Unbelievably fast presentation of network reports

2019-04-01

Present reports for hundreds of interfaces in a few milliseconds!

We at Compose IT have over 600,000 hours of network monitoring experience and know how important it is to be able to present large amounts of data quickly.

SevOne NMS is a well-known and powerful network monitoring solution that can present comprehensive reports and large amounts of statistics. SevOne can, with its many collection modules, collect many different types of time series data over short intervals. It is designed to monitor the very largest networks and is used by one of the world’s largest telecom companies. With SevOne’s different types of visualization it is possible to present data in customized reports. For example, its customized TopN reports can quickly present large amounts of measurement values for various object-related indicators. Although the reports are adaptable in many ways, there are times when a customized presentation is required to meet the customer’s needs.

One occasion when the customer’s wishes demanded a tailor-made presentation solution, was when the customer wanted to show specific measurements from SevOne together with metadata from other systems and required very short delivery times. The views would be adapted so that, without technical background, one could easily relate to reports and measurement values. The presentation would visualize customized reports on very many real-time objects. In order to deliver these reports in real time within a few milliseconds together with metadata such as related indicator values and active alarms, we built a new interface with the associated GUI. The interface is based on SevOne, all collection, normalization and processing of the measured values is done in SevOne, but the presentation of data is in a self-developed GUI. In order to present large amounts of data within a couple of milliseconds, you must both have a fast GUI and be able to retrieve data from SevOne efficiently.

There are two different ways to retrieve data from SevOne either via the SOAP API or the REST API. SOAP API is the API with most features as REST API is newer and still under development. It is only possible to retrieve the measurement values for one indicator at a time, which is very slow. REST is generally much faster than SOAP.

In order to be able to retrieve measurement values for several indicators, and thus retrieve data quickly, we built an interface to SevOne’s internal API. These are magnitudes faster than both REST and SOAP; only 5 seconds to retrieve one hour of measurement values for 1253 indicators. This solution should only be used if you have VERY good knowledge of SevOne and its structure.

In addition to being able to retrieve measured values for the indicators in a quick way, you also need to enrich the measured values with metadata. If the page is to load within a few milliseconds, the compilation of metadata must be at least as fast as retrieval of the metrics, because no chain is stronger than its weakest link. To quickly enrich the indicator values with information such as traffic type, traffic class and customer ID, we chose to cache all enriching data. The advantage of caching all metadata is that it is already processed and categorized into the indicators. Hence, it is prepared and ready to be picked up by a client at any time.

To spread the load and further streamline the flow, cache files are generated on all collectors. Files are then sent to a central server. The advantage of this is that all measurement data is enriched where it is stored and then collected where it can be quickly retrieved for presentation.

As all data is processed and compiled from SevOne, it is ready to be loaded by the client. To deliver data and functionality to the client, we created a REST API. This API communicates the data contents of the cache files to the client. Because great emphasis was placed on doing as much as possible of the data processing in the back-end, the cache files contain exactly the data that the client needs. Our API also handles other functionality such as login.
For presentation we developed an Angular application. Since all information is already compiled and processed, it is both quick and easy to search and sort among several thousands of indicators. But with these large amounts of data, it can be difficult for many graphers as time series data with history leads to an incredible number of data points. In our client we use Highcharts which can efficiently draw up very many data points incredibly quickly. Another great advantage of Highcharts is that it is possible to adapt almost infinitely, so that you get exactly the visualization you want.

All of these components from collection to presentation lead to a lightning-fast portal that can present very large amounts of real-time data within a few milliseconds. It is an unbeatable fast interface with almost non-existent delay. So use us to give your NOC and your capacity planners the opportunity to stay up to date and access detailed information right away when they need it!

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