The dream team, the tale of Smarts, APG and RapidOSS

Fault management, performance management and event management trio of tools are typically at the heart of network management solutions. Although there are some integrated solutions that do offer components for all these management disciplines, organizations with large or mission critical networks often choose to use combination of tools that have the best functionality at each area . As a result, integration among these tools becomes crucial for the overall solution to be effective is supporting IT operations.

Customers have to balance the desire to use the best tools for each discipline with minimizing implementation/integration risk, and have been gravitating toward working with a single supplier for these tools with the hope that it would eliminate finger pointing between vendors in case of a problem and the vendor would have better integration among its own products.

Unfortunately, apart from having a single entity to blame in case of problems, working with one vendor does little to reduce implementation risk, especially in case of Big 4 in IT management, as they have build their product portfolio through acquisitions. As a result, products often have little in common, not integrated with each other, do not share a data model, etc. and integration is very difficult, costly and carries high risk. For example, IBM's portfolio of fault, performance and event management products include Precision(Riversoft), Provisio (Quallaby) and Netcool (Micromuse), each was developed by a different company. CA offers eHealth (Concord), Spectrum (Aprisma) and Unicenter (CA), etc. HP portfolio is in no better shape.

Even when the vendors claim integration among their own products, quality of integration is often quite low, limited to a exchange of traps between products, or launching of one from the other, and may be a common user interface. There is often no common data model, each product does its own discovery and polling, there are problems with consistent naming of the objects, etc.

Consequently, implementation of a fully integrated solution is a lot more expensive than led on by the vendors or anticipated by the customers. Ongoing maintenance of the solution is often resource intensive therefore cost of ownership is also very high. The promises that the integration between the products would get better in time have not been kept. After many years, little headway is made, as better integration often requires complete overhaul/rewrite of these products.

IMO, EMC/Smarts (Ionix) has been the best network fault management solution available for quite some time. It's ability to discover all the layers of the network topology (Layer2/3, routing, mpls, etc.), represent it using a common object model and use it for automated root cause analysis is still unmatched.

Watch4Net APG is a great performance monitoring and reporting solution that should be considered by anyone looking for a performance management solution. But for EMC/Smarts customers APG is a slam dunk. It's natively integrated with EMC/Smarts, automatically polling data from EMC/Smarts domains, instead of performing its own discovery and polling (though it can), eliminating naming problems and double polling. To the best of my knowledge, EMC/Smarts-APG combination provides the most powerful integrated fault/performance management solution currently available in the market. No contest.

Our product, RapidOSS, completes the trio as the event management solution, providing powerful integration, automation and presentation capabilities. RapidOSS integrates seamlessly with both EMC/Smarts and APG, and consolidates events and topology data from both systems, provides a unified, consistent, web based user interface to work with wealth of operational information contained in EMC/Smarts and APG, integrates with other operations systems and automates operational tasks.

RapidOSS-EMC/Smarts-APG combination offers best of both worlds to customers: Best functionality at each management disclipline with seamless integration, minimizing integration risks, implementation times and ongoing administrative overhead. Please contact us or Watch4Net to learn more and give it a try. We're confident that you'll find it worth your time.

Related Links:
RapidOSS Demo
RapidOSS Downloads
RapidOSS Documentation
Watch4Net
Smarts