Advancements in Automated, Agentless IT Monitoring

March 25, 2013 | Heroix Staff

There are two primary options when it comes to IT monitoring; agentless solutions or agent-based products.  An agent-based product requires software agents to be installed on the systems that are being monitored.  Meanwhile, an agentless performance monitoring solution removes this requirement which results in immediate deployment, lower software license fees, and streamlined operation.  Agentless solutions can also cut the total cost of ownership that is associated with an application or a server, making it the perfect solution for businesses with a smaller IT budget.

Initially agentless products were limited in capacity in order to be affordable, simple, and lightweight and became defined by what they couldn’t do as opposed to what they could do.  However, today’s next-generation agentless monitoring products have evolved and provide improved data collection even without agents.

Some features of next-generation agentless monitoring products include:

Multiplatform support

Multiplatform support is necessary when applications within the enterprise run on different types of servers and monitoring is required across them all.

Extensive application coverage

Agentless monitoring now builds on open source application program interfaces (APIs) such as SSH, Telnet, WMI, rexec, HTTP, JDBC, and JMX and measures up to the more expensive agent-based software.

Self contained monitoring

Separate, layered software is no longer required which reduces cost and overhead.

Automated corrective action

One screen allows you to define desired notifications and actions for a single event or hundreds of events to stop minor events from spiraling into major disruptions.


Next-generation agentless application performance monitoring products can easily accommodate customization efforts, unlike older agentless monitoring tools that had a streamlined nature and limited flexibility.  Older tools required the know-how and time to program scripts which has been eliminated.  Customization allows you to detect situations that are unique to your business services.

View of IT performance and service delivery

Original agentless products didn’t aggregate and present information about IT performance and service delivery which meant that users were left to find meaning within all of the data on their own.  This lack of a consistent view into IT performance and service delivery is widely considered unacceptable.  Next-generation agentless performance monitoring products turn monitored data into useful information which insights can be drawn from.

SLA features

SLA compliance needs to be documented either formally or informally.  SLA features translate technical metrics to an assessment of service delivery which provides a clear picture of how well IT is performing against stated objectives.

Customizable reports and graphs

Original agentless monitoring tools required add-on software in order to prepare reports and graphs which resulted in higher costs that diminished the savings those agentless tools were designed to provide.  Today’s agentless monitoring solutions can be designed to take the effort out of reporting and includes on-demand analysis and customizable reports and graphs that cut hours from reporting duties.

Agentless monitoring continues to evolve and is much more advanced than it was at its origins.  Agentless monitoring solutions that use industry-standard and open source technologies offer functionality that was once only obtainable from complicated agent-based products.

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