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OpenNMS: A Study in Deployment - page 2

Why Do We Need a Systems Management Tool?

  • June 2, 2005
  • By Jonathan Sartin

There is definitely a "sweet spot" for systems management applications. Some are suited to smaller environments, others are most definitely suited to enterprise scale environments with more demanding requirements. Unsurprisingly the enterprise scale products often come with enterprise scale price tags and learning curves.

We had a few key requirements:

  • Platform independence: Our network management system would have to run on available hardware (at the time, SPARC/Solaris).
  • Performance: Any solution would need to scale from a few hundred nodes to a few thousand nodes.
  • Enterprise level features: We required at least SNMP trap management, configurable alert escalation and availability and performance reports for the management team.
  • Rationalize support roles: We needed to be able to take individuals out of the process. That meant an end to emails sent by systems to developers in the middle of the night. Our operations team needed to be the first contact for every event.
  • Reduce tasks: It would need to lighten the burden on the Operations Team, not increase it.
  • Extensibility: Previous experience indicated that there was no such thing as a complete solution.
  • Low cost of entry: It needed to replace a portfolio of Open Source products.
  • Longevity: Some Open Source products seem to wither on the vine with no apparent cause, or fragment through disagreements between developers. Commercial products too are subject to the vagaries of the market.
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