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J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel Enterprise Network Management Solution University of Maryland, University College J. Banks, J.

Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel AbstractManagementBiographySoftwareCases 13 Profit Chain 19 Conclusions 22 References 23 Architecture 10 Profit Chain 20 J. Banks, J.

Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel As 21 st century organizations depend more heavily on their information technology departments for critical business functions, management of IT resources becomes a serious strategic concern. New solutions for monitoring, allocating and troubleshooting IT resources are developed with enterprise-wide information systems in mind. One of these tools is NetIQ s App Manager. The intent of the research is not to tout the benefits of any particular software package, but rather to describe the functionality of an all-encompassing solution to enterprise network management, and analyze the benefits similar software tools can provide to an organization.

The following report will provide evidence that implementation of an enterprise network management solution is essential to improving critical business processes of organizations that depend on efficient operation of their computer systems. J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel Introduction to Enterprise Network Management The role of an IT department is to ensure availability and performance of business-critical systems and server applications.

Throughout IT departments distributed systems management is considered an essential ingredient for the successful deployment and maintenance of these systems. The ability of IT personnel to manage an entire enterprise-wide networked environment from one remote location greatly increases their strategic value and productivity. Solutions such as App Manager provide automation of repetitive network management tasks, monitoring of system resources, automated fault detection and alerting and pro-active error correction functionality. Another advantage provided by App Manager is the ability to store and analyze data describing the state of the networked environment.

These services provide IT personnel with the information and control necessary to ensure transparent management of an organization s networked resources. According to Stallings and Vanslyke (1998) the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suggests 5 categories that are essential to proper network management. These categories are configuration management, fault management, accounting management, performance management and security management. Each of the 5 management categories have unique characteristics that cover a wide range of business processes related to the use and availability of an organization s networked assets. They are also interrelated in a way that a change in one area of management can have an effect on any or all of the other categories. Configuration management facilitates the continuous operation and interconnection of networked assets.

Control of the relationships between system Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J.

Sachsel components is addressed at this level (Stallings and Vanslyke, 1998). The ability to redefine default component attributes to enable improved information processing is critical to the efficiency of the enterprise. Configuration management is closely related to fault management since it is often necessary to reconfigure sections of a networked environment to bypass component weaknesses or errors. Fault management is the ability to detect, isolate and correct abnormal network operations. Upon detection of a fault or component failure it is necessary for several events to occur. The network must be isolated from the fault to allow continuation of service without interference.

The network must then be reconfigured or modified to minimize the impact of the fault. Finally, the failed component must be repaired or replaced in order to restore the network to its initial state (Stallings and Vanslyke, Accounting management is the establishment, monitoring and distribution of charges for use of networked resources. This is strictly an internal management function of developing charge-back algorithms, identifying inefficient or abusive resource usage and updating business plans that address resource allocation or network expansion (Stallings and Vanslyke, 1998). Performance management is concerned with monitoring the behavior of and communications between networked components. By comparing network performance statistics to an established baseline, situations can be identified as areas of present or impending performance degradation. It is imperative to identify and correct potential performance bottlenecks before they cause problems for either internal or external customers (Stallings and Vanslyke, 1998).

J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel Security management involves the protection of sensitive data and equipment from unauthorized users.

Businesses with a presence on the Internet are particularly concerned with unauthorized access to data and network components (Stallings and Vanslyke, 1998). Access control, data encryption and user authentication are the three areas of concern when providing protection for network resources and user information. An enterprise network management solution must address these 5 categories efficiently in order for a business to profit from its implementation. Functionally, a network management system should perform the following tasks in support of the 5 Collect Statistics on Communications and Network Activities Respond to Network Control Commands Send Messages About Network Operations to the Network Control Center The effective performance of network management tasks, application of network management software, monitoring and analysis of collected management data and application of that data to support strategic business goals is extremely beneficial to organizations that are dependent upon IT resources for critical business functions. With support from executive management, organizations can realize benefits that include improved business processes, more efficient use of IT resources and increased productivity within the IT department. NetIQ is a leading provider of e-business solutions management software.

The company provides application service providers (ASPs) with comprehensive infrastructure management solutions encompassing application directory, server and Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel network performance management. NetIQ App Manager software helps organization optimize the performance and availability of their Windows NT and Windows 2000 based systems.

NetIQ is the first company to offer solutions that encompass system administration, data center operations management and network performance NetIQ was established in 1995 to address the need of a strong Internet economy and provides system and management solutions for the Windows NT environment. NetIQ is privately held company with over 100 employees. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California with personnel in Houston Texas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Bellevue, Washington. It has additional field offices in Washington D. C. , Dallas, Denver, New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. NetIQ is comprised of three distinguished companies collaborating to provide eBusiness solutions and infrastructure management software.

One these is Sirana Software, Inc. of Bellevue, WA. Sirana s specialty is the development of web-based enterprise analysis and reporting solutions for Microsoft BackOffice. Sirana Software, based in Bellevue, Washington, builds web-based enterprise analysis and reporting solutions for eBusiness applications like Microsoft Exchange and BackOffice. Sirana Software delivers decision-making information to business and technical managers to help them better understand and improve the performance of these important systems. The addition of Sirana Software continues NetIQ's strategy to provide a complete range of solutions for Windows 2000 -based eBusiness software.

The second company in the NetIQ family is Mission Critical Software. Mission Critical is a leading provider of systems management software for Windows NT and Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel Windows 2000.

MCS is based in Houston, Texas, and operates regional offices in the Mission Critical Software, Inc. recently acquired Ganymede Software. Ganymede is located in North Carolina is the third member of NetIQ strategy. Ganymede products provide for the end-to-end testing and monitoring of enterprise networks.

According to Mark Mager (1999) NetIQ has a very direct and unambiguous aim to focus its development resources on application management products running under Windows NT/Windows 2000 systems. Its target customers are typically Global 1000 organizations that include Dell, Shell, Boeing, Prize, BBC, Philip Morris, Adidas, Glaxo Wellcome, Lloyds and Roche. Mager s (1999) report for the Butler Group estimates future NT server deployments to exceed 2 million by the end of 1999, and exceed 2. 5 million by the next year. These figures are based on the fact that 1. 6 million NT servers were deployed in the 3 years preceding 1999 with a reasonably constant increase NetIQ s App Manager is a comprehensive systems and application management suite of products. According to Mager (1999), it can manage and monitor performance and availability of distributed Windows NT/ 2000 systems and server products from either a central location or from remote locations. App Manager provides an enterprise-wide view of an organization s entire networked environment.

With some customization it can automatically perform a great number of network management functions with little or no input from the network manager except for some up-front configuring. Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E.

Kimble, J. Sachsel App Manager is a robust enterprise network management solution that is able to address the 5 categories of network management described above. App Manager s multi-tier architecture is key to the robustness and scalability of the management solution. As a networked environment expands, different tiers of the architecture can be deployed at appropriate levels of the network to afford optimal monitoring, processing and fault correction techniques.

With App Manager s logically deployed functional objects distributed across an entire network, monitoring, processing and managing tasks are organized and efficiently executed. These functional objects make up App Manager s 4 tiered architecture. The multi-tiered architecture provides flexibility in distributing the process load across multiple networked components and allows for efficient communication between components. The first tier is the management console. This object is the primary interface (GUI) between network administrator, App Manager and every object, either hardware or software, connected to the network. It is from the console that pre-programmed monitoring functions, known as knowledge scripts (KS), are configured and executed.

These scripts are written in Visual Basic for Applications, and are the business rules for collecting and reacting to performance and event data. From this console, and by using either supplied or customized knowledge scripts, the network administrator can address the 5 categories of enterprise network management described above. The second tier is the repository. It is a Simple Query Language (SQL) server database that serves as the App Manager data repository. It stores all of the information about the network to include configurations, knowledge scripts, events or alerts, graphs Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J.

Brown, E. Kimble, J. Sachsel Figure 1. NetIQ App Manager s Multi-Tier Architecture and information returned from running knowledge scripts. The repository communicates directly with the console and the third tier, the management server, using Open The third tier, the management server, is the interface between the fourth tier, management agents, and the repository. The management server distributed knowledge scripts to their intended locations from the repository.

It also directs monitoring and event data returned from execution of knowledge scripts to the appropriate locations in the data repository. The management server communicates Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J.

Sachsel with the management agents using Microsoft s Remote Procedure Call (RPC) The fourth tier is the management agent. This object can reside on any Windows NT managed client and is used to monitor associated system and application resources. The agent executes knowledge scripts that are either directed by the console or scheduled in the repository. Upon completion of the requested script execution, the agent communicates any relevant data or events collected back to the management server. The agent can operate independent of control in the event of a network outage between the management server and the agent.

The agent will continue to collect and store data, monitor objects and applications and execute knowledge scripts locally until network services and normal network operating conditions are restored. An additional advantage of this fourth tier is the ability to follow Liebmann s (2000) Follow the Sun advice for battling increased management costs. Instead of running second and third network management shifts to cover a 24 -hour monitoring period, agents can be installed at any location on a WAN, essentially monitoring an internationally distributed network around the clock. Front line management responsibilities are spread across the enterprise and data can be uploaded to the main console for analysis during regular business hours.

A typical event that is initiated by the administrator to perform any type of monitoring or processing function on the network proceeds as follows. At the management console, the administrator configures and executes the knowledge script based job, initiating communication with the repository The repository sends the proper configuration and knowledge script to the The management server sends the job to agents connected locally Enterprise Network Management J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J.

Sachsel The agent executes the knowledge script, returning data requested by the knowledge script back to the management server The management server sends the agent s data to the repository where it is The repository sends the saved data to the console where real-time graphs and data analysis is updated with the new information One can observe that the scalability of this architecture is very flexible. With the ability to locate distributed repositories anywhere in a large enterprise network, the managing team is able to scale the solution from a small network with servers numbering in the teens to a large distributed network with hundreds or even thousands of servers. An optional fifth tier, the Web management server, provides a set of Active Server Pages that communicate with the repository. This tool aids the administrator by allowing access to the network from any location equipped with a web browser, eliminating the need to provide full-time (24 / 7) network management staffing.

Liebmann (2000) writes in Network Magazine that the effectiveness of network managers increases when they can get the information they need about network status at any time or place when their pagers go off. Liebmann (2000) also states that web based management tools help avoid platform specific hardware requirements associated with Finally, according to Mager (1999), organizations with ever increasing investments in a Windows NT based computing infrastructure, and those contemplating a move to such a topology, will require increasingly sophisticated application and network management and monitoring solutions to ease the administrative burden. A product such as NetIQ s App Manager, that eases the administrative overhead and lowers costs while delivering efficient and superb functionality, is a prime candidate for J. Banks, J. Brown, E. Kimble, J.

Sachsel Southern Company Services, Inc. (Southern) supplies electricity to eleven million people in the southeastern United States. It has subsidiaries in South America, Europe, and Asia. Currently their IT infrastructure is comprised of 600 NT-based systems, and their main concern is server downtime. Southern searched for a management tool that would render an early warning and provide automatic error recovery in case of system problems. Southern is dependent on its information foundation and infrastructure to support all of its strategic operations, employees, and customers. App Manager allows Southern to manage the performance, dependability, and accessibility of distributed NT-based systems.

Southern chose App Manager because it integrated well with their NT systems and provided the functionality they needed to manage a widely distributed international system of networked resources. While installing App Manager, Southern was surprised at how immediately weaknesses were detected within the infrastructure. This has allowed them to make much needed improvements in the way they operate. App Manager s early detection and warning functions drastically reduced server downtime, provided the tools necessary to monitor storage systems and quickly reported to IT staffers information concerning network availability. App Manager also gave Southern the ability to centrally monitor its vastly distributed NT-based systems. In the fall of 1997 the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASDAQ), combined with NetIQ to monitor the company's Web site (Nasdaq.

com). NASDAQ Web handles an extremely high traffic load of over eight million hits per day. The reliability of Nasdaq. com is paramount for hundreds of thousands of users seeking information, Enterprise Network Management...


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