IT Monitors

There are many critical pieces of software that you will want to arm your IT operations department with to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible and is as safe as possible. IT monitors software in general is key function that will can be acquired to keep an eye on everything from applications to your network to your company servers. With all of the software out there that focuses on IT monitors functions, you’ll want to keep in mind some important features to look for in your search. In today’s piece we look at features to consider giving you an idea of what to look for in your search.

Whether your IT monitors software will be used to monitor applications, networks or servers, a software with an automated report generation feature can prove to pay dividends for years to come. You can have these reports automatically sent to you on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis if your needs call for it. Having your company’s key performance metrics sent directly to your inbox in a timely fashion, will give you a great feel of how things are performing and a handle on how things are going. Reports such as log in attempts broken out by user, IP address or time, can help you recognize patterns that may be a potential hack or security breach on to your systems. Also, you can monitor things such as network bandwidth by having a daily report sent to a specified person on your team so he or she can ensure there are never down times, costing your business time and money. Lastly, and maybe most critical, you can have different reports go to different people on your team, dulling out the work evenly and remaining as lean as possible.

IT monitors software is great, but like any software it’s only as great as you allow it to be. Meaning, the software must be one that you and your team can pick up and learn quickly, and be intuitive enough that you will use it to its full potential. The aesthetic feel can go a long way in getting the buy in for your team to use day one. More so than just the overall aesthetics, a central dashboard where all of your key metrics are cleanly displayed is a good idea to look for in a software that your investing your IT monitors effort in.

A server monitoring feature within your IT monitors software of choice can prove to be a good feature to consider during your search. With the mountains of information contained and available on your servers, you will want to ensure it is safe and running as optimal as possible at all times. The reliability of your servers is often times the backbone of your business, and you shouldn’t overlook the safety of them. The bandwidth placed on your servers is an example of a metric you will want to monitor on a daily basis. A server monitoring feature will alert you any times bandwidth is reaching a potentially dangerous low, and give you and your team the lead time to take care of the issue before it cripples your server and networks. Thresholds can be set that when levels are nearing them, an alert is sent via SMS or email that allows you to take action immediately. Whether it be a bandwidth issue or otherwise, alerts in general are a great feature to have in any IT monitors software you are considering.

Just like you do when considering software for other purposes, you should try out the software via a free demo version before purchase. This will let you see if the software is one your team can pick up quickly, as well as see how it works with your other software.

Distributed Monitoring

Monitoring your IT operations enterprise is a critical function to any company’s both short and long-term success. In today’s business landscape, the IT operations of a company themselves often make the difference in year over year growth and a company that stalls every quarter. Distributed monitoring is an asset that while extremely valuable, not many companies fully understand what the term actually means. In distributed monitoring, you split the monitoring over various instances for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons is security of data, network location, availability of independent locations, organization of various different departments and groups, and most of all performance of your many machines. Today we take a look at those, among other features, to consider in your search for a distributed monitoring platform to put your trust in.

Each and every software you use has a look and feel to it that you notice as soon as you start it up for use. The software you ultimately decide to go with for your distributed monitoring should be no different. In a field such as IT operations with near constant turnover, the easier your software is to pick up and use right away, the less time (and thus money) it will take keep the software you pay for up and running as it should. A learning curve and long training times will also put your efficiency and safety in jeopardy, with the lag times from training sessions.

Another feature of distributed monitoring you will want to consider is integration of Nagios environment, which will allow you to scale to any large infrastructure you are migrating to. Many times you will want to ensure that you are building your distributed monitoring solution with Nagios for the right reasons. You’ll want to use a distributed monitoring scheme to take advantage of Nagios, monitoring local tasks and reporting back the results in a timely and clean matter. You’re configuration doing so will make all the difference in the world, so you’ll want to make sure it is done in a clean and efficient way to ensure no lapses in monitoring.

Alerts are another big feature that you may find it hard to do without in your distributed monitoring solution. Everything from bandwidth levels to network connectivity are functions of your IT infrastructure that you will want to make sure, as an IT manager and leader, are running at optimal levels around the clock. Often times, an alert feature can assist in notifying you in essentially real time of any issues as they become problems, so you can “stop the bleeding” so to say. Alerts come in many forms this day and age. From alerts stemming out of the software itself, to SMS text massages to emails, you can always be sure that you are kept in the loop of any issues as they occur. Not to be overlooked, security intrusions over your network are another instance where alerts can be absolutely critical as part of your defense.

Free demo versions of the software you are considering are a good idea to try out before ultimately making your purchase. By acquiring your distributed monitoring software before buying it, you can make sure that it is compatible with the host of other software you are currently running on your platform. You can also make sure that your team is on board with its functionality and its something they can use “right out of the wrapper.” In general, its just good business practice to do your due diligence and trying out a free demo of any software you are even considering investing in.

IT monitoring

In today’s highly digitalized world your IT departments safety and overall efficiency are two things that cannot be overlooked. There are many options available as far as IT monitoring software goes, but with each software being a little different, you’ll want to make sure you obtain the one that works best for your specific company and IT landscape. Let us take a look at some of the more important features to consider in your search for the best IT monitoring software to fit your needs both presently and as your company grows.

With the amount of time you will spend using your new IT monitoring software, it’s a good idea to find one that as an intuitive and easy to use main dashboard. Custom event tables, various charts and graphs tracking key metrics, and visual mapping are just a few tools that your dashboard will provide to track the key monthly numbers that are important to your business. A strong dashboard will also save you time moving back and forth from system to system, keeping most of what you need contained in one, aesthetically appealing place. Most importantly, your dashboard should be fully customizable to allow you prioritize the tools important to you and discard the ones that are not.

Another feature to consider in your IT monitoring software search is automated report generation. Whether you require updates on your IT and business metrics monthly, weekly or even daily, automated report generation can be setup to automatically send those reports on the key metrics you are interested in. Whether the reports are meant for internal or external peoples, they can be automatically generated and sent out via the IT monitoring software. One example of an automated report might be daily user logins, sent out to your internal security team. By receiving a report like this everyday, your team can look for patterns such an attempted brute force attack.

One of the most critical assets your IT department has your company’s server. With that said, it’s not a bad idea to look for an IT monitoring software with server monitoring capabilities to ensure this valuable asset stays in peak condition and maintains peak speed. Often times, hyper sensitive data is stored on your server, which means ensuring its safety and security can mean the world to your company. With that said, you’ll want to find an IT monitoring software that keep tabs on your server around the clock, probing for potential attackers.

No matter the software you choose, an IT monitoring software with customizable alerts is critical to keep you constantly aware of what is happening on your network and various areas of your IT department. Whether it be via email, SMS, or even alerts from within the software, alerts will allow you to quickly pounce on any lurking issues and resolve them before they cause wide spread damage. An example of a custom alert that you would set up is one that notifies you when your network’s bandwidth is getting near its lower threshold, threating the speed of your network and company’s overall efficiency. By being alerted to such key metrics, will allow your team to act quickly before the rest of your company even knows what’s going on.

It’s good practice, no matter what the software, to look for a trial version of the software you are considering to see if it’s one that you and your team can learn how to use quickly. Downloading a free demo will also let you see how compatible the IT monitoring software in question is with your software that you use on a daily basis.

IT management monitoring

When it comes to the health, efficiency and overall getting the most out of your IT infrastructure, you want to make sure you’re laser focused on the correct things and managing your IT responsibilities well. Obtaining a strong IT management monitoring software can be just the thing you need to bring all of the chaos on your network and servers together, making it manageable in a single dashboard and software. Bringing together various IT projects and monitoring the performance of your many systems are just a few of the features that you’ll want to look for in your search for an IT management monitoring software. Today we take a look at some other features to keep in mind as you move ahead.
One of the more critical features you will want your IT management monitoring software to have is application monitoring capability. Application monitoring allows for real-time tracking of the key metrics that make your plethora of applications tick and run smoothly. When one of your applications inevitably has an error, a solid IT management monitoring software will be able to correlate that error to the other event (or events) happening on your network such as latency times or network outages. All of the correlations that the application monitoring feature determines will also be able to be setup so you are notified via an alert in real-time. With a strong application monitoring feature, your IT staff can be quickly made aware of any issues, isolate them and respond to them before they spread throughout your infrastructure causing massive outages. If your organization is one that is running a high volume of transactions and your network is littered with events, an event correlation feature with in your IT management monitoring software may prove to be valuable as well.
Another piece of your IT arsenal that you will want your IT management monitoring to keep tabs on is your server. Maintaining server speed and more importantly server security will play a large role in ensuring that from an IT prospective, your company is running smoothly 24 – 7. Because of the criticalness of keeping your server in tip top shape, you’ll want to be aware of its status around the clock, whether you are on the road or simply working from home. Two great ways to do this are a mobile friendly version and a cloud based platform. With mobile and tablet applications being so commonplace now, a server monitoring feature that can be accessed with in your IT management monitoring software reomotely, is a huge advantage.
Whether it be the application monitoring, server monitoring or other features within your IT management software having the ability to receive alerts on their health, security or just general updates is a feature that should not be overlooked. With all of the above cases, the faster you or your team can act upon the said alert the faster you can address any potential issues before they become more widespread. Notifications can often be triggered to be sent as SMS, emails or from directly within the software as a desktop notification. Many times, you’ll find quick notifications to save the day.
Ultimately, you want to be sure that the IT management monitoring software you do go with is one that you will use to its full capabilities. One of the best ways to see if a software’s features, such as the application monitoring dashboard as mentioned earlier, are ones you can work with, is to download a free trial version of the software. Much of the software available today readily offers a basic free version for just this purpose.

Event Monitoring Software

Every hour of every day hundreds to thousands of events are flooding your company’s network and causing unwanted and sometimes unknown noise. From your activity logs, to user login logs and beyond, managing and maintain awareness of all of the events occurring can be critical in protecting your company. To help do so, procuring a proper event monitoring software to monitor your company’s events is always a good idea to consider.

Event monitoring or event correlation type tools are more and more becoming a stable in IT departments of all sizes all over the world. Let us today examine some of the key features to consider when doing your research into the best software to align with your needs, both presently and as your company grows.

In its essence, an event monitoring software uses a form of event correlation to look at all of the events happening in real-time on your network and find any associated correlation between them, often times the negative ones. Finically driven fraud, brute force entry attacks at the login points, and other forms of malicious attacks on your network and company can be identified early by an adequate event monitoring software by recognizing patterns in the events that precede them. On the flipside to detecting potential security threats, much of the event driven noise that floods your network ultimately boils down to just that; noise. Often times, without the proper event monitoring software, IT departments painstakingly spend resources and employee time looking into things that ultimately prove to be harmless. With that said, the proper event monitoring software can not only improve your company’s efficiency and safety, but help save on labor costs as well.

Alerts via software are a constant in this day and age and your event monitoring software should be no different. As potentially harmful events are brewing on your network, you’ll want to be notified as soon possible to act on them and get them under control. When an attempt of an attack ultimately does happen on your network, you will not only want to know as it happens but as much detail as possible as to what it is you are really dealing with. In what is referred to as “the malicious actor”, information like intent and attacker location is just a few of the nuggets you will want your event monitoring software to convey. As far as the transmitting of the alert or alarm, much software offer it in a variety of forms including but not limited to SMS, email or within the software directly on your desktop.

With so many IT professionals now working remotely, finding an event monitoring software that is mobile or tablet friendly is another good idea to consider in your search. While some software often an app version, a browser version that is mobile friendly can often times be just as good and provide the utility of being mobile when needed. If your company is such that many of your IT professionals are on the go or are permitted to work remotely, this is a definitely a feature you will want moving forward.

Most reputable and well-received software offer some form free demo to try out the software before making a capital investment. In addition to checking out the intuitiveness of the software, which is an often-overlooked feature in itself, it will also allow you and your team to see of the tool is compatible with your operating system and other tools. Furthermore, it will also allow you get a feel for a software that potentially, if acquired, you will use almost every day.

Alarm monitoring software

When it comes to protecting the infrastructure of your business acquiring the right alarm monitoring software can make all the difference in the world in being able to save your business from potential harm as soon as it creeps up. In today’s piece we examine some of the more important features to take into account in your search for the right piece of software for your company’s (of any size) needs.

As your business expands and your financial and operational metrics become more complex and harder to keep tabs on, having an alarm monitoring software with a high functioning dashboard can really set a piece of software apart from others. From tracking sales, managing supply chain, monitoring overall financial health and keeping tabs on your IT infrastructure’s safety, it can become increasingly important to have an intuitive dashboard to keep track of everything. Not only is having an alarm monitoring software with an intuitive dashboard important for your immediate needs, but it’s also important that as your company grows you can quickly train new employees how to use it. As is the case with any company, turnover itself can be crippling and a solid operation dashboard can have a large impact.

Along with the dashboard in many cases comes a reliable and manageable alert system that can notify you if any of the aforementioned metrics are going awry and need your attention. Finding an alarm monitoring software with an action library or customization features as such to create a rules system, is a feature you should strongly consider in your search. Being able to streamline your alerts in real time, especially when it comes to security related aspects of your business, will allow you and your team to tackle any threat as soon as humanly possible. If your company is one that deals with a high number of financial transactions, both inbound and outbound, you should absolutely consider obtaining an alarm monitoring software with an alert library. In most software, you can arrange to have the alerts be sent out to a customized list of users as well, via SMS, email or an alert from within the software itself.

A feature that often goes hand in hand with alarm monitoring software is automated report generation. After an alert library, automated report generation should be high on your list of features as its lets you and your team, as well as outside vendors when needed, get a daily, monthly or annual report on the metrics that you/they need to know about. The reports as well as the distribution lists they can automatically be sent to, are fully customizable and can relay the key metrics of your company in an easy to read and manage way. Number and location of security threats, as well as a continually updated report on your overall IT infrastructure efficiency are just two examples of critical metrics you will want to keep an eye on. Some reports are meant for your employee eyes only, while others can be designed for outside vendors such as a current inventory list. An alarm monitoring software with a strong automated report generator should be able to blast out reports to both.

Most reputable pieces of software in this day and age offer a free demo version that can be downloaded before purchase. Alarm monitoring software is an important enough of an investment that you should certainly seek out a demo version where available. Not only is this good practice to see if you can pick up it’s intricacies quickly, but it will also let you test out it’s compatibility with your other software and systems.

Enterprise monitoring software

Enterprise monitoring software is a key piece of software you will want to have no matter the size of your business. Beyond system safety and security, software of this nature can also keep your enterprise running efficient as it gets flooded with requests and outside noise. In today’s article, let’s take a look at some important features to think about when researching the best enterprise monitoring software for your needs, both short and long term.
Having a feature that allows for reports to be automatically generated is a strong feature that most good enterprise monitoring software has. Within the software, you should be able to set up pre-determined and customizable lists that allow for distribution to either internal employees or external partners that help to monitoring your business in a variety of ways. An example of this is automated generation of a report that tracks activity on your network via your network’s servers or otherwise. Have a strong report feature will give you critical insight into the metrics that are most important to your organization. You will want to constantly have a pulse on the safety and efficiency of your enterprise, and an enterprise monitoring software with an automated report generation feature will ensure you and your team are aware weekly (or daily) of all of the metrics that you deem as important.
Another feature that can set an enterprise monitoring software apart from others is the ability to process millions of separate and related events that fly across your network every single day. By having a software that both processes and logs these events, you and your team can keep an eye on the individual events and put a system in place that looks for patterns and warns you of potentially malicious activity before it expands and cripples your network. One example of this monitoring brute force attacks to your network, which can be identified by the repetition of the same failed login event over and over by unverified users attempting to bring down your network.
All of the devices on your network are in constant contact, whether that includes routers, servers, switches, ports and beyond. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps obtain the communications that are flooding your networks and translate that data into simple to read and intuitive metrics that you can utilize to improve your business. An enterprise monitoring software that offers and SNMP feature can be a valuable feature that sets the software apart from others. A strong SNMP feature will alert you in real time to patterns and inter-network talk that may create a potential issue downstream. SNMP traps can run simultaneously with your enterprise monitoring software and add a further layer having your back in times of crisis on your networks.
One last feature to consider which is often overlooked is an easy to understand visual dashboard to make sense of all the aforementioned features in an up front and visually satisfying location and format. A dashboard that you can customize to your wants and needs is one that becomes extremely useful and makes you and your team’s life much easier.
It’s good practice to seek out an enterprise monitoring software that offers a free trial version that you can download and try out before making the investment. Beyond just seeing if it’s a software you can pick up quickly and implement to your enterprise, you can also confirm its compatibility with your suite of other tools and software you use to keep your business running every day. This is a good tip to remember for any software you plan to purchase in the future!

IT Event Correlation and Analysis

it event correlation and analysis

When it comes to being alerted in real-time to possible incoming threats to both security and performance, having the right suite of IT event correlation and analysis tools can make all the difference in the world and potentially save your company immensely. In today’s feature, we take a look at some things to look at and be aware of when searching for the best IT event correlation and analysis solution for your company’s immediate needs and plan for growth.

Before diving into the best solutions, let us first take a look at what event correlation truly is and the analysis that goes with it. At it’s core, event correlation is the tying together of a certain pattern of events on you network or across multiple networks and finding the associated correlation between them. Often times, event correlation tools are used as a security measure as they can often notify you when a certain known dangerous pattern of events on your network is taking place so you can take stems to neutralize the threat immediately. Once your event correlation tool is off and running regularly, you can then also analyze your daily logs to look for areas of inefficiency which you can then work with your team on finding solutions to fix.

Weather it be error messages, security warnings or just general user information, events on your IT infrastructure range from the hundreds to thousands and are simply too much to manually track and analyze. On top of that, when a malicious event does happen on your network it can trigger a chain of events that can be crippling to your entire company’s operations and worse yet, bottom line. While more traditional software such network management software can track these events they often do so in an old school, clunky and annoying way by alerting you many times for the exact same event. A strong IT event correlation and analysis tool not only locates and pinpoints that event to alert you in real time, but also runs a root cause analysis on the incident to understand how it happen and how to prevent it in the future. A strong IT event correlation and analysis tool also completely automates the managing of events, the correlation they have amongst themselves, and notifies you and your team instantly of any potential issues that arise throughout the day.

Let’s say as an example your company’s main wireless printer/copier goes down. The hundreds of employee computers that use that printer/copier will receive error events simultaneously, which are passed over your network. Your IT team, will then manually go in and look at the events to see what happened and ultimately fix it, spending potentially hours on the single, seemingly harmless event of a printer crashing. An IT event correlation and analysis tool can automatically detect the event, establish a root cause, and produce a report for you (or your IT team) about the issue in great detail. Beyond simple error messages, IT event correlation and analysis tools should also be able to aggregate, correlate and ultimately filter all of the thousands of events on your network that are happening every hour. Without a doubt, a strong IT event correlation and analysis tool should completely automate this process after your initial setup.
As with all software or network tools you are considering this day and age, it’s important to see if you can find a trial demo version of it to try and get feel of it before purchase. It might also be a good idea to let your team play with the demo software a bit, just to see if its something that will make for an easy transition to any software already in place.

Network Event Correlation

The primary function of a network event correlation tool is to look at events happening on a network in real time and provide context to the correlations amongst them. This can be anything from repeated attempted logins of the same user name onto a computer on the network, to events stemming from the running of multiple applications simultaneously. The task of protecting your company’s networks is one that should be taken with the utmost seriousness and is often IT professionals most grave concern. By finding the best network event correlation tool to fit your company’s needs and size, you can rest easier knowing that you have taken all of the steps necessary to monitor incoming threats that put both your company’s security and efficiency in danger if not tracked and analyzed correctly. Today we will take a look at some of the most important features to think about before purchasing your network event correlation tool.

One feature to consider is the ability for your network event correlation tool to in real-time consolidate and archive all of the action into what are known as “syslogs” straight to SQL Server or some other SQL tool that your company uses. Your assigned IT employee can then export those logs into CSV, HTML, TCT, EVT, XML or whatever other format that you desire. Once safely put somewhere such as on a local server or hard drive, the tool can then can clear the logged events to keep a precise account day after day if you so choose.

Another feature that will prove time after time to be critical is the network event correlation tool that allows for real time notifications over wide range of platforms. From SMS, to detailed emails, to desktop notifications from within the software, the quicker you and your team can be made aware of potential issues the faster you can act on them and get them under control. SMS notification is widely considered the most beneficial and useful of the options, as it can make the person assigned to the tool aware in a matter of seconds.

Generating reports is an aspect of network event correlation tools that can be often overlooked yet can be key in the utility of the product. Most network event correlation tools offer automatic generation of reports that can target specific servers or computers on your network, or produce a higher level summary of the events and some basic analysis and correlation guidelines. As an example, a report that you may want to see every day is one that shows you the time, location and username of all the failed logins that happened across your network. Using this as an example, you may be able to determine a pattern of behavior that is targeting a weakness on your network you may have otherwise not known about. With many of the software out there today, you can have a report such as the one aforementioned ran for a time period of anywhere from 24 hours or the month.

Many of the various types of tools and software in today’s landscape offer a free trial demo version of their product available for download. We highly recommend you take advantage of such offerings as it lets you see if it’s a tool you can readily use and ensure the learning curve for your team won’t be too steep that it’s detrimental. Often times, you will especially want to see with network event correlation tools if the software is compatible with your suite of other tools already in use and can the transition to it can be seamless and not produce any issues.

Simple Event Correlator

A simple event correlator is a form of event correlation that is written entirely in the programing language PERL. In many ways, a simple event correlator is a light-version of a full on event correlation software. Like a standard event correlation tool, a simple event correlator can do everything from manage security to monitor, track and analyze events in your log files. Unlike the full, often more expensive event correlation solutions, a simple event correlator independent from any specific platform and runs itself as a single process. With that said, it can be deployed in various places on your network such as terminals or various shell pipelines. With all of this however, you can still run many processes at the same time and for a variety of tasks at the same time.

Primarily and at its core, simple event correlator is designed to find event patterns set up by specific rules you apply, which can be found in configuration files. It does however also offer more advanced features such as log file analysis and logic analysis that make it great for a wide range of more traditional event correlation tasks. One thing that a simple event correlator is often used for is monitoring and preventing brute force attacks on your system. By placing a process in your login event file, the correlator can watch for repeated failed attempts onto your network and notify you of such events to take action.

Overall, the draw to a simple event correlator over a more traditional suite of event correlation tools is purely the flexibility of the tool. The ability to handle event logs of many different contexts really set differentiate the tool from others and make it a big draw for many IT professionals. For example imagine a scanner that is continuously having issues with paper jamming and a traditional event correlation would send an email every time it saw a jam. The simple event correlator can recognize that an email has already been sent out and prevent your inbox from being flooded by dozens of emails every time it jams.

Also unique to the simple event correlator is that rules can be set to begin event correlation operations continuously, while simultaneously running rules that react automatically in real time to specific events or simply at a set time on your network’s internal clock. Surmise for a second that your simple event correlator is set up to monitor log files for a specific type of event that you have recognized as worthy. Now at the same time, suppose you are looking at configuration files for a rule pertaining to failed system logins. Within the preset rule, the pattern metric will recognize the aforementioned events and display a message for you and your team to further inquire about the events correlation and how they will affect your system. Your simple event correlator is also smart enough to check of a correlation operation for a given event should it already be in place, to prevent being bombarded with messages.

Another feature of your simple event correlator tool is the context. At its foundation, a context is simply a memory tool, which can have more than one titled name, event store and a limited pre-determined life span. In addition, a context can be used fore aggregating events and reporting the aggregated events to you and your team either in real time or in a daily summary. Another great feature of the context is that you can set up an action list to automatically execute if the context is nearing expiration.

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