IT Management Solutions

10 Jan

At Prosperon Networks, we are fanatical about improving monitoring capability. We love solutions that take monitoring further and taking steps to deliver a better and more satisfying experience.

NetBrain is the solution with the answer. I’m here to talk about what NetBrain is, and how it can improve monitoring with SolarWinds.

NetBrain is a software solution that enables better network management by providing on-demand views of a network through Dynamic Maps. Using what it calls "Executable Runbooks", it also empowers teams to:

  • Document the network
  • Digitise workflows,
  • Automate their execution
  • Collaborate effectively to reduce tribal knowledge gaps.

Extending NetBrain’s capability couldn’t be easier and we can use the Dynamic Maps and Executable Runbooks to integrate them into existing workflows.

NetBrain not only adds functionality that is not inherently available in an NMS, but is also a force multiplier for monitoring solutions.  

 

The marriage between Monitoring Solution and Network Automation…

With SolarWinds and NetBrain running in your estate, we are able to integrate them via API and this enables SolarWinds to take all of the monitoring statistics of the node(s) in question and ship it to NetBrain, which it uses to enrich its Dynamic Maps and provide valuable data alongside zero-hour troubleshooting workflows. 

Let’s look at SolarWinds and NetBrain a little more closely and really break down how using these tools in conjunction can help you:

 

1. Troubleshooting for every issue… solved, with maps

When SolarWinds generates an alert, we can now pass details of the affected node to NetBrain. NetBrain then uses it’s Just in Time Automation (JIT, for short) to create a Dynamic Map with the node and surrounding devices. This means that you can easily visualise the affected area and the extent of the impact on the network. NetBrain can also perform zero-hour diagnosis using Runbook Automation to troubleshoot the problem quickly and easily. 

Once the map is generated, it is very easy to bring metrics from SolarWinds into NetBrain to display directly on the map. Below is an example of some node information coming directly from SolarWinds.

Sensors of LA-Core1 Demo

In addition, the maps are always relevant to the actual problem you’re attempting to troubleshoot. Here’s an example: if there is slowness in the accounts department when accessing the accounting software, the generated map would show an A to B path between the client and the accounting server – You don’t need a map of the entire network.

 

2. Your IT Infrastructure at a glance

Not really a glance, more like an accurate diagram with the press of a button….

NetBrain visualises your environment by using its Dynamic Maps and this is what they look like:

NetBrain Map

Remember how long this took in Visio?... And by the time you’ve finished it that new network refresh project has just made it redundant?

This map took minutes and keeps itself up-to-date by probing the devices ARP and routing tables to ensure that whatever changes, your maps can be relied on.

In addition, by leveraging Data Views, you can include information from SolarWinds on your map and have that data available in Visio.

 

3. More information at your fingertips

By combining data gathered from SolarWinds and NetBrain, you can consolidate much more into a contextual single pane of glass. This opens you up to a clearer picture and allows you to make better decisions for improving the network and avoiding potential issues.

 

A match made in IT heaven

The benefits are clear… Considering how well the functionality of both products fit together, it really is a no-brainer (pun definitely intended). The benefits are so good in fact, that Prosperon Networks is excited to announce that we are the first partner in the UK to offer NetBrain and professional services to assist with installation, configuration and fine tuning!