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Network Monitor in a Customer Portal

Easy access to network monitoring data in a customer portal

In addition to their retail business UPC Cablecom in Switzerland also offers Business Internet Services. Apart from the actual connection to the Internet this includes the monitoring of the corresponding compounds of the service, to assess quality and to plan for capacity adjustments.

Problem

Every customer should be able to monitor and evaluate state and history of the Internet services himself. This includes both graphical as well as numerical evaluations.

Solution

The presentation of the network data in the Customer Portal is the cherry on top so to speak of the entire network monitoring process.

First, the systems involved must be identified, and queried regularly. For this project we therefore decided to work together with K-Open . Their Open Source network monitoring system Torrus is ideally suited for monitoring large amounts of network devices such as routers, modems and switches. Like most other network monitoring tools Torrus also comes with a dedicated web front end. Such frontends are, however, very technically oriented and usually don't allow to create customer specific views of the data.

With Extopus we built a new tool with which it is possible to display data from multiple monitoring servers in a unified user interface. Currently, only data collected by Torrus servers are integrated, but structurally it is also easy to integrate with other systems. For the user, a consistent picture emerges and the operating logic remains the same.

extopus screenshot

Internal Extopus frontend

For configuration of the entire system, the inventory database of Cablecom is directly connected, so that the monitoring system is automatically adpated to the current environment.

Impact and benefits

By combining Torrus in the backend and Extopus as presentation layer a scalable system was developed that can easily monitor the hundreds of thousands of network ports and at the same time displays only the information to each customer that is relevant to him.

In use, it has been shown that the simple and clear presentation of data with Extopus is popular also within Cablecom. Because of that today an additional Extopus instance is in operation for internal access to information on all customers.

Links

Extopus was published as Open Source Software. More information about Extopus you can find on the Extopus home page.

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