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Getting to the Meat of Network Issues With NetBrain

June 5, 2017

We recently spoke to Steve DiNenna, Senior Network Engineer from one of the largest premium delicatessen suppliers in the country on what a day in the life of a network engineer is like in today’s complex IT environments.

Steve is a seasoned network engineer, having managed enterprise networks for more than 18 years across many industries including Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing, Hospitality, and Defense. Steve was joined by his colleague, Jason Herlihy, a Network Engineer III, who is also a veteran in the field. Their company, which has been in business for more than a century, currently offers hundreds of premium products and distributes throughout the United States.

Having a handle on their IT environment is essential to the company’s success as they are committed to continuously improving their time-honored processes. When the network goes down, so does their visibility into inventory levels, supply status’s and critical customer information. In short, this creates an unacceptable business situation.

In speaking with both engineers, it quickly became apparent that they shared the same concerns as many of their peers across all walks of industry. These concerns include:

  • Lack of visibility into the network environment and guidance for troubleshooting,
  • Less than definitive assessments of network operability, and
  • Ability to ramp up quickly on new devices and configurations.

As stated by Steve, “Having the ability to quickly diagnose and remediate potential network issues is an important part of their jobs as network engineers. This begins by having a solid understanding of the devices in the network and how they are connected and configured.”

He further added, “It is critical to know and manage all the assets and be able to visualize them in order to understand the environment. NetBrain’s Dynamic Network Maps provides deep network visualization as opposed to traditional static maps which are usually outdated. A Dynamic Map is a critical tool in providing guidance for addressing a whole assortment of potential issues.”

IT leads and engineers are constantly being pulled in different directions and tasked with managing multiple priority initiatives. While they can perform the necessary functions manually, the time commitment to do so is at best impractical and at worst dangerous to the business.

Steve remarked, “NetBrain adapts to their workflow rather than them needing to reconfigure their operations to fit NetBrain’s capabilities. By creating a single pane of glass view into the network, we can quickly asses network operations, deal with issues succinctly and still have time to address other critical IT projects within the organization.”

Both agreed that NetBrain helps to get up-to-speed on a network in a very short period. The ability to quickly understand the network design from many aspects by overlaying routing designs, VPN configuration, and more on the map along with the snippets of the configuration is extremely helpful. Traditionally it would take months to get aligned with the network design, configuration, et al.  which can now be done in couple of weeks with NetBrain.

After a long and engaging discussion, Steve astutely pointed out, “NetBrain has been instrumental in making our lives better. It doesn’t eliminate all the tasks that are required of them, but greatly reduces the time commitment needed to perform critical tasks by over 25%.

Think for a moment, what you could accomplish if somebody just gave you 25 percent of your work week back? Being a network engineer, I could relate very well with their day-to-day journey. It was gratifying and a great learning experience for me talking about a day in the life of a network engineer and how NetBrain has influenced it for the better. I’m very appreciative of the time they gave me and look forward to building an even stronger partnership between our companies.

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