IBM Netcool Operations Insight consists of a base operations management solution. It can be optionally extended by integrating Network Management, Performance Management, and Service Management solution extensions.

The full name of the Netcool Operations Insight base solution is Operations Management for Operations Insight. This base solution provides the capability of monitoring the health and performance of IT and network infrastructure across local, cloud and hybrid environments. It also incorporates strong event management capabilities, and leverages real-time alarm and alert analytics, combined with broader historic data analytics.

Network Management for Operations Insight

Network Management adds network discovery, visualization, event correlation, topology-based root-cause analysis, and configuration and compliance management capabilities. It also adds network dashboarding and topology search capabilities. The extension is provided by integrating the Network Manager and Netcool Configuration Manager products.

Capabilities

Network Management is made up of the following products and components:

  • Network Manager
  • Netcool Configuration Manager
  • Topology Search

Networks for Operations Insight is an optional solution extension that can be added to a deployment of the base Netcool Operations Insight solution to provide service assurance in dynamic network infrastructures. The capabilities of Networks for Operations Insight include network discovery, visualization, event correlation and root-cause analysis, and configuration and compliance management. It contributes to overall operational insight into application and network performance management. The Networks for Operations Insight capability is provided through the Network Manager and Netcool Configuration Manager products.The components and capabilities of Network Management are described below:Network Health DashboardThis dashboard leverages the capabilities of Network Manager, Netcool/OMNIbus, and Netcool Configuration Manager products to display availability, performance, event, and configuration data for selected network views.The Network Health Dashboard displays device and interface availability within that network view. It also reports on performance by presenting graphs, tables, and traces of KPI data for monitored devices and interfaces. A dashboard timeline reports on device configuration changes and event counts, enabling correlation of events with configuration changes. The dashboard includes the Event Viewer for more detailed event information.Topology SearchThis capability provides insight into network performance by determining lowest cost routes between two endpoints on the network over time. The topology search capability is an extension of the Networks for Operations Insight feature. It applies the search and analysis capabilities of Operations Analytics – Log Analysis to give insight into network performance. Events that have been enriched with network data are analyzed by the Network Manager Insight Pack and are used to calculate the lowest-cost routes between two endpoints on the network topology over time. The events that occurred along the routes over the specified time period are identified and shown by severity. The topology search requires the Networks for Operations Insight feature to be installed and configured.

Task

Custom dashboard development tasks

Administrators can create pages that act as “dashboards” for displaying information on the status of parts of your network, and they can edit existing dashboards, such as the Network Health Dashboard. They can select from the widgets that are provided with Network Manager, Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus Web GUI, and also from other products that are deployed in your Dashboard Application Services Hub environment.

Network Health Dashboard tasks

The Network Health Dashboard displays device and interface availability within that network view. It also reports on performance by presenting graphs, tables, and traces of KPI data for monitored devices and interfaces. A dashboard timeline reports on device configuration changes and event counts, enabling correlation of events with configuration changes. The dashboard includes the Event Viewer for more detailed event information.Monitoring the networkOperations staff can use Network Health Dashboard to monitor the network by selecting a network view within an area of responsibility, such as a geographical area, or a specific network service such as BGP or VPN, and reviewing the data that appears in the other widgets on the dashboard.Administering the dashboardAdministrators can configure how data is displayed, and which data is displayed in the Network Health Dashboard.

Topology Search tasks

This capability provides insight into network performance by determining lowest cost routes between two endpoints on the network over time.

Using Topology Search:

Operations staff can use the analytics available in the Topology Search capability to obtain insight into network performance. For example, they can visualize the lowest-cost routes between two endpoints on the network topology over time.

Configuring Topology Search:

Administrations staff can configure and customize these tools to match the network and alerting ecosystem.

Data Flow

The following figure shows a simplified data flow between the products of Network Management and, where appropriate, Operations Management.

This figure shows the flow of event data from Network Manager, Netcool Configuration Manager and probes to the ObjectServer. The event data is synchronized via the Gateway for JDBC with a database, for example IBM DB2, where it is archived. Then, the historical event data is transferred via the Gateway for Message Bus to the Operations Analytics - Log Analysis product.

Collection of network topology, polling, and configuration data 

: Network discovery is runBased on configurations set up by network administrators, Network Manager gathers data about the network. The discovery function identifies what entities, for example routers and switches, are on the network and interrogates them, for example, for connectivity information. 

 Network topology is storedNetwork Manager classifies and stores the network topology that was discovered in step  1  in the NCIM topology database.

 3 : Network devices and interfaces are polledBased on configurations set up by network administrators, Network Manager polling policies are run to determine whether a network device is up or down, whether it exceeds key performance parameters, and identifies inter-device link faults.

 4 : Changes to device configuration and policy changes are detectedNetcool Configuration Managerdiscovers whether there are any changes to device configuration or policy violations.

Collection and enrichment of alert data

 5 : Alerts are received from applications and devicesAlert data is captured by probes and forwarded to the ObjectServer.

 6 : Network events are generated if polls failNetwork Manager generates fault alerts if device and interface polls (step  2 ) fail. Network Manager converts the results of the relevant polls into events, and sends these network events to the ObjectServer.

 7 : Network configuration events are generated if device configurations changeNetcool Configuration Manager generates events for the configuration changes and policy violations (referred to hereafter as network configuration events) that were detected in step  3 . Configuration change and policy violation events are sent via the Probe for SNMP to the ObjectServer.

 8 : Events are enriched using topology dataNetwork events (generated in step  6 ) and network configuration events (generated in step  7 ) are passed to the Event Gateway, where they are enriched with network topology data. For example, the system location, contact information, and product serial number can be added to the events. The events are returned to the ObjectServer.

Once steps  5  to  8  are complete the Netcool/OMNIbus ObjectServer contains the application events from the probes, network events from Network Manager, and the network configuration events from Netcool Configuration Manager.

Visualization of events and topology

 9  Event are visualized and monitoredThe Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus Web GUI displays the application events, network events, and network configuration events that are in the ObjectServer.

 10  Event information is sharedThe event information is shared between the Web GUI and the Network Manager GUIs, for example, the Network Views and Hop View.

 11  Network topology is visualizedThe Network Manager GUIs display the network topology data that is in the NCIM database. This data is enriched by the configuration change and policy event information from the ObjectServer.

 12  Network configuration events are analyzedConfiguration changes and policy violations are displayed for further analysis in the following GUIs:

  • Network Manager GUIs
  • Web GUI Event Viewer
  • Netcool Configuration Manager Activity Viewer, wizards, and other Netcool Configuration Manager user interfaces

Using the right-click menus, operators can optionally launch-in-context across into Reporting Services, if it is installed. Reporting Services is not shown on this figure.

Topology search data flow 

13  Event data is transferred for indexing to Operations Analytics – Log AnalysisThe Gateway for Message Bus sends the event data via an HTTP interface to the Operations Analytics – Log Analysis product where the event data is indexed. The Network Manager Insight Pack parses the event data into a format suitable for use by Operations Analytics – Log Analysis.

 14  Topology search data is visualizedTopology search results are visualized in Operations Analytics – Log Analysis event dashboards and timelines by performing right-click actions on two nodes in the network between which the analysis is required. This is done in one of the following ways: either select two network nodes in a network map within one of the Network Manager GUIs, or two events in the Web GUI Event Viewer.

Dashboard data flow 

15  Network health information is visualizedIn the Network Health Dashboard, selection of a network view enables you to visualize availability summary data, top 10 performance data, and configuration timeline data for the devices in that network view. Data used to populate the Network Health Dashboard is retrieved from the ObjectServer, Network Manager polling databases, and Netcool Configuration Manager. 

16  Device and interface health is visualizedYou can right click to the Device Dashboard from any topology view or event list. In the Device Dashboard, selection of a device enables you to visualize top 10 performance data for the device or any of its interfaces. You can also visualize timeline data for any of the performance metrics associated with the device or any of its interfaces. Data used to populate the Device Dashboard is retrieved from the ObjectServer, Network Manager polling databases, and from Network Performance Insight.