Aprisma's Spectrum 7.0 and Spectrum OneClick

Aprisma's network-management software offers a one-click interface that will save you time and money.

May 7, 2004

3 Min Read
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Because It's There

I installed Spectrum at our Syracuse University Real-World Labs and ran a couple of discoveries to populate our network topology from within SpectroGraph. I limited discovery to a few hundred devices, collecting a few subnets on the way, which gave me a good cross section of switches and routers from Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks, Nortel and 3Com. Discovery took less time than it takes to get a cup of coffee, reinforcing my opinion that Spectrum is the best application for automated discovery.

The personalized start page typifies OneClick's low-clutter look. Users can customize their start pages, defining which graphs and reports to show. The split screen is both intuitive and contextual, with right-hand navigation and left-hand details.

When OneClick is launched, Java JRE 1.4.2 is installed. You can have executables placed on your local hard drive for speedier subsequent loads. Speaking of speed, don't worry if you've had a doggy Java experience in the past: OneClick does not drag. Lists and icons loaded quickly in my tests. Subsequent loads of OneClick instigate a check for code updates.



SPECTRUM 7.0 & SPECTRUM ONECLICK, starts at $25,000. Aprisma Management Technologies, (877) 437-0291, (603) 334-2100. www.aprisma.com

I set up users in the legacy SpectroGraph interface. Then they had to be added manually to a file on the OneClick Web server. Only two levels of users are supported--admin and operator. Given that operators usually need only read and monitoring access, this setup will work fine for most organizations.

You Talk Too Much

The chatty OneClick console caught me off guard. When I first lit it up, its mechanical voice announced the number of alerts and their severity. This voice support may be channeled to a headphone if it will irritate your cubicle mates. But having been a midnight operator, I can testify that an eye-opening yackety-squawk announcing that something is going bump in the night is equivalent to a venti latte, at least.

Topology views have been expanded on the SpectoGraph interface and duplicated on OneClick. In addition to the classic icons with active status, a new Neighbor View gives a quick idea of impact and root cause. I selected to view links between devices, and though I wasn't able to see the ports connecting each device, I could see the IfIndex, which showed neighboring devices. Aprisma says it will add a user-selectable field here in a future release and claims that slot/module/port views will be supported. Good trick if it can be done.Spectrum's tools for grouping the network let you search by IP address, MAC address, model and serial numbers. You also can run ping, telnet and SSH, though all three are executed from the server, not the client.

How're We Doing?

Spectrum can show real-time performance from Cisco, Entersys and Riverstone routers. The performance screen displays CPU and memory utilization updated at every poll cycle. Poll frequency uses the default status poll of the server to update. You can't adjust the default for polling, but as a tool to help operators watch some problem devices, this capability is sufficient. It isn't going to replace performance trending, but it provides a solid performance overview of important devices.

If you're a Spectrum user, you'll appreciate the new interface and its ease of use. If you are considering a power network-management app like Spectrum, Aprisma has given you a new reason to look its way.

Bruce Boardman, executive editor of NETWORK COMPUTING, tests and writes about network management and systems. Write to him at [email protected].0

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