Friday, March 14, 2008

An Introduction to Netcool Omnibus Components

We have already discussed lot of things about Omnibus in our previous articles but here we are going to explain the basic components of Netcool Omnibus and their functions.

What is an ObjectServer?

ObjectServer is the central piece of Omnibus and can be considered analogous to the TEC Server. The ObjectServer receives events from various probes
and processes them according to automation rules. The ObjectServer, however, is a light-weight process when you compare with TEC. Moreover, Omnibus provides
easy to use high availbility features out of the box, so it is normal to have two or more ObjectServers running in an environment.

What is a Probe?

Probes can be thought as an equivalent of Tivoli Event Adapters. They receive events from various sources, such as SNMP agents, Unix log file, etc. Omnibus
probes are much more intelligent than TEC event adapters in the sense, it can detect/filter duplicate information at the source and it is capable of advanced programming capabilities such as looping, regular expressions, etc.


Gateways in Omnibus are different from the Gateways in Framework. In Omnibus, they act as a bridge between an Object Server and other ObjectServers, third-party applications or databases. Their function is to replicate ObjectServer data from one ObjectServer to other components such as another Object Server (for redundancy), or to third-party applications such as Remedy (for trouble-ticket management), or to databases such as Oracle (for event storage).

License Server

License Server is a central piece of Omnibus environment that dispenses necessary server and client licenses as and when requested. Without the license server, the Netcool components will not start. If the license server goes down AFTER the component is started, it should be back up within 24 hours or the Netcool components will shutdown. There are High Availability features supported for License Server and most of the time it is pretty stable. However, IBM understands the pain of managing one more component and ever since the acquisition, IBM is focussing on moving away from license server and expect this to be out in future releases.

Process Agent

The Process Agent plays a very important role in the overall architecture. It is responsible for starting and stopping Netcool components and it also restarts these components in case they died abnoramlly. Process agents are also responsible for executing automation requests coming in from remote systems. However, ironically the Process Control Agent does not manage processes on Windows, it is used only for executing requests received from remote systems. The process control agent works very well and it is very nice to see all the components started and managed by a single program. May be ITM could take a leaf out of it and use a similar solution!

Proxy Server

The Proxy Server is an optional component that can be used for better scalability and for firewalls. The Proxy Server acts as a proxy for ObjectServer, receives events from various probes and sends them over a single connection to the real ObjectServer. This will reduce the number of connections that the real ObjectServer has to handle. An equivalent in Tivoli world, Gateway comes to my mind!

These are the basic components you should know about. Stay tuned for more articles on Netcool Omnibus in the coming days.


Sumit said...

Hi, This is Sumit Karan. I like the content you have provided for Netcool Omnibus. I need Netcool-Remedy Adapter guide (development). If you can share this information I will appreciate it earnestly. My email-id:

Frank Tate said...

Sumit, I'm certain you can find what you need in Tivoli's documentation: