Network monitoring is the most important part of the system administrator’s or IT manager’s work. The larger the company is, the more employees work there, the more clients are served by this organization, the more vital the server monitoring process is. It is worth to mention that nowadays there are a lot of companies with rather small and simple networks where servers are also used and need to be monitored.
The server equipment is to operate round the clock 7 days in a week all the year. It is not recommended to stop the server operation because this can lead to a company’s workflow interruption and the data loss. But computers, servers, and other network devices cannot work for ever, they can even fail sometimes. That is why the system administrator has to monitor servers’ operation constantly. This process includes monitoring the state of services, processes, applications, databases, etc.
What is “monitoring”? First of all, let’s give the definition.
Monitoring is the regular observation and recording of activities taking place in the object or the process, which gives an opportunity to evaluate effectively the influence of different external and internal factors; watching them during their operation and developing. The monitoring results allow improving the control of objects and processes.
What does the server monitoring process give us?
1. The system administrator or IT manager is able to detect the server failure just after the moment it has occurred. In this case, employees will not complain that important services on the server are unavailable, or that it is not possible to connect to the database, etc. The server monitoring process minimizes the time of the system administrator’s reaction to the particular events, and the system downtime. All this increases the efficiency of the company’s operation on the whole.
2. The system administrator is able to evaluate the state of IT infrastructure on the whole or its particular parts in details with one glance.
3. If the failure has been detected, the server monitoring program helps to define its cause, and what was just a consequence. This also minimizes the failure recovering time. Besides, the server monitoring process allows discovering the current server problems, and thus anticipating and preventing possible breakdowns.
The server monitoring software, that is available on the market today, makes the server monitoring process more automated and less expensive. A network monitoring program’s operation does not require any system administrator’s intervention. He just has to set up the particular checks, their periodicity, and notifications that will take place if failures are detected. He can also configure the program’s response on particular events. These may include: displaying a message, sending an e-mail message, running external programs, writing a record to log, sending SMS to a mobile phone, restarting/shutting down a service, a server, or a workstation. The server monitoring process will be performed round the clock 7 days a week, which human is not able to do physically. This means, that the organization’s information system will always be under constant observation and control.
Servers are kind of organization’s “brain”. They are the warehouses of the important data; they provide the “intellectual” operation of the company and the connection between all its parts, uniting them in one “organism”. If the server stops working, all the company’s operation can stop as well. A server monitor allows avoiding this, letting the system administrator detect and repair failures as soon as possible. The server and the whole network monitoring program’s task is to make this process less expensive and more efficient thanks to the great number of server monitoring checks and its continual operation.
Dmitriy Stepanov, Server Monitoring Process expert
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