Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That's our point, entirely

Incremental improvements to traditional network
monitoring tools would really be like putting lipstick
on a pig - you would still have a flawed solution. 
A recent article on The Register entitled "What's wrong with network monitoring tools? Where do I start..." was all about incremental improvements to traditional network management methods. These improvements just point out how necessary a solution like Local Management really is.

The author's main question is why there aren't solutions that actually monitor what you care about and let you know when you need to know it. He starts off with an accurate assessment of SNMP.
"SNMP (the Simple Network Management Protocol – though frankly there's nothing simple about it) is unwieldy and clunky to use, but we're stuck with it because its longevity has made it ubiquitous. Let's face it, nobody with any sense is about to try to produce an alternative because the barriers to entry into the market are insurmountable."
Well, here at Uplogix, we wouldn't say that the barriers are insurmountable. The key is that you need to look at the bigger picture -- trying to monitor and manage network devices over the very network they are enabling isn't smart. When everything is working, you are sending lots of management traffic back and forth across your network, and at moments when you need monitoring information the most - during an outage, SNMP goes silent, your dashboard turns red, and time continues to tick.

The answer is to remove the network dependence by putting the intelligence, storage, horsepower, and out-of-band connections in the rack with the the network and communications devices you care about. Connect directly over a console port and monitor the devices directly.

The benefits are numerous - more frequent, higher resolution monitoring, and you can go beyond monitoring to managing that gear automatically. In the past, this was something done from a crash cart, or in the dark of night to avoid breaking the network, but with local management you have that same crash cart accessibility over the console port. And with intelligent automation, if there is a configuration problem, Uplogix will automatically roll it back to the previous working configuration.

We can go on and on, but the real solution here isn't designing improvements to a weak solution from the old days of networking -- as they say down here in Texas, that's like putting lipstick on a pig. The real solution is to think locally, implementing a whole new animal for your network monitoring... and management.