The up.time IT Systems Management Blog

9Jul. 2014

Fast Customer Growth is Great, but it Impacts IT. Can Your IT Monitoring Software Handle It?

Your company is primed for growth, but can your IT monitoring handle it?

Tenzing Success Story

Tenzing Success Story

Tenzing, a premier managed services and hosting solutions provider, was in an enviable spot. A quickly increasing customer base meant happy executives and a great bottom line, but the fast pace of growth would soon outrun IT’s monitoring capabilities.

Until that point, Tenzing had been using a well-known open source monitoring tool. However, as demand increased, the monitoring tool was becoming unreliable, was lacking key features (like SLA reporting), and was taking more and more time to administrate and maintain. Tenzing’s challenge was to find a unified and enterprise ready solution that provided the comprehensive IT monitoring capabilities they needed, but could be up and running quickly and under budget. In reality, Tenzing needed:

  • Unified server, application, and network monitoring across multiple platforms.
  • Fast and hassle-free deployment and maintenance.
  • SLA reporting.
  • Dashboards and reporting that were easy to use and customizable.
  • A cost effective enterprise solution.
  • Expert support.

Tenzing needed a unified view of IT infrastructure and applications across more than 1,200 servers and 400 virtual machines and chose up.time to deliver it quickly and within budget.

After deploying up.time in record time, Tenzing now has unified IT monitoring with a fully functional and easy to use interface, portal, and a centralized dashboard that helps IT meet the end-user demand, both internally and externally. By moving to up.time, Tenzing has complete visibility and control across the performance, availability, and capacity of all their servers, applications, and networks.

To learn more about how up.time was able to work with Tenzing, read the success story here.

Interested in seeing what up.time can do for you? Download an up.time enterprise trial or sign up for a weekly webinar here.

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2Jul. 2014

Unified IT Monitoring: IT Dashboard Edition

Network Dashboard

Network Dashboard

 

This is the final post in our four-part series on “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting – What’s More Important?” You can view part one, two and three of this series here.

With the meteoric rise of Big Data and visualization, beautiful IT dashboards have become all the rage. As Alex Bewley discussed in a recent webinar, titled “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting (link below),” IT dashboards can provide critical real-time visualization into key IT metrics and can be customized to your IT objectives.

What kinds of IT dashboards are most effective?

  • Data Oriented Dashboards: Including charts and graphs of IT outages and metrics like CPU performance.
  • Informative/Summary Dashboards: Including top resource consumers, application availability (synthetic transactions), capacity, and SLA status.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicators) Dashboards: Including business performance related metrics.
  • BSM (Business Service Management) Dashboards: Workflow oriented with critical business revenue information.

IT dashboards – Why are they valuable?

An IT dashboard is a clear and easy to understand snapshot of what is happening in real-time and should be a key part of a mature IT monitoring strategy. IT metrics are collected and aggregated to make the most sense for each end-user type (IT Managers, Admins, CIO, Line of Business Managers). A critical step to ensuring that dashboards meet IT and business needs is choosing a dashboard solution that’s flexible and customizable enough to map to the end users’ goals.

Are IT dashboards the right answer for me?

It all depends. You’ll need to understand what you’re committing to – SaaS based solutions tend to be developer focused, while on-premise solutions (like up.time) are built more for IT operations. On-premise solutions generally provide more flexibility and depth for metric collection, notification and alerting, and reporting.

up.time comes standard with pre-built and customizable IT dashboards out-of-the-box, along with comprehensive enterprise reporting capabilities. Get the BEST of both worlds with up.time – a flexible and scalable enterprise IT dashboard with deep cross-platform reporting.

Watch Alex Bewley, Chief Technology Officer at uptime software, as he talks more about IT dashboards, deep reporting, and unified IT monitoring in the webinar below.

View the webinar on demand, here: Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting.

To learn more about unified IT Monitoring, please visit IT Dashboards.

Make sure to stay tuned by subscribing here.

10Jun. 2014

Unified IT Monitoring: IT Reporting Edition

Uptime IT Reporting

This is the third in a four-part summary series based on our recent “Unified IT Monitoring Webinar: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting – What’s More Important?” You can also view Part One and Part Two of this blog series here.

As most IT pros already know, IT Reporting is an essential part of IT monitoring, providing critical underlying background data for both proactive and forensic analysis. However, the traditional problem with IT reporting across a complex and multi-platform IT environment is the large volume of IT data that can be generated by it. With many IT tools, IT reporting can produce data overload, equal to looking for a needle in a haystack. Is there an easier way to visualize data at scale? Alex Bewley tackles this question, along with other common questions, in our “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep IT Reporting” webinar, highlighting the strengths and weakness of monitoring IT by dashboards and reporting. He makes a strong case for the need to use both in today’s data center. With that in mind, let’s review the key benefits that Alex discusses with regards to IT reporting:

What should IT reporting be used for?

  • Forensics
  • Capacity Planning
  • Summary Growth Reports
  • Service Level Agreements

How valuable is IT reporting to my business?

Reporting is critical in helping enterprise IT departments manage the IT environment. Reports provide deep data for analysis to aid in proactive and reactive root-cause, SLA management, and capacity planning. The primary benefit of IT reporting is the ability to collect, analyze, and distribute data from specific periods of time, extracting relevant metrics for inclusion in additional summary presentations or reports to other departments and management.

Is reporting the right answer for your IT department?

To be honest, yes but it depends. I know, not the crystal clear answer that you were looking for. All IT departments need some form of IT reporting on the performance, availability, and capacity of their infrastructure (across all server platforms, as well as the network), applications, and services. When looking at IT monitoring solutions, it’s essential to understand what you need and what solution you’re committing to. For example, SaaS based solutions tend to be developer focused, have good dashboards and GUIs, but usually lack the deep dive reporting required by many enterprise IT departments. On-premise solutions are more IT operations focused, include deep IT reporting, have everything on-site (some can monitor cloud deployments), and provide more flexibility.

So what do you choose? The good news is that you don’t have to. You can get the sexy IT dashboards and GUIs  typical of SaaS based IT monitoring tools, and the deep dive reporting and multi-platform monitoring capabilities of an on-premise monitoring solution with up.time. We have designed up.time to cross-the-chasm, with many pre-built and customizable IT dashboards out-of-the-box, along with some of the deepest reporting capabilities in the industry. Get the best of both worlds – a killer IT monitoring user interface along with deep reporting and forensic analysis tools!

To learn more, please tune in below to watch Alex Bewley, Chief Technology Officer at uptime software, talk more about “IT dashboards vs. IT reporting” in today’s modern enterprise - Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep IT Reporting.

To learn more about up.time’s unified and cross-platform IT monitoring and reporting capabilities, please visit up.time’s IT Reporting.

Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog post in the series by subscribing to our blog.

5Jun. 2014

IT Monitoring: The Importance of Categorizing Rich Data

This is the second in a four-part series on “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting – What’s More Important?” You can view part one of this series here.

Unified IT Monitoring

Unified IT Monitoring

In the recorded webinar below, “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting,” Alex Bewley, CTO of uptime software, highlights the importance of both dashboards and reporting in today’s IT monitoring stack. The essential ingredient is when IT departments can harmonize dashboards and reporting for the ultimate in unified IT monitoring.

In the following webinar, Alex explains how to combine real time dashboards with deep reporting to provide the best of both worlds and build the ultimate IT monitoring data warehouse.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Turn data in to smart decisions
  • Get direct visibility to the information you need
  • See views from top to bottom, from the CIO to the system administrator
  • Discover how easy creating an IT Dashboard can be
  • Learn how to deploy an IT Dashboard in minutes

To view the webinar on demand, visit Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep IT Reporting.

Learn more about Unified IT Monitoring.
Make sure to stay tuned for our next blog in the series by subscribing to our here.
28May. 2014

Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting

Unified IT Monitoring

Unified IT Monitoring

This is the first in a four-part series on “Unified IT Monitoring: Beautiful Dashboards vs Deep Reporting – What’s More Important?”

With the meteoric rise of Big Data, beautiful dashboards have become all the rage – but do dashboards really help you solve IT performance and availability issues? Can pretty dashboards help you plan for growth and cost savings? On the other hand, deep reporting provides critical underlying background data for both proactive and forensic analysis, but is there an easier way to visualize data at scale? Which is better, dashboards or reporting? Or do they solve different problems? This issue is even more pressing now that APM (application performance management) tooling, which is generally SaaS based, needs access to deep server metrics hidden in the data center.

Ideally, can we use unified IT monitoring to harmonize both dashboards and reporting for the ultimate in IT monitoring?

To learn more about the pros and cons of both IT dashboards and reporting, check out this recorded webinar below.

To learn more, visit Unified IT Monitoring.
Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog in the series by subscribing to our blog.
22May. 2014

IT Performance Reporting

Welcome to IT performance reporting, the third and final blog in a series on deep IT reporting. You can view Part One: IT Availability Reporting and Part Two: IT Capacity Reporting.

Resource Hot Spot Report

Resource Hot Spot Report

Good IT performance reporting is all about highlighting problems before they happen. If IT can’t find issues before systems crash, it’s bad for management and tough on administrators. Instead, IT needs to know where the “hot spots” are in the datacenter ahead of time, to anticipate where the next performance problem will come from.

In up.time, proactively running the Resource Hot Spot Report (image on right) on a regular basis shows where resources are being pinched, before outages occur.  This helps IT with an at-a-glance report of the health and performance of the entire IT environment, including all servers, network, applications, and the service layer. Problems are found and fixed quickly and proactively.Quite simply, with this report, IT can quickly see any and all potential trouble areas.

Once a problem is identified, running the Resource Usage Report pinpoints the root cause of the problem. up.time’s reporting engine presents the most critical data in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

Fast reactive performance reporting and accurate proactive alerting and reporting makes up.time the best in the industry!

Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog in the series by subscribing to our blog.

  • If you would like to speak to someone on our team about driving better infrastructure and application performance reporting, please email us at info@uptimesoftware.com
14May. 2014

Deep IT Capacity Reporting

IT capacity reporting can be the toughest challenge IT faces. Multiple platforms, virtualization, and dynamic cloud capacity makes accurate local and global capacity reporting extremely difficult. The blog is the second in a three part series on deep IT reporting.  You can also view Part One: IT Availability Reporting blog post of this series.

Resource Usage Report

Resource Usage Report

Too many enterprises continue to struggle with managing capacity across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure, resulting in either overspending or outages. Why? Because IT managers and administrators don’t have visibility into the critical capacity information they need to make good decisions.

While reporting is a critical step, trying to consolidate capacity data across platforms with multiple tools is time-consuming and often comes with high levels of inaccuracy. Poor capacity management is a waste of resources and results in poor performance and downtime. Collecting deep historical data across platforms in easy-to-view reports and charts is essential to good IT capacity management.

up.time helps IT answer the “Big Three” capacity questions:

1. How much total capacity do we have (individually or across all systems)?

2. How much capacity are we currently using?

3. When and where are we going to run out of capacity next?

up.time’s deep, accurate, and consolidated capacity reporting helps the Fortune 500 manage their capacity flawlessly. For example, the Resource Usage Report  (image at right) in up.time quickly shows how resources are being consumed, and can proactively point out areas of concern before they become critical. up.time gives IT the deep, accurate, and unified capacity reporting that they need.

Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog in the series by subscribing to our blog.

  • If you would like to speak to someone on our team about driving better infrastructure capacity reporting, please email us at info@uptimesoftware.com
6May. 2014

Deep IT Availability Reporting

Application Availability Reporting

Application Availability Report

Reporting on IT infrastructure and application availability, performance, and capacity is critical. If you need to know more about IT reporting, you’ve come to the right place. This three part series will cover reporting on 1. Availability 2. Performance 3. Capacity. So sit back, and enjoy part one… deep IT availability reporting.

Applications are slow and crashing. End-users are calling the help desk and complaining. The problem is that IT isn’t sure where the problem is.  Is it the server, network, or application layer? Wait a minute, none of my reports are showing a problem?

This can be a nightmare, with most tools requiring separate reporting plug-ins or modules that don’t integrate well with each other. IT staff is now stuck spending hours wading through various reports to develop a consolidate view, burning time, resources, and prolonging outage recovery time. In up.time, a single consolidated report runs in seconds (the Application Availability Report), showing outages across all levels of infrastructure and applications. up.time helps companies by approaching availability measurement in three powerful ways:

1. Finding the Availability Baseline: up.time can immediately establish a baseline for availability using two proprietary up.time reports, the “Server Uptime Report” and the “Application Availability Report”. These reports provide clear and accurate availability stats that become the baseline to build upon.

2. Setting SLA Targets: Next, simply set SLA targets in up.time based on the new availability baseline measurements. Once the SLA target is set, simply run the “SLA Summary Report“ to demonstrate availability vs. target. This report also highlights the specific silos and groups that are struggling with availability, giving you a clear picture of where the problems are. Finally, easy to use SLA monitoring and reporting.

 3. Proactively Highlighting Availability Troublemakers: Using up.time’s “Incident Priority Quadrant,” see where and when availability problems will happen before they do.

Improving IT application and infrastructure availability is essential, yet many enterprises still struggle with the ability to accurately measure availability across their critical systems. Quickly get an accurate and unified view of IT availability!

Make sure to stay tuned for the next blog in the series by subscribing to our blog.

If you would like to speak to someone on our team about driving better infrastructure and application availability reporting, please email us at info@uptimesoftware.com .

3May. 2014

Why your team might not like what I have to say…

It’s nice to make new friends but sometimes making enemies isn’t all that bad.  Let me explain why your team might not like what I have to say, but you’ll love it!

Unified IT Monitoring: Mission Impossible?

Unified IT Monitoring: Mission Impossible?

Two of the things I like best about my role at uptime are talking to clients and seeing clients fully leverage the breadth of capabilities up.time offers.  I have  had a series of calls over the last several weeks with Brad, an IT Manager at a Fortune 500 company in the retail sector.  I like Brad – he’s an IT guy but has great business sense so I enjoy being able to talk with him about how our software helps to directly support his business and add real value to his operation.  Brad is responsible for the mission critical infrastructure and applications that support a staggering amount of online business so his cost of downtime is way up in the financial stratosphere.

We have been working with Brad’s team to set up SLA monitoring for each of his company’s main online brands, which has started to make visible some interesting optimization opportunities at an operational level.  Brad said that he loves our SLA dashboard but he may have some unhappy people on his team when he shows them some of the areas up.time has identified.  So I couldn’t resist…

I asked Brad if he had seen the Uptime and Hot Spot reports that we added to the up.time 7.2 release.  He hadn’t so as I walked him through the intent of the reports and the available data, I could just about hear his smile over the phone as he said, oh boy, is my team going to hate you!

We built these reports (and others such as the Incident Priority Quadrant) for guys like Brad who manage large, complex IT environments and need help identifying where they have problems and more importantly, where they should focus their resources to most effectively optimize infrastructure performance.

So I apologize to anyone on Brad’s team who may have some unexpected extra short term work.  Hate me now if you must but I know you’ll thank me later when you see the results and all the green on your up.time dashboards!