What is an IT service and IT service monitoring?
An IT service is a facility or process that satisfies some demand of a business, which has some reliance upon an IT infrastructure. These IT services are usually made up of multiple layers of technology, for example: networks, operating systems, system hardware, databases and mission critical applications.
IT service monitoring continually assesses the availability and performance of an IT service at all levels, from an end to end perspective, through and including each technological component.
What is Assure24?
Assure24 is a subscription based 24x7x52 IT Service Monitoring solution, which delivers pro-active monitoring, notification, reporting and automated problem resolution for network devices, servers, storage systems, database and applications.
Organisations use Assure24 to increase the availability and performance of mission critical IT services, business applications and infrastructures without the risk and cost associated with traditional network and systems management software.
How does Assure24 work?
The Assure24 solution relies on a small and secure application that is installed on a client’s system. We call this an agent. This agent collects availability and performance information from the server and in some cases the networked environment.
The agent performs periodic tests that check the different layers of technology used within the environment – namely the Internet, applications, databases, operating systems, systems hardware and networks. The information gained is then analysed with any abnormalities or pre-determined threshold breaches being passed to the centralized management systems to be processed and the relevant automatic action taken or automated notification via SMS or email being generated.
What are the capabilities of the Assure24 agent?
Once the agent is installed, Assure24 staff will configure a monitoring profile for the agent. A monitoring profile consists of a set of data capture elements (known as ‘pipelines’) which are scheduled to run at regular intervals. This monitoring profile is then downloaded to the agent which stores this profile locally and then adopts it.
In order to capture data the agent can
Run a command (e.g. ‘df –k’ or ‘net start’)
Tail a logfile for new lines
(Under Windows) Tail the windows event logs
(Under Windows) Get performance data from perflib
(Under Windows) Get information from Windows Management Instrumentation
Query SNMP information from SNMP enabled devices on the network (in this case the agent is known as a ‘proxy’ agent, more on this later).
The information captured is then run through a series of filters and controls to extract the relevant information and transform it into a result which can be processed by the Assure24 management servers. This result is then transmitted to the Assure24 management servers.
The agent may also receive an instruction from the management servers after the result has been processed to execute a command (or series of commands) to perform diagnostic or corrective actions. The results of this command are then transmitted to the Assure24 servers for inclusion in event details and in any notifications that may be sent due to the event.
Do I have to install an Assure24 agent on every system within my environment?
No. We can use the Assure24 agent in a proxy configuration: the agent is used not only to gather information from the machine it is installed upon but also from other machines on the network. This can be done via various means, including:
SNMP, for devices such as routers, switches or printers
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) in Windows based networks
Syslog, to accept syslog messages from other machines on the network in Unix environments
Downloading web pages and processing them for information
In this case the results sent through from the agent to the management server will be tagged with the identifying name of the machine the result came from. For reporting purposes, and the portal, the reports will look just as if the machine had an agent installed on it it.
If proxy agents are to be used to monitor a large number of network devices, then this will have a performance impact upon the machine that the agent is running on. It is therefore recommended that in this case, a dedicated agent machine or Assure24 appliance is used, rather than one running another application.
It is also recommended that (particularly on multi-processor systems) if the agent is to be used as a proxy, then more than one instance of the agent software is installed in order to spread the load evenly on the machine. Assure24 staff will provide a special agent download for this situation.
What are the benefits of the Assure24 service?
The Assure24 service:
Provides 24x7x52 monitoring of clients’ network, servers, application and databases.
Requires no upfront payment as it is a subscription based service.
Affords your support staff time to focus on core business issues yet remain informed and be in control of any potential issues associated with the IT infrastructure.
Provides rapid deployment with results being seen within minutes
Causes no downtime and disruption to the environment.
Has no lengthy implementation or training costs.
How long does it take to deploy Assure24?
Assure24 can be implemented and begin to provide a return on investment within minutes. This is achieved by applying predefined generic rules to your environment. These rules are then tailored to meet the exact requirements of your environment and your support team throughout the duration of the service.
What is the Assure24 integration promise?
The Assure24 framework currently has a number of integration methods with industry leading applications. However, should an environment include applications that are not detailed above, then we would be pleased to investigate, in conjunction with the client(s), you, or the software provider, the development of an agent or agent rules which will meet the specific management needs.
We aim to develop and implement these additional monitoring requirements within the first month of service.
What are your future plans for Assure24?
The core data collection, processing and presentation methods for the Assure24 service will be continually developed to accommodate changes and advances in technology. Additional Assure24 modules are being developed to complement the core monitoring solution. Recent developments – or are in the process of being developed – include asset management, security and intrusion detection, helpdesk software provision, and others. For further information on the technical roadmap for the Assure24 service please contact your sales representative or email email@example.com.
My operating system is not listed on your supported platforms. Would you develop an agent?
We are happy to undertake new agent development but this would be based on requests from other customers and the technology in question. If the agent can only be used on a small selection of servers or customer sites then a development charge would need to be levied. However, if an increased demand exists then we may make this agent development part of the development roadmap.