Intelligent Network Management System
Published by : Industrial Automation
Sreekrishna Kotnur and Ajit Singh elaborate upon BixTree Suite, an enhanced integrated Network Management, AIOPS and SIEM tool.
The integration of IT with OT can be seen in many of the present business environment, where the industrial control systems (like PLC, SCADA, etc.), are integrated with IT environment for seamless transmission of real time data. With the current trend in Industry 4.0, the integration of automation, communications and networking in any industrial environment forms the basis of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). Industry 4.0 has given benefits like interoperability, information transparency, decentralised operations and with ability to make informed decisions, with advantage of increased efficiency, cost and time savings without compromising the safety and security. In an IIoT environment, the devices and various control systems are connected to the OT platform, through various network devices like switches, routers, integrated access devices (IADs), gateways, LAN, WAN, etc., and it is very important to have a proper coordinated Network Management System (NMS) which is designed to monitor, maintain, optimise the network and prevent cyber-attacks.
Normally, an NMS includes both hardware and software, but most often, an NMS refers to the software used to manage a network. In today’s world, with the convergence of OT and IT infrastructure, it becomes much more vital for an NMS to manage both the IT & OT infrastructure. Along with the basic network management services of network monitoring, device detection, network topology, performance analysis, device management and fault tolerance, an NMS needs to provide intelligence and machine learning to seamlessly integrate with and manage the various devices in the network. The most important aspect is to have an effective security policy and tool in place to monitor the entire network and prevent malwares, ransomwares and other types of network attacks from intruders.
The need of the hour is to not mere monitoring and management of a network the way it has been done so far, but to provide an AI based rapid response and fault rectification system. Such systems require bringing together data from multiple sources of both the IT & OT devices, simplify data analysis and provide automated responses. Such systems are typical offering of AIOPS (Artificial Intelligence for IT operations) tools. Typically, AIOPS tools enable,
1. Performance Analysis.
2. Anomaly Detection.
3. Event co-relation and Alarm suppression.
4. IT Service Management (ITSM) tools.
There are multiple solutions, providing various tools and applications to manage the OT & IT infrastructures. These tools are not only expensive but also need to consider the integration aspects, to merge everything into a single network environment. Engaging technical resources to identify such different tools for the integration, makes it cost prohibitive, apart from the challenges of integrating onto one single platform and effectively managing such multiple tools.
Considering the need for all the above potential pitfalls, BixTree has designed and developed a single enhanced, scalable and robust network management environment. It is designed and developed by an Indian Tech Startup ‘Bitxia Technologies’, identified as INMS – Intelligent Network Management Suite. BixTree is completely powered by AI and machine learning, and has a multitude of features and functionalities of an NMS, including AIOPS, ITSM and SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) built into it. It enables a plug and play functionality that enables integration with many NMS, SCADA systems, PLCs, Hardware Oriented NMS devices, etc., and which in turn seamlessly integrates with both the IT and OT infrastructure.
Generally the Bixtree provides the following features:
1. Network equipment monitoring of routers, switches, ports, networked devices of all types and network topology detection.
2. IoT & IIoT Monitoring of SCADA systems, sensors, PLCs, OPC-UA & SNMP protocols, etc.
3. Performance analysis – Telemetry, SFLOW (Sampled Flow is a multi-vendor, packet sampling technology used to monitor network devices including routers, switches, host devices and wireless access points, etc.). NFLOW (NetFlow is a network protocol for collecting IP traffic information and monitoring network traffic), etc.
4. SysLog (System Logs) & Event Log Analysis.
5. Automation & enrichment of events.
6. Event Suppression & Co-relation algorithms.
7. Smart AIOPS & ITSM.
8. SIEM Tools to monitor packets, Network Logs, Audit Logs, DNS (Domain Name System) Logs.
9. Protect the environment from malwares and ransomwares.
10. Configuration management.
11. Network analytics with fault tolerance & auto device detection.
12. VR Visualisation – Virtual visualisation of plant and machinery by using VR glasses.
13. QR Code Scan for Device Data – QR code provides real time data of the device.
14. Dashboard – Simple and intuitive dashboard with multitude of options of viewing and managing the network.
BixTree has an AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) based robust and dynamic collection layer that has the capabilities of integrating with various protocols like SNMP V3/V2/V1 TRAP, UDP, MQTT, HTTP, TELEMETRY, OPC-UA, MODBUS, JMS, LORA WAN, DATAPACKETS and NETFLOW. BixTree’s Open Source Environment Integration tool enables it to integrate with many NMS, ITSM (IT Service Management) and other Network Tools.
Features of BixTree at a glance:
1. Centralised View – View of entire monitored IT & OT infrastructure.
2. Web Based – Network Status Information System.
3. Fast detection – Rapid detection of infrastructure outages.
4. Instant Alerts – delivered to technical staff via ticket, email or SMS.
5. Alert Escalation – in built alert escalation to ensure alert notifications reach the right people.
6. Multi-user – Authorised access to Multiple Users to view Infrastructure Status in real time.
7. Custom Views – User-specific views ensures clients see only their infrastructure components.
8. Failover – Failover capabilities ensure non-stop monitoring of critical IT Infrastructure.
9. Reports - reports ensure SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are being met. Historical reports provide record of alerts, notifications, outages, and alert response.
10. Security – BixTree ThreatSense allows instantaneous threat level detection and allows for pre-emptive (rule based) and effective actions.
11. Event Suppression & Co-Relation – AI driven Event Suppression and co-relation Engine.
12. Topological View – Topological view of devices and impacted devices.
13. Publish subscribe – BixTree NMS is based around a ‘publish and subscribe’ message bus. Processes within the software can publish events, and other processes can subscribe to them. In addition, it can receive events in the form of SNMP Traps, Syslog messages.
14. Capabilities to monitor applications, services, operating systems, network protocols, system metrics and infrastructure components with a single tool.
15. Logs – Centralised view of syslog, logs and events from the same network host, for better impact analysis.
16. Segregation – grouping of Events, syslog on days, dates and hours.
17. Integration – easy integration with any open NMS and ticketing tools. BixTree Event Suppression and Co-relation Engine and BixTree ThreatSense can be integrated with other NMSs.
18. BixTree has a powerful and intelligent SIEM tool, ThreatSense. This conducts in-depth analysis of the Network and provides the command centre and Admins with a detailed view of the secure and In-Secure Devices on the network. Devices that could be more prone to network attacks. ThreatSense pre-empts security threats such as malware, ransomware and other intruder attacks on the network. ThreatSense detects and raises alarms to the relevant users informing them about the possibilities of such security threats.
BixTree can be deployed on both private dedicated servers or on hosted servers and being highly flexible, BixTree can even be deployed part on the private servers and some components such as the SIEM tool on hosted servers. One of the primary benefits of BixTree is its ability to help in prediction and prevention of incidents before they happen, rather than waiting to fix them after they do. With the application of AI and machine learning, BixTree is designed to help one to make that shift of moving out or scaling up to more robust and cost effective yet feature rich enhanced network monitoring and management solution.
By reducing the manual tasks associated with detecting, troubleshooting and resolving incidents, teams not only save time but also ensure that the network performance is not hampered. BixTree has a significant impact in improving key KPIs, including:
• Increasing mean time between failures (MTBF)
• Decreasing mean time to detect (MTTD)
• Decreasing mean time to investigate (MTTI), and
• Decreasing mean time to resolution (MTTR).
• A one stop solution to all IT & OT infrastructure management.
• No need to invest in multiple solutions; from NMS, AIOPS to SIEM tools.
• No expensive licensing – highly cost effective.
• Highly scalable and robust architecture provides easier integrations.
• Completely AI and ML driven approach.
• More security for networks and devices.
• Easy to integrate with other NMS and ITSM tools.
• Robust and feature rich.
• Backed by a team of professionals with very rich experience.
The story of BixTree was conceptualised in 2017 and finally in 2019 BITXIA TECH was officially launched, with the successful design and deployment of BixTree. Bitxia is promoted by young and vibrant minds who have a rich experience in the IT industry.
Core Team – BITXIA
1. Rakesh Sharma, the CTO is an IITian from IIT Roorkee. Rakesh is an expert in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Software Architecture & Solutioning.
2. Brij Garg, the Emerging Technology Consultant, is also an IITian from IIT Roorkee and is an expert in Expertise in IoT, Data Analytics, Cloud, Application and Enterprise Architecture. Brij has been an entrepreneur and has immense experience in IoT solutions.
3. Ajit Singh, is the head of the BIXTREE Product Development and the brain behind BixTree. He too is an IITian from IIT Roorkee and has immense experience in the networking domain.
4. Ravi Sharma, is the Head of Technology Management and has a Masters in Computer Applications with a diverse experience in the Telecom sector and varied product developments.
5. Sreekrishna Kotnur, is an Inventor, Investor, Start-up Mentor & Advisor, with a diverse background and with an experience of almost 30 years in the IT industry. He holds more than 100 Patents and Copyrights.
6. Chandrashekar Diwakaran is an advisor having 30+ years in various industries like Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals, Polyester, etc.
Sreekrishna Kotnur is an Inventor, Investor, Start-up Mentor & Advisor to companies in multiple domains for almost three decades. Sree holds more than a 100 IPRs (Patents & Copyrights) Globally. Having worked on diverse technologies and projects from networking tools, distributed computing, AI, telecom, healthcare, core banking to real-time applications, Sree brings immense knowledge of both technology and Business Development Strategies.
Ajit Singh is the one of the Founders of Bitxia Technologies. He is the brain behind the BixTree product and is the Technical Head of the BixTree product line. Ajit has an experience of more than 8 years in the IT industry and has worked on many domains with expertise in Network Protocols and network management systems AI and ML to name a few. Ajit has a Masters in Technology from IIT Roorkee and a Bachelors Degree from AMU.