1 WHITE PAPER September 2012 CA Nimsoft For Network Monitoring
2 Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3 Solution overview 3 CA Nimsoft Monitor specialized probes 3 Network and application connectivity probe Connectivity monitoring broad device and services support Connectivity response time measurement network latency monitoring Connectivity device configuration drag-anddrop list setup CA Nimsoft Monitor specialized gateways 8 Third-party network management system SNMP gateway Syslog gateway CA Nimsoft Monitor real-time alarm console 9 CA Nimsoft Monitor performance trend reporting 9 CA Nimsoft Monitor SLA creation, monitoring and reporting 10 Connectivity path configuration building device relationships with traceroute Connectivity failures root cause analysis Connectivity probe flexible deployment Connectivity probe flexible, reliable notification Connectivity probe profile-based polling configuration Interface Traffic probe 6 Interface auto-discovery Interface status and bandwidth calculation SNMP poller and trap listener probes 7 SNMP MIB poller and browser SNMP trap receiver SNMP trap sniffer
3 Executive Summary Solution overview CA Nimsoft Monitor provides complete network visibility to assure that the highest levels of business service quality are achieved. Having 360o network visibility is critical to today s network driven business and anything less can have costly bottom line implications. CA Nimsoft Monitor: Primary features: Monitors access and response time to all network devices, application and service ports Monitors interface traffic for bandwidth utilization and error status Monitors SNMP enabled devices with polling and trap reception Monitors device Syslogs Graphical alarm console, performance and SLA reporting CA Nimsoft Monitor detects, isolates and accelerates resolution of: Broken network and application connectivity links Excessive network latency Network device degradation and failure Network interface degradation and failure Excessive bandwidth utilization CA Nimsoft Monitor specialized probes CA Nimsoft Monitor is comprised of a set of specialized probes and gateways, which provide automated and GUI driven access to device status information. All solution probes have their own graphic interface to facilitate Administrative and Operations activities.
4 Network and application connectivity probe To assure business continuity, CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a robust network and application connectivity monitoring function. This ensures that end-users and business consumers have access to business critical network devices, services and applications. Connectivity monitoring broad device and services support The solution includes connectivity monitoring for network devices such as routers, switches, servers, applications, printers and practically any other device. A specialized probe uses the ping command (ICMP ECHO) to verify network connectivity between the host where the probe resides and the targeted remote system. The probe will also test connectivity to TCP based services such as telnet, http, etc., or any other application with a designated service port. Connectivity response time measurement network latency monitoring Through the process of connectivity monitoring, the network connectivity probe will record response times to and from network devices, services and applications to aid in pinpointing areas of excessive network latency. Network connectivity status reports and round trip performance trend reports are available. Report data can be leveraged for SLA creation, monitoring and reporting. Connectivity device configuration drag-and-drop list setup To simplify setup of network devices requiring connectivity monitoring, the probe supports a drag and drop IP list feature, for example a /etc/hosts file can be dropped into the probe GUI for automatic device population. The probe s GUI also offers an intuitive interface for manually adding new devices, applications and services. At any point during the configuration of new devices and services, it is possible to test connectivity by selecting the GUI-driven connectivity status test button. The results of this test will appear in a pop up window (as depicted in the figure above). All devices and services will be listed with a color-coded connectivity status icon in the left most column.
5 Connectivity path configuration building device relationships with traceroute The network connectivity probe provides a trace route function to determine and diagnose connectivity paths. A simple push of the button will list the network hops required to reach a destination device. This facility is extremely useful for building network and application dependency paths and tree structure, which can then be leveraged for identifying the root cause of connectivity failures and identifying impacted devices. The probe s GUI supports a drag and drop function, whereby it is possible to drag and drop trace route results into the probe s GUI to automatically build ping poll path dependencies. Common network elements resulting from multiple trace routes will be overlaid on top of existing path definitions. This will create a proper path and network tree structure with shared routes and separate network segments branching out accordingly. Connectivity failures root cause analysis For determining the root cause of network and application connectivity failures, the connectivity probe will reference the network tree resulting from the trace route functionality. Once the root cause of a connectivity failure is determined, the connectivity probe will automatically suppress ping fail alerts for devices and applications beyond the broken network link. Only the alert for the root cause device will display in the CA Nimsoft Alarm Console. To facilitate problem diagnosis and path validation, the network connectivity probe provides a graphic interface containing a listing of all connectivity paths that are being monitored. Additionally, where path connectivity is broken, the probe will indicate root cause and symptom devices with color-coded status indicators. An example screen shot which depicts this functionality is listed above. Connectivity probe flexible deployment CA Nimsoft Monitor offers extremely flexible deployment options to ensure connectivity testing is being performed to and from applications and network devices that warrant close scrutiny. Unlike other market offerings, which only support centralized polling from a management server, the lightweight network connectivity probe can be deployed strategically throughout the business infrastructure. For example, in a distributed application environment, the network connectivity probe can be deployed directly on application servers and configured to test connectivity to the end-users who need access to those business critical servers. Conversely, it is possible to deploy the network connectivity probe directly on end-user workstations to monitor for connectivity to the applications servers that the user-community need access to. Businesses with branch offices may consider deploying the network connectivity probe on edge devices to monitor link connectivity between the IT data center and the branch offices. Connectivity probe flexible, reliable notification CA Nimsoft Monitor provides flexible and reliable alert notification and data transport options. In cases where the network link between the probe and CA Nimsoft management console is disabled, the probe will buffer alert and performance data locally until a failed network connection has been resolved. More interesting, the connectivity probe supports cellular communications for off-network alert notification and performance data transmission. This feature will remove reliance upon a potentially broken network for data transport.
6 Connectivity probe profile-based polling configuration Understanding that each network device may require unique polling and alert generation requirements, CA Nimsoft Monitor supports flexible profile-based monitoring configuration. Every probe within CA Nimsoft Monitor can have multiple profiles, each having their own monitoring definitions. Profiles will define unique polling intervals, alert severities for problem conditions, unique alerts messages, and more. Each profile contained within the probe can be comprised of single or multiple polled devices. Network connectivity and round-trip performance trend reports are available. The probe will record connectivity test results and round-trip sample data for availability and performance trend reports. Interface Traffic probe Due to the complexity and rapid expansion of network intensive applications that are being deployed across today s business infrastructures, there is a need to understand the capacity of circuits and traffic flow across critical network interfaces. Interface auto-discovery CA Nimsoft Monitor will auto-discover all device interfaces. Once discovered, the solution will monitor interface traffic and perform bandwidth utilization calculations. Additionally, each device interface will be scrutinized for error conditions that may degrade data throughput performance. Interface status and bandwidth calculation A specialized probe utilizes SNMP to measure and report on inbound, outbound and aggregate bandwidth utilization. MIB objects are queried and analyzed both in real time and over time for alert generation and bandwidth utilization trend reporting. The probe may be configured to monitor the network interfaces on PCs, Windows and Unix Servers, routers, switches, and other SNMP enabled devices. The probe monitors and reports on the following interface parameters: Dead lines (no traffic) Discarded packets Error packets Queue length Interface status Average traffic in/out Average errors in/out To minimize management traffic on the network, the interface traffic probe can be placed strategically throughout the network in locations that are in close proximity to the managed devices. The solution provides profile-based monitoring where each interface can be configured to poll unique data variables at defined polling intervals, alert severities and messages are also defined per profile.
7 SNMP poller and trap listener probes SNMP MIB poller and browser CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a specialized probe that can poll standard or proprietary MIB objects from SNMP compliant devices. MIB objects can be monitored for threshold violations and alerts can be generated where necessary. Additionally the polled MIB data can be archived for trend reporting and also leveraged for SLA creation, monitoring and reporting. The probe offers a flexible interface for configuring unique MIB object poll requirements and also comes equippedwith a MIB browser. SNMP trap receiver Network-devices, such as routers, switches, servers and printers, which are SNMP enabled, can be configured to report a variety of error-conditions in the form of SNMP traps. Traps are automatically forwarded to a designated server typically a network management server. CA Nimsoft Monitor comes equipped with a specialized SNMP trap receiver probe. It will listen to port 162 (default, but is re-configurable) and any incoming SNMP traps will be converted to CA Nimsoft formatted events. The formatted events will then be analyzed for alert generation or archived for trend reporting. The trap receiver probe offers an intuitive GUI to convert the SNMP traps to user-friendly alert messages. Out-of-the-box support is available for COMPAQ Insight Manager and Dell Open Manage traps. SNMP trap sniffer The SNMP trap receiver probe (described above) also provides a real-time trap sniffer function. The probe watches the network in promiscuous mode to see all SNMP traps on the network wire. The probe s graphic user interface displays all traps in an active scrolling list as they are detected. Pressing the start button in the probe s interface easily activates the sniffer function. A green diode indicates that sniffing is in progress. Individual traps that are sniffed can be selected and quickly added into the CA Nimsoft event monitoring system. Each trap that is selected through the probe s graphic interface will have its own monitoring profile automatically defined. The monitoring profile dictates
8 how SNMP traps should be processed when they arrive in the CA Nimsoft system. SNMP event messages can be restructured and event counts, alert thresholds, and alert severity can also be defined. CA Nimsoft Monitor specialized gateways Third-party network management system SNMP gateway CA Nimsoft Monitor provides an SNMP Gateway that will transform CA Nimsoft alarm messages to SNMP trap messages that are readable by any SNMP based event manager. Predefined SNMP Gateway solutions are available for HP OpenView Network Node Manager, CA Unicenter-TNG and BMC Patrol Enterprise Manager (PEM). Syslog gateway Device Syslogs are a critical source of network status information. This is especially true for non-snmp enabled devices. The CA Nimsoft Monitor Syslog Gateway acts as a gateway from the Syslog world into Nimsoft. Most network-devices, such as routers, switches, firewalls, UNIX servers, etc., report events using SNMP as well as using the well-known Syslog format. The Syslog Gateway will listen to port 514/udp when running in a receive mode. All incoming Syslog messages will be acted upon using the defined receive mode: Generate CA Nimsoft Alarm Generate SYSLOG-IN (for post-processing) messages Log to file The Syslog Gateway also includes a graphical Syslog viewer to view messages as they occur.
9 CA Nimsoft Monitor real-time alarm console CA Nimsoft Monitor offers a web-based CA Nimsoft Alarm Console. The CA Nimsoft Alarm Console can be applied to create and customize user specific network monitoring dashboards. Alarm dashboards can show up-to-the-minute status of critical network links, bandwidth utilization, network latency, response times and other critical network issues. Below is a small sampling of network specific CA Nimsoft Alarm Console features: Network and application alerts can be viewed in real time Network device auto-layout and drag and drop host lists for device auto-population Layered views for application drill down through to underlying network devices and interfaces Configurable Operations drop-down menu lists this functionality can provide point-and-click context sensitive access to third-party diagnostic tools CA Nimsoft Monitor performance trend reporting CA Nimsoft Monitor solution offers a robust performance reporting solution that will allow businesses to track and trend network availability and performance parameters such as network interface utilization, error rates, connectivity failures, latency and any other technical items from a Service Level perspective. All network availability and performance data collected by the CA Nimsoft Monitor probes can be utilized for Quality of Service and Performance report generation.
10 CA Nimsoft Monitor SLA creation, monitoring and reporting CA Nimsoft Monitor offers a robust SLA creation, monitoring and reporting solution. Quality of Service and performance data collected by the CA Nimsoft Monitor probes can be leveraged to calculate and report on service level compliance and breaches. All SLA and performance reports are viewable in HTML format via web-browser. For more information, visit /nimsoft Connect with CA Technologies at Agility Made Possible: The CA Technologies Advantage CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) provides IT management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. Organizations leverage CA Technologies software and SaaS solutions to accelerate innovation, transform infrastructure and secure data and identities, from the data center to the cloud. CA Technologies is committed to ensuring our customers achieve their desired outcomes and expected business value through the use of our technology. To learn more about our customer success programs, visit /customer-success. For more information about CA Technologies go to. CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) provides IT management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. Organizations leverage CA Technologies software and SaaS solutions to accelerate innovation, transform infrastructure and secure data and identities, from the data center to the cloud. Learn more about CA Technologies at. Copyright 2013 CA. All Rights Reserved. One CA Plaza, Islandia, N.Y Nimsoft is a trademark or registered trademark of CA. All other trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. acs2898_0912
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