Network Management Systems Market Trends

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Network Management Systems
Market Trends

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00016932

Publication Date: 2208

Report Type: MARKET


Managing networks becomes more complex with each passing year. From
simple local connections of computers and servers, networks have grown to
encompass global enterprises connecting sites around the world and using
multiple technologies to do so. Keeping all of those technologies
operating optimally requires increasingly sophisticated tools that can
pull together each piece. Vendors are stepping up to the plate to
provide the necessary tools in addition to cloud services and automated
functionality. This report describes the current state of their efforts
and the challenges and opportunities facing both vendors and their

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Enterprise network management has never been an easy task for IT
departments, and now, with networks spanning the globe and encompassing
multiple, diverse technologies, it is becoming increasingly difficult.

Faulkner Reports
Network Management Tools Tutorial

Network problems can originate from various sources: Desktop
applications, communications packages, modems, remote access
concentrators, LANs, directory servers, backbone switches, Web servers,
firewalls, or server applications. Software defined networks create a layer of
complexity as do converged voice and data technologies with Voice-over-IP
(VoIP) taking center stage due to management and security issues. Add in
Internet of Things (IoT) connections and there’s even more potential for

Corporations require management tools that can examine each component to
determine which may be causing the user to experience a problem. Rather
than providing end-to-end monitoring tools, however, vendors have tended
to deliver point products capable of examining a single component on a
network connection. For instance, a router supplier would offer a tool for
its product and a server supplier would offer a tool for its product. This
forced large companies to work with a hodgepodge of different tools to get
at the root of a problem. Seeing the need for true end-to-end products –
and the opportunity for a broader customer base and market share – several
companies conducted strategic acquisitions of complementary and sometimes
competitive products with the intention of delivering more comprehensive

Previously, vendors tried to support integrated end-to-end network
management by letting third parties hook their management applications
into a central console, but the frameworks experienced limited success,
offering only rudimentary integration. A network technician can look at a
map that consolidates information from different applications, but testing
any potential problems usually requires working within the device’s own
element management application rather than within the enterprise
framework. Thanks to ongoing acquisitions, however, greater integration
has become a reality. Internet technology is also moving network
management ahead by enabling vendors to provide broader connectivity, such as
anytime-anywhere access using Web technology, while pushing them to
support e-business and virtualization. Vendors are also being required to
link legacy technology-driven silos and demonstrate how their systems
support business services.

Market Dynamics

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Managing distributed, heterogeneous enterprise networks represents a
long-standing challenge for corporations that continues to
grow as enterprises span the globe, using wireless and converging
technologies. For more than two decades, customers have been demanding
tools that enable them to control all of their applications, computers,
and network devices from a central console. IT pioneers attempted to
deliver frameworks that encompassed all network
elements on either on single vendor or heterogeneous networks. These
platforms, like IBM Netview and AT&T Accumaster, took years to
implement but could not support evolving networks.

The legacy platforms were replaced with the precursors of the predominant
network/systems management software used today, which were developed more
than a decade ago by a handful of IT giants including IBM, Hewlett
Packard, and CA Technologies (acquired by Broadcom in 2018). These platforms were written prior to the
proliferation of the Internet and initially had trouble keeping pace with
e-business requirements. However, leading vendors, which also include BMC,
Cisco, and Dell EMC, are aggressively pursuing technologies that support
e-business and other methodologies such as service management, business process
management, Configuration Management Databases, and virtualization.

The move toward hybrid infrastructures blending cloud and on-premises
workloads adds yet another level of complexity, especially in environments
where the network periphery no longer exists in a real sense. Public cloud
network management is a point of vulnerability, yet is often out of the
customer’s control. That brings monitoring and traffic analysis to the
forefront as a first line of defense.


Early initiatives to develop common standards that would
enable organizations to manage all network elements with one console experienced scattered success. But the industry continued pushing and subsequent diversified support and vendor cooperation is succeeding in
multiple fronts from distributed environments to wireless ones. DMTF, formerly
known as the
Distributed Management Task Force, has led this effort in recent
years and helped introduce numerous relevant standards. This organization
boasts more than 4,000 active members in 140+ organizations. DMTF management technologies include the Common Diagnostic Model
(CDM), Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH), System
Management BIOS (SMBIOS), Alert Standard Format (ASF), Virtual Management
Initiative (VMAN) and Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware
(SMASH) Initiatives, as well as Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM),
including protocols such as CIM-XML and Web Services for Management
(WS-Management), most of which are based on the Common Information Model
(CIM). The Network Management Initiative (NETMAN), and Platform Management
Components Intercommunication (PMCI) cover additional bases, and work on
standards for software defined networks is in progress at the IETF and
elsewhere. DMTF has now added multiple cloud management standards to its
portfolio under the Cloud Management Initiative umbrella.

In addition, over 300 vendors now support the open source OpenNMS
initiative. While the DMTF initiatives focus on improving the
interoperability among disparate management systems, the OpenNMS
initiative focuses on supporting comprehensive network and system
management through open source software. It offers two distributions:
Meridian for enterprise and businesses looking for long term support, and
Horizon for those seeking to try out the latest technology. Vendors can
use open source software to build commercial network management products,
which can then be offered at very low prices or even given away. Because
such products are built on open source, they gain maturity from the
collective development. Vendors of open source products stress the strong
quality and the peer review processes and many even pre-publish the latest
versions of their products, so users can test them and find bugs before
the products are generally released. Users can also modify products built
to OpenNMS as they see fit. For instance, a large company could typically
use several commercial packages to manage its enterprise network with none
totally fulfilling its needs. Using open source products lets these
companies customize and enhance the software or use selective parts, such
as the discovery engine, to produce exactly the solution they need. If
they require support, commercial organizations will offer it for a fee.

Traditional management vendors have also stepped up to the plate to make
their products more acceptable in today’s environment. They have
“Web-ified" the products, made them more accessible and are even contributing
to the Open Source movement. Internet technology has become firmly entrenched in
management products, as the Web browser, coupled with Java, XML, ActiveX, .NET,
or more recently HTML5, can create a lightweight, almost universally accessible
user interface. This also enables them to pick from a larger pool of potential
technical support staff. Technicians now monitor systems and respond to problems
through a wide range of Web-enabled devices – desktop and laptop computers,
tablets, cellular phones and smartphones, and
pagers – from any location.

DMTF Standards. Interest and support has been
building for interoperable directory services for heterogeneous networks.
So, in addition to Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) development, the
DMTF took on the task of developing the Directory-Enabled Networking (DEN)
specification. DEN is an initiative to develop a standard and extensible
directory schema foundation for heterogeneous environments, which would
allow companies to provide interoperable directory services across
networks. The DEN specification will allow applications to transparently
leverage network infrastructure on behalf of the user, enable end-to-end
services, and support distributed network-wide service creation,
provisioning, and management. As part of the DMTF’s work in this area, it
has released the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) mapping
specification to CIM.

CIM (Common Information Model) serves as the information model for the
DMTF’s WBEM and DEN specifications as well as other evolving standards.
CIM supports Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH)
for managing heterogeneous systems and includes the Server Management
Command Line Protocol specification.

In April 2007, the DMTF released Common Information Model Simplified
Policy Language (CIM-SPL) 1.0, which gives developers a streamlined policy
language that supports underlying CIM information models. This
policy-based management lets administrators define rules and allocate
resources and supports automated systems management in distributed
environments. CIM-SPL delivers the means for specifying “If condition,
then action”-style policy rules to manage computing resources, using
constructs defined by the underlying models of CIM. Using this version on
the CIM policy engine helps automatically control and configure parts of
the IT domain. Previous CIM releases included the user and support models,
and enhancements to the physical model, which enabled more support and
remote diagnostic capabilities, such as trouble ticketing, diagnostic and
fault-tolerant models. CIM also includes security classes and provides
diagnostic components for the DMTF’s Common Diagnostic Model (CDM),
version 2. The CDM architecture is scalable and applicable to multiple
platform types. CDM plays a key role in improving the platforms’
reliability, availability and serviceability, featuring standards based
interoperable diagnostics that improve platform’s test capability. CDM
2.0’s enhanced multi-vendor diagnostic capabilities also boosts system
reliability, availability and serviceability. In 2020, it is in version

Web Services for Management. The DMTF introduced Web
Services for Management (WS-Management, or WS-Man) in 2005 to deliver a
common way for systems to access and exchange management information
across the wired and wireless infrastructure and recently enhanced it
adding more extensibility, integration, ease of use and terminology.
WS-Man 1.1 was adopted as ISO/IEC standard 17963:2013. The current
version, released in 2014 is 1.2.0. WS-Management was the first
specification to expose CIM resources via a set of Web services protocols
and promote interoperability between management applications and managed
resources by identifying a core set of Web service specifications and
usage requirements to expose a common set of operations. By using Web
services to manage IT systems, deployments that support WS-Management
allow IT managers to remotely access devices on their networks. The WS-CIM
specification provides mapping to Common Information Model data that can
be automatically translated to Web services formats. The specification
describes how to encode CIM information in an XML schema.

DASH. In March 2007, DMTF announced Desktop and mobile
Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) Initiative, intended to leverage
DMTF’s WS-Management specification to deliver standards-based Web services
management for desktop and mobile client systems. DASH delivers the next
generation of standards for secure out-of-band and remote management of
desktop and mobile systems. It presents specifications that provide
architectural semantics, industry standard protocols and profiles to
standardize the secure management of desktop and mobile systems
independent of machine state, operating platform or vendor by playing off
WS-Management to integrate desktop and laptop management into an
end-to-end management solution. DASH 1.2.1 was released in June 2015. DASH
also works in conjunction with CIM.

Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH). In
late 2006, the DMTF introduced Systems Management Architecture for Server
Hardware (SMASH) to deliver an intuitive and uniform way to manage
multiple vendors’ servers, making network management most cost effective.
The DMTF released some portions earlier. The SMASH Implementation
Requirements Specification instructs management vendors on how to use the
SMASH specifications to create server management, describing common
requirements for mapping standard SM Command Line Protocol commands to CIM
elements. SMASH allows users to view management functions by invoking the
SMASH Command Line Protocol and deploying it to connect to a server, power
it up or down and view status information. The SMASH initiative also
includes the SM Managed Element Addressing Specification, SM CLP-to-CIM
Mapping Specification, SM CLP Discovery Specification, SM Profiles, as
well as a SM CLP Architecture White Paper. SMASH 2.0, released in 2007,
adds support for programmatic interfaces, web services and security
protocols. SMASH 2.1, released in December 2014, is the current standard.
The culmination of the DMTF’s work should enable a more integrated, cost
effective, and less crisis-driven approach to managing heterogeneous

Network Management Initiative (NETMAN). In mid-2014, the
DMTF announced the Network Management Initiative (NETMAN), an integrated
set of standards for management of physical, virtual, application-centric
and software defined networks. The NETMAN initiative will strive to lead
the industry toward the unification of network management across
traditional datacenters, cloud infrastructures, Network Function
Virtualization (NFV) environments, and software defined data center (SDDC)

Addressing the current complexity and abstraction, DMTF’s NETMAN will
provide the necessary standards-based management models and interfaces to
enable consistent, unified and automated provisioning, deployment,
configuration, and monitoring of network environments. The DMTF says that,
building upon its widely-deployed management standards, the NETMAN is in
the unique position to:

  • Facilitate interoperable management across multiple network
  • Enable a common management infrastructure for network resources and
    services that can span across multiple implementations, including open
    source solutions.
  • Deliver effective management of the network environment within new
    paradigms such as SDDC and NFV.

Network Management Layer3 Interface Profile version 1.0.0 was released in
June 2018. It specifies the CIM schema and use cases associated with the
general and common aspects of layer 3 interfaces found in an Ethernet
Switch. It includes a specification of the Layer 3 interface configuration
service, Sub-Interface, IP Tunnel Interface, switch virtual interface, and
loopback interface.

Cloud. The DMTF has pulled together four working groups
focusing on cloud management into the Cloud Management Initiative. It
focuses on achieving interoperable cloud infrastructure management between
cloud service providers and their customers and developers. It also
promotes adoption of standards by the industry; the current standard is
Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI) 2.0.

Market Leaders

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Only a handful of vendors offer complete enterprise network management
platforms – although acquisitions and mergers continue to blur the
competitive landscape. Applications from hundreds of smaller vendors plug
into these platforms to extend management capabilities to all kinds of
devices found on today’s multi-vendor networks. Over the past years, some
of the larger vendors have been rebranding and repositioning their
platforms as tools for the management and optimization of broader business
processes rather than merely managers of networks.

BMC Software

BMC Software has evolved from a company based on a single mainframe
product to one supporting a comprehensive suite of systems and network
management offerings, featuring BMC ProactiveNet Performance Manager,
formerly PATROL, which is now part of TrueSight Operations Management. BMC
expanded its management offerings with strategic acquisitions including
BGS, Boole and Babbage, New Dimension, Evity, OptiSystems Solutions,
and Perform, Marimba, and Identify Software, as well as Remedy and Magic
Solutions help desk products. In an attempt to consolidate enterprise
management information, BMC acquired OpenNetwork, which effectively
extended its Atrium initiative and KMXperts, producer of knowledge
management software for service desks, and in the past years has also
absorbed Bladelogic, Emprisa Networks, ITM Software, RealOps and
ProactiveNet to further expand its offerings. In 2009 it expanded its
portfolio with Tideway Systems (discovery software) and Phurnace Software,
which produces automation software for the deployment of Java apps, joined
the fold in January 2010. Acquisitions have continued, with Neptuny
capacity management and IT performance optimization in October 2010,
GridApp Systems in December 2010, Coradiant in April 2011, Aeroprise in
July 2011, StreamStep in October 2011, Numara and I/O Concepts in January
2012, Abydos in April 2012, and VaraLogix in August 2012.

In May 2013, BMC in turn agreed to be acquired by a private investor

The BMC TrueSight Operations Management (formerly ProactiveNet
Performance Manager) series delivers end to end digital service assurance,
performance monitoring and event management. These solutions work together
to provide automated problem resolution and performance optimization.
Administrators and operators can drill down to details about the health of
an application, system, operating system, middleware or hardware. Users
can manage an entire enterprise, a collection of servers or a single
machine from one centralized view – either from a native Microsoft Windows
console or from a Web browser-based console. The products have now been
rebranded TrueSight.

BMC Atrium is an open-architected foundation that enables information
sharing and centralized management across BMC Software and 3rd-party
solutions. Part of this initiative is the BMC Atrium Configuration
Management Database (BMC CMDB), an intelligent data repository that
provides a working model of enterprise IT infrastructures. By
consolidating disparate datasets within an organization, BMC Atrium
provides a central source of information for IT environments. The company
believes that by implementing an overall IT management strategy, users can
leverage a shared data repository, unified service model, and common user
and reporting interfaces allowing them to benefit from what may have been
a mixed bag of previous technology investments. The BMC product line
currently encompasses a broad range of systems and network management
capabilities, which includes the following:

  • Service Level Management
  • Incident and Problem Management
  • Infrastructure and Application Management
  • Service Impact and Event Management
  • Asset Management and Discovery
  • Change and Configuration Management
  • Transaction Monitoring and Management

Broadcom CA Technologies

CA Technologies, which was acquired by Broadcom in November 2018, started
out as a systems management specialist and then added network features to
its flagship Unicenter solution. It then engaged in massive rebranding,
and has virtually eliminated the Unicenter name, although most of the
components still exist in its various product lines. CA Technologies now
addresses security, operations, network management, servers and desktops,
groupware, applications and databases, help desk, Internet, and storage.
Predictive analysis, capacity planning, a portal, and root-cause analysis
sweeten the pot. CA Technologies has now rebranded itself yet again, as an
IT management software and solutions company. Since its 2005 acquisition
of Concord/Aprisma, CA Technologies has folded Spectrum into its solutions
portfolio, preserving the name and integrating it into its Enterprise
Systems Management Business Unit as a standalone product. It has also
added eHealth and eHealth for Voice to the mix to provide proactive
service assurance, rapid problem identification, predictive capacity
planning and service level management. In July, 2018, Broadcom agreed to
buy CA Technologies for $18.9 billion USD. This acquisition is intended to
help Broadcom expand in the market for infrastructure technology.

CA NSM (formerly CA Network and System Management ) was built on an
object-oriented architecture and a manager/agent infrastructure, which
operates across heterogeneous networks. It has now reached end-of-life,
and is no longer being developed. In its place, CA offers the CA Unified
Infrastructure Management solution suite, including CA Nimsoft Monitor.
The suite features template driven, drag-and-drop configuration simplifies
initial solution setup and ongoing maintenance. Simplified management data
access through a multi-tenant portal delivers tailored, role-based views,
and service level definition, tracking and reporting allows IT to
proactively monitor and manage its service level commitments. Performance
data is aggregated across networks, systems and applications to simplify
troubleshooting with advanced root-cause analysis. It combines fault and
performance management into modernized, web-based UI’s for simplified
access and reporting. Deviation from normal alerting simplifies initial
configuration setup and ongoing maintenance, and in-depth network
performance monitoring allows advanced analysis of bandwidth usage and
issues. A free version, dubbed CA Unified Infrastructure Management Snap,
lets users monitor up to 30 devices, including servers, databases, network
devices, storage, and applications.

Broadcom’s CA Technologies Infrastructure Software monitors enterprise
health and includes network device discovery and support, traffic
analysis, interactive problem and diagnostic tools, alerts, and
consolidated performance reporting. Its specific categories include
mainframe software, BizOps, and enterprise software.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett-Packard (HP) was an early entrant in the enterprise suite market
with its OpenView line. The software arom was retained by the Hewlett
Packard Enterprise (HPE) half when the company split. The company claims
that thousands of companies now use the system and more than 70 percent of
Internet-ready devices can be controlled under its network management
framework. Today, HPE products are at work in more than 135,000
multi-vendor distributed computing environments worldwide, although the
OpenView brand itself is essentially gone. HPE’s network management
products were dubbed Business Technology Optimization (BTO) software for a
couple of years, then became Business Service Management (BSM), and are
currently under the Intelligent Management Center (IMC) umbrella.

In addition to working with third parties, the company has gradually
expanded its product line as customers move to integrate network and
system management functions. Thus, HPE now has several other related
product lines, including cross-platform software for managing UNIX, Linux,
and Windows from a single console. The tools support a number of functions
including asset management, desktop administration, fault management,
inventory functions, performance monitoring, IT service management based
on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices, and service level

HPE continues to strengthen its IMC platform. According to the company,
by using its software, users can now manage the end-to-end environment,
including cloud components and employees’ personal devices used for
business (BYOD). This includes network and infrastructure components as
well as the application itself. Support exists for Microsoft’s .NET,
COM/COM+ and J2EE application platforms, databases and operating systems.

HPE’s IMC suite includes a portfolio of application products that help
companies design, build, manage, and run an “always on” global
infrastructure. Application Performance Manager (APM) is an IMC module
that allows administrators to visualize and measure the health of critical
business applications and their impact on network performance. With the
available data, they can easily determine which business process is
affected and which application issues to prioritize—all leading to quick
and effective troubleshooting. The comprehensive monitoring and management
that APM provides includes fault management, and performance monitoring of
application servers, servers, and databases. HPE Network Node Manager i
(NNMi) lets network managers view network components, including not only
hardware such as routers and hubs, but also SNMP objects like applications
and data bases. They can create customize views to reflect specific
business information needs and perform performance and trend reporting in
real-time as well as policy-based configuration.

HPE now enables IT to view the network from the business and service side
by leveraging technology from its Mercury Interactive acquisition. Mercury
Interactive delivered software testing, application performance monitoring
and SOA governance software. HPE Network Automation combines event,
performance, NCCM and IT process automation.

The company bases its strategy on what it deems the three lifecycles:
change and configuration, IT service, and performance and availability, in
order to help customers integrate key IT functions across strategy,
applications and operations.

According to HP, it is an approach to IT management that reduces costs and
produces business outcomes by providing:

  • Single tool for complete control of the network infrastructure.
  • Improved network availability with a multi-tenant network management
  • Common view and context for security and network issues.
  • Increased operator productivity and efficiency, reduced MTTR.
  • Manage more customers, departments or sites at lower cost.


IBM has marketed its management products under different and often confusing
banners. In the past, it adopted the Tivoli banner, then the Netcool brand
gained prominence. IBM is gradually phasing out the Tivoli name through the
rebranding of many of the Tivoli products. These include the IBM Security Access
Manager, IBM Security Identity Manager, IBM Spectrum Protect, IBM Spectrum
Control, and IBM Workload Schedule, and Enterprise Asset Management.

The Tivoli Management Framework provides the graphical desktop,
object-oriented databases, and database services used by other
applications. The company has a host of other products that help customers
with a variety of management issues, including keeping track of inventory,
distributing software, ensuring device availability, performing
administrative tasks like job scheduling and remote system management,
tracking application availability and managing security.

IBM’s Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition (formerly NetView) extends
traditional network management and discovers TCP/IP-based networks,
displays network topologies, correlates and manages events and SNMP traps,
monitors network health, and gathers performance data. IBM includes an
offering for an integrated solution that allows businesses to manage their
distributed IT environments – including system resources, databases,
application servers, Web servers, and e-business applications – all from a
single screen. As a result of its Micromuse acquisition, further
monitoring tools have been integrated as Netcool Network Management, which
includes discovery. monitoring, event management, configuration and

IBM has made several acquisitions to enhance Tivoli’s functionality. In
2005, IBM acquired Isogon Corporation and its asset management software
for mainframes and Collation’s software for capturing information on IT
resources and displaying them on a detailed map to expand Tivoli change
and configuration management functionality. In 2006, IBM bought CIMS Lab,
whose software tracks resource usage across virtualized environments,
followed by Micromuse, makers of Netcool service management solutions, and
Rembo Technology, which provides software that helps automatically install
and upgrade operating systems across servers and workstations, thereby
extending IBM’s virtualization capabilities. Vallent, with its monitoring
and reporting on telco networks, risk management vendor Consul, and
security management and automation vendor Big Fix have also joined the IBM
Tivoli family.

In addition, IBM has moved into software as a service with Tivoli Live
enterprise-class service management, which is available by monthly
subscription, delivered by IBM Global Technology Services through an IBM

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Increasingly, automation and artificial intelligence technologies (AI)
are taking over more of the mundane, repetitive tasks involved with
network management. Cloud services continue to grow as well, which
automate functions for a monthly fee. As these technologies are more
widely adopted in the network management arena, concern has arisen about
fragmentation and the need to monitor siloed services. Holistic approaches
to the automation of network management services are the best strategies
when moving toward AI and automation.1

Integrated Management Functions

Traditionally, the industry considered managing networks and applications
as separate tasks, each requiring different categories of expertise to
handle. Now vendors, however, are treating these as related parts of the
same problem. This approach can reduce troubleshooting time and
operational costs. In these days of cost cutting measures, customers need
this type of assistance. The same principle now holds true for various
other management-related capabilities, which is fueling the drive to
expand product lines with strategic acquisitions and develop standards
that support one another. This trend is evidenced by the moves of various
organizations to acquire complementary products, technologies to add the
proficiencies they need to deliver a solution suite that provides
integrated network, applications, and systems management.

Although no single vendor yet offers everything an enterprise needs, some
are close, and a number of factors are coming together to drive this
trend. At the center of this wave is the increasingly integration of
networks with daily operations, thanks to SOA, VoIP and server-based
applications. The increasing move to the cloud adds further complexity.
Although today’s networks are optimized to minimize downtime, with most IT
personnel today striving for peak performance, the impact of a slowdown
can be just as devastating as downtime was in years past, especially for
mission-critical applications. Quality of service management is an
increasing necessity, especially in environments where VoIP telephony is
in place, and the IoT is poised to apply even more pressure. At the same
time, the cost of enterprise platforms is pushing companies in the
direction of open source products.

IT departments also are looking for ways to better use networks to
enhance supply chain and customer relationship management (CRM), and speed
other critical operations. Most IT professionals are coming to realize
that how a single application runs can affect the entire network
infrastructure. Problems no longer can be made to disappear just by adding
more bandwidth, especially as organizations continue to make themselves
accessible to customers and partners through the Internet. Applications
that make frivolous use of network resources are also no longer considered
something organizations can tolerate. In addition, incidents of
increasingly destructive, network-aware viruses, trojans, and worms have
created an increased preoccupation with security reflected in the addition
of new modules to management products previously only concerned with
maintaining connectivity. Organizations have recognized the importance of
maintaining secure systems as well as stable ones, and are looking for
tools to help them. 

A consolidated management platform that offers visibility into the full
spectrum of services also provides a significant advantage for managing
service level agreements. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have a lot of
interdependencies: the application is dependent on the computer, which is
in turn dependent on the network. Those who are responsible for end-to-end
service must be able to view the entire infrastructure.

Although individual components of an infrastructure can post high numbers
for availability and performance, often the whole does not equal the sum
of the parts. When organizations are able to meld their multiple
management products together, they can look at the availability and
performance of these service level components in their entirety to get a
more accurate picture of the infrastructure. Furthermore, integrating
different management functions can offer potentially large cost savings.
The one-view approach to network and systems management can save an
organization over $100 per PC per year in operational costs, and the
savings in troubleshooting time can be even more dramatic. According to
industry surveys, the average IT department spends at least 60 percent of
its time maintaining the status quo. With a single view of the enterprise,
IT personnel can isolate problems faster, reducing the average
troubleshooting time from several hours to only a few minutes, simply
through the integration of network and system management data. Solutions
that fold-in some or a majority of the following will offer the most
comprehensive utility for organizations well into the future:

  • Event Management, Analytics, and Root-cause Analysis – Solutions
    effective fault isolation across networked infrastructure are in great
    demand. Solid solutions focus on ease of deployment, adaptability,
    better alignment to business services and higher levels of automation.
  • Network Change and Configuration Management – Support
    areas include operational automation and change control, compliance and
    IT governance, service provisioning, service assurance, and potentially
    as a critical component to configuration management databases.
  • Integrated Fault and Performance Management
    Troubleshooting across the entire network and systems infrastructure
    requires effective and near real-time snapshots of activity as well as
    historical insights and past performance statistics.
  • Application Flow Management – This area addresses the
    management of IP and UDP, e.g., “application flows”, across the network.
    A wide range of technologies and products fall into this category,
    including packet analysis and route analytics, packet shaping
    technologies, and some security technologies.
  • Route Analytics – Considered a subset of application
    flow management, route analytics is often considered a breed of its own
    due to the distinctive nature of the technology. Route analytics
    products are passive, tuning in to real-time IP flows and providing
    analysis of routed traffic patterns across the network. They can
    geographically isolate service issues in real time and isolate Layer
    3-related problems.
  • Anomaly Detection – Anomaly detection is a critical
    for detecting threats, vulnerabilities and other intrusions that result
    in abnormally high volumes of traffic or unusual traffic patterns. Worms
    or denial-of-service attacks might fall into this category. Anomaly
    detection can also be used to understand integrated network performance
    overall, filtering events and establishing real baselines. Some analysts
    consider anomaly detection to be the technology that can bring security
    and network management together.

Joint Vendor Initiatives

In addition to top players, other leading software and vendors combined
efforts to develop more open enterprise environments by making mixed,
distributing environments work more seamlessly. Standards are helping make
some of these goals a reality along with joint initiatives. For example,
the Microsoft-Novell joint technology initiative sought to provide tools
for managing a mixed environment and keep the resources running properly
so that applications residing on the converged infrastructure will also
run without too many problems. Since Novell is now a fully-owned
subsidiary of Attachmate Group, and Novell has sold many of its patents to
a consortium including Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle, this initiative
has faded away, however Microsoft’s System Center suite now manages
heterogeneous environments. Systems management leader Symantec and other
players were working on the Unified Manageability Architecture, which was
to deliver a blueprint to standardize infrastructure management with a new
console architecture (currently, only Dell uses UMA). Meanwhile Dell’s
OpenManage tools are increasingly open, and EMC has introduced a number of
network management tools. Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, and EMC are all
gaining ground in the network management market and are hailed as
pacesetters in managing their own products (and, increasingly, those of
other vendors). Dell also initially worked with management appliance
vendor Kace Systems, then in February 2010 acquired the company.

Increased Security

Different components are rising to prominence in today’s uncertain world.
Security has become much more of a central issues as worms, viruses, and
unwanted intruders attempt to intrude corporate networks. Wireless
security has also become critical as users become increasingly mobile,
both moving within their offices on a Wi-Fi network and connecting outside
the office via a plethora of means and media. When taking a unified
approach to network management, as infrastructure or the bandwidth demands
of a company start to increase, the impact can be seen across all the
pieces of the infrastructure, rather than just one piece of it at a time.
This improves the tracking of end-to-end performance, which saves
companies time and money. With increased traffic from IoT and the cloud,
network traffic analytics and anomaly detection are beginning to be used
as a line of defense.

New and Evolving Standards

As discussed earlier in this report, standards development represents a
key ongoing trend in network management and coincide with the customer
demand for integrated network, systems and application management. In
addition to the DMTF standards detailed earlier, vendors are working
together on model-based management standards that keep pace with
technology development. For example, leading vendors are working on a
service modeling language, which is an XML-based specification that
defines a consistent way to describe, or model, computer networks,
applications, servers, and other IT resources. Microsoft and EMC are
working on developing SML and incorporating it into their products and are
sharing development efforts with BMC, Cisco, HPE, IBM, Intel and Oracle
(which inherited it through its acquisition of Sun). The SML standard was
adopted by a W3C working group, which was closed at the end of 2009.
Microsoft also worked with Novell to develop tools for managing mixed
environments, leveraging standards like WS-Management and open source

Network virtualization is creating additional complexity in the market.
While many encapsulation protocols seek to simply partition the underlay
network or bridge between two domains, network virtualization views the
transit network as providing connectivity between multiple components of
an integrated system. Existing tunnel protocols have each attempted to
solve different aspects of these new requirements, only to be quickly
rendered out of date by changing control plane implementations and
advancements. Furthermore, software and hardware components and
controllers all have different advantages and rates of evolution. Generic
Network Virtualization Encapsulation (Geneve) is a protocol currently in
draft form at the IETF which seeks to avoid these problems by providing a
framework for tunneling for network virtualization rather than being
prescriptive about the entire system.

Leveraging Network Management to Support Business Processes

The use of network management products is, of course, financially
motivated. The cost of downtime for systems and networks is rising as
companies rely more heavily on connectivity; cloud computing, where key
systems reside in Internet-based data centers, is a significant driver.
The goal of network management is to limit if not eliminate this downtime.
In addition, network and systems management must support business
functions, and there are some practices that can help to do that.

IT Infrastructure Library. The IT Infrastructure
Library (ITIL) is gaining momentum in network management. The British
government developed this set of best practices for IT service management
to establish standard practices for managing data center operations and
the information that network management and troubleshooting tools capture.
Procedures were designed to make the processes governing data center
operations auditable, repeatable and easy to document. Vigorous adherence
to ITIL practices stands to drastically reduce unplanned downtime from 60
to 90 percent according to some analyst estimates.

Business Process Management. The move toward linking
technology with the business processes and services it supports is also
having a growing influence on network management. Service assurance and
service level management represent early indicators of the corporate
desire to define tangible benefits to IT management. Now management
systems that blend application performance and SLM with standard network
performance are common. ITIL processes also exemplify this growing demand
by tying in best practices in operations to IT and business benefits.

Configuration Management Database. The Configuration
Management Database (CMDB) is having a great impact on network management.
A CMDB combines traditional network management information, configuration
management and systems management’s asset management data with information
on the business processes they support so interactions can be easily seen
and acted on. The blending of IT management and business processes is
proving a critical consideration in today’s enterprise. CMDB also
leverages cutting-edge business intelligence to reveal IT’s strategic
importance while improving internal processes. CMDBs encompass multiple
types of business and IT assets, enabling organizations to visualize their
state and status. Service providers are often required to deliver CMDBs or
to expand the client’s existing database to incorporate the infrastructure
they manage and its ongoing changes.

Strategic Planning Implications

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Organizations that rely on networks – and today that is just about
everyone – can no longer depend on rudimentary tools and instinct to keep
their infrastructure humming. Whether they have a small LAN or a global
WAN, they need tools to ensure that their systems are secure and
performing optimally.

These days, security remains a top concern amid soaring identity thefts,
hacking and network intrusions, making tools that permit policy-based
management of network-attached systems crucial. Multi-layered management
also helps combat malware. Diligent monitoring is required to keep
unexpected points of entry, like unauthorized (and unsecured) wireless
access points from handing control of the network to strangers.

Performance management in distributed enterprises remains high on the
list. With increasing centralization of resources like mail servers,
companies need to make optimal use of bandwidth. They need not do the work
themselves; comprehensive network management, for example, can be
outsourced to a service provider, as long as appropriate SLAs are in place
to ensure efficient management. The need to link IT with business
processes and benefits is rampant throughout the industry and has become a
network management priority. Thankfully, emerging business intelligence
and analytics help senior management make better strategic decisions.
Industry leaders across the board – from Microsoft to IBM – are
aggressively pursuing these technologies.

Converging voice and data network technologies have become pervasive,
with VoIP making huge inroads in the corporate and residential markets,
making the need for integrated management solutions even more important.
The addition of public, private and hybrid clouds, with their additional
complexity, adds to the needs, as does the move towards software defined
networking. If internal expertise in their use exists, open source tools
may be an economical solution; their implementation and management can be
outsourced if budget permits.

Although no single tool can provide all the necessary capabilities,
management vendors are trying to achieve this goal through collaborative,
process-driven initiatives. A total solution can then be built as time and
money permit. Companies like CA Technologies, HPE and IBM Global Services
will not only provide the tools, but run the network for corporations that
do not have the IT resources to do so. Again, a properly written SLA is
important to ensure the customer receives the support needed.

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1. Brandon Vigliarolo. “The Future of Network Management is Automated.” TechRepublic.
July 24, 2019.

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