Codima Leverages Visio for Network Management
Codima, Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a company that delivers a network management solution with full automation and live integration. Founded in 2003, its products have been built from the ground up from the experience of enterprise end users plus a very experienced in-house product development team that calls upon a 20-year track record in the network management industry. The company's products are applicable to small, medium and large businesses, in addition to service providers, system integrators and IT consultants. The firm claims to have over 2,500 end users globally, with customers that range from financial institutions, governmental agencies, and large organizations to medium and large enterprises. Codima has offices throughout the U.K, Europe and the Far East., and is both a Microsoft Certified Partner, and an Avaya DevConnect Gold Partner.
Codima's products are designed to be easy to use, cost efficient and highly visual, with the direct visualization of IT assets in Microsoft Office Visio as a key objective. Named the Codima Toolbox, the solution is a complete suite of products built from ground up, which equips the network manager to better understand, test, monitor, analyze, discover, visualize and audit an enterprise network. These products are a fully automated and fully integrated solution, which scales from small networks up to large global enterprise networks, and not constrained by an upper limit. All of the products are Windows-based, using Visio extensively as the user interface for the audit, mapping and monitoring tools.
The Codima Toolbox is divided into two major functional groups: IT Asset Management, and VoIP Management.
The IT Asset Management group includes:
autoAsset: is a network inventory tool, which discovers software and devices installed on any IT network. It uses several protocols in the discovery process including: SNMP, SIP, NetBIOS, and ICMP, plus proprietary vendor protocols. This tool can also verify hardware or software upgrades for compliance control and security purposes, and then creates reports in HTML.
autoMap: provides network mapping functions, and automatically generates Microsoft Office Visio network topology drawings.
autoPinger: automatically provides notification when key network devices stop working, which can be visualized live in Visio drawings. In addition, this tool measures pinger service levels in terms of ping fail percentage and ping response time, providing information for the last 15 seconds, last 10 minutes and last 10 hours.
autoMonitor: is a network performance monitoring tool which maps, pings, monitors and troubleshoots networks in real time, displaying the results in Visio. This module is designed to run on a 24 x 7 basis, automatically identifying network bottlenecks, and then highlighting the worst performing interfaces with either warn or alarm conditions. This module can also drill down from the device console to examine specific routes and interfaces.
autoAnalyzer Consultancy Kit: is designed for network consultants, providing a comprehensive networking, passive monitoring and troubleshooting tool with mapping. Included are the capabilities for SNMP-based monitoring, providing management and agent functions, remote management with distributed probes, and protocol analysis.
In addition, the Codima Toolbox includes some modules that are specific to VoIP network management functions. The VoIP Management group includes:
autoVoIP Blaster: is designed for VoIP pre-assessment, and stress tests the network using real RTP frames that generate high traffic levels for network evaluations. This tool can measure the effect of adding more phones to an existing VoIP system, and also evaluate two different codecs to determine the effect of this important choice on the network operation.
autoVoIP Simulator: is also used for VoIP network pre-assessment, and sending real RTP frames over the network at standard frame rates, and providing a real-time measurement of the network's Quality of Service (QoS). The simulator organizer function can then build a simulation model between two points on the network, and an automated correlation engine analyzing and displaying the results.
autoVoIP: helps network managers avoid network downtime with a multi-function tool that monitors and troubleshoots networks in real time. This tool also includes an expert system that automatically correlates historical information to isolate the root cause of problems.
autoVoIP Consultancy Kit: was created for IT professionals with in-depth network analysis from a laptop-based platform, and gathers phone software information, error reports and QoS parameters, including delay, lost packets and jitter.
Codima Toolbox supports all types of LAN and WAN infrastructures, including wireless networks, and runs under Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, and Server 2003. Automation and live integration with network visualization directly in Visio differentiate this solution from the competition. It offers a vast range of functions and features that are fully automated and fully integrated that provides extensive information regarding the network's health and operational status.
Further details on Codima's network management solutions can be found at http://www.codimatech.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors' network management architectures.
Copyright Acknowledgement: ©2009 DigiNet Corporation, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.