INTELLIGENCE AND WARNING AMERICA 67 IWA E nsuring the availability of disparate systems, applications, and devices is a critical issue at the top of every CIO 9s list of concerns and yet, according to a recent study, 60% of all enterprise systems software management implementations fail to live up to expectations. These 8all-in-one 9 solutions have simply failed to live up to their vendor 9s hype. Most interestingly, the survey noted three primary sources of dissatisfaction 3 implementation speed, ease of use, and gaps of system coverage.
IMPLEMENTATION SPEED IS CRITICAL One study noted a 70 percent failure rate of system management solutions that require 24 months or more to implement. In essence, a shorter implementation timeframe results in a higher likelihood of success, and organizations will see a positive ROI from their software investment. Unfortunately, corporations choose a system from a particular vendor based only on cost and functionality in most cases.
They truly do not consider the timeframe to implement as an important critical success factor. EASE OF USE High-end tools like BMC 9s Patrol, Hewlett Packard 9s OpenView, IBM 9s Tivoli, and CA Unicenter are inherently complex. Each vendor has their own flavor of underlying technology.
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and interdependencies create another level of complexity to the infrastructure. In addition, their agent-based technologies must reside on every monitored device. Each agent is different and must be installed, configured, and scripted to become aware of the rest of the management environment.<br><br> COVERAGE GAPS While the high-end solutions tout their full functionality, the nature of agent-based technologies does not encourage full implementations across the entire enterprise. These coverage gaps create blind spots where system availability is unknown and departmental service levels are at risk. THE NEW PARADIGM Are all enterprise system implementations doomed to fail?<br><br> Of course not, given enough manpower and effort you can implement any of these solutions. However, many companies do not have the resources to dedicate to the implementation, they need the solution up and running quickly, and they can not afford the seven figure price tag associated with the initial software purchase. Meanwhile, other companies with 8successful 9 implementations still need coverage of their blind spots.<br><br> ConsoleWorks from TECSys Development (TDi) provides the solution for companies in both of these situations, offering: " The functionality of Patrol, Unicenter, Tivoli, and Openview at a fraction of the price. " A solution that can be implemented in a matter of days versus months and years. " A product created with ease of use and efficiency in mind.<br><br> " The ability to manage any systems, applications, or devices within your entire organization. There are no blind areas of coverage. THE BOTTOM LINE IS& THE BOTTOM LINE CIO 9s know that buying expensive technology does not make the infrastructure itself more affordable to run and manage.<br><br> In reality, the reverse is usually true. CIO 9s must continually confront three major challenges 3 increasing the efficiency of the infrastructure, shielding users and applications from downtime, and making the end-to-end environment more reliable. Today 9s competitive and economic environment increases the demands on your time now more than ever.<br><br> With fewer resources, network managers are expected to keep up with more compliance and security issues, integrate a mixed environment for which staff must be trained to troubleshoot, as well as, increase productivity and decrease cost. Constant sifting through these issues is not only inefficient 3 it 9s painful. TDi 9s ConsoleWorks is a scalable solution that facilitates the secure management of your data center environments and is typically deployed within three to five days.<br><br> s THE RATE OF CHANGE AND ACCUMULATION OF DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGIES IS CREATING A CHAOTIC IT ENVIRONMENT THAT IS SIMPLY 8UNMANAGEABLE 9 FOR MOST ORGANIZATIONS. AS KARL STROVINK, AN ANALYST WITH THE GARTNER GROUP SAID, cENTERPRISE SYSTEM MANAGEMENT IS LIKE A BIG BAD, HAIRY GORILLA, SITTING IN EVERYBODY 9S CLOSET. d A LOT MORE FOR A LOT LESS INTELLIGENCE AND WARNING AMERICA 68 IWA ConsoleWorks is a patented web-based solution providing console aggregation over IP. Providing secure remote monitoring and management for enterprise networks and devices, ConsoleWorks enables real-time response to support your dynamic business requirements.<br><br> It provides the only end-to- end encrypted remote access to managed devices using patented web server technology and SSL/SSH encryption. ConsoleWorks provides a centralized, secure, cohesive, and integrated management solution for use with traditional in-band SNMP or agent-based products. Without using a software agent, it extends their capability by providing real-time out-of- band system and application information, which they are not tasked with gathering.<br><br> The complete set of business, financial, operational, and technical values of a ConsoleWorks 9 implementation allow clients to achieve a quick return on investment and improved efficiency for their infrastructure. The net result is reduced downtime, and increased availability, which save organizations time and money. TRADITIONAL SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT The most commonly used system management tools today rely on the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), or are agent-based.<br><br> These products are typically implemented by loading agent software on the device to be monitored, then polling the device for information this agent has gathered over a specified period of time. This polling process over the network is termed 8in-band management 9 because a complete network path from the management system to the managed device is required. Additionally, in order to facilitate this polling, a reliable management server, a complete network path, and healthy agents on each managed device are required.<br><br> Differing from the traditional tools, ConsoleWorks 9 primary data collection method is serial console messages from the managed devices. This connection is the lowest level interaction possible to the hardware and requires no agent, no network stack, and no operating system to be running on the managed device. From a strategic management perspective, ConsoleWorks monitors your devices and notifies your staff when events occur, provides a direct connection to the devices, logs all device communication, and provides a knowledge base of information to assist with reducing outages.<br><br> MONITORING/ALERTING ConsoleWorks in operation is like having a live operator in front of each managed device watching it for event messages which may require attention, then notifying the appropriate personnel through paging, e-mail, or automatically acting on these events. Messages from the managed devices are scanned and matched with the ConsoleWorks knowledge base about that device in order to declare an event which WHAT IS CONSOLEWORKS? 69 IWA INTELLIGENCE AND WARNING AMERICA 69 IWA requires attention.<br><br> Notifications are then completed in real-time allowing pro-active management for your enterprise. DIRECT CONNECTION Through its browser interface, ConsoleWorks enables a user to directly access managed devices with a single mouse click from anywhere at any time. It is significant to note that this connection is an out-of-band connection to the device 9s console management port, which is a hardware-level access and does not require the device to have its network capability or operating system running.<br><br> Once connected to the device, the user is able to make system adjustments or take the corrective action necessary to restore the device to a fully operational state. COMPLETE LOGGING Key to successful device management is having the information available to fully understand what occurred on the device. ConsoleWorks logs every keystroke that comes from or is sent to the managed device.<br><br> This provides a complete history of what has happened from a console. In addition, ConsoleWorks places entries into the log reflecting usernames, commands, events, and timestamps which provide a complete audit trail of activity on each managed device. SECURITY FUNDAMENTALS There are a number of security considerations in conjunction with a ConsoleWorks installation.<br><br> It is important to note that ConsoleWorks does not displace any existing security mechanisms, but rather provides additional opportunity to enhance the enterprise environment for securing managed consoles/devices. The following security features are available and are considered when implementing ConsoleWorks: " Administrator account " User accounts and profiles " Profile privileges " SSL/SSH " Browser considerations " Direct serial connections " Console server connections " Private management network " ConsoleWorks server hierarchy " Failover server KNOWLEDGE BASE The knowledge base within ConsoleWorks represents intelligence based on the types of systems and devices being managed, and specific information retained on a site-by-site basis. Scan files are ConsoleWorks 9 data modules for specific devices or systems.<br><br> They contain lists of information, error codes, and corrective actions as identified by the device 9s manufacturer. These lists are compiled by TDi into ConsoleWorks event and scan formats and are used by the ConsoleWorks scan engine to identify unique events. The event definitions and device-specific help enable administrators to quickly evaluate situations and make corrections based on the manufacturer 9s recommendation.<br><br> Site-specific information can be entered for devices, users and events in order to help quickly access important data. Additionally, the event help may be augmented with information that details exactly what procedures need to be followed regarding specific devices. KEY DIFFERENTIATORS FOR YOUR ENTERPRISE Implementing a ConsoleWorks solution is relatively simple compared to the traditional complex configuration issues faced with in-band monitoring tools.<br><br> A typical 3-day Quick-Start process will suffice for most installations and provide: " Real-time monitoring " Direct console access from anywhere at any time " Complete logging " Enhanced security " Knowledge base " Automatic actions Integration with the traditional SNMP- based products is quickly implemented providing a single point for notification, escalation and management. WORLD-CLASS SUPPORT TDi supports end-to-end installation of ConsoleWorks, from connecting the managed device to installing and configuring the ConsoleWorks server and components. Maintenance for ConsoleWorks includes new features and product upgrades.<br><br> Support is 24x7 to accommodate your critical production systems and devices. c d Providing secure remote monitoring and management for enterprise networks and devices, ConsoleWorks enables real-time response to support your dynamic business requirements For more information about ConsoleWorks or TDi please visit http://www.gdsinternational.com/readerenquiry/ and enter 1525. Alternatively, visit the Infocentre online at www.gdsinternational.com<br><br>