My name is Ronald Jansen (LinkedIn) and I’m based in The Netherlands (for those not using Google Maps, that’s close to Amsterdam 🙂 ). Currently I’m CEO of a small consultancy company based in The Netherlands. My first experience with Network Monitoring tools dates back from (1986) with IBM Netview and Codex Motorola multiplexers. I was surprised (very young engineer) that monitoring was not used in large corporations. All the infrastructure projects I was involved in (LAN, WAN) would include some kind of monitoring. Surprisingly infrastructure projects in large corporations are managed by budget, everyone wants a piece of the budget cake and if you are not careful you don’t have any monitoring. It’s like buying a car without all the instruments in the dashboard.
Access to the Internet (around 1998) made a big change, the sales guys couldn’t talk you into a product anymore. Now you have an information source where you can find much more tools. What happened after that visibility (access to Internet) is that an enormous amount of tools became available. Internet also created a new distribution channel for software. This enabled a lot of small companies to develop their own Network Management Software. Google also made a big change, searching the web for new tools became easy.
Around 2005 a number of companies started to buy smaller companies. This was already common practice with larger Network Management Systems like HP Openview, CA Unicenter, BMC Patrol, Tivoli IBM and Fluke Networks.
The market is big and there are a lot of solutions. Vendors are taken over and software is changed / integrated into bigger systems. Licensing is a real challenge. Before you know you are locked into a very expensive licensing scheme and you have to move to another system because it’s becoming to expensive.
A real value for organisations is access to a central configuration database to control changes and provide visual mapping of relations. More about this later because this integrates very wel with a number of key monitoring tools. To have a glimpse, read the article Network, System and Application Mapping and Configuration Management
I will continue with this story, . . . . shortly