First off, I apologize as it’s been a while since my last post. The allure of the summer patio and the beautiful weather has taken its toll. But I’m back and ready to roll…
As I chat with customers and prospects at uptime software, it became clear that most IT professionals would find a “Systems Management and Server Monitoring Evaluation Guide” very useful. So with that in mind, this blog is themed around how to better evaluate systems management and server monitoring software. We’ve found that our mid-enterprise customers (companies that have between 50-2,500 servers) have some common best practices when it comes to evaluating various packages to monitor and manage their environment. So, without further ado, here are my “5 Tips For Evaluating IT Systems Management Software:”
1. Applications are becoming dynamic and complicated. Can your monitoring and performance software handle it?
Historically, it’s generally been fairly easy to monitor applications. They sat on individual pieces of hardware and were relatively siloed. Nowadays, applications are increasingly componentized and are being abstracted from the underlying hardware platforms. Witness the prevalence of virtualizationtechnologies such as VMware, AIX LPARs, and Solaris zones, all of which are making great strides in widespread adoption. It is now incumbent on systems managementvendors to understand these virtualization technologies in great detail and how they impact application monitoring and performance. Remember, your systems management and application monitoring tool should make application monitoring easier for you, not more complicated.
2. Heterogeneous platforms (Virtual, Physical and even Cloud) are the new normal. Your systems management software needs to be able to scale across them all.
In a mid-enterpriseshop, it’s highly unlikely that you’re a single platform and OS. You’ll need to deal with hardware platforms of many vintages and architectures (and add in the network too). Mix in virtualization and cloud and if you don’t have a fully features management and monitoring tool, you’re in for a world of grief. (shameless plug - up.time can oversee all the platforms and environments). So, it’s best to ensure that the tools you are considering can cover all your platforms, both today and tomorrow.
3. Are you future proofing? What about new technologies?
As technologies change, is your systems management tool ready to grow with you? Virtualization was, and continues to be, a big disruptor and yet many vendors took years to understand how to introspect and monitor virtual environments. With the advent of cloud and its adoption, a very similar problem is occurring again. Can you get a single pane-of-glass for monitoring and managing what we call P-V-C (the physical, virtual, and cloud worlds) together?
4. Can you quickly evaluate and deploy? Do you need lots of professional services? Is the tool administration costing you an FTE?
We appreciate that extra time is something you probably don’t have the luxury of. So, at uptime software, we designed up.time to get up and running in under 15 minutes We want to help you solve problems right away, not send a flock of consultants on-site to bleed you to death. If you’ve had any experience with consultants (or lawyers), you’ll know what I mean. I’ve heard our customers and prospects say loud and clear, that they don’t want a full-time admin to babysit and administer their monitoring tool. Is the solution you’re evaluating going to save you time or cost you an FTE to manage it?
5. The Last Tip is the most important. Trial, trial and ….trial. Before you talk to salespeople.
Make sure you fully trial the software before you get too far in the buying process. Don’t get caught being sold to through fancy demos, vapor-ware, and PowerPoint’s. Trial the tool, see what it does and how it acts in your environment. Sure, the marketing says how easy the tool is to use and install, and how deep the metrics are. Believe that and I have some swampland in Florida you might be interested in. If the trial is complicated, frustrating, and doesn’t do what you want, don’t expect the purchased tool to be any better. In fact, in most cases, it’s worse. Remember, it’s up to you to ensure your systems management tool is the right fit for your environment and needs. This is exactly why we provide a free trial at up.time. You don’t need to talk to a salesperson to get it, just download it straight off our website. You’ll be able to get up.time monitoringand reporting in less than 15 minutes! We want to you trial up.time, test it, put it through the paces in your environment. So far, up.time has over 700 customers in 32 countries because our trial let’s people see how up.time works in real-life, not on some fancy and wishful thinking demo.
We know that selecting a Systems Monitoring and Management Vendor can be time consuming. It’s also difficult to determine how to prioritize your needs. Therefore, we created a Systems Monitoring and Management Evaluation Checklist. This checklist is designed to help IT Managers and Administrators as they search for the right solution. Rather than starting from a blank sheet of paper, you can adapt the checklist to fit your needs, as it’s intended to be a generic list that can be updated, expanded and customized depending on your requirements. Edit and modify each of the items as you see fit. Also – if you are evaluating up.time (hint, hint), we’ve pre-populated a checklist with everything up.time has to offer. Click here to download a pdf copy or word document.
Interested in finding out more? Check out our NEW Evaluation Center!