Network Management Streamlined
BackBy Daniel Margolis, Associate Editor — December 4, 2006
Automobile manufacturers are beginning to offer a feature that sets a vehicle’s onboard computer to e-mail its owner on a set schedule to let him know the vehicle’s condition. This allows vehicle owners to anticipate maintenance problems and address them before they arise, rather than once they’re standing beside of the road with the hood up, peering helplessly at the engine.
Jumpnode Systems LLC brings this same concept to network management. The Jumpnode Monitoring Solution is an appliance that plugs directly into a network, then syncs up with a data center run on a Web-hosted service platform. The appliance collects metrics that monitor the health of a network’s devices and systems, which are sent to the data center. From there, a customer can view the entire network.
“If you have five or six remote locations, by drop shipping our appliances to each site, you’re able to get a view inside of that network,” said Irfan Khan, Jumpnode CEO and one of the company’s founders.
If such oversight of a network is absent, making preventative measures impossible or at least unlikely, a network administrator can resemble a motorist just waiting for his car to break down.
“A large majority of customers use a reactionary approach, which is essentially doing nothing, and what happens is that when something breaks, they call you and say, ‘Hey, I can’t get to the mail server,’ ” Khan said, adding that this status quo has led to the stereotype of the “typical IT guy” who’s always running around, fixing problems and dealing with issues as they come.
Khan said his inspiration in creating the Jumpnode Monitoring Solution came from his own tour of duty as a typical IT guy.
“I was a network engineer myself, putting out fires and dealing with the other solutions that are out there, the vast majority of which are software-based and very complicated,” he said. “A software solution requires (companies) to provision a piece of hardware, install an operation system, install some software, and then they are out there, monitoring their network. What that doesn’t do for them is if they have a lot of different locations, they’re going to have to repeat that process 50 times, so then they have 50 more servers to maintain, 50 more operating systems, and the workload on that administrator has just increased.”
Jumpnode streamlines this process, dedicating an appliance that’s easy to install and is just there to collect data, which is then processed via the Web server. And the company has just added the option of end-users scheduling e-mail reports on the health of their networks. These e-mails can be customized to report selected metrics as needed.