The whole infrastructure supporting ESA Mission Control activities, including Local (OPSLAN) and Wide (OPSNET) Area Networks, Operating Systems and specific Mission and Spacecraft Control software, is being monitored by various teams in ESOC, based since about 15 years on a set of tools relying on the HP OpenView Network Node Manager (NNM) platform.
The Mission Control IT infrastructure at ESOC is also undergoing significant changes: critical systems are migrating from Sun SPARC platforms running Solaris operating system towards SuSE Enterprise Linux systems, and important parts of the infrastructure use System Virtualization. Even the MCR is using virtual client machines, allowing the workstations to serve multiple space missions simultaneously.
The NNM software platform, which has been very stable over the last decade, is however rapidly becoming obsolete since the software vendor has now stopped all developments and major upgrades to concentrate on building a new architecture, which is not compatible with the specific tools used by ESOC on top of the current NNM. Moreover, it is not supported on SuSE Linux, forcing to use older SPARC systems, and new licenses cannot be purchased anymore due to the commercial end-of-life of the product. The replacement product is not supported on SuSE Linux either.
In this context, the Agency aims at investigating the suitability of using another software platform that would allow continuing the existing homogeneous approach, in terms of platform and tools for Monitoring and Management, to address the needs of four different parts of the operational Mission Control infrastructure: Local and Wide Area Networks, Firewalls, Systems and Application Software.
Preference could be given to Public Domain software so as to avoid the lack of deployment flexibility and the limitations imposed by commercial software license management.