I have a number of customers who have networking equipment managed by their ISP. This is usually in the form of an ISP-provided switch or router placed at the customer location(s).
For sites that have MPLS or multi-location connectivity, it would be extremely convenient to tie this equipment into the existing monitoring infrastructure (OpenNMS, Observium, etc.), especially since all other aspects of the environment are routinely checked.
Unfortunately, most providers restrict access to the equipment and force you to go through them for configuration changes. That's understandable, but how can I get more accurate information? I basically have a big black hole in my monitoring footprint.
A recent example was a client who was having VoIP troubles (dropped calls and quality issue) across an MPLS link between two facilities. I don't have any detail as to the level of QoS implemented (because we can't see inside the router). The ISP didn't have any suggestions other than to increase bandwidth from 4Mbps to 7Mbps (upsell - $$$). They said, "you're maxing out your connection at the remote site". So of course, the client agreed to this, without any engineering justification.
The best I could do was monitor the switch ports leading to the ISP's routers at both sites, and I saw no indication of bandwidth saturation... only big jumps in latency (measured switch-to-switch).
- So, is this something that's negotiable with the ISP?
- Have you ever convinced a provider to provide more in-depth monitoring data or to allow SNMP monitoring of their equipment?
- What recourse do you have if you suspect that the problem lies with the ISP?