When an OID is not an OID

It’s still surprising to me that hardware and software manufacturers do not seem to value any kind of consistency in their management interfaces.  Or maybe it’s intentional, to complicate monitoring and management of their systems to encourage the purchase of the vendors own monitoring systems.

In any event, it makes the case for a monitoring service such as LogicMonitor, where we actually provide the templates of what you should be monitoring for a specific kind of device, all the more compelling.

A few examples of what I mean:

  • NetApp decided to change the OIDs used for reporting fan and electronics failures from one minor release to the next.
  • Similarly, NetApp changed the units that volume latency is reported in for releases after version 7.3 from millseconds to microsecond.
  • Cisco changed the way it responds to queries for the interface queue length of vlan intefaces between minor releases of the 12.2 code.
  • Microsoft changes all sorts of counters in all sorts of releases, and even adopts entirely different monitoring interfaces from one release of a product to the next, encouraging the use of WMI in one release of a product, then dropping support of it in the next.

If your monitoring system cannot automatically apply different monitoring templates based on the version of software being run on devices, then if you run more then one of a device, and don’t upgrade all of them at the same moment, you will be left with a tedious job of associating the correct datasource templates to each device as you update it’s software.  And that’s of course assuming that you know in advance what changes to apply to each upgrade of IOS, or OnTap, or MySQL, or Windows, or …..

It’s this kind of bundled knowledge and automation that helps LogicMonitor save our customers hours of time.  Of course, in this case, they wouldn’t even be aware of it- it’s just a series of false alerts that they do not receive, as a result of the monitoring automatically adjusting to changes in their systems.

I really am proud of our product.