As an MIS Manager, when you are approached by staff or vendors concerning Network Management, there are a few key questions to ask.
Question: How much would the system cost?
A lot of systems implemented today are accomplished by a Salesman specifying the system to the MIS Manager. They typically push huge amounts of hardware and software at the problems at hand. Some vendors will even tell you that cost is not important; it`s the capability that counts.
Additionally, because a network management system must be customized to the local environment, there are a lot of hidden costs beyond the hardware and software.
White Seagull utilizes widely used industry standard protocols to collect statistics from network devices like routers, switches, server stations, printers, etc. It then uses a reliable and widely used and tested complementary components Database, Reports generator, and topology map suites. Due to its design; it is easy to customize to any local environment and goes one extra step by allowing the Administrators to customize to their particular management needs and requirements.
Question : Will the proposed system integrate into and enhance my current MIS support capabilities?
A lot of MIS Managers really miss the boat by not demanding that the overall system be tightly integrated into the business units. If the system serves no business purpose, you buying technology for technology`s sake... the system is doomed to failure.
White Seagull’s design allows the MIS team to home in on the relevant information within their network infrastructure that makes business sense according to the business objectives of the organization. It allows for a financial controller user to view customized reports that directly translate between the worlds of technical network data and the business world according to the way the particular business unit’s evaluation. As business objectives change and evolve over time; changes are easily integrated into White Seagull.
Question: Is the proposed system modularly distributed in design?
If everything in a Network Management System is loaded on one box, you`re setting yourself up for inefficient use of computing resources. If the system contracts, the one box will be underutilized; if it expands, you`ll be trading that box in for a bigger one... losing money every time.
White Seagull is highly modular were management processes can easily be distributed over a number of collection servers and workstations allowing for more efficient use of overall computing resources.
Question: Is the product proposed just an Element Management System or is it an Integrator of Element Management Systems?
Too many times, MIS Managers are sold a product like HP Openview or IBM Netview as a Manager of Managers System. Although, some integration functions are capable in these systems, you take away from their ability to perform real work... like polling and gathering information.
White Seagull uniquely provides the infrastructure tools to build particular Element Managers (we would rather call “Management Processes”). With capabilities to transfer or pass arguments between management processes; White Seagull could equally be considered as an Integrator of multiple processes all running at the same time.
Question: What does the system monitor?
Match the capabilities of the proposed Network Management System to the key IT services provided. If it is not a good match now, it won`t be later.
White Seagull uniquely allows the administrator(s) to define the what, where, when, and the extent of management to be applied to a particular key IT service(s) within the whole network or a subset zone of the network. Each of the what, where, when, and extent of management of the IT service could be modified according to the changing needs of the managing organization and indeed according to the changes in the relevant IT service itself.
Question: Does the proposed system enhance the capabilities of the current support staff or does it add more support staff?
Be especially careful in that some systems will do nothing to enhance your current support staff capabilities and add five or ten more personnel to your staff and to your budget. Not to mention, these people are usually highly skilled specialists in Network Management... which don`t come cheap.
Look at the total picture of the entire enterprise and match what is proposed to what`s currently operational. Ask the same questions for each site.
White Seagull uniquely manages the human resource activities with respect to the network being managed. It defines clear roles that defines the rules of engagement set by the network managers of each user in connection to the collected information and what it means to the total management operations; this directly contributes to the enhancement of the support staff’s capabilities and indeed knowledge of the network particularly in complex networks. It suffices to say that White Seagull’s SOS Language is easy to understand, use, and to modify once the fundamentals of Network Management technology and the SNMP Protocol are grasped.