Cisco Network Mgmt Protocol FAQ: Management Metrics
Q1. In what ways can network management impact a service provider’s business?
Q2. Give an example of a network management technology or feature that can affect revenue.
Q3. Give an example of a network management technology that can affect availability.
Q4. At what levels can the effectiveness of network management be assessed?
Q5. Name two different contexts in which an elaborate GUI of a management application does very little to increase management effectiveness.
Q6. Imagine that you have decided to invest in the development of custom rules for your eventcorrelation system. The goal is to improve automated diagnosis of failures in the network. The development can be carried out by one consultant who can incrementally introduce new rules into the system, which will make the system gradually more effective. You decide to give it a try, but you want to make continuation of the project dependent on it indeed fulfilling your expectations as you go along. Can you think of some metrics to use to assess whether the system fulfills expectations?
Q7. Imagine that you need to decide whether to invest in a new service provisioning system. That system is expected to carry a significant price tag—in particular, when taking into account the cost of integrating the new system with the existing operations support infrastructure. What metrics might help you decide whether this is a worthwhile investment, and how would you do the math to arrive at a go/no-go decision?
Answer: You might consider the number of truck rolls (per service order), the mean time to fill customer service orders, and the average size of customer order backlog as useful metrics. What needs to be compared is the value that those metrics have today versus the value that those metrics are expected to have in the future with the new system in place. This difference needs to be translated into a monetary value. For example:
- The monetary value yielded by the reduction in truck rolls can be calculated as follows:
Let rtrso be the expected reduction in the number of truck rolls per service order, ctr the cost per truck roll, and nso the number of service orders per month. The value per month of the reduction in truck rolls is rtrso × ctr × nso.
- The monetary value yielded by the reduction in mean time to fill service orders can be calculated as follows:
Let rmtso be the expected reduction in the mean time to fill a service order, rso the revenue per service order that can be collected during a time period of length rtmso, cso the cost of the resources that are required to provide service during a time period of length rtmso, and nso the number of service orders per month. The value per month of the reduction in mean time to fill service orders is (rso – cso) × nso.
The combined benefits are then juxtaposed with the cost of the system, using standard business metrics to assess the return on investment. One simple measure is calculating the time until the investment pays for itself—basically, dividing the cost by the additional revenue and operational cost savings. Of course, these are back-of-the-envelope calculations. To increase the accuracy of those calculations, other factors (such as interest cost and other costs associated with the additional revenue) need to be taken into the equation.
Q8. What is the difference between MTBF and availability?
Q9. Which three aspects determine the complexity of operational tasks?
Q10. A management application vendor boasts about the scale of its management system, claiming that it can support 10 million managed objects. What are some questions that you might want to ask in return?