Network engineers cannot ignore indications of potential network problems and yet somehow they need to be filtered, analysed, prioritised, grouped, categorised and assessed for network – therefore business – impact

Automation is vital, and OmniCenter from Netreo is devoted to this vital work. Rapid to deploy and available as a hardware or virtual (VMware) appliance, there are no agents or clients to install: it’s cross browser and cross platform compatible, and endpoint agnostic. If desired Netreo can maintain your appliance, including its native security, freeing the network team to maximise its beneficial use. Licensing is device based (router, switch, virtual machine etc.) not port, and full functionality is standard.

Browser log-in using AD, SSO or a user account reveals the Consolidated Dashboard, a top-level view of the monitored environment including the network, servers, applications, IP telephony and virtualised estate. Organised around what matters, including operating systems, categories and sites, it displays status information, such as server and application availability, high and low operating thresholds, anomalies and predictions.

Netreo have maximised functionality and Anomalies exemplifies this. If, for example, an application normally drives the CPU at 76 per cent over a particular period, and utilisation falls below this, the anomaly can be alerted – even though it won’t trigger a threshold alert, possibly indicating early user log-in problems.

Early problem visibility is the essence of this tool. Resolving root causes reduces escalation, user down time and cost. OmniCenter integrates with help desk systems, offering support agents the same visibility and relevant technical detail. As we explored the network it became apparent, aided by Anomalies, that OmniCenter provides an asymmetric security insight which can be exported into a system (e.g. SEIM) better suited to analyse it.

You can drill down to more information from any dashboard (devices, parameters etc.) allowing each Alert to be quickly understood. Alerts can be updated to indicate ownership and actions, avoiding an uncoordinated response. It can automatically update the Ticketing system but OmniCenter offers flexible incident alerting, so it could be used natively for ticket management.

Historical data rolls up over time, emphasising real-time focus. Simply put, older data becomes less granular, reducing storage. Remaining data still provides trend analysis and data could be exported to preserve detail, but Server uptime, Logs and Event History are always natively preserved.

Device parameters can be changed individually or by group template. Interfaces can be marked with descriptions, and OmniCenter goes way beyond visibility by providing data for troubleshooting and resolution. For example, a NIC could be polled in real time, at defined intervals, and the histogram results reviewed to advance root cause analysis.

A neat feature for application monitoring creates Synthetic transactions to simulate events. Wizard generated transactions and responses are measured, creating a benchmark for real-time alerting. When augmented with S-flow data it shows application users, their location, and top bandwidth consumers – invaluable for application deployment and cloud migration.
OmniCenter also applies itself to IP telephony, and Synthetic calls can be very useful. In a Cisco environment, call history and quality metrics, based on real data including poor quality and dropped calls, helps engineers to get in front of the problem curve.

Reporting and alerting provides what you would expect, delivered automatically in PDF. The Configuration Management interface records changes and their details for problem analysis; configuration changes can be alerted by email, using contextual analysis based on identical underlying data, tailored to each recipient.

Early visibility of network problems reduces operating costs, maximises system availability and efficiency, and underpins business effectiveness. This solution provides the means to achieve this. It’s not intended to be the only tool used in network operations, but once deployed, it is always likely to be the first.

  • Product: OmniCenter
  • Price: Starts at £4,300 per annum for 50 devices
  • Supplier: Netreo
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  • Telephone: 001 949 769 5700
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