Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So many tools, so many problems

It seems like many of my more "complex" legacy tools are not setup "right" for what we want to do. I'm always struggling with some of these products.

A good example today is HP NNM which is our MPLS, and topology manager. The main goals of the tool are to build a layer 2/3 topology and do server and upstream suppression to avoid alarm floods. Of course none of it works right, and it's a constant main in the rear. We have tried on many occasions to fix this with the help of HP. We have tried numerous suggestions.

Finally I got on the phone today with a product manager and got the real story. We can implement some changes which would fix it for now, the downside we'd lose some of our DR capabilities. The product wasn't designed to actually operate in a DR type of way (strange for a market leading product). They have a new version coming out in roughly a year which should fix this, and we'd have to re-architect the infrastructure yet again.

    The good news is that we are ahead of HP and we've been using products they have recently acquired. Our use of these products and the fact that we are ahead of the game makes them want to talk to us. This is a good thing, because we can help create the future for them. Its helps us and it helps them.

    In the meantime, I'm deciding if we can afford to do a short term fix, and then a major re-architecture in a year. I want to investigate IBM Precision, as its really slick and nice integration to Netcool Omnibus/Webtop would make our lives easier. It's really going to be a matter of cost and functionality. We looked at Precision several years ago when it was a Micromuse product, it was recently acquired by them and the product was not "working" in our environment. It was a young product, and its been completely rewritten since then. I have high hopes, we'll see how the POC goes, which should be well underway in early December.


Anonymous said...

Q1: What version of NNM ?

Q2: Were you able to get extended topology to correctly discover your entire network ?

Q3: Did you have APA enabled ?

You have a huge complex network and I am curious how well extended topology did in discovering your entire network to even allow APA to work.


jkowall said...

We are on 7.5 right now, and we will be testing 8i unless we decide to toss NNM for Precision.

We do have discovery working, extended topology, MPLS SPI. RAMS SPI is not working due to us not able to use APA.

We cannot use APA as we have a fully redundant/HA environment. APA doesn't support that setup yet. We may change (and lose proper DR and resiliency).

Anonymous said...

Now I understand your previous comment that you could implement some changes now but lose some DR capabilities.

Thx for the info. I never knew NNM APA couldn't currently work with NNM HA deployment.