As computer networks and systems become more complex and more heterogeneous (often involving systems from multiple vendors), the importance of network and system management increases. During the last 10 years, the overall industry effort to develop, enhance and integrate management systems has crystallized in the concept of management platforms.
The goal of this thesis is to investigate and discuss distributed networks and systems management platforms (called IT management platforms) in general terms and in real life.
This is done by first performing a thorough theoretical study of IT management technologies, history, protocols (mainly SNMP) and architectures. IT management platform components are then studied, including graphical user interface, event management, communications, objects and security. Theory about expert systems is used to highlight and understand important concepts regarding IT management platforms and functionality.
A case study is then performed at a company that is about to start planning and later implementing a commercial IT management solution. The IT management platform used is HP OpenView Operations 7.x and Network Node Manager 6.x for Unix.
Using these two methods as a fundament I evaluate and analyse how the company tries to implement and tackle the complexity of an IT management system in real life. Due to some serious flaws in planning, implementing and project management, a few key success factors are revealed to achieve functional IT management platform implementation. Another important finding is that there seems to be a misconception about what IT management platforms should be able to do, and what they are in fact able to do with today’s technology.