“MIMIC allows us to simulate multiple network configurations quickly and easily."Tony Barratt
Mibtree is a systems integration, training and consultancy company specializing in the design and deployment of network management solutions based around best of breed products, including IBM Tivoli BMC, CA, Compuware and Adaptive Computing. Mibtree provides training and consultancy services worldwide through dedicated training centers and offices.
Mibtree is proud of its reputation of providing training that improves a student’s confidence as well as their skills and knowledge. To achieve this, along with the strong curriculum, Mibtree makes use of realistic labs for the hands-on training. Many of the products monitor or control networked environments.
Providing network management training is a difficult task. Underlying the training of the software needs an extensive network of multi-vendor hardware that gives the student a real-world network management experience. Also, the training environment should be safe enough so the students can exercise the hands-on training freely without disturbing other students or the network.
The difficulty faced by Mibtree, however, is providing students with real life infrastructures and situations. They had a hardware lab consisting of a Cisco switch and a couple of small routers on the local LAN. They really needed many more devices from a variety of manufacturers to setup the training, but the expense in terms of time and money, along with complications was very high. The hardware expense, space and setup requirements at multiple sites, was cost prohibitive. Also setting up practice networks to any realistic degree in order to train students with a wide variety of element configurations and other negative conditions is challenging. It was harder to setup the network for training, dismantle it and then setup another one for different management software. To set this up at a customer site is even more cumbersome.
Instead of using a costly hardware infrastructure, Mibtree decided to create a safe sandbox environment for students, which closely simulates the required networks. After looking at a few simulators, Mibtree chose MIMIC SNMP Simulator to provide the underlying network for their network management training classes.
Mibtree selected MIMIC SNMP Simulator as a way to create realistic network environments. It provided the flexibility they needed to create any network lab they needed, at their local and remote locations.
MIMIC is used with the training of the following products:
• IBM Tivoli Netcool Manager for IP Networks (NMIP)
• IBM Tivoli Netcool Proviso
Figure 1 - IBM Tivoli ITNM connected to MIMIC and shows the network viewMibtree uses MIMIC to simulate mesh network containing multiple routers and switches from various vendors. MIMIC is used to demonstrate SNMP based discovery, specifically with IBM’s NMIP product. MIMIC simulated networks are also used to teach network monitoring and root cause analysis techniques such as suppressing downstream symptom alarms and escalating actual root cause alarms.
Instructors just need to load the saved lab configuration before the class. They don’t need to worry about the network setup or trouble shooting. They are able to simulate a variety of scenarios that students might shortly face back at their workplace. For example, instructors are also able to simulate failure in any node and train students in root cause analysis. They can also dynamically simulate lightly loaded and overloaded routers by changing some parameters using the MIMIC GUI. They can deliver the same labs at all locations so all instructions in the course material remain the same.
MIMIC allows Mibtree to simulate multiple network configurations quickly and easily. With MIMIC, Mibtree can do this with a much lower capital investment than buying real network equipment for demonstration purposes and with much higher availability and security than if they tried to reuse bits of their live infrastructure. Mibtree deploys the same MIMIC simulator for different courses as needed and turns it on only when required which minimizes power costs.
MIMIC saves time in setting up the lab by creating complex scenarios and storing those for future use. With MIMIC, Mibtree saves a significant amount of money by simulating expensive devices which are cost prohibitive. Instructors can train on the real issues quickly and reliably using simulation rather than physical devices. The consulting division can tailor demos to the individual customer's environment. MIMIC Simulator helps Mibtree to keep their enterprise students happy and staff more productive.