I work at a global automotive manufacturer and they have offices all over the globe, and one of the ways we use our network management for is capacity planning. For example, if I have a plant in Bejing China, I can set an alert to let me know when a circuit is going over a predefined threshold and when it does, I can start the process of ordering a new circuit. As you might imagine, the logistics of ordering a circuit in China is full of all kind of red tape and is going to take a while to get into place. I can use all the head start that I can get and Orion gives me the lead time I need to get things done.

 

Another thing I really like NMS for is to be able to monitor manufacturing plants all over the globe, where their main job is to build cars and not information technology.  Where any outage can cost, thousands to millions of dollars, and the pressure is on.  Orion helps me do my job, so I can help the workers do their job.  This way we can deliver enterprise class IT support with a skeleton crew at the actual site.

 

Some Network management systems are hard to use and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you need a PHD to figure them out.  Orion is so easy to use and there is so much help from the online community, Just click here, input a bit of management information and you’re up and running.  It’s not all roses and chocolate, but you can be up and running in a few hours , or a few days. This is in contrast to a few months or years with other overly complicated network management systems, that require plenty of well paid consultants eating up the projects budget.

 

One particular incident, I can recall recently is our chassis switches switching blades turned out to have a manufacturing defect in them. This defect only manifested itself above a certain temperature. When the defect hit, the blade just shut down.  Production stopped, pagers went off and phones rang, everyone wanted to know when the network was going to be back up again, and why it went down. I got the blade RMA’ed to the manufacturer, and the problem was solved.

 

I then found out this was a widespread defect and the only way to tell if a blade was affected was to send in the serial number to the manufacturer. Network management to the rescue, I was able to gather all the serial numbers from all the blades on all the switches globally. Let me tell you hundreds of blades were part of this problem and they are now being scheduled to be replaced instead of waiting for them to fail. NMS saved my hide this time, a massive failure like that would not have been fun. Orion has paid for itself so many times over, it’s just a no brainer, a necessary tool of the trade.

 

To Summarize, Network management Is good for Capacity planning, monitoring sites without a full IT staff, network inventory , so you know how your network is put together. And finally Orion is just so easy to use. Just set it up and let it do its job. I couldn’t imagine how I would do my job without it and stay sane.

 

It’s so much better to be proactive , then reactive, while nothing is perfect, NMS can make your job a lot easier and maybe even a bit of fun.  It’s the shock absorbers , that help you avoid the pot holes of an IT career, so relax and enjoy, it’s going to be a smoother ride from here on out.