IBM Tivoli Netcool network management solutions for SMB

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1 IBM Netcool network management solutions for SMB An integrated approach enhances IT as it supports business needs for the SMB environment Highlights Automate management tasks to reduce IT workload and minimize the risk of errors Provide a view into the real-time state of network configurations and events Support the entire network with an integrated portfolio for enhancing performance, security and host identification Network administrators and other IT professionals in the small and midsize business (SMB) sector need a vast array of technical abilities. That s because while many of the challenges they face are the same as in a large company network discovery, security, configuration and change management, provisioning and compliance among them dealing with demanding network issues often falls on a small team and sometimes on a single person. The challenges are made greater by the fact that the SMB network administrator often lacks the resources and advanced tools that the job requires. And there never seems to be enough time to do the job the way you know it should be done. Yet as networks grow increasingly heterogeneous in their components, increasingly complex in the way those components work together, and increasingly important in the way they support the business, network administrators at even the smallest organizations need to deliver big results. What these administrators and their support personnel need is a network management platform with automation capabilities that enable them to better control, manage and scale their networks. They need solutions that help manage day-to-day items more quickly, easily and

2 efficiently while enabling a more proactive approach to network management. Network administrators need sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools that provide complete operational life-cycle management for today s complex, multivendor networks. IBM Netcool network management solutions fit the bill. These solutions give any organization from SMB to large enterprise the visibility, control and automation they need to deliver end-to-end service management across the network. With a real-time view of operations, administrators have better control and understanding of critical areas such as the network configuration state and policies for routers, switches, hubs and other devices. They also have a platform for better ensuring compliance, security and effective provisioning of resources as they carry out configuration and change management tasks. Confronting an array of SMB challenges Time-consuming manual tasks from diagnosing technical problems to conducting daily data backups to resetting customer passwords can easily overwhelm network administrators in an SMB organization. Administrators can become so burdened with daily emergencies and answering questions that they are unable to find time to proactively manage, improve operations and help ensure that the network and its components are meeting business needs. Meanwhile, the size of IT staffs, their wide-ranging areas of responsibilities and their corresponding knowledge requirements coupled with staff turnover, reliance on third-party experts, and limitations and uncertainty of IT budgets compound the challenges. The complexity of today s networks and the speed with which new technologies are introduced to the marketplace and adopted by IT increase challenges still further. The greatest contributor to outages in organizations of any size, for example, is human error. As network components and their configurations change, the likelihood of error and the vulnerability of the organization increase. For a staff that is already stretched thin, errors can lead to a potential crisis for the business. And then there is growth. As small and midsize businesses add new customers and new services, demands on the infrastructure particularly on the network and network resources become more difficult to meet. A reliable and effective solution is essential for the network administrator to plan, configure, implement and provide ongoing management to support growth initiatives. Reducing risks that can impact the business No organization can afford the uncertainty associated with a poorly planned, piecemeal approach to their network. The SMB organization, however, often faces exactly this type of 2

3 approach when it comes to their network and its configuration. Some SMB networks incorporate off-the-shelf technology even, in some instances, consumer-oriented technology. Too many small and midsize businesses have little or no built-in redundancy, let alone failover capabilities. So when a problem occurs, these businesses feel the impact. The severity and duration of the impact are directly related not only to the problem itself but to the skills and solutions available to address the issue. Network administrators fully understand that management is both their fundamental role and one of the most critical areas for continued business operations. Without the proper management solution, administrators cannot effectively support the needs of the business or its customers. Without the right tools, in fact, the network administrator may not even know a problem or a potential problem exists until after it has been reported and, potentially, has impacted business. Network problems in turn can lead directly to unhappy customers and lower customer satisfaction, loss of revenue and a negative perception of the brand. If network problems persist, the business may suffer so much damage that it cannot recover. Netcool solutions: Designed to ensure network performance Netcool network management solutions provide an integrated IBM portfolio for managing the network life cycle from the desktop to the cloud along with the network devices that connect them. With industry-leading capabilities that support and manage infrastructure operations, Netcool solutions help ensure that network components are managed for optimum performance and are reliable day after day. Slow performance is not an acceptable business option it can have the same effect on your business as an outage which means that network management takes on greater importance than ever before. Demanding business environments mean network administrators need performance management capabilities for: Avoiding connectivity issues, planning for growth, and discovering which applications, services or users take up the most bandwidth. Identifying performance issues faster and speeding mean time to repair through operational views and integration with event management systems. Lowering the cost of managing increasingly complex networks with out-of-the-box reports and key performance indicators. With today s and tomorrow s growing reliance on networks to support business processes, the ability to install, configure, provision, secure, upgrade and resolve problems that may occur in the network or with any of its devices also can be a critical element to supporting the organization s success. Netcool network management solutions enable an open, integrated, standards-based approach to event, performance and customer experience management, providing solutions that align with the organization s network and service management goals. 3

4 Managing the Impact of Change Business service management Real time service status monitoring SLA and service performance Customer experience management Service configuration database Service definitions Business service impact Consolidated operations management and domain-specific management Performance Fault Configuration and compliance Data discovery and proactive monitoring Configuration and remediation Fixed/mobile networks Applications and servers Netcool network management solutions add capabilities for monitoring and controlling changes that affect configuration and compliance. They enhance the ability to manage the impact of change on business services. Real-time management can deliver enhanced visibility to quickly identify problems and initiate their resolution. Ideal for SMB networks, the easy-to-use full-featured real-time monitoring and root-cause analysis capabilities of Netcool solutions help administrators quickly identify the source of network faults and speed the resolution of problems. A flow-based analysis of network traffic performance provides the ability to understand which applications and services are consuming network resources. Detailed visibility of the volume and composition of network traffic helps staff quickly troubleshoot and resolve performance problems and plan for capacity. 4

5 The result is an enhanced ability to deliver next-generation services, enable regulatory compliance, and automate critical network change and configuration management functions. Addressing constraints that face the SMB network Netcool network management solutions, with out-ofthe-box functionality, intuitive and easy-to-use capabilities, and the ability to scale to meet changing business needs, can help the SMB organization do more with less. They provide a path to greater staff efficiency, lower costs, and an enhanced ability to manage a broad range of components and technologies. These solutions address the constraints of staffing, tools and time that SMB network administrators face, with capabilities that include: Automation: Network discovery, monitoring and event management functions that are automated can support staff of all skill levels from expert to novice. They can free IT resources to focus on proactive, strategic activities to help build a network that addresses the organization s unique needs. Simplicity: For a small staff with limited capabilities, having complex tools is not much better than having no tools at all. Tools won t be used because they require too much training or a dedicated staff. With an easy-to-use, customizable, web-based user interface, Netcool solutions are simple enough for the IT generalist yet powerful enough for the most experienced network personnel. Integration: IBM s platform-agnostic, cross-vendor solutions integrate easily across existing devices with no rip and replace required. They provide a unified approach that spans hardware, software and services to manage and troubleshoot a wide range of issues. Automation and real-time visibility into the state of the network simplify IT and network management for improved service and resiliency. Enhancing network management today and tomorrow Today s complex networks and network devices need comprehensive management throughout the life cycle if they are to meet business demands for reliability and performance. Whether used in a small to midsize business or larger enterprise, management tools must make full use of visibility across network assets, scalability for constantly changing needs, and integration with other tools. They must deliver a broad scope of functions across the network, provide the flexibility required to adapt to change and convergence, and deliver data and capabilities for analysis to pinpoint network problems and speed repairs. 5

6 The Network Management Lifecycle Monitoring and management Provisioning Discovery IBM Netcool network management solutions Compliance and audit Security and control Configuration and change management Across the entire network management life cycle, Netcool solutions can help ensure network configuration, compliance and performance. From establishing governance policies to managing day-to-day changes to preparing for a regulatory audit, Netcool network management solutions can help ensure that devices are configured correctly and that the network delivers the performance the business requires. Netcool solutions help ensure the accuracy and reliability of the network and configurations, that changes are executed in accordance with established policies reflecting industry standards, security controls, regulatory requirements, and other guidance that is unique to the organization. Meeting a full range of technical and functional needs The ever-increasing importance of the network in supporting and enabling business processes demands solutions that ensure optimum network operation. Netcool solutions can be a key element in meeting the network challenges that SMB organizations face from the growing number and complexity of heterogeneous network devices to increased requirements for compliance, the ongoing need for network security, and customer demands for enhanced service levels. Netcool solutions meet a variety of technical and functional needs, including: Network change and configuration management: For fast-moving, agile SMB organizations, automating network change and configuration functions can help provide continued performance and compliance in the face of change. For organizations of all sizes, Netcool automation solutions can speed and simplify time-consuming device configuration and change management tasks in complex, heterogeneous environments. Regulatory compliance: A reusable policy framework provides the visibility an SMB organization needs in order to understand its network compliance readiness at any time. Netcool solutions automate the network compliance life cycle to define policies, validate devices against policies, resolve violations and report results in a continuous and closed-loop manner providing IT staff with greater control of network resources and facilitating audit-readiness. 6

7 Discovery, visualization and modeling: A reliable view into the configuration and health of the network infrastructure is critical to maximizing asset utilization. Automated discovery at both the topology and the device level provides visibility into underutilized and stranded assets to help reduce costs due to overbuilding and unnecessary duplication. Visualization and modeling help the administrator better understand the network, the impact of problems on services, and the policy priorities that are necessary to meet availability and performance requirements. The knowledge that discovery, visualization and modeling provide is key to optimizing operational efficiency. Operating system upgrades: Moving to the latest version of an operating system running on a network device can be labor-intensive and fraught with error. But Netcool solutions both lighten the IT workload and reduce the chance of mistakes. The network administrator specifies the process according to company needs, best practices and policies then the upgrade runs automatically. If the administrator determines that the upgrade is not functioning as it should, these solutions enable the administrator to roll back the operating system to its previous state. Dynamic provisioning: Netcool solutions support the complete network provisioning process from initial element and path configuration through resource availability checks, ongoing dynamic allocation of resources and exception handling. Conclusion IBM Netcool network management solutions work together with the Integrated Service Management portfolio to deliver comprehensive solutions for automating and simplifying configuration management processes, speeding deployments, reducing operational costs and demonstrating regulatory compliance. Real-time visibility and monitoring capabilities ensure network availability and quality while reducing errors across the configuration life cycle. Network administrators have the tools they need to increase productivity for routine functions and to take proactive steps to building and maintaining a strategic network that will help the business move forward. The ability to confidently respond to changing business needs can give organizations of all sizes a competitive edge. For more information To learn more about IBM Netcool network management solutions and how they can help your SMB organization better manage your network infrastructure, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit ibm.com/tivoli/solutions/network Netcool Products Netcool/OMNIbus Netcool/Impact Netcool Configuration Manager Netcool Performance Manager Netcool Service Quality Management Center Network Manager About software from IBM software offers a service management platform for organizations to deliver quality service by providing visibility, control and automation visibility to see and understand the workings of their business; control to effectively manage their business, help minimize risk and protect their brand; and automation to help optimize their business, reduce the cost of operations and deliver new services more rapidly. Unlike IT-centric service management, software delivers a 7

8 common foundation for managing, integrating and aligning both business and technology requirements. software is designed to quickly address an organization s most pressing service management needs and help proactively respond to changing business demands. The portfolio is backed by world-class IBM Services, IBM Support and an active ecosystem of IBM Business Partners. clients and Business Partners can also leverage each other s best practices by participating in independently run IBM User Groups around the world visit: Additionally, financing solutions from IBM Global Financing can enable effective cash management, protection from technology obsolescence, improved total cost of ownership and return on investment. Also, our Global Asset Recovery Services help address environmental concerns with new, more energy-efficient solutions. For more information on IBM Global Financing, visit: ibm.com/financing Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America September 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Netcool and are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol ( or ), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at Copyright and trademark information at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from IBM Corporation. Product data has been reviewed for accuracy as of the date of initial publication. Product data is subject to change without notice. Any statements regarding IBM s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements (e.g. IBM Customer Agreement, Statement of Limited Warranty, International Program License Agreement, etc.) under which they are provided. The customer is responsible for ensuring compliance with legal requirements. It is the customer s sole responsibility to obtain advice of competent legal counsel as to the identification and interpretation of any relevant laws and regulatory requirements that may affect the customer s business and any actions the customer may need to take to comply with such laws. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the customer is in compliance with any law or regulation. Please Recycle TIS14067-USEN-01

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