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Making Integration Work

Previous Page: Not Integrating Incompatible Monitoring Systems
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Making Integration Work

So how can you make integration succeed? You have three basic choices:

1. Accept the situation as it is, keep running multiple incompatible systems, and cope as best you can with all the difficulties that involves.

In the short run, this is probably the easiest solution. But it's hiding from your problems, not solving them. And accepting the status quo will be a hard decision to justify if system incompatibilities result in poor network visibility or network downtime.

2. Take the obvious, but uneconomic, solution - select one network management platform, and replace all incompatible equipment.

But replacing equipment that can still be useful is a waste of money. Many companies have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in legacy equipment. Replacing legacy gear with equipment that does the same job is spending money while gaining nothing.

The dominant partner in a merger is likely to try to impose its practices and technology, but this fails to take into account the wide variation in alarm monitoring quality. How can you be sure that you're choosing the right system as your standard-are you just going to decide that what you're familiar with must be the best?

3. Or you can take the best course of action - combine your incompatible network monitoring systems into one integrated alarm management platform.

Your past experiences with system integration may have been frustrating. But if you think
integration can't be done ‒ or if you think it's too complicated to be done effectively ‒ you need to know that recent advances in software and protocol conversion make it easier than ever to integrate incompatible systems.

Even if your older equipment uses legacy protocols that are no longer supported, you can combine all your network alarm systems into one modern platform.

But there is one difficulty-finding the right platform that will integrate all your systems. Not all monitoring equipment vendors can do this. Even if you buy from a company with an established reputation, you may not get the system that's right for your network. You might end up with an expensive platform that still requires extensive customization and programming before it can ever be of any real value or benefit to you or your network.

Before you commit to buying equipment, make sure it will support your integration strategy. Integration is the best strategy for working with diverse network monitoring systems.

Next Page: Deploying a Network Monitoring System Without Expert Advice
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