Netcool is one of the most popular (if not the most) manager of managers in the market, and it has been for quite some time. I still remember the first time I started using it 8 years ago. I was hooked at once. I could not believe how much better than Unicenter and TEC it was.
Through the years, number of different products were released to provide web based access to Netcool as it was a common requirement in the marketplace, but they did not live up to the quality of the core Netcool (Omnibus) product. Some customers (and consultants) became Webtop gurus, making the best of it, others rolled out their own solutions, almost everyone hoping a better version would come along “soon”.
Couple of months ago, we've started looking at whether/how RapidInsight can be an alternative solution to provide a web based interface for Netcool. So far, RapidInsight has been primarily used as the web interface for EMC/Smarts and databases. After some investigation, we've concluded that RapidInsight can indeed be a very good alternative as a web based interface for Netcool.
We first looked at how we can bring the events from Netcool to RapidInsight. There were couple of options.
* Netcool sends events out via “gateway” components (file/socket, etc). RapidInsight already has corresponding connectors we could use bring events in quite easily.
* Netcool keeps events in a proprietary database but uses Sybase libraries for communications, hence it is possible to access the events via JDBC.
In the end, we've decided to support both approaches. RapidInsight Netcool modules include the file connector to process the output of the Netcool file gateway, as well as the Netcool Event Connector, that integrates with Netcool via JDBC.