COP secures radio waves on the lake
COP secures radio waves on the lake
Are you also one of the close to 40% of the population who usually go abroad, but who this year vacationed at home? The summer of 2020 may go down in history as the year we really enjoyed our time at home – on the lake, on the road, on the golf course or in the summer cottage.
Tomas Henäng, IT consultant at Compose IT Nordic AB, was one of all of us who vacationed at home. And who also spent a lot of working time out at one of their larger clients, a company that, among other things, provides communications for both end users and corporate clients. Communication that can be vital – if the boat runs aground, there is a storm around the croft or the road is flooded. Then we must be able to make contact with the outside world, whether it is with family and friends, the sea rescue or the emergency centre.
Tomas focus is the customized solution from Compose IT that monitors all IT-related network equipment for the customer’s various businesses, such as media and communication systems via both landline and radio link.
The customer is required to log alarms and events without exception (not even for ”unimportant” alarms) in their infrastructure. They already had an older model monitoring and alarm system. With increased demands for central monitoring, a ”central focal point” for all events and alarms throughout the IT network, the customer needed a more advanced and full-scale system and that’s where COP comes in. To ensure the customer’s mission of continuous logging of events and secure IT operation, Compose IT chose to implement COP – Compose Operation Platform – as a solution.
From the beginning, it was only intended to monitor and log events in the existing log system, but over time, a full-scale COP solution has been implemented for central monitoring of all IT-related network equipment, such as radio links and other electronic communications with high operational security requirements.
Examples of equipment and components included in the solution:
- Equipment for both fixed networks and radio networks reports to the COP through both active and passive monitoring. Pretty much all the equipment on this customer uses SNMP traps to send in the information about the status of the equipment.
- The traps submitted are defined in MIB description files supplied with the products, allowing the COP to easily interpret the content and make the information available in an instant in the form of events presented to the operators.
- COP then has the opportunity to filter information in a variety of ways and present it in different alarm lists and dashboards.
- COP also has the ability to enrich the alarms with information from databases (usually CMDB) and to integrate with case management systems to create cases into case groups with simple manual intervention by the operator or fully automatically.
With COP, Compose IT offers several advanced add-on functions, such as
- Graphical user interface with the option to integrate dashboards to display information from events and/or other data sources such as:
- The historical alarm database
- The case management system
- Performance data (if collecting this from the equipment)
- Create your own tools to interact with incoming events.
COP is built on the Netcool platform, an IBM standard, which makes it very cost-effective in relation to the performance delivered. In COP, we can also integrate solutions with Elastic as a base. Elastic’s components are particularly well suited for collecting, processing, storing, searching and visualizing e.g. performance data. At this customer, Elastic has been used so far to provide historical event data in a way that provides fast searching of a large amount of data. There will surely be more areas of use as the possibilities of Elastic are noticed.
A (simple) challenge
The original system was set up differently from the start, with a unique ID on each alarm regardless of whether it was the same alarm that came back again and again. With COP, it is possible to set up different alarm groups, something that was relevant for this customer. This means a simpler overview that gives a better understanding of what is new or recurring alarms.
- Instead of 1,000 different alarm IDs (one for each instance of an event), you can create alarm IDs that are a certain type of event. If it e.g. if 1,000 alarms of an alarm type come in, you only need to display one event in the alarm list, with a counter that shows how many have arrived, and two fields that show when the first and last event arrived at the COP.
- This of course helps the operations manager, who does not have to end up in a situation where you ”can’t see the forest for all the trees”. (It is a standard feature of COP, which is of great value to the customer when the events are defined in this way)
With Tomas and Compose IT’s unique knowledge of IBM Netcool and deep expertise in IT monitoring, the project has grown in step with increased trust, complexity in the service and not least with aspects such as requirements for security, availability and robust solutions for the socially important function that the customer provides .
Finally, what is the most important thing you want the reader to remember?
”Can’t emphasize enough the benefit of the competence and added value that an actor like Compose IT can contribute to the benefit of the customer,” replies Tomas. ”There is a big difference between buying a standard product directly from suppliers, where you yourself need to be responsible for the ability to customize it, to develop your own add ons and to manage its operation and maintenance. In the long run, it will be much more cost-effective to have a specialist who helps with that part”.
In addition, the many years of accumulated experience in a company like Compose IT have contributed to functions based on the customization of the products, to make their use more efficient.
”We offer the Compose Collection, in addition to the Netcool solution, which we know streamlines the use of the products. Examples include dynamic event handling, where you don’t have to write new rules for each new message that you want to automate the handling of. Instead, you go into a graphical user interface and click on the functions you want to work on the event,” concludes Tomas Henäng.
With over 600,000 working hours, Compose IT has accumulated a solid competence and experience bank. It is the bank that our customers benefit from today, and that is behind our system solutions.