What a long, strange trip it’s been. We helped Cisco develop “Thunderbolt,” which later became the basis for the OnPlus product. OnPlus is/was (more on that in a moment) a remote network management tool to remotely monitor, manage and maintain small business networks. Think of it was an RMM with MMM!This is part one of a two-part series. In this blog, I’ll recount the history of OnPlus, and even show you how we have been using it at SMB Nation. In the second part, I’ll discuss the OnPlus end-of-life matter and how it impacts you, the MSP.
Initially Cisco held a Thunderbolt focus group at our original SMB Voice conference inside Channel Partners in Spring 2010. Nearly two-dozen SMB Nation members, under NDA, received a confidential briefing on this new network monitoring tool and offered feedback. Everyone was impressed. How better than Cisco to develop the mama jamma of networking monitoring tools. Several attendees, if not all, participated in the beta program, including yours truly.
In 2011, the product was ready for release, and it was rebranded as OnPlus and had a professional look and feel as the side-by-side picture conveys above. Because SMB Nation is a hybrid organization that works in many different ways (for example, we are not just an MSP or a traditional small business), I wanted to make OnPlus work for me. I don’t have any other RMM such as LabTech, Kaseya, N-able or Level Platforms. Ergo – OnPlus was the lady I brought to the dance and took home.
Quick Fact: In mid-May 2013, Cisco announced the end of life (EOL) for its OnPlus device and service. You may purchase OnPlus until August 5, 2013. The last day of operation will be August 5, 2014.
In the screen shot below, you can see the SMB Nation network as discovered by our OnPlus.
We use OnPlus to inventory our IT assets, troubleshooting, event notification and life cycle management. Like so many technology solutions, I always feel like I’m only using a fraction of the horsepower in OnPlus. However, I’m using what I need, and that’s the real world. If I were a “real MSP” with a lot of customer sites, I’d likely love OnPlus even more. So, as I end this blog, I want to say I was there from beta to burial on this one, right in the keystroke trenches with you.
In part two of this series, now that you have the OnPlus context I wanted to convey, I’m excited to share my findings about what the OnPlus end-of-life announcement from Cisco exactly means. I’ll discuss how Cisco intends to pivot you to Meraki as the new cloud-based monitoring solution. I’ll also answer the following question from reader Steven Church (Cobalt Computer Services Inc.) who asked me the following: “With EOL of the OnPlus 100, is there another network appliance for SMB that you know of that is similar? I have about 50 in the field and will need to replace them prior to August 2014”