May 24, 2011

Information is power

I’m kind of a strong believer that when everyone has the same information most smart people will come to the same conclusion. When people are missing information, or worse have the wrong information, bad decisions get made.

For example, assume you just signed a great deal on a WAN circuit for an office in Madrid, Spain. It had super low latency so applications run great, high bandwidth and an incredibly low price. Sounds like a great thing, right? So, of course, signing the 2 year contract is an easy decision. Unfortunately, what you did not know was the office was scheduled to move in 4 months. Clearly if you had the information, the deal suddenly doesn’t make sense.

I just showed off a very early release of NMS 4.1 with the latest data center manager product in it. I’ll admit during the demo was the first time I had spent any real energy looking at it. In my defense it’s hot off the presses, the beta code was installed 4 days ago and it won’t be released for a month or so. Yes we try to get it that early so we find any issues in our network before anyone else does.

There are a lot of cool new features coming in this release but the one I want to mention in particular is the new tabs that Data Center Manager (DCM) gives you in the vCenter console. If you haven’t used DCM, check out the product page on it for the full details, but it lets you manage VMware implementations easily without sacrificing the ease of configuration you get with Enterasys policy and lets both the server and network teams see details that they normally wouldn’t see. The best part is they can still use the same tools they are used to.

The new tabs allow the virtual server team to see things like, which physical port they are on, the policy applied to it, if you are running assessment what problems were found, etc. It also lets you see port errors, bandwidth utilization and almost any other network statistic you can think of. The best part though is they see this from within vCenter. They don’t need to launch a new tool.

We think this will speed up troubleshooting and further reduce time to resolve issues, thus reducing TCO even more. Like I said there are a lot of other cool features coming with this that will make it even easier to manage networks. Stay tuned…

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