Does anyone use a server monitoring service or would you..

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Travis Ferguson, Sep 16, 2003.

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  1. Do you use a server monitoring service such as what is offered at www.portwatchdog.com. If you do then why? Is it that important to your business and uptime? If you don't use one but found the right one at a low cost then would you use it?

    Thanks,
    Travis Ferguson
     
  2. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    What would you do with the information you received?

    When you operate your own servers, you need monitoring tools, or a management framework (Unicenter, Tivoli, Openview, I probably forgot some). Tools we use or plan to use are Whatsup gold, Bigbrother and bigsister.

    But as I said, that's only usefull if you operate your own systems and if you are able to respond adequately to the alerts.

    In my opininion, other monitoring services are not needed. If you rely on them to check on servers that are operated by a third party, then your Service Level Agreement and the SL-reports are all wrong. You can't use this to monitor availability and uptime, mainly because the definition of availability and uptime used in SLA's will differ from these ones.
    If you rely on these 3rd party services to check your own managed servers, then you operations process is not right, you will be too late to respond.

    You could use such a service to inform others, your customers for instance, just to get a feeling of control.
     
  3. That is a good response, but what if this service can detect down time on any port within 0 to 90 seconds and send an alert via text message, phone call, IM etc within just seconds? Also lets say this service provides statistics for you of your down time and slow responce times on the services it checks. Do you think that can help?
     
  4. I forgot to mention that this is an outside look on the network to make sure your service is up and running to the outside world.

    To answer your question for what you would do with this information. When that service of yours goes down you would get a quick response with an outside look telling you what port is down on what server. Getting that type of monitoring can reduce costs in having your own servers monitor and/or reduce costs in paying people to be right there on alert all the time.
     
  5. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    It would help you to check on your hosting provider.
    But: suppose you have an SLA with all kinds af guarantees about uptime and availability. Don't you also want to know how your provider can deliver? So, in your SLA you have to make sure that the provider has all the means to fullfill the SLA requirements: his operations management process, the incident management, escalation processes, ITIL conformity, third party audits, etc.

    Quality providers would have a certificate by an independent auditor to show that they can deliver as agreed.
    Suppose that you call them whenever you get an outside alert, in my view that would frustrate their operations process (if all is right, they are aware of the incident before you are alerted and they should be acting on it).

    If you have no SLA, or if there are otherwise no guarantees about the service levels, then arranging your own quality checks might be in order, but (as I said before) then your hosting contract is not very good.

    To have your external monitoring company deliver a report on quality of service involves a risk: Can that service provider be trusted, is their availability comparable (must be even better than your provider) and do they use the same definitions of the terms availability, uptime and more.

    My advise: use such a service only if your provider cannot offer you a decent SLA with decent reports.
     
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