Came back from Interop Las Vegas yesterday. What a blast! I met so many great people from Twitter and HP Networking team, I can’t name everyone. But, you know who you are!!
The first day Interop started, I got put into “systems management” mood. Dunno why, but I just wanted to know everything that dealt with systems management.
I stopped by the ManageEngine booth to see their latest offerings (I already use ServiceDesk, and have used OpManager before). It was good. OpManager is a good product. However, their Netflow reporting module isn’t as integrated into their product suite as I would have liked. It can send events as “emails” to the helpdesk system, but you lose asset information, and other things.
I did not see SolarWinds there, as I would have liked to have talked to them about their Orion product and modules.
Firestorm from BreakingPoint won the Best of Interop 2011 category of “management and monitoring”, but I didn’t talk to them. Downside of making Interop so big.
However, I did get to chat with the HP Networking team in detail on IMC (Intelligent Management Center), which, was also used to manage and monitor the entire Interop NOC.
This system is just too cool! I’ve been an OpenNMS guy for years, and this system takes the cake. With a proven production system actively monitoring, managing, and collecting on over 200,000 devices, it can scale.
What is it’s coolest feature? The ability to manage over 2600 different devices (1000 of them are Cisco alone). As of next month’s service pack, it will be over 3000. Now, that’s neat, but the coolest part, is that you configure them all the same. The differences lie under the code that you don’t see. So, if you want to create another VLAN and you do not use VTP, just create the VLAN, and all the different commands will be sent to each switch. It will also track your configuration changes.
To quote Dave Donatelli on his press release Monday, “….. we manage Cisco better than Cisco….”. After seeing the interface, there is no doubt. Features like central ACL’s (no, no ASA support just yet…. I already asked), VPN management, User Authentication (RADIUS and TACACS), QoS policies, etc, can all be managed from the same interface no matter what the vendor is. Some are extra modules that you add on.
Other modules include their NTA (Network Traffic Analyzer), which is their NetFlow/sFlow collector and reporting tool, and MPLS VPN management. You can even see your VMWare environment and kickoff vMotion from here.
In talking to Bob Suhay in the Enterprise HP Networking Group, he explained to me that this system was meant to prevent “swivel chair” syndrome, as you change between different monitors to do different things.
IMC is a really cool product, and I, for one, will include it into my bids next year for a possible replacement.