What is our primary use case?
We have quite a few use cases for the SevOne NMS. It's mainly for performance management by our different network teams and we also do performance management of our external customers. That means we offer businesses and schools and others access to a Comcast device for their site to give them internet, or site-to-site connectivity. We also monitor our Comcast Digital Voice in SevOne NMS. For the external customers and the Comcast Digital Voice, we're inputting flat file data into SevOne so that we can get the metrics for that flat file data and provide it to those customers. We're doing SMP and what they call xStats.
With SevOne DI we allow our external customers to log in and get a report for their data. We give them a subset of the data that we collect so that they can see that we're staying within our SLAs.
I mainly focus on the thresholding capability of SevOne. We configure thresholds on the performance metrics and they send us alerts so that the NOC is alerted about the systems that are having issues. I maintain SevOne and I give the customers what they want. They're the ones who let me know if there's an issue. They're the ones monitoring the health of our network. We have various NOCs, depending on the device type, and they're the ones that will let me know if something needs to be modified or tweaked to enhance that performance management.
We have a SevOne NMS cluster that is also attached to a SevOne Data Insight cluster, and the SevOne NMS system is also sending out the SDB to a set of servers that we maintain for customers for rural data.
We're using the 300K which we've licensed to 200K and we're on version 5.7.22 of the NMS and 3.0 on the SDI.
How has it helped my organization?
The main benefit of using SevOne is the fact that we can pull in a new vendor rapidly. With the changing technologies, we can get a new vendor certified and monitored in our system faster than before. With our previous system, we had to wait for them to put it into the upgrade. It could have been months before we would actually monitor new equipment. Now, we can monitor within 10 days.
Also, with the xStats, we're able to monitor non-SNMP data from various vendors.
SevOne provides us with continuous analytics of our network and that gives us an idea of the health of our network, where our weaknesses are, and what needs to be fixed.
In most cases, SevOne enables us to detect network performance issues faster and before they impact end-users. We've had situations where new issues have come up and we have actually used that to create a new threshold to alert us the next time. But overall, it helps us with early detection.
When it comes to having a complete view of our network performance, I would rate it very highly. It's the key piece of equipment that we use for monitoring our performance.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the NMS because that's the core of the system. Without the NMS, the other tools aren't that usable.
The SMP and the xStats, which is for flat file integration, are both useful for integrating the various metrics that the device provides to monitor the performance of those systems.
It's also important that the solution’s collection abilities cover multiple vendors’ equipment because we have multiple vendors. For each device type, we typically have two vendors, minimum, so that we're not tied down to one vendor. That means we need to have similar monitoring capabilities on those various vendors, which SevOne is able to provide.
The solution’s out-of-the-box reports and workflows for automatically helping us understand what is normal and what is abnormal in our network is very important. That's the whole purpose for using this tool: to pick up anomalies before the customers call us up about them, whether they are internal or external customers.
What needs improvement?
There are some tweaks and enhancements that I've already requested. One is to be able to make changes per device rather than as a global setting. That has to do with naming. It's minor.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using SevOne for close to 15 years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable. We have only had a few minor issues and they were mostly hardware-related.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In terms of scalability, nothing has been able to beat it.
Currently, we have over 7 million objects monitored, and that's over 181,000 devices. We are still increasing. We're pulling in other customers who are using other tools into the SevOne. It's constantly expanding.
How are customer service and technical support?
SevOne technical support is very good. They're always on hand. We actually have two resident engineers on site who help us on day-to-day issues. We also have help from the support and development groups for any anomalies they can't handle.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used CA's eHealth but it wasn't very flexible. If you wanted a device certified, you had to wait for the next software release to get that certification. The vendor also wasn't very receptive to changes. It was hard to get them to adopt.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was fairly straightforward. The system works off a master cluster, so it's easy to set up and easy to understand.
Our deployment took about a year. That was 15 years ago, but other implementations have taken a lot less time, moving forward. Our network was very complex so a lot of device certifications had to be done with SevOne, early on, to get what we needed out of it. But within the first couple months it was usable. It just took us a year to finally get us to where we wanted to be, with all the customizations.
Our initial implementation strategy was that we deployed SevOne and left the old system up and running at the same time. That way, we had a failover capability to go back to the old system, if needed.
We have hundreds of people in our company who work with SevOne. We have the NOCs that are monitoring the health of the network. We have the end-users that are monitoring their pieces, whether that would be an application server or a range of business. And then we have our commercial customers that are getting the utilization and health metrics of the services that we're providing to them. We also have salespeople who are monitoring it to make sure that their customers don't need to upgrade.
What about the implementation team?
We used a SevOne resource in addition to our own team. SevOne's team was excellent. Every time we came up with something, they were really rapid to come up with a fix or with a method for us to keep going. They were totally onboard with our solution.
What was our ROI?
We've been able to get off of other platforms, resulting in a cost savings.
Also, the fact that we can monitor our customers' data performance and stay within our SLA means we don't have to send money back to them. If we don't meet our SLAs, we have to pay them back. SevOne provides us with a great cost savings there.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing has been fair.
In addition to the standard licensing fees, we have the annual maintenance fee because we purchased the hardware from SevOne.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at four or five other vendors and we had a bakeoff among them. The main difference between them and SevOne, at the time, was cost. SevOne could provide the same information and data at a much cheaper price.
What other advice do I have?
I prefer physicals, but virtual systems work if they have the capacity that SevOne recommends. You can't undersize the systems.
We don't do flow data here, although one group tested it in the past but they never purchased it. But it's nice to be able, within 10 days or less, to recertify a new device. That's one of the reasons we picked SevOne years ago. And we can modify those certifications at any time, ourselves, and that is something we do.
Overall, for what we're using it for it's very solid.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?