Communication VS Troubleshooting: A Balance

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Too many times, I’ve heard the phrase, “I can’t update you right now. I’m too busy fixing the problem”. Have you ever heard that statement? Maybe you have used that statement yourself? There is a balance between “updating on a problem” and “fixing the problem”, and one does not justify excusing the other. But, it’s not an exact science either. You can have both, but the art is identifying how to do it. Keep in mind, that this is NOT to excuse you from how you handle updates to your manager. If you already have a process, obviously you have to do it. However, if you don’t, this is my advice....
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Custom Functions for HP IMC

One of the best features of HP's Intelligent Management Center is not that it's modular and can do so many different things.  It's not that it's scalable, and can handle tens of thousands of managed devices.  It's not even it's alarming and event system.  No, the best feature of HP's IMC, is that you can do things that it wasn't programmed to do. Take this use case for example.  As a network administrator, you are constantly being blamed for poor access into the network.  After drinking 3 cups of coffee and reviewing everything at your desk, you see nothing wrong. ...
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Microsoft Event to SNMP Trap

If you have been reading my posts on SNMP and management, you will see a pattern....... "I hate Microsoft's position on open management".  It's mostly because Microsoft will not make a move to SNMPv3.  However, there is one thing that Microsoft did really well..... and that's the ability to turn ANY windows event into a trap. Brilliant! So, now, no matter who the application vendor is, if an event is created in the Event Viewer, you can translate it to a trap.  Think of all the wonderful alarms you can get!  It was kinda surprising to me how little this nugget of info...
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Installing HP iMC with remote SQL Server

When installing HP Intelligent Management Center, you have a choice on where to store your data. If you are on a Windows system, your options are SQL Server or Oracle. When installing on a Linux system, your options are MySQL or Oracle. Initially, my install was on a Linux system (CentOS), for reasons beyond the scope of this post. I installed MySQL and setup all the configurations as defined in HP’s “MySQL 5.5 Installation and Configuration Guide (for Linux)” guide. Everything worked great. MySQL server was up and running, and I was able to connect to it with other tools. But, iMC would n...
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HP Intelligent Management Center – Service Health Management

20 or 30 of us walk into the next HP Discover 2012 break-out session titled “Understanding Service Health Management in iMC”. Les Stuart begins the presentation with the overview of SHM. Chris Young, Solutions Architect for HP walks to the front and asks a single question, “How healthy is your network?”. Now, as you can imagine, most didn’t know how to answer it, and after waiting about 15 seconds of mumbling and crazed looks, people began giving different answers. That’s to be expected, since everyone determines that differently, depending on your responsibilities. The Server guys think t...
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HP iMC iPhone app

Well, everyone keeps talking about it.  It's on the web site, and in the documentation.  A mobile app for HP's iMC?  View alarms and device details?  Sign me up.  But, just EXACTLY where is it?? Some HP Solution Architects (Thanks Kurt Weil and @netmanchris) pointed me to the following link:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imc-manager-client/id488031041?mt=8 So, I installed it and started looking around.  This is a needed app, as many techs and engineers are usually up and around.  Either in server rooms, wiring closets, or meetings.  Wouldn't...
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Make your own Terminal Access Server

I recently wrote up an article on creating your own terminal server.  I'm building my home lab to study, and, while I have a Cisco 2500 router to use as a terminal server, I didn't want to spend the money on the octal cable.  So, since I'm already using my Linux box as a Dynagen server, I figured I can set it up as my console server as well, for a much cheaper price.  Create your own serial terminal server If you ever find the need to be able to console into multiple devices in a cheap way, using SER2NET on a Linux-based system is a good way to go!
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Configure Juniper SFlow for HP IMC

I’ve been really interested and excited with what HP has done with the IMC (Intelligent Management Center) over the last couple of years. I’m sure it was a great product before then, but I’ve only been following it for the last 2. This month, HP released IMC version 5.1, which has alot of new features that I wanted to check out, including 802.1x auditing. After I installed the demo version, I decided, to export some Juniper SFlow to the Network Traffic Analyzer (NTA). Not a new feature, but, c’mon, how cool is flow data? First and foremost, gotta get the device added to IMC. Now that the...
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