In a small and medium organization IT support is at best in a chaotic-fire fighting mode. No one knows what is going on with the computer system till everything comes to a grinding halt. Quite often to get the system up and running a hurry, we often reject healthy parts, since we do not have time to accurately diagnose and replace only the faulty system. With new and improved Network Management system, that is possible. In IT industry about 40% of hardware replacement can be avoided if accurate monitoring can be performed and implemented properly.
The central question we must try to answer is this:
Do we need to scale the IT support staff and cost linearly with the number of computers and servers?
Do we have an alternative and better solution that constrain the cost of IT support
Can we increase the uptime and end user satisfaction and yet able to reduce the IT operation cost.
This article address these issues and demonstrate that modern Network Management has solutions to address all these issues. You do not have to increase IT staff size linearly with the number of PCs in your organization.
Structuring the Analysis of the Problem
Historically the earliest form of networks that Systems Engineers had to deal with was large scale phone networks. Analog and digital phone networks precedes the development of computer networks. The astronomical reliability of FIVE Nine ( 99.999 Percent phone system reliability) of modern phone networks was established by monitoring phone networking switches. Phone network Management System like SS7 ( Signaling System 7) and others were developed to address the reliability issues of the earliest analog and digital phone networks.
In 1990, the Network Management that is so common in Telephony has been adapted to work with digital computer network and it called Network Management. A protocol, called Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) has been developed to deal with these issues. Technically; this article addresses how SNMP can be used to monitor and trouble shoot computer networks so that reliability of the network is improved and cost of manual IT support is minimized.
As computer networks grows in size, complexity and cost of maintenance becomes an issue. This article shows how we can solve both of these issues with a Network Management based on SNMP network management protocol.
Problem and Solution Process
Imagine you have a patient registration system in a hospital in an emergency room. Suddenly people are unable to access data and update data. The oracle server that is responsible is running the registration system is alive so what is wrong. It is around 2.00 AM and you as an IT person fast asleep after supper. Some one calls you for the problem, you drive down and find the Oracle server is OK. So what is the problem. This step has taken 2 and 1/2 hours and system is still not operational. What do you do.
You call your boss and he tells you to check the Oracle Log. After another 2 hours you realized Oracle log has stopped 3 hours back and WHY. The system is down for five hours now.
What do you do.
Then in frustration you realize the disk is full of the oracle log server and it is the main problem. By now it is 8 hours has passed and the system is not functional. You move the server to new disk and get it going , it has been 12 hours the system is down. It is functional now. At last. However a couple of surgeries had to be cancelled due to system outages.
Network Management helps you in these kind of situation by monitoring disk space and Oracle database server operation and more. In this article we explain how network management can help the IT department in every possible situations.
What is Network Management
Network Management is a network monitoring software that runs on a server-computer to monitor and report detailed report of the problems that are occurring in your network in real time . Network Management monitors servers, computers, printers and switches & routers . By continuously monitoring and logging the operation one can quickly find a complex and intermittent problems, if and when they occur.
By helping to identify the problems and in some cases being able to rectify the problem, the reliability and uptime of the critical network components can be improved substantially. By automating the monitoring and logging operation of real time network events, we eliminate human intervention & thus we decrease the IT labor cost.
The main benefits of network management is avoidance of guess work in network trouble -shooting. By eliminating the guess work and avoiding hit and miss trouble shooting the total amount of time and resources need to maintain a large network can be reduced by 85%. This means in a large and distributed organizations that have multiple locations of business operations can be centrally monitored and managed by a single person and without physically running around.
Typical Network Management is run on cloud based servers and for organization like School Divisions , First Nations and businesses like multiple car dealership can save 85% of total labor cost- yet the network uptime and reliability can be astronomically improved.
Network Management has genesis in telephone switching management solutions and it is quite an old and mature technology that is about 70 years old. It is due to Network Management technology that modern telephone is 99.999% (Five nine) reliable. The network management we are proposing is very similar to telephone management. We are applying the concept here for computer Network Management as opposed to telephone switching network management.
How Does Network Management Work- Principal of Operation
The Network Management is network monitoring and logging software that runs on a cloud or a physical server or both in a distributed deployment. The function of the Network Management is to monitor critical operation of the network and log it into a database.
Examples of critical operation will be, detection of virus threat, connectivity to internet, monitoring mail-server, monitoring CRM and ERP server, print server and others in the network. It can also monitor IP phone system, databases servers and physical room temp and humidity. In fact network management monitors everything you need to understand and decide what to do in case there is an emergency and or gradual failing of the system. It takes out the guess work out of the network operation.
Network Management can be compared to old cars that had no on-board-diagnostic (ODB) for problem detection. As the cars become more complex- OBD-II- the onboard diagnostics becomes necessary. Now a days if there is a problem in the car , a light comes on the dash and informs you of the problem. A mechanic can connect OBD-II scanning device and read the problem, like Check Engine light is caused by Oxygen Sensor failure of the Catalytic Converter, or if a throttle position sensor has failed. OBD-II is essential for modern vehicle because of complexity and sophistication of electronic components of a modern car.
As OBD-II is necessary for modern complex vehicle, Network Management is necessary for complex business operations that spans single or multiple physical location. If the IT operation is critical for business, you need Network Management. Adding more IT people to manage the network is wasteful and unnecessary. In fact Network Management can save you 85% IT labor cost.
The ideal candidate is a remote school division, multi-location car dealership, municipality and First Nation's schools. With Network Management based on cloud technology, one can provide fast, accurate and right solutions, which was not possible in trial and error method of before. The result is 85% labor saving in cost and high availability of the Network and associated functions. This dramatically improves the operations of the organization.
What Problems does it Solve
Network Management can Solve multiple problems:
The following is a partial list of technical problems:
1.0 Failing Hard drives
2.0 Virus Detection
3.0 Database server- status
4.0 Critical ERP-CRM status
5.0 Mail server
6.0 Router and switches and traffic flows.
The following is a list of operational problems it solves
1.0 System uptime is significantly improved
2.0 System Reliability is Improved
3.0 A planned outages is possible, since you are aware what needs to be done.
4.0 Support of multi location organization is possible from one central location.
5.0 Reduced IT support . It can provide 85% reduction in IT expenditure.
The following Financial benefits can be derived from network management:
1.0 Accurate problem detection is possible.
2.0 Avoidance of replacement of healthy equipment.
3.0 Reduction of IT manpower
4.0 Predictive budgeting of equipment and software upgrades
5.0 Elimination of firefighting mode of IT support
6.0 Planed upgrade and maintenance- thus assisting better utilization of capital.
The list is long. It depends how one deploys network management. The solution depends on the physical layout of the network and the critical components it controls.
How the Problems it solves better than the existing methods of solutions
Presently you have about one IT person for every 10 computers, this means you need 10 IT people to look after 100 Computer. With Network Management one IT person can look after 100 computers and more. The savings is 9 IT person salaries and in addition quick and accurate problem solving and higher uptime provides values. This is improvement that was not possible before.
How the Network Management is Implemented
It can be installed on a cloud server and or physical server.
Can it work with our system- we have an IT department
Network Management complements your existing IT department.
How Network Management will improve Operations Management and Cost Control
Operational cost will decrease by 85% and the Reliability and quality can be improved.
IT catastrophes are not new, so far management had felt that they have no option but to suffer. Network Management provides solution that is scalable and cost effective. It reduces IT maintenance budget by 85% and in the process eliminates customer frustration and minimizes downtime of critical services.
We recommend Network management for the Following:
1.0 Multi-location School division
2.0 Multi Location Auto dealership
3.0 Retail Chain with Multiple locations
5.0 First-Nations School and Band Office
6.0 Small Business with and without IT Person.
Places where Network Management has been successful
We have used network Management in Businesses and Schools in India and Canada.
How to get Started
Please contact one of our IT Operations Engineers for free Initial Consultation.
1.0 Nagios- Systems and Network Monitoring 2nd Edition- ISBN-13: 978-1593271794
2.0 Open NMS- opennms.org
3.0 Postgres Monitoring- postgres.org
4.0 Oracle Database Monitoring- oracle.com
5.0 Mysql Database Logging- mysql.org
6.0 Apache Tomcat- Monitoring- apache.org- ISBN
7.0 Load balancer Monitoring- Cobalt- ISBN
8.0 Operations Management- BOOK- ISBN-13: 978-0060559533
9.0 Cost Management- BOOK- ISBN-13: 978-0077733773
10.0 Business Process Reengineering- Hammer - ISBN-13: 978-0060559533
11.0 Gardener IT Service Provider Scenario- Slide Presentation