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How to improve network monitoring

Brian Wilson, Senior VP of Customer Success, Zenoss | April 11, 2016
Three ways to respond to demands for a fast, iterative, rapid-feedback monitoring solution.

Your monitoring team will become a platform development team, and your fundamental mission will fail.

Unified monitoring platforms focus on a single, elastic backend that is safely and efficiently storing your data in hBase. A single platform can provide predictive algorithms your team can leverage and tune for your specific needs.

After all, how do you want your team to spend its time – building the perfect platform or improving infrastructure availability and performance for your customers?

Embrace open.  The space shuttle used open standards in its interoperability technology. NASA worked diligently on a set of standards for how systems and technology would work together.

More than just focusing on docking collars, NASA needed to make sure power, life support systems, cooling and heating systems, and information buses would connect across a broad range of countries and over a 20-year-plus time frame. Built over two decades ago, the space station is still one of the most complex systems ever designed.

Your investment in monitoring needs the same focus. It’s crucial to have your monitoring system make easy use of today’s standards, and to incorporate tomorrow’s as well.

Open APIs are a must. And the ability to really understand how it all works is paramount to long term success. Open source technology allows for extremely deep customization of monitoring platforms. You have the option of deciding what is to be monitoring, in what order.

Watch, listen and react. While there were five space shuttles built, they each evolved differently over time. More importantly, the payloads that were launched varied greatly.

Similarly, your monitoring platform and your monitoring requirements are going to change over time. This is a certainty in today’s IT world. You need flexibility at every level. Your platform needs to be current and have a healthy roadmap, your ability to extend that platform needs to be agile, and you need to have an easy method for tuning your platform for changes needs.

So before you invest in creating a network monitoring system, understand that it is not mission-critical for your business. What is mission-critical is uptime reliability and transaction speed.

OK, monitoring isn’t exactly rocket science, but at the same time, none of us wants to hear, “Houston, we have a problem”; we want to prevent that problem in the first place. Follow these three pointers and put a platform to work for your network monitoring to catch problems before your end users are affected.


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