By Dax Attwood
By Dax Attwood
Here at Prosperon Networks, we are all very excited about our recent partnership with NetBrain, and even more excited about showing NetBrain to our customers! In the first of a series of Q&A sessions on NetBrain and Adaptive Network Automation, Dax Attwood gives us a high-level introduction to NetBrain by answering some of the common questions people ask when they first discover NetBrain.
1: What is NetBrain?
It’s not often a unique product such as NetBrain breaks into the market. At its core, NetBrain is a network automation and mapping tool but the more you experience it the more you see that it isn’t really just another siloed troubleshooting tool. NetBrain is a collaborative, automation solution to document the network, perform 0-hour troubleshooting, map the entire network and assist 1st and 3rd line network professionals in reducing mean time to resolution and eliminating tribal knowledge gaps… and MORE!
2: I already have a network monitoring tool, why do I need NetBrain too?
NetBrain doesn’t take the place of your current monitoring solution but instead enhances and improves what you have! Utilising API to integrate, you can bring data from your NMS directly into NetBrain to enhance maps and reduces the overhead involved in troubleshooting; team members no longer need to duplicate the retrieval of basic information from the network in order to do their job properly. It also enables multiple teams, like networking and security, to work together in the event of breaches or security incidents since everyone’s working from the same frame of reference.
3: How can dynamic network maps help us?
Are your network diagrams up to date where you work? Chances are you’re just as guilty as all of us when it comes to keeping up to date visual diagrams of your environment. With NetBrain, what would have taken an hour of messing around in Visio takes minutes and a few clicks of your mouse. NetBrain has built a data model of your network and with access to the ARP and MAC tables, as well as all the other gathered information, it uses this to instantly create up to date maps and diagrams.
All of the maps generated are exportable and editable in Visio too!
4: What are runbooks and what can I use them for?
Runbooks in NetBrain is customisable step by step troubleshooting with the ability to apply logic, such as: If packet errors are found, look at duplex mode, if not, gather performance statistics. Runbooks gives NetBrain the ability to perform instant troubleshooting steps on key affected areas without the need for human intervention. Once the basic troubleshooting has been performed by NetBrain and the affected area mapped out, NetBrain can link that to the ITSM tool for the level 3 engineer to take over.
5: Can NetBrain integrate with our other IT systems/tools to use within Maps and Runbooks?
Absolutely! This is where NetBrain shines – using API we can integrate NetBrain into all other IT tools in the workplace. From bringing NMS data into our maps, to automatically creating ITSM tickets, NetBrain becomes your contextual single pane of glass for all network-related tasks. 50 tools plus NetBrain equals 1 tool!
6: How does NetBrain improve troubleshooting and MTTR?
This is where NetBrain’s automation comes in. Instead of running a bunch of CLI commands manually — one command at a time, one device at a time — automation collects all the data you need in one fell swoop. Instead of poring over hundreds of lines of output, automation analyses the data for you and presents it within the context of the problem at hand. When diagnoses are automated and engineers have a concise process with end-to-end visibility, this can cut MTTR in half.
7: Can runbooks execute configuration changes?
NetBrain’s default functionality is read-only and for good reason – we wouldn’t want just anybody with access to NetBrain to be able to make changes to core systems. Security is a top priority with NetBrain and that’s why 30% of the Fortune 100 companies use it. With that said, NetBrain comes with an optional Change Management module, which is a fully fledged, approval-based change management tool built-in to take advantage of the wealth of information NetBrain gathers for you.
8: Where can I learn more about NetBrain?
Prosperon Networks are a partner for NetBrain in the UK. Visit our website https://www.prosperon.co.uk or call us on 01903 340 993 for more information and to schedule a one on one demo.
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