Dynamic Applications for SNMP

Michelle DeFiore

Back in the early 2000s, there was really only one game in town for SNMP performance reporting: Concord eHealth. Concord had fantastic Top 10 reports to understand the IT infrastructure health, and they had these great “at-a-glance” reports to see the details.

Unfortunately, Concord two huge limitations: real-time reporting and reporting flexibility. Since eHealth was not a real-time collection and reporting product, Concord created a new, standalone product, Live Health to deliver real-time metrics.

This meant the eHealth owner now needed to manage 2 separate products to manage the performance of their IT infrastructure. But hey, in 2004, it was still better than nothing. The more serious issue was around flexibility – the ability to create reports on new device types and device monitoring features.

If a new device type – like the emergence of DSLAMs in a Service Provider environment – or new feature sets (think Cisco network-based application recognition, or NBAR) – required monitoring, you essentially had to call Concord and have them develop and ‘certify’ a device. This process often took weeks or months.

So while Concord was a nimble organization and really the king of performance monitoring, many prospects still went elsewhere (InfoVista, MRTG, etc) to solve the flexibility problem. Nowadays, people have come to expect both flexibility and real-time data collection and reporting in one product.

EM7 delivers both in spades, and is seen as ‘best of breed’ in terms of agility. Once you get to the OID browser page in EM7, it takes only 3 clicks to create the real-time collection and reporting foundation for your new device type:

  1. Type in the MIB name (or a variable name, a OID number, or symbolic)
  2. Choose the variables you would like to track. You can use other functions (mathematical, etc) to manipulate the data as well.
  3. Use the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen and choose ‘Add to New Performance Application’

Three steps required to create a Dynamic Application

That’s it! From here, you can perform other 1-minute tasks to increase the value of this new dynamic application, such as:

  • Adding a “Discovery object” to identify when to start collection and reporting for these measures
  • Adding conditions on when to notify someone that thresholds (static or dynamic) have been breached
  • Adding Run book actions to automate next steps (Open a ticket and populate it with relevant information? Perform a traceroute and send the results to someone? etc)

This is the second in a series of posts about EM7. For more, click here.

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