Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Onaro Sanscreen

We have been trying (since our last major storage outage in November 2006) to get this product configured properly for our environment. The issue is that we run so much old software to manage our storage that it's a constant struggle to get things working together. Our storage team is too busy to devote time to getting products to help them operational. We need to come up with a plan to keep management software current. This includes all of our tools.

The product is excellent for the operational needs, but it's not something that I think our team would use well in engineering. I do see value in the storage architects using the product. We'll see how it pans out. The salespeople at Onaro are very aggressive, which can make them hard to deal with.

On a side note, their performance product looks very nice, and it's something the business side has been trying to get for years.

Network configuration management – Wrap Up

I am working on wrapping up a couple of projects so I haven't been blogging as much. I am currently finishing up our network configuration management project. It's been going very well and we are finding so many uses for the technology:

Here is a snippet from our business case on the product:

This product enables large amounts of functionality that we don't currently have from the CiscoWorks LME implementation. The major advantages are multi-vendor support (Cisco Wireless, Cisco, Nortel, Checkpoint, PIX, and F5). The product tracks all changes, captures configurations, and allows for software and configuration upgrades centrally. It allows for dynamic complex grouping, enabling us to track the environment when devices are added and removed. The tool allows for policy management, inventory, and vulnerability management. Ability to proxy into the legacy environment to manage devices we've never been able to access. Opsware NAS allows for the sharing of information, by advanced reporting and dashboarding. These reports allow for reporting to auditors and customers (Business).


 

Other major benefits of the tool:

  1. Switch port utilization and capacity
  2. Checking and fixing DST compliance across network devices. (corrected several hundred devices). This is what the Server product would have helped us with as well.
  3. Generate inventory reports to allow for verification of maintenance renewals. Reports included serial numbers, modules, models, and IOS versions.
  4. Update access controls, and enable passwords across large numbers of devices easily.
  5. Port capacity planning, and switch port utilization for future switch purchases.
  6. Dynamic grouping allows for inventory to be grouped and reported on by business ownership.
  7. The GSOC was given a large list of IP addresses of virus-infected machines.  The only way to find these machines previously was to hop from switch to switch tracing out the MAC addresses/IP addresses via MAC tables, cam tables, etc until a switch port can be identified.  Opsware does this in second with its search for addresses "seen from port" feature
  8. Ability to track what and by whom devices were changed. This has been in use on various occasions to avoid outages and finger pointing.


 

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Research group?

Can someone please post comments on these questions.

Does anyone here work for a software or IT company?

If you do, and you design product, or deal with software/IT architectures, how much time do you spend doing research?

How much of that time do you spend using Analysts and web searches?

Qualifying technology and direction?

Do you have an internal department which does research, and helps coordinate that stuff? I find that lots of people who use the analyst seats are the senior management, and those people don't need to use analysis. I am fighting over Gartner right now, but it's very frustrating.

DST?

Its funny how many of my house appliances and cars and such just have the Daylight Savings Time hardcoded. It's going to be a pain, because not only will they not change this weekend, but they will change in a month or two. I've heard a little press about the change, but it will cause outages and issues. It will not be the non-issue that year 2000 was when it happened.

As for my company, it has been in planning at our company since August 2006, but it wasn't seriously engaged until January 2007. We've been frantic trying to get things fixed in time. We have done as much as we can, so we'll see how it affects us.

If we had better auditing, and deployment tools this would have been a lot easier to manage. I am hoping that this gives me and ammunition that I need to convince people to start taking this more seriously. We will start a larger Opsware SAS pilot once DST has passed, and we've fixed those issues which popped up.