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Future of Netcool

  • 1.  Future of Netcool

    Posted Mon March 26, 2018 02:29 PM

    It appears there has been a slowing down of Netcool development – would you agree? Do you think the product is being phased out? Would love to hear your thoughts and insight about this!



  • 2.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Mon March 26, 2018 06:17 PM

    Hello,

    For me, the question is pretty broad when you say 'Netcool', Are you after specific product(s) or overall Netcool ? To better understand your comment, I think it would makes sense to add some context. And BTW, here is list of NOI Suite of Products/Components at https://ibm.biz/Bdjuqe.

    Regards,

    Krishna.



  • 3.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Tue March 27, 2018 02:47 AM

    Hi,

    while I agree with Krishna and would like to better understand what you are referring to, I'd like to add that overall Netcool (NOI, "Netcool Operations Insight") is very vital. The core functionality is actively maintained, new features are added regularly (just think of the recent addition of the REST interfaces) and new funtionality is added into the NOI product bundle like Event Analytics, the new Agile Service Manager and other great stuff.

    Some of the basic functionality of Netcool hasn't changed over (indeed many) years - but I see that as a good sign. Backward compatability and product stability is key for a central tool for IT Operations Management.

    Cheers,

    Michael



  • 4.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri March 30, 2018 05:25 PM

    I think the development of complementary products to enhance Netcool (OMNIbus) has been continuing apace. The ASM and ALM integrations are tackling the next phase of Cloud based challenges imo. What features would/could you add to core Netcool?



  • 5.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Wed April 04, 2018 07:27 AM

    Netcool in general is alive and getting better, but if you think it is the best and nothing can be improved, then we'll kill the software slowly.

     

    Here is my list of things to be improved:

    DASH: It is a Gigas' software just to show dashboards. Custom dashboards are hard to maintain or edit, and its HA could be improved (now db tables must be dropped and recreated offtenly because .xml files error synch, or just corrupted data). I miss something "grafana style" (I know grafana is for timeseries, but some kind of integration could be done). Keep in mind that grafana is a simple .rpm around 50 MB.

     

    HA for Gateways.

     

    Impact: Add real development environment for easy debugging. Also include default external integrations for Slack, PagerDuty, Rundeck, and so on, instead of developing policies for all.

     

    TCR: 3 additional GB to generate reports! Why? Not very welcome at customers. We need something light, easy, fast.

    Generate html/pdf/csv reports that could be sent by email easily without deploying .ear files and so on.

     

    Integrate in the same possible future "human interface" Monitoring and Maps with nodes relationship (call it ICD-CMDB, TADDM...). From time to time is healthy to take a look to our competence, and SN! we have to recognize is doing this pretty good.

     

    Simplify Netcool "get in touch": Let me explain about this general point.

    It is simply a mess for a customer to get latest versions of Probes (names are confusing, ie: CA Spectrum Probe versions), or they way to download products (ie: find the correct PartNumber or... are WAS additional and TCR images required? If you are new on netcool, it is not an easy stuff).

    I've seen a lot of youtube videos explaining installations and integrations. I think this is a very good way to spread netccool solutions, and we could do it officially.

     

    So in summary... long life for Netcool means close control and constant effort/investment from our side.

     

    Sorry for this short entry ;)



  • 6.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Thu April 05, 2018 12:55 AM

    Agreed. Although there are new features coming into NOI portfolio, I don't see much enhancement or improvement to the existing matured product for many years.



  • 7.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Thu April 05, 2018 05:23 AM

    Agreed. Most of the IBM of the old SW assets are not seeing new features (look at Tivoli Monitoring or IBM Performance Management - ITM received the last fixpack more than a year ago). 

    IBM will probably continue providing support (and charging for it), but I haven't seen any significant progress with OMNIbus, JazzSM, WebGUI, ITM, TBSM, IPM, .. ) .. in last two-three years.

    We have to face the truth - it's not a priority for IBM to provide new features for software products mentioned above. Almost everyone I knew at IBM developing/designing those products has already left IBM or moved to some "hybrid cloud" position.

     

    I think we can already call products mentioned above as "abandonware". 



  • 8.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri April 06, 2018 12:58 AM

    Wouldn't agree with Julius as far as Netcool is concerned. REST-Interface, Message-Bus-Probe, Java-Free WebGUI are just a few examples of enhancements to the core product.

    And despite its enhancements I think we need to stop thinking in terms of "OMNIbus" etc. - the whole bundle of NOI is what we should look at. And that has gained quite a lot of new parts over the last months. Not all of them are perfect, agreed, but there is a lot of good and modern stuff in it !



  • 9.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri April 06, 2018 06:23 AM

    Well,

    • REST interface was added in OMNIbus 7.4 and this was in 2012 (that was more than 5 years ago, anyway 7.4 is EOS in December this year)
    • Message-bus-probe is with us also for several years (don't remember the first release)
    • Java-Free (almost) WebGUI was like 2 years ago. WebGUI does not even follow the intended JazzSM architecture (mostly widgets and their parameters, ... ), it's just "embedded"

    So I would not call this really a progress. Actually, I think the whole development has really slowed down in 2015 when IBM shifted overall strategy to focus on the cloud solutions.

    What users are lacking a long time in general (just a few examples) just for the OMNIbus/WebGUI:

    • simplification of setup and maintenance (installation from scratch, installing fixpacks). This is a huge issue, especially in HA environments. Container images with orchestration would have been a benefit (other vendors are doing this already for some time). 
    • MOBILE CLIENT - yes I know you can just view a list of events in the mobile view, but you can't do anything with it (acknowledge event or add journal entry). JazzSM has "mobile" views (the concept is fine) but WebGUI widgets are not supporting this functionality
    • Reporting or viewing historical events is a pain. Yes with NOI there comes SCALA, but events are stored in both REPORTER DB and SCALA. Reports in TCR are terribly slow for using it as custom reporting. Viewing historical reports in WebGUI is (almost) impossible.

     



  • 10.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Tue April 10, 2018 06:41 AM

    Hi Enrique Parra,

     

    Thank you for your lower level insight and I second what you said (including TCR – which I heard from others), and I’m aware of few other areas which you haven’t listed here.

     

    But good thing is, AFAIK, most, if not all are/were in the View of Offering Mgmt for a while, and hoping to see further enhancements to close these gaps sooner than later.

     

    For me, the challenges (limiting your topic to - mainly deployment, configuration & Integration) were two-fold in broader spectrum and I’m excluding new feature/function for a bit as it has its own list:

    1. Able to download NOI-Suite from Passport Advantage rather than searching – we’ve put ample of time in working with Documentation team over last two years based on field feedback, which is why you are seeing table at https://ibm.biz/Bdjuqe and I’ve posted brief update on another thread at https://www.imwuc.org/p/fo/st/thread=6710 . Again, my point is, stick to NOI version irrespective you are a NOI licensed user or stand-alone products…I’m sure most Users aren’t aware of the compatibility chart listed in above table. But I do agree, there are other areas that require addressing – hopefully we’ll see more feedback around this topic from you and other Users.
    2. Ease of Deployment, Configuration and Integration”- In need of ‘NOI Blueprint Integration document’ which explains nuts and bolts not only NOI suite but also how to integrate NOI with other components/products etc. This is very very broad topic and should be phase by phase approach and would love to see some feedback around this topic from you and other Users on what format/areas you would like to see. I was also wondering if Users from this group can contribute when it comes to non-blue components in terms of expanding the scope of Integration.

    My only request is, please let the feedback pour in…

    Regards,

    Krishna.



  • 11.  Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri April 13, 2018 11:14 AM

    Hi Krishna and all for your valuable info,

     

    I'm gonna open a new thread about external integrations looking for feedback.

     

    Regards!



  • 12.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Wed April 04, 2018 04:18 AM

    To understand more about the following Netcool themes, please read the blog in https://ibm.biz/BdZK6W.

    - How Netcool continues to deliver.

    - NOI and ITOM, including Netcool.

    - Year after year, IBM is named a leader in the Gartner OSS Magic Quadrant, built on strong capabilities of Netcool.



  • 13.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Wed April 04, 2018 06:58 AM

    Hi Brigit,
    I fear you may be a little out of the loop with recent development of the Netcool portfolio ? A great deal of development has been undertaken by IBM on the Netcool suite from building on the solid foundation of the Netcool core aspects (Omnibus) that keep Netcool at the heart of a VERY large number of customers around the globe (despite the efforts of other vendors to create confusion around this).


    Another large and extensive development activity has taken place for cloud native environments now giving Netcool unique set of capabilities that stand Netcool out in the dynamic environment from the management of SDN, (NSX, Vmware) NFV, Kubernetes and Docker based environments to mention just a few with Netcool ASM (Agile Service Manager). More Development has taken place for the orchestration of dynamic environments with Netcool Agile Lifecycle Manager (ALM).


    In addition to the development of capabilities mentioned above another extensive development area for Netcool has been the use of Netcool in the containerized environment, for the life cycle management of Netcool. Not sure of your background or history but more than happy to have a chat off line to provide you with some information or maybe you could attend the next Netcool track where we have had many sessions over the past 12/18 months on all the development areas that have kept Netcool a solid foundation in customer environments.

    Regards
    Rob Clancy
    rclancy4@uk.ibm.com



  • 14.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri April 06, 2018 07:51 AM

    Great to see the engagement here in the community and always great to get feedback from passionate Netcoolers.

     

    As Krishna pointed out above the question if fairly broad since Netcool consist of a family of offerings focused on operations and network management but in no way are we phasing anything out nor have we slowed down. Netcool Operations Insight was launched in 2014 as the  next generation of Netcool and since then we released 4 major releases but we also shifted to a more agile way of delivering new innovations and enhancements. These have come out in minor releases and in fixpacks and an issue here may be that often these are not announced in the same way as is the case with major releases.

     

    In Netcool Operations Insight we have delivered and continuously updated our Cognitive Event Analytics to automatically correlate common and rare event groups and textual analysis of all log file data, not just events, on any entitled device is provided to extend the reach of the total Operations solution.

     

    To complement Netcool we have delivered cloud based extensions with IBM Run Book Automation and Alert Notification that based on events in Netcool can trigger automated responses to common problems or allow you to quickly delegate/notify the right subject matter expert when not

     

    In 2017 we introduced have continuously updated a key innovation in NOI for real-time cross domain visibility into highly dynamic environments, OpenStack, Docker etc as well as NFV & SDN. This new capability, known as Agile Service Manager, provides dynamic, converged topology and relationship information in real time; information that is critical for effective orchestration and assurance of e.g hybrid networks.

     

    In addition to ASM we brought two new offerings to market at the end of 2017 with Agile Lifecycle Manager which is a comprehensive design, testing and automated deployment platform addressing the challenges and complexities of the NFV paradigm and Cloud Event Management (CEM) as another complement to Netcool targeted at the DevOps and LOB personas .

     

    These are just some highlights, and more is coming e.g today we kicked off a beta program for a containerized version of Netcool Operations Insight that leverages Docker, Kubernetes and Helm to allow for rapid deployment and upgrades of Netcool.

     

    Hope this helps and if any one has any questions don’t hesitate to reach out



  • 15.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Mon April 09, 2018 04:10 AM

    Joakim, where can we apply for beta program of NOI in containers? Is this an invite-only beta?
    I'd expect this to be a sticky post either in the forum or email on netcoolusers mailing list.



  • 16.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Mon April 09, 2018 08:36 AM

    Hi Julius

     

    Its a closed BETA for now so not on a public site yet but if you are interested and want to participate send me an email with your contact info and I can add you to the list.

     

    Sincerely

    Joakim (joakim.tenlen@se.ibm.com)



  • 17.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Mon April 09, 2018 09:37 PM

    What a great discussion!  Thank you for the clarifications from IBM and for the ideas from other Netcool users.

    The heart of Netcool hasn't changed for many years and that makes sense, because it was well designed right from the beginning.  It is great to hear that IBM has not shifted it's focus away from the NOI group of products, but is enhancing them with new features and add-ons.

    The comments about WebGUI and DASH, as well as TCR and Event Analytics are relevant and hopefully IBM will listen to those too and see what can be done there.  



  • 18.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Tue April 10, 2018 04:13 AM

    what is more interesting for me is how the new features has enabled clients to be innovative in operations.  NOI and it's new features (related event grouping, event seasonality, scope-based correlation etc), add-ons like preditive insights ( IBM Operations Analytics) including the APIs are being used by customers today in myriad of creative ways. Have seen example deployments where REST APIs from Omnibus are being used by clients to connect field engineers via channels like Whatsapp, Viber, FB Messenger securely, with Natural language APIs like watson conversation to deliver network field operations use cases (location based services to tell which alarms on a site exists which needs priority work, have seen Weather APIs being used to correlate proactive maintenance activities and be ready for an impending outage, integrating to Watson Discovery APIs to provide guided resolution from a corpus of learnt documentation about the customer's network etc.

    These are possible because of the development and onboarding of new technologies into the NOI portfolio.

     

    my 0.02$ worth here,

     

    Thank you

    Sanil



  • 19.  RE: Future of Netcool

    Posted Fri March 15, 2019 08:20 AM
    Hi,

    In addition to Joakim's comments in this thread, I'd like to point out that NOI analytics and machine learning capabilities are currently being extended and enhanced. There is an active sponsor user program in which IBM invites users to review early designs and provide  feedback. The program provides the opportunity to see future facing designs and code long before these are accessible to any other user, and to be a key influencer on the design.

    For more information, and to find out how to sign up for the program, please see:
    https://community.ibm.com/community/user/imwuc/blogs/keith-posner/2019/02/07/would-you-like-to-influence-the-future-of-netcool

    Regards,
    Keith

    ------------------------------
    Keith Posner
    IBM
    London
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