OpenNMS is an award winning network management application platform with a long track record of providing solutions for enterprises and carriers.
While the features list is long and constantly growing, they can be divided into four main areas.
Automated and Directed Discovery
Simply point OpenNMS at your network and it will discover the network services being provided. Or, if you prefer a fine-grained control over what is being managed, opt to provision devices manually. If you want, you can even have a combination of the two.
Event and Notification Management
OpenNMS can generate its own events or receive events from outside sources, such as SNMP Traps, syslog or TL/1. It is even easy to send custom events to OpenNMS: simply connect to a TCP port and, if you have permission, sent some XML-formatted text.
OpenNMS can serve as the central repository for your network event stream. Able to handle bursts of thousands of events per second, OpenNMS also has a number of correlation methods to automatically clear events, translate one event into another, a reduce duplicate events into one alarm.
Once the important events have been identified, they can generate notices or trouble tickets. Any command that can be executed from the OpenNMS server command line can be used to send notifications (such as an e-mail or an SMS) and OpenNMS has a trouble ticketing API that allows it to have bidirectional communication with many popular trouble ticketing systems.
OpenNMS was started during a time when Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were the focus of much management effort. The application comes with a large number of service monitors that perform synthetic transactions ranging from a simple ICMP request (ping) or port check, up through complex website monitoring and round trip e-mail testing.
Detailed reports can be generated on the availability of the services, and it is extremely easy to customize polling rates as well as to configure scheduled downtime.
There are a number of data collectors within OpenNMS, including support for the SNMP and JMX protocols. The HTTP collector can retrieve any web page and use regular expressions to extract values, so extending an application to integrate with OpenNMS can be as simple as writing a text file that can be accessed by a web server.
All data stored can be tested against thresholds, not only the usual “high” and “low” thresholds but ones that trigger based on a relative or absolute value change. These thresholds can generate events to be managed by the event and notification system.
Performance data can be graphed, and “Top N” reports can be generated to easily identify problem areas within the network.
This is a very high-level overview of the OpenNMS application. Get it, install it and explore to see just how powerful, flexible and scalable the application can be.