Many cash-strapped UK government bodies are spending on network management tools offering features that they either don’t need, or will never use. And they appear unable to easily gather fundamental data about the growing number of devices on their network.
Any large city puts its network of traffic signals to a severe test during drive-time rush hours as cars, trucks and other conveyances stream through the city. That’s why a major Canadian city came to Ipswitch for a network monitoring solution to monitor equipment installed in hundreds of traffic locations throughout its sprawling metropolis.
By the time a network manager at a Midwestern U.S. non-profit organization called us for help, his 5 year-old wireless infrastructure was buckling under BYOD. Employees trying to work during lunch were complaining that their applications were slowing or even failing to operate.
Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes to us from Joe, a network administrator from an electronics company that was growing fast. When he started his new job he was surprised to find that the company used what he called a “primitive” system for communication between the help desk and the IT operations network monitoring team.
Today’s tale from the front lines of network monitoring comes to us from Edgar, a systems administrator at a bank in Northern Europe. Edgar has been at the bank long enough to know the systems inside and out, but his expertise was challenged each time the bank acquired a smaller bank or merged with a rival. The new banks had different systems and plenty of custom applications.
Today’s tale from the front lines of network management comes to us from a company that’s been in business for eleven decades. They’re a logistics company with offices around the U.S. And they literally started with a horse and a cart. They have bought several companies along the way, keep their eyes on the future, and learned the value of technologies that help them grow.
The IT life was simpler when employees each had one desktop computer and one landline phone. Technology did not move. It was stationary. Nowadays we have laptops, smart phones, and tablets that are both mobile and connected. And they have no wires. You are told that applications are mission critical, expected to be accessible by people at a speed that optimizes productivity, and available to people inside and outside the organization. And who else wants access all the time? Hackers and other online criminals. As if you had enough to worry about.
As a product manager of an integrated solution suite, it’s interesting to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between traditional systems management (OS deployment, inventory, software delivery, patching, monitoring) and its major trends (security, virtualization, cloud, efficient data centers) with network management (deployment and configuration, backup/restore, monitoring, traffic analysis, Quality of Service) and networking trends (mobile devices, cloud, virtualization, larger networking demands). There are many similarities between these two IT focus areas and I will “blog” about several aspects as I tie-in and compare systems management with network management over the next year. One similarity that is particularly easy to spot and “leaps off the page” for me relates to discovery. In fact, it ALL starts with discovery.
In my current role I speak to a lot of network engineers trying to automatically map their network topology. Actually it’s more than that, they don’t just want to discover devices, the want a port level diagram of exactly how all their switches, routers, servers, workstations, phones, firewalls . . . you get the point. Some engineers I speak to practically ask:
In the words of Victor Kennedy, Director of Talladega County 9-1-1, “Networks don’t get more mission-critical than emergency communications.”
Maintaining a work-life balance is extremely difficult for some – especially network managers who are on-call 24/7. A great article titled Mobile Network Management Smartphone Apps for On-the-Go Engineers on SearchNetworking.com got us thinking about all the ways network management software for smartphones and tablets helps make network managers’ lives easier and achieve that work-life balance we all try so hard to maintain.
Network Monitoring comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be as complex as a multi-site WAN distributed solution. Or, it could be as simple as reacting to end-users phone calls claiming that they can’t receive email.
Breach, which is set for release in a few weeks, focuses on the true story of an FBI upstart who must investigate his boss who is suspected to be selling secrets to the Soviet Union. For those of you who read the story in paperback or in weekly new journals, a strong lesson materializes in a story early on that is applicable to the numerous breaches we have heard about at TJX and other retail and insurer organizations. Regardless of how strong and robust your physical and digital security plan is, the success or failure of the plan more likely will lie with the human capital charged with installing, managing and watching the systems.
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