Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor 12 (NPM12) launched last week to great fanfare. I've written quite a bit about the problems that network professionals face in the past few weeks. NPM12 solves quite a few of these issues quite nicely. But what I wanted to talk about today is how NPM12 solves an even more common problem: arguments.
Not my fault
How many times have you called a support line for your service provider to report an issue? Odds are good it's more than once. As proficient professionals, we usually do a fair amount of troubleshooting ahead of time. We try to figure out what went wrong and where it is so it can be fixed. After troubleshooting our way to a roadblock, we often find out the solution lies somewhere outside of our control. That's when we have to interact with support personnel. Yet, when we call them to get a solution to the problem, the quick answer is far too frequently, "It's not our fault. It has to be on your end."
Service providers don't like being the problem. Their resources aren't dedicated to fixing issues. So it's much easier to start the conversation with a defensive statement that forces the professional on the other end to show their work. This often give the service provider the time to try and track down the problem and fix it. Wouldn't it be great to skip past all this mess?
That's why I think that NPM12 and NetPath have the ability to give you the information you need before you even pick up the phone. Imagine being able to start a support call with, "We're seeing issues on our end and it looks like the latency on your AWS-facing interface on R1 has high latency." That kind of statement immediately points the service provider in the right direction instead of putting you on the defensive.
This becomes even more important as our compute resources shift to the cloud. Using on-premises tools to fix problems inside your data center is an easy task. But as soon as the majority of our network traffic is outbound to the public cloud we lose the ability to solve problems in the same way.
NetPath collects information to give you the power to diagnose issues outside your direct control. You can start helping every part of your network get better and faster and keep your users happy as they find their workloads moving to Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and others. Being able to ensure that the network will work the same way no matter where the packets are headed puts everyone at ease.
Just as the cloud helps developers and systems administrators understand their environments and gives them the data they need to be more productive and efficient, so too can NPM12 and NetPath give you the tools that you need to ensure that the path between your data center and the cloud is problem free and as open as the clear blue sky.
The end result of NPM12 and NetPath is that the information it can provide to you stops the arguments before they start. You can be a hero for not only your organization but for other organizations as well. Who knows? After installing NPM12, maybe other companies will start calling you for support?