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OpenNMS Update v2.7

Feb 14, 2001, 00:29 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Shane O'Donnell)

Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 17:38:36 -0600 (CST)
From: announce-admin@opennms.org
Reply-To: announce@opennms.org
To: announce@www.opennms.org
Subject: [opennms-announce] OpenNMS Update v2.7

OpenNMS Update

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

Project Status
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 expectations.

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 more.

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
ETA: 4Q01

* Correlate Events
ETA: 2Q01 for Rudimentary Correlation, 4Q01 for Maji

* Purchase a Support Package
ETA: 2Q01

* Rely on vast database of pre-configured events
ETA: 2Q01

* Pre-configured Performance Data Collections for many different devices
ETA: 2Q01 (actually, this depends more on you than anything else...)

* 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 former.

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 Release.

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 good thing.

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 follow.

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 footprint.

* 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 utmost caution.

Upcoming Road Shows
For the upcoming trip to Albuquerque and SLC, Steve will be making the trip.

* February 15th - Utah JUG, Salt Lake City, UT
* May 5th - Twin Cities LUG, Minneapolis, MN

For additional details on these appearances and others, check out the web site at http://www.opennms.org/sections/opennms/events

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 luke@opennms.org.

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: http://www.opennms.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb.cgi/data/common/conf/DataCollection.xml

* 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. Anytime...

* 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.

Tired and late,

Shane O.
Shane O'Donnell