Blog, Events & Press

8 Feb

Universal Metric to Flow and a Culture of Innovation

A Light Bulb Hovering over a Hand

About 18 months ago, an idea started out as a simple thought – take something we already do well and expand its scope. SevOne has traditionally been exceptional at SNMP to NetFlow Integration, which links SNMP-based interface data with NetFlow for that interface. Since NetFlow represents the traffic information traversing an interface, and SNMP metrics the utilization data for an interface, the interconnection of the two for your troubleshooting workflow is natural.

It's a very simple concept really – we link one piece of information in SevOne to another. So why not allow the linking of any polled data in SevOne to any collected flow data? That seemingly trivial idea was a powerful proposition. All of a sudden one could link a QoS voice queue object to NetFlow. How about linking an IP SLA test to flow data traversing the sending interface? While the Eureka moment got lost somewhere between lively R&D arguments and Nerf-Gun fights, an innovation was once again achieved.

As with many new ideas at SevOne, this technology didn't have a name for quite some time, it was simply dubbed “linking of something to NetFlow,” hardly a title worthy of a press release. It wasn't until a few months afterwards when SevOne's CEO Mike Phelan came up with a name for this game changing technology, Universal Metric to Flow, or UMF. Universal Metric to Flow may never become a household name, but it has sufficient recognition to warrant an entry on Wikipedia as a technology worth documenting.

While the implementation of UMF is a formidable achievement, our R&D team has already been working on ways to make it even more awesome. As a sneak peak, UMF+ will support the idea of filtered transitions. What does this mean you might ask? Rather than jumping from a polled object to all of the flows that are passing through an interface, you'll be able to create filtered transitions, showing you only certain, defined flows. An example - need to make sure the shareholder conference call will work without problem? Easy, just link your QoS voice queue to a VoIP filtered view of Flexible NetFlow and voila, telephony service assurance made easy.

It's good to be at the forefront of innovation, it’s fun, exciting and the key reason for SevOne's growing success. I've worked for good number of companies now, both large and small, but never at such an early stage. Unlike any other company I've worked for, SevOne is full of incredibly smart and innovative people. If I had to guess, the average age of the R&D organization is around 25 - I am an old-timer by those standards. Walking around R&D is always exciting; most days you can see a few developers standing around, discussing the next cool thing they just found and how it could make the product even better. There are no communication silos at SevOne when it comes to the free flow of ideas, everyone is eager to share the latest idea they have and you can rest assured that it will undergo professional scrutiny.

Thanks for reading my first blog post. My name is Manuel Harnisch and I am a Systems Engineer for SevOne. I've been with the company for 3 years as of the end of March, and I was employee number 11. [Silence fills the room for a moment, then I hear someone else introducing themself, their name, role, then a chuckle, “employee number 68,959” I hear.] This has become my standard introduction for most customer meetings. My introduction resonates and it sets tone of the meeting - SevOne is young, dynamic, ahead of the curve, and I am proud to be a part of it.

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