In a recent Cisco survey of 1,300 IT decision makers, 18% of respondents indicated that they would rather break out of prison or train for a marathon than ask for more IT budget. That was one of the many tongue-in-cheek moments I enjoyed throughout the survey, which also captured enlightening pieces of metrics regarding IT [...]
This is a guest post from Miles Freedman, Senior Director of Technical Operation, at Lattice Engines. Miles is one of our beta users of the new CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap tool and shares his experience with it here.
Working with a company that provides data-driven applications for sales and marketing, we rely heavily on our computing infrastructure’s performance and availability. I’m always interested in trying anything that may help me better ensure availability and optimized performance of our infrastructure—especially if it’s free. As a result, I was very intrigued by CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap, a free monitoring tool recently introduced by CA Technologies.
CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap was very easy to set up and even easier to use. The product did a great job of going through our environment and automatically discovering available devices and systems, so I didn’t have to manually set up a bunch of elements to monitor.
Compared to open source platforms I’ve worked with, I’d say CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap took about a quarter of the time to get set up and working. We tried CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap in our QA environment, which has more than 100 servers, including Windows-based virtual machines, as well as platforms running SQL Server and IIS. The platform quickly discovered all the systems, and I could then easily choose which I’d want to monitor. (CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap enables you to monitor up to 30 systems.)
This is a guest post from Michael Tarajos, technical solutions engineer at Airlines Reporting Corporation. Michael is one of our first users of the new CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap tool and shares his experience with it here.
As a long-time customer of CA Nimsoft Monitor, I was very interested in giving CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap a try. The beauty of CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap is that it offers enterprise-grade functionality for free, which is phenomenal.
CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap offers a lot of features that make it stand apart from other free tools. After giving the tool a try, what really struck me is what it doesn’t include: In addition to being free of charge, it’s also free of chancy installs, steep learning curves, and migration path re-dos. Below, I provide more background on each of these areas.
CA Nimsoft Monitor 7.0 is the latest major release of the solution. This release includes:
- Nimsoft Management Server (the core application engine)
- Unified Management Portal (web interface)
- Unified Reporter (advanced reporting engine)
- Nimsoft Mobile 7.0 (mobile app for IOS and Android)
This release significantly increases performance and time to value.
When it comes to managing IT environments, size doesn’t necessarily matter.
Today’s IT environments with virtual and physical devices, cloud components, composite applications and mobile end users have most IT managers scrambling to stay on top of performance. But while large IT shops allocate budget for advanced enterprise IT management capabilities, small and midsize companies — or even departments struggling to stay on top of their devices — don’t often have the IT dollars to invest in sophisticated software. Some rely on free tools and open source software cobbled together to try to get a view of health, performance and availability across myriad, disparate devices.
That is, until now. CA Technologies today released CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap, software IT managers can download at no cost for an unlimited time. The one caveat is the software monitors up to 30 devices, but it does so from a single, unified solution for an unlimited time and at no cost. A version of its enterprise IT management application CA Nimsoft Monitor, Snap brings ease of use in deployment (installs in less than an hour) and delivers value more quickly (soon after installation with little configuration) than traditional IT management tools.
With patented technology for automated infrastructure discovery and root cause analysis, CA Spectrum® is the go-to product for fault and availability management for hundreds of companies, including nearly 200 of the Fortune 1000. In fact, over the years customers have shared many successes brought about by CA Spectrum – such as reducing mean time to repair (MTTR) by 50% and reducing network interruptions by more than 30%. Now we’re making CA Spectrum even better.
The latest release, CA Spectrum 9.3, continues the tradition in great form. Here are some highlights:
- The integration of CA Spectrum and CA Nimsoft Monitor, r6.2 or higher, brings together two best-of-breed solutions, expanding the CA Spectrum model of the infrastructure with information and alarms from CA Nimsoft Monitor. Combining the strengths of both products provides even greater coverage of infrastructure issues for rapid problem identification and resolution. With it you can:
- Leverage the intelligence of CA Nimsoft Monitor probes to receive events and alerts in CA Spectrum;
- Use the CA Nimsoft Monitor SLA rules to trigger events that create alert conditions in CA Spectrum; and
- Use CA Spectrum capabilities to perform basic root cause analysis on events and alerts that are created by CA Nimsoft Monitor.
OppenheimerFunds, Inc., one of the United States’ largest and most respected investment management companies, is on a trajectory from technology-focused monitoring to operational service monitoring through improved infrastructure modeling and service-oriented dashboards. In the “How a Good IT Organization Got Even Better” session, Ellen Puckett, AVP of the Corporate Technology Group at OppenheimerFunds, shares how they made this transition and some of the challenges they faced along the way. As we get ready for CA World, we asked Ellen four questions about her session and goals for the show:
Tell us about your upcoming session at CA World 2013.
OppenheimerFunds will present a case study of our recent project to implement an integrated service monitoring solution using Spectrum, SOI, eHealth, VAIM, dbInsight and xMatters .
What are the top 3 things you want attendees to learn from your session?
- Integration is the key to automation and reducing mean time to respond
- Be Flexible – deliver customer requirements in small doses and be adaptable to change
- Hire good people and let them do their job
Infrastructure Management: The Foundation of Success in Cloud, Big Data and Other Innovative Business Services
CA Technologies commissioned Forrester Consulting to study how the organizational and economic dynamics of infrastructure management are evolving to provide its intended goal of streamlining performance and availability across diverse systems, networks and applications. “Forrester conducted in-depth surveys with 150 IT decision makers in North America and Europe”; the results can be found in the Evolve Infrastructure Management Into Service Assurance study*.
One of the most pertinent takeaways is that, in today’s world of cloud, big data and collaboration, a strategic Service Assurance portfolio underpinned by infrastructure management is as vital as ever. The vision of infrastructure management is that it should enable improved service quality, predictability and efficiency—and as the authors make clear, realizing this vision is critical to the success of the cloud and other innovative business models and services. The study shows that while organizations are making progress in this effort, Europe ahead of the U.S., they still have work to do.
The September 2012 launch of CA Infrastructure Management (CA IM) was just the first step towards the future of our converged infrastructure management strategy. What have we been up to lately and how are we keeping the momentum going?
We are using what I like to call a “tripod of innovation.” First, we adopted new processes to accelerate innovation. We’re taking Agile software development best practices to new heights at CA Technologies, leading to rigorous and responsive release planning that allows for course adjustments to be made when warranted. This focus on Agile has enabled us to rapidly deliver two new significant releases to the CA IM solution in just over 6 months that added such capabilities as self-certification tools, browser and dynamic trend chart views, context pages administration, technology certification portal and much more that reduces the time, effort and cost required to manage complex infrastructures.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth… “
– Eric Hoffer
Innovation is the ingredient that keeps solutions fresh and enables companies to gain a competitive edge in whatever game they are in. In a business environment that is constantly changing, a tried and true solution may feel safe but can leave you in the dust as the industry marches on.
And it’s not just customers who stay in the land of the tried and true. Vendors with a solid infrastructure management solution and with many other products competing for R&D dollars can lull themselves into thinking that their offering can easily maintain vendor share for a few more years.
But here are the real questions. Has your infrastructure changed in the past five or ten years? When you deployed your current management solution where you even aware of some of the technologies that now exist in your infrastructure, such as virtualization, cloud services and an ever increasing number of personally owned devices? Is your infrastructure management solution capably supporting these new technologies or are you holding it together with duct tape and tribal knowledge?
As we tear the wrappers off the fresh 2013 calendars that are full of blank days and endless possibilities, the Service Assurance team shares what it thinks will be the top five IT management trends in the New Year:
- Streamlined end-to-end visibility and consolidated views of divergent traffic types will become increasingly important, as organizations are serviced by a variety of providers, both internal and external. – Pam Snaith, Principal Product Marketing Manager
- Size and complexity will matter: The size and scale of enterprise deployments will separate the wheat from the chaff in the APM vendors. Those vendors that are not optimized for the largest and most complex environments will be limited to serving only the SMB market (hello, Bob’s Surf Shop), while those that can handle enterprise-class apps, will dominate that market. – Melissa Hamilton Sargeant, Senior Director, Product Marketing
- APM vendors will make a significant move into the pre-production and DevOps space to improve the reliability and performance of business services that are being delivered at an accelerated rate. – Sohail Siddiqui, Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager
- Most traditional APM vendors will launch some form of APM as-a-service providing customers with an alternative sourcing model. Most offerings will not provide the full robustness of on-premise solutions therefore most enterprise customers will continue to rely on on-premise solutions but supplement them with SaaS offerings throughout 2013. – Paul Ellis, Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager
- Big Data will get bigger: 2012 was the year of hype around Big Data and 2013 will be the year organizations start to get their heads around the concept and begin reaping the rewards. For IT, demonstrating ROI around Big Data projects will be critical to success, which will help increase IT’s leadership on innovation. – Jason Meserve, Senior Product Marketing Manager
To celebrate December 12, 2012 (yes, 12-12-12) here are 12 things that could be impacting the performance of your network and the critical applications they support:
- YouTube: Yes, cat videos are fun. However, if too many employees are streaming too much video, your network is going to slow to a crawl.
- Blackberry 7 Messenger Wi-Fi calls: RIM’s latest Blackberry Messenger update supports Wi-Fi-based calling. That’s great for saving cell minutes, but could add load to the network.
- Skype: Microsoft is retiring its Windows Live Messenger communication app in favor of Skype. While instant message traffic should breeze across the network without issue, Skype does make it easy to do voice and video calling, possibly adding to the burden on the network.
- Apple FaceTime: Do your employees love their iPhones? If so, they might be using FaceTime to communicate with colleagues and friends over your Wi-Fi. Enough people start using it and your bandwidth could suffer.
- Pandora: It’s the holiday season and I love to listen to the Pandora “Christmas Radio” station. Thankfully, I work at home so I am not clogging the office network (and I don’t stream it over the VPN.)
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