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BMC TrueSight Network Automation OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

BMC TrueSight Network Automation is #9 ranked solution in top Network Automation tools and #14 ranked solution in top Configuration Management tools. PeerSpot users give BMC TrueSight Network Automation an average rating of 8 out of 10. BMC TrueSight Network Automation is most commonly compared to Micro Focus Network Automation: BMC TrueSight Network Automation vs Micro Focus Network Automation. BMC TrueSight Network Automation is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 74% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 36% of all views.
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What is BMC TrueSight Network Automation?

Network automation and management software reduces network outages and downtime by automating configuration, change and compliance processes. Organizations depend on high performance across their network to keep the business running at peak efficiency but new security threats make it hard for network administrators to keep pace with the demands for new services and safeguard the health of the network.

BMC TrueSight Network Automation was previously known as BMC TrueSight Automation for Networks, TrueSight Automation for Networks, TrueSight Network Automation, BladeLogic Network Automation.

BMC TrueSight Network Automation Customers

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BMC TrueSight Network Automation Video

Archived BMC TrueSight Network Automation Reviews (more than two years old)

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Ernest Szeideman - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Security Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Enables us to maintain and consistently deploy network device configurations, but the setup has not gone smoothly
Pros and Cons
  • "Depending on who's looking at the data, they need to configure that data in different ways, and the dashboards help us to do that better than what was previously available."
  • "We've been working with BMC support in various ways such as to allow for the high-availability components to the TSIMs to work together. There have been issues there. We've seen randomness in how other pieces of the software work. Integration with the Presentation Server and the TSIMs has been a challenge. The ports that are required for HA to be utilized were not clearly documented anywhere. In fact, they still aren't documented online anywhere, even though we managed to pull it out of some of their support people."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for monitoring our management infrastructure. We also use it for pinging some customer workstations, customer sites, and devices.

How has it helped my organization?

I'll talk about BPPM here. Having the performance monitoring in place allows us to be able to react if our systems are having either disk, memory, or CPU performance bottlenecks or issues. It also allows us to react if there are up/down monitoring issues or it's approaching a situation where a threshold will be breached. For the network automation tool, from a security perspective, the real focus for us has been to maintain the configurations of our router switches, network devices, etc., and to be able to deploy them in a consistent fashion. If consistency equals security then it's helped it from a security point of view. But outside of that it's not something that I would consider to be a security tool, per se. We use it for configuration management. The big thing for us is that we cannot afford to lose our configurations across our different environments. For example, we have configurations in our Dev environments which, once they're vetted, go up to staging. Once they're vetted there, they go into a DR space and from there into production. So having consistency in our deployment practices, first of all leads to cleaner implementations and, most importantly, it ensures that if something bad happens we can actually recover quickly. Previously, when we had outages, people were scrambling along trying to find what the configurations were. We would have to get a new device in because the old device crapped out. We would put in the device and we would all pray very hard that the new configuration was the same as what was there previously, because sometimes we couldn't be totally sure. Prayer is a wonderful thing but it's not suitable for business SLAs. It has absolutely helped our organization to use skilled personnel for more productive tasks because now we have the data that people need so that they can do their jobs better and more efficiently. With good data come good decisions. With no data you get haphazard results. Finally, because it's alerting us when certain things happen, it allows us to put our processes in place to be able to deal with whatever the issue is at hand and that actually allows for more collaboration.

What is most valuable?

The dashboard is very useful to us as is the Presentation Server interface, in terms of policy creation and configuration and use of the tool. There's a much cleaner approach to the dashboards now in TrueSight versus what they had previously. Previously it was more cumbersome to be able to display the data that is required to do our jobs. Different people have different functions, and as a part of those functions, they need to look at different types of data. My managers are interested in things like, the number of tickets that are open. How long did it take to address an incident? How long did it take to close an incident? Things like that with SLAs. Whereas the support people want to just know that the incident has come in and to be able to look at it and correlate that data with other data to determine what the actual problem is. Depending on who's looking at the data, they need to configure that data in different ways, and the dashboards help us to do that better than what was previously available.

What needs improvement?

There probably needs to be a little bit more collaboration between the Entuity teams and the BBNA teams. For our endpoint device monitoring we typically use a tool called Entuity. We buy it through BMC. TrueSight or BPPM typically does performance monitoring for servers, but for endpoint devices, such as routers, switches, etc., we typically use Entuity. The network automation tool keeps these configurations for us, keeps them all tight and clean, and makes sure things are synced up. But there's a lot of room for improvement in expanding the functionality of BBNA to work a little bit more tightly with Entuity. Right now they're still very siloed in terms of the toolsets. There might be some opportunities to grow that partnership. In terms of additional features, I'm wondering if they should be looking at integration with some other toolsets, such as Ansible on the Red Hat side, or other scripting capabilities on the Windows side. A little bit more thought could be put toward using those tools. We also use Atrium Orchestrator in-house. It's a run-book automation tool. Having more out-of-the-box orchestration examples in AO to leverage BBNA and TrueSight would be really good to see.
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Configuration Management
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about BMC, SolarWinds, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management. Updated: June 2022.
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For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using something called BPPM (Proactive Net Performance Management) which was TrueSight's predecessor, for about five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I came in Monday morning and my TSIM servers were both down. I'm working with support to understand why.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've built out the product to meet the number of servers that we have to monitor in our managed security space - the stack that we deal with - so we've already gone through the scaling process. Because the high-availability feature hasn't been working, it's performed quite poorly.

How are customer service and support?

A lot of the support is quite good. They really want to help. There are two different teams in support right now. There's a whole team dedicated to TrueSight, specifically. Sometimes, when I put in a ticket to support, there's another team and that other team is totally dedicated to something called the PATROL Agent. That is an agent you deploy in boxes, agents which can talk to TrueSight and feed it information. In our case, we care about TrueSight, we don't really care about the PATROL Agent. I don't want to say the PATROL Agent is an afterthought, but it is a part of TrueSight, not the other way around. But many times this other team wants us to fuss around with the PATROL Agent and we don't really want to fuss with it. We only want to deal with TrueSight and things to do with monitoring. If TrueSight says we need to install an extra agent somewhere, then that's what we do. From a support perspective, it's almost like there are two silos at BMC for the monitoring software. One is dedicated to Patrol and the other is dedicated to TrueSight. Because we're really a TrueSight shop that uses Patrol, all of our tickets should automatically go to the TrueSight support people. However, we keep getting routed to the Patrol people, and I don't feel that the Patrol people fully get what we need to do in our environment. They don't seem to cross-pollinate. The Patrol people don't really know anything about TrueSight, and the TrueSight people know a little bit about Patrol. If your ticket gets over to the patrol people, then good luck. That's very frustrating from a support perspective. The people are very nice, they're competent. Some of them are incredibly excellent. And others, they try their best, but... I can't say enough about the sales teams. They are excellent and the pre- and post-sales support are incredible, they are some of the smartest people I know. Phenomenal people. That's very much a strong point. They are amazing people. They're very busy, but when you get them involved, it's great working with them. Fantastic It's not about the technology, it's about the relationships. When you get really good people to work with and to deal with from a sales perspective, it becomes less about selling and more about, "Look, I have this problem, what do you have that can actually help me meet my business objectives?" It really is comforting to be able to call up somebody at any time and say, "Look, this is what's going on," and see what they have to say to help you out. That, to me, is really pretty cool. Our sales guy, Ralph Filippelli, is just an absolutely amazing guy. He's constantly in our corner and I feel that I can call him up anytime and say, "I have this business problem" or "I've got these contracts coming in, I need some help here." He's happy to do whatever he can and I'm happy to give him the business.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

BPPM came in not long after I came into the organization. Prior to that, they were using some open-source tools that were cobbled together to try to create the same functionality, and it was spotty monitoring at best. For the BBNA product specifically, we were using HPE's product which became Micro Focus Network Automation. We switched because we were already using some BMC tools, and we thought that it would be a great opportunity, from an integration standpoint, to standardize on a toolset from BMC.

How was the initial setup?

Regarding TrueSight, the setup has been a nightmare. We followed the instructions. Sometimes, things wouldn't work at all as they were documented. We would contact support and they'd say, "Oh yeah, this is a known issue." And then we'd have to implement these changes with obscure switches and other things just to run the software to install. In other cases, certain software just didn't seem to work at all.  We've been working with BMC support in various ways such as to allow for the high-availability components for the TSIMs to work together. There have been issues there. We've seen randomness in how other pieces of the software work. Integration with the Presentation Server and the TSIMs has been a challenge. The ports that are required for HA to be utilized were not clearly documented anywhere. In fact, they still aren't documented online anywhere, even though we managed to pull it out of some of their support people. That's another issue from a documentation standpoint.  From an installation perspective, there were inconsistencies between different versions. In the 11.x stream that we deployed, versus 10.7, there were major differences. Sometimes they weren't reflected in the 11.x documentation. We have not gone into production with TrueSight. We've deployed it, but it's not working. And we've had BMC support and other people involved. We've had people come to visit us and see the issues that we've experienced. I've spent another 20K on experts in the TrueSight tool to help us to optimize the configurations that we've deployed. But we haven't been able to utilize those people because we don't have a stable product. One of the big issues has also been the integration of TrueSight with the Remedy/ITSM stack. That's slowing us down in being able to go fully into production with it. We've got the core software installed, but it's not doing its job fully. There are issues that we need to remedy prior to being able to fully utilize it in production.

What about the implementation team?

For BPPM we did hire a third-party consultant. But for the TrueSight deployment, it's all been BMC personnel. We have about five folks involved in different levels of the deployment. They're working with integration on the ITSM side. From that perspective, they've been working on different sides of the fence to get things working together.

What was our ROI?

Network Automation has replaced our HPNA. The cost of the product was a little bit cheaper than what we paid for the HP product, which is now Micro Focus. The return on investment is not huge, but our trust in working with the vendor is big because with the changeover and HPE selling off those assets to Micro Focus, we had concerns about the stability or longevity of the network automation tools.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There's a fee for the licenses themselves, per contract, and then we have a yearly licensing fee that's many thousands of dollars. But that's not just for TrueSight, that's also for support for ITSM, Atrium Orchestrator, BBNA, and other BMC tools in the environment. We have to support more than just TrueSight in that space. It's a package deal from a support perspective. From a licensing perspective, when we get a contract in we size the contract, do quotes from the contract, and then we engage BMC to say, “This is how many additional licenses we're going to need as a function of that contract.” Then we do the numbers thing. But we've actually dumped a lot of money. I think recently it was about $174,000. But again, it depends on the contract, it depends on what we're dealing with. It's been many thousands of dollars.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at various tools. For example, we looked at CA, which was bought out by another company. We looked at some CA monitoring tools because they're being used out of our head office, but we found that the Entuity/BMC solution was preferable for various reasons.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to holistically look, at a macro level, at all the tools you're using in your environment. If you're already using some BMC tools, there's a compelling argument to using TrueSight because of the opportunities for integration of those products. The biggest lesson that we've learned using Network Automation is that change is painful. We were using HPNA for a long time, and we had built toolsets around that. Some products have functionality that's better than others, and it's a matter of tracking that and making sure that you understand the toolset prior to deployment. We have deployed TrueSight in our Dev, Staging, and Prod environments but we're not using it fully yet. We're still using BPPM in production at this time. Regarding the solution's capabilities in analyzing and fixing security vulnerabilities through patching or configuration changes, we don't have that tool suite deployed. TrueSight isn't really meant for that from a security perspective. It's really performance-monitoring that we're leveraging at this time. We didn't buy any of the add-on pieces for security monitoring. We're a managed security services shop. Our clientele is mostly government-based. We keep getting contracts. We've got five bids underway right now. As the bids expand and we win more business, we deploy into the environment. As we deploy into the environment, we have a need for more licensing. That's typically how we've handled things in the past. We are growing the service and growing the business based on the number of contracts that we get in-house. The more contracts we win, the more business BMC gets, and everyone's happy at the end of the day. I would rate Network Automation at seven out of ten. It's a good product, it's relatively stable, but we have seen some issues, stability-wise, with the server. We have to stay on top of that, make sure we're monitoring it, to make sure it's doing what it's supposed to do. The interface is a little clunky at times, but it works well for what it does. From a configuration management perspective, it's excellent. It really does a good job there. As I said, I'd like to see tighter integration with Entuity. Because Entuity is doing that monitoring already for the endpoint devices, I'd like to see a little more collaboration between those teams. That would allow me to give higher marks.
Disclosure: PeerSpot has made contact with the reviewer to validate that the person is a real user. The information in the posting is based upon a vendor-supplied case study, but the reviewer has confirmed the content's accuracy.
Senior Solutions Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The backup and restore configurations are helpful for a number of network devices, as you can automate them, then know what changes have been done and who made the changes
Pros and Cons
  • "The backup and restore configurations are really helpful for a number of network devices, as you can automate them, then know what changes have been done, who made the changes, etc. So, it's quite helpful in the network management area."
  • "It is helpful if you schedule daily or weekly archiving for your config groups. Then, you can go by what are in those configuration groups, before and after, if you make changes. So, configuration management is really helpful in network management."
  • "I would like to see more device supported features, mostly on the new brands and models coming in. For any new version or model, it should be supported by the tool, especially the newest versions. For example, the newest devices, like Aruba Wireless, and routers need support from the tool."
  • "For customized compliance, it takes some effort to implement things. If the device configuration is quite complex, then you have to do quite number of customizations in the DNA tool for out-of-the-box compliance. These regular expressions have to be modified based on the requirements of the compliance."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for configuration, backup, compliance, patching, and for control management. If a change has been made on a device, then it triggers notifications about who, what, and when has been changed on the network devices.

I work in three different companies. One is for the financial company, then the other one is for the government that we are in. I do A/B testing before deployment, where the network devices should be upgraded first, then deployed via the standard configuration with compliance. There are a different number of devices in each company. I also work with a healthcare company on their network configurations and compliance.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to job status or for completing a compliance audit, it is good. Because it has a transcript where you can see what are the commands that have been executed on the device, it's quite helpful, especially the details from device inventory capabilities, as well as the reporting.

if you are working on Cisco Smart, then inventory is quite important in the RNA of things, because it goes by the massive details of what is in the information, even in the Cisco Board. So, if you are tied up with Cisco, you can pull back this information fast by doing RNA. This is most probably the helpful security example for an organization, since it is tied up with your contract and based on your RNA. If you want to have a support for Cisco, then it's valid that you can provide this information to Cisco or your support. Because the licenses are tied up with the RNA. The DNA can also provide this information. If it is a model has its serial number, then it is helpful.

If the network operator can check drifts by using the DNA tool dashboard, then it lessens the burden.

It has improved the collaboration between our organization's IT operations and security teams based on the compliance reports that have been implemented.

What is most valuable?

From my experience, the most valuable features are the configuration changes. Also, compliance is important, because we have worked with a bank. Then, in some of the government agencies that I have work on, the server upgrade of SSD deployment. 

Backup and restore configurations are helpful for a number of network devices, as you can automate them, then know what changes have been done, who made the changes, etc. So, it's quite helpful in the network management area.

With patching, If you have multiple devices and the same model, then you can deploy using this tool. It's quite helpful other than doing it manually. The tool will do it for you rather than you logging onto the device and doing the commands. For patching, it is helpful if the tool can assist on multiple devices with the same model or brand. Therefore, you just have to wait and require it to reboot based on the patch information.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more device supported features, mostly on the new brands and models coming in. For any new version or model, it should be supported by the tool, especially the newest versions. For example, the newest devices, like Aruba Wireless, and routers need support from the tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it around eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. If you follow the prerequisites and design that has been on the architecture of the BMC documentation, then you are good to go.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The financial institution has around a thousand devices, because it's global. For this company, there are multiple network automation tools. In Singapore, there is one application server. Then, in the UK, there is another application server, and in another location, there is another server. That is the architecture of the company.

The structure is different on a case to case basis between different clients. We need to know early on how big the environment is, how many devices have to be provisioned, and the sizing of the application server. These need to be discussed in regards to requirements.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their technical support as a seven out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite straightforward. As long as you know the requirements to install the application servers, then you will be fine. It takes an hour to set up, if you have already done the prerequisites. Then, you are good to go.

What about the implementation team?

I have done the implementation five times. I know the tool. If you ask me the requirements for implementation of this tool, then I am confident enough to implement it.

The prerequisites include BMC documentation, which I provide to an organization because it is useful. The documentation is quite comprehensive. 

The size of the deployment team depends on the size of the customer's or client's environment. For example, with the global bank, there were a quite number of people involved because of the collaboration between teams in different countries.

What other advice do I have?

I have been implementing the out-of-the-box compliance piece based off CIS, for example. For customized compliance, it takes some effort to implement things. If the device configuration is quite complex, then you have to do quite number of customizations in the DNA tool for out-of-the-box compliance. These regular expressions have to be modified based on the requirements of the compliance.

It has been quite helpful for configuration management and provisioning when it comes to projects. If you don't have the backups and it's not in your setup configuration, then you just have to do it manually. It is helpful if you schedule daily or weekly archiving for your config groups. Then, you can go by what are in those configuration groups, before and after, if you make changes. So, configuration management is really helpful in network management.

On the dashboard, you can see that there is an X icon in the startup, which is different from the running configuration. So, you can see from the dashboard that there is a difference between two configurations, as well as the events being provided by the device. This can be checked on the dashboard. The tool can show drifts between your compliance from your phase two standard and running config. For that, it can be helpful on a normal configuration. 

I'm not really exploring the vulnerabilities side of using the tool.

If you are looking into this type of solution, you will need to have internal and external networks. I would recommend this solution.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Buyer's Guide
Configuration Management
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about BMC, SolarWinds, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Network Engineer at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use it to back up configurations so the configuration management is valuable for us
Pros and Cons
  • "We use it to back up configurations so the configuration management is valuable for us."
  • "I'd like to be able to get more devices into compliance with standards, but that means running additional rule sets and that takes time."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to back up some things on our network devices and we use it to make sure that things comply with our standards.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to make sure, for instance, that all of our telnet, FTP, and SSH are sourced from a certain IP address which is part of our standards and part of best practices. It helps us makes sure that we comply with that. Before using Network Automation, there was no real way of doing compliance other than going into the devices and looking at their configurations manually. It's helped us save time.

What is most valuable?

We use it to back up configurations so the configuration management is valuable for us. 

Another valuable feature is the ability to verify that the devices comply with our standards. Compliance is important because we want all of our devices to have the same, consistent configuration.

The reporting is also good. We run reports monthly to see what devices are compliant with our standards and we use the reports to correct deficiencies.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to be able to get more devices into compliance with standards, but that means running additional rule sets and that takes time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for eight or nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been rock solid. I haven't had any problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a couple of thousand devices on it and it's connected to all of them. We haven't had any issues with scalability. We have about 20 people using it across our organization and they're all involved in network operations.

I'm the only one in our organization who works on maintaining the solution. We don't have any plans to increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have contacted technical support directly. I've had no issues with their support. They're pretty responsive.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup but I upgraded from 8.7 to 8.9. It was a smooth process. It took a couple of weeks and there was no downtime. We just set up totally new servers. We tested the new servers and we cut over on a certain date.

What about the implementation team?

The upgrade was done in-house. In addition to me, the guy who is responsible for the servers in our organization was involved.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to someone who is looking into using it is that they need to be pretty familiar with regular expressions. That's what's used to write the rules. In terms of configuration, it can be a complicated platform. The learning curve will vary by individual.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PankajSoni - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Leaderboard
Simple application for network automation although more automation policies would help

What is most valuable?

Simplest application for network automation with all the automation features.

What needs improvement?

They should add more automation policies for different vendors devices like Ruckus Wireless.

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only HP/IBM/BMC and SolarWinds tools are very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues in tools.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It is fully dependent on costing, the customer and architect.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is a network automation tool and a license is not required to use this product, but support is paid for. Really, it depends on the customer, what he wants.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, I want to evaluate each product, to check all requirements, before choosing.

What other advice do I have?

Before implementation, be sure to clarify all the customer requirements, then choose products accordingly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
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Updated: June 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Configuration Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about BMC, SolarWinds, Red Hat, and more!