It's no secret that many alerts from network monitoring systems can go unanswered. Either they're ignored, aren't important enough to warrant a swift response, or, in some extreme cases, the alarm fails to sound.
Paul Bullock knew that. But he also knew that something needed to be done to make sure those alerts and alarms sound off, and that when they do, someone takes care of the problem. But with slim resources and a tight budget, he also knew the solution to the problem had to be fast, easy and affordable while also giving a detailed view into network trends and anomalies.
As product development manager for Logic Communications, a Bermuda-based telecommunication and IT service provider, Bullock said he looked at all the high-end network monitoring services, but each had significant up-front costs that Logic just could not spare. Plus, keeping tabs on the network would require additional time from the IT staff, which, with resources at a premium, was somewhat unrealistic.
"It would've been overwhelming for the [IT] staff -- a large mountain to overcome," Bullock said.
Looking further, Bullock said he found InteQ Corp., a Bedford, Mass.-based remote network infrastructure monitoring and management service that can handle it all with a pay-as-you-go price plan.
For the past six months, Bullock said, Logic Communications has used InteQ to monitor and identify trends in the network 24/7.
When a part of the network goes down, Bullock said, he and the staff are notified immediately -- so fast that they now consider InteQ a part of their staff.
"It's really about assurance," he said. "Before, alerts would go unanswered. This is assurance that alerts and warnings get out. Before, you never really knew if someone was noticing these things and they were being taken care of."
While Bullock uses InteQ's managed services, Santhana Krishnan, InteQ's CEO, said the company also announced recently that it can be used in concert with HP OpenView as a third-party add-on to give better visibility into network performance. InteQ On-Demand Solution for HP OpenView, Krishnan said, helps companies dig deeper into OpenView installations and extract more meaningful information from their implementations by providing extensive event correlation.
Krishnan said some companies lack the time to use OpenView to its fullest potential. InteQ correlates data and alerts and provides metrics for each piece of the network. Companies using the solution can select from a suite of modules designed to meet their specific business requirements, including best-practice monitoring metrics; event correlation; reporting; and problem identification, diagnostics and resolution.
"Within three weeks they see enhancement of the [OpenView] solution," Krishnan said. "The value of OpenView is unlocked in these environments."
Bullock said it took only a short time to get InteQ up and running, and it required very little training.
"It took us three weeks until we had the alerting and monitoring system up on our screen," he said. "For us, it was faster, cheaper and easier than doing it ourselves. It's a really easy path to get into monitoring. It made all kinds of sense for us."
In a statement, Gartner Inc. research vice president Eric Goodness said Network and Systems Management (NSM) solutions have long been inadequate. He said Gartner found that inadequacies come from a lack of resources to address integration complexity and a lack of cultural affinity to use the solutions, because day-to-day firefighting creates an IT culture that is reactive and anarchic, instead of proactive.
"Any solution that helps organizations become proactive and accelerates the ROI of NSM investments is of great significance to enterprises," Goodness said. "Established infrastructure management solution providers have a great opportunity to provide value beyond cost savings, as they link NSM benefits to strategic business drivers such as service level management, operational efficiencies, and IT governance."