Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 17:38:36 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [opennms-announce] OpenNMS Update v2.7
Vol 2 Issue 7
Feb 13, 2001
In this week's installment...
* Project Status
+ Readying the Release
+ Some SCM Insights
+ Coding Projects Underway
* Upcoming Road Shows
* Early Adopter Program
* The Wish List
Readying the Release:
As we've mentioned in previous Updates, the 0.6 release is still
on target for a Valentine's Day Release. Needless to say, things
are frantic around here, especially for those of us that just got
bugs assigned earlier today.
We've covered previously some of the new functionalities
included in the 0.6 release, so we won't discuss them again (Note:
You can read about 0.6 in the v2.5 and v2.6 Updates available from
the web site). Instead, let's spend a moment setting
For some users, 0.6 (which we're referring to as the Early
Adopter release) may actually prove to be the end-game. With some
of the slated fixes and enhancements planned for the 0.6.1 release
(yes, we are already planning the next release), many users will
never need anything else. However, most of you will demand
With 0.6, you will be able to discover your network, have
devices checked for the capabilities they provide, a database
populated with key information, events generated, received,
configured, and made actionable, and most routing functions
provided via our lightweight interface (web-based). Not to mention
all of the new functionality listed in our earlier discussions.
You will NOT be able to do any of the following with 0.6.x:
* Architect a solution based on distributed pollers
* Correlate Events
ETA: 2Q01 for Rudimentary Correlation, 4Q01 for Maji
* Purchase a Support Package
* Rely on vast database of pre-configured events
* Pre-configured Performance Data Collections for many different
ETA: 2Q01 (actually, this depends more on you than anything
* Do systems management with an OpenNMS agent
ETA: 2Q01 (best case -- waiting on an update)
While it may seem that I'm spending a lot of time dwelling on
what we DON'T do, I think this is only fair. We've spent a lot of
time explaining to various folks, whether analysts, reporters, or
users, who always ask "Why not this functionality?" Our answer is
constant and unwaivering:
We are maximizing our functionality for the widest audience with
the most common needs.
This is the beauty of open source. If you have specific needs,
build your answer and share it with the world. Or wait for us to
get around to it. The decision is yours. Note: We recommend the
We know that there are pieces that aren't in 0.6 that some of
you would like to have. We know that there are pieces that are in
0.6 that some of you don't want or need. What we believe we've
compiled in our 0.6 release is the best attempt at packaging
network management functionality into an open source package that
has been accomplished to date.
Tomorrow, with great pride, we'll announce to the world the next
step in our effort to change an industry: OpenNMS 0.6 Early-Adopter
As always, thank you for your support.
Some SCM Insights:
For those of you that have been hanging around for a while,
you've seen my constant references to Weave's tuning and re-writing
of the SCM module. For the uninitiated, SCM stands for Service
Control Manager and it is responsible for firing up most of the
critical background processes included in the OpenNMS package.
First thing to note: SCM takes up FAR fewer resources. This is a
Other important stuff:
* SCM is configurable as to the number of JVMs it starts up.
Currently, default is 5.
* SCM now leverages good ol' RPC, versus JSDT. While JSDT is
great for what it is, it wasn't cutting the proverbial mustard when
it came to the reliability we needed in SCM.
* SCM comes with a new command line utility to fire it up, and
Ben "Scripting god, Denture wearer" Reed has extended it to handle
ALL of the OpenNMS administrative functions. Little stuff like
start, stop, lather, rinse, etc.
* SCM is now high in fiber, low in fat.
* SCM now generates a whole new suite of error messages when
things go awry. Jeff "I don't know how you expect me to learn this
stuff if you are constantly changing it" Schneider is pushing these
into the FAQ.
* SCM now supports a bunch of options for not only starting and
stopping it, but doing some of the RPC-related maintenance and
SNAFU-avoidance which may be necessary. More doc on this to
So the short version of this story is: Mo' betta SCM.
Coding Projects Underway:
* Solaris Port Postgres Procedures -- Underway. No update.
Apparently discovery is working.
* Postgres for NT -- No update since last week.
* SNMP Poller/Data Collection -- The data collection work is
done, still working on the interface to generate the reports.
* Event DTD -- Finalized. Should be checked in soon.
* Tuning -- We're all about getting this into a smaller
* User Interfaces -- The lightweight user interface was scaled
back somewhat for this release due to some goofiness between Xerces
and Tomcat and the latter's current preference for Crimson. This
problem should be going away. Knock wood.
* SCM -- Gutting and replacing JSDT with an RPC mechanism. ACPL
Tea, for those of you keeping score at home.
* SCM UI -- Will have to be re-tooled for the SCM change, but
many of the problems will be avoided, if not eliminated.
* TCP Poller -- Still waiting for some of the creative
configurations that I know you all are capable of...
* Maji Prelim Work -- Rick is building Perl code that is
successfully parsing MIB files. Check him out, in all his glory, on
the "events" list.
* Notification Configuration -- Works in the U/G/V config panel,
but not the Wizard. We're disabling the Wizard until the
functionality is there.
* Swing Interface -- Fighting random oddities. Proceed with
Upcoming Road Shows
For the upcoming trip to Albuquerque and SLC, Steve will be making
* February 15th - Utah JUG, Salt Lake City, UT
* May 5th - Twin Cities LUG, Minneapolis, MN
Early Adopter Program
I alluded to this program in previous Updates. Here are the
critical details I've managed to avoid sharing to date.
The Early Adopter program is an effort we're undertaking to try
to capture customer-experience information. We will send someone to
your location to do a full installation and customization of the
OpenNMS software for your environment (within reason, of course) in
exchange for your honest feedback and potentially a good word
somewhere down the road.
Here's the reasoning behind it: Despite the fact that we are an
open source project and are effectively developing in a fish bowl,
we aren't living in the network management environment anymore.
That is, we aren't actually DOING network management--we're writing
software to do it. And when your focus is off the actual DOING
part, you've created the potential to miss your mark. We want to
avoid this at all costs.
So the Early Adopter program is a way for us to capture the
end-user experience. By helping with the installation, we overcome
that horrid "I've downloaded the software but haven't had time to
do anything with it" problem, and we provide some free consulting.
Of course, for you to get any knowledge-transfer, you're still
going to have to set aside some time to GET the information, so you
still have a little skin in the game. Additionally, you'll also
need to provide a system on which to run the software (conforming
to our minimum system configuration suggestions), a license for
Linux (Just kidding. Relax. We'll provide the Linux license.), and
contact with someone that knows something about your network--most
importantly, your IP addressing strategy.
So if you come bellyin' up to the bar with all this stuff, we'll
help you out with some installation and configuration assistance,
as well as priority support (read: Jeff's cell number) for the
duration of the program. Important note: We've designed this
program for local installs. If you want in on this action and
you're not close to RTP, NC, be prepared to cover any associated
travel costs, including airfare, hotels, and per diem for meals (we
travel cheap, but eat well).
Anyway, a number of you have asked, so that's the scoop.
Consider yourselves officially in the loop.
Now who's first? Drop Luke a line at email@example.com.
The Wish List
First, a big thanks to everyone that's actively working with and
trying out the product. 0.6 promises to be a bold step in a new
direction and we appreciate your time to put it through its paces.
Now, on with the list...
* In the 0.6 release (and CVS), checkout the TODO file
* Test the install.pl script!!!
* Our SNMP Data Collector will rely on a configuration file,
DataCollection.xml (or something like that). This file will map
what SNMP OIDs we should pull from a device with a given SysOID.
Now the question is, "What should we pull?" Recommendations? Tips?
I figure we'll pre-populate some canned collections for Cisco
routers, Bay routers, and whatever else can be contributed. All
ideas are appreciated, and especially ideas that come back in the
format of the DataCollection.xml file (available at:
* Now that we have a "generic" TCP Poller, we could use some
help in building some configurations to test services that you may
be concerned with. For example, is LDAP do-able? How about
applications like Peoplesoft, SAP, Baan? Remember, you can deploy
multiple of these pollers against multiple ports.
* Testing on new, exciting platforms is always appreciated.
Somebody want to mess with the Cygwin port of our Postgres stored
procedures and see where we stand?
* Any additional help we can get proving our documentation
either right or wrong is appreciated. Thanks.
* Got any creative applications for OpenNMS that we haven't
considered? Let us know!
* Anybody up for a security analysis of OpenNMS? We know we've
got a lot of holes, but we'd rather have most of them identified
before we start trying to plug them. Any security folks that are
playing along, feel free to chime in here. Anytime, now. Go on.
* Anyone out there have familiarity with portmapper on NT? The
new SCM will need it and, well, er, um, I don't know nothin' but
mappin' no ports!
As if we don't have enough going on, we'll be addressing our space
problems (e.g., we're out of it) with an upcoming move to new
quarters. There are few things as disruptive as a move, even if
it's just a couple of miles. Nonetheless, if you try to reach us
and you can't, we might just be in between offices. And if you want
to shop for an office-warming gift, the carpet will be Regata, the
wall trim Moon Rock, and the walls Bone White. This is compared to
our current digs, where the carpet is Stained, the wall trim is
Missing, and the walls are Pointless.
Larry got a radio w/ CD player in his car yesterday.
We've been so buried in 0.6 related stuff (not to mention last
minute "Oops-this-doesn't-work" problems) that I haven't got much
else to comment on. Sorry so brief. Maybe next time.
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