Product analysis: Hello, Operations Support System? User Here

Ai Metrix, Inc., the developer of the NeuralStar service management application suite, is getting ready to release its WebAdvisor interface for enterprise deployment.

Until now, NeuralStar was targeted mainly at service providers who use it for inventory management, service assurance, and service integration for next-generation broadband networks.

"NeuralStar has the intelligence to pro-actively respond to network problems," says Keith Smith, manager of research and development at Ai Metrix. "WebAdvisor is a conduit that allows clients to see what's going on in the network." The application is set up for bi-directional communication, enabling enterprise users to interact with the enterprise operations support system (OSS) to, for example, create a trouble ticket or simply acknowledge that they are aware of a network problem.

WebAdvisor's filtering capabilities enable the user to glean desired data from unstructured network information and have it presented as a graphic, so the user can literally see where on the network a problem is occurring. This, Smith says, makes it easier to comprehend than a line on a spreadsheet. "When you graphically see the whole western segment on the U.S. go down, you know you have a big problem over there. You must have a fiber cut because, at this entry point, all of a sudden your whole network goes red.

On the enterprise IT level, says Smith, information overload can interfere with operational efficiency. "An enterprise might have thousands of routers to monitor. In a typical environment, it's not abnormal for them to report all these errors-bit-error-rate problems and just the typical things. Presenting data in a graphical way allows quick extrapolation of not only outages, but also performance issues."

NeuralStar uses MQ messaging technologies for interoperability with such enterprise platforms as Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX as well as MVS and OS 390.

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