LogicVein Releases Net Line Dancer V16

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LogicVein released a new version of Net LineDancer (netLD), our innovative network configuration software today. Net LineDancer is a product that enables network engineers to successfully manage their network devices’ configurations, including routers and switches. It provides inventory reports, configuration comparison and history, detailed software and hardware information of their devices, automated detection of configuration changes, integration with network monitoring systems, and password change. The product also comes with a powerful web-based user interface that allows users to perform all tasks with ease.

Net LineDancer is one of LogicVein’s innovative solutions focused on network management domain. While originally made in the United States in 2006, it was further perfected in Japan by American developers. In 2012, the company made its international debut into the United States, allowing for Net LineDancer’s return to the country.

Some of the new features of Net LineDancer v16 include:

· Cross-Network Management

· Device File Attachment

· Authentication Audit Logging

· Smart Bridge Reverse Connection

· Backup over Jumphost: when performing device operations.

· Configuration Change View: for seeing a history of configuration changes across all devices.

To view all of the new features for Net LineDancer v16, visit http://logicvein.com/press.php.

When the network is down, it can cause serious damage to productivity and sales. It has been reported that damage costs can go up to 1% of gross annual sales. Human-error in network device configuration comprises more than 75% of network failures. In order to prevent this, LogicVein developed the innovative netLD and continues to improve it.

Net LineDancer is designed to drastically reduce the costs of network configuration and change management (NCCM) by tracking configuration changes as well as helping to automate changes, decreasing the chances of human error and hastening the recovery when it occurs.

LogicVein will be showcasing the new release at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in the Emerging Technology section from October 16-20.

LogicVein is offering a 30-day free trial to anyone interested in the product. The program can be downloaded straight from their website (www.logicvein.com/free-trial.php). The evaluation license may be activated online, which requires an internet connection on the target installation machine, or offline, by specifying the MAC address of the Ethernet card in the target installation machine.

On top of our 30-day free trial, we are also offering a free 30-minute demonstration (www.logicvein.com/signup.php) with one of the company’s engineers. Through the demonstration, individuals can learn about specific product features or tools, ask questions about the product, obtain competitive pricing, and training.

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Cisco live Las Vegas2016

Cisco live Las Vegas2016

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Why Does My Company Need SNMP?

Let’s think about the average technically challenged user who just so happens to run a quickly growing medium size business. There is a hundred percent chance this woman or gentleman has no idea what SNMP is and how it can help his or her business.

With a growing company comes more employees and with more employees comes more network devices. For instance, extra computers and routers are required to handle the traffic for all the new network devices. Unfortunately, the increase of head counts also means a tendency for some unwanted shenanigans. Another problem this growing business will definitely encounter is hardware failure. Hardware failures can happen for many reasons; full memory, old or outdated hardware, tampering, and even computer viruses.

How can this business owner possibly manage the employees to ensure that they are being civil in their technology uses? How can they ensure that all of their network hardware and computers are safe from damages and failures?

It is time for this business owner to administer an SNMP into his or her network. SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol and helps business manage computers, network devices, and sometimes users from one location.

SNMP starts with a main computer, or the management station, which is controlled by the IT department. From there, the network administrator can deploy software to all of the devices on the network. This software is typically called an ‘agent’. This agent was built to monitor its device and translate it into information that can be relayed back to the management station. The information is then saved into a database called the MIB, or management information base.

From here, the network administrators can monitor potential threats and problems such as misuse of bandwidth, low memory spaces, backup failures, and outages. In most cases, this information will assist the IT department to fix problems before they become too costly for that medium business owner.

With an SNMP in place, a company can reduce the cost of labor. Now, the network administrator can fix memory shortages before they run out. They can fix a daily backup instead of waiting until the server fails with no successful backups for a month! They can also pinpoint who is the biggest bandwidth hog and free up some room for more productivity.

Surely, these are all improvements that a business owner desires to accomplish within their business, and with an SNMP system on their network, they just might get some more sleep at night.

Find a great Network Management Software at LogicVein.com. Net LineDancer is the perfect SNMP system for medium and large business all over the world.

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Case Study: Issues with Network Infrastructure Management

Case Study: Issues with Network Infrastructure Management

The other day, I had an opportunity to meet an operator of an internal network infrastructure. Below is the summary of their status and issues that he shared with me.

・There are about 500 devices to be managed if they include floor switches.
・There are two people operating the network and managing it all with their internal resources, which means they do not use any vendors for their network management.
・The head operator is the only one who can check and change configurations on the command line. If trouble occurs in his absence, they call him for advice.
・They manage servers as well.

It was surprising to know that there are only to two people managing the network infrastructure in a large international company. Since they have a large number of devices to be managed, he appreciated the advantages of our NCCM tool with automatic configuration and bulk change.

However, the most surprising thing he told me was his most important issue. “We built up a redundant internal network that even in case of network failure, the communication between branches will never stop.” However, when they started to manage this robust network infrastructure, they realized that the redundant equipment hardly ever worked. As a result, the fixed cost for this redundant infrastructure lays like a heavy weight on their mind as time passes.

Since the network operation team is not a full line-up and it will cost if they increase the number of staff, they looked for a way to maintain a stable network environment with a minimum investment and found our NCCM tool.

This meeting was a great opportunity to understand his ideas about good network management with minimal network equipment and employment costs.

Kou Sasaoka

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Get Familiar with Network Management

Get Familiar with Network Management

The network infrastructure has come into wide use recently in many enterprises. Network is fairly ubiquitous. When we talk about something common, it is often a thing that everyone knows about and can easily handle. Something common is usually something that everyone can manage, like driving a car, or operating a computer or a printer.

On the other hand, what about network management?  I’m sure that people who work as a network operator have taken some classes and have a reasonable amount of technical knowledge.  I sometimes hear from network managers that they like to put less experienced workers in charge of an operation, believing that they will find it easy once they get used to it.

Although there are more and more management devices with web user interface, less experienced workers have to learn to use the command line to manage this operation. Network managers assume they’ll be able to help with management tasks once they have got the hang of it.  However, it is very common that those who are inexperienced in the command line are reluctant to learn it. That makes it difficult to maintain an environment in which everyone is able manage basic network operations.

“Configure and manage the network like drawing” was an OpenFlow catch phrase. Even without using OpenFlow, I feel there is more and more need for the standardization of network management.

Kou Sasaoka

 

 

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Authentication Management

Authentication Management

One common reason for introducing an NCCM tool is for performing bulk changes against multiple devices. This runs a close second to the need for device configuration management.

So, what exactly do users want to change?  The most common answer to this question is login authentication information. In other words, changing the username or password that is required when they login to network devices.  Like the personal identification number for a credit card, it is not recommended to use the same password for network devices for a long time.  Depending on the compliance requirements, it is now common for some organizations to be required to perform a regular bulk change every quarter or six months.

The operators of typical networks are managing many tasks with limited human resources. Even if it is once every few months, just executing the change will be hard for them against so many devices. There may need to configure a different password not just by location, but for each of the thousands of devices. Despite their best intentions, I often heard they cannot keep up with the requirements.

It might sound like a good idea to integrate the logins at network devices into an authentication system like a RADIUS server. However, since there is a high risk of fraudulent use of IDs, I feel there is a need for secure password management in the local network device side too.

Kou Sasaoka

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Asset Management of Network Devices

Asset Management of Network Devices

When we talk about asset management in the world of IT, many of you might think of enterprise servers and client terminals.

From the physical information to the logical information, you can control dozens of entries with current asset management tools, such as the MAC addresses and model numbers of parts, the hostname and the group name, and the version of the OS, internet browser, and applications on each device.

On the other hand, what about the asset management of network devices?
In my opinion, the strength of the preferences in this domain are proportional to the number of the nodes they manage. This is especially true with carriers that have thousands and tens of thousands of nodes and major manufacturing and distribution industries that have their market around the world.  It still sounds easy to keep serial numbers of all of the chassis in an Excel file. But if they want comprehensive control of all assets including expansion modules from daughter cards to power supplies, they will surely miss something.

Leaving this issue aside, they may need to find information from a customer at a critical moment. They might face unexpected risks such as using device parts that expire before someone else notices or they might not be prepared to substitute devices in case of trouble.

Though keeping track of the details of all network devices might not be as exciting as keeping track of the details for servers and clients terminals, it could turn out to be the most important decision you make.

Kou Sasaoka

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Management of Wireless Access Points

Management of Wireless Access Points

Management of the increasingly ever present wireless access points (Wi-Fi) has recently become an important topic.

With wide use of smart phones, Wi-Fi has increased exponentially in public spaces as well as in buildings like offices and hospitals.  The world of the Internet has reached the point that everyone can connect everywhere and anytime they want.

On the other hand, it is becoming more complex to provide the quality and configure these explosive number of Wi-Fi access points.  I have seen several scenes where the infrastructure and human resources couldn’t keep up with the speed of installation of Wi-Fi hotspots.  It requires so much time and effort to change all those devices.

There are some vendors who provide wireless controllers that can manage multiple wireless APs.  However, they might have a limit on the number of wireless APs they can manage per controller or we have to introduce another device just to manage the wireless AP. And anyway, it might “cost too much”.  If the vendor doesn’t provide any controller, there will be no choice for the operator to find a solution for themselves.

Those who have these problems start to think if they can resolve it by taking advantage an NCCM tool that is commonly used for the management of routers and switches.  With the spread of wireless APs growing with the demand for ever increasing Wi-Fi access, I see the importance of a management tool increasing not only for wireless APs, routers, and switches, but for all kinds of network devices.

Kou Sasaoka

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NCCM Tools and System Integrators Part2

NCCM Tools and System Integrators Part 2

Since globalization has accelerated, it is now common that companies choose to locate their local branch offices overseas. There are some domestic companies here in Japan that are making English as an internal official language. This trend will keep going unless something extraordinary happens. That means the globalization of the environment of network infrastructures will increase.

For the companies that advance into overseas markets for the first time, it will be tricky to connect their overseas offices with their domestic office and to stably manage their networks using only their own resources and know-how.

There will be some risks if you think on the basis of Japanese communication infrastructure. Since the robustness of the infrastructure depends on each country, we should consider many potential problems. For example, communication might stop frequently on some links or a large scale network failure might happen due to a natural disaster.

If you ask a local carrier or system integrator to manage your network, there could be difficulties including a language barrier, a difference of culture or a time difference. We aren’t used to dealing with those issues in Japan, as they rarely happened within the country.

However, having their own information system operators monitor all overseas branches 24/7 is also not a good solution.

In these cases, there will be two measures the domestic Japanese companies can take:
– Leave your network in the charge of a vendor who has an information and communication technology (ICT) center.
– Improve the performance of your network management and simplify the operations.

The first one is literally leaving everything to the vendor. Smoothing away all the difficulties with money could be the simplest solution.  However, this is a costly solution and it means you will leave your network information and security to them at the same time.

As a result, those who can’t accept this solution will choose the second one. For many companies, they will try to resolve the situation not with their human resources, but with their tools.

There are significant advantages in improving your own network management. Verifying the previous status even if a failure happens and having the information needed to restore on hand means a significant improvement in lost productivity. Mechanizing as much as possible the tasks currently managed by hand will make this process manageable. These advantages will be even more important for the companies advancing into overseas markets.The companies who locate branches overseas might find a solution by taking advantage of the minimum needed human resources with the tools that help their management. A tool like Net LineDancer makes it possible.

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The Importance of Keeping an Audit History

The Importance of Keeping an Audit History

What is occurring on the cutting edge of network device configuration management?

“Is the configuration data that we have on hand up to date?” Not only is it common to hear these kinds of common questions, there are more and more demands to know the “who, what, when, where, and why” of configuration changes.

These concerns are not as common in a network managed by a single team, but it is becoming a trend in environments managed by multiple teams or vendors. It is seen especially often in the financial industry.

In a network where there are several vendors for each system, segment or branch, the primary vendor or the system manager within the company should manage the whole network. It can very hard for the controllers to monitor every single action of each vendor.
As they cannot thoroughly understand all the details the situation, it results creates a great deal of risk. For example, if a configuration on a network device is changed before someone was aware of it, or if there is a mismatch between device configurations, a network failure can result.

For those cases, if they have a system where they can centralize and manage all the interactions that each vendor did using TeraTerm against the device, it can make the controller’s job easier. There are some advantages using this thorough audit trail management:

 1. When a failure occurs, you can immediately find when it happened and whose operation was the cause of the problem.
 2. Since you can precisely trace the audit trail, you can clearly see who is responsible.
 3. By reviewing the audit trail, you can find weak points in the daily management tasks.
 4. It becomes easy to exchange opinions between different vendors using the same audit trails.

I can’t promise that you will get these advantages in all situations. However, nowadays, as normal performance of the network infrastructure is an essential condition, I think you can see the importance of using an audit trail system.

Kou Sasaoka

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