Recently my toaster which I’d had for 32 years toasted its last slice of bread and I was forced to replace it with a newer model. Even though the toaster was cheap and looked ugly it worked just fine and was the first thing my mother bought me when I left home and so I had some feelings of sadness when I put in in the recycling. You can get the same feelings with pieces of software (there has to be some reason why people use Internet Explorer) and therefore if you have read IBM’s Netcool statement on the 6th October 2017 you may understand better the episode with my toaster. In this announcement they listed 12 Netcool products that will go end of support on 31st December 2018 including the core products of OMNIbus 7.4 and Impact 6.1.
The complete list of affected Netcool offerings and their replacements are:
|IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus 7.4.x||IBM Tivoli Netcool/Omnibus 8.1|
|IBM Tivoli Netcool/Impact 6.1.x||IBM Tivoli Netcool/Impact 7.1|
|IBM Netcool Operations Insight 1.2.x||IBM Netcool Operations Insight 1.4.1|
|IBM Netcool Operations Insight 1.3.x||IBM Netcool Operations Insight 1.4.1|
|IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 3.9||IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 4.2|
|IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 4.1.0||IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 4.2|
|IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 4.1.1||IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Edition 4.2|
|IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.3.x||IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.4.2|
|IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.4.0||IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.4.2|
|IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.4.1||IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager 6.4.2|
|IBM Netcool Network Manager (NNM) 9.2.x||IBM Netcool Network Manager (NNM) 9.3|
|IBM Tivoli Netcool Performance Manager 1.3.x||IBM Tivoli Netcool Performance Manager 1.4.2|
Now depending on the size of your estate you may be thinking a year is a long time (depending when you read this) or a year is not long enough to upgrade all the OMNIbus, WebGUI and Impact servers we have.
Indeed, even in a single server estate you have to think about the process you are going to use. The diagram below gives an example of this process but you then will also need to include the WebGUI elements, the connections to other services such as Impact or 3rd party tools and the inputs from the monitoring tools (for example do the probes need to be updated at the same time?).
No matter how complex your environment we suggest that you start planning as soon as possible and to help with this process Orb Data are offering 3 services which we would be happy to talk to you about:
- Free Upgrade workshop
- Orb Data Consultancy
- Orb Data Remote Support
We offer a free on-site workshop where we can assess your architecture and processes. From this we will create an initial plan on how the upgrade can be achieved.
Orb Data Consultancy
Over the past couple of years Orb Data has helped many customers upgrade to the latest Netcool software and exploit the new features and functions available from the new software. Often this has been driven by Netcool support requirements but also by the necessity to re-platform the solution to newer or different operating systems.
Orb Data’s assistance for an Netcool upgrade may include:
- Review upgrade/migration drivers and goals
- Identification of the upgrade options and agree the most suitable path
- Development of a technical plan for the upgrade
- Technical lead for the delivery of the plan
- Development of an implementation plan that minimises service disruption
- Support for the change process, for example test planning, completion and documentation
- Assistance with staff training (administrators and operators)
- Exploitation of the new features
In addition to the technical expertise, Orb Data’s consultants are familiar with operational processes and how Netcool can be utilised to streamline those processes. This experience can help maximise the ROI from Netcool.
Orb Data Remote Support
Orb Data has for many years run a remote support service where we perform all or part of the tasks of your in-house Tivoli/Netcool support team. This service is aimed at customers who need a scheduling, discovery, or monitoring solution however don’t have the manpower or will to manage the implementation. We currently cover products such as Netcool/OMNIbus, Netcool/Impact, TADDM, IBM APM, IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) and Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS) among others.
Recently for some newer customers whilst we have been discussing the remote support service we have also been asked to quote for a separate implementation, upgrade or customization project. Normally in this instance we would quote for the estimated number of man-days assuming that the Orb Data resource would complete all the tasks and be on-site all of the time. However, because the customer has a remote support contract we can vastly reduce the days we quote for the project, in particular when the project timelines are fairly flexible. There are 2 reasons for this:
1/ When the project plan is created we define 3 types of tasks; Customer, Consultancy and Managed Services (or remote support). Generally Managed Services tasks have been defined by our lead consultant and will include simpler jobs such as Server Build and Configuration and pre-deployment testing. The Managed Services team can also try and resolve any issues that come up during the project (PMR resolution) letting the consultant carry on with the more complex work. As a guide to the savings that can be achieved, for a recent customer we created an initial project plan that allocated the days along the following lines:
|Resource||Percentage of Time|
As you can see the remote Managed Services team was able to fulfil over 50% of the tasks of the project for about ¼ of the price of a consultant.
2/ In a normal project there can be delays that are beyond our control such as hardware not being ready, customer resource not being available or PMRs being raised. In the past this may mean that the number of consultancy days has to increase but under this new model the costs we have estimated will not increase. In a conventional project scenario where we have committed to being on-site unplanned delays can quickly use up time and budget that was not allowed for however using a blend of remote support/consultancy we do not have to worry about this because if these issues occur they can be dealt with remotely and at the customer’s convenience.
It’s not all bad news though as although you do need to upgrade to maintain the support you have now the upgrades do have some benefits. For example, with OMNIbus 8.1 you get the following:
- 64-bit support for AIX
- Scope Based Event Grouping
- SNMP data type conversion functions
- Automated housekeeping tasks
- More Reports for TCR
- And the ability to migrate to Netcool Operations Insight
- Etc etc
Unfortunately there is no free toaster but if you would like to arrange a call or the free workshop them send me an email at email@example.com