From the Idera Family of Products
 
Uptime Software
 

The up.time IT Systems Management Blog

Archive for the ‘cloud’ Category

29Jul. 2015

System Administrator Appreciation Day Twitter Giveaway

How awesome are system administrators? Awesome enough to get their own day!

Friday July 31 is System Administrator Appreciation Day and we are celebrating by giving away a R2D2 USB car charger from ThinkGeek.

*image courtesy of ThinkGeek.com

*image courtesy of ThinkGeek.com

Here is how to Enter:

On Friday, July 31, reply to this fill in the blank tweet on your Twitter account:

“The best part about being a sysadmin is ____”

and use #sysadminday and @uptimesoftware within your response. The uptime Linkedin page will also have a link redirecting to a Twitter click-to-tweet which will already include the required formatting. It also can be seen here: http://ctt.ec/3z86a

The winning participant will be chosen at random on Monday, August 3 and notified via Twitter DM. All participants must follow @uptimesoftware to coordinate shipment of the prize.

Good luck everybody! And have a great System Administrator Appreciation Day!

*see below for rules on giveaway

 

 

This giveaway is sponsored by Idera, Inc. (“Idera”), a Texas corporation located at 2950 North Loop Freeway West, Suite 700, Houston, Texas 77092. These are the official rules (“Official Rules”), which govern your participation in this giveaway (“Giveaway”).

THERE IS NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR RECEIVE A FREE GIFT (DEFINED BELOW). THIS GIVEAWAY IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. VOID IN ANY STATE WHERE LOCAL REGISTRATION LAWS WERE NOT COMPLIED WITH.

BY PARTICIPATING, YOU AGREE TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES. ALL DATA REQUESTED AT REGISTRATION, GIFT FULFILLMENT OR AT ANY OTHER TIME IN CONNECTION WITH THIS GIVEAWAY MUST BE ACCURATE. IF INACCURATE INFORMATION IS SUPPLIED, IT WILL RESULT IN YOUR DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE GIVEAWAY AND PREVENT THE AWARDING OF THE FREE GIFT TO YOU. You represent and warrant that by participating in this Giveaway you are not violating any law or policy of your employer.

1. How to enter

This Giveaway is open to any of Idera’s customers or any person who participates in the System Admin Day Twitter giveaway contest using #sysadminday and tweeting to @Idera_Software during the Promotion Period (defined below). Entries must fill in the blank: “The best part about being a sysadmin is ___.” The winner will be chosen at random and must be following @Idera_Software to receive PM with information on shipping.

2. Promotion Period

The promotion period for the giveaway begins at 12:01 AM (CDT) on July 31, 2015 and ends at 11:59 PM (CDT) the same day (“Promotion Period”).

3. Eligibility Requirements

Giveaway is open only to legal residents of U.S., who are 18 years or older at the date of entry. Employees of Idera, its subsidiaries, affiliates and its promotion agencies, as well as the immediate family and household members of each such employees, are not eligible. This Giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state, territorial, municipal, and local laws and regulations.

4. Giveaway and Delivery Method

The winner chosen at random will receive an R2D2 USB car charger valued at $39.99. The Gift will be shipped to the participant at the address provided during the registration process within 4 to 6 weeks of entry.

5. General Release/Conditional Limitation of Liability

BY ENTERING THIS GIVEAWAY, PARTICIPANTS AGREE TO INDEMNIFY, RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND HOLD HARMLESS IDERA, ITS SUBSIDIARIES, SHAREHOLDERS, DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES AND EACH OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PROVIDERS USED BY IDERA TO PROMOTE THE GIVEAWAY (TWITTER) FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY AND/OR DAMAGES, WHETHER DIRECT OR INDIRECT, WHICH MAY BE DUE TO OR ARISE OUT OF PARTICIPATION IN THIS GIVEAWAY OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, OR THE ACCEPTANCE, USE/MISUSE OR POSSESSION OF THE GIFT. NOTHWISTANDING THE FOREGOING, IN THE EVENT THAT THE PRECEDING RELEASE IS DETERMINED BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE INVALID OR VOID FOR ANY REASON, THE ENTRANT AGREES THAT, BY ENTERING THIS GIVEAWAY, (I) ANY AND ALL DISPUTES, CLAIMS, AND CAUSES OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS GIVEAWAY, OR ANY GIFTS AWARDED, SHALL BE RESOLVED INDIVIDUALLY WITHOUT RESORT TO ANY FORM OF CLASS ACTION; (II) ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS INCURRED, IF ANY; AND (III) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ANY ENTRANT BE PERMITTED TO OBTAIN ANY AWARD FOR, AND ENTRANT HEREBY WAIVES ALL RIGHTS TO CLAIM, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ANY AND ALL RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR OTHERWISE INCREASED AND ANY OTHER DAMAGES, OTHER THAN DAMAGES FOR ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES.

6.Disqualification

Entries generated by facsimile, script, macro or other automated means, that have been tampered with or altered, or that are stolen, postage due, misdirected, garbled, delayed by computer transmissions, incomplete, illegible, inaccurate, corrupted, lost, late or damaged, are all void and will not be accepted. All entries must be individually completed and no automated entries, mass entries, reproductions or photocopied entries will be accepted. One entry per person. Idera, its participating gift partners, and service providers are not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any network or telephone lines, incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, or for any human error, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software, inability to access any web site or online service, or any other error or malfunction, or late, lost, illegible or misdirected entries. If, for any reason, the Giveaway is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Idera which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Giveaway, Idera reserves the right at its sole discretion to void the entries at issue and/or terminate the Giveaway and to award the free Gift using all eligible entries received as of the termination date. If the Giveaway is terminated due to tampering or technical difficulties prior to its expiration date, notice will be posted at Idera’s website. Idera reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant that tampers with the operation of or abuses any aspect of this Giveaway or violates the Official Rules of this Giveaway.

7.Governing Law

This Giveaway and the rights and obligations of the entrants will be governed and controlled by the laws of the State of Texas, USA, and any disputes shall be referred to the exclusive jurisdiction of the State of Texas, US courts.

8. Privacy

Personal information of entrants will be used to enable the Gift to be sent out. In addition, Idera will use your personal information in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in Idera’s privacy policy available at http://www.idera.com/legal/privacystatement. You agree to the processing of your personal information for the purposes and in the manner set out above.

31Mar. 2014

Amazon EC2 Monitoring: Infrastructure and Applications

Amazon EC2 Monitoring

Amazon EC2 Monitoring

This is the first in a two-part series on “Amazon EC2 Monitoring “.

Five years ago, Enterprises reaped the benefits of reducing infrastructure and maintenance costs by moving from physical to virtual servers.  Today, the next evolution is taking place – the move into the cloud.

Cloud providers are enabling IT departments to offload infrastructure and maintenance, resulting in cost reduction. However, monitoring, alerting, and reporting in this new environment is proving complex and challenging.

Amazon’s (the leading cloud provider) EC2 CloudWatch interface and API provides simple metrics, such as CPU utilization, disk read/writes, and network in/out. However, this simple CloudWatch monitoring has two critical drawbacks that hurt EC2 customers.

  1. No unified monitoring or consolidated reporting for performance, availability, and capacity across cloud and on-premise servers, applications, and IT services.
  2. Lack of the deep metrics that IT requires, including detailed OS, process, and application monitoring data.

With the uptime’s Amazon EC2 Monitoring solution, you will see a large performance and cost benefits from unified monitoring.  Unified monitoring provides a single view and deeper insight, which means more time being productive and less time configuring, maintaining, and logging in and out of separate monitoring tools.

Download 1-pager: EC2 Monitoring

Download Plugin

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

20Nov. 2012

How to be Proactive for Cloud Outages in your External Environment

Last month, Amazon had an outage that took down big sites like Reddit, Flipboard, and Minecraft (among others). This isn’t the first time, and surely won’t be the last time it will happen. Outages just come with the reality of being a cloud service provider.Why is the cloud Down?

So what are you doing to prevent these types of outages from affecting your business?

You’re probably asking “how can I tell if my cloud service is down?” When using cloud server resources, here are the types of questions you should be asking:

  • Are you monitoring your site/service now?
  • Do you know when your site/service is affected?
  • Do you have a backup procedure in case an outage occurs, or is it just acceptable collateral damage?

Having a unified IT systems monitoring suite to monitor all your internal and external resources is the growing trend, unless you actually enjoy using multiple UI’s, apps, point tools, etc. If you currently use profiler tools, these are useful in short troubleshooting moments, but do you really want to sift through lists of metrics, alerts and data on a daily basis? No. What everyone wants is a complete IT Dashboard that gets all the important metrics and outages in your environment, summarizes them and provides high-level reports with deep root-cause abilities. To ensure you are being proactive in anticipating outages in your IT infrastructure, and having a contingency plan for when it occurs, try using a unified monitoring tool like up.time in your environment.

6Nov. 2012

Demystifying Cloud Monitoring

Every few years, a new IT buzzword comes by.  A few years ago, virtualization was the hot topic and it still is.  Lately, the buzzword is cloud.  I knew cloud computing had gone mainstream during a chat with my technologically-challenged aunt.  When I explained to her what kind of software we sell, she asked if we can monitor the cloud.  My jaw dropped and thought to myself..really? Is this the same person who called me long distance about her mouse not working and only later found out it wasn’t plugged in? Going off a tangent here but who else hates being IT support to everyone around, you just because you work in IT?
So does up.time monitor the cloud? Of course!  But how?  To answer that question, we need to define what cloud really is.  Let’s see what Wikipedia says:

Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network

 

What does that mean?  It just means the servers are hosted somewhere, connected by network.  This sounds suspicious like…

data center or computer centre (also data center) is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components

 

Putting it all together, all cloud computing means is that some servers are being hosted in a facility where the systems are all connected in a network.  That also means monitoring the cloud is not a whole lot different from monitoring your data center. You still have your servers/OS’s to monitor.  You also need to monitor the applications.  What else?  How about the network?  What about reporting on SLAs?  Don’t forget capacity planning to see if you will need to spawn off more servers in the cloud.  All these can be done with up.time.  up.time provides visibility into your entire IT infrastructure, whether it is hosted in a public cloud (e.g. Amazon’s EC2) or in a private cloud (i.e. in your data center).
Cloud computing has taken IT by storm.  If you have put your infrastructure in the cloud or just thinking about it, you don’t have to worry about how to monitor it.  Download up.time or contact us and let up.time be your eyes in the cloud!
7Aug. 2012

What is Cost Showback in the Cloud?

“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” Coach K, Legendary Duke University Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Whether you’re winning basketball games or running a successful business, your effectiveness is based on your ability to communicate. In business, the idea of adding a technological infrastructure that makes operations easier while fostering stronger communication is here.

We call it the cloud.

In the cloud, you’re offered remote server solutions that are housed in virtual locations. This gives your company almost unlimited access to your infrastructure from just about anywhere.

Some of the benefits include:

  • No upfront costs for equipment
  • The ability to have hundreds or thousands of servers at your disposal in minutes
  • Scalable pay-as-you-go pricing
  • No long term commitment
  • Reliability that is both physically and operationally secure

CIOs are recognizing the business and IT benefits of deploying onto cloud based servers with Amazon Web Services (AWS). As part of allocating resources and monitoring cost, top IT executives are using an internal communication technique called showback.

Showback is the ability to “show” your departments, line of business, project managers, locations, or other users exactly what their cloud usage has been over a specific period and the accrued cost of that usage.

The benefit of showback is that it allows IT to monitor and allocate the consumption of IT resources across the organization. This provides deep visibility into WHO is using WHAT cloud resources, and the exact cost breakdown of those resources. This visibility allows IT to maintain control over a cloud deployment, both from a usage and cost level. It also ensures that departments, groups, and users are held accountable for their portion of cloud costs. This visibility creates a culture of both accountability and optimization in Amazon AWS, as you can manage what you can’t measure.

This visibility and control over cloud costs drives a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Finally, costs under control, Amazon AWS can help you to accelerate the delivery of services. You can efficiently publish standardized offerings to your end users, automate the deployment of all your virtual machines, as well as cut the time it takes to provision and approve pending jobs.

Better service and lower costs. Now that’s a winning cloud deployment.

7Aug. 2012

How Real-Time Cost Monitoring can Save Real IT Budget

Rule No. 1 Never lose money.
Rule No. 2 Never forget rule No. 1
-Warren Buffet

The benefits of flexibility and scalability are abundant when your IT department deploys your servers into a virtual cloud setting.

When running at optimal efficiency, this type of infrastructure can provide your company with unexpected improvements over your old on-site servers. Increased agility, increased physical and operational security, along with statistically less downtime can add to the list of benefits.

For most companies, the “big move” to the cloud is all about a better allocation of assets.

Saving money with virtual cloud servers starts with the relief of not having to shell out thousands of dollars in capital spend for equipment and space to house and maintain it.

After that, the regular monthly savings will come typically from personnel watching the resource consumption over time and attempting to gauge or predict future usage.

Unfortunately, this is where cloud can get complicated. Today, companies are stuck with inaccurate forecasts and very time consuming methods to calculate costs and usage mid-stream. The end result is wasted time and unexpected costs that aren’t seen until the bill is delivered a month later.

Gone are the days of the good ol’ guesstimate.

However, with the addition of “real time” cloud monitoring to an Amazon AWS deployment, companies can easily see how resources are being used, and the cost of those resources, with up-to-the-minute metrics that allow for a more informed and efficient cloud management process.

And now that you no longer have to try to balance cloud costs blindly, you can do the following three things better…

1. This little piggy went we-we-we all the way to the bank

If a certain part of your system (or a certain department) is “hogging” cloud services or driving up costs, it is clearly visible. This type of insight helps IT ask the right questions, like “ Is this an area we are wasting resources?” or “Is this additional cost justified?” Real-time monitoring and alerting lets you have this conversation immediately, before costs escalate out of control. The other option is to wait for the end of the month bill and then let the arguments (and firings) begin…

2. When in need, it’s allocation indeed

With plain view of your metrics, maybe it’s the other way around. You can ask questions like: “Is this something we’ve neglected in the past, but is obviously a big part of our business?”, “Should we invest more in this part of our business?” or “Is the additional cloud cost of this project/application/department justified?”.

3. Your own cloud cost management crystal ball

With this data, you can now predict what resources you’ll use more. You can also accurately predict your monthly cloud costs quickly and easily. It will make your executives happy and keep the CFO off your back.

In conclusion, it’s this “Zen-like” balance between cost and performance that you’ll need to find. Without truly understanding the cost side of that equation, you’re forever guessing and off-balance. How long can you keep that up and still hope to be successful?

11May. 2012

Is your Capacity Planning Evolving to Meet Business Demand?

 

As an IT systems management vendor, we get fired up about new technologies including the latest buzz around virtualized capacity, automation and cloud. We respond by building slick tools, dashboards and reports to help solve capacity problems. I believe that’s what (we) systems management providers are supposed to be doing, helping you solve problems. <shamelessplug> Reducing the complexity of capacity planning and management is something we do really well around here at uptime software! </shamelessplug>

capacity planning

Capacity Management is all about evolving IT Operations.

But what about the capacity planning function itself? Does it not need to evolve along with these new deployment technologies? Do current capacity planning functions contribute value to the business by helping them scale to meet demand?

Virtualization, automation and cloud technologies give IT execs more options than ever before in how services will be delivered to the business, but do their current capacity planning processes reflect this same evolution in technologies? For most the answer is still likely “no”.  Most IT organizations still seem to perform capacity planning at the individual component level (server, network, SANs) which does not represent the true capacity requirements of their global facilities and infrastructure resources. The good news here is that you CAN evolve and turn this situation around.

Planning and managing IT capacity at a macro level is critical to delivering cost-efficient and reliable business services in a time frame the business expects. The good news is that today’s virtualization and automation technologies allow flexibility and new cost alternatives so IT execs can choose from a myriad of platforms to run applications and services on. The bad news is that these new virtual and cloud based resources are certainly not free and without new capacity planning processes, the benefits of easy procurement and instant provisioning can quickly turn into over-allocation and cost overrun nightmares.

  • So the message is clear: IT executives need new and more effective capacity planning processes in order to really take advantage of new technologies by optimizing the placement of applications according to criteria such as service level and cost. In addition, capacity planning software and tools can help teams be more effective.

One tactic you might consider as a start is to elevate your capacity planning team. Get it out of the “back room” of IT operations and make it a strategic function. Yes, remove it completely from IT operations and centralize it as a corporate IT function that reports directly to the CIO. This will send an important message to your organization and capacity management will begin to evolve and operate decentralized from technology support groups, such as network, server and storage.

capacity planning software

But Rome wasn’t built in a day….

27Apr. 2012

up.time VMware vSphere 5 Support

You asked for it, our upcoming release of up.time 7.0 will fully support VMware vSphere 5! uptime software inc. has been a long time VMware partner, launching our first VMware monitoring solution in the early days of ESX in 2006. Since then we have released several major evolutions of our virtualization monitoring platform and are continuing to build on our relationship by fully supporting the latest vSphere edition in up.time 7.0. up.time 6.0 already fully supports vSphere 4.x, with all of the powerful features you are used to continuing to be available:

Smart VMware Monitoring

  • vSync Dynamic Discovery: Keep your monitoring inventory in lock step with any changes to your vSphere environment. The second a new VM is spun up or hosts are moved around the datacenter, up.time’s inventory will update itself instantly so that you know you don’t have any monitoring blind spots in your environment. Monitor your whole vSphere environment agentlessly through your vCenter installation.
  • Power Awareness Intelligence: Power state awareness dashboards bring real time power status information into your global view. Take control of power state changes by alerting your administrators when critical systems are powered down.
  • VM Sprawl Control: Automatic notifications of new VMs ensure they are compliant with your IT policy. Review weekly sprawl reports to target zombie or over allocated VMs  so you can free up precious disk & memory space to the VMs that really need it.

Deep VMware Capacity Management

  • Easy Capacity Bottleneck Troubleshooting: Instantly find your bottlenecks and drill into the root cause.
  • Global Capacity Reports: How much capacity do I have? How much am I using? How much am I wasting? up.time helps you answer all of these questions so that you can reclaim valuable resources and proactively avoid embarrassing capacity outages.

In addition to all of the other great benefits of up.time, our “single pane of glass” dashboards brings together your virtual, physical and cloud environments into one monitoring toolset.

If you haven’t had a chance to try up.time yet, you can download a free trial from our website and be up and running in 15 minutes.

Dave.

1Jun. 2011

The Cost of Cloud – Part 3: Testing in the Cloud

Cloud Capacity and Cloud TestinAs the conclusion to my 3 part Cost of Cloud Follow-up (click here to read part 1, click here for part 2), I wanted to focus on development and testing in the cloud and what questions you need to answer before beginning any tests.

 

Example #3 – Development and Testing in the Cloud: Although spinning up new test and development environments in the cloud improves agility, the essential questions to ask are:

 

  • Internal or Cloud: Is it more cost-effective to host the application or service internally or in the cloud? Can IT prove its decision?
  • Which Cloud is Best: Which cloud vendor should be chosen?
  • How Much will it Cost: How much will this service/workload cost month over month?
  • Failsafe Cloud Alerting and Reports: Additionally, the added problem of developers forgetting to de-commission cloud infrastructure and services drives major cost overruns. Proper notification of these ‘cloud zombies’ is essential to prevent large bills over time.  While services like Amazon’s AWS are an incredible boon to being able to create development and test environments in a few clicks, there are latent costs which aren’t always readily apparent – stopped instances still consume storage resources (and cost), snapshots linger even when volumes are deleted (and add more cost), just to name a few. IT needs better visibility.

As stated earlier (part 1), there are no tools that can help IT (or LOBs) model the cost of their cloud needs, predict their workload costs or notify when costs are escalating. However, there are tools coming in the future.

The most fundamental aspect of optimizing performance monitoring in the cloud is to understand the relationship between application/infrastructure performance and cost. Presently, the industry is just beginning to understand how to monitor the performance of applications in the cloud, yet it lacks a cloud costing dashboard necessary for IT managers to make smart budget related decisions. How can organizations understand the cost of cloud computing without a deeper level of visibility? It has become crucial for IT to tie cloud success to cost analysis, as well as overall system performance.

Conclusion: So to Cloud or Not to Cloud? How will you tie your cloud decisions to cost for justification to senior management? Or will you just deploy and cross your fingers?

Alex

25May. 2011

The Cost of Cloud – Part 2: Applications in the Cloud

As part 2 of my Cost of Cloud Follow-up (click here to read part 1), I wanted to focus on applications in the cloud and what you need to see, report on and predict future cloud costs.

 

Example #2 – Applications in the Cloud:

  • See Cloud Cost: IT needs to see a clear monthly workload cost of their entire Amazon AWS deployment (by server, application or service) before they get the bill. For those companies that have deployed in AWS, the anxiousness and pain associated with the monthly AWS bill can be quite frustrating.
  • Predict Cloud Cost: Reports are needed that can estimate or predict the cost of running an application or service in AWS before it’s deployed. Predicting cloud cost based on individual workloads, applications or services is essential.
  • Identify Cloud Ready Applications: Reporting that can show which workloads are prime candidates for cloud deployment would be extremely helpful to IT departments wrestling with how to use cloud most effectively.

If you have any questions about how you accomplish any of the above, let me know by posting a comment.

Alex.

 
Copyright © 2015 Idera, Inc. All rights reserved.