Sunday, 24 April 2011

Network management issues

I want to know what’s going on on my network – what do I do? Well this seemingly simple question has a complicated answer, which is historical and all to do with the separate worlds of the mainframes and everyone else coming together to give us our current complicated environment. Just to summarize, mainframes used SNA and VTAM to communicate and everyone else used TCP/IP. Sometime in the 1990s, all this came together. In addition, we now  have people on iPads and smartphones using our networks – in fact, we can have people on iPads and smartphones controlling our networks!

So, in terms of software, what are our choices for network management?

IBM has Tivoli OMEGAMON XE for mainframe networks, which allows you to monitor VTAM and TCP/IP networks and identify problems within those networks.

CA has its CA NetMaster Network Management for TCP IP and CA NetMaster Network Management for SNA products, which allow users to “proactively manage” their network. And there are a number of other more specialized products including CA NSM NetMaster Option, which lets you “manage your mainframe networks from CA Unicenter Network and Systems Management”.

SDS has Vital Signs for IP and Vital Signs for VTAM, which are both monitoring software.

William Data Systems has a whole range of products including ZEN OSA MONITOR for OSA performance monitoring and management, ZEN IP MONITOR (IMPLEX) for IP performance monitoring and management, ZEN EE MONITOR (FERRET) for APPN/HPR and EE monitoring and management, ZEN TRACE and SOLVE (EXIGENCE) for network problem determination, ZEN FTP CONTROL (FTPALERT) for audited FTP monitoring and management, ZEN EE SECURITY (APIAS) for secure EE deployment across any network, and ZEN AUTOMATION for automating network and operational tasks.

In fact, William Data Systems has just release Version 4.7 of ZEN TRACE and SOLVE, which includes more customer-suggested z/OS network tracing and solution capabilities to help busy z/OS network support people do more in less time – they claim.

If you are plagued by mainframe network issues, you may well be interested in the new features they’ve incorporated into ZEN TRACE and SOLVE V4.7, including:
  • The new “Peek” function, which provides in-flight viewing of active IP traces. This means that it is now possible to view an active trace while it is still running, tracking its progress ‘in-flight', and then stopping it when the condition being sought in the trace is detected. This can save considerable CPU costs and user time.
  • Traces originally captured in OSAENTA, libpcap, or Sniffer format can now be imported into ZTS. This can make network problem solving both faster and easier.
  • As well as being able to accept commands from the operator console, ZEN TRACE and SOLVE now adds the ability to issue any commands (including ZTS commands) from JCL. When combined with the capabilities provided by the new import features, this enables different trace formats to be automatically imported into ZTS for analysis. This greatly simplifies the whole network problem solving process.
  • Tracing of IPv6 is now faster and easier with the provision of improved Flow display text descriptions for recognizable packet contents, as well as the capability to search using IPv6 format addresses.
  • Tracing packets in large Sysplex environments is inherently complex, but ZEN TRACE and SOLVE v4.7 now makes it easier by providing improved facilities for expanding encapsulated data used by Sysplex protocols such as GRE and VIPA Route. Being able to view and expand encapsulated payload data is a vital tool for rapid problem diagnosis in large Enterprise networks.

If you’re finding network management is an issue, it might well be worth a look.

1 comment:

Network management said...

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