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Legacy Integration is Tricky

Previous Page: Legacy monitoring equipment is hard to maintain ... and that's a serious problem
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Integrating your legacy systems is tricky

It's hard enough maintaining one legacy monitoring system. What if you have two? There's all kinds of reasons why you may have two or more incompatible systems. Older equipment tends to accumulate in layers, with different systems being used to monitor different parts of the network. Or if your company has acquired another, you may be responsible for two incompatible networks.

But then you're faced with the problem of integrating the two systems. And even if you don't have two legacy systems, you may still have to integrate your telemetry monitoring to your company's modern SNMP network management system.

Old legacy monitoring equipment is a huge barrier to system integration. Proprietary protocols and slow serial transports don't seamlessly connect with SNMP and Ethernet.

But replacing a legacy system can be even harder than keeping it

Despite all the disadvantages of an older alarm monitoring system, many network managers think that they can't possibly afford to replace their legacy equipment - not without a budget-crushing forklift swapout.

Older network alarm monitoring systems are designed for one type of master station that receives alarm reports from one type of remote telemetry unit. You can't replace one part of the system by itself - you must replace the whole system at once.

Don't throw away your legacy remotes
Don't throw away your legacy
remotes - you can gradually
migrate to new RTUs without
killing your budget.

A systemwide forklift swapout makes no sense, either financially or technically:

  1. A forklift swap-out wastes the original investment in the legacy system. As soon as you replace the master you must scrap all the remote telemetry units, even if they could remain functional for years to come.
  2. The capital expenditure of a forklift swap-out is more than most companies can absorb in a single budget cycle.
  3. Even if the equipment can be purchased, most companies don't have the installation manpower to immediately deploy it in the field. The equipment must be stored until it can be installed, generating no return on investment.
  4. A completely new network monitoring system must be installed in phases, creating a long changeover period during which there is little or no visibility of the network.
Next Page: Case Study: Dominion Combines Three Systems Into One
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