Letter to the Editor: Rooting Out New Markets

Regarding Charles Hebert’s Net Net column, "A Peek Into History," in HP Professional (November 1999), I believe Mr. Hebert has over simplified and confused two very important issues: Performance Management and Fault Management. I do agree that many of the enterprise reporting products on the market are too expensive, too hard to implement and are often "overkill." In addition, I agree that a separate polling engine should not be required to collect historical performance data. However, that is where our agreement ends.

To assume that there are no products on the market that fit these criteria is very shortsighted. I would like to point out that there are simple-to-use products for performance reporting that do leverage management systems like HP OpenView’s Network Node Manger. They are easy to use and don’t dramatically increase traffic on the network. One such product is CAP-TREND from Magnum Technologies. CAP-TREND is an easy-to-use Web-based product for capacity and trending of Networks, Systems and Resources that leverages existing frameworks.

Secondly, there is more to network performance reporting than just looking at historical data. In today’s complex business world, the need to have "real time" performance reporting is becoming increasingly important. It’s not good enough to know "the day after" that an important part of your business was not functioning at peak efficiency because their network performance was being impeded. Network managers now need to know more than if the network is "up or down," but rather, they need to know if it’s functioning at the high level demanded by the users. Businesses are now becoming increasingly more dependent on complex networks for performing everyday business functions and they can’t afford to have poor performance for even one hour. The circumstances may have changed, but the old saying still holds true: "Time is Money".

Further more, I was confused by the transition from the "need for historical performance reporting," to "how to create your own fault management reports." It’s a very simplistic view to assume that all you need to do is interrogate the trapd.log files, output the data to a text report and call it fault management. True fault management is only effective if it’s used in conjunction with real-time "root cause" correlation of down devices. Otherwise, the data is of little help to network managers. Magnum Technologies also offers an easy to use Web-based product called COORDINATOR that does real-time event correlation of networks and systems.

Finally, I believe that if you’re going to report on a topic, or more importantly, recommend them to your clients, it’s import to research what products are available in the market. And not just provide a "band-aid" solution. There are many new up-and-coming players, developing innovative tools for network and system management that are filling the voids left behind by many of the outdated products that are currently on the market.

Joe Winkelman

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Magnum Technologies

www.magnum-tech.com