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July 05, 2011

Isaac by Enterasys Enables Network Management via Social Media

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Social networking is a great way to communicate with friends, family and business contacts. Now these platforms are expanding to bring networking gear into the mix.                                                                                                

Enterasys (News - Alert) Networks has come out with Isaac. This software, running on the company’s network management suite, translates SNMP and other communications to social media language to allow for better visibility and control of the network. IT staff can then manage the corporate LAN via a social media interface, which is the way these folks typically communicate anyway.

"With one sixth of humanity using either Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert), it's only natural that new use cases would be developed for social networking platforms,” says Chris Crowell, president and CEO of Enterasys Networks. “By allowing network devices such as routers, switches and applications to securely join the social network, IT can use these familiar and accessible interfaces for more efficient, real-time interaction and communication, providing automated and predictive responses to network issues."

Members of an IT staff can have a work tab on a social media site, and most of the communications available via that interface will come from network elements, which will report information on their health and status in regular language. For example, if a machine goes offline it can send a tweet to an IT staffer’s smartphone so that worker automatically and quickly is alerted of the situation.

“The IT world is ever changing.  As a CIO, I have to keep up with the changing trends and technologies, including social media,” says Steven Arender, technology coordinator for Danville Schools (Virginia).  “A constant concern for me is staff retention and recruitment. The days of having to remember CLI and complex commands are now less important with a tool like Project Isaac. Most people are very familiar with Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter and they can be used for effective network management on day one with Project Isaac.”

Such communications also can be integrated with other information to create various types of mashups. Here’s an example of one Siemens (News - Alert) Enterprise Communications, the parent company of Enterasys Networks, is using: If a network element tweets that it is failing, Google Maps can be leveraged to include in that tweet the location of the failed device. That’s important, considering the company has thousands of field engineers.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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