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Canon Marketing Japan Inc.Integrated management for Canon network systemNEC provides MasterScope Network Manager to enable efficient management of a backbone network, spanning 330 locations throughout Japan.
In addition to marketing Canon products, Canon Marketing Japan is also involved in providing IT solutions and outsourcing services, mainly related to its own data center. Its IT division manages a network that spans 330 locations. However, in addition to WANs and LANs, the IT division in recent years has had to monitor over 2500 different network devices, including wireless LANs, Internet VPNs, data cards and smartphones, leading to a dramatic increase in operational load. The IT division had been managing this enormous network by using a tool that they introduced 20 years ago and upgraded regularly. However, this tool proved problematic for several reasons, mainly that configuration and version information had to be managed manually and that central management of a multi-vendor environment was not possible. Koji Kubodera, Section Chief of the Network Infrastructure Section in the IT Division of Canon Marketing Japan, looks back at the problems.
"In order to make information such as the CPU, memory, and bandwidth usage rates visible, we had to input the relevant figures into Excel files to create graphs. In other words, we were doing two or three times more work than necessary. Because we were not able to sufficiently monitor performance, we were always playing catch up."
Canon Marketing Japan decided to replace their network management tool at the end of its support period. They made a list of requirements, including reliable alive monitoring of a large scale network, real-time performance monitoring, simple management of configuration settings and version information for network devices, and central management of devices from multiple vendors. Using this list, Canon Marketing Japan sent out a request for proposal to four companies, including NEC.
"We selected NEC's MasterScope Network Manager for three reasons. The first was that operation was easy to understand because it uses a GUI. The second was its simple configuration. There was not an excessive number of functions and the cost was also within our range. The third was our faith in NEC's technology, proposal and support capabilities," says Sunao Suzuki, senior member of the Network Infrastructure Section in the IT Division of Canon Marketing Japan.
The most difficult aspect of introducing the new system was expected to be the task of rewriting the registration information of over 2500 network devices.
However, Mr. Suzuki relates how easy it was to make the transition.
"We thought it would take three months to make the transition because it would be necessary to log into each device via Telnet, register the IP address, set access authorization, and confirm the changes. However, with MasterScope Network Manager's Scheduled Execution of Device Commands function that allows automatic log in and adding and editing of configurations, we could update the setup information of multiple network devices all at once, making the transition incredibly easy. Even though we carefully verified all information, the registration and modification work only took one month to finish."
"Previously, we had to manage configurations manually and output configuration files when making corrections or changes, which then had to be resaved in the server. Some of the equipment had information saved from years ago, and it was impossible to tell if this was the latest information. Now, however, the ResourceManager function regularly collects configuration information, so that even if a machine goes down, the latest information can be looked up and the machine can be reset immediately. The security of having the latest information available is one of the major advantages of introducing this system," say Mr. Kubodera. Mr. Suzuki adds, "MasterScope Network Manager is very easy to use and even large-scale configuration modifications can be executed in one-fourth to one-third the time it would have taken with our previous tool. The function that outputs alerts when CPU, memory or bandwidth usage thresholds are exceeded is also very useful. This lets us discover bottlenecks before they develop into problems, so that we are able to take action before errors occur."
Akira Sakanashi, section chief of the IT Planning Section in the IT Division at Canon Marketing Japan, explains the benefits of introducing NEC's solution from a strategic point of view, "Management requires us to know where the costs are highest in IT. If we can visualize this, then we can more easily make strategic investments. MasterScope Network Manager is a tool that has made it possible for us to visualize our network, making it a very valuable strategic solution." Mr. Kubodera concluded "We believe that the SDN (Software-Defined Networking) solution that NEC proposed represents a fundamental change in network concepts. We hope that NEC will continue to propose these kinds of new technologies and solutions."
The backbone network spanning 330 locations, including data centers and affiliated companies, is constantly monitored by MasterScope Network Manager. MasterScope Network Manager availability is increased by locating main and backup systems in the data centers.
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Canon Marketing Japan Inc.
|Type of business
|Domestic marketing of Canon products and related solutions