Point-to-point service management

By Barry Nance, Network World |  Networking

We used four ways to tell ServicePoint Manager about the SDUs on the network. The first involved setting up a text file listing the devices and importing the list into ServicePoint Manager. Another used Address Resolution Protocol cache contents to update ServicePoint Manager's inventory. The third method consisted of entering the devices' IP addresses by hand, and in the fourth we let ServicePoint Manager automatically discover devices by specifying a starting IP subnet address and letting it explore our network. We found the autodiscover approach accurate, quick and, if we wanted to pause and later resume the discovery process, interruptible.

Each SDU's ability to shape and prioritize traffic according to policies we set in ServicePoint Manager was icing on the cake. By assigning a low importance to e-mail (SMTP and Post Office Protocol) traffic and a high importance to database server (Oracle SQLNet) traffic, we could ensure our business transactions were always first to cross the WAN link.

The 25 reports are accurate and easy to understand. ServicePoint Manager's responsive display consists of a tree view of devices and real-time data about those devices. For example, the alarm window's color-coded identification of critical, major, minor and warning alarms was instrumental in helping us quickly locate problems needing attention in our tests.

A Java application, ServicePoint Manager installs Java Runtime Environment Version 1.1.8 as well as Personal Oracle7 for Windows NT, which it uses to store configuration data and the collected device statistics. Considering this is the first version of ServicePoint Manager, the software behaved fairly well in the lab, crashing only twice during our stress tests.

ServicePoint Manager's documentation, which consists of an online collection of Web pages, is clear and comprehensive, while the SDU documentation is an easy-to-follow printed manual. Except for the Personal Oracle initiation phase, installation is straightforward. We had to make some Oracle configuration changes before we could perform database logons.

If you have ADC SDUs in your network, you should definitely get ServicePoint Manager.

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