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Server and Application Monitoring Made Easy

December 13, 2018 | Ken Leoni

How has Server and Application Monitoring Evolved?

While data centers have evolved (i.e. physical, to virtual, to cloud) over the years, so has server and application monitoring. Let’s face it, there is a lot of IT monitoring technology out there, in what is by all accounts a relatively mature marketplace. What factors will enter into your equation to help you find the right balance of functionality and cost?


Server and Application Monitoring products have become big and more complex because of the need for vendors to capture as much market share as possible. But as what cost?

How has Server and application monitoring evolvedBigger and complex does not necessarily translate to better or more effective. In fact, the portlier technologies often require an inordinate amount of resources to deploy and then maintain.

Technologies that try to be everything to everyone are often implemented ineffectively, with only a subset of capabilities being truly utilized.

The problem worsens when IT is struggling with an IT monitoring deployment and is faced with either determining whether to throw good money into bad or to toss it all and start all over with a different monitoring package.

Shelfware, where technology is purchased and then never effectively used is also an expensive and wasteful proposition.

What Server and Application Monitoring technology is right for you?

Ultimately it is all about striking a balance between functionality, cost, and time. We can readily represent this with an Impossible Triangle. As an IT professional how do you strike that balance? It is a challenge because every organizations needs and resources vary.

Triangle-1

Functionality

Isn't simply about what is actually being monitored, but also the capabilities that surround the monitoring.  Technologies may include features that are not needed in your environment and that can add layers of unnecessary complexity. 

How much do you need and how much are you actually going to use? Too much functionality and things become cumbersome and reliability can suffer. Too little and you’re paying for ineffective technology.

 

Cost

You'll want to pay close attention to hardware, software and annual license costs.  
 

It is about balancing the functionality you need with the resources you have available.

  • What kind of server, network, and storage resources are required to effectively operate the IT monitoring technology?

    If your monitoring technology requires more resources than you are prepared to devote to it, it may be time to consider other options.

  • Also consider if there are additional software requirements (i.e. you may need to purchase SQL Server licenses or other third-party applications)

  • You need to not only consider the initial license cost, but also the annual contract fees. There is a direct correlation between functionality and cost. You have to ask yourself are you regularly paying for functionality that you are unlikely to use?

 

Time

Time is as much about opportunity cost as it is anything else. IT must decide where to allocate its finite personnel resources. Is it with IT monitoring? Is it with other projects that may enhance the organization's productivity or bottom line?
 

IT organizations typically run lean and mean. You can purchase a product that has all the functionality in the world, but if you don’t have the time to effectively deploy and maintain the technology, you’ll either end up with expensive shelfware or replacing a bad solution with one that is more in keeping with your requirements.



Longitude Server and Application Monitoring

 

 

 

How does Longitude balance function, cost, and time?

The software agentlessly monitors common server, network, and applications that are most often problematic. The technology comes with built-in knowledge base that automatically detects and alerts IT of problem areas, as well as broad set of out-of-box reports that show performance, availability, capacity, and service level compliance.


Longitude Functionality

Longitude is a lightweight and targeted IT monitoring technology that implements with a minimal amount of IT resources (both in terms of IT personnel as well as hardware and software).

 

  • Discovers and Monitors core IT Infrastructure and applications with a built-in knowledge base; this means out-of-the-box best-practices monitoring.

    The Longitude knowledge base is mature and covers the key components, and does not overwhelm the user with alerts or metrics that are informational and not core to any problems.


  • Dashboards not only display the overall health of the monitored environment, but offer exception-based displays that zero in and identify problem areas.

    The premise behind Longitude’s dashboards is that while informational displays are helpful, allowing users to quickly filter and see only problems areas makes problem diagnosis and resolution quick and easy.


  • Alerting and Corrective actions allow users to not only be notified via email, SMS, and more – but to also initiate corrective actions to mitigate or fix problems. 

    Alerts and corrective actions are initiated when Longitude generates events. Using the Longitude Console's web interface users can easily instruct Longitude on how it should respond to a single event or a specific set of events (i.e. if a specific disk is approaching capacity only alert the application owner(s) or anything affecting SQL Servers notify the SQL DBAs). The web interface is “flat”, so there is good balance of capability with navigation that is not overwhelming.

  • Reporting and charting give users the ability to quickly and easily generate reports and charts on performance, availability, capacity and service level compliance. In addition, users can readily generate reports on what problems occurred and when (i.e. automatically generate and email a daily report of all critical problems).

    Longitude balances flexibility with being easy to navigate and configure. All the reports can be run out-of-the-box with a simple point and click. However, users can readily alter and save the reporting criteria for automated publishing in the Longitude reporting portal or for automatic exporting to applications such as SharePoint.

 

Longitude Cost

Longitude keeps costs low not only with simple all-inclusive pricing, but also with technology that installs with practical hardware and software prerequisites.

 

  • Simple pricing means that purchasing Longitude is also simple and straightforward. Pricing is totally transparent and publicly available. When it comes to an IT purchase not only does the technology have to deliver, but the vendor has to be easy to do business with.

    Longitude is offered at a fair and reasonable cost; the pricing reflects that the technology isn’t trying to be everything to everybody.

  • There is no additional cost to scale out the technology as users don’t have to go back to the well and purchase additional software components to scale Longitude out.
      
    Longitude Statistics Server technology is always included with the purchase. Longitude Statistics Servers are lightweight software installations that distribute the collection of data from local and remote locations and guarantee roll up of performance and availability data to the Longitude console.

  • Minimal installation requirements as the only software prerequisite is a server class Windows operating system.

 

Longitude Time

Wherever possible Longitude minimizes the steps required to implement all aspects of IT monitoring. 

 

  • Quick deployment allows users to implement Longitude in a short period of time and with a minimum of effort. Remember, users can leverage Longitude’s discovery capabilities to agentlessly target the servers, network devices, and applications for monitored by Longitude’s built-in knowledge base.

    The deployment is fast not only because the Longitude installation is itself simple and streamlined, but also because the discovery and monitoring of servers, networks, and applications requires but a few clicks.


  • Minimal IT administration lets IT focus on the business at hand rather than expending resources to tend to the IT monitoring platform.

    • Easy to navigate – the Longitude web interface is sleek and “flat” so navigation is easy. There aren’t all kinds of drop downs and menus, so mastering Longitude doesn’t take much time at all.

    • Self-maintaining – Longitude automatically manages its internal constructs including the collected data. Users needn’t worry about managing or pruning the opensource database. In addition, Longitude can be readily configured to backup its configuration and collected data on a regular basis.

    • Self-monitoring – Longitude watches its internal health and notifies staff if something has gone awry (i.e. someone erroneously shuts down a Longitude service or perhaps resources on the Longitude Console have been depleted).

 

 
 

  


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