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OpsRamp Offers Expanded Network, UC Monitoring For A Work-From-Home World

The new functionality in the OpsRamp platform offer solution providers a way to help customers manage hybrid and multi-cloud IT environments and meet the needs of work-from-home employees.

OpsRamp is ramping up the network and unified communications monitoring capabilities of its IT operations management platform in what the company describes as increased demand for such capabilities spurred by the global pandemic.

The company on Thursday unveiled OpsRamp NetFlow Monitoring and OpsRamp Unified Communications Monitoring, additions to the company’s core IT management platform that are generally available immediately.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, businesses and organizations found themselves supporting hundreds or even thousands of employees who began working from home. Demand for cloud applications, unified communications and collaboration tools, video conferencing and other IT resources increased practically overnight – all adding to network traffic.

[Related: OpsRamp Forges Close Alliance With Google Cloud]

That fueled the need for more extensive network and UC system monitoring tools than San Jose, Calif.-based OpsRamp has previously offered in its IT operations management platform, said Ciaran Byrne, OpsRamp product management vice president, in an interview with CRN.

“We’ve had a lot of demand for this from our customers – our MSP customers and our enterprise customers,” Byrne said. “As work-from-home became the new normal in 2020, use of digital communications and collaboration systems exploded.” IT operations teams, he said, needed additional capabilities to keep networks and UC applications up and running and maintain user productivity.

Many businesses were already wrestling with managing network dependencies and vulnerabilities before the pandemic as they built out hybrid and multi-cloud IT environments and as more employees worked from remote locations.

“That was a trend that was already underway. It just got turbocharged by the pandemic that hit last year,” said Ron Dupler, CEO of strategic service provider Greenpages, in an interview with CRN. “Now you’ve got [businesses] grappling with their IT environments across these dispersed networks and home users. The increasing complexity of IT environments as they move to hybrid and multi-cloud models is a clear and present challenge.”

GreenPages, based in Kittery, Maine, is a long-time partner of OpsRamp: The OpsRamp system is the foundation for GreenPage’s Cloud Management-as-a-Service (CMaaS) offering that’s popular among mid-size customers. The company also sells and implements OpsRamp for larger customers who prefer to use the system in-house.

Dupler said the main value proposition of OpsRamp is that it’s a single, integrated platform for IT monitoring and management activities. Many businesses try to “cobble together” disparate tools from multiple vendors, he said, “and that’s pretty damn in efficient. We believe we’ve had a competitive advantage working with OpsRamp for many years in terms of the capabilities they provide.”

The new OpsRamp NetFlow monitoring solution analyzes network traffic using the NetFlow protocol developed by Cisco Systems to determine the point of origin, destination, volume and paths of traffic on a network. The system collects and analyzes information about network traffic between data centers, private and public clouds, applications, servers and network devices, Byrne said.

NetFlow allows network administrators to do modeling and predictive analysis using network traffic data, according to the vendor and performs “real-time diagnosis of network latency” across WAN links to identify what the company calls “top talkers” (including traffic sources, destinations, apps and protocols) that impact users and business services.

The system also generates alerts based on network traffic utilization and provides historical information about network utilization patterns that aid capacity planning and post-incident analysis. NetFlow supports V9, V5, IPFIX, S-FLOW and J-FLOW protocols.

The new OpsRamp Unified Communications Monitoring solution analyses data about user communications, including voice, SMS, video and chat, collected from UC systems from vendors such as Cisco and Avaya and cloud collaboration systems like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

IT operations managers can use communications data to identify and diagnose issues affecting users and receive alerts of service degradations – all in real time and at scale, according to OpsRamp. The technology also can be used to analyze voice data for troubleshooting and post-incident investigations and to aid in capacity planning.

Both NetFlow Monitoring and Unified Communications Monitoring are built into a new release of the OpsRamp platform.

“These offerings are a logical step for OpsRamp, furthering our mission to offer the most comprehensive, automated and integrated platform for digital operations management,” Byrne said.

Dupler said innovations like the new network and unified communications management capabilities in OpsRamp extend the platform’s value proposition. He said GreenPages will be adding the new functionality to its own service offerings over the next quarter.

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