Network Management NMS – Statseeker Not a Swiss Army Knife, but a Sharp Blade:
At Network Field Day #4 we had a a company named Statseeker who is in the Network Management business. Stewart Reed from Statseeker, an Australian presented and demoed the product. We were almost outnumbered something friends, John Harrington an Irishman, Anythony Burke an Australian and me a native Kentuckian with a funny accent had some fun with (*cough 3xC*). Network Management (NMS) has been a fairly major pain point in the networking industry. The history of NMS is paved with failed products and product deployments.
Network Engineers are guilty until proven innocent. If you cant pull data as close as possible to an event and prove it was not the network then it was the network. Network architects must be able to do or set capacity planning policy, that is impossible to do efficiently without long term trends and realtime data. While Staseeker is not the proverbial swiss army knife approach to network management systems. It doesn’t have a crappy set of tweezers and a lame magnifying glass but it is a pretty sharp knife that “appears” to do link capacity monitoring quite well.
Statseeker also has NetFlow and Sflow capabilities. NetFlow organizational policy is a mess in most shops. Security wants it for security things, network wants it for capacity planning, all human problems working with very large data sets and terse technologies. Very few solutions open or proprietary out there that focus solely on NetFlow and correlation unfortunately. Until I hear how that works under the hood, I am maintaining healthy skepticism that on very little hardware tens of thousands of physical ports flows now 500k-1mil+ can be ingested and stored. I also thought that going into the demo on SNMP polling data but what Statseekers bread and butter is only pulling specific SNMP data rather than send it all to store and process even if you do not need it.
On the backend is their DB that is optimized for these particular data sets to produce very fast results instead of the normal hourglass waiting time for database queries other products can have. Well defined set of functions in order to optimize their efficiency is the market separator here. To get straight to the video on the Tech Field Day site check here.
Things to Look for in Network Management in Products
Most shops an amazing tendency to take NMS and give it to anyone willing to do it. The IQ needs to be high in order to effectively operate and extract network state and performance from our extremely complicated and distributed networks. Statseeker has a very fixed set of functions and focuses on those. Statseeker could likely be maintained by entry level tiered operations and more importantly operated properly.
If this product falls short anywhere it is in the feature category. They are very upfront this is what it is and this is what it isn’t. Example, this is not a configuration management NMS. I Tweeted on ze Twitterz”
@networkstatic #NFD4 @statseeker presentation. I am always a fan of a product that does a handful of well defined functions well then all of them poorly”.
Statseeker polls every 1 minute. That was pretty outrageous and I like it. I have had to back other NMS over the years as low as 10-15 minute polling intervals. Those gaps in visibility are pretty huge when it comes down to events not being captured.
Having never used the product in production I can’t comment here. If someone asked me a list of what NMS products to evaluate Statseeker would be on it.
Other Network Field Day #4 Delegates Thoughts
- My good friend and fellow native Kentuckian Paul Stewart @packetu CCIE #26009 (works a few blocks away, bizarre, never knew him before NFD, thanks for that NFD team) had a nice writeup on his thoughts of the presentation on his site packetu.com.
- From the man himself, John Herbert CCIE#6727 @mrtugs Pretty sure he has forgotten more than I know at lamejournal.com shares his thoughts from the network field day presentation.
- The gentleman that was about a decade younger than all of us and still teaching us not too mention a fantastic presenter/storyteller, Anthony Burke @pandom_ . Brilliant each and every one.