IBM Tivoli NetCool Impact Review

Supports APA through ISPF and lets us easily integrate with other apps for ticketing purposes

What is our primary use case?

We generally use Impact for ticketing with other ticketing applications like Remedy. We also use it for enrichment of other applications that collect information from different sources, such as on the internet. But primarily, we use Impact for ticketing purposes.

It's a customer-centric product, so in my current company there aren't that many people who use it as an end-user application. In fact, it's mostly only used by the Netcool team, rather than any end-users at all. Only the Netcool/OMNIbus event console and event dashboard will be used by the end-user. In the Netcool team that uses Impact, there are probably 20-30 people, and they assist with the console.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature that comes with Netcool/Impact is the ISPF APA support. It is inherent to Netcool/Impact, so I can use the ISPF of any other product, which I can invoke and consume through Impact, and do integrations, which is great. I run the Netcool desktop application so I can integrate with other applications in the ticketing system. It's a great ability being able to invoke ISPF and integrate.

What needs improvement?

For improvement, I'd say the dashboard and the overall GUI could use some work. Although, I don't think that there's much improvement that Netcool really needs to achieve in this area, because when we're talking GUI, Impact is able to integrate with any third-party system and it comes with ISPF APA. It's more beneficial than Netcool/OMNIbus in this respect, and it's quite easy to handle.

Some statistics around the products would also be nice. For example, to see how it performs. So when the bulk copy has been processed by Impact, through a kind of dashboard, it could indicate to the user: ""This many events have been process this many times, and this particular event may cause trouble. This many events are in testing, etc." Basically, I'd like more visibility into the details and particulars through Impact itself, so that we can take action on what's happening, and we can automate. For instance, we could maybe send the events to some kind of server or monitoring program, and perform automation on them. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using IBM Tivoli Netcool/Impact for about ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a reliable solution and it can offer stable performance for all sorts of different companies that use Netcool as an integrated solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Impact is very scalable. We can have the primary on one hand and everything else on the secondary, and if it goes down we can expand any number of servers as a backup. Then the other servers can act as the primary in cases where the initial primary goes down or it's not able to perform ticketing. With this area, and on an integration basis, everything is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had some issues when integrating with other applications, specifically those that rely on Java. That's when we called up the technical support and they got our integration server applications back up and running. And they did it quickly, too, so I'd say the support from IBM is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Netcool/Impact is the first monitoring product that my current company has used, and we've been using it for about 20 years. Aside from Netcool, we've also been trying some open-source products like Nagios for similar purposes, except on a much smaller scale than Netcool.

How was the initial setup?

It's very straightforward. I simply need to make sure which is the primary and which is the secondary, and it's set up just like that. The deployment took about one to two months, and we would now be able to finish deploying within 15 days of creating a new environment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is yearly, and although I'm happy with the pricing I do think it could be better.

What other advice do I have?

Impact is an application that doesn't come with many built-in libraries, though they've thrown some JavaScript in, and this is useful for integrating with other Intel applications, where we can invoke, consume, and integrate other data sources as well.

I can recommend Netcool/Impact because it's the perfect solution when it comes to invoking ISPF APA and using ISPF integration throughout the rest of your other products.

I would rate IBM Tivoli NetCool Impact an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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