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Been rather busy

I have been out of touch with my blog readers recently due to being very busy with work and personal things. I had a few trips and visitors for both work and fun.

Back to the technology... I am working hard on evaluating some BI vendors: Microsoft Proclarity, Panorama, and Microstrategy. So far I am much happier dealing with the Microsoft analysis services that Panorama and Proclarity are based on. Not to mention that the pricing I am getting is much cheaper from those 2 vendors. I will continue to build my POCs and show them internally.

I am also working on some management tool consolidation from Symantec I3, CA Spectrum, and other tools. A lot of the work is in architecture still, but we are also doing some implementation.

We are evaluating proactivenet in the next week or two as well. More soon.